We are blessed, here in Columbus, with a wonderful hockey team- The Columbus Blue Jackets! Not only have I seen these players and the Jackets community do absolutely wonderful things for our kiddos at Children’s, but they also can host an epic date night or family night! Contributor Jaclyn and her husband Christopher had an opportunity to enjoy the festivities at Winter Park and the thrilling game against PHI on Friday night (it went into overtime people!)! Here are a few of the highlights! Thanks so much to our pals at the Columbus Blue Jackets organization for hooking up Jaclyn and her hubby for an awesome date night.
Christopher and I love venturing down to Winter Park every year as it is a one of a kind experience here in Columbus. It is open from February 2nd through February 25th and offers tremendous amounts of family fun in a one stop shop! Their outdoor ice rink is by far the highlight- because how cool is it to ice skate outside?! There are frequent public skate times, and it is remarkably easy and affordable to rent skates and sign up for a skate time. It was my first-time ice skating in at least 15 years, and I was very grateful that it was such a friendly atmosphere as I stumbled around the rink.
While it was just my husband and I enjoying the skating this time, we can really see how much fun this would be as a family. There were kids there just learning to skate, and even some kids who looked like professionals!
Likely the best part about the Winter Park is how easy it is to turn the entire evening into a family event! Enjoy the skating, grab some snacks, take in all the sights. Then, walk over to Nationwide Arena and watch the CBJ dominate on the ice!
Hockey Games are by far the most entertaining sporting event to attend! And that is saying something from this sports-loving family! The Blue Jackets do a fantastic job of incorporating In Game Entertainment seamlessly throughout the game. The music, the giveaways, the pizzas, and of course… THE CANNON! The official mascot for the Jackets, Stinger, does a phenomenal job of keeping the crowd involved throughout the entire game. The entertainment keeps the crowd excited and creates a true community feel as everyone sings along to celebrate throughout the game. Hockey games seriously fly because of how well entertained you are the entire time. The intermission entertainment is fantastic as well, making those once dreaded breaks an exciting time!
All of the In Game Entertainment makes it an absolute blast for the kids, too. There is even the IGS Energy Zone right outside of sections 107-108 that is a dedicated kid space. It was amazing to see how well utilized the space was by families while we were there, as it is truly a benefit for the kiddos! They were having a blast!
I don’t know about you, but I am all about game-time food, and Nationwide Arena does not disappoint! The Family Value Pack is by far the best bang for your buck, as each ticket comes with a drink, hot dog, popcorn AND free ice skating at any of the Chiller Facilities! I mean, I am not sure how that deal could be beaten! There are a variety of adult beverage options as well, and snacks and candy options for the kids, too! Right outside of our section (did I mention we had phenomenal seats?) there was a Coldstone stand and a walking taco stand! Don’t forget to grab a Stinger Kids Meal for the kiddos, as well! You can even scope the offerings in advance (including gluten free options!) by checking out the detailed concession map on the Blue Jackets website.
A Fun Night Out
Overall, I cannot think of a better way to immerse ourselves in the Columbus than to attend a Blue Jackets game! There is a true sense of community at the games and for good reason- The Jackets are a wonderful team AND put on a wonderful evening for all who attend! While it certainly makes a great date night, it truly is the perfect family outing, right in Downtown Columbus! Thank you so much to Ben and the Blue Jackets for having us!