PARTY PERFECT Owner Michael Ross says one of the attractions at Mr. Game Room is that you can have a party at your house, but not in your house. The company offers visiting game parties in a mobile, customized hospitality trailer, bringing the game room to your location. Up to 16 people can have fun with Xbox 360s and six high-definition widescreen plasma TVs. The company also offers PlayStation 2 and 3 and Wii platforms and games.
Ross says his clients include all ages celebrating a variety of occasions, from company events to block parties, birthdays to reunions. No food or drink except water is permitted in the game room, so if you want to serve food, you'll need to do it in your home.
The cost for two hours is $279, and additional time can be had for $85 per hour. The company has three game rooms, so you can get more than one if needed. Gift certificates are available.
Call Mr. Game Room between 8 am and 8 pm at 918-3000. Go to mrgameroom.com for more information or to book a party. Ross says weekends book quickly, so call early.
CLASSIC LOOK The motto at Substance is, "Where there is style, there should be substance." When you buy clothing here, you'll want to wear it more than one season. The styles are classic, seasonless and subtle. Scarves start at $19 and are available in cotton, natural fibers or silk blends.
There's a big selection of leather and nonleather handbags. Store manager Ayisha Jones says her Melie Bianco nonleather bags are never more than $90. You'll also find shirts, skirts, jackets, coats and more in sizes small to 14/16 for pants. There is a monthly sale of some kind, such as private label short-sleeve Pima cotton T-shirts for $4.99. Long-sleeve tees are $9.99 and organic styles are $24.99. There's a wide range of jewelry as well.
Everyone in the store has a design background, and the Design Lab reworks items that don't sell into something different and attractive. Interns in the lab are from design schools across the country.
Substance, 783 N. High St. (between Buttles and Hubbard avenues), 299-2910; shopsubstance.com. Open Mon-Sat 11 am-
7 pm, Sun noon-5 pm.
WINTER FEST St. Joseph Montessori School will have its Annual Winter Festival on Dec. 5 from noon to 5 pm. The public is invited to this family event, which includes games, music, pictures with Santa, arts and crafts, raffles and a Secret Gift Shop. Admission is free.
St. Joseph Montessori School, 933 Hamlet St. (next to Sacred Heart Church), 291-8644.
THINGS FOR THE LITTLE Hey Diddle Diddle in Westerville is the oldest exclusive children's store in the area, according to owner Stacy Roberts. Exclusive doesn't have to mean expensive, though, particularly if you're buying toys that can be passed down to other children or even future generations.
The shop's selection includes Melissa & Doug creative wooden toys for ages 1 and older. Handcrafted wooden puzzles start at $7.99, and ones that make noise range from $12.99 to $19.99 for a talking alphabet. You'll also find Melissa & Doug travel games, magnetic calendars and a responsibility chart.
The stock includes more girls' than boys' clothing, in sizes for infants to 6-year-olds. Picture-perfect boutique hats start at $28. There also are piggy banks from $18 to $30 painted by a local woman. The banks can be personalized, along with birthday hats for all ages, including adults. You'll find quality-made items here that you won't locate anywhere else, such as fireman dolls and raincoats. There's always a clearance rack with items as much as half off.
On Dec. 4, the Uptown Merchants Association will sponsor the Home for the Holiday event from 3 to 8 pm. In addition to carolers, free entertainment and carriage rides, Westerville shops will offer holiday specials for the family.
Hey Diddle Diddle, 38-A N. State St., Westerville, 818-5437; heydiddlediddle.com. Open Mon-Sat 10 am-5 pm; closed Sun.