Several options to get out and enjoy some of what Columbus has to offer this weekend now that the rain from Sandy has subsided.

The Annie Leibovitz exhibit runs through Dec. 30.

Annie Leibovitz @ Wexner

Folks all I can say is that this is a must-see exhibit and you can see it for FREE this Sunday or on Thursdays after 4 p.m. I saw it on opening night and my favorite portraits include those of Robert Redford in California, r2d2 (yes, the droid from Star Wars!), Michael Jackson, Dennis Hopper with Christopher Walken at Chateau Marmont and a black and white of Willie Nelson. There are hundreds of portraits, including some early ones from the Rolling Stones years. Be sure to check out the entrance area where some contact sheets and proofs are for insight into how Leibovitz works. The only part I didn't really get a good look at was the large collage that has an information card telling viewers about the photos since it was really crowded during my visit. I'll be stopping back to get another look and to see that dreamy photo of Robert Redford again before the exhibit ends in December. For more information on this and other goings on at "the castle", visit

Short North Gallery Hop

It's the first Saturday of the month and it's time to head to the Short North for the Gallery Hop. The event begins at 4 p.m. and most stores and restaurants are open until 10 p.m. Even if you don't plan on buying anything, it's still fun to look around at the galleries for inspiration and see the shop windows. FYI: If you're looking to update your look or need new eyeglasses, Milk Bar has the entire Warby Parker collection-be sure to ask for the promo discount if you plan on buying a pair. (I finally got some new glasses from Warby Parker and like Tom's shoes, they give a pair to someone in need for each pair you buy.)

Local Cantina

Your first tip off that this place is a little bit more fun and different than other Mexican restaurants in central Ohio is the mustaches and decal effect on the front doors. There's a fairly small menu, but that helps narrow down your choices. We shared queso dip and a quesadilla. Pretty good food and fresh, but nothing too unforgettable. They have some fun drink names and concoctions in addition to the typical standbys such as margaritas and mojitos. There's a help-yourself salsa bar where you can pick up chips and salsa as needed. The decor is a little kitschy, but I like it-the mini Mexican blankets and hubcaps are strange but interesting. Something I found to be a standout-they have Skee Ball and a Galaga/Pacman arcade game to the left of the bar. The restaurant/bar is located in the shopping plaza near the Grandview Grind Coffee Shop (formerly Caribou Coffee) at 1423 Grandview Avenue.

New nature center at Battelle Darby Creek

I've written about the metro parks over the years and I previewed the new nature center at Battelle Darby Creek for a story recently. The new nature center is not only a cool-looking modern building, but it has green features and is a great educational resource to learn more about the largest metro park, its inhabitants and the scenic river. Don't forget that it includes large decks, one which includes a spotting scope, to get a look at the bison in the pasture. The park has lots of trails and the Darby Creek Greenways Bike Trail runs through the area. To learn more about the park and plan your visit, check out

The new nature center is located at 1415 Darby Creek Drive on the southwest side.