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Vertical Adventures – Taking Columbus Rock Climbers to New Heights

Interested in trying your hands (and feet) at rock climbing, but unsure of where to go or how to start? Head over to Vertical Adventures, Ohio’s premiere indoor climbing facility.

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For the past 22 years, Vertical Adventures has helped folks of all ages and skill levels learn to rock climb, garnering quite a following in the process. The company was founded when a job move brought Alexis and Carrie Rocco, both avid East Coast rock climbers, to Columbus in the early 1990s. The couple soon discovered a vibrant community of climbers—despite Ohio’s rather flat terrain—and recognized the need for an indoor facility where people could train during the winter.

“When we first moved to Ohio, we often traveled several hours away to find great rock climbing,” said Carrie Rocco. “After a while, we decided to try to fill the void experienced by many Columbus climbers, and we opened Vertical Adventures in 1994.”

We recently had the opportunity to visit Vertical Adventures, and we had a blast! Upon arrival, we were admittedly a bit nervous. While the photos on the company’s website offer a glimpse into what you’ll experience, we couldn’t believe how tall the walls actually are! The friendly staff put our minds at ease and guided our very inexperienced crew throughout each step of the process. Before we knew it, we were climbing and belaying our way around their steepest crags. (We even picked up some rock climbing jargon along the way!)

Afraid of heights or nervous you won’t fit in? Don’t be! “Anyone can climb,” Rocco said. “We’ve worked hard to create a space where beginners can learn in a non-intimidating environment, but also where strong, dedicated climbers can train and perfect their skill.”

There is so much going on at Vertical Adventures! Here’s a look at what they offer:

Adult Programming – Whether you’re a first-timer, like us, or you’ve been climbing all your life, Vertical Adventures offers professional classes for all levels of climbing. From basic rope and movement instruction to lead climbing classes, the expert staff will advance your skills and take you to new heights (quite literally).

Youth Programming – Rock climbing is not just for big people. Vertical Adventures offers programs for kids of all ages, including:

  • ABC Kids Climbing – Little ones will learn the basics of rock climbing and will develop agility, balance, coordination and confidence.
  • Climbers' Club – As children grow, they’ll love the Climbers’ Club, designed to coach kids of all experience levels to be the best climber they can be.
  • Team Vertical – Starting at age 7, children interested in competition climbing will transition from climbers to athletes-in-training.
  • Camps – Need a fun way to entertain your little monkey while school is out? Vertical Adventures offers exciting camps for kids throughout the summer and during school breaks.

Special Needs Programming – Vertical Adventures is proud to offer programming for children and adults with special needs. From their Adaptive Ascent Clinics, designed for anyone with a disability, to their climbing clubs for children and adults with autism spectrum disorder, everyone can enjoy the physical and mental benefits of rock climbing.

Special Events – From college nights and Monday night meet-ups to scout merit badge events, overnight lock-ins and competitions, there’s always something fun going on at Vertical Adventures. And if you’re looking for a place to host your next party or corporate team-building event, this is it.

More Than Just Climbing

When you’re not harnessed up, getting an incredible workout on the walls, you’ll want to check out the Vertical Adventures fitness center. The facility offers strength training and cardiovascular machines, as well as a variety of yoga classes each week.

Vertical Adventures is located at 6513 Kingsmill Ct., just minutes from downtown Worthington. Visit their website or check them out on Facebook to begin your rock climbing adventure today.

3 Wine Dinners in Worthington

“I enjoy cooking with wine; sometimes I even put it in the food.” ~ Julia Child If you're looking for a place to experience the latest in food and wine pairings, you're in luck. Three Worthington restaurants are currently hosting wine dinners: The Worthington Inn, Harold’s American Grille and The Whitney House. We spoke with the owners at each restaurant, and here's what we discovered about these increasingly popular events.

The Worthington Inn – Wine dinners on the first Wednesday of each month

Best described as a gastronomic adventure, The Worthington Inn’s First Wednesday Wine Dinner includes a seasonal, four-course meal prepared by Executive Chef Mike Waters, served with expertly paired wines chosen by House Wine’s Donnie Austin.

During dinner, Waters and Austin lead an educational discussion about their wine choices for each course. And each month the dinner features a creative theme inspired by the time of year or popular culture, such as Downton Abbey, A Dickensian Christmas and Back to (wine) School.

What's Next? A Low-Country Winter Wine Dinner – Feb. 3 at 7 p.m.

The Worthington Inn

Harold’s American Grille – Wine dinners on the third Tuesday of each month

Harold’s American Grille offers guests the chance to experience Chef Steve Muntean’s unique take on classic American dishes paired with a variety of hand-selected wines. Here, too, each dinner includes an educational discussion about the chef's choice of pairings.

In addition to wine, the restaurant will soon partner with several local distilleries and breweries to create the perfect match of food and spirit—or food and brew. During these events, an expert from the distillery or brewery will be on hand to discuss the creative pairings and share the ancient and modern history of the beverage.

What's Next? A wine pairing dinner on Feb. 22.

Harold’s American Grille

The Whitney house – Occasional wine or brew pairing dinners

An upscale yet casual restaurant that pays homage to the Sunday dinners of your childhood, The Whitney House also knows a thing or two about wine and beer pairings. Since its grand opening last year, the restaurant has hosted a series of multi-course pairing dinners, prepared by Executive Chef Maxwell Avon, that feature popular wineries and distributors like Heidelberg Distributing Company, Montinore Estate, Madtree Brewing Company and Rhinegeist Brewery.

What's Next? Follow The Whitney House on Facebook for announcements about upcoming dinners.

The Whitney House

Convention & Visitors Bureau of Worthington

Worthington, Ohio, offers a variety of activities, attractions, specialty shops and dining options for visitors of all ages and interests. The Convention & Visitors Bureau of Worthington is your resource for all the latest information, including the event calendar at VisitWorthingtonOhio.com. You can also follow us on Facebook at Visit Worthington Ohio.

An Evening in Support of Excellence

Worthington Educational Foundation Hosts Cocktail Party for a Cause In just a few weeks, friends and supporters of the Worthington Educational Foundation (WEF) will gather at The Shops at Worthington Place for An Evening in Support of Excellence--and you're invited. The highly anticipated event, which averages 500 attendees each year, will take place on January 30 from 7 to 10 p.m. This year's "High 5" theme supports the fact that this is the fifth annual event. It's the perfect opportunity to kick off 2016 among friends and to enjoy a night of drinks, hors d’oeuvres, auctions and giveaways—all in support of a great cause.

“We’re really looking forward to this year’s annual fundraiser,” said Pat Kelso, WEF board member. “It’s been an exciting year for our foundation, and we’re incredibly thankful for the continued support of the Worthington community.”

Here’s what you can expect at this year’s Evening in Support of Excellence:

Popular Auction Items – The folks at the WEF have been working hard to secure some fabulous silent and live auction items, such as:

  • Graduation tickets with reserved premium seating for Thomas Worthington High School and Worthington Kilbourne High School
  • A private dinner for 8 prepared in your home by The Whitney House chef Max Avon and served by Worthington Superintendent Dr. Trent Bowers
  • An overnight trip to Cleveland complete with a hotel room, dinner reservations and tickets to a Cleveland Cavaliers game
  • A decadent brunch prepared in your home by K. J. Shannan, a local Worthington chiropractor who has a knack for gourmet cooking
  • Ohio State Buckeyes tickets

Delicious Eats and Tasty Cocktails – Bring your appetite, folks. From fantastic fare provided by J. Liu Restaurant and catering from Made From Scratch to appetizers and small plates from Aladdin’s Eatery, Panera Bread and The Hills Market, you’ll want to sample it all. And don’t forget to stop by the cash bars. In addition to the usual cocktail party favorites, Watershed Distillery will be on hand to serve a signature drink in honor of the event.

Fabulous Fun - In addition to participating in the auctions, you can get a close-up look at the ice sculpture, capture some memories in the "selfie" photo booth, check out the photos of Worthington students and community members doing their best "high fives," or simply enjoy the DJ music that will be playing all evening.

Prizes – In addition to the tempting auction items, you’ll have numerous opportunities throughout the evening to purchase raffle tickets. The prizes range from a variety of gift certificates to a barrelful of hand-selected bottles of wine.

It’s All For the Kids

The Worthington Educational Foundation, which was founded in 1988, exists to identify, fund and support projects that enrich learning experiences for the students of Worthington schools. To date, the foundation has awarded more than 400 grants totaling over $310,000 to Worthington teachers and staff to fund innovative educational projects.

All of the proceeds from this year’s Evening in Support of Excellence will directly benefit Worthington students by helping to fund more grants. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn about the work of this important foundation, including their most significant grant to date, the “Big Idea” grant.

Tickets for the Evening in Support of Excellence are available online for $30 prior to the event or may be purchased at the door for $40. For more information, visit www.worthingtoneducationalfoundation.com.

Convention & Visitors Bureau of Worthington

Worthington, Ohio, offers a variety of activities, attractions, specialty shops and dining options for visitors of all ages and interests. The Convention & Visitors Bureau of Worthington is your resource for all the latest information, including the event calendar at VisitWorthingtonOhio.com. You can also follow us on Facebook at Visit Worthington Ohio.

Worthington Welcomes Highline Coffee

While coffee drinkers appreciate a great cup of coffee any time of the year, there’s something extra special about enjoying a hot beverage on a cold, winter day. Since Highline Coffee’s grand opening on October 22, Worthington folks have been doing just that—and they couldn’t be happier about it. Today, Highline Coffee is a full-service coffee and espresso bar nestled in a cozy, little spot at 691 High Street in the heart of Old Worthington.

“We’re thrilled with the warm welcome we’ve received from the Worthington community,” said Christie Bruffy, owner of Highline Coffee. “Because of the mild weather we’ve experienced lately, the foot traffic on High Street has been fantastic for business.”

The Backstory

Christie Bruffy’s dream of owning her own coffee shop started when she was in her early 20s. She had recently finished college and moved to Columbus to start her career when she took a job as a barista in a local cafe. “When I first started at the shop, I knew nothing about coffee and didn’t even drink it, Bruffy said. “Despite my inexperience, I ended up loving that job and thought about it many times over the years.” After moving on to work in a number of offices, Bruffy couldn’t kick the idea of starting her own coffee business. She researched the topic extensively and eventually decided to try her hand at coffee.

Bruffy began by exploring a number of different locations and possibilities, including purchasing an independent traveling coffee trailer. As luck would have it, a merchant friend in Worthington told her about a small space that would soon be available on High Street, and that's when the pieces began to fall into place.

About Her Special Brew

When trying to decide what kind of coffee she would brew at her new shop, Bruffy considered a number of local coffee roasters before landing on One Line Coffee. “I loved One Line’s brand and philosophy right from the beginning,” she said. “They are incredibly knowledgeable and helped guide me through every part of the process, from laying out my space to purchasing equipment to training me on roasting and brewing.”

Bruffy’s vision for Highline is straightforward. “We’re passionate about great coffee, and we want people to take a sip and say that it’s the best they’ve ever had.”

Treats, Too!

In addition to offering a rich assortment of coffee, espresso and teas, Highline is proud to partner with several local bakers to offer decadent pastries like Big and Little’s Craft Donuts and The Flaky Baker’s brownies, bars and treats.

Highline Coffee is open Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Stop in today for a cup of Joe and a donut, or check them out on Facebook or Twitter.

Convention & Visitors Bureau of Worthington

Worthington, Ohio, offers a variety of activities, attractions, specialty shops and dining options for visitors of all ages and interests. The Convention & Visitors Bureau of Worthington is your resource for all the latest information, including the event calendar at VisitWorthingtonOhio.com. You can also follow us on Facebook at Visit Worthington Ohio.

Worthington Tourism Video Nominated for Emmy Award
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Earlier this year, the Convention & Visitors Bureau of Worthington released a four-minute promotional video about visiting Worthington. The video, which was produced by New Vision Media and created to attract tourism to the area, was selected as an Emmy Award finalist by the Ohio Valley Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. "Congratulations to New Vision Media for their Emmy nomination for our visit Worthington video. I thought they did a spectacular job of capturing the energy and essence of the community," said Bill Purpura, Convention & Visitors Bureau of Worthington board president and editor and publisher of Home & Away magazine with AAA Ohio Automobile Club. "As we were going through the editing process, I began sharing it with outside parties in the travel industry, and each of them responded in the same way. 'It makes me want to visit,' they said. So I knew very early on that the Convention & Visitors Bureau of Worthington had achieved its goal with this project."

The primary objective of the video was to show that Worthington is an attractive area. Once viewers are drawn in, they ask: What can we do there? That's why the CVB spent five months working with New Vision Media to create the video. They wanted to showcase the many great things happening in Worthington throughout the year, from the Worthington Farmers Market to local concerts and festivals.

The video was judged on content, creativity and execution in the commercial category. Of the 865 total entries in the four-state regional Emmy competition, 300 were selected as nominees. New Vision Media worked closely with the CVB to feature a wide variety of activities, events and locations, including many scenes that were filmed using an innovative aerial drone camera.

The video captures sidewalks and boutiques, bustling with shoppers, as well as behind-the-scenes activity at several Worthington restaurants. Businesses in Old Worthington and at the Shops at Worthington Place are highlighted in the video, along with scenes of visitors zip lining through trees, enjoying outdoor concerts on the Village Green, visiting booths at the Worthington Art Festival and shopping at the Worthington Farmers Market.

In the video, residents and visitors candidly share their thoughts about what makes Worthington a great place to live and visit. One resident summed it up like this: "There's always something going on in Worthington."

You can view the video at http://visitworthingtonohio.com/.

10854414_595376523925923_4914890589846213349_oConvention & Visitors Bureau of Worthington

Worthington, Ohio, offers a variety of activities, attractions, specialty shops and dining options for visitors of all ages and interests. The Convention & Visitors Bureau of Worthington is your resource for all the latest information, including the event calendar at VisitWorthingtonOhio.com. You can also follow us on Facebook at Visit Worthington Ohio.