Celebrate the Season at the 2015 Home & Garden Show

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly

Perhaps you've been planning to update your kitchen but don't know where to begin. Or maybe you'd like to improve your home's curb appeal but just can't figure out how to achieve the perfect lawn. For answers to these questions and others, there's no better place to go than The Home & Garden Show and Holiday Fest, presented by Ohio Mulch and Rosati Windows.

The annual event, which will be held at the Ohio Expo Center from Sept. 11 to 13, will bring a variety of exhibitors, experts and craftsmen together under one roof so you can get the information you need for home improvement, landscaping and gardening projects. Of course, there are also plenty of fun events on the schedule, plus a special holiday marketplace that will help you get an early start on your shopping this year.

Pick Garden Experts' Brains

In addition to consulting with exhibitors about potential home projects and upgrades, attendees will have an opportunity to get expert gardening advice. All weekend, members of the Ohio State Extension Office will be available to answer questions related to gardening and yard care. Bring your toughest gardening questions-including plant and yard samples if you have them-and they'll help you find a solution.

On Friday, Mary M. Gardiner will sign copies of her new book "Good Garden Bugs: Everything You Need to Know about Beneficial Predatory Insects." Gardiner, a professor of entomology at Ohio State University, wrote a guide about taking advantage of "good bugs" as a natural alternative to chemical pesticides in your garden.

And for fall gardening tips and secrets, don't miss a panel of Central Ohio garden gurus on Friday, as well.

Fun for All

The Home & Garden Show and Holiday Fest is chock-full of activities for everyone in the family to enjoy. The holiday marketplace is a one-stop shop for decorations and gifts, with more than 75 vendors selling everything from handcrafted furniture to fine ornaments (make sure you take a trip through the holiday garden, complete with Santa's workshop). There's also a special make-and-take flower-arranging workshop Friday, led by Lynn Fronk, Garden Club of Ohio president-elect and a National Garden Club master flower show judge.

Are you a sports fan? A special lounge with a big-screen TV means you don't have to miss the big game if you come to the show. Former Ohio State University football players will also stop by throughout the weekend for meet-and-greets. And Friday night, author Bill Rabinowitz will host a special pre-launch book signing of "The Chase," an inside look at the Buckeyes' road to the inaugural College Football Playoff and the national championship. (Rabinowitz recorded some 75 hours of interviews for this book, making it a must-read for any Buckeyes fan.)

Don't worry-the little ones will have plenty of fun, too. On Saturday, kids can meet Captain America and Iron Man and enjoy activities designed just for them. Some of the stars of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium will be there with their handlers, so kids can get up close and personal with all kinds of cute critters, learn where they're from and what they eat.

Kids can unleash their creativity in the pumpkin-decorating area and enjoy the model train in the holiday garden (watch for Thomas the Tank Engine to appear). And what holiday festival would be complete without the big man in red himself? Yes, Santa Claus will be there, too, ready for photo ops.

Craft Beer Fest

Also on Friday night from 4 to 9 p.m. is the Crave Craft Beer Fest, showcasing as many as 18 different beers to try, including samples from such Ohio breweries as Jackie O's in Athens, MadTree in Cincinnati and Fat Head's in the Cleveland area. Tickets are $10 in advance at ($15 at the door) and include five 3-ounce pours, as well as admission to the show.

Win Prizes

Show visitors also get a chance to win big with $20,000 worth of giveaways and prizes. You could win your share of $5,000 to spend with one of the show's exhibitors, which include Lowe's, Rosati Windows, Ohio Mulch, Closets by Design, Simple Bath Ohio and more than 200 others in all. This year, you can also enter a drawing to win a "she shed" designed for Sunny 95's Stacy McKay. She sheds are an increasingly popular answer to the man cave-small, backyard spaces that serve as a place to garden, paint, read, nap and relax.

2015 Home & Garden Show and Holiday Fest

When: 10 a.m.–9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 11, 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 12, 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 13

Where: Ohio Expo Center, Bricker Building, 717 E. 17th Ave., North Side

Admission: $6 day of, free for children age 12 and younger. Free tickets will be given away at Central Ohio Lowe's stores beginning Sept. 1.

Parking: $5 (cash only). Park for free on Friday with voucher printed online or clipped from Home & Garden Show and Holiday Fest ads in The Columbus Dispatch.

Information: DispatchHome