scenic

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.

Advertisements

12 days of Holiday Activities 2018 – Day #2

Zoo Lights

Our Review.

Ohio Zoo’s are world class. At the holidays they do not disappoint. They are annually some of the best lights in the nation. This year the lights are again in the running for Best Zoo Lights from the 10best at USA TODAY.

PNC Festival of Lights 
Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens
http://cincinnatizoo.org/events/festival-of-lights/

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 Cincinnati Zoo was #1 in 2015 and #8 in 2017. How will they do this year?
To vote for them as the best: https://www.10best.com/awards/travel/best-zoo-lights-2018/pnc-festival-of-lights-at-the-cincinnati-zoo-cincinnati/

WildLights
Columbus Zoo

https://www.columbuszoo.org/home/visit/plan-your-visit/event-calendar

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 Columbus Zoo was #5 in 2015 and #7 in 2016. Can they break the top 5 this year?

To vote for them as the Best : https://www.10best.com/awards/travel/best-zoo-lights-2018/wildlights-at-the-columbus-zoo-columbus-ohio/

 

Toledo Zoo Lights Before Christmas
Toledo Zoo
https://www.toledozoo.org/lights

The Toledo Zoo has carolers, lights, and more lights. This year the historic tunnel will make its renovated reopening at the lights. The Cafe will once again be used as a backdrop for a dazzling lights show and the winter village will return.

The Toledo Zoo was #2 in 2015, #1 in 2016 and 2017. Will it make this a 3rd year in a row?

To vote for them as the best: https://www.10best.com/awards/travel/best-zoo-lights-2018/lights-before-christmas-at-the-toledo-zoo-toledo-ohio/

Cincinnati Observatory

3489 Observatory Place, Cincinnati, Ohio 45208

https://www.cincinnatiobservatory.org

We went to the Cincinnati Observatory on a sunny weekday afternoon, probably not the best day to go to an observatory, but we did get a laid back uncrowded personal experience. The Cincinnati Observatory is located on top of the hills of Mt. Lookout in Cincinnati. This Observatory is the oldest, still in use, in the United States. The observatory consists of two buildings. The two buildings house the main 11-inch Merz and Mahler refractor and the 16-inch Alvan Clark and Sons refactor. We visited the main building that house the 16-inch Clark telescope. The building was designed by the famous architect Samuel Hannaford. One can visit this observatory most afternoons during weekdays. These afternoons are reservation free.  There are many special events and astronomy nights on Thursdays and Fridays. These are the nights to look through the telescopes. There are also events on the weekends. Check out their website for these events and to make reservations.

The main building has a rotunda and two levels. The first level is a museum type of room. One can walk around the room at their leisure and look at the astronomy related artifacts. There are also daily tours (small cost) of both buildings. We did not take the tour, but lucked out and had a sort-of  guide tour of the Clark telescope. After finishing on the first floor, one can go to the second floor and look at the telescope. When we visited the friendly and knowledgeable staff gave us a tour of the telescope. Not sure if this is standard practice, but it was much appreciated. 

This museum/observatory does not take long to visit, but is packed with many interesting artifacts. It would be good to visit the telescope during the day, then return for one of the night time viewing. This would be a great place for kids, because it is highly education and just long enough to keep their attention. Kids would probably really enjoy the night time viewings. The place is not hard to find and access or out of the way. One major tip is to visit their website to find out about special events and open hours. A visit to the observatory can easily be added to a visit to another great Cincinnati attraction.

A day or night visit to the Cincinnati observatory is well worth it, even if you have little interest in astronomy or space.

 

Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park and Museum

https://www.pyramidhill.org

Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park and Museum is a 300 plus acre outdoor sculpture park in Hamilton. The park is open all year and can be experienced differently during each season. There are many special events during the year and at times the park can be busy. The holiday lights, for example, are a very popular event.

This park was started by Harry T. Wilks, a philanthropist who was big in the Hamilton community. He purchased the land to build his home. Over the years he added sculptures, hiking trails, roads, and small lakes. Soon he also started purchasing the land next to his property. Wilks was a big donor too local arts and education organizations. In 1997 he created a nonprofit to protect the park from private developers who might break up the land and spoil the beauty.

The park is open during the daylight hours and the museum is open in the afternoons. It does cost to visit the park. One can stop at the front gate or visitor’s center to pay for entrance.  Using the map provided one can travel by car throughout the park seeing all the sculptures. This is the low activity way to see it. The medium activity level way is to drive around, park at the many parking lots, and then walk around. The higher activity level way is to park at one of the lots and walk the nature trails and road around the park. This park is accessible to just about anyone. The park also does rent Art Carts (golf carts) to tour the park. The length of time it takes to see the whole park depends on the mode of transportation and activity level. What is nice is the park can be done in a long or short amount of time.

What one will see when touring the park is over 60 modern outdoor sculptures. These are very large sculptures. Some are colorful and some are made of natural materials. Each one is impressive. Even if modern art is not to your liking, it is nice to see them and explore them from all angles. Each different side is like seeing a new piece of artwork.

The park houses an Ancient Sculpture Museum. The museum is open in the afternoons and included in the cost of admission. This museum house many ancient sculptures from Greek, Roman, Etruscan, Syrian and Egyptian cultures. If you’re a first timer to the park, a timing to stop at the museum is a must.

It must be mentioned, that the park can also be reserved for events and weddings. There are event venues throughout the park. The gardens are so popular that most good weather weekends have an event going on. From Butler Philharmonic concerts to fishing derbies to food festivals there is something for everyone.

No matter your ability level, this park will have something to see. So spend an afternoon this year visiting this park, you will not be disappointed.

Fort Ancient

6123 St. Rt. 350, Oregonia, Ohio 45054

http://www.fortancient.org/

Fort Ancient is a museum and grounds representing the Native American cultures which once inhabited the area. It contains a museum and surrounding grounds with trails to explore the ancient site.

The history of the area is long and complicated. The first people to build a village at the site were the Hopewell people. They were a mound building society, which they inherited from the Adena. Some of the best examples of this are at Hopewell Culture National Historic Park. The Hopewell Culture only lasted until the 500’s. About 500 years later people of the Fort Ancient culture took over the site and used the area until the arrival of Europeans. It is because of the walls and mounds on the site that the first archaeologist to study the area thought that the recent inhabitants had used it as a fort. Only recently has it be understood that the walls and the later village were from separate unrelated cultures.

img_0386

The museum offers 9,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space. There are exhibits on the first Ohioans, how they used the land, their first contact with the Europeans, and the conflict which ensued. There is also a prehistoric garden, showing all the crops that would have been grown during the time. There are lots of hands on exhibits too.

Fort Ancient is not just a museum but also a great outdoor space. It is the largest outdoor historic site of its kind in the country. There are 2.5 miles of walking trails. These trails allow one to see the historic mounds and also the surrounding countryside.  There are two overlooks that give a great view. The trails are easily accessed from parking lots throughout. The park is nice because what is learned at museum can be experienced in the natural setting. The maps and dioramas in the museums show off where everything used to be, so seeing this outside really adds to the overall experience.

As one of the best museums in the state for the history of the area before the influx of Europeans, Fort Ancient is a must see for an Ohio History buff.

Tip: Fort Ancient is worth a visit on its own, but is also part of the Ohio History Connection and is free with Membership

 

CRYPTOZOHIO: Cemeteries

Cryptozohio - Stories from the Depths

Ever since Settlers have been moving into Ohio they have had a need to take care of their dead. The most popular option has been to bury them in local cemeteries. As the cemeteries filled up stories of strange happenings have been told. These are just a few of the more popular ones from Ohio’s  most well know cemeteries.

DO NOT GO INTO A CEMETERY UNLESS ALLOWED! As with all cemeteries respect for the past, present, and future is required. If you want to go at night take a tour.

Cincinnati’s Spring Grove:
One of the United State’s largest cemeteries with over 700 acres of land. This along with the other of Ohio’s large rural garden cemeteries is a great place to walk around. But be careful, this place is said to be haunted. One such story is of a bust in section 100 that is said to have human eyes follow visitors as they pass. The Deter memorial is said to visited by to glowing white dogs. Other stories include the groundskeepers seeing hand and fingers sticking out of the ground as they mow.

Cleveland’s Lakeview Cemetery:
With a president, one of the riches men ever, and the untouchable man who helped bring down Al Capone, the history of Lakeview is everywhere. James Garfield  was shot only four months after his inauguration as America’s 20th president. It took over two months for him to succumb, not to the bullet, but to the poor care he was given by his doctors. At the time people commented that he had  already left his body and gone wandering around at times. Even after his burial this is said to be the case. The cemetery also houses it share of Weeping Angles and moving statues. The most famous is “The Angel of Death Victorious.” The Collinwood Memorial, where 10 unknown children from the Collinwood school fire are buried, is also located here. Probably the most eerie stories from the place are that of the moving tombstones.

Columbus’s Green Lawn Cemetery:
Home to many famous Ohioans, and not just politicians. The most famous haunted site in the 360 acre grounds is Hayden Mausoleum. A knock on its doors is said to be returned, or even more, by one of its residents. James Snook, Olympic medal pistol shooter, and murderer haunts the grounds.

Dayton’s Woodland Cemetery:
Most of the cities most famous residents are buried here. From the Wright brothers to James Ritty the names just seem to pop up around every corner. So do the less famous and more infamous. Some even say the residence themselves seem to pop up. The most famous is that of Johnny Morehouse. Morehouse was a boy who drown in the local canal. His dog tried to save him but was too late. For several days the dog was said to watch over the boys grave site. Since then the dog has been said to return to watch over the site from time to time. The cemetery also houses a lady in white ghost who is said to haunt the tops of the hill near her grave. A more modern teen girl is also said to inhabit the hillsides. Victims of Jack the Strangler , The Cincinnati Ripper, and many who made their own victims all rest uneasily throughout the grounds. The electric chair is responsible for quite a few of the graves, even as the story goes, one who helped to build it.

Meanwhile at the Hall of Justice: An update on Cincinnati Museum Center and Union Terminal

In 2014 the citizens of Hamilton County voted to increase the sales tax of their county to pay for a restoration of the historic Union Terminal. Due to the the work that needs to be done on the building Cincinnati Museum Center’s two history museums will be closed during the process. The Duke Energy Children’s Museum and Special Exhibits should remain open during construction.

The construction is expected to take up to two years and be completed around Nov of 2018.

For more information visit the website of Cincinnati Museum Center

Here are a few pictures of what the museum looked like before the renovation.

 

Ohio Oddities

There are some documentaries and television shows about roadside attractions. We watched these shows and thought about what Ohio has to offer. We were looking for places that one could go to and look around for a few minutes. Free was and is best. We wanted places that were monuments, art, or created by a unique individual. We wanted something you would not find everyday.

Here is our review of a few of these type of places. Each review will be short and the addresses given are the ones we used, but you should always check out directions for yourself and not use us solely.

 

Field of Corn

4995 Rings Rd.

Dublin, Ohio

Yes, a field of corn in Ohio. Well, kind of.

IMG_0129

This is an art instillation in the city of Dublin. You will find over 100 ears of corn made of concrete. The corn is in rows. The ears are large scale and so is the spaces between each of the ears. This is a fairly easy attraction to get to, not really out of your way. This art instillation is part tribute and part fun. Not sure if residents feel the same way, but this is fun site to see.

 

 

Chief Leatherlips Monument

7377 Riverside Dr, Dublin, Ohio

IMG_0130

This one is also in Dublin. It is in a city park called Scioto Park. The monument is 12 foot and made of limestone. You can walk around the sculpture and even on top of it. The sculpture is nestled into the hillside. This alone is worth going to but the park, with its river access and great scenery makes it a great place to go. Easy to get to.

 

 

 

 

Longaberger Basket Company Building

1500 East Main St., Newark, OH

IMG_0134
This one is kind of famous. A large building made to look like a basket. This building was the headquarters of Longaberger Basket Company. It has since been announced that the headquarters moved. You can still easily see the building. This would be one site to see before because it could one day be gone. We hope not, as it a great attraction. You can easily get to this building and pictures are a must. Hard to miss an almost 10 story tall basket on the side of a highway.

Repost: Free Summer Fun in Ohio Series

Post #5

Ceasar Creek

20 04 2009

Rating: ****

Link: http://caesarcreekstatepark.com/

Quick Review: A nice lake with good hiking trails.

Cesar Creek is one of Ohio’s many state parks. It is half lake, half trails. 43 miles of trails make it a great place to hike. With 2,830 acres of water and no horsepower limit on your boat it is a fun place to be on the water.

Hiking in the park, as with most southwestern Ohio parks, is mostly through two distinct environments. Meadow, or Prairie, hiking at the park is nice but not as well maintained as some of the other parks. This is not a bad thing however, allowing for great views of plant succession. Forest hiking is great with many of the trails following the lake. The deeper parts of the forest are not as old growth how ever.

The lake itself is an awesome place to go to boat or even swim. With a decent beach front and multiple boat ramps the park offers many opportunities to get wet. Watch out though many people means many problems. However avoid the weekend rush and the park can be one of the best places to go locally.

A good place to start any visit to the park is the welcome center. With displays on the history of the park and region and even movies to watch it is a nice place to begin. Have a question? Ask a park ranger there. They enjoy helping. Don’t know what trail to take? The park rangers will know what the best one is for the season.

Also located on the premises is a “Pioneer Village.” This is more of just an outcropping of old building than a real “Village.” Having not gone when the village has its historical actors working I can not comment on how well they do, but I can say that it is busy when festivals are held so they must be popular.

Quick tip: Ask a park ranger!

Repost: Free Summer Fun in Ohio Series

post #4

US Route 35 (Ohio portion)

15 05 2009

Rating: ***

Link:

Quick Review: A scenic view of southern Ohio. A great view of the hills.

Running form Indiana in the west to West Virgina in the east this is one of the most scenic roads Ohio has to offer.  Offering many historic landmarks and attraction along the way this is one drive not to miss.

Starting in West Virgina and traveling west one first notices the many hills and dlaes the area has to offer. This is the great thing about the road. It changes with the landscape of southern Ohio. While in the hills one will start to see the land level out and many farms pop up.

The city of Rio Grande is home to one of these farms. Named after it’s famous owner the Bob Evans farm is home to the original Bob Evans and the Bob Evans Museum. All though the food is great, it has become a little to copperate to capture the feel of being “Down on the farm.”

After a few more miles one will arrive in Chillicothe, Ohio’s first Capital. This is a historic area with Adena Mansion and Techumseua Outdoor Drama. A small but not to be missed place. After this however the road becomes a little baren until you hit Jeffersonville Outlet malls and the start of the Dayton-Xenia metro area.

Xenia is home to many great places. Just be carefull of stormy weather as the town has a history of tornadoes. Dayton is Ohio’s 4th largest city (58th largest in the nation) and has a limitless wealth of things to do. Travelling further down the road one comes to the more inhabited side of the road.

After having left the country side of Eastern Ohio the road starts to get to be a little harder to follow. Winding through Trotwood and towards Eaton it makes many a turn. Enjoy the small midwest feel as you pass the small villages that dot this side of Ohio.

Eaton is a small county seat with very little to see along the road. To truly enjoy this part of Ohio one must travel more off the beaten path. Eaton, Camden and Greenville are a journey unto themselves.

Finally the road ends up meeting I-70 and going into Indiana. This is the site of the famous “Welcome to Ohio” archway and the end of the journey along one of Ohio’s most scenic  routes.