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Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

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Toledo Museum of Art & Glass Pavilion
Experience one of the finest and most diverse collections of artwork in the country at the Toledo Museum of Art. Discover treasures ranging from ancient Egypt to contemporary art, including glass, sculpture, European and American painting, African and Asian art, graphic arts and decorative arts.

Other highlights include the Sculpture Garden outside and the architecturally renowned Glass Pavilion, located across Monroe Street. The museum offers a number of temporary exhibitions each year, along many free programs including glass demonstrations, guided tours, weekly “It’s Friday” after-hours programming, hands-on children’s activities in the Family Center, and more. While you’re there, dine in the Museum Café and shop in the Museum Store and Collector’s Corner.

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. Closed Mondays, New Year’s Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.

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Admission to the museum and most exhibits is free, though special exhibitions or events may require purchase of a ticket.
2445 Monroe St., Toledo
419-255-8000 or 800-644-6862, www.toledomuseum.org

Toledo Zoo
The Toledo Zoo is recognized as one of the world’s most complete zoos, and one of the region’s top family destinations. It boasts over 6,000 mammals, fish, reptiles, amphibians, birds and invertebrates representing over 750 species, and innovative exhibits also get you up close to many of your favorites.

Each year, nearly one million people visit the zoo to experience the wonders of the natural world, stroll the scenic grounds and explore the historic WPA-era buildings. Zoo highlights include the Arctic Encounter, the Africa! exhibit, Nature’s Neighborhood children’s area and more.

The Toledo Zoo is known for being at the forefront of many conservation efforts, working to preserve endangered and threatened species--from butterflies and birds to crocodiles and elephants. The zoo participates in dozens of important breeding programs that are helping to ensure a future for some truly amazing species.
2 Hippo Way, Toledo
419-385-4040, www.toledozoo.org


Imagination Station
Ready to experience the unexpected? Explore the exciting? The Imagination Station – Toledo’s hands-on science museum – promises to immerse visitors of every age in a multi-sensory experience that’s as fun as it is educational.  Defy gravity as you ride the High Wire Cycle 20 feet above the atrium; or visit the Learning Worlds designed to focus on a specific science genre – Energy Factory, Mind Zone, Water Works, Little  Kidspace, and more. A number of special exhibits and events are planned throughout the year.
One Discovery Way, Toledo
419-244-2674, www.imaginationstationtoledo.org


Sandpiper Boat
The 100-passenger canal boat replica cruises upriver past elegant estates and yacht clubs or down river toward Lake Erie.

Lunch and dinner cruises, ecological and historical tours and educational field trips are available. Special cruises include Discover the River Cruises, Fall Color Cruises, Sunset and City Lights Cruises and Halloween Boat Rides for Kids.
Jefferson Ave. and North Summit Street, (Promenade Park), Toledo
419-537-1212, www.sandpiperboat.com


Toledo Botanical Garden
Originally consisting of 20 acres donated by George P. Crosby to the City of Toledo, Toledo Botanical Garden now encompasses more than 60 acres of beauty, tranquility and opportunities for exploration and reflection. It is currently a public/private partnership between Metroparks and the non-profit Toledo Botanical Garden Board, Inc. in collaboration with the City of Toledo.

A living museum for plants, Toledo Botanical Garden’s notable gardens include shade,  perennial, English border, aquatic, herb, rose, dahlia and grass, among others.

Special events include the Crosby Festival of the Arts (June 24-26), summertime jazz concerts, and Heralding the Holidays (Dec. 2-4), a seasonal celebration showcasing the numerous resident artistic guilds.
5403 Elmer Dr. Toledo
419-536-5566, www.toledogarden.org


Tony Packo’s Café
Tony Packo’s is famous for its Hungarian-style hot dogs. for its hot dog buns signed by movie stars, other celebrities and U .S. Presidents and for its frequent mention by Toledo’s Jamie Farr on the TV series M*A*S*H*.

In addition to the flagship eatery, Packo’s has a location across from Fifth Third Field, home of the Toledo Mud Hens, and at some of The Andersons stores in the Toledo area.
1902 Front St., Toledo
800-366-4218, www.tonypackos.com
 

The Butterfly House
Hundreds of live butterflies from North America, Central America and Asia can be seen in a beautiful indoor garden setting. Open May 1 through Sept. 30 and weekends in October.
11455 Obee Rd., Whitehouse
419-877-2733,www.butterfly-house.com 


Sundance Kid Drive-In
The drive-in, located across from Pearson Park, features two first-run films on two screens April through October. The 50’s style drive-in has all the nostalgia and the best in FM Stereo sound. Our concession stand will make your mouth water with all your favorites and the Butch Cassidy Canteen, an outside concession wagon, serves up carnival favorites.

Admission prices are $8 per adult and $3 each for children 6-12. (Children ages 5 and under are free.)
4500 Navarre Ave., Oregon
419-691-9668, greateasterntheatres.com


Green spaces
Metroparks of the Toledo Area
Metroparks of the Toledo Area preserves many of Lucas County’s most unique natural and historical features, from Ohio’s only “moving” sand dunes to the 35-room Georgian colonial home of an auto baron.

• Locally, Pearson Metropark, located at 761 Lallendorf Rd., Oregon, is one of the last remaining stands of the Great Black Swamp, a notorious forest that once blanketed much of northwest Ohio. The thick woods and location close to Lake Erie make Pearson a favorite stopover for a wide variety of migrating birds.

Buildings, shelters, bridges, ponds and a garden with a waterfall were built by workers enrolled in Depression-era work programs, such as the Works Progress Administration and Civilian Conservation Corps.

Park attractions include a pedal boat concession, sledding hill, a “Window on Wildlife,” playground, ball diamonds, tennis courts, fishing and an 1800s Black Swamp cabin.

Open 7 a.m. until dark every day; extended hours for winter recreation.
Metroparks of the Toledo Area
419-407-9700, www.metroparkstoledo.com

• Maumee Bay State Park at Cedar Point and North Curtice roads along the Oregon-Jerusalem Township border offers a two-mile elevated boardwalk plus an observation tower amidst swamplands, marsh, scenic meadows and woods that are teeming with wildlife and birds. The park features lakeshore and inland beaches, a marina and a conference center and resort hotel that also has a golf course and rental cabins.
419-836-1466, www.maumeebaystateparklodge.org.

• Magee Marsh State Wildlife Area. With more than 2,000 acres of prime habitats and more than 300 species sighted in the past, Magee Marsh is a birding “hot spot.” A handicap-accessible boardwalkwinds through marshlands reminiscent of what was once the Great Black Swamp. Birders gather and compare sightings at the Sportsmen’s Migratory Bird Center and an observation tower.
13531 W. SR 2, Oak Harbor
Magee Marsh, 419-898-0960, www.friendsofmageemarsh.org.

• Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, located at 14000 W. SR 2. The Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1961 to preserve habitat for migrating birds. Staff at the refuge also manage Cedar Point and West Sister Island refuges. The three refuges together now protect approximately 9,000 acres of habitat and some of the last remnants of the Great Black Swamp in the heart of the Lake Erie marshes.
Ottawa Refuge has been designated as a site of regional significance in the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network. In 2002, “Birders World” readers voted the refuge as one of their Top 15 favorite spots to see birds, and the American Bird Conservancy has identified the refuge as an Important Bird Area.
 419-898-0014, fws.gov/midwest/Ottawa

• 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 and includes hiking trails, a footbridge, picnic tables, restrooms and an information kiosk.
419-353-1897, woodcountyparkdistrict.org

• The Sandusky County Park District operates 10 facilities, including the 93-acre Wolf Creek Park, 160-acre Blue Huron Reserve, the Mull Covered Bridge, the 310-acre Creek Ben Farm and others. 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.
419-334-4495, 1-888-200-5577, www.lovemyparks.com

• East Harbor State Park, 1169 N. Buck Rd off SR 269 in Marblehead, on the shores of Lake Erie. The park has unlimited opportunities for outdoor recreation. Boating, fishing, swimming, picnicking and camping are popular while nature enthusiasts will enjoy the abundance of waterfowl, shorebirds and other species of wildlife found in the park’s scenic wetlands.
419-734-4424, 1-866-664-6727, www.dnr.ohio.gov/parks/parks/eastharbor.htm or www.eastharborstatepark.org

• Marblehead Lighthouse State Park, 110 Lighthouse Dr., Marblehead Marblehead Lighthouse, one of Lake Erie’s best known and most-photographed landmarks, is one of Ohio's newest state parks. The grounds surrounding the lighthouse offer excellent picnicking and views of Lake Erie, Sandusky Bay, Kelleys Island and South Bass Island. Tours are offered on summer weekdays after Memorial Day until the Friday before Labor Day and on the second Saturday of the month May through October.
A museum, located in the Keeper's House and operated by the Marblehead Lighthouse Historical Society, is open whenever the tower is open.
419-734-4424 ext. 2, dnr.state.oh.us/parks


Schedel Arboretum & Gardens
The Schedel Arboretum was home to Joseph and Marie Schedel for more than 50 years before opening to the public in 1991.

The arboretum has more than 17 scenic acres that border along the Portage River the Ohio Turnpike, just outside of Elmore. See gardens of nearly 20,000 annuals, roses, perennials, irises and lilies, including a Japanese garden complete with Torii, waterfall, pools, lanterns, bridges and a pagoda. A number of special exhibits and events are planned throughout the year, including exhibits in the Trellis Gallery, which has become a showcase for local artists. Group tours of the grounds and mansion are available by appointment.

Regular hours May-October, Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Sunday 12-4 p.m. Closed Mondays.
19255 W. Portage River South Rd., Elmore
419-862-3182, schedel-gardens.org


Religious sites
Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto
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 grounds include a small altar, an adjoining bell tower of tufa, arches and outdoor Stations of the Cross in hand-carved Italian bronze.
204 S. Main St., Genoa, 419-855-8501

Our Lady of Toledo Shrine
Our Lady of Toledo Shrine is a place of prayer, quiet reflection and healing. All faiths are welcome. The garden and well are open during daylight hours.
655 S. Coy Rd., Oregon
419-697-7742

Queen of the Most Holy Rosary Cathedral
Visitors will be moved by the beauty of the cathedral’s Old World style, and by the visual strength of its symbol as the primary church of Roman Catholic Diocese of Toledo. The cathedral is Spanish Plateresque in design – the only one of its kind in North America. Thousands have been inspired by the graceful beauty of its piers and arches; by the richly decorated nave ceiling with scenes from Old Testament, the half-domed apse embellished by frescoes in the Keim process, and by one of its most striking gems, the Rose Window, which sparkles and radiates in the changing light of the eastern sun.
2535 Collingwood Blvd., Toledo
419-244-9575, www.rosarycathedral.org

Sorrowful Mother Shrine
The Sorrowful Mother Shrine features 120 acres of wooded splendor, plus 40 points of interest including grottos, Sorrowful Mother Chapel, Pieta Outdoor Chapel, plus the Stations of the Cross. Founded in 1850, the original shrine is the oldest place of pilgrimage dedicated to Mary in the Midwest.
Cafeteria, picnic area and gift shop available. Handicap accessible. There is no cost, however freewill offerings are accepted.
4106 SR 269, Bellevue
419-483-3435, www.sorrowfulmothershrine.com


Country Lane Tree Farm
Built in 1883 the Country Lane Tree Farm, which is still a working agricultural and animal farm, is a local favorite for educational and family entertainment, spring through the Christmas holidays.

Farm animals to see and pet, hayrides, corn mazes, barrel train rides, a craft barn, snack shop and much more await visitors.
3525 N. Bolander Rd.
Genoa, OH 43430
419-461-1298, www.countrylanetreefarm.com


African Safari Wildlife Park
Come for a day of fun, education and entertainment at African Safari drive-through safari, home of more than 400 of the world’s most beautiful and exotic animals.

Safari fun also includes camel and pony rides, entertaining and educational animal shows, pig races, a gift shop, picnic facilities, a snack bar and café and grill.

Open through Dec. 4 (subject to change). Open daily rain or shine.
267 S. Lightner Rd., Port Clinton
800-521-2660, www.africansafariwildlifepark.com


Castaway Bay
The Caribbean meets Sandusky at this resort destination for vacationers. With its tropical theme, guests at Cedar Point’s Castaway Bay feel like they have just landed on an island paradise upon entering this lush indoor waterpark resort. Castaway Bay features 237 hotel rooms and suites including family-oriented units, a 38,000-square-foot indoor waterpark with water activities for all ages, a day spa, fitness center, arcade, a craft and child activity center, restaurants, retail shops and adjacent marina.
2001 Cleveland Rd. (US 6), Sandusky
419-627-2500, castawaybay.com


Cedar Point, Soak City & Challenge Park
Voted “The World’s Best Amusement Park” for 13 years running, Cedar Point has more than 150 rides, shows and attractions on 364 acres. The park features the world’s largest collection of roller coasters – 17 in all, along with more than 50 other rides.

New for 2011 is WindSeeker, a beachside thriller that will take riders almost 30 stories in the sky and spin them around with nothing between their feet and the ground below. Families with young children will find plenty to enjoy at Cedar Point, with four areas designed for little ones, including Planet Snoopy, with seven rides and special live appearances by Peanuts characters.

Park visitors also thrill to “All Wheels Extreme” performances by stunt bikers and skateboarders; high-energy live musical shows; and “Starlight Experience,” which transforms the Frontier Trail into a sparkling wonderland of lights and music.

In September and October, HalloWeekends are another reason to scream at Cedar Point. Coaster thrills combine with spooky chills and monstrous fun for little ones in a family-friendly atmosphere.

Open May 14-Sept. 5, daily; and weekends Sept. 16-Oct. 30 for HalloWeekends.

Soak City
Splish splash till your heart’s content at Soak City, an 18-acre waterpark next to Cedar Point. The park includes Splash Zone, a huge bucket and multi-story play area; Breakers Bay half-million gallon wave pool; rafting fun on Zoom Flume; body slides, tube slides, and inner tube rivers. Choo-Choo Lagoon and Tadpole Town offer big fun for little ones. For adults, there’s Bubbles Swim-Up Bar a special area with a hot tub. Soak City guests can also enjoy the sandy Cedar Point Beach on Lake Erie. Open May 28-Sept. 5. www.cedarpoint.com.

Challenge Park
Located between Cedar Point and Soak City, Challenge Park activity complex features the RipCord Skycoaster, two high-speed go-kart tracks, two 18-hole miniature golf courses and Skyscraper, a thrilling ride that spins riders in a circular motion 16 stories above the ground at speeds of 55 mph.

Admission to Cedar Point or Soak City not required. Each attraction has a separate fee.
Open daily May 14-Sept. 5 and weekends through Oct. 30.
1 Cedar Point Dr., (off US 6), Sandusky
419-627-2350, www.cedarpoint.com


Ghostly Manor Thrill Center
Ghostly Manor Thrill Center is a year-round, multi-attraction amusement center that offers thrills and expanded holiday entertainment.

Ride the fastest and tallest virtual roller coaster in Ohio in the XD 4D theater or brave the yearround, nationally ranked haunted house. After Halloween, Ghostly Manor transforms to a North Pole Adventure with the Christmas Wonderland 3D Family Walk Thru. Take the ultimate “Snow Ride” with awesome thrills and chills and don’t miss the annual Christmas Light Show. Call for hours.
3319 Milan Rd. (US 250), Sandusky
419-626-4467, ghostlymanor.com


Glacial Grooves
The world’s largest accessible glacial grooves, these scars in the limestone bedrock were carved 18,000 years ago by the ice sheet that covered part of North America. Open year-round during daylight hours.
Division Street, Kelleys Island
ohsweb.ohiohistory.org/places/nw08


Great Wolf Lodge
Great Wolf Lodge is an all-suites, full-service, family destination indoor waterpark resort featuring a Northwoods atmosphere and family-friendly amenities including a 41,000-square-foot indoor entertainment area featuring a grand-scale waterpark, spacious outdoor pool, arcade, fitness room, kids’ arts and crafts center, family restaurants, , gift shop and performing Great Clock Tower.
4600 Milan Rd. (US 250), Sandusky
800-641-WOLF (9653), greatwolf.com


Kalahari Resort
Once you cross over the bridge, you’ll feel a world away at Kalahari resort.

Surf indoors 365 days a year or take on the Zip Coaster uphill water roller coaster at America’s largest indoor waterpark.

Spa Kalahari and Salon, Candy Hut, Ivory Coast Lounge, Great Karoo Marketplace Restaurant, Zakanaka Kids, Madagascar Indoor Mini Golf, Safari Adventures and much more await. Catch some rays at Kalahari’s outdoor pool complex from Memorial Day through Labor Day (weather permitting). Call for day pass information.
7000 Kalahari Dr. (off US 250), Sandusky
877-KALAHARI (525.2427), KalahariResorts.com


Monsoon Lagoon Waterpark & Resort
Monsoon Lagoon waterpark and family entertainment complex features aquatic adventures including six waterslides, a lazy river, an adult pool with swim-up Tiki bar, and Adventure Island Tree House with 17 levels.

Miniature golf, bumper boats, grand prix cars and a gaming arcade round out a day of family fun. Open May 28-Sept. 5.
Routes 2 & 269 (1530 N Danbury Rd), Marblehead
419-732-6671, monsoonlagoonwaterpark.com


Seneca Caverns - Registered Natural Landmark
Go caving at “The Caviest Cave” where you can walk natural stone steps and pathways through “the earth crack” and past the Ole Mist’ry River. Pan for gemstones at Seneca Mining Company.
Open Memorial Day through Labor Day, daily 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; May and September through mid-October, Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. or by appointment.
15248 E. Twp. Rd. 178 (off SR 269 S), Bellevue
419-483-6711, senecacavernsohio.com

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Christmas spending

Are spending more, less or the same amount this year for Christmas?
1925178814 [{"id":"27","title":"More","votes":"0","pct":0,"type":"x","order":"1","resources":[]},{"id":"28","title":"Less","votes":"1","pct":50,"type":"x","order":"2","resources":[]},{"id":"29","title":"The same","votes":"1","pct":50,"type":"x","order":"3","resources":[]}] ["#194e84","#3b6b9c","#1f242a","#37414a","#60bb22","#f2babb"] sbar 160 160 /component/communitypolls/vote/12-christmas-spending No answer selected. Please try again. Thank you for your vote. Answers Votes ...