Today is not Presidents Day in Ohio. It is Washington-Lincoln day. The day was official named in 2001. This was codified to clarify the days on which laws can and can not take effect.
The Wright B Flyer Museum (or Hangar) is located in a small airport south of Dayton. While the Museum is small, just one hangar and one plane, it is more than it seems.
The Wright B Flyer was the first plane commercially built. They were not the modern planes were are use to today. At the time though the 2 seater was a step up from the model A. Within a few years the industry moved on from the simplistic design of the Wrights. More streamlined, faster, and more powerful planes took over and the wrights could not catch up. Within that few years however the plane made many firsts, such as the first aerial bomb drop, the first to deliver freight, and the first military aircraft. One of the original Model B’s is even on display at The National Museum of the United States Air Force.
The Wright B Flyer Museum is not really a museum so much and more a Hangar. The large space has a few displays on the walls about the history of the aircraft, both the original and the current one. The interior is filled with an old truck used in parades with the plane, and the plane itself. Visitors can get up close and examine the vehicle. The openness of the cockpit shows how scare it must have been for aviators of the time. Up close visitors can also see how simple a vehicle it was compared to modern planes.
The Wright B Flyer museum’s plane is not original. It is a look alike made from modern material. The look is authentic even if the material is not. The modern plane is made from new materials because it needs to be flight worthy. The museum uses the plane for special events and flights for its members. The plane is not just another one of the many many planes on display in Dayton, but a living part of the community. During Dayton Heritage day at Carillon History Park, or many other historical events, the plane has been known to make a flyover. In flight the plane is just as impressive as it is on the ground.
The Wright B Flyer Hangar is small. The average visitor only needs 30 minutes to see everything. The museum is free and fits great into a day with the Dayton Aviation National Historical Park. With a whole weekend one can visit many of the other sites in the Dayton Aviation National Heritage Area, and even earn a free teddy bear.
Just down the street and around the corner from the Warren County History Center is this old pre Civil War mansion.
The mansion is part of the museum during the summer and December. It is a beautiful old building over looking Lebanon, yet still hidden away enough to be hard to fully see.
The Mansion is small and has only 8 rooms. The building is bigger than its structure. The history of the Mansion connects life during the 19th century and the 20th and 21st centuries efforts to preserve it. The tour is very informative and expands the eight rooms to the include the history of the land and Lebanon. The guides are very informative and willing to answer any questions. Take at least and hour to tour the Mansion and grounds. The view from the top of the hill is one of the best in the area. The Mansion and History Center can easily be done in one day with time for lunch at one of Lebanon’s many eateries.
Through out the year the Glendower puts on a few festivals and around the end of the season holds a civil war encampment. They even try to time it to fall during the Smithsonian’s Free Museum Day so that every one can enjoy it. In December they decorate the Mansion for the season. Both are very popular events.
A few from last year, but tons of new ones.
- Holden Arboretum – This place has a Canopy Walk and a Tower open in the warmer months. This place has lots of hiking trails. This is a must.
- Loveland Castle – A real castle
- Celina/Coldwater /Bike path Biking or walking
- Casa Nueva Restaurant & Cantina (Athens)
- Langsdon Mineral Collecton This place rocks!
- Greater Cleveland Aquarium
- Blair Museum of Lithophanes
- Lake Hope Lodge Great to go to lodges, just to check them out.
- Columbus Washboard Company
- A Farmer’s Market
- Tabletop Game Cafe
- American Packard Museum Lots of classic cars
- Findlay Market Another great market
- Susie’s Big Dipper Ice cream, a must
- The National Historical Equipment Museum Interesting
- Allen County Museum
- Skillet farm to table
- Somewhere outdoors for a hike.
So many places to see in 2018.
This is the time of year that the stores are filled with simple stocking stuffers and easy to grab gifts for friends and family. For loved ones near-by this is fine. For friends or family that have moved out of Ohio, or who live in another state and wonder what’s so great about the great state of Ohio, a little more is needed. Here are a few suggestions (not a complete list add your own in comments below) for perfect way to wrap up Ohio.
We have organized our ideas into regional baskets. Pick and choose or add your own. These are just suggestions. If you have any more suggestions you can add them in the comments below.
- Shearers -Snack food from Massillion
- Harry London – Chocolates from Canton
- Bertman’s Original Ballpark Mustard – The condiments of the Cleveland Indians
- Rising Star Coffee – local roaster and shop
- Ballreich’s – Potato Chips from Tifftin
- Tony Packo’s – Made famous on a 70’s tv show, the Iconic hot dog restaurant sells mustards and relishes and more that ship nicely
- Tiedtkes Coffee – Toledo Coffee company
- Toledo Art Museum’s Annual Glass Ornament – This year’s ornament is by Dayton native Bandhu Dunham
- Cincinnati Style Chili – A little bit thinner than the “other” styles of chili, this classic is known for its ability to turn spaghetti into a regional favorite. Everyone has their favorite place, and all are good.
- Grippos – if they want barbecue chips they probably crave these.
Mike-Sells – if they are from a little closer to Dayton these are the choice
- Ester Price – Chocolates from Dayton
- Boston Stoker Coffee – Don’t let the name fool you, it’s locally roasted coffee.
- Schmidts Sausage Haus – The best sausages in Ohio.
- Anthony-Thomas – Chocolates from Columbus
- Short North Items – For something unique try one of the many shops of the Short North District of Columbus.
- Stauf’s Coffee Roasters – local Coffee shop
- Food – A simple search will find many different food items that can be shipped, from noodles (Mrs. Millers Homemade Noodles) to Cheese (Guggisberg Cheeses) to anything else Amish (Troyer’s County Market)
- Baskets – Longaberger Company is probably one of the largest basket companies in the world, it is defiantly created the largest basket in the world.
- Odds and Ends- The Amish are known for quilts, simple life, and good community. They have so many local produced items in Ohio’s Amish country that it would be hard to list them all.
Yes it is lights time of year. Decorations, lights, and outdoors always seem to go together well. It is also not the best , or most thought, of time year to go outside to a zoo. Zoos across our great state have learned this and have put the large outdoor space they have to good use. Around the state lions and tigers (and even bears) are being surrounded by millions of lights. While other spaces have lights and decorations, only the zoos have the animals too. So in that spirit we present Lights at the zoo’s:
PNC Festival of Lights
Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens
The Cincinnati Zoo will have a 25 foot tree on their swan lake, with floating orbs, all synchronized to music. A gingerbread village with hidden surprises will entertain. The Sisters from Frozen have a meet and greet at the Frozen Wonderland area, and Santa will be available 1 hour before the lights this year.
The Columbus Zoo has gone all out this year. They have a 42 ft tree that puts on a show. Santa is at home near the polar bears. They also have shows through out the zoo, and much more.
The Toledo Zoo has a Winter Village with ice slide and bumper cars on ice. Santa is in a new workshop in the Arctic Encounter section of the park. The Cafe is used as a backdrop for a dazzling lights show.
Looking for a simple stocking stuffer for a party? Here are a few good books about Ohio that are the type we use to find our places to explore. We think others might like them too. These are just a few ideas to help inspire you, your family, or friends to get out and explore our great state.
For the ones who want to be outside:
- A Field Guide for whats living out there so that they know what they are finding:
- Ohio Nature Set: Field Guides to Wildlife, Birds, Trees & Wildflowers of Ohio Wall Chart by
- Ohio Trees & Wildflowers: A Folding Pocket Guide to Familiar Plants (A Pocket Naturalist Guide) Pamphlet by
- Ohio Butterflies & Moths: A Folding Pocket Guide to Familiar Species (A Pocket Naturalist Guide)by James Kavanagh
- Ohio Wildlife: A Folding Pocket Guide to Familiar Species (A Pocket Naturalist Guide) by James Kavanagh, Waterford Press, and Raymond Leung
- Guides to see where to go and find outdoor Ohio:
- Hiking Ohio: A Guide To The State’s Greatest Hikes (State Hiking Guides Series) by Mary Reed
- Follow the Blue Blazes: A Guide to Hiking Ohio’s Buckeye Trail by Robert J. Pond and Steven M. Newman
- Hiking Ohio by Gary Williams
- Ohio Rocks: A Guide to Geologic Sites in the Buckeye State by Albert J. Dickas
For the more indoors type Ohio explorer:
- Guides to see whats outside but not be “outside”:
- Ohio Off the Beaten Path®: A Guide To Unique Places (Off the Beaten Path Series) by Jackie Sheckler Finch
- Ohio Road Trips: 52 Trips–more Than 500 Fun and Unusual Getaway Ideas in Ohio! by Neil Zurcher
- Backroads of Ohio: Your Guide to Ohio’s Most Scenic Backroad Adventures (Pictorial Discovery Guide) by Miriam Carey and Ian Adams
- Guides for the Urban Explorer:
- Walking Cincinnati: 32 Tours Exploring Historic Neighborhoods, Stunning Riverfront Quarters, and Hidden Treasures in the Queen City by Danny Korman and Katie Meyer
- A Historical Guidebook to Old Columbus: Finding the Past in the Present in Ohio’s Capital City by Bob Hunter and Lucy S. Wolfe
- Lost Toledo by David Yonke
- Dayton Through Time by
- Secret Cleveland: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful and Obscure by
- Anything by Niel Zurcher:
- Neil Zurcher – All his books seem to be about the great Ohio road trip