May 2006 Issue
The Daze of Summer
Let's face it: Summertime makes us scatterbrained.
Blame it on the sublime weather, enticing us to stare out the window at work and daydream of diversions. Maybe it's those longer hours of sunlight, suggesting we abandon our rouines and e
Jennifer Haliburton, Jessica Sajovie and Renee Rall
May 27 I Scream, You Scream ...
If countries get anthems and states are granted symbolic flowers, then surely our four seasons are worthy of their own official foods. The 200,000 visitors who turn out for the Old-Fashioned Ice Cream Festival in Utica prove that during these summer months, nothing is as coveted as this cool treat. In between bowls of the Velvet Ice Cream Company's fare, guests enjoy live music and such down-home activities as an egg toss, sack race and ice-cream-eating contest. St. Rte. 13, on the grounds of Energy Cooperative and Velvet Ice Cream Co., Utica, 740/892-4272; www.uticaoldfashionedicecreamfestival.com; May 27-29: Sat. & Sun. 9 a.m.-7 p.m., Mon. 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
May 28 Heralding Heroes
At Fort Meigs in Perrysburg, guests are given both an entertaining time and a reminder of the reason behind this long Memorial Day Weekend: to pay tribute to those who've served the country in battle. First Siege 1813 presents a living-history encampment and re-enactment from the day when Fort Meigs was attacked, complete with blockhouses and cannon batteries in one of the largest log forts in America. 29100 West River Rd., Perrysburg, 419/874-4121; www.fortmeigs.org; May 27 & 28, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
May 29 Throwback Thrills
"Amusement" is a relative term when it comes to the scream machines at Ohio's many amusement parks - just the sight of those sky-scraping roller coasters proves that one person's day of excitement is another's panic attack. While Coney Island Amusement Park has plenty to please thrill seekers, the park is most noteworthy for classic fare that's unlikely to induce nausea, including pedal boats, Dodgems, miniature golf, the Tilt-A-Whirl and the family-friendly rollercoaster, The Python. 6201 Kellogg Ave., Cincinnati, 513/232-8230; www.coneyislandpark.com; hours vary: generally, Mon.-Fri. 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Sat. & Sun. 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
May 30 Book 'Em
Looking for a great beach read? Or perhaps something a tad more intellectual? Whatever your pleasure, you'll find it at the Blackfork Inn's Book Sale in Loudonville. In addition to offering cozy lodging in a historic structure surrounded by the beauty of Mohican State Park, travelers also discover a few sought-after tomes thanks to Blackfork's book-collecting innkeeper, including first editions by local authors and rare texts from the Ohio Historical Society's archives. 303 N. Water St., Loudonville, 419/994-3252; www.blackforkinn.com; book sale through June 30. Reservations required to stay at inn; visitors just browsing should call for an appointment.
May 31 Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme
For those of us greenhorn gardeners, being able to successfully grow herbs in containers on the kitchen windowsill always feels like a grand accomplishment. Alas, The Gardens at Gantz Farm put us back in our place. From 10 different types of basil and the sweet scent of budding lavender, to such exotically named plants as Vietnamese coriander and Balm of Gilead, these three lush gardens in Grove City, blooming in the midst of an 1840s farmhouse and a 27-acre park, represent the changing face of Ohio's herbal and planting styles throughout the years - and show what great work a real green thumb can do. 2255 Home Rd., Grove City, 614/871-6323; open daily, dawn to dusk.
June 1 Chocolate Trip
Sure, you could travel to a traditional museum and mosey through cavernous galleries, gaze in silence at exhibits, then flip through postcards in the gift shop before heading home. Or you can make a beeline for the South Bend Chocolate Company's Chocolate Cafe and Museum where, along with learning about the history of chocolate and viewing antiques related to the sweet stuff, you can gorge on enough goodies - including cocoa desserts, candies and beverages - to satiate even the most addicted chocoholic. 820 Catawba St., Put-in-Bay, 419/285-2268; www.chocolateohio.com; Mon.-Thur. 8 a.m.-8:30 p.m., Fri. & Sat. 8 p.m.-11 p.m., Sun. 8 p.m.-6 p.m.
June 2 Tribute to The Beatles
While only two of the Fab Four are still around and making music, their memory lives on in the hearts of countless tribute bands. Tonight's Beatles' Tribute, performed by 8 Days A Week, promises a night of nostalgic fun. Friendship Park, 200 S. Hamilton Rd., Gahanna, 614/342-4250; 7-9 p.m.
June 3 Ride on the Wild Side
No one's going to confuse quaint Cumberland with the exotic plains of Kenya, Africa, anytime soon. Still, the free-roaming animals on view at the Wilds make for a pretty good imitation, especially during a Sunset Safari. Visitors mount an open-air safari transport at twilight to trek across this 10,000-acre endangered species preserve brimming with such animals as zebras, giraffes and rhinos, then walk a trail around the property's largest lake and tour the animal management centers. 14000 International Rd., Cumberland, 740/638-5030; www.thewilds.org; Sunset Safaris every Sat. through September, call for details.
June 4 Doing Time
Few Ohioans realize that they've got a bona fide celebrity residing in their state - a movie star that has appeared alongside such famous folks as Morgan Freeman in "The Shawshank Redemption" and Harrison Ford in "Air Force One." While visitors to the Ohio State Reformatory may not get to hobnob with the Hollywood elite who once filmed there, they can peruse those same famous grounds during a tour of the 110-year-old former prison's rich history and Gothic architecture. The tours also allow for spooky fun: Sunday visits offer a trip to the guard tower and chapel, or a journey down into the supposedly haunted detention wing. 100 Reformatory Rd., Mansfield, 419/522-2644; www.mrps.org; call for details.
June 5 Swing, Batter
The crack of the bat, the roar of the crowd, the smell of peanuts wafting on the warm breeze - is there any activity as synonymous with summer as baseball? The Chillicothe Paints prove that you don't have to be in the big leagues to develop a following of diehard fans: The little-known Southern Ohio team drew 20,000 spectators to Veterans Administration Memorial Stadium for its inaugural season in 1993, and they've repeatedly lured 70,000 a year since. Today, they'll take on Michigan's Kalamazoo Kings. 17273 St. Rte. 104, Chillicothe, 740/773-7117; www.chillicothepaints.com; 7:05 p.m.
June 6 Walking Tour of Crabapples
Stroll the flowering crabapples in this "Landscape Discovery" series feature at Secrest Arboretum: an 85-acre research facility that's home to 2,000 varieties of trees and shrubs displayed in a park-like setting. 1680 Madison Ave., Wooster, 330/263-3761; www.secrest.osu.edu; 4-5 p.m.
June 7 Waterfire on the Mile
See water and fire happily coexist at this outdoor installation in Columbus. At dusk, volunteers in gondolas row into the Scioto River and light dozens of bonfires in braziers placed in the water, all while accompanied by dramatic music. North Bank Park, Columbus, 614/224-3720; www.waterfireonthemile.com; call for details.
June 8 Cheers to Summer
You require scant few accessories to enjoy a cool glass of vino in style - a pleasant setting and a comfortable chair will do just fine. Thankfully, Debonne Vineyards is able to supply that and a whole lot more. With 110 lush acres making it Ohio's largest estate winery, DebonnÃ© seems to channel Tuscany in both its look and its laid-back mood, allowing guests a carefree afternoon of sampling the sumptuous varietals and strolling the underground winemaking facilities. 7743 Doty Rd., Madison, 440/466-3485; www.debonne.com; Mon. & Tues. noon-6 p.m., Wed. & Fri. noon-midnight, Thur. & Sat. noon-8 p.m.,
Sun. 1-6 p.m.
June 9 Not Your Parents' Theater
Television viewing these days means watching programs in high-definition with audio blaring from surround-sound speakers (high-tech enhancements that hardly seem necessary for watching "The Price is Right"). But the action-packed flicks shown during the Friday Classic Films series at the Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal are certainly worthy of the state-of-the art gadgetry of the OMNIMAX Theater in which they're shown. The five-story, 72-foot-diameter, tilted and domed screen made audi-ences feel like part of the adventure for such past showings as "Kilimanjaro: To the Roof of Africa." 1301 Western Ave., Cincinnati, 513/287-7001; www.cincymuseum.org; Mon.-Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun 11 a.m.-6 p.m; classic films shown every Friday at 8 p.m.
June 10 Bonsai!
If a tree falls in the forest, but no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound? Well, probably not if it's a bonsai tree, since these plants are so diminutive that one keeling over would barely disturb the ground. But with more than 200 bonsai clubs nationwide and such popular events as the Ohio Regional Bonsai Show in Newark, enthusiasm for the artistic-looking trees far outweighs their size. Attendees view more than 100 specimens and learn about the ancient Asian method of gardening that brings them to life. Dawes Arboretum, 7770 Jacksontown Rd. SE, Newark, 740/323-2355; www.dawesarb.org; June 10 & 11: Sat. 8 a.m.-7 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
June 11 Poultry Days
Versailles hosts a chicken-themed festival that includes the "Cool Hand Luke" egg-eating contest, where - in a nod to the Paul Newman flick featuring the same stunt - participants compete to eat the most hard-boiled eggs. 800 Woodland Dr., Versailles, 937/526-4427; www.versaillespoultrydays.com; June 9-11, call for times.
June 12 King of Collectors
One man's trash may be another man's treasure, but no one should mistake the unique items on view at Green's Heritage Museum for throwaways; they're merely pieces that were in need of a passionate collector. William Green has turned everything - from a stockpile of model trains and tractors, to a collection of bicycles and antique horse-drawn carriages - into exhibits. Lest anyone doubt his fondness for found items, Green's also collected 14 buildings and placed them on the museum's property, including a 1799 smokehouse and a 1930s White Castle restaurant. 10530 Thrailkill Rd., Orient, 614/877-4254; 9 a.m.- 6 p.m. daily.
June 13 The Essence of Laughter: Satire through the Ages
Allow some laughter to break through the silence normally pervasive at museums during this exhibit at the Toledo Museum of Art. The works on paper include comical commentary from such satirists as Chagall and Daumier. 2445 Monroe St., Toledo, 419/254-5771; www.toledomuseum.org; through June 25: Tues.-Thur. & Sat. 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Fri 10 a.m.-10 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
June 14 Are you a glass-half-full or half-empty kind of person?
Instead of thinking of today (Wednesday) as the mid-week hump you have to get over, consider it one happy step closer to the weekend. Celebrate with Wade Oval Wednesdays in Cleveland's attraction-filled University Circle, where visitors can enjoy free outdoor concerts, local eateries selling food, and later hours at such impressive institutions as the Cleveland Botanical Garden and the Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum, where vintage auto rides are available most Wednesdays this summer. University Circle, Cleveland, 216/791-3900; www.universitycircle.org; Wednesdays through Labor Day.
June 15 The Danville-Howard Turkey Festival
Danville pays tribute to its onetime abundance of turkey farms by serving Thanksgiving-style dinners with all the trimmings, not to mention crowning two kids Mr. and Mrs. Little Turkey. Danville Memorial Park, 902 S. Market St., Danville, 740/599-6459; June 15-17, call for times.
June 16 Strawberry Fields Forever
In June, there's only one thing as ubiquitous as short-sleeved shirts and sunny days: strawberry festivals in Ohio. The city of Troy has one in the southwest region; there's London's in the central part of the state; Jefferson's in the northeast - and, not to be outdone, northwest Ohio has presented the Holland Strawberry Festival for the past 68 years. The town pays homage to this fruit-of-the-month with a charming gathering of bingo matches, karaoke contests, fun rides for kids and, naturally, a strawberry dessert bake-off. MacQueen's Orchard, 7807 Angola Rd., Holland, 419/865-2916; www.hollandstrawberryfestival.com; June 14-18: Wed.-Fri. 4-11 p.m., Sat. & Sun. noon-midnight.
June 17 Another Independence Day
The longest-running and fastest-growing event in central Ohio's African-American community - not to mention, a gathering celebrated every summer in more than 200 cities nationwide - is still largely unknown in many regions around this state. Juneteenth recognizes that although President Abraham Lincoln abolished slavery with the Emancipation Proclamation in 1862, it wasn't until June 19, 1865, that the good news finally reached the last blacks still being held in bondage in Texas. Today, JuneteenthOhio celebrates African-American culture with a play about the festival's origin, African storytelling for children, a series of jazz, reggae and gospel concerts and mouth-watering soul food. Franklin Park, 1755 E. Broad St., Columbus, 614/299-4488; www.juneteenthohio.net; June 16-18; opening reception June 15, call for event times.
June 18 Lakeside Daisy Day
Marblehead's Lakeside Daisy State Nature Preserve is the only place in the country where these endangered wildflowers grow naturally. Hop on one of the bus tours to this spot today and speak with a naturalist. 419/798-4461, www.marbleheadvillageohio.com; call for details.
June 19 You Break It, You Buy It
All right, so the saying, "those in glass houses shouldn't throw stones," is meant to apply to hypocrites and not taken literally. Still, we're thinking the adage will cross your mind while on a visit to Mosser Glass in Cambridge. The company's fine craftsmanship was worthy of a feature on the Travel Channel series, "Made in America," and the reasons for Mosser's success are always crystal clear after a tour: Guests can watch the facility's cast-iron moulds shape molten glass into stemware at 1,000 degrees, then peruse an artistic product line that mixes new designs with classics from the likes of Viking and Cambridge Glass. 9279 Cadiz Rd., Cambridge, 740/439-1827; www.mosserglass.com; factory tours: Mon.-Fri. 8-10 a.m. & 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. (no tours the first two weeks in July).
June 20 The Blue Tip Festival
Wadsworth parades a huge, lighted match around the streets as a burning reminder that The Ohio Match Company - makers of the famous Blue Tip match, which supposedly never failed to light - has roots here. Grandview Ave., Memorial Park, Wadsworth, 330/334-1536; June 20-24, call for times.
June 21 A Bit of Edelweiss
If your sole knowledge of Austria is that it's Arnold Schwarzenegger's hometown and the setting for "The Sound of Music," it's time you attended Spass Nacht. The annual gathering celebrates Kettering's sister city (Steyr, Austria) by turning Fraze Pavilion into a traditional bier garten, serving bratwurst dinners, playing live polka music and hosting dancers in traditional Austrian garb. The free event is a rollicking "fun night," just as the name's translation promises. Fraze Pavilion, 695 Lincoln Park Blvd., Kettering, 937/296-3300; www.fraze.com; 5-9 p.m.
June 22 A Historic Encounter
From Marietta's redbrick roads and inviting antiques shops, to its enviable spot on the Ohio River and striking views of sternwheelers drifting by, this friendly town boasts an authentic atmosphere that seems transplanted from another century. That's probably because - as visitors on a Historic Marietta Tour quickly learn - the town was the first official American settlement in the Northwest Territory. Guests hop aboard a trolley for an hour-long, narrated tour past buildings sporting stunning architecture from a bygone era, as well as sites such as the mysterious Hopewell and Adena Indian burial mounds and the home of General Rufus Putnam, Marietta's founding father. 740/374-2233; www.mariettaohio.org; no Monday tours, call for details.
June 23 Pitch Perfect
Even the most ardent sports enthusiasts might furrow their brows in puzzlement when asked about Denton True Young. But say his name in Newcomerstown, and you'll likely receive smiles of recognition. The locals are quite familiar with the man the rest of the world knows as Cy Young, one of the greatest pitchers of all time, since they pay tribute to him each year with Cy Young Days in this town where he was raised and died in 1955. A series of baseball and softball tournaments are played in memory of the legendary athlete, explaining all the baseballs that tend to show up on his grave in nearby Peoli around this time of year (an act believed to improve pitchers' skills). Parade and activities held downtown on Canal St.; tournaments held at Cy Young Park, 591 N. College St., Newcomerstown, 740/498-7244; June 23-25, call for times.
June 24 Gene Autry Days
Kenton's toy company got a contract to make Gene Autry's popular cap guns during the Depression, saving the town from decline. Today, residents celebrate with Gene Autry memorabilia and a Western celebrity-look-alike contest. Hardin County Fairgrounds Community Building, Kenton, 419/673-4131; June 24 & 25, call for times.
June 25 Search for Orchids and Dragonflies
Feel free to come and explore the prairie-fringed orchids and colorful dragonflies that abound at the meadow at Maumee Bay Nature Center today. Come explore this scenic area today. Maumee Bay Nature Center 1400 State Park Rd., Oregon, 419/836-9117, 4-6 p.m.
June 26 Up, Up and Away
The majesty of the Hocking Hills in summertime, when it's filled with warbling birds and fragrant flowers, makes it a spot that begs to be hiked. But some of us would rather not break a sweat to enjoy the beauty, no matter what season it is. We salute the Ohio University Community Flight Program and the sightseeing flights they've offered for the past several years, providing the public with breathtaking (and affordable) bird's-eye views of Athens County and areas up to 25 miles away from Gordon K. Bush Regional Airport. Gordon K. Bush Regional Airport and Snyder Field, 747 Columbia Rd., Albany; 740/597-2672; call for pricing and details.
June 27 Ripe For the Picking
The weather's nice, you've got a little time on your hands and you're in need of fresh raspberries for your next culinary masterpiece. Luckily, you can enjoy the day, kill some time and satisfy your recipe by making a trip to Stokes Raspberry Farm in Wilmington. There's nothing like partaking in food that you hand-picked, and you can fill a bucket or two with juicy delight at this farm that specializes in - you guessed it - raspberries, typically available from mid-June to early July. After all, you could make a trip to the grocery store, but what fun is that? 2822 Center Rd., Wilmington, 937/383-4004; open daily during picking season, dawn to dusk.
June 28 Light The Way
For anyone who's ever harbored romantic dreams of being a 19th-century lighthouse keeper saving ships from sure disaster, the Fairport Harbor Marine Museum and Lighthouse is the place to be. Though originally constructed in 1825, the lighthouse was rebuilt in 1871 to accommodate a 60-ft.-high tower and a spiral staircase leading to its observation deck. Today, guests learn what life was like on the Great Lakes through artifacts and exhibits housed in its interior, and allegedly have the occasional run-in with the spirit of a cat that once called the lighthouse its home. 129 Second St., Fairport Harbor, 440/354-4825; www.fairportlighthouse.com; Wed., Sat. & Sun., 1-6 p.m.
June 29 His Lips Are Sealed
You'd have to be a pretty serious person, not much prone to gossip, to earn a nickname like "Leatherlips." One Wyandot Indian chief's reputation for never breaking a promise won him the moniker, and the Chief Leatherlips Monument in Dublin stands as an eye-catching homage to him in Scioto Park. The 12-ft.-high sculpture of his head is constructed entirely of limestone slabs jutting out of a hillside, allowing the image of Chief Leatherlips - not to mention visitors to the park, who can mount his head via an access in the back of the sculpture - to gaze stoically at the scenic Scioto River. 7377 Riverside Dr., Scioto Park, Dublin.
June 30 Full of Hot Air
With massive, monochromatic airplanes lumbering through the skies and hulking sport utility vehicles barreling down the highways, today's modes of transport seem awfully inelegant. But a jaunt to the Ashland Balloon Fest - where a bevy of rainbow-colored hot air balloons whimsically ride on the wind - proves that there are ways of getting around that are a lot more graceful. Ohioans flock to the fest to see such events as the Balloon Glow, in which the kaleidoscopic balloons are lit against the night sky. Children's Home Field, 1256 Center St., Ashland, 419/281-4584; www.ashlandballoonfest.org; June 30-July 2, call for event times.
July 1 Russel Wright: Living with Good Design
Take a drive to the Decorative Arts Center of Ohio and peruse the works of this southwest-Ohio-born designer, who made sleek, clean-lined tableware, serving pieces and furniture that were a staple in American homes during the 1940s and '50s. 145 E. Main St., Lancaster, 740/681-1423; www.decartsohio.org; through Sept. 3: Tues.-Sun. 1-4 p.m.
July 2 The Sands of Time
Finally: a chance to show off all those architectural skills you honed during childhood summers at the beach with a shovel and pail by your side. The 4th Annual Sandcastle Building Contest at Portage Lakes State Park is awarding prizes to the best builders, inviting both children as well as fun-loving adults who are still kids at heart to flex their creative muscle during an afternoon of sand-sculpting by the shore. Bring along a picnic basket for a bite to eat after the judging, then stay late and catch a fabulous sunset. 5031 Manchester Rd., Akron, 330/644-2220; noon-2:30 p.m.
July 3 Car Crazy
Love classic cars - especially when they still run? Consider a visit to Snook's Dream Cars in Bowling Green, where visitors not only view sterling examples of America's automotive innovation from the 1930s to the 1960s, they can also marvel at the fact that these beauties are still fully operational. While the coupes, convertibles, roadsters and race cars are lovingly presented in period scenes, and a vast showroom includes an impressive passel of antique "automobilia," the museum's buildings alone are enough to delight gearheads: Snook's includes a re-created 1940s Texaco station. 13920 County Home Rd., Bowling Green, 419/353-8338, www.snooksdreamcars.com; 11 a.m.-4 p.m. daily.
July 4 The Big Bang
If only all holidays had as much pageantry as the Fourth of July. Then, you could await a wealth of fun activities to go along with the customary day off of work. But the Slice of Hometown America gathering in Hamilton proves that July 4 is eventful enough to make up for those other lackluster celebrations. Visitors enjoy an all-American-style bash that includes food from local restaurants for the Taste of Hamilton; the largest Fourth of July parade in Ohio, featuring more than 100 floats; and an amazing fireworks display on the banks of the Great Miami River. Downtown Hamilton, 513/844-8080; www.hamilton-cvb.com; call for details.
July 5 Hand-Feed Hummingbirds
Get an up-close look at delicate hummingbirds today when Lake Hope State Park allows guests to hand-feed the birds. Also, build your own bird feeder to take home as a memento. 27331 St. Rte. 278, McArthur, 740/596-3030; Wed. 2-4 p.m.
July 6 The Festival of the Bells
This Hillsboro festival is most noteworthy for its outhouse races (something that has nothing to do with bells). Three people push an outhouse on wheels around a street obstacle course while another sits on the pot inside. Downtown Hillsboro, 937/393-5219; www.festivalofthebells.com; July 6-8, call for times.
July 7 That's a Spicy Meatball
It won't take long for you to be considered la famiglia at the Italian-American Festival in Stark County, or until you're shouting "Mamma mia!" from all the tempting cuisine on display. Stromboli, pasta fagiolo, chicken parmigiano sandwiches - no visitor leaves feeling famished. This year offers entertainment such as bocce tournaments, a casino and crooner Bobby Vinton for your enjoyment in between those trips back to the pavilion for another plate of food. Stark County Fairgrounds, 305 Wertz Ave., Canton, 330/494-0886; www.cantonitalianfesta.org; July 7-9, call for event times.
July 8 Fiddlesticks
If you hear a mysterious, rhythmic noise today, don't be alarmed: It's just toes tapping in unison to some of the best fiddlers in the tri-state region at Sauder Village's Fiddle Contest and Summer on the Farm. Early-20th-century farm life is the focus of this annual event, where after guests participate in churning butter and flailing wheat, they can bask in the tunes of the Just Bluegrass Band and some skilled youth and adult fiddlers. 22611 St. Rte. 2, Archbold, 800/590-9755, www.saudervillage.com; 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
July 9 The Buddy Holly Story
Buddy Holly's name has long been synonymous with groundbreaking rock 'n' roll hits. The Carousel Dinner Theater tracks the legendary rocker's career and feel-good musical numbers with "The Buddy Holly Story." 1257 E. Waterloo Rd., Akron, 330/724-9855; www.carouseldinnertheatre.com; through Sept. 2, call for times.
July 10 What's Cookin'?
Some people are as efficient as Martha Stewart in their kitchens, creating delectable spreads with nary a cookbook. The rest of us will head to Greenville for a KitchenAid Experience Cooking Class, where experts demonstrate how to create gourmet dishes ranging from cakes to casseroles. When visitors aren't learning how to release their inner Julia Child, they can stroll interactive culinary areas and test new KitchenAid products. 423 S. Broadway Ave., Greenville, 888/886-8318; www.kitchenaid.com/experience; classes Mon.-Fri. 10:30 a.m. & 2:30 p.m., Sat. & Sun. 12:30 p.m.
July 11 Make Tracks
The Franklin Park Conservatory's mission, to nurture plants and people, couldn't be more simple. However, their Garden Railways exhibit meets that goal with meticulous construction and painstaking detail. Set within an elaborate garden layout, five model trains running on 800 feet of track wind through a series of miniature villages representing Ohio towns. The landscapes, which also feature people, boats and buildings, include nods to northeast Ohio's Amish Country and Lake Erie at Marblehead. 1777 E. Broad St., Columbus, 614/645-8733; www.fpconservatory.org; Tues.-Sun. 10 a.m.-
5 p.m., Wed. 10 a.m.- 8 p.m.
July 12 Ride 'Em Cowboy
Never mind the so-called "extreme" sports that people are fascinated with nowadays. Folks who attend the Buckeye Stampede Pro Rodeo in Dover know that riding a snowboard is downright tame compared to mounting a bucking bronco. First-time cowpokes attending this event get an up-close introduction to the dramatic sport with a night of steer wrestling, tie-down roping, women's barrel racing and bull riding. Tuscarawas County Fairgrounds, 259 S. Tuscarawas Ave., Dover, 330/364-4076; www.buckeyestampede.com; July 12-16: rodeos Fri. & Sat. 8 p.m., Sun. 7:30 p.m., call for details on other events.
July 13 The Miami Valley Steam Threshers Show
Ohio-manufactured farm equipment may be this Plain City show's main attraction, but you can't miss the chance to see women compete for who can throw an iron skillet the farthest during the Ladies' Skillet Throw. Pastime Park, Plain City, 614/296-5814; www.miamivalleysteamshow.org; July 13-16, call for times.
July 14 Jugheads Rejoice
Visit a celebration that begins with the sound of smashing plates. That tradition announces the kick-off of the Crooksville-Roseville Pottery Festival in southeast Ohio, where ceramics fanatics gather in this region formerly known as "the clay belt" to revel in a collectible plate auction, pottery sales, and demonstrations on a potters wheel. Events held at Roseville Park and the National Ceramic Museum and Heritage Center, 7327 Ceramic Rd. SE, Roseville, 740/697-7021; www.potteryfestival.org; July 13-16, call for times.
July 15 Just So Long As It's Not 'Jaws' ...
And you thought drive-in movies meant watching the silver screen from your family vehicle. Not so in Mason, where the transport of choice is an inner tube during Dive-in Movies at The Beach. The Beach Waterpark invites Ohioans to an evening of family-friendly entertainment as a 20x20-ft. screen is erected over Kahuna Beach Wavepool, allowing guests to watch tonight's flick, "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," while relaxing.