June 2008 Issue
Fun and adventure await families looking for a vacation just a road trip away.
Long, hot days, bright sunshine and cool breezes. It’s the best time of the year to enjoy our beautiful region, but every summer, thousands of Ohioans pack up an SUV or hop aboard a plane to vacation elsewhere.
Northeast Ohio is home to many terrific historical destinations that will keep your family learning.
Begin your tour in Canton, home of one of America’s premier sports museums, the Pro Football Hall of Fame. More than 80,000 square feet of exhibits highlight the greats of pro football, and new this year are two permanent displays sure to capture the interest of football fanatics. “Pro Football Today” features memorabilia from recent NFL seasons, while “Moments, Memories and Mementos” presents historical artifacts supported by the multimedia testimonials of Hall of Famers themselves.
The GameDay Stadium Theater delivers thrilling game-day action, and the whole family can enjoy interactive fun at the Football Toss Cage, Tele-Trivia Game, QB-1 Call-the-Play Theater and the new 2007 NFL Madden Football. Following your tour, browse the Museum Store for souvenirs and merchandise featuring your favorite NFL team logo.
The hall celebrates its 45th anniversary with the annual Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival, July 25–August 4. The celebration takes over downtown Canton with more than a dozen events, including a Balloon Classic Invitational, National Rib Burnoff, the Timken Grand Parade and Hall of Fame Game.
Also in Canton, located in the home of former First Lady Ida McKinley, is the National First Ladies’ Library. The collection includes biographies, photographs, oral histories and many other materials about U.S. First Ladies. Tour the museum and library and visit the current exhibit, “Team Players: Triumph and Tribulation on the Campaign Trail.”
Head north to the Western Reserve Historical Society, part of the University Circle cultural center near downtown Cleveland. Founded to preserve and present the history of northeast Ohio, the society maintains a number of historical properties in the Cleveland area. Stop in at the Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum in the WRHS complex, where your family can see nearly 200 antique, vintage and classic automobiles, aircraft,
bicycles and motorcycles. Exhibits feature related accessories and archival materials that illustrate the development of transportation and its connection to the culture and history of northeast Ohio, the United States and the world.
Don’t forget to include Trumbull County in your tour of the region. Step back in time at the National McKinley Birthplace Memorial in Niles. The memorial includes a museum of memorabilia from President William McKinley’s early life in Niles, as well as Civil War and Spanish-American War artifacts, campaign materials and presidential items. Another wing serves as the McKinley Memorial Library.
The National Packard Museum in Warren is home to dozens of antique and classic Packard models, including a 1903 Packard Model F, Two Passenger Runabout and Mrs. J.W. Packard’s 1941 Touring Limo by LeBaron. The museum hosts the 19th Annual Packard Car Show Weekend in downtown Warren, July 18–20. Cruise through and take in the styling and engineering of Packard automobiles while enjoying musical entertainment and delicious food.
Head to the northwest region of the state and visit Fort Meigs in Perrysburg, where visitors can experience an era when Ohio was still an American frontier. Established by General William Henry Harrison in 1813, Fort Meigs stood at the center of American military operations during the War of 1812 and saw two successful battles. The Ohio Historical Society reconstructed the fort as one of the major projects to celebrate the nation’s bicentennial, opening it to the public in 1974.
Tour the stockade, blockhouses, artillery batteries and quartermaster’s warehouse in the fort and take in the museum’s four exhibit areas: Era, Conflict, Understanding and Remembrance, each with its own artifacts, maps and descriptions. A visit to The Ohio History Store at Fort Meigs is the perfect way to end your visit. A book lover’s paradise, the shop has hundreds of volumes on subjects ranging from the military to local history.
Upcoming events include “Muster on the Maumee,” June 14–15; the “1813 Independence Day Celebration,” July 4–6; and “Drums Along the Maumee,” July 26–27.
Take in a slice of World War II history by visiting the Dennison Depot Railroad Museum in northeast Ohio. Known as “Dreamsville, USA” during WWII, Dennison was a critical railroad center halfway between Pittsburgh and Columbus and served as a frequent stop-over for troop trains. Volunteers at the famous Service Canteen provided more than 1.5 million soldiers free food, coffee and smiles during the war.
The trains have since stopped running, but the depot now operates as a museum and offers a restaurant and gift shop. In March 2007, five railroad coaches were attached to the depot to form an addition. New features include the Children’s Interactive Railroad Experience Car, the Archival Research Library, a rare WWII Hospital Car, a special exhibit car, a local history car and the Keystone Theater. Children can enjoy climbing in an authentic Pullman Bunk, writing on a Hobo Tree, shoveling coal in the engine house and playing in the ticket booth. The depot’s main summer event, “American Soldiers Homecoming Tribute,” August 8–10, features a Lee Greenwood concert, big band music, WWII battle reenactments, fly-overs, 1940s impersonations, exhibits and great food.
Railroad-history buffs should make sure to check out Northwest Ohio Railroad Preservation, Inc. in Findlay, which offers the opportunity to ride on Engine 901, a quarter-scale steam locomotive built in the late 1940s. Also on the grounds are a full-size 19th-century wooden boxcar, a 1920s B&O Caboose and a 1950s Plymouth switcher. A detailed running Lionel model train layout as well as a railroad gift shop are featured inside the building.
In the southwest part of the state, Cincinnati’s newest family attraction, EnterTRAINment Junction, is scheduled to open late this month. The largest train-themed entertainment center in the world, EnterTRAINment Junction features more than 90 miniature trains, ranging from the earliest locomotives to sleek modern models that travel across two miles of indoor track. The facility also boasts cobblestone streets surrounding the depot, an interactive American Railroading Museum, a 5,000-square-foot children’s area, a Train Expo Center and a seasonal walk-through maze.
Travel to Greenville in Darke County where the Garst Museum has unveiled the groundbreaking exhibit, “Crossroads of Destiny, Indians, Settlement and Treaty of Greenville.” The largest stockade fort ever built in North America can be seen as it was in 1795, when it hosted one of the most significant treaties negotiated with Native American tribes. Present-day Greenville now sits on the original site of the fort, but historians have constructed a replica based on blueprints and excavations. View more than 1,000 artifacts, including tools, weapons, documents and maps. The chronological walking tour includes 28 display cases reflecting not only the era of Fort Greenville, but also the history of the area and the events leading up to the historic treaty that opened the Northwest Territory to American expansion.
If your family has a dual love for baseball and history, it’s time to pay a visit to the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory in downtown Louisville, Kentucky, where the famed Louisville Slugger bats are manufactured. The museum takes visitors through the changes the beloved sport has experienced over the years. The exhibit “Play Ball Mr. President: A Century of Baseballs Signed by U.S. Presidents,” June 1–November 30, showcases baseballs autographed by U.S. presidents ranging from Teddy Roosevelt to George W. Bush, and celebrates the role this sport has played in the history of The White House.
Arts & Culture
The arts thrive in the city of Cleveland, thanks in part to the Cleveland Museum of Art, located in University Circle. The world-renowned museum is undergoing a major expansion and renovation — the first galleries are reopening this summer — and is hosting numerous special exhibits and events. Through August 31, “Building for the Future” allows visitors to get an inside peek at the multi-million-dollar expansion project. See a remarkable exhibit of exquisite objects during the special exhibit “Artistic Luxury: Tiffany, Fabergé, Lalique,” October 19–January 19.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum stands as a monument to the heritage of rock and roll music. The museum continually augments its own collection of thousands of artifacts with items on loan from musicians and collectors around the world. In addition to these items, the museum’s exhibits utilize film, video, interactive kiosks and, of course, music. Experience special exhibits such as “Break On Through: The Lasting Legacy of the Doors” and “Help! Behind the Scenes of the Beatles’ Movie,” on view through September 1. The Rock Hall offers something entirely new through September 28: an exhibition devoted to the many connections between America’s most popular music form and its national pastime. “Take Me Out: Baseball Rocks!” celebrates baseball as a pop-culture phenomenon through displays of sheet music, sports memorabilia and records.
Located in Findlay, in the northwest portion of the state, is the University of Findlay’s Mazza Museum: International Art from Picture Books, the world’s first and largest teaching museum devoted to literacy and the unique art of children’s picture books. Founded in 1982, the museum now contains more than 3,000 original artworks. Starting in October, the first Sunday of every month is Funday Sunday — a family event offering free admission, storytelling, art stations, music, refreshments and special guest speakers.
Cincinnati has been described as the arts mecca of the Midwest because of the host of theatrical productions every year — not to mention attractions such as the Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal and the Contemporary Arts Center. In one complex, the Museum Center offers the Cincinnati History Museum, Cincinnati Museum of Natural History, Duke Energy Children’s Museum and the Robert D. Lindner OMNIMAX Theater. “Bodies ... The Exhibition,” on view at the Museum Center through
September 1, provides the ultimate anatomy lesson by allowing visitors the opportunity to come face to face with full, human bodies and partial body specimens. Showing in conjunction with the exhibit is “The Human Body,” an
OMNIMAX film telling the story of a day in the life of the human body.
The Contemporary Arts Center showcases the “art of the last five minutes” in a building that has gained international acclaim for its progressive architecture. On view through August 17 is “Uncoordinated: Mapping Cartography in Contemporary Art.” “Odili Donald Odita: FLOW,” a site-specific wall painting, shows through this fall.
Enjoy the beauty of outdoor art at the Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park & Museum in Butler County, in southwest Ohio. Just one of 10 sculpture parks in the United States, this 265-acre site showcases more than 50 pieces of monumental art and offers hiking trails, an arboretum, indoor pavilion, wall garden, an amphitheater, lakes and picnic areas, and activities for the entire family.
Discover and Explore
Take a road trip to COSI Columbus in central Ohio where you and your family can become super sleuths at COSI’s newest exhibit, “CSI: The Experience,” through September 1. Inspired by the hit CBS television series “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” the exhibit allows participants to investigate a crime scene, collect evidence and use cutting-edge forensic science to solve the case. From DNA and firearms analysis to forensic anthropology and toxicology, visitors can explore hands-on science in a multi-media environment with dazzling special effects, direct from the CSI television series. Cast members from the TV show welcome guests into the exhibit from a large video monitor, lead them through the experience and praise them for a job well done at the end. The exhibit is geared toward youth ages 12 and older and adults.
Gather the kids and head south to Petersburg, Kentucky, and drop by the new Creation Museum. Designed by a former Universal Studios exhibit director, this 65,000-square-foot museum brings the pages of the Bible to life through realistic scenery, visual effects, exotic animals, life-sized animals and dinosaur animatronics.
Take it Outside
Experience the Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Northeast Ohio aboard the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad (CVSR). Ride comfortably in vintage, climate-controlled coaches (built in the 1940s to 1960s) as you venture through the heart of the park and stop off at the area’s many attractions. Visit the Canal Visitor Center, where you can view the history of the Ohio & Erie Canalway, then chug over to the charming village of Peninsula for unique shopping and dining. Other round-trip destinations include Hale Farm & Village, the National Inventors Hall of Fame and Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens. The nearby city of Akron is bursting with fun family activities. Visit the Akron Zoo and the Akron Art Museum, or take in a show at Lock 3 Live! Upcoming CVSR special events include “Young at Heart: Summer in the Valley,” June 19 and “Grape Escape Wine Tasting Express: Wines from Ohio,” June 20.
Looking for a great place to hike, bike or horseback ride? Make the short trip south to the historic Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail in Stark County. This trail features 25 miles of well-maintained paths leading through Canal Fulton, Massillon and Navarre.
Horticulturists and nature lovers will want to explore the gardens and natural areas at Holden Arboretum in Lake County. First stop is the Warren H. Corning Visitor Center, where you can pick up helpful brochures and meet friendly staff that can guide you through your visit. Stroll through the display gardens where you will find inspiration for your own natural retreat through the beautifully designed groupings of trees and shrubs. The Arlene and Arthur S. Holden Jr. Butterfly Garden is bursting with colorful masses of black-eyed Susans, purple coneflowers, bee balm, catmint and flowering sage — all plants that attract butterflies and hummingbirds. The wildflower gardens display plants that are native to the region, while the Helen S. Layer Rhododendron Garden offers 25 acres of rhododendrons, azaleas and related plants. Walking trails include the half-mile Sugarbush Trail and the 1.9-mile Pierson Creek Loop, or you can opt to take a one-hour tour aboard a tram.
Mill Creek MetroParks, located near Youngstown in the northeast area of the state, offers a wide range of outdoor activities for the whole family. Go boating on Lake Glacier or Lake Newport, bike and hike on 15 miles of well-groomed trails and explore the wetlands via walkway or water trail. Thirty-six holes of championship golf await players at the Mill Creek Golf Course, or a Par 3 course is available for the younger set or beginner. Catch a glimpse into the past at Lanterman’s Mill and Covered Bridge, a working 1845 gristmill. Observe the pioneer ingenuity involved in the early production of meal and flour, and purchase stone-ground, preservative-free cornmeal, buckwheat and whole-wheat flour. The Fellows Riverside Gardens provide colorful seasonal displays and scenic vistas for all to enjoy, and within the gardens, the D.D. and Velma Davis Education & Visitors Center offers a gift shop and café.
Make a day trip to Findlay in northwest Ohio on July 24 for Time Warner Cable’s Kids Fest at the Riverbend. Admission is free and participants can enjoy family-oriented activities such as giant inflatables, discovery zones, lake activities, make-your-own music videos and COSI on Wheels.
In central Ohio, enjoy a weekend family getaway at The Conference Center at NorthPointe, the closest full-service hotel to the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium and theZoombezi Bay Water Park. Always a family favorite, the zoo boasts 400 acres of animal exhibits, including the world’s largest indoor pachyderm area and the aquarium’s Manatee Coast exhibit. The waterpark is the zoo’s newest addition and offers 15 water slides, wave pools, lazy and action tubing rivers and a kiddie play pool. NorthPointe Adventure Packages include deluxe accommodations, welcome gifts, a hot breakfast buffet, pizza and a movie, admission and complimentary round-trip transportation to the parks.
NorthPointe is nestled in a village-like setting of Georgian architecture just north of Columbus. Known for its superior service, the facility features 120 guest rooms and suites with luxury pillow-top mattresses, the Edgewater Dining Room, outdoor pool and patio, two fitness centers, gymnasium and surround-sound theater room.
Kings Island, located near Cincinnati, offers nearly unlimited entertainment options for fun-seeking families. From heart-stopping roller coasters to the kid-friendly Nickelodeon Universe, this place has it all. The theme park features more than 80 rides, including 14 thrill-inducing roller coasters. Go for a ride on the Firehawk and soar through a half mile of steel tracking at 51 miles per hour, or check out the Beast, the longest wooden coaster in the world. For seven years running, Nickelodeon Universe has been awardedAmusement Today’s prestigious Golden Ticket Award for Best Kid’s Area in the World. Dora the Explorer, SpongeBob SquarePants and many other lovable characters have their own neighborhoods, and children of all ages can enjoy more kids’ coasters than at any other park in the world. Don’t forget to cool off in Kings Island’s Boomerang Bay, an Australian-themed waterpark offering more than 50 water activities, including 30 water slides, tropical lagoons, waterfalls and a 36,000-square-foot wave pool. Check out one of the many live shows on stage throughout the summer, including “Hot Island Rhythms,” through September 1; “Dora’s Sing-Along Adventure,” through September 21; and “Endless Summer on Ice,”
June 7–August 17.
While in the Cincinnati area, don’t forget to take in a game at the Great American Ball Park, home of the mighty Cincinnati Reds. Watch them take on the Seattle Mariners, June 10–12; the Boston Red Sox, June 13–15; and the Los Angeles Dodgers, June 17–19.
Your family can experience high-flying action at the Midfirst Ohio Challenge in Middletown in Butler County, July 18–20. The festival centers on a hot-air balloon competition and skydiving demonstration, and also features a classic car show, 5K race, balloon glows, concerts and arts and crafts booths.