Top 5 Columbus events in January

Columbus Monthly staff
Harry Potter in Concert, Jan. 27–28

Harry Potter in Concert, Jan. 27–28

Hard to believe it's been more than 15 years since Harry Potter first cast his spell on the box office. For this Ohio Theatre show, the Columbus Symphony Orchestra will conjure Hogwarts circa 2002 to perform a live rendition of John Williams's score for “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets,” the second film in the series, while the movie plays on a 40-foot screen.

Here's Johnny!, Jan. 29–Feb. 26

Poor old John. The once-classic name has fallen on hard times, surpassed by trendier first names like Mason and Elijah. But the Grandview Heights Public Library will give John another star turn beginning in late January with a movie series devoted to films with the vintage moniker in their titles. Featured movies include “Johnny Eager” (1941), “Johnny Angel” (1945) and “Johnny O'Clock” (1947)—all classics from the golden era of John.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day at the Ohio History Center, Jan. 15

The Ohio History Center eschews its normal business hours and opens from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on this particular Monday to honor MLK with special exhibitions and presentations. View archival material related to Poindexter Village before it goes on display Feb. 10 in Poindexter Village: A Portrait in Stories. Raphael Davis-Williams of the ACLU and Karen Robertson of the Ohio History Connection will give talks on housing rights and discrimination in Ohio.

John Mulaney, Jan. 13

Perhaps as a remedy for the annual bleak-a-thon that is January, this month's slate offers plenty of live comedy, including Ron White, Brian Regan and Jeff Dunham. With two sets at the Mershon Auditorium, the best seasonal antidote comes from John Mulaney, a self-described “sweet idiot,” who delivers jokes with a sharp sense of absurdity and self-deprecation.

Metro Parks Winter Hikes, Jan. 6–Feb. 24

What is it that makes the Metro Parks Winter Hikes series so popular? Maybe it's the delicious soup and hot chocolate available at the end of each hike. Maybe it's the sense of accomplishment and groovy patch awarded after completing at least seven of the 13 hikes, which begin Jan. 6 at Blacklick Woods and continue at a different park each weekend through Feb. 24. Maybe it's the camaraderie of hiking with hundreds of others through some of Central Ohio's most beautiful landscapes. Or maybe it's just the chance to shake off the winter blues, get outside and get some exercise. Truth be told, it's all of it. No wonder it's been going strong for 45 years.