Repost: National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

It has been almost 10 years since we went. We hope to go back soon. It still is a great museum. In honor of #MLK2019:

50 E Freedom Way, Cincinnati, OH 45202

http://www.freedomcenter.org/

Although the museum is called the “Underground Railroad” Freedom Center it teaches more than just the struggle to escape slavery. It teaches the history of the problem, the struggle to escape, and the problems faced afterwards. The Museum is also more than just a museum about Black Americans. It includes sections on the strife that faced Women, Native Americans, and Abolitionists, and many others during the time period.

The museum starts with a short film about three fictional slaves. From there one passes a real slave pen and into a small section on the Underground Railroad.  This section seems like to little a space to tell too much information. From there the visitor is sent into an immersive video theater where they can experience the escape across the Ohio River. This is one of the best parts of the museum. The video tells the story as if you are there with them.

After seeing everything the second floor has to offer one moves to the top floor, where the bulk of the museums information is presented. From Slavery to Freedom tells the history of slavery in the new world, from the middle passage to the prewar years and ending with the post-Civil War era. This is the main section of the museum where most of the information is contained. Flowing like a river from the early days of the continent and the United States to the Civil War, major events are described alongside the story of the people involved. This creates a more in-depth vision of the times and a less classroom telling. The major problem with this section however is that it leaves out the Underground Railroad. Yes, because the story is told else where it is not included in the time line. This is disconcerting but does not distract too much from the overall experience.

The final sections of the museum are the “The Struggle Continues,” with a short film about modern slavery and injustices, the temporary exhibit area which house different exhibits throughout the year, and Reflect, Respond, Resolve, an interactive area to learn more about injustices in the modern world.

Even though the museum is dedicated to the Underground Railroad and slavery, it does an amazing job of keeping everything even-handed. It tries not to villainize any one group. The museum explains the facts and lets the visitor interpret them as they see fit. It is sensitive to how touchy the subject is. In “Reflect, Respond, Resolve” section the interactive displays have no right answers only more questions.

The museum is a must stop for anyone who has lived in a world with injustice. In our current climate it is even more important that ever.

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Scioto Audubon Metro Park

400 W. Whittier Street Columbus, OH 43215

http://www.metroparks.net/parks-and-trails/scioto-audubon/

In many cities there are parks that are urban oasis, where one can find a bit of nature. Scioto Audubon park in Columbus is one of these places. This is the kind of park on travels to, visits everyday, or visits when in Columbus. This 120-acre park is south of downtown on the Scioto River. So this park is easy to get to when visiting the city. It is filled with a dog park, climbing wall, volleyball courts, hiking trails, obstacle course, hiking/biking/walking trails, bocce court, fishing, boat ramps, butterfly garden, visitor center, nature center and more.

water tower water tower

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If one really wants to see the park or the surrounding area, there is an observation deck. This water tower observation deck has two levels and allows one to get some height to see the area.

The  Grange Insurance Audubon Center is housed in an eco-friendly building located in the park. This educational center has programs for all ages and groups. Many of the programs focus on birds and animals in the area and many people’s backyard. The building has exhibits inside for the general public to see, also. So a visit to the park, make sure to stop into the center.

Here are some great virtual tours of the center – http://grange.audubon.org/visit/virtual-tours

This park has great trails, which are one can lots of wildlife. Trails take one through the wetlands, open areas, over hills, and around waterways. These trails weave through the trails and some also connect the park with other parts of the city.

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The trails in the park are not only limited to the park itself. One trail is the start of the Scioto Mile. The mile runs from the park to just south of COSI. One of the most scenic trails and river walks in the state, if not the nation. The mile is more than just one or two parks connected. It is a destination in and of itself … (stay tuned for more on the Mile)

German Village Coffee Shop

193 Thurman Avenue,Columbus, OH 43206

www.gvcoffeeshop.com

Menu

The German Village Coffee Shop is a coffee shop in the German Village area of Columbus. The feeling of the place is comfortable, neighborhood hang out, old school, and inviting. It is a diner with booth and counter service. You can see your food being made right in front of you. The coffee shop is open for breakfast and lunch. Expect the place to be more popular on weekends. It is not huge, so one might have to wait. The food was very tasty and the coffee was good. One true test of diner, is if the coffee cup is keep full. Their was the right amount of attention to our needs. The menu consists of omelets, burgers, sandwiches, hotcakes, pancakes, and salads. The place is one of those neighborhood spots where people come in and know each other, this place was really showing this when we were there. The German Village Coffee Shop is a place to try out when visiting Columbus.

You can tell we liked the coffee

Do not worry the coffee cup was kept full.

19 place to go in ’19

For the last few years we have been doing a list of places to see in Ohio. This is our wish list of places to see for the year.  There is no order or ranking. So, we hope you enjoy, 19 places to see in 2019.

  1. John Glenn Museum – In the 50th year of the Apollo 11 moon landing we wanted to visit more of this new museum
  2. The Stuart & Mimi Rose Music Center at The Heights – A large music venue in Huber Heights. Seems to have a great line up each year.
  3. Fort Meigs – the site of a major battle of the war of 1812. Recreated to look like it did in William Henry Harrison’s time.
  4. Loveland Castle – A cool medieval castle in sw Ohio.
  5. Paul A Johnson Pencil Sharpener Museum – The name says it all
  6. Billy Ireland Cartoon Museum and Library – a collection and displays on the newspaper and magazine comic. Free!
  7. Ohio Theater – Columbus – They always have a good schedule.
  8. Mansfield -While known for the world-famous Ohio State Reformatory Museum, there are a lot of other museums and attractions in the area. This place is worth a weekend.
  9.  Riverboat Cruise (Cincinnati ) – Here are two places that offer riverboat cruises on the Ohio river. Both offer different cruises and tours. Queen City and BB Riverboats
  10. Pine Tree Barn, Wooster – a shop, barn, restaurant, and unique Ohio attraction all in one
  11. Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams (original location) and the North Market – Columbus – We love markets, we love ice cream. This is seems like the perfect combination.
  12. Covered Bridge Pizza – Multiple locations of these pizza restaurants that are located in covered bridges.
  13. Toy and Plastic Brick Museum – Lego and toys and a museum, Yes please.
  14. The Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati – Cincinnati has great art, and somehow we missed last time in town. Also we want to see more of the great murals.
  15. Glass Heritage Museum – Heritage and art all in one free location.
  16. Deer Creek State Park – A new place to hike and be outdoors.
  17. Sweetie Candy Company – Return to the Candy!
  18. A Street Fair in Ohio – So many to choose from.
  19. Sandy Ridge Reservation – scenic views and hiking trails

Throwback Thursday: Breakfast Places

We absolutely love breakfast type restaurants. You know, those places that are open for breakfast and lunch or open 24 hours.

One great place we reviewed was Sugar n’ Spice in Cincinnati. This place is fun and has great food. When in Cincinnati we also visited, The Echo Restaurant. Another local spot for breakfast.

If you want something that is traditional and has a great flavor, we reviewed the Der Dutchman. Amish style cooking done very well.

We also reviewed a few markets. Markets are great for getting breakfast supplies or getting a quick bite to eat. West Side Market in Cleveland has a wonderful selection of food. The Findlay Market in Cincinnati is also great. We had some great tasting food there, with a wide variety.

If donuts are your breakfast of choice, we reviewed, Bill’s Donuts. If you need some coffee each morning, we reviewed Boston Stoker Coffee Company.

Here is a sneak peek, we have an upcoming review of great local coffee shop we went to when in Columbus. This place was local and friendly.

Winter at Ohio’s Museums

Ohio has many, many, many, museums. Way more than one would want to list in a single post. Some are small. Some are big. Some are National. Some are local. As the Seasons change so do many of the traveling or temporary exhibits at these  museums. Here is a list of some cool things to see over the winter 2019 season. Some of these are included in the price of admission, some are extra. Visit the websites for more info.

Cincinnati:
Cincinnati Art Museum

Krohn Conservatory

Columbus: 
Columbus Museum of Art

Cleveland: 
Cleveland Museum of Art

Toledo:
Toledo Museum of Art 

12 days of Holiday Activities 2018 – Day #12

Relax and plan for 2019

2018 was a busy year for us at Random Ohio Reviews. We went all over the state to see and experience many great things. We visited Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park, Fountain Square, Findlay Market, The Bicycle Museum of America, and many more locations in Ohio. We partied in the “Star City”. We returned to the Cincinnati Zoo, and a few other places (stay tuned for them). Overall this was a great year for us. We hope it was a good year for you too.

After all the activity that was 2018 and the craziness that is the holidays, take sometime and relax. This is a good time of year to plan for the next year’s adventures. Try to go somewhere new, see something new, and just enjoy the new year. We know we will. We are going to see what’s up at the Hall of Justice, Revisit an old, but always changing place, and see what the coast has become.

Stay tuned for 2019….. it’s gonna be a big one.

12 days of Holiday Activities 2018 – Day #11

The “A Christmas Story” House

http://www.achristmasstoryhouse.com

Every year TBS has a tradition of playing a Christmas Story for 24 hours on Christmas eve and day. Many people across America do not know that the film, based on stories from Jean Shepherd‘s book “In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash“, was filmed in Cleveland. The house that was used for exterior shots and the opening of the “Fragile” package has become a museum and is open year round. This time of year, however, is the perfect time to visit the house. The original house has been decorated to match the sound stages from the movie and tours are given. Overnight stays are also offered.  The Bumpuses’ house next door (for overnight stays), a Museum across the street, and a gift shop are also on site. The House is located in a residential area so be mindful of the neighbors when visiting.

a few blocks away from the House is

West side Market

http://westsidemarket.org

Our Review of The West Side Market

The West Side Market is a nationally known market. The market is a great place to stock up on fresh meat, vegetables, and other goodies for your holiday meals. The site is also a great place to see the history of Cleveland. The citizen of Cleveland have been going to the market for the last 106 years so you know they must be doing something right.