A popular winter-time diversion is coming back to the Arena District.
The Columbus Blue Jackets and sponsor Worthington Industries said the Winter Park ice rink would return to McFerson Commons across from Nationwide Arena from Feb. 3 through Sunday, Feb. 26.
The NHL-sized rink will be open for public skating, hockey practices and other events during its 24-day run. It attracted more than 16,000 participants during its second-annual appearance last year.
Skating costs $5 and includes rentals if needed. Tickets will be available at the site or at the Big Lots Box Office at Nationwide Arena. Check the Winter Park website for public skating hours.
One popular feature returning, sort of, from the original Winter Park tied to the 2015 NHL All-Star Game in Columbus will be a sledding hill, branded in partnership with the Mad River Mountain ski and tubing attraction about 45 minutes west of Columbus. The small Mad River Mountain Tubing Hill for kids will be open on weekday early evenings and on weekends. There will be no charge.
Winter Park also will feature a video board that will show some weekend Blue Jackets games. Heated tents for skate rentals and for spectators will be available, along with bleacher seating for 250.
The red-hot Blue Jackets will debut the ice rink with a free public practice on Feb. 2 at a time to be announced. That will be followed by the 5th Line 5K Race presented by OhioHealth on Sunday, Feb. 5. Race participants get a voucher for a pair of Blue Jackets tickets with their race fee, which ranges from $55 to $65 depending on when you register.
Columbus-based Marketing Activations Group is developing the attraction as it has done in previous years.
Doug Buchanan directs daily online/digital news coverage for Columbus Business First.
Dec 20, 2016, 12:34pm EST Updated Dec 20, 2016, 5:10pm EST