Author: RandomOhio

Opening Day in the MLB

For the past 142 (well 141 but who’s counting) one team has not heard the words home opening game. They have not had to. Every season they have opened at home and the home opener was just called Opening Day of Major League Baseball. It might be because they were the first Professional Team. It might be because of their location. It might be because they almost sell out every time. It might be because they are the Cincinnati Reds.

Why Cincinnati?

The Reds started out as the first openly professional team in 1866, just one year after the Civil War. Baseball was in it infancy at the time and over the next 16 years many changes came. In 1876 the team started playing in the newly formed National league. Over the next few years the team moved to a new league, but by 1890 the team had rejoined the National League for good and baseball was on its way to becoming a great american pastime.

Cincinnati was the southern most city in the league. With harsh winters and less experienced grounds keepers, other teams were happy to visit the “warm” city. Before tv, radio, or movies baseball and other live events were some of the only form of entertainment around. This meant that the Reds opening game was almost always a sellout. With a cut of the sellout profits and a better climate visiting teams decided to keep playing in the Queen city on the first day of the season. Be it tradition or an homage to the fact they were the first pro team, the Reds have opened the season at home on the first day of play ever since.

The fanfare and the Parade

At the turn of the 19th century Baseball, like most early years of a sport, had not formed the single major league they are now. The National League was competing with the American Association. To stand out the teams promoted Opening day more and more. If  fan was a fan of your team, the thought went, they would stay all season. To promote the game Cincinnati drove both the Reds, the visiting team, and a marching band down the streets to the field hyping the upcoming game along the way. This lasted until 1902 when the team stopped their parade. The fans decided to continue on their own.

For the next 2 decades local groups, known as rooters, would meet and march towards the game, promoting both the game and themselves along the way. in 1920 Findlay Market joined in on the fun, becoming one of the loudest and largest of them all. After a while the rooter groups stopped marching towards the game. The tradition faded. The only one left marching was the Findlay Market group.  Being the largest of them all changed the event from a tailgate fan event to a full fledge parade, albeit a small one.

Eventually the Ball park they were marching too moved downtown and the parade route took on a new direction and scope. What had once been a group of shop owners heading toward the park nearby became the citywide holiday event that many in Major League Baseball have come to recognize as the start of the season nationwide.

Alas due to a change in the schedule of MLB, and the date of Easter, the 2018 parade will not happen until the 4th game. 


An update on whats coming up?

During this long winter we at Randomohio Reviews have talked about the great state of Ohio and all it has to offer. We also reviewed a lot of the places we went to this Fall. Now as we sit and wait for the spring/summer opening of the tourist season we thought we would like to update you on a few things we are looking forward to:

The opening of Cedar Point and the Steel Vengeance – The old Mean Streak wooden coaster has been transformed in the the modern Steel Vengeance. The Ride video looks intense.

Hiking one of the many many trails across the state including the great (and sometimes to popular) Old Mans Cave trail.

The New Dinosaur Gallery at COSI – The Center of Science and Industry along with the American Natural History Museum have opened a new Dinosaur Gallery inside COSI

The renovations across the Ohio History Connection Museum network – Ohio History Connection has updated and renovated a few museums across their system and we hope to go to a few including the Herrit Becher Stowe House.

Meanwhile at the Hall of Justice  – Construction on Union Terminal in Cincinnati is going strong and The Cincinnati Museum Center is working to get back up and running.

These are just a few of the things we a re looking forward too as Ohio’s Tourism season opens back up. As always stay tuned to see where we go and what we bring you. It’s bound to be a busy season.


Wright-B Flyer

10550 N Springboro Pike,
Miamisburg, OH 45342
Hours Vary Check website for details.

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.

Glendower Mansion

Glendower Mansion
105 Cincinnati Avenue,
Lebanon, Ohio 45036

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.


Gift Basket Ideas from Ohio

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.




  • 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.


Amish Country:



Lights at the Zoos

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.

Columbus Zoo

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.

Toledo Zoo Lights Before Christmas
Toledo Zoo

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.

A Few Good Ohio Book Gift Ideas for fellow Ohio Travelers

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 James Kavanagh 
    • Ohio Trees & Wildflowers: A Folding Pocket Guide to Familiar Plants (A Pocket Naturalist Guide) Pamphlet by James Kavanagh
    • 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 KavanaghWaterford 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 Curt Dalton 
    • Secret Cleveland: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful and Obscure by Deb Thompson ,‎ Tonya Prater 
  • Anything by Niel Zurcher:
    • Neil Zurcher – All his books seem to be about the great Ohio road trip