Since its founding in 1901, the Toledo Museum of Art has earned a global reputation for the quality of its collection, its innovative education programs and its architecturally significant campus.
Visitors to the museum are invited to discover the power of art, which is to delight, to inspire, to engage and even to transform viewers of all ages and backgrounds.
At any given time, TMA displays more than 35,000 pieces of artwork, including paintings and sculptures by such art world heavy hitters as van Gogh, Rembrandt, Degas and Picasso.
The works fill the 35-plus galleries, the Sculpture Garden outside and the architecturally praised Glass Pavilion located a stone’s throw across Monroe Street.
Upcoming exhibits/events include:
Through Aug. 9: Radiant Ensemble: Jewelry from the Nancy and Gilbert Levine Collection. This free exhibition celebrates the collection of 18th- and 19th-century jewelry assembled by Nancy and Gilbert Levine, a promised gift to the Toledo Museum of Art. A selection of approximately 140 jewelry ensembles and individual ornaments, some in their original boxes, represent the periods’ eclectic styles notable for their ingenious techniques and imaginative designs.
Through Sept. 6: Prints of Pop II: Sir Eduardo Paolozzi. Sir Eduardo Paolozzi turned ordinary things like magazine clippings, comic strips and consumer products into extraordinary colorful prints. Over 160 works from three of Paolozzi's major portfolios will be displayed.
Through Aug. 30: Monkey Business Exhibition. For centuries, monkeys and apes have fascinated artists from both East and West. The depictions range from serious to humorous, entertaining to thought provoking. On this 150th anniversary year of Charles Darwin’s “On the Origin of Species,” come explore simian symbolism through the ages. Highlights include a cut glass Libbey pitcher with engraved social commentary on Darwin and a mischievous monkey created by Picasso as an illustration for the writings of Comte de Buffon, an 18th century French naturalist who influenced Darwin.
July 10-Aug. 23: 91st Annual Toledo Area Artists Exhibition. For 91 years, the annual Toledo Area Artists exhibition has highlighted the region’s artistic community. The exhibition, with its eclectic array of works, appeals to nearly every taste and offers many of the works for purchase.
July 17-19: Internationally known independent glass artist Mark Matthews (Glass Pavilion). In addition to a glassblowing workshop, the artist will give a public presentation.
Sept. 17-Nov. 29: Chihuly Toledo! (Glass Pavilion) Famed glass artist Dale Chihuly is a favorite of TMA visitors and private collectors across the region. This free exhibition includes rarely seen Chihuly works from the TMA collection and on loan from private holdings.
Oct. 2-Jan. 3, 2010: LitGraphic: The World of the Graphic Novel (Canaday Gallery) Graphic novels (think comic books for grownups) explore topics that range from thought provoking to heart wrenching to risqué. Explore the history, diversity and tremendous popularity of this ever-evolving art form.
Oct. 9-Jan. 31, 2010. Prints of Pop II: The Art of Sir Eduardo Paolozzi. Eduardo Paolozzi, a collector of “ordinary thing,” he had boxes full of old magazines, comic strips, consumer products and advertisements. His life-long obsession supplied him with imagery that he used in his graphic works, where he expanded on themes introduced by the Dada artists in the early years of the 20th century.
Oct. 16-Feb. 7, 2010: Word Play (Canaday Gallery) This fascinating exhibition examines contemporary artists’ use of both text and graphics as means of artistic expression.
The Toledo Museum of Art is located at 2445 Monroe St. at Scottwood Avenue, just off I-75 in Toledo. Hours are Tuesday through Thursday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Friday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The museum is closed Mondays, New Year’s Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.
Admission to the museum and most exhibits is free, though special exhibitions or events may require purchase of a ticket. Call 1-800-644-6862, or visit www.toledomuseum.org.
Kid’s play at the zoo
Imagine a place where kids can do what they do best—play, splash, jump, climb and crawl –a place that’s 100 percent explore-able, where young people can develop a lifelong love of the natural world.
The Toledo Zoo’s new Nature’s Neighborhood, a year-round children’s zoo, gives kids a chance to connect with an amazing array of animals, from goats and guinea pigs to exotic birds, fish and even insects. They’ll also engage in activities that will spark their imaginations and help them learn.
While you’re at the zoo, see the wide variety of frogs, salamanders, Aquatic caecilian, spring creepers and more on display in the “Amazing Amphibians” exhibit in the zoo’s Museum of Science. Because so many amphibians are nocturnal and operate at night, the exhibit is set in a “night-time” ambience.
A baby gibbon named, Quan on exhibit in the Primate Forest, is one of the new arrivals at the zoo for public viewing. Born on Dec. 15 to mother Hue and father Batu, Quan joins 2-year-old brother Jin on exhibit, as weather permits.
The zoo’s amphitheater provides a cozy space to hear great music. The zoo’s free “Music Under the Stars” series begins July 12 and will be offered at 7:30 p.m. each Sunday through July and August. The free Sunday concerts feature the Toledo Symphony performing various themed shows, from Broadway musicals to jazz to patriotic tunes. Before the concert, the zoo’s Beastro Café is open for dinner beginning at 5:30 p.m.
The zoo is open every day except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day, and features special seasonal programs such as the Little Boo at the Zoo and Pumpkin Path at Halloween and the Lights Before Christmas display.
Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Labor Day, then closing time moves to 4 p.m. through April 30. Admission is $11 for adults, $8 for children ages 2-11 and seniors ages 60 and up. Parking is $5 per vehicle in lots off the Anthony Wayne Trail or Broadway, but free in the Trail lot with zoo membership card.
For more info, call 419-385-5721 or visit www.toledozoo.org.
Starlight, star bright…there’s even more fun at twilight at Cedar Point’s “Starlight Experience.” More than 1 million LED lights illuminate the buildings, structures and trees along Frontier Trail from the bridge at Snake River Falls to the Millennium coaster.
Colorful lights will also adorn special floats along the Trail as well as larger-than-life displays of the Peanuts gang. Enjoy the dazzling display through Labor Day weekend (ends Sunday, Sept. 6) when Cedar Point closes at 10 p.m.
And speaking of the Peanuts gang, Cedar Point’s youngest visitors will want to land on Planet Snoopy – a 1.25-acre children’s area that features a mini-tea cup-style ride, miniature train, 4 x 4 trucks, a bouncing tower, spinning balloons, rocket ships and a crazy sub ride. Kids can also enjoy games and special live appearances by the Peanuts characters.
Nearby, near the Kiddy Kingdom, take a break and rest near the new interactive Midway Foundation located on the Main Midway. Watch the water jump and dance as you pass.
Also new this year are two musical programs, “Got Country?” at the Red Garter Saloon and a new piano show at the Palace Theatre in Frontiertown.
Oh, and don’t forget that Cedar Point has more roller coasters and the most rides on its 364-acre peninsula than any amusement park in the United States.
Cedar Point is open daily through Labor Day (Sept. 7), and for extended weekends and frightfully fun HalloWeekends Sept. 13, Sept. 18-20, 25-27, and each weekend in October through Nov. 1.
The adjacent Soak City water park is open May 23 through June 26 and Aug. 2 to Sept. 7 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; June 27 to Aug. 16 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and Aug. 17-23 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
In addition, Cedar Point’s Challenge Park complex features sprint car and grand prix racing, rip cord and skyscraper activities that begin at 11 a.m. and a gold course that opens at 9 a.m. The complex is open through Nov. 1. For hours and ticket prices to the amusement park, Soak City and Challenge Park, call 419-627-2350 or visit www.cedarpoint.com.
Take a drive on the wild side
Free food! A bucket’s load of it!
Now that we have your attention, we should explain that the free food that visitors to the African Safari Wildlife Park get is to feed the animals who will walk up to – and sometimes surround – your vehicle as you drive through the more than 100-acre preserve at 267 Lightner Rd. off SR 2 just outside Port Clinton.
Wild, exotic and some rare and endangered animals from A(lpacas) to Z(ebras) roam the preserve. Visitors can drive-through as many times as they like and additional buckets of food may be purchased. Afterward, park your vehicle and walk through Safari Junction, where you can see educational programs, watch pig races at Pork Chop Downs, and ride a camel or a pony at no additional charge (weight and height restrictions apply; pony ride is between Memorial Day and Labor Day).
Food concessions are available or you can pack a picnic lunch.
Full park operations are in effect now through Sept. 7 (Labor Day weekend). Hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., rain or shine, with the last vehicle admitted at 6 p.m. Extended weekend dates are in effect Sept. 12-13, 19-20, 26-27. From Sept. 8 to Nov. 1, hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with last car admitted at 4 p.m.
Admission prices during the summer season are $17.95 per person for those ages 7 and up and $11.95 for children ages 3-6. Seniors age 62 years and older and military personnel get $3 off the regular admission price (with ID). Off-season rates are $14.95 and $8.95, respectively.
For more info, call 1-800-521-2660 or visit www.africansafariwildlifepark.com.
Drive in, step back in time
It was Tuesday, June 6, 1933 when the first drive-in movie was shown by Richard M. Hollingshead in New Jersey. By January of 1942, drive-In theaters had begun to spread across the U.S.; Ohio led the way with 11.
Take a trip back to the “good old days” and enjoy a flick under the stars with your best girl or guy – or the whole family, for that matter, at the Sundance Kid Drive-In at 4500 Navarre Ave. in Oregon. (One big advantage over the “old days” – nice, clear sound comes into your vehicle by radio signal on FM stereo.)_
The Sundance Kid offers your choice of newly released, family-friendly double features on two different screens for less than the price of one movie at the big screen theaters.
While you’re watching the film, savor a hot dog, hamburger, pizza, popcorn, a drinks or other treat from the concession stand. In addition, Sundance features an outside concession wagon (known as the Butch Cassidy Canteena) that offers a variety of carnival and fairgrounds treats like cotton candy, hand-dipped corn dogs, caramel apple chips, soft-serve ice cream, mini-donuts, funnel cakes and more.
Admission prices are $7.50 per adult and $3 each for children 6-12. (Children ages 5 and under are free.) For current showings or more info, call 419-691-9668.
There are two major public gardens in the Maumee Bay region, giving visitors the chance to see what beautiful gardening can produce.
Bed designs are changed each year at the Schedel Arboretum and Gardens, located just off the Ohio Turnpike at 19255 W. Portage River South Rd. in Elmore.
Nearly 20,000 annuals are planted along with Japanese, water, rose, iris, perennial and other gardens. This year’s plantings include more geraniums, begonias, impatiens and new varieties of lantana, cannas and coleus.
According to assistant director David Halsey, Schedel has added more features to the gardens this year, such as art exhibits in the galleries, sculpture exhibits, various garden seminars and the new Brown Welcome Center.
Schedel Gardens is featuring the works of bronze sculptor Barry Woods Johnston, of Baltimore. In addition, Athena Art Society, founded in 1903 at the Toledo Museum of Art and one of the two oldest women’s professional art organizations in the country, will present a special exhibit in all media through July 12.
The gardens are located on the grounds of the former estate of German immigrant Joseph Schedel and his wife, Marie. The couple moved into the Victorian home in 1934 (it was built in 1888), and lovingly began developing the lush grounds into an arboretum and gardens. The Victorian home houses treasures from the Schedels’ extensive travels, including a Hereke silk prayer rug, antique Persian rugs, teak furniture and Japanese silk embroideries.
Schedel Gardens are open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and noon to 4 p.m. Sundays May through October for self-guided tours of the grounds. The facility is closed Mondays and the three major summer holidays (Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day).
Self-guided tours are $10 for adults, $9 for seniors and AAA members, and $6 for children 6-14 years. Parking is free. Golf carts are available with advance notice for those that are handicapped or elderly; a driver will be assigned for your visit. For group guided tours or more info, call 419-862-3182 or visit www.schedel-gardens.org.
Most Toledoans know that The Toledo Botanical Garden, located 5403 Elmer Dr. off Holland-Sylvania Road, boasts 60 acres of serene landscapes and picturesque gardens that come alive with color and fragrance. Most would be surprised to learn that the TBG houses the world’s largest collection of lithopanes – a three-dimensional porcelain art casting that shows off its colors when illuminated.
Visitors are invited to explore the Artists Village and outdoor sculpture collection and discover unique treasures at the Vintage Gardens Gallery gift shop.
Throughout the year, the garden hosts many cultural events, including annual Jazz in the Garden concerts on Thursdays, this year from July 9 through Aug. 20 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
The Toledo Botanical garden is open year-round during daylight hours. Admission is free and always inspirational. For more info, call 419-536-5566 or visit www.toledogarden.org.
Bird and wildlife watching
Ohio offers some of the best birding sites in the country, particularly along the Lake Erie shoreline. State parks, federal nature preserves, forests and wildlife areas are spectacular locations to view many species of birds including bald eagles, owls, waterfowl and shorebirds.
In April of this year, the mountain bluebird was seen for what is believed to have been the first time in a century in the Toledo area. The sighting truly became a “bluebird of happiness” for birdwatchers, who descended by the hundreds on the area from hundreds of miles away.
The Maumee Bay region’s location along major migratory bird routes between Canada and the South lure birders from near and far. Prime bird-watching locations in the region for year-round enjoyment include:
• Magee Marsh State Wildlife Area and its neighboring Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge in Lucas and Ottawa counties are recognized among the nation’s premier birding destinations. They offer thousands of acres along the western Lake Erie shoreline, and are ideal for viewing the spring migration activities of warblers, tanagers, orioles and grosbeaks. A handicap-accessible boardwalk, the Magee Marsh Bird Trail, winds through marshlands reminiscent of what was once the Great Black Swamp. Birders gather and compare sightings at the Sportsmen’s Migratory Bird Center. Visit www.dnrohio.gov/wildlife/resources/wbirds/birding0404.htm for info.
• Kelleys Island, located just north of Sandusky (east of Toledo), attracts birds from as far north as the Arctic Circle and serves as one of the steppingstones for birds migrating north across Lake Erie to Point Pelee, Canada. A 20-minute ferry ride north across Lake Erie from Marblehead, Ohio, Kelleys Island offers a diverse habitat and 8,000 acres for birders. The island also offers rocky shorelines, pristine beaches, lush forests, fragrant vineyards and historical homes, plus a downtown that offers shopping and entertainment. For more info, visit www.kelleysislandnature.com or contact the Kelleys Island Chamber of Commerce at 419-746-2360.
• The Lake Erie Wing Watch region, located between Oak Harbor and Lorain, is home to more than 300 bird species, including majestic bald eagles, colorful migratory warblers and great blue herons. For more information visit www.lakeeriewingwatch.com or call the Ottawa County Visitors Bureau at 800-441-1271.
• With its scenic wetlands, East Harbor State Park in Ottawa County (north of Sandusky), offers nature enthusiasts an abundance of wildlife to view including ducks, geese, gulls, terns and other migratory waterfowl. For details visit www.dnr.ohio.gov/parks/parks/eastharbor.htm.
• Maumee Bay State Park in Lucas County offers a spectacular two-mile elevated boardwalk through prime birding habitat including swamplands and marsh, as well as an observation tower. The park’s scenic meadows, woods and marshes are teeming with wildlife. Visit www.maumeebaystatepark.org for information on bird sightings, photos and additional information on the park and its surrounding area.
• The nine Toledo Area Metroparks, including Pearson Metropark on Lallendorf Road just north of Navarre Avenue (SR 2) in Oregon, offer a variety of bird and wildlife watching opportunities as well as numerous activities and programs for families
Pearson is the only Metropark east of the Maumee River and offers a Nature Discovery Center, educational programs at Macomber Lodge, walking and cross-country skiing trails, picnic grounds, pedal boats, ball diamonds, picnic areas, sledding, play areas and more.
Most importantly, however, the park has a large swamp forest area that is one of the last remaining stands of the Great Black Swamp that once covered most of Northwest Ohio. For info, call Toledo Area Metroparks, at 419-407-9700.
• The Wood County Park District oversees several park facilities in the county, including Cedar Creeks Preserve, a 42-acre tract located east of Walbridge where Woodville Road (SR 51) crosses Walbridge Road. The park is an excellent example of the former Black Swamp that once covered a large portion of Northwest Ohio. In keeping with the idea of a nature preserve, development of the parcel has been limited to low-impact features, preserving the natural setting of the acreage. Facilities include hiking trails, footbridge, picnic tables, restrooms and an information kiosk.
William Henry Harrison Park, a 22-acre park located at 644 Bierley Ave. (Pemberville Road), just south of Pemberville, features a large multi-purpose playfield, children’s playground, paved circular drive for rollerblading, hiking trails, Portage River fishing and more. Visit www.woodcountyparkdistrict.org or call 800-321-1897 for info.
The Sandusky County Park District also oversees several facilities in the county, including:
• White Star Park, located south of Gibsonburg on SR 300, has a quarry up to 40 feet deep that is used by scuba divers throughout the region as well as for non-power boating and fishing; a beach with changing rooms and a concession stand, and a campground located across from the park’s main entrance that has electric and water hookups and primitive campsites on a reservation basis.
In addition, the park offers picnic tables, grills, well water, restrooms, volleyball courts, horseshoe pits, playfield, nature trails, mountain bike trails, shelters, day camp area and more.
For more information about White Star Park or other parks in the Sandusky County Park District, call 419-334-4495 or 1-888-200-5577. White Star Park scuba concession information is available through Quarry Divers, Inc. at 419-637-7911.
Where to eat
There are many great places to eat in the Maumee Bay area – in fact too many to name here. Lots of them offer specialties assembled from ethnic recipes handed down for generations or dishes are assembled from the region’s farms and waters, particularly walleye and other fresh fish.
Tony Packo’s Restaurant is located on Consaul Street at Front Street in Toledo’s Birmingham neighborhood, just off I-280. Packo’s is most famous for its Hungarian-style hot dogs with chili, cheese and other ingredients that can have a kick to them.
The restaurant became famous after Toledo actor Jamie Farr had food shipped from the restaurant during an episode on the popular TV situation comedy M*A*S*H. The restaurant is also known for its signed hot dog buns, a tradition that began with Burt Reynolds and has included other movie stars, celebrities and even U.S. Presidents.
In addition to the flagship eatery, Packo’s has expanded to include a location across from Fifth Third Field, home of the Mud Hens (Packo’s at the Park), and in some Anderson’s stores in the Toledo area.
A few miles away from Packo’s at International Park in East Toledo is The Docks restaurant complex, which features a several restaurants, including Cousino’s Navy Bistro, Eileen’s Wine Bar, Tango’s Mexican Cantina, Zia’s Italian, Real Seafood and Dockside Grille. All offer a spectacular view of the Maumee River and the downtown skyline.
Outside the Docks complex along the river, the city of Toledo has a riverwalk that extends from a boat basin near the entrance of International Park to the S.S. Willis B. Boyer Museum Ship, a restored Great Lakes freighter open for public tours. Formerly known as the Col. James M. Schoonmaker, the Boyer was the largest and most well endowed ship of its time when it was built in 1911. The vessel now operates as a floating museum. For hours of operation and admission, visit www.willisbboyer.org or 419-936-3070.
Across the river on the downtown Toledo side, visitors and area residents – particularly schoolchildren or adults with children celebrating birthday parties – like to take a cruise along the Maumee on the Sandpiper Canal Boat, a replica of a flat-bottomed canal boat that offers lunch and dinner cruises, private charters and special event cruises. The 100-passenger Sandpiper operates from May through October, departing from its dock at the foot of Jefferson Street in Promenade Park on the downtown side of the river. Special cruises, including Sunset & City Lights, Discover the River, Fall Color and Boo cruises are available. For cruise times, fares, and info, call 419-537-1212 or visit www.sandpiperboat.com.
History in the round
The smiles of children and their families as they enjoy the carousel ride and the oompah soundtrack of the circa 1924 Wurlitzer band organ are what the people behind the Merry-Go-Round Museum in Sandusky live for.
Located in the former U.S. Post Office on US 6 at 301 Jackson St. at Washington Streets near the city square in Sandusky, the museum celebrates the history of carousels, the carvers who made the intricate horses and other animals, and enthusiasts who enjoy them. There are only about 200 original wooden carousels remaining in the U.S. today. The stone museum, which has a half-rotunda at the front and is listed with the National Register of Historic Places, features a restored 1939 Allen Herschell carousel that offers rides to visitors.
The Herschell carousel, built in North Tonawanda, N.Y., contained no original animals when it was acquired by the museum in 1991. The frame was cleaned and refurbished, the scenery panels were repainted and the platform was replaced with a new one. The museum used county or country fair-style animal characters from its collection, animals on loan from private collectors, and recent carvings to restore the carousel.
More than 500 hours of hand carving go into a carousel animal before it is ready for painting. Merry-Go-Round Museum volunteers create at least one new animal each year to demonstrate the process to visitors to the museum and as a fundraiser.
On July 11, the Car Coddlers of Ohio will gather outside the museum for a classic car show from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The museum will offer free admission and $1 carousel rides.
For the Toast of Ohio Wine Festival Aug. 15 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., the Merry-Go-Round Museum will provide free children’s activities. The museum is a co-benefactor of the fundraiser festival.
More than 20 woodcarvers will demonstrate their skills Sept. 12 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free with $1 carousel rides all day.
The museum is open Wednesday through Sunday. Admission is $5 per adult, $4 for seniors age 60 and $3 for children ages 4-14. Children ages 3 and under are admitted for free. For hours or more info, call 419-626-6111 or visit www.merrygoroundmuseum.org.
Land down under
When folks in the Maumee Bay area talk about going down under, they may not necessarily be talking about Australia.
They could be talking about a visit to Seneca Caverns, located off SR 269 about four miles south of Bellevue. One of Ohio’s largest underground caverns and a registered state natural landmark, the caverns are marking their 76th year since first opening to the public on May 14, 1933.
The caverns look a lot like they did when they were first discovered by two young boys in June 1872 when their dog disappeared while chasing a rabbit near a brush pile. The boys followed and soon fell down to the same first level of the cave where their dog had landed. They managed to climb out and soon alerted others to the cave.
In 1931, Don Bell accompanied the owner of the property into the cave and discovered other passageways not previously known to exist, including one that led to an underground river created by the water table.
Two years later, after installation of handrails and other improvements designed to make things safe for visitors, Seneca Caverns opened to the public.
Today, visitors can take a one-hour guided tour 110 feet underground through seven levels or rooms – the largest 250 feet in length. They can also view “Ole Mist’ry River.” During the summer months, tours depart every 20 minutes. Comfortable shoes and a light jacket are recommended for visitors as the temperature in the caverns remains a constant 54 degrees.
The caverns are open daily through Labor Day from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. During September (after Labor Day) through mid-October, they’re open weekends only from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m..
For ticket prices or other info, call 419-483-6711 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
To enter the Prehistoric Forest and Mystery Hill Family Fun Center on SR 163 in Marblehead, you pass through a volcano, walking under a thundering 35-foot waterfall where a serpent defends his lair.
Proceeding on into the 10 acres of natural forest, you soon encounter T-Tex, triceratops, a Mastodon and other lifelike dinosaurs and prehistoric animals that used to roam the area. A path through the woods is paved and information boards give history on each of the dinosaurs.
Visitors will also encounter “”Mystery Hill,” where a ball won’t roll down hill and water flows uphill. Even more bizarre, there is an area on the hill where the ground levels, yet most people will notice their height changing.
The attraction also includes a reptile house, an exotic animal house, an arcade, a water wars launch area, a miniature golf course, playground and gift shop.
The park is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend and weekends only in September. To enjoy everything, admission for an adult is $13.95, children ages 4-12 and seniors are $11.95, and children age 3 and under are free.
For more info, call 419-798-5230 or visit www.mysteryhill.com.
The grotto at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Genoa is constructed of “tufa,” fossilized vegetation found in the “blue hole” at Castilia, O. A ground-level statue of a praying Saint Bernadette Souberious looks up admiringly at Our Lady.
The idea for the grotto in Genoa resulted from Archbishop Karl Alter’s visit to the Lourdes Grotto in France in 1932. While at the shrine, the Archbishop promised the Blessed Mother to make Lourdes even better known by constructing a replica of the original Grotto in his own diocese. In 1934, the Bishop chose Our Lady of Lourdes parish in Genoa as the site for the shrine. It was completed and dedicated Sept. 8, 1934 -- the birthday anniversary of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The grounds include a small altar, an adjoining bell tower of tufa, arches and outdoor Stations of the Cross in hand-carved Italian bronze. Our Lady of Lourdes is located at 204 S. Main St. Tour groups are welcome. For info: 419-855-8501.
Sorrowful Mother Shrine, located at 4106 SR 269 in Bellevue, is the oldest place of pilgrimage dedicated to Mary in the Midwest. The grounds hold 40 points of interest including grottos, Sorrowful Mother Chapel, Pieta Outdoor Chapel plus the Stations of the Cross. Public and private pilgrimages are made year round. Cafeteria, picnic area and gift shop available. .
Open dawn to dusk. Masses are held at 11 a.m. weekdays, Saturdays at 4 p.m., and Sundays at 9 and 11 a.m. Confessions available half hour before all Masses. Call 419-483-3435 or visit www.sorrowfulmothershrine.com.
Our Lady of Toledo Shrine, 655 S. Coy Rd., Oregon features a garden and well that are open during daylight hours. The chapel is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. A daily rosary and prayer service are held at 2 p.m. in the chapel. For more info on this and other shrine activities, call 1-888-791-0990 or visit www.protect-life.org.
The Queen of the Most Holy Rosary Cathedral, 2535 Collingwood Blvd. Toledo, is the only Plateresque (architectural style of 16th century Spain) cathedral in the world. It features layers of paintings and frescos of saints and angels reaching to the ceiling, a magnificent stained glass rose window and mosaic altars. The cathedral, which is the seat of the Catholic Church for the Diocese of Toledo, has ornate statues and carvings on both the inside and out. For more info, call 419-244-9575.