The Pizzuti Collection: Explore 18,000-square-foot gallery space for free on first Saturday of month
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The Pizzuti Collection

Explore 18,000-square-foot gallery space for free on first Saturday of month


The Pizzuti Collection: Explore 18,000-square-foot gallery space for free on first Saturday of monthThey say art is in the eye of the beholder. And when that beholder’s eye belongs to your own child, it’s fun to see her facial expressions when roaming around a contemporary art museum.

I saw awe, joy and utter befuddlement upon my daughter’s face as we explored the Pizzuti Collection in Columbus’ Short North Arts District. Rosie’s unique eye for art influenced my own, as I found new appreciation in quirky pieces, such as a headless, silver figure made out of a tube of paint, as we explored the museum on the first Saturday in October.

“This is my favorite,” Rosie said of the paint-tube man at Pizzuti’s monthly event called the Family Day Series. On the first Saturday of each month the museum is open free of charge to families, who also can partake in an art-inspired scavenger hunt from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Guided tours are offered at 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.

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“I think it’s a great opportunity to take the family out to see and do something new and exciting,” said Mark Zuzik, programs coordinator.

The first Saturday of the month also is the Gallery Hop in the Short North, as most in Columbus know, making Pizzuti’s event the perfect prelude to a full day of exploring dozens of galleries along High Street.

The Pizzuti Collection, which opened in 2013, offers rotating exhibits of works belonging to real estate developer and art collector Ron Pizzuti and his wife, Ann. The couple has amassed thousands of pieces over four decades of collecting. The non-profit exhibition space spans three floors in an 18,000-square-foot revamped building, with more art outside in the sculpture garden.

The Pizzuti Collection is located at 632 North Park St., Columbus. For more information, visit pizzuticollection.org.

Rocket Fizz Soda Pop and Candy Shop: Find retro treats in funky Short North store

Rocket Fizz Soda Pop and Candy Shop

Find retro treats in funky Short North store


We’ll most likely never witness a bull in a China shop in our lifetimes. But my husband, Mike, and I recently had the pleasure of seeing a kid in a candy store.

It happened when we took our 6-year-old son, Max, to the Rocket Fizz Soda Pop and Candy Shop in the Short North. The candy store in the heart of Columbus’ Arts District is just what you’d imagine it would be – but visibly way better if you’re a kid.

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As its name suggests, Rocket Fizz is a nostalgic soda pop and candy shop offering thousands of types of candies and more than 500 varieties of bottled sodas from around the world – all colorfully displayed alongside retro posters and gag gifts.

The destination proved to be a real treat for Max and a reminder to us of the allure of candy. As we watched our son move about the store in an apparent sugary haze, we could see a spark of wonderment in his gaze with so much candy within his reach. Dots, Necco Wafers, Pop Rocks, Goobers, Cow Tales, Now and Laters – they’re all there in perfect harmony with face-sized lolly pops and footlong Charleston Chews.

There’s also a neat assortment of Japanese candies, bins of salt-water taffy in such flavors as chili mango and blueberry muffin, and bubble-gum cigarettes (amusingly sold at the cashier’s station).

The store enticed a steady stream of customers (mostly curious adults), who viewed the candies and sodas like they were in one of the many art galleries in the area. Rocket Fizz sells its own zany line of soda flavors based on food, such as bacon with chocolate. They’re made with mountain water from the High Sierras and real sugar.

The prices of candy and the soda are not what you might come to expect. With the high rents of the Short North, some of the candy seemed quite expensive. But the assortment is worth the visit.

The Short North store, 944 N. High St., is among more than 70 stores across the U.S., with dozens more locations set to open, according to rocketfizz.com.

For more information, visit rocketfizz.com or call 614-525-0052.

Kingmakers
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Kingmakers

Pick from more than 450 titles at Short North board game parlor


Kingmakers is a game parlor in the Short North that boasts more than 450 board games – from Apples to Apples to Zombie Dice – that are neatly shelved on a wall and ready to entertain you and your friends.

Guests pay $5 apiece to access the game library for unlimited play. Employees, known as “Board Game Sommeliers,” know how to play the games, so besides serving snacks and beverages, they can explain rules and offer tips for outsmarting opponents. Heck, they’ll even sit down and play with you, if you’d like them to.

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My son, Max, and I visited Kingmakers on a Sunday afternoon when most of the tables were occupied. Guests enter under a striped awning off Buttles Avenue and descend an indoor staircase. It felt like I was taking my 5-year-old to an underground bar, but, alas, the stairwell led to a bright, comfortable space with groups of noticeably content people playing board games at various sized tables with mixed-matched chairs.

Kingmasters takes only credit cards for payment. So when you enter, you’re asked to provide a card to keep a running tab of your expenditures. We started off with a $10 charge soon after walking in.

Beverages and snacks are available, including beer on tap and in cans, wine, soda, coffee and locally made snacks, such as a mix from the Krema Nut Company in Grandview. Don’t attempt to bring your own snacks or games from home, however, as they’re not permitted. I ordered a wine for myself and chocolate milk for Max.

The joint is welcoming to children, visible by the selection of board games such as Candy Land, Hi-Ho Cherry-O and Sorry. Children’s games are clearly marked, as well as the duration of time you can expect to play.

Most games, though, appear to be of the role-playing variety, the likes of Dungeons & Dragons. I’ve never played these types of games, but I think this would be the perfect, non-threatening place to give them a try.

Max and I spent two hours playing five games, three of which were new to us. All pieces were contained in the boxes, which isn’t always the case at home. The space allowed us to focus on the games, and I could tell that Max appreciated his one-on-one time with mom. That alone was worth the price of admission.

Kingmakers is located at 17 Buttles Ave. Parking is located at nearby meters, and there is no fee on Sunday.

Hours are 5-10 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday; 5 p.m.-midnight, Friday; 1 p.m.-midnight, Saturday; and 1-10 p.m., Sunday.

For more information, visit kingmakerscolumbus.com. View the game library at kingmakerscolumbus.com/library.