June 2011 Issue
Salute to Summer
Round up the family and head out on a journey to find something new and exciting.
Let’s face it — the sweat dripping down your face and the same old sights on your neighborhood bike rides start to get a little old after a while. Fend off summertime doldrums by heading out for a family trip. Not far from home awaits a world of fresh adventures sure to keep your family’s summer exciting all the way until the new school year.
There’s big fun on hand when the larger-than-life exhibit “Dinosaurs: Explore. Escape. Survive.” takes up residence at COSI in Columbus this summer. Discover the prehistoric world dinos inhabited through interactive exhibits. Kids can play paleontologist by digging for fossils and seeing footprints, or wind their way through a maze and become a T.Rex through a computer simulation. Animatronic dinos populate the exhibit, adding to the fun. Don’t miss the wild 3D film “Waking the T.Rex 3D: The Story of SUE” in the museum’s giant-screen theater for a realistic adventure you won’t forget.
Creatures of a different sort pop up at The Holden Arboretum in Kirtland. The mythical guardians of many a flowerbed are the focus of “Gnome and Garden,” June 19–Sept. 25. Walk the grounds to see 20 artist-designed gnome sculptures throughout the gardens, paths and wooded natural areas of the Arboretum. The quirky event also has kid’s activities including music, a gnome parade, crafts and more. Covering 3,000 acres, Holden is one of the largest arboretums in the U.S. and offers some 20 miles of hiking trails.
Tap your toes to the “New Harmonies Tour: Celebrating American Roots Music,” an exhibit that explores the history of music in America. The exhibit, hailing from the Smithsonian Institution, uses photos, lyrics, instruments and profiles of artists to show how styles like folk, zydeco and polka evolved and influenced today’s pop music. The tuneful exhibit is at the Pump House Center for the Arts in Chillicothe, July 1–Aug. 1. While touring the exhibit, make sure to check out the unique architectural features of the Pump House, a Victorian Gothic structure dating to 1883 that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Instead of viewing history, experience it at Sauder Village in Archbold. The pioneer village recreates daily rural life in the 19th and early-20th centuries with sheep shearing, old-fashioned cooking, costumed interpreters and more. A packed schedule of summer events includes an “Old-Fashioned 4th of July,” July 2–4, with favorites such as hand-cranked ice cream, games, patriotic songs and a U.S. District Court Naturalization Ceremony, and “Explore the Crafts,” July 22–23, when kids and parents can try their hand at pottery making, spinning, tinsmithing, basket-weaving and more.
Plenty of old-fashioned fun can be had at Family Days and Music at the Johnston Farm, an Ohio Historical Society site in Piqua. Enjoy a variety of events including an 1860s baseball game, traditional music by the Dayton Dulcimer Society and performances by the Troy Civic Band, June 11–12. Stop in the Johnston home and the Historic Indian and Canal Museum to learn about family life in the early 1800s and Ohio’s Adena Indian and canal heritage. Take a ride on a replica canal boat, the General Harrison of Piqua, for the full experience.
See a caravan of real horse-drawn covered wagons traverse the state from St. Clairsville to Morristown during the National Road Wagon Train in Belmont County. Anyone with wagons or a horse is invited to join the train and travel the route along U.S. Rte. 40/National Road in southeast Ohio. Or just come out for a peek at what it looked like when pioneers journeyed to new territories during this unique re-creation, June 4–5.
Discover history of another sort — the delicious legacy of chocolate-making at Harry London Quality Chocolates in North Canton. After learning the traditional European-style recipes and techniques of candy making, Harry London started his company in 1922. Today, you can see the confectioner’s factory from above the production floor during a guided 45-minute tour. Breathe in the aroma of more than 500 varieties of chocolates before picking up delectable treats in the retail shop.
Enjoy warm breezes and sunshine at Burr Oak State Park in Glouster. With fishing, swimming at the outdoor beach, miles of hiking trails for all ages and fitness levels and a variety of ways to stay the night, ranging from camping to a well-appointed lodge, the park is sure to please all ages. Nearby Montgomery Outfitters offers guided fishing trips and horseback riding. A good time to visit is June 4–5 when the Morgan County Rendezvous brings an early-settlers reenactment to the park.
Head south to Kentucky’s Cave Country to escape the heat underground while seeing the area’s caves. Try Mammoth Cave National Park for a cool visit inside the world’s longest cave with more than 365 miles of passages. The surreal beauty of the underground pools and rock formations can be viewed during ranger-led tours, some exclusively designed for children.
For slightly more metropolitan outdoor fun, head to the Time Warner Cable KidsFest at Riverbend Recreation Area in Findlay. The annual festival features science activities, exhibits from the Toledo Zoo, face painting, sports activities including street hockey with the Columbus Blue Jackets, giant inflatables, Boonshoft’s Discovery Zone and more interactive fun on the grounds of the park, July 21.
Sometimes you don’t want to think too hard about planning a trip. Thankfully, the Canton, Ohio, “Classic” Package has you covered. The package makes it easy to explore the wide range of entertaining activities in Canton with your family and includes a stay and breakfast at the Courtyard by Marriott Canton hotel, as well as tickets to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Canton Classic Car Museum and McKinley Presidential Library and Museum. Each package is for two and costs $175.
Another option is to head to the west-central part of the state and The Inn at Ohio Northern University, a full-service hotel with beautifully appointed, luxurious accommodations, located in the village of Ada. This summer, book the special Cool Rates/Hot Dates package and enjoy fine dining and events such Friday Night Just JazzInn (live jazz in the garden courtyard), outstanding Sunday brunches, Third Thursday Tea, food and wine pairings, and much more. The Inn is on a beautiful 300-acre university campus and is mere minutes from walking and biking paths, the Freed Center for the Performing Arts, Presser Recital Hall, Elzay Gallery of Art and the ONU Dial-Roberson Stadium. The convenient location makes it a perfect destination for group tours, campus visits, social events, romantic getaways, business travel and weekend leisure. Special group packages are also available.
Contact the following for more information to help you plan your summer family field trip.
Belmont County Tourism
Burr Oak State Park
Canton/Stark County Convention & Visitors’ Bureau
Findlay-Hancock County Convention & Visitors Bureau
Harry London Quality Chocolates
The Holden Arboretum
The Inn at Ohio Northern University
Kentucky’s Cave Country
Ohio Historical Society
Ross-Chillicothe Convention and Visitors Bureau