Ohio Winter Fun: Sleigh Rides
Here’s where you can take in the snowy season the old-fashioned way.
For nearly two decades, couples have traveled to Ma and Pa’s in the Geauga County village of Burton to take a traditional sleigh ride through the woods.
“We’ve had people come on their first date, and we’ve had people come on their 50th anniversary,” says co-owner Tammy Puleo, the “Ma” in Ma and Pa’s. “We get people from Michigan, Indiana … We had a couple fly in from Florida to take a ride.”
Ma and Pa’s, which also offers buggy rides in the summer and horse-drawn hayrides in the fall, once used vintage sleighs before finding more modern ones that ride better. The rides are offered during the day but are far more popular at night, when they follow a lantern-lit trail through the woods. Afterward, riders are encouraged to stop at the on-site store, warm themselves in front of the wood or gas fireplaces and get a mug of Ma and Pa’s maple coffee or hot chocolate with whipped cream.
The sleigh rides, which are available noon to 9 p.m. on Saturdays and noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays from Dec. 1 through March 1, are private and can fit as many as five people in one of the three available carriages. But Puleo advises booking early because they fill up fast, especially during February.
“It’s harder to find a reservation around Valentine’s Day than it is around Christmas,” she says. Call or visit website for couples and family rates; 15161 Main Market Rd., Burton 44021, 440/548-5521, maandpas.com
Sleigh Rides Through Spiegel Grove: Be it at his Fremont home of Spiegel Grove or during his time in Washington, D.C., Rutherford B. Hayes loved taking in the winter weather by sleigh ride. It’s because of our 19th president’s love for the rather romantic form of transportation that the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library and Museums — a destination that sprung up around his former Fremont home — offers winter sleigh rides during the holiday season. This year, rides will be available Dec. 26 to 31 from 1 to 4 p.m., with a sleigh ($5.50 per ride, ages 3 and up) and a trolley ($4.50 per ride) pulled by Clydesdales. There are plans to offer rides the weekend of Presidents Day, too. Call or visit website for more information. Spiegel Grove, Fremont 43420, 419/332-2081, rbhayes.org