June 2010 Issue
Tired of running through the sprinklers but can’t afford to spend much on vacation? Fear not, there are plenty of economical, family-friendly activities right in our your own back yard. So grab the kids and head for the door. These events will have you hoping September never comes.
The weather’s warm and you know what that means — it’s festival season! As if summer weren’t reason enough to party, Time Warner Cable’s KidsFest on July 22 in Findlay is a celebration aimed at youngsters. Presented at the Riverbend Recreation Area in conjunction with The Arts Partnership and Hancock Park District, this family-oriented event features unique interactive and educational activities. Kids of all ages can meet Pablo from The Backyardigans and enjoy the Golden Apple Academy’s Apple Bus filled with science activities, exhibits from the Toledo Zoo and Boonshoft’s Discovery Zone. Bounce around in the giant inflatables or see if you have what it takes to defeat The Columbus Blue Jackets in a game of street hockey.
Beginning to develop a craving for funnel cake and carnival rides? Head to west-central Ohio for the Maria Stein Country Fest, June 25–27, which offers three days of food, fun and free entertainment sure to satisfy your family. The lineup of events includes live music, a hot-air balloon launch, a petting zoo and lawn mower races. Compete in one of the many sports tournaments or visit the craft show; just make sure you check out the famous tractor square dancers. Described by locals as a real “hoot,” the two-ton participants in this dance definitely do not have two left feet. Watch as tractors such as “Peppy Perry,” “Naughty Nancy” and “Rowdy Roberta” do-si-do around the arena.
Tailgating and football games might seem far off, but it’s never too early to mark your calendar for this year’s Pro Football Hall of Fame and Enshrinement Festival. The 11-day, 18-event celebration kicks off with a fireworks display on July 29 in downtown Canton. The festival, which includes a rib burn-off, concerts and the hot-air balloon classic, will mark its 47th anniversary of honoring professional football legends, including players, coaches and other contributors. But the highlight is the August 7 induction ceremony for the 2010 Class of Enshrinees: guard Russ Grimm, linebacker Rickey Jackson, cornerback Dick LeBeau, running back Floyd Little, defensive tackle John Randle, wide receiver Jerry Rice and running back Emmitt Smith. The festival concludes with the Hall of Fame game on August 8.
Support Ohio’s artisans on June 11 at the Marietta Merchants & Artists Walk downtown and in Historic Harmar Village. Stroll the brick-lined boulevard and browse the 35 retail shops featuring local and regional artists. Kids can munch on popcorn and sip old-fashioned sodas while being mesmerized by magic shows. But consider the popcorn an appetizer for the mouthwatering ribs and brisket available just around the corner at the Marietta Brick Street BBQ on June 11–12. Dozens of competitors will fire up their grills in hopes of firing up your taste buds to win $10,000 in prize money. Additional events include an amateur “Backyard BBQ Contest,” a downtown scavenger hunt, live entertainment and tours of the Historic Colony Theater.
This summer, why not pick up a new hobby (or perfect an old one) and support Wake Nation in its attempt to make it into the record books. On June 25–26, a team of Wake Nation Cincinnati wake boarders will attempt to break the Guinness World Record for most distance traveled on a wakeboard within 24 hours. Test your abilities and take a ride on the 10-acre lake with the record-setters, take pictures with professional wake boarders, get autographs and participate in wakeboarding clinics. Proceeds from the event will be donated to Medland, a non-profit organization that provides medical missions to impoverished countries around the globe.
Learn Something New
For those who prefer a sugar rush over an adrenaline rush, a trip to Harry London Quality Chocolates in North Canton is a sweet idea for the whole family. Each 45-minute guided tour begins with a sweet sample and gives guests a birds-eye view of the factory floor from an enclosed catwalk, while educating them on the history of the company and chocolate. Afterward, visit the retail store and browse the 500 varieties of gourmet chocolates and candies for some delicious souvenirs. Tour times: Feb.–June, Mon.–Thur. 10 a.m.–2 p.m..; July–Jan., Mon.–Fri. 10 a.m.–3 p.m.; reservations are required.
School’s out but that doesn’t mean your kids’ brains have been put on pause. Sauder Village in northwest Ohio offers an opportunity to educate your youngsters on the importance of dairy — both on the farm and at home — during Dairy Days, June 15–19. This four-day event in honor of National Dairy Month will have your mouth watering for milk in forms you never thought possible. Costumed guides will be making historic recipes and encouraging guests to get in on the action with buttermilk biscuits, ice cream, bread pudding and homemade cheeses. Practice your technique on a glass cow made for milking. Double your excitement on the 19th with the addition of “Tractors, Tractors, Tractors,” where kids can climb on and explore the machines that make farming possible. The event showcases antique models as well as modern tractors.
Step back in time to 1912 and visit COSI Columbus’ latest exhibit, “Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition.” Board the ill-fated ship with a replica boarding pass from one of the ship’s actual passengers and discover what life on board was like by touring the re-created first- and third-class cabins as well as the grand staircase. Press your palms against a simulated iceberg and find out if you could withstand the frigid conditions passengers endured after the ship sank. The 15,000-square-foot exhibit runs through Sept. 6 and houses 350 authentic artifacts, from a top hat to perfume vials, recovered from the actual wreckage. It also features a gallery dedicated to Ohio’s connection to the legendary ship.
A Little Night Music
After a hectic week of work and play, the Inn at Ohio Northern University in Ada has just the thing to help you relax. Just JazzINN, a weekly Friday night concert series, features smooth jazz tunes sure to soothe your blues away. Relaxing in the courtyard (or indoors during inclement weather), guests can taste the inn’s famous kettle chips and enjoy a meal selected from the Courtyard Grill menu. Live performances begin at 5 p.m. and run for two hours.
When You Go:
For more information on family field trips, contact the following:
The Arts Partnership
Maria Stein Country Fest
Pro Football Hall of Fame
Marietta Convention and Visitor’s Bureau
Wake Nation Cincinnati
Butler County Visitors Bureau
Harry London Quality Chocolates
The Inn at Ohio Northern University