Post-holiday week isn't ho-hum

Sure, there are lots of places to find out what's up for New Year's Eve, but what about the rest of the holiday week? (Especially for those who, like The Beat, can't stay up until midnight anyway.)

With an abundance of free time over the year's final days, you might be looking for constructive ways to fill it. The Beat checked in at a few spots to see what is planned:

* Huntington Presents New Year's Day at CMA means that admission to the Columbus Museum of Art is free on Jan. 1. How can you argue? Hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

"This is one of the most exciting times in the museum's history," Executive Director Nanette Maciejunes said. "We invite everyone to visit the museum on New Year's Day, enjoy our special exhibitions, explore our collection and spend time with family and friends."

You may have read about the "George Bellows and the American Experience" exhibition in The Beat a few weeks back. The CMA is exhibiting works by the Columbus native, recognized as one of the finest artists America has ever produced. Before moving to New York and moving the art world, Bellows played shortstop at Ohio State University and served as the art editor for the OSU yearbook.

The CMA is also showing "Think Outside the Brick: The Creative Art of LEGO," organized by the museum's Center for Creativity. The collection features works from artists around the world and around the corner. And it's LEGO. Come on!

An exhibition of works by L.A.-based photographer Matthew Brandt, "sticky/dusty/wet," is also on view.

Visit cmaohio.org.

* Celebrate the holidays 1950s-style at the Ohio History Center.

The Lustron home (featured this past summer in story and video courtesy The Beat) will be decorated for the holidays -- think aluminum tree and other period decor. The center also has a 1950 model train display, assembled with the help of the Central Ohio Model Railroad Club.

Hands-on activities for families during the weekend-between-the-holidays (11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday) include Holiday Tradition in Ohio and 1950s Family Holiday Fun. Additionally, a special program at 2 p.m. Saturday, Christmas at Lazarus Curator Talk, will feature a "stroll" down High Street in 1965.

"During this week between holidays, the Ohio History Center offers a window into the traditions of Ohio's holiday past," Burt Logan, executive director and CEO of the Ohio Historical Society, said.

Visit ohiohistory.org.

* Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens has a free-with-regular-admission show each day during holiday week, including circus performers, animals, a ventriloquist and, on Jan. 1, the Columbus Chorus of Sweet Adelines.

FPC is always properly decked out for the season, and this year is no exception, as "Merry & Bright" features seasonal plants, a model train display, entries into the gingerbread house competition and "Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown," an exhibit from the Charles M. Schulz Museum.

Visit fpconservatory.org.

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