Five other all-star worthy events to check out this weekend

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

In honor of Columbus hosting the prestigious NHL All-Star Game - a real-life fantasy game almost exactly like its turf counterpart, the NFL's Pro Bowl - the city has responded with a variety of frigid, hockey-related fun in anticipation of Sunday's event. So if a matchup of all the season's studs isn't entertaining enough, or you're just in need of something to do before the puck drops, we've got you covered.

"The Great One"

Doesn't really take a hockey nut to know the mark Wayne Gretzky left on the sport. What might be lesser-known is how his 1988 trade from the Edmonton Oilers to the Los Angeles Kings - Gretzky's definitive move from Canada to the U.S. - turned hockey into the powerhouse sport it is today. In "The Great One," the hole left behind by the trade is explored through a one-act comedy-musical, set in an Edmonton hockey bar with a bunch of characters as passionate about the Oilers as your dad would be.

Garden Theater

Through Sunday, Jan. 25

1187 N. High St., Short North

You've gotta go ice skating …

In the form of its newly founded Winter Park, McFerson Commons is going full winter wonderland for All-Star shenanigans leading up to the game. There'll be tons of things to slip and slide on, but go for the full all-star experience and hit the community rink. For $5, you can be just like the pros except without all the pads and pucks. Props if you're able to get around the entire rink without needing to hold on to the edge.

…Then hit this snow slide

Perhaps you long for the water park days of summer, or you just had it with your newly bruised limbs from ice skating. That's when you hop over to the snow slide on Nationwide Boulevard to smooth everything over. At 34-feet high and 85-feet long, it doesn't really ask for a lot of courage, though it'll still be fun for a moderate thrill. Maybe you can try to win the $2 back it charges for a ride by betting on a race downhill.

McFerson Commons

Through Sunday, Jan. 25

218 West St., Arena District

NHL Fan Fair

NHL fans, you have found your place. During the Convention Center's weekend-long fan fair, you can snap a photo with a variety of team mascots, put your hockey skills to the test at a crap-load of games or just hang out and learn a thing or two at the Q&A session with past players. From trading card collecting to glaring at the Stanley Cup, this festival of hockey allows you to celebrate it all, NHL-style.

Greater Columbus Convention Center

Through Sunday, Jan. 25

400 N. High St., Downtown

The Crease

Blue Jackets and "Great Gatsby" fans will coalesce for The Crease, a speakeasy-themed party organized by the Blue Jackets Foundation in support of the fight against pediatric cancer. Complete with vaudeville-style entertainment and required cocktail party attire, this Prohibition-era party will be brimming with VIPs from every realm - not just hockey stars.

Columbus Athenaeum

6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 22

32 N. Fourth St., Downtown