F Mother Nature rains, then Hamilton Community Center and Ice Arena reigns during spring break as an especially cool place to be, no pun intended.
Lauren Lafferty can tell you as much.
“If it’s rainy and nasty, we’re going to be really busy,” said the Columbus arena’s customer service specialist.
Last year, 459 people glided through a variety of fun during an abridged spring break period, according to the center’s stats.
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This year, youngsters and others can learn to play hockey, be treated like royalty at a Princess Tea, or at least feel fortunately Irish during a St. Patrick’s Day Shamrock Skate that will include holiday crafts that could turn others green with envy.
These are among spring break activities remaining to keep kids and kids-at-heart busy with sunny satisfaction.
And what if clouds threaten the fun in the next week and a half? Family-friendly films at the nonprofit YES Cinema in downtown Columbus can be a bright spot nonetheless.
The much-publicized live-action remake of Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” opens today at YES, said Randy Allman. He’s executive director of Lincoln-Central Neighborhood Family Center, which operates the theater.
“I think it will probably be among the best movies of the year,” said Allman, a longtime movie buff. “And it should appeal to everybody.”
Last year’s YES spring break audiences sometimes climbed into the several-hundred figures per day, said Diane Doup. She coordinates community outreach for the family center. This year, to make showtimes even more accessible to viewers, some movies are beginning as early as 10:30 a.m., with four showings daily.
Plus, Allman mentioned that the theater’s Dolby digital sound has been upgraded. So the mighty gorilla’s roar in “King Kong: Skull Island,” now showing and also scheduled to run next week, should be that much more thunderous.
Here are a few specific spring break options:
Hamilton Community Center and Ice Arena, 2501 Lincoln Park Drive in Columbus. Class: Learn to Play Hockey, 4:15 to 5:15 p.m. Saturday and March 25. Ages 4 to 10. $5 per child. Activity: Princess Tea for girls ages 4 to 12. $15, includes tea and cookies and crafts — and skating with the arena’s teen princesses. Activity: Shamrock Skate, 1 to 3 p.m. Friday. Public skate sessions: 1 to 3 p.m. today and Friday; 1 to 2:30 p.m. Monday through March 24.
YES Cinema, 328 Jackson St. in Columbus. Scheduled as of press time: “Kong: Skull Island” this week and also “Beauty and the Beast” opening today. Some showings as early as 10:30 a.m. Tickets: matinees are $4 before 6 p.m. Evenings (after 6 p.m.) $4 for children ages 3 to 12 and $6 for adults.
kidscommons children’s museum, 309 Washington St. in Columbus. Weekly programming (free with museum admission): Little Explorers for preschoolers, 11 a.m. Tuesdays and 1:30 p.m. Fridays; art time for all ages, focusing on a different project each session, 3:30 p.m. Wednesdays; Wacky Science, featuring demonstrations and experiments geared to those ages 5 to 12, 3:30 p.m. Thursdays.
The Red Zone laser tag, 746 Greenway Drive in Columbus. Offers laser tag for ages 6 and older at $7 per game, $13 for two games or $18 for three games; spider wall and trampoline basketball. Information: 812-372-9663 or theredzonelasertag.com. Hours: 4 to 8 p.m. Thursdays, 4 to midnight Fridays, 11 a.m. to midnight Saturdays, 1 to 7 p.m. Sundays.
Columbus Skateland, 2660 Talley Road in Columbus. Hours: 7 to 10:30 p.m. Fridays ($6 admission); 1 to 4 p.m. ($4.50 admission) and 7 to 10 p.m. ($5 admission) Saturdays; 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays ($4.50 admission). Regular quad skate rental, $2. Inline skate rental, $3.50. Information: 812-372-6677.
Foundation for Youth, 405 Hope Ave. in Columbus. Preschool open gym, 9 to 10 a.m. today; family open gym, 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. today; Flip and Dip ($6 per person, open to those through age 14) at the pool and gymnastics center, 1 to 3 p.m. Friday (parents must pre-register children or teens for this activity and be present with them during the child or teen’s visit). Family open gym, 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., March 23 and 25. Information: 812-348-4558 or foundationforyouth.com.