May 2007 Issue
102 Days & Nights of Summer
Our annual ode to summer fun: 102 great ways to celebrate the season.
Oh, summer. How do we love thee? Let us count the ways. Better yet, let us count the days. There are 102 of them from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day, and no time of year is as adored as this one, when the sun burns bright well into the night and every balmy morning brings thoughts of leisure and adventure. Here, we offer just as many fun ways as there are summer days so you can make the most of these warm-weather months - from visiting our state's oldest drive-in for an evening of laid-back entertainment, to exploring a southwest Ohio birding trail for a scenic hike in the outdoors.
Click here for a Slide Show of some of the highlights of the summer in Ohio
May 25: Down By The Riverside
Grab a blanket and a loved one and head to Marietta for Music on the Levee, a free outdoor concert on the historic city's riverbank. Ohio River Levee, Front and Ohio streets, Marietta, 740/373-5178; May-Sept., Fri. & Sat. evenings.
May 26: Sweet Treat
Enjoy a parade, magic shows, egg-toss contests and enough ice cream to make any sweet tooth swoon at the 33rd annual Old Fashioned Ice Cream Festival in Utica. St. Rte. 13, on the grounds of Energy Cooperative and Velvet Ice Cream Co., Utica, 740/892-4272; www.uticaoldfashionedicecreamfestival.com; May 26-28.
May 27: A Little Night Music
Join guide Spirit of Thunder for an entrancing journey through a nature preserve as he recites old tales and performs the Native American flute during Night Songs Walk: We Are The Stars Which Sing, in Troy. Hobart Urban Nature Preserve, 1400 Tyrone Rd., Troy, 937/335-6273.
May 28: Cute Cubs
The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden celebrates its newest additions with Zoo Babies, a yearly event that also features live music and performances by Madcap Puppet Theater. 3400 Vine St., Cincinnati, 513/475-6124; www.cincinnatizoo.org; May 12-28.
May 29: Berry Good Time
A piece of cool fruit on a hot day tastes even sweeter when you pick it fresh off the vine. The Circle S Farms Strawberry Tour in Grove City lets visitors do just that, and even includes a complimentary strawberry shortcake. 9015 London Groveport Rd., Grove City, 614/878-7980; www.circlesfarm.com; May 28-June 21.
May 30: Coming Attractions
"Come see the stars under the stars" is the motto of Lynn Drive-In Movies in Strasburg, and Ohioans have long heeded the call, making the state's oldest drive-in theater also one of the most beloved. 9735 St. Rte. 250 N.W., Strasburg, 330/878-5797; www.lynndrivein.com; open weekends all season.
May 31: There's Gold In Them Caves!
Maybe finding buried treasure isn't a sure thing at Olentangy Indian Caverns in Delaware, but you'll certainly have fun looking. Play prospector for a day, gem mining in the caverns' dirt and sand for gold and precious stones. 1779 Home Rd., Delaware, 740/548-7917; open daily.
June 1: This Bud's For You
Pay homage to Van Wert's former role as "Peony Capital of the World" at the town's annual Peony Festival. Check out the storytellers, garden tours and, of course, the crowning of the Peony Queen. Various locations in downtown Van Wert, 419/238-6223; www.vanwert.com/peony; June 1-3.
June 2: Road Trip!
Gas up the car and cruise America's first interstate during the National Road Yard Sale Days: a shopaholic's Shangri-la that stretches for hundreds of miles with goodies that range from furniture to glassware to produce. Various locations on U.S. Rte. 40, 765/478-4809; www.ohionationalroad.org; May 30-June 3.
June 3: What's Cookin'?
Do you really need a reason to indulge in a smorgasbord? We didn't think so. The Cookout on the Canal/A Taste of Tuscarawas in Dover features fare from nine area restaurants, plus activities such as a
vintage car show for when you're stuffed. Warther Museum, 331 Karl Ave., Dover, 330/343-7513.
June 4: Horsing Around
As beautiful as the Hocking Hills are on foot, they're even more majestic on horseback. Uncle Buck's Riding Stable and Dance Barn offers jaunts through the region on a wide selection of trails for both beginners and expert riders. 73930 Buck Lane, New Marshfield, 740/664-2428.
June 5: Shooting Star
Feel free to space out at the "SCALE" exhibit at the Kennedy Museum of Art in Athens: an astronomy-themed installation that lets guests visualize both the universe and their place in it. Lin Hall, Ohio University, Athens, 740/593-1304; www.ohiou.edu/museum; May 5-Dec. 15.
June 6: Something's Fishy
Folks in Commercial Point know how to entertain both seafood lovers and their fun-loving families. The Commercial Point Homecoming celebrates with the event's famous ocean perch sandwiches, free fishing for kids and Friday-night fireworks. Commercial Point Community Center, 32 W. Scioto St., Commercial Pont, 740/983-4836; June 6-9.
June 7: Parrothead Paradise
Jimmy Buffet's enthusiastic fans have found yet another way to party: by attending Put-in-Bay's annual Phlocking of the Phaithful, a gathering of tribute bands, "tropical rock" singers and fellow Hawaiian-shirt-wearing followers. Various locations around Put-in-Bay, 412/221-5219 (for preregistration); www.phlocking.com; June 7-10.
June 8: Up, Up and Away
A glass of vino, a gorgeous setting and a parade of balloons. DebonnÃ© Vineyards' 25th-annual Hot Air Balloon Rally in Madison gives grown-up guests what some haven't had since childhood: a fanciful way to spend a summer afternoon. 7743 Doty Rd., Madison, 440/466-3485; www.debonne.com; June 8-9.
June 9: Creepy Critters
If you've missed your calling as a naturalist and have a pair of rubber boots handy, Creeking for Critters in Tipp City was made for you. Participants learn interesting facts about a creek's inhabitants and explore nature in the Charleston Falls Preserve. 2535 Ross Rd., Tipp City, 937/335-6273.
June 10: Danke Schein
We won't ask why you own lederhosen. We'll simply point you in the direction of the Deshler Schutzenfest German Festival in Henry County, where you'll polka dance to traditional German music and nosh on brats until you scream "Nein!" Bavarian Haus, 3-814 St. Rte. 18, Deshler, 419/278-1871; June 8-10.
June 11: The Bridges of Fairfield County
They're stately remnants of a bygone era, reminders to slow down and enjoy the beauty of Ohio's back roads. Meander through the covered bridges of Fairfield County for a welcome change of pace. Locations throughout Fairfield County, 740/654-5929; www.visitfairfieldcountyoh.org.
June 12: Blades of Glory
Kings Island proves that heat and ice can co-exist with Endless Summer on Ice, a season-long event where skilled ice skaters perform acrobatic feats to a chorus of oohs and aahs from the crowd. 6300 Kings Island Dr., Mason, 800/288-0808; www.paramountparks.com/kingsisland; June 9-Sept. 3.
June 13: Turn the Other Cheek
There has to be an easier way to make a buck. A group of laid-off steelworkers strip down to the bare essentials to make ends meet in the highly humorous musical, "The Full Monty." Weathervane Playhouse, 1301 Weathervane Lane, Akron, 330/836-2626; www.weathervaneplayhouse.com; June 13-July 8.
June 14: Boogie Woogie
Don't be shy: Get up and dance. With Willie Pooch on vocals and The Columbus Jazz Orchestra backing, the Basie, Boogie & the Blues performance is bound to lure everyone up out of their seats. Southern Theatre, 21 E. Main St., Columbus, 614/294-5200; www.jazzartsgroups.org; June 13-17.
June 15: Strike A Chord
This is a state that loves regional music, so the Poston Lake Bluegrass Festival must be good if it's revered by the genre's devotees. This year's acts include The Hart Brothers for two days of down-home country fun. 15 miles east of Athens, off St. Rte. 329, Guysville, 740/662-2051; June 15-16.
June 16: Party Time
All are welcome at Festival Latino, a tribute to traditional and contemporary Latin-American culture that brings downtown Columbus to life with tasty food, festive music and fun activities. Bicentennial Park and Genoa Park, downtown Columbus, 614/645-7995; www.festivallatino.net; June 15-16.
June 17: Dear Ol' Dad
Immerse dad in an old-fashioned atmosphere during Father's Day at Johnston Farm, where fathers are treated to canal boat rides and frontier games such as hoop rolling and sack races. 9845 N. Hardin Rd., Piqua; 937/773-2522.
June 18: Spoke Signals
From serious cyclists to families who just enjoy pedaling together, The Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure draws 3,000 people to its picturesque tour of six Ohio towns. Various locations in northwest Ohio, 614/273-0811; www.goba.com; June 16-23.
June 19: A Blue-Ribbon Event
Ottawa's Putnam County Fair may continue to grow in popularity, but its charming attractions - from goat judging and a high-school band concert to the crowning of Little Mr. and Miss Putnam County - speak to the appeal of an intimate county fair. 1490 E. Second St., 419/523-4628, www.putnamcountyfair.com; June 19-24.
June 20: History In A Hurry
Learn 600 years of American history in about 90 minutes, courtesy of the Reduced Shakespeare Company and "The Complete History of America (Abridged)," a fast-paced farce that will leave you laughing. The Vern Riffe Center Studio One Theatre, 77 S. High St., Columbus, 614/469-0939; www.catco.org; June 1-24.
June 21: Look Up
Flying enthusiasts and aviators at heart zip to Mount Vernon for the National Waco Reunion Biplane Fly-In, where they can converse with pilots and peruse antique airplanes. Wynnkoop Airport, 9051 Granville Rd., Mount Vernon, 740/392-8357; www.visitknoxohio.org; June 21-24.
June 22: Songs and Scenery
Just as enjoyable as the music is the setting of the Pike Lake Appalachian Music Festival, where the pastoral scenery of southern Ohio merges with the outdoor concert's toe-tappin' tunes. Pike Lake State Park, 1847 Pike Lake Rd., Bainbridge, 740/493-2212; June 22-23.
June 23: Aloha
Escape to a bit of paradise during Hawaiian Day at the 2nd Street Public Market in Dayton, where food and arts-and-crafts vendors are joined by a steel-drum band, tropical drinks and luau dÃ©cor. 600 E. Second St., Dayton, 937/228-2088; www.2ndstreetpublicmarket.com.
June 24: Herb Appeal
If you didn't get a chance to enjoy Deshler's Schutzenfest, you're in luck: Germany is the theme at this year's Mulberry Creek Herb Fair in Huron, featuring a German bakery, ethnic food samplings and herb workshops. 3312 Bogart Rd., Huron, 419/433-6126; www.mulberrycreek.com; June 23-24.
June 25: Life's A Beach
Spend a carefree summer afternoon on the beach at Alum Creek in Delaware, Ohio's largest inland beach in the state park system with 3,000 feet of swimming, picnicking and water-sport activities. Alum Creek State Park, 3615 S. Old State Rd., Delaware, 740/548-4631.
June 26: Back In Time
Recall life on the western frontier at Trumpet in the Land, where Ohio's first outdoor theater teaches visitors about our state's first historic settlement. Schoenbrunn Amphitheatre, 1994 E High Ave., New Philadelphia, 330/339-1132; www.trumpetintheland.com.
June 27: It'll Grow On You
Fifteen thousand colorful annuals dotting the grounds, 25 varieties of Japanese maple trees, 50 varieties of lilacs - the only thing as impressive as the amount of flora and fauna at Schedel Arboretum & Gardens is how gorgeous it all looks on more than 17 picture-perfect acres in Elmore. 19255 W. Portage River South Rd., Elmore, 419/862-3182; www.schedel-gardens.org
June 28: Like Ike?
Then you'll love spending "An Evening with General Dwight D. Eisenhower and The Dante Sisters," one of the mini-Chautauqua series events, where music and a living-history interpreter's "first-hand" accounts of the Battle of the Bulge transports guests to 1944. ThePlace@TheWoodward, 111 S. Main St., Mount Vernon, 740/392-3018.
June 29: Fire Up The Grill
Take a break from hosting the usual barbecue in your backyard this summer. Valley Vineyards Cookout in Morrow offers indoor and outdoor grilling venues, plus lots of feast extras such as a homemade dessert buffet. 2776 E. U.S. 22-23, Morrow, 513/899-2485; www.valleyvineyards.com; Fri. & Sat. year-round, plus Sun. July-Oct.
June 30: Art and Soul
Flintknappers (people who make arrowheads and modern-day artifacts from Ohio's state stone) and other artisans get their due at the educational Ancient Art Festival and Knap-In in Cambridge, where ancient and heritage art skills are on full display. Deerassic Park Education Center, 14250 Cadiz Rd., Cambridge, 740/435-3335.
July 1: All Aflutter
Revel in nature's beauty while you aid in a scientific effort. The 15th-Annual Shawnee Butterfly Count in Portsmouth enlists the help of Ohioans to spot butterflies in the area for a census of the insects. Shawnee State Park Lodge, 440 St. Rte. 125, Portsmouth, 740/858-6652.
July 2: We'll Leave The Light On
An 1882 residence in Ottawa County once housed the first keeper of the oldest lighthouse in continuous operation on the Great Lakes. Open House at the Keeper's House provides a tour for Ohio history buffs. 9999 E. Bayshore Rd., Marblehead, 419/798-9339; June 1-Aug. 31.
July 3: Go Green
The owners of Ohio's first "earthship" - an environmentally conscious home made from earth and recyclable materials - want to share their sustainable building practices with the public. At Open WorkDays at Blue Rock Station, guests can do everything from pound old tires for foundations to construct walls from old bottles and cans. 1190 Virginia Ridge Rd., Philo, 740/674-4300; www.bluerockstation.com; July 3-4.
July 4: Get to The Point
Whether you plan to spend time with that special someone or want to see your kids thrill to a colorful spectacle, watching the fireworks at Cedar Point is a great way to spend the 4th - and the only thing at the park that can upstage the rides. One Cedar Point Dr., Sandusky, 419/627-2350; www.cedarpoint.com.
July 5: Flights of Fancy
You can't go to Orville and Wilbur Wright's hometown and not do something aviation-oriented. The Huffman Prairie Flying Field Walking Tour in Dayton educates visitors on the Wright brothers' pioneering experiments and shows you the spot where their imaginations first soared. Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, 2380 Memorial Rd., Dayton, 937/425-0008; May 28-Sept. 4.
July 6: Rollin' on the River
It's not hard to lure people to water in summertime. The Gallipolis River Recreation Festival makes the banks of the Ohio River even more appealing with live entertainment, talent shows and carnival rides. Gallipolis City Park, Second Ave., Gallipolis, 740/446-0596; July 3-7.
July 7: Take A Hike
Discover areas of Magee Marsh and Ottawa Refuge that are usually closed to the public during Hike the Dikes: Those Amazing Eagles!, a guided, 1-1/2-hour viewing of some magnificent birds. 13229 W. St. Rte. 2, Oak Harbor, 419/898-0960; www.friendsofmageemarsh.org.
July 8: Off To Market
There's nothing better than the thrill of the hunt - hunting for unique goods, that is. The Tiffin Flea Market offers plenty of chances to do just that, with up to 400 vendors selling collectibles, sporting equipment, comic books and everything in between. Seneca County Fairgrounds, 100 Hopewell Ave., Tiffin, 419/447-9613; www.tiffinfleamarket.com; weekends May-Oct.
July 9: Keep On Truckin'
Don't worry: Those bulldozers, backhoes and dump trucks converging on COSI don't mean construction woes. During The Science of Big Machines, kids are able to get behind the wheel for a hands-on approach to learning science and technology. 333 W. Broad St., Columbus, 614/228-COSI; www.cosi.org; July 7-15.
July 10: Go Speed Racer
NASCAR drivers compete head-to-head during the Old Spice Summer Sizzler, a warm-up to a week-long series of rubber-burning competitions at Eldora Speedway in New Weston, which is owned by racecar star Tony Stewart. 13929 St. Rte. 118, New Weston, 937/338-3815; www.eldoraspeedway.com.
July 11: Dig Deep
School's not in session, but you can still learn something while enjoying summer vacation. Children's Day at Fort Ancient in Oregonia teaches the whole family about archaeology and the American Indians who populated Ohio more than 2,000 years ago. Fort Ancient State Park, 6123 St. Rte. 350, Oregonia, 800/283-8904.
July 12: That's Amore
Rossi Pasta in Marietta is well-known for its gourmet goods: From the pumpkin-spice fettucini to the curry linguini, Italian food fans always get their fill. Take a tour of the facility and witness the process that keeps hungry customers coming back. 106 Front St., Marietta, 800/227-6774; www.rossipasta.com; Mon.-Fri.
July 13: The Tractor Factor
For the past 58 years, the Miami Valley Steam Threshers Show has been as much a staple of Ohio summers as the sunshine. The tractor pulls are always a crowd favorite, while the antique machinery and threshing contests draw plenty of farming enthusiasts. Pastime Park, U.S. 42 N., Plain City, 614/296-5814; www.miamivalleysteamshow.org; July 12-15.
July 14: A Stitch In Time
Malabar Farm in Lucas is much more than just the spot where Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall married and spent their honeymoon in 1945. It's also the home of the Fiber Arts Festival, where artists give how-to demonstrations on weaving, knitting and crocheting. 4050 Broomfield Rd., Lucas, 419/892-2784; www.malabarfarm.org.
July 15: High Praise
End the week in an uplifting manner. Pay a visit to the African-American Pilgrims Sunday Morning Mass at Sorrowful Mother Shrine in Bellevue, where you can follow the gospel music and moving devotions with a picnic on the grounds. 4106 St. Rte. 269, Bellevue, 419/483-3435; www.sorrowfulmothershrine.com.
July 16: Bird Brain
For those people who always have a pair of birding binoculars handy and a field guide by their side, meandering on Adams County's Appalachian Birding and Heritage Trail is a glorious way to spend a clear summer day. Various locations throughout Adams County, 937/534-5454; www.adamscountytravel.org.
July 17: All's Fair
With music performed by bands named Itchy Poodle and Bowling For Soup, you know the Crawford County Fair has got to be a good time. Celebrate the event's 150th anniversary this year with lively rock 'n' roll acts and events such as demolition derbies and harness racing. 610 Whetstone St., Bucyrus, 419/562-7936; www.crawfordcofair.com; July 14-21.
July 18: We'll Drink To That
If the Ohio Brew Week Festival in Athens had a motto, we imagine it'd be "All Hail Ale!" The celebration of 15 diverse microbreweries around Ohio includes demonstrations on how to cook with beer, brewing seminars and contests for the best beer-themed song. Various locations around Athens, 740/592-5382; www.ohiobrewweek.com; July 16-21.
July 19: Patch Things Up
Pick up your "passport" and driving map at one of the 12 establishments participating in the Central Ohio Quilt Shop Hop, then spend the day savoring the quality of the finely crafted works. Various locations around central Ohio, 800/228-6624; www.ohioshophop.com; July 19-28.
July 20: Go Fly A Kite
Forget the computer and video games: Take the kids for an afternoon of old-school entertainment in the outdoors with Kite Flyers Weekend on the beach at Maumee Bay, where activities include kite-flying workshops and demonstrations. 1400 State Park Rd, Oregon, 419/836-7758; July 20-22.
July 21: New Horizons
Arts aficionados, rejoice! Ingenuity 07: Cleveland Festival of Art and Technology presents creative types of every stripe, from Brazilian percussion ensembles to contemporary dancers, poets and visual artists, along with plenty of interactive workshops. Playhouse Square, East 14th St. and Euclid Ave., Cleveland, 216/589-9444; www.ingenuitycleveland.com; July 19-22.
July 22: The Hills Are Alive
Toby Keith, Brad Paisley, The PovertyNeck Hillbillies - just one of those big-name acts would have hordes of country-music fans lined up for concert tickets. Jamboree in the Hills will feature all three, plus much more. U.S. Rte. 40, Morristown, 800/624-5456; www.jamboreeinthehills.com; July 19-22.
July 23: Play Ball
Baseball is America's favorite pastime and the ultimate summer sport. Smell the fresh peanuts, taste the stadium hot dogs and hear the roar of the crowd today at the Cincinnati Reds vs. Milwaukee Brewers home game. Great American Ballpark, 100 Main St., Cincinnati, 513/765-7000; www.reds.mlb.com.
July 24: Ripe Rewards
Haven't had the time to make your famous fruit salad yet this season? Then it's time to purchase some fresh pickings at the Toledo Farmers Market, where all the offerings inspire a wealth of recipes for a summer picnic. 525 Market St., Toledo, 419/255-6765; www.toledofarmersmarket.org; open Tues.-Sun. all season.
July 25: Animal House
It seems like all kids love animals - and adults who are kids at heart seem to love them even more. Enjoy Family Night at the Columbus Zoo, for live entertainment, giant inflatable games and animal encounters for visitors of every age. 9990 Riverside Dr., Powell, 614/645-3490; www.columbuszoo.org; Wednesdays.
July 26: Food Facts
Even people with the most distinguished palates could use a lesson in the origin of our eats. "Key Ingredients: America by Food" at the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery celebrates the historical, cultural and regional traditions of the foods we love, plus free recipes and hands-on activities. 2600 Deweese Parkway, Dayton, 937/275-7431; www.boonshoftmuseum.org; June 17-July 31.
July 27: Go Global
So you aren't able to travel the world and see how people in other countries live. Westerville brings the culture to you with its World Bazaar: an outdoor celebration of faraway customs and heritages that features music, culturally themed cuisine and unique items for sale. Historic Uptown Westerville; 614/794-0401; www.visitwesterville.org.
July 28: Humming Along
Get up close and personal with Mother Nature when you hand-feed hummingbirds at Lake Hope Nature Center. Each visitor's handheld feeder proves an irresistible lure, while experts lecture on Ohio's ruby-throated hummingbirds. Lake Hope Nature Center, 27331 St. Rte. 278, McArthur, 740/596-3030; www.lakehopestatepark.com; Wed, Sat. & Sun., June 20-Sept. 2.
July 29: Romantic Rendezvous
Enjoy an amorous horse-and-carriage trek through the Cuyahoga Valley National Park during a Brandywine Falls Adventure. Arrange for a narrated tour on the trails, stopping at nearby scenic destinations and ending with a leisurely lunch on the grass. Carriage Trade Farm, 8050 Brandywine Rd., Northfield, 330/467-9000; www.brandywinefalls.com; May-Oct.
July 30: All Aboard
Model-train collectors are making tracks to see "The Holden Express": northeast Ohio's first outdoor, public garden railroad. The 6,000-square-foot exhibit features trains chugging through and above Holden Arboretum's lush gardens and reproductions of local landmarks and bridges. 9500 Sperry Rd., Kirtland, 440/946-4400; www.holdenarb.org; June 17-Sept. 23.
July 31: The Royal Treatment
Students in the southern part of the state are accustomed to checking out the Piatt Castles in West Liberty during field trips. The structures' striking architecture and educational exhibits cover 200 years of Ohio history. It's time to see what you've been missing. 10051 Twp. Rd. 47, West Liberty, 937/465-2821; www.piattcastles.org; open daily, Memorial Day-Labor Day.
Aug. 1: Lickety-Split
Bring a lawn chair and a love of sweets with you to the Verandah Concert & Ice Cream Social at Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center in Fremont, where the dessert is served on the shaded lawn along with tunes from the Civil War, performed by The Company Singers. Spiegel Grove, Fremont, 419/332-2081; www.rbhayes.org; June 6 & 20, July 18, Aug. 1 & 15.
Aug. 2: Hot Stuff
Spice things up this summer with a visit to the Ohio Chile Pepper Festival in Glouster. Wannabe chefs can enter the event's amateur salsa contest, while braver souls try to beat the heat at the hot-pepper-eating contest. Trimble High School, 1 Tomcat Dr., Glouster, 740/767-4946; Aug. 2-4.
Aug. 3: In Vino Veritas
Our state's oenophiles are hardly overlooked: Vintage Ohio in Kirtland gives them everything from samplings of Ohio's best wineries to souvenir wine glasses, with a fireworks display, live music and lots of arts and craft booths to round out the affair. Lake Metroparks Farmpark, 8800 Chardon Rd., Kirtland, 440/466-4417; www.visitvintageohio.com; Aug. 3-4.
Aug. 4: Summertime Blues
Be happy even though you're steeped in the blues at the Lebanon Blues Festival. After all, this is a celebration of the beloved genre, made even more festive with the addition of a classic car show and a beer garden. Broadway and Main streets, Lebanon, 513/588-0321; www.lebanonbluesfestival.com.
Aug. 5: Double Vision
Don't change your prescription. It's perfectly normal to see double at Twinsburg's Twins Days Festival, where more than 3,000 sets of twins - the Guinness Book of World Records calls it "the world's largest annual gathering of twins" - socialize and enjoy parades, talent shows and lots of live entertainment. Glenn Chamberlin Park, 10270 Ravenna Rd., Twinsburg, 330/425-3652; www.twinsdays.org; Aug. 3-5.
Aug. 6: In Bloom
Make like it's Costa Rica in Columbus during Blooms and Butterflies at Franklin Park Conservatory, where more than 100 different types of the attractive species have been brought in from exotic countries and complemented with interactive programs and a backdrop of tropical foliage. Franklin Park Conservatory, 1777 E. Broad St., Columbus; 800/214-PARK; www.fpconservatory.org; through Sept. 3.
Aug. 7: Fair Thee Well
More than 800,000 people gather each year for fresh-squeezed lemonade, corn dogs and a day filled with rides and laughter at the Ohio State Fair: an annual homage to family fun in the Buckeye State. The Ohio Expo Center, 717 E. 17th St., Columbus; 888/OHO-EXPO; www.ohioexpocenter.com; Aug. 1-12.
Aug. 8: The Sun Also Rises
The nice thing about summer is that you don't necessarily need an itinerary and a wallet full of cash to enjoy the beautiful weather or the breathtaking views it allows. Take in a sunset at Headlands Beach State Park for a soothing way to end the day. 9601 Headlands Rd., Mentor, 216/881-8141.
Aug. 9: Dancing In The Street
Daniel Emmett would be so proud. The composer of "Turkey In The Straw" and "Dixie" is honored in his hometown every year with the Dan Emmett Music & Arts Festival, which features great tunes by such performers as this year's headliner, Peter Noone and Herman's Hermits. 100 S. Main St., Mount Vernon, 740/392-3378; www.danemmett.org/festival; Aug. 9-12.
Aug. 10: Vet Fete
The town of Dennison was once known as "Dreamsville, USA," for the hospitality it offered visiting WWII soldiers. The American Soldiers Homecoming Festival pays tribute to that past with big-band music, battle re-enactments, a display of military vehicles and much more. The Dennison Depot Railroad Museum, 400 Center St., Dennison: 877/278-8020; www.dennisondepot.org; Aug. 10-12.
Aug. 11: In A Galaxy Far, Far Away
Let the kids stay up late or just bring yourself and a flashlight to the Meteor Shower Campout at Caesar Creek State Park, where visitors learn how to read a star map, play constellation games and view the planets through a telescope. 8570 E. St. Rte. 73, Waynesville, 513/897-3055.
Aug. 12: Bring the Popcorn
Who says you have to sit in a stuffy theater to enjoy a first-rate flick? The new Kelleys Island Outdoor Film Festival lets guests both enjoy a screening as well as the sights and sounds of summer, thanks to a 40-feet-high inflatable movie screen. Kelleys Island Ball Field, 121 Addison St., Kelleys Island, 419/746-2360; www.kelleysisland.com; Aug. 10-12.
Aug. 13: Cut A Rug
Don't just sit around watching "Dancing With The Stars" - find a ballroom floor and join in the fun. The Mid-Ohio Boogie Bash in Columbus conducts workshops on how to do nearly every dance, from the hustle to the cha-cha to the Carolina swing. 175 Hutchinson Ave., Columbus, 614/939-1844; ww