August 2006 Issue
Celebrate summer's remaining days with trips everyone will enjoy.
We wait for it all year, and suddenly itâ€™s over. Almost. Before summer slips away, before school activities overload the calendar, before fall becomes official, take a trip thatâ€™s sure to be accompanied by family-friendly fun. Whether theyâ€™re interested in history, science or a combination of both, the kids will be clamoring for more. And that will be music to your ears.
SCIENCE: Explore your world
Family fun is never complete without a trip to COSI Columbus. While the letters represent Center Of Science and Industry, the COSI experience is all about mind-blowing fun. This downtown Columbus jewel is filled with more than 300 interactive exhibits that provide endless opportunities to play, explore, discover and learn. From the depths of the ocean to the farthest reaches of outer space, youâ€™ll find yourself in a different world the moment you arrive.
Frolic in â€œlittle kidspace,â€ rewind your mind in â€œProgressâ€ or goof around with â€œGadgets.â€ Be sure to visit the exhibit â€œLife,â€ where you will learn the process of birth, play tricks on your senses and even watch rats play basketball. â€œOceanâ€ helps you experience the force of water and its magical properties. Become a pilot for a day in â€œSpace,â€ where you can simulate a shuttle launch.
September 4 will be your last opportunity to see COSIâ€™s traveling exhibit, â€œStar Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination.â€ Donâ€™t miss this intergalactic mix of props and costumes combined with real-world science. Jump to lightspeed in the full-scale replica of the Millennium Falcon cockpit. From October 4 through March 11, take a ride on the range when â€œCowboys: Ride Around the Worldâ€ gives moviegoers an unforgettable cinematic experience in the seven-story Extreme Screen theater. This new large-format film transports viewers from Texas to Morocco, Spain, Mexico, Argentina, Patagonia and Canada to ride with exotic horse-and-cattle herders in an active, educational giant-screen experience theyâ€™ll never forget.
Beyond the exhibits, youâ€™ll find COSIâ€™s hair-raising Electrostatic Generator Show, the only high-wire unicycle in the country, a Science 2Go! retail store and the AtomicafÃ© restaurant.
Visitors to Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus will discover that the wonders of science are right in their own back yards.
For more than 110 years, the conservatory has attracted nature lovers from around the globe. Since its original Victorian glass house opened in 1895, the conservatory has expanded to 73,000 square feet of greenhouses and classrooms situated in a 90-acre urban park just minutes from downtown Columbus. The conservatoryâ€™s unique botanical collections and gardens, its signature Dale Chihuly glass artwork collection and its educational programs are designed to foster an appreciation of plants and provide a variety of lifelong learning experiences.
By carefully intertwining hundreds of saplings, internationally acclaimed artist Patrick Dougherty has created four large-scale works of art.
â€œBranching Out: Sculpture Installations by Patrick Doughertyâ€ is on view through September 4 at the cityâ€™s premier horticultural facility. Hundreds of Dougherty sculptures have been installed across the country and around the world; his works at the conservatory have taken the shape of massive nests and lairs built by animals, as well as huts, shelters, people and abstract shapes. Visitors are invited to observe his whimsical works, as well as become part of them by walking through and touching the sculptures.
One of Franklin Park Conservatoryâ€™s most popular attractions, the 12th-annual â€œBlooms and Butterfliesâ€ exhibit is also on view through Labor Day. More than 100 species of exotic free-flying butterflies from as far away as Tanzania, El Salvador, the Philippines, Thailand and Kenya inhabit the conservatoryâ€™s Pacific Island Water Garden. This yearâ€™s exhibition gives visitors a new perspective on the butterflies, as well as on thousands of exotic blooms with a newly installed observation deck that promises to offer exciting interactive activities for the entire family. Newly emerged butterflies are released from the deck at 1 p.m. daily. In addition, the Butterfly Emergence Center allows visitors to view adult butterflies emerging from chrysalises.
Other displays include the â€œGarden Railwaysâ€ model train garden, on view in the conservatoryâ€™s Succulent Patio through October 29. Now in its fourth year at the conservatory, this family-friendly, interactive display features model trains that zip past lush landscapes and miniature villages representing five scenic regions of Ohio: Marietta, the Hocking Hills, the Serpent Mound, Lake Erie and an Amish farm. The miniature settings include plants, animals, people and buildings, as well as interactive sensor buttons that activate different lights and sounds.
Ohioâ€™s own version of Jurassic Park is in residence at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History through August 20 in â€œDinosaurs Across America,â€ a whimsical oil-painting exhibition by cartoonist Phil Yeh featuring 30 works promoting literacy, creativity and the environment.
In 1960, 26-year-old Jane Goodall arrived in Africa to study the world of chimpanzees. Head to the museum to participate in the interactive exhibition, â€œDiscovering Chimpanzees: The Remarkable World of Jane Goodall,â€ through September 3. Visitors stroll through the forest of Gombe National Park as videos demonstrate how to walk and talk like a chimp. Goodallâ€™s research is explained through field notes and film clips, and the Primates area of the exhibit updates the status of the worldâ€™s 12 primate families, makes a personal comparison of how humans measure up in terms of size and strength and provides a unique family photo opportunity.
The Indonesian art of wayang, which combines puppets with live music and dance, takes center stage in an exhibit at the museum August 5 through December 3. Visitors will have the opportunity to see two- and three-dimensional shadow puppets, as well as wooden masks from Java.
â€œA T-rex Named Sueâ€ makes a stop at the museum November 11 through April 15. This 42-foot-long, 12-foot-high full-scale replica of the largest Tyrannosaurus rex ever discovered is sure to leave visitors awestruck. In addition to Sue, interactive displays, videos and graphics talk about these creatures that once roamed the earth.
The museumâ€™s Shafran Planetarium invites visitors into another dimension with a series of September programs exploring sunspots and black holes.
When You Go...
333 West Broad St., Columbus614-228-COSI. www.cosi.org. Call or visit Web site for hours and admission prices.
Franklin Park Conservatory
1777 E. Broad St., Columbus614/645-TREE. www.fpconservatory.org. Tues.â€“Sun. 10 a.m.â€“5 p.m., Wed. 10 a.m.â€“8 p.m. Admission $6.50, students and seniors $5, children ages 2â€“12 $3.50.
Cleveland Museum of Natural History
1 Wade Oval Dr., University Circle, Cleveland216/231-4600. www.cmnh.org. Mon.â€“Sat. 10 a.m.â€“5 p.m., Wed. 10 a.m.â€“10 p.m., Sun. 12â€“5 p.m. Admission $7.50, students and seniors $5.50, children ages 3â€“6 $4.50. Separate admission is charged for planetarium shows, special programs and the â€œT-rex Named Sueâ€ exhibit.
HISTORY: The past is present
The Ohio Historical Society knows a thing or two about the past. Take a ride on a canal boat in Piqua. Watch re-enactors depict life during the French and Indian War at Fort Meigs in Perrysburg. Mingle with dozens of vintage baseball teams as they play matches in period costumes at Ohio Village in Columbus.
Summer fun continues in August and September at Ohio Historical Society sites around the state. Many sites are open five days a week through Labor Day and remain open weekends through October, with a number of weekend events creating additional incentive for trips with family and friends in the final days of summer.
In northeast Ohio, the Zoar Harvest Festival on August 5 and 6 returns for its 33rd year at Zoar Village and commemorates the yearly Zoarite event of bringing in the last load of summer wheat. Artisans, antiques dealers, musicians and crafters sell their wares, and the Ohio Historical Society opens its bakery, garden gift shops and stores.
On the southern side of the state, Serpent Mound in Adams County presents Reptile Day from noon to 5 p.m. on August 5, with the help of staff from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and the Edge of Appalachia Preserve. Get an up close and personal look at real snakes, as well as artifacts and reproductions of native art of reptiles.
Take a summer wildflower hike at Wahkeena Preserve near Lancaster August 6, 19, 20, 26 and 27 to see the tall and showy mid-season bloomers that make their appearance in the sunny meadows and edges of the wetlands. The 90-minute naturalist-led hikes begin at 1 p.m.; fall hikes commence at 1 p.m. September 9, 10, 16 and 17.
At Fort Meigs in Perrysburg, re-enactors will demonstrate the weapons, tactics, music and camp life of the French and Indian War in â€œSiege 1759!â€ August 12 and 13. Re-enacted battles will take place at 2 p.m. each day.
Enjoy a quiet ride on the canal boat General Harrison of Piqua as it traverses the restored canal at Piqua Historical Area during â€œEvening on the Canal,â€ August 19 from 7:30 to 9 p.m. Storyteller Melanie Pratt will spin tales of what Ohio was like during the days when the Miami and Erie Canal was our freeway.
On Labor Day weekend, September 2 and 3, the Ohio Cup Vintage Base Ball Festival will once again draw the largest gathering of vintage teams from around the country in a series of matches at Ohio Village and the grounds nearby. Two weeks later, on September 16 and 17, â€œRally â€™Round the Flag: Civil War Encampment,â€ shows visitors what life was like for Civil War soldiers as they prepared to join other troops going off to battle.
Founded in 1955 by Jay Lehman to serve the local Amish, Lehmanâ€™s old-time hardware rests comfortably on the square in downtown Kidron, located approximately one hour south of Cleveland in the heart of Ohioâ€™s Amish Country. Itâ€™s truly a trip back in time for history buffs of all ages.
Ironically, what started out as a business to serve local Amish families has turned into an international operation, shipping products all over the world. Missionaries, survivalists, environmentalists, homesteaders, vacation-home owners and the chronically nostalgic â€“â€“ as well as movie producers wanting to create an authentic scene â€“â€“ have made Lehmanâ€™s their low-tech superstore.
The guest book in the crowded Kidron store is peppered with signatures from all over the globe, including visitors from South Africa, Slovakia, Siberia, Germany and Kenya.
Technically, the town of Kidron doesnâ€™t exist. Since it was never legally incorporated, itâ€™s often hard to spot on a map. But donâ€™t tell that to the hundreds of Amish and Mennonite families who live in the community. In fact, this part of Ohio (not Lancaster, Pennsylvania, as many believe) is home to the worldâ€™s largest Amish settlement.
Decades of serving the Amish, a religious group that believes in simple living without electricity or other modern innovations, has left its mark on Lehmanâ€™s.
Non-electric appliances, hand tools, hand-cranked housewares and oil lamps pack the store in Kidron, along with museum-quality antiques and North Americaâ€™s largest display of wood stoves. The family-owned and -operated business also stocks a full line of fine home furnishings that look just like your grandmotherâ€™s, but have all the 21st-century conveniences youâ€™ve come to expect. Local Amish craftspeople make hickory rockers, hand-cranked ice-cream freezers, custom wrought iron pieces, hand-woven baskets and much more thatâ€™s for sale in the store.
Because Lehman and his children Galen, Lehmanâ€™s president, and Glenda, the firmâ€™s vice president, have chosen to focus on the niche of old-fashioned, brand-new merchandise, the store now boasts an inventory that includes one of the largest collections of retro appliances, housewares, hand tools and toys.
Currently, Lehmanâ€™s is reconstructing an 1840s-era barn adjacent to the store that will be completed in the spring. Lehmanâ€™s has been featured in Time, USA Today, the New York Times and London Telegraph, as well as on National Public Radio and HGTV.
Experience a nostalgic train ride through southwestern Ohioâ€™s Warren County countryside on the Lebanon Mason Monroe (LM&M) Railroad. The restored 1950s GP-7 diesel-electric locomotive features open-window commuter coaches built in 1930 and an open-air gondola car that allows passengers picture-perfect panoramic views. Informative conductors describe railroad history and operation and give tours of the locomotive.
A variety of special excursions are offered throughout the summer and fall. Magician Brett Sears will entertain passengers August 5 and 6. Cincinnati Reds mascot Mr. Red joins in the fun August 12 and 13, in a ride that includes a pitching contest, ticket giveaways and a photo contest. On â€œRide nâ€™ Putt Family Golf Daysâ€ August 19 and 20, play a round of mini-golf or hit a bucket of balls and compete in a putting contest. Everyoneâ€™s favorite canine, Clifford the Big Red Dog, will be on board August 26 and 27.
The railroad also celebrates Thomas the Tank Engine and his friends September 8, 9, 10, 15, 16 and 17 with rides featuring the beloved characters, along with storytelling, live music and an imagination station filled with arts and crafts. Saturdays and Sundays September 30 through October 29, the â€œPumpkin Patch Expressâ€ pulls into Schappacher Farm for an afternoon of picking the perfect jack-oâ€™-lantern.
When You Go...
Ohio Historical Society
1982 Velma Ave., Columbus800/686-6124. www.ohiohistory.org.
Lehman's4779 Kidron Rd., Kidron888/438-5346. www.lehmans.orgMon.â€“Sat. 8 a.m. â€“ 5:30 p.m., Thur. 8 a.m.â€“8 p.m., closed Sun.
Lebanon Mason Monroe (LM&M) Railroad
Trips depart from Lebanon Station, 198 S. Broadway, Lebanon, on Saturdays at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m., and Sundays at noon and 2 p.m (except for â€œDay Out with Thomas the Tankâ€ which departs every 45 minutes between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on Saturdays and 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Sundays).
Tickets: adults $17, children $12 (all tickets for â€œDay Out with Thomasâ€ are $16). Call 866/468-3401 or visit www.lebanonrr.com for more information about these and other trips. Reservations are recommended.