12 days of Holiday Activities 2018 – Day #3

Ohio Statehouse Holiday Festival and Tree Lighting:

December 6, 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM

This year’s holiday festivities at the Ohio Statehouse open with the annual tree lighting on December 6th. The festival will include Carolers, local mascots, historical characters, dignitaries, and even Santa himself. The event is free.

Through out the rest of the season there will be weekday lunchtime choir concerts in the Museum Gallery in the basement of the Statehouse. In the past the performances have included local groups and high school choirs from around the state. As always the concerts are free and open to the public.

Summer Time in Ohio

As the weather warms we prepare for the changing of the season. Like the rain watering the flowers the warmer weather makes Ohio’s outdoor options grow. Ohio does not disappoint in the summer.

We have big plans for this Summer. We are excited to visit some more sports teams, see the new stuff at The Ohio History Center, goto a Drive in, and see a bunch of different roadside attractions along the way. So stay tuned over the next few months for a flurry of posts and reviews about the great state of Ohio.

Want to see the state, plan a trip with the help of Ohio’s tourism board or other helpful sites. Or just use our suggestions (click for more info):

Goto an Amusement Park:
Kings Island
Cedar Point
Coney Island
Zoombezi Bay

See a Show:
Fraze Pavilion
Blossom Center for the Performing Arts
Riverbend Music Center
Express Live – Columbus
Toledo Zoo Ampitherater

See a game:
Dayton Dragons (the hardest seats to get in pro sports)
Cleveland Indians
Columbus Crew
Columbus Clippers
Cincinnati Reds
Toledo MudHens
Akron Rubber Ducks
Lake County Captains

Goto a Zoo:
Columbus Zoo
Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
The Toledo Zoo

Go to a park:
Ohio State Parks
National Parks in Ohio

Goto a Festival:
Ohio Festivals – a crazy good list of them.

Goto a Museum:
Cleveland History Center (formerly Wester Reserve Historical)
Cincinnati Museum Center
Toledo Museum of Art 
Dayton Art Institute

Go for a Drive:
Ohio Roadtrips

While we hope this gave you some great ideas for the summer, this is just a small portion of things to do in Ohio.




La Comedia Dinner Theatre

765 W Central Ave, Springboro, OH 45066

La Comedia Dinner Theatre is located in Springboro, OH. It is a dinner theatre and much more. La Comedia has been putting on shows since the 1970’s, so they have perfected the dinner and theatre idea. The theater normally puts on about six Broadway type shows along with many concerts. The shows range from newer musicals to classic favorites. Many of the actors who star in shows are locals, but many also are from New York. The productions try to have the best cast available. Each year the good part is that La Comedia puts on some classic Broadway musicals that older audience will remember. They also put on newer shows and kids classics. The season generally has something for anybody looking for family friendly entertainment.

La Comedia has a good sound system so the actors can always be heard and the dancing is normally really good. The stage is floor level and the audience sits on many sides, so the action of the play or musical is up close. The seating is the dinner tables, which are on levels rising about 4 feet up each row giving a good view to each person attending.

The real star of La Comedia is not the show itself, but the food. Nights start with the house signature salad with the Papaya Chutney Dressing. This dressing is a very good compliment to any salad. The evening continues with a wonderful buffet. The buffet has chef-carved meats, a variety of pastas and fresh vegetables, fresh-baked breads, some deep fried cod, and their famous sweet potato soufflé.  The buffet also normally has some dishes that go along with the theme of the show, so coming back for a new show one gets something different. Each show also has a different desert. The desert is delivered to the table after the buffet is over. The nice thing about the buffet experience is guest who arrive early are allowed to the buffet first. This is not only a nicety, but also keeps the buffet line short.

La Comedia is a great place to see a show and get a meal. One should arrive early and dress appropriately. La Comedia will leave you will a full stomach and good times, not to mention a head full of show tunes.

Blossom Center for the Performing Arts and Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

Blossom –

Cuyahoga Valley National Park –

Blossom Center for the Performing Arts is located in Cuyahoga Falls outside of Cleveland. It is an outdoor amphitheater that hosts concerts and is the summer home of the Cleveland Orchestra. Blossom’s pavilion section seats 5,700 people, with space for about 13,500 more on the lawn.  Blossom is a great place to see the orchestra and more upscale productions, but has does not always receive favorable reviews for rock concerts. The are many options to what to see at the Blossom, so one should go to the Blossom first before deciding the place is a waste of time. The best seats are under the pavilion (no worries about rain), but expect to pay more than a lawn seat.

The Blossom Music Center for the Performing Arts is located inside Cuyahoga Valley National Park. This park was first established as a national recreation area in 1974 by President Ford and designated a national park on October 11, 2000. The park was established because many people in the area wanted to prevent urban sprawl from taking over the land.

There are many things to do inside the park. Some of them include backpacking, bicycling, bird watching, camping, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, golfing, picnicking, horseback riding, train riding, and winter sports.  There are also Ranger led events all year long. Now this is something for everyone.

Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad operates 12 months a year and offers transportation in the park. This is a great way to not have to drive in parts of the park. One wanting to ride the railroad should first visit This will give a good idea of prices and where to board the train. The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad operates outside of the park also, so definitely visit their site to figure out which city to board in so you are on the right train trip that goes through the park.

The first thing that comes to mind when thinking of a national park is hiking and Cuyahoga does not let down. Cuyahoga has over 125 miles of hiking trails. A portion of Ohio’s Buckeye Trail also passes through the park. There is a trail for everyone at the park. One trail of mention is the Towpath Trail. The Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail is nearly level and accessible to all visitors. The trail follows the historic route of the Ohio & Erie Canal.  You can walk or bike on what used to have mule pulled canal boats on it.

The park offers campsites and even offers a small bed and breakfast. The park is also located between Cleveland and Akron Ohio, so those two cities also have hotels and so do many of the cities in between. Lodging in or around the park is not a problem.

One can spend the day hiking then seeing a concert at Blossom Music Center. The Blossom Center for the Performing Arts and Cuyahoga Valley National Park are two great places in Northeast Ohio not to be missed.

Riverbend Music Center

6295 Kellogg Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45230

Riverbend Music Center is a great outdoor Pavilion. It is a cool place to see your favorite act.  And, yes, they probably will get them. They get everybody.

Located by the Ohio River (on a bend in the river), it is next door to Coney Island amusement Park and Riverdowns Race Track. This makes for a large open area for the pavilion. The Main stage is like most large outdoor theaters with a covered seat section and a lawn section. The lawn section is not as big as some and does not seem to have as great a view as other locations. The seats however are good. They all seem to have a nice view of the stage with plenty of leg room and drink holders to protect ones drinks. Getting to a seat is not much of a problem either with many entrances and exits and no walls to block passage.  The PNC stage is the same as the larger one with no lawn seats in back but a pit in front.

The amenities of Riverbend are many and well located. From the Drink stations to the bathrooms one will not have too much of a wait even at sold out events. The staff is friendly and available to help with any problems. Overall the River Bend Music Center is a great place to see a show.

Fraze Pavilion

695 Lincoln Park Boulevard, Kettering, Ohio 45429

The Fraze Pavilion was built in 1991 and each summer since it has provided Southwestern Ohio with a fine lineup of artists (regional, national, and international) and festivals.  Going to the Fraze is an experience one is not soon to forget. It might be due to the intimate seating, quality of acts performing, or outdoor setting. The Fraze Pavilion is located in the suburban town of Kettering, Ohio.

The Fraze has four seating options (in order for closeness to stage) plaza, orchestra, lawn, and terrace. Plaza seats are close to the stage, but are folding chairs. Orchestra seats are your typical stadium seats. Lawn seats are just that a lawn. No chairs are allowed on the lawn only blankets and rented seat backs. Terrace seats are bleacher seats you would find at any park. The best seats are the orchestra seats. They give the person watching the concert the most comfortable choice and are just far enough from the stage to really enjoy the show.  Spend the extra on these sets, it is worth it. If you have a family or a big group of friends then the lawn could be a great experience.

If one wants to see his or her favorite show during the summer, the best suggestion is to go to the Fraze website and sign up for the e-newsletter. Many of the Fraze concerts sell out quickly. Some shows even sell out within a few hours after tickets go on sale. It is best to buy tickets early.

The Fraze does have concession stands and boxed lunches. The prices are what you would expect at any concert. The Fraze does not allow outside food into the pavilion.

Fraze concerts and shows happen rain or shine. No umbrellas are allowed, so if it looks like rain bring rain gear. Those Ohio summer showers will quickly come and go. The show will go on.

If one is looking for a low cost way to come to the Fraze, they offer $2 Tuesdays one Tuesday each month featuring regional artists, and $5 Fridays each month during the summer with some great artists appearing. The Fraze also offers lots of free festivals.

Come early parking fills up fast around the pavilion. More parking is available at the high school across the street, but there is a walk.

If one has never been in the warm summer air attending a live concert, then the Fraze is the perfect place to attend your first outdoor concert. The Fraze’s quality of live performance, willingness of staff, and outdoor setting will keep one coming back summer after summer.