There’s no place like home
For area families looking to counter the kids’ “there’s nothing to do” complaints, or to plan a fun “staycation” adventure this summer, The Press offers a friendly reminder of just all the things there are to discover – or rediscover –right in our own backyard.
From attractions, historical sites and museums, parks and green spaces and more, summer is a great time to spend some time finding out there’s no place like home!
Toledo Museum of Art
The Toledo Museum of Art features one of the finest and most diverse collections of artwork in the country, including treasures ranging from ancient Egypt to contemporary art – 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 73rd Woodville 4th of July Celebration, set for July 2,3 and 4, will feature high flying fun for
the whole family, including fireworks on July 3. (Photo courtesy of Maggie Dandar)
Exhibits include “The Art of Video Games” through-Sept. 28; “The Great War on the Front Line” July 25-Oct. 19 and the 95th Toledo Area Artists Exhibition Nov. 21-Jan. 3, 2015.
2445 Monroe St., Toledo
419-255-8000 or 800-644-6862, www.toledomuseum.org
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 innovative exhibits featuring more than 6,000 mammals, fish, reptiles, amphibians, birds and invertebrates representing over 750 species.
Each year, nearly 1 million people visit the zoo to experience the wonders of the natural world, stroll the scenic grounds and explore the historic WPA-era buildings. FamilyFun magazine recently names the Toledo Zoo second in the nation, and USA Today Travel named it among the top 20 zoos in the nation.
Zoo highlights include the Arctic Encounter, the Africa! exhibit, Nature’s Neighborhood children’s area and more. Join the zoo in 2014 for a year-long celebration of flight, including cool experiences that bring you closer to everything that flies, including flying reptiles in the Reptile House and the new Penguin Beach, Flamingo Key and ‘Keet Retreat.
2 Hippo Way, Toledo
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, including “Titanic, The Artifact Exhibition,” which runs through Sept. 21.
One Discovery Way, Toledo
Hollywood Casino Toledo
Penn National Gaming extends the red carpet to Hollywood Casino Toledo, located just off I-75 on the banks of the Maumee River.
The casino offers 2,000 slot machine and table game positions, a sports bar, restaurants and an entertainment lounge. In the summer outdoor concerts are held in the casino’s outdoor venue.
777 Hollywood Blvd., Toledo
|The Zoo's newly renovated aquarium invites visitors to explore the mysteries of the deep. (Photo courtesy of the
The 100-passenger canal boat replica cruises upriver past elegant estates and yacht clubs, or down river toward Lake Erie. Special cruises include “Discover the River,” “Fall Color,” “Sunset and City Lights” and “Halloween Boo Cruises.”
Jefferson Avenue & Water Street, Toledo
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 28-29), summertime jazz concerts, Peter Navarre Day (Sept. 7) and Heralding the Holidays (Dec. 5-7).
5403 Elmer Dr. Toledo
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 in downtown Toledo, home of the Toledo Mud Hens.
1902 Front St., Toledo
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-August, Monday-Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday noon-5 p.m.; September, Thursday-Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday noon-5 p.m., and weekends noon-5 p.m. in October.
11455 Obee Rd., Whitehouse
|Maumee Bay State Park is a great place ara residents and visitors alike to enjoy outdoor
activities and observe nature in a unique natural environment created by the convergence
of the land and Lake Erie. On July 11 and 12 Toledo Lighthouse Waterfront Festival will be
held at the park. (Press photo by Ken Grosjean)
Sundance Kid Drive-In
Spend an evening under the stars at the Sundance Kid Drive-in, located across from Pearson Park. First-run films are offered on two screens April through October. The `50’s-style drive-in has all the nostalgia and the best in FM stereo sound. A concession stand and the Butch Cassidy Canteen, an outside concession wagon are available.
4500 Navarre, Oregon
• Metroparks of the Toledo Area preserves many of Lucas County’s most unique natural areas, from the Oak Openings to the Lake Erie coastal zone.
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. The park includes pedal boat concessions (Memorial Day through Labor Day), ball diamonds, tennis courts, an 1800s Black Swamp cabin and a newly renovated playground.
Open 7 a.m. until dark every day; extended hours for winter recreation.
Metroparks of the Toledo Area
• Maumee Bay State Park, located 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.
• 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 includes hiking trails, a footbridge, picnic tables, restrooms and an information kiosk.
• 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.eastharborstatepark.org
• Marblehead Lighthouse State Park, 110 Lighthouse Dr., Marblehead. One of Lake Erie’s best known and most-photographed landmarks, the lighthouse is one of Ohio’s newest state parks. The grounds surrounding the lighthouse offer excellent picnicking and views of Lake Erie, Sandusky Bay, Kelleys and South Bass Islands and Cedar Point. The park is open year-round.
The Keeper’s House, the oldest surviving home in Ottawa County, offers visitors the chance to experience the history of lighthouse keepers. The 1822 home was the residence of the first three keepers of the oldest continually operated lighthouse on the Great Lakes.
Throughout the year, nearly 1 million people visit the park and 20,000 will climb the 77 steps to the top.
Tours of the on-site keeper’s house museum are conducted in the afternoons Monday through Friday from the day after Memorial Day until the Friday before Labor Day. In addition to the regular season, an annual lighthouse festival is held the second Saturday in October.
419-734-4424 ext. 2, dnr.state.oh.us/parks
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 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 are May-October, Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Sunday 12-4 p.m. Closed Mondays.
19255 W. Portage River South Rd., Elmore
African Safari 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. Recently, the park welcomed an extremely rare white bison for visitors to meet and enjoy.
Open through Nov. 3 (subject to change). Open daily rain or shine.
267 S. Lightner Rd., Port Clinton
The ideal location for family or couple’s getaway, with more than 150 rides, shows, and attractions, Cedar Point debuted two new rides and general midway improvements in 2014, including the Pipe Scream thrill ride, which rocks and rolls riders on over 302 feet of track, flying 43 feet above the midway at 43 mph, twisting and spinning on what’s being called “the best of a roller coaster and a flat ride in one.”
Across from Pipe Scream, take flight on Lake Erie Eagles, a unique experience that is an updated version of a classic thrill ride. Riders sit in one of eight “eagles” suspended from arms 28 feet in the air. As the ride spins, the eagles will outward – and riders have the unique opportunity to control their flight experience from mild to wild.
In September and October, HalloWeekends offer even more screams, as amusement park thrills combine with spooky chills for family-friendly fun during the day and terrifying nighttime frights.
Open May 10 through Sept. 1 daily, then weekends (Fri. evenings, Sat. & Sun.) through Nov. 2.
1 Cedar Point Dr., Sandusky
The Caribbean meets Sandusky at Cedar Point’s Castaway Bay. Upon entering this lush indoor waterpark resort, the tropical theme will give guests the feeling they have just landed on an island paradise.
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
Splish splash till your heart’s content at Soak City, an 18-acre waterpark next to Cedar Point. In addition to Splash Zone, a huge bucket and multi-story play area, visitors will enjoy Breakers Bay, a half-million gallon wave pool; 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 through Sept. 1
1 Cedar Point Dr., (off US 6) Sandusky
Located between Cedar Point and Soak City, Challenge Park activity complex features the RipCord Skycoaster, two high-speed go-kart tracks, Challenge Golf 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 through Sept. 1 daily, then weekends (Fri. evenings, Sat. & Sun.) through Nov. 2.
1 Cedar Point Dr., (off US 6), Sandusky
Ghostly Manor Thrill Center
This multi-attraction family entertainment center was featured on The Travel Channel’s “Best Places I’ve Ever Been” and Forbes’ “Top 10 Haunted Attractions.”
Experience a scary haunted house, Ohio’s fastest virtual roller coaster, interactive 3D blacklight miniature golf, an ice skating rink, bounce houses for those under 12 and an indoor play area. Special events include A Lake Erie Mud Run in July, a Lake Eerie Fearfest in October and a Winter Wonderland Walk-thru in December. Open year-round. Call for hours.
3319 Milan Rd. (US 250), Sandusky
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
Monsoon Lagoon Waterpark
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 Memorial Day through Labor Day weekends.
Routes 2 & 269 (1530 S. Danbury Rd), Port Clinton
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 Saturdays and Sundays 10 a.m.-5 p.m. in May; Memorial Day through Labor Day daily 9 a.m.-7 p.m. and September through mid-October weekends 10 a.m.-5 p.m. The last tour departs one hour before close.
15248 E. Twp. Rd. 178 (off SR 269 S), Bellevue
Lakeside, the Chautauqua on Lake Erie, is a family destination that has pioneered the act of nurturing mind, body, and spirit for more than 135 years. Lakeside offers spiritual, educational, cultural, and recreational opportunities. Groups welcome year-round. ADA accessible.
236 Walnut Ave., Lakeside
Lake Erie Islands
Put-in-Bay/South Bass Island
For nearly 150 years, the Victorian-era village of Put-in-Bay on South Bass Island has been attracting visitors who come to enjoy family fun activities, outdoor recreation and a large variety of special events.
Many start out with a narrated tour on the Island Tour Train. For those wishing to go at their own pace, there are golf carts, scooters and bicycles to rent. There’s plenty to keep kids entertained including a butterfly house, miniature golf, gem mining, cave tours, arcades, a carousel and go-kart racing.
Perry’s Victory & International Peace Memorial
The nation’s third-tallest memorial structure, the 352-foot tall column commemorates Oliver Hazard Perry’s victory over the British during the War of 1812, and the lasting peace between the U.S., England and Canada since that time. The visitor’s center features displays, a video theater, ranger talks and interpretive programs offered free of charge and a gift shop.
93 Delaware Ave., Put-in-Bay
Founded in 1888, Ohio’s oldest family-owned winery offers tours, a tasting room and wine garden with light snacks. Tours include a visit to Crystal Cave, the world’s largest recorded geode, located directly below the winery. Hours vary; call or see website for details.
978 Catawba Ave., Put-in-Bay
The largest American freshwater island on Lake Erie, Kelleys Island offers 600 acres of state park land, 17 miles of coastline, miles of trails for exploring and hiking, a fossil-filled quarry, wetlands, wildflowers and an expansive sandy beach, which are admired by nature-lovers and outdoor enthusiasts alike, especially during spring birding and fall monarch butterfly migrations.
Located in the western basin of Lake Erie, the island’s scenery can be discovered by foot, bike, golf cart, or kayak. The downtown district is known for its shopping and entertainment, and its many historic homes and buildings have earned it a spot on the National Register of Historic Places. Glacial Grooves National Natural Landmark and Inscription Rock are two free attractions with historical significance.
Kelleys Island Ferry Boat
The only daily passenger and automobile transportation to Kelleys Island from Marblehead, departing every half-hour during peak times. Available year-round, weather permitting. Late boats on weekends. There is a nominal parking fee.
510 W. Main St. (SR 163), Marblehead
The Jet-Express offers high-speed passenger ferry service from Port Clinton to downtown Kelleys Island and Put-in-Bay. Ride in the comfortable passenger cabin or on the open-air sundeck. Late-night service, evening discounts, family-friendly-child rates and group tour rates available.
See a complete schedule at www.jet-express.com.
3 N. Monroe St., Port Clinton
Miller Ferries offer passenger and vehicle transportation to Put-in-Bay and Middle Bass Island. Trips to Put-in-Bay take 18 minutes and run every half-hour in summer. Trips to Middle Bass take 40 minutes and require advance vehicle reservations. Limited free parking is available. ADA accessible. Ferries operate spring, summer and fall and are weather-permitting in winter to Put-in-Bay.
Visit the website for ferry schedules, island coupons, and event information.
5174 E. Water St. (SR 53 North), Port Clinton
Museums, historical attractions
National Museum of the Great Lakes
Toledo’s newest Cultural and Educational Attraction opened in April. Located at the base of the Veterans Glass City Skyway Bridge, the 18,500 square foot museum features artifacts, interactive exhibits and displays that highlight the cultural history and research of the Great Lakes.
Exhibits include “The Great Lakes: A Powerful Force” theatre experience; a simulated submersible dive experience of the Edmund Fitzgerald shipwreck and the “Real Old Ironsides” touch experience.
Toledo’s own role in the history of the Great Lakes is highlighted throughout the museum via a “Toledo Trail” icon, which may be found on nearly 25 artifacts and stories
The Col. James M. Schoonmaker Museum Ship (formerly the Willis B. Boyer) serves as an extension of the museum experience.
Hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sundays noon-5 p.m. The Col. James M. Schoonmaker Museum Ship is open through Oct. 31 during museum hours, weather permitting. Parking is free; reasonable dockage rates are available for boaters.
1701 Front St., Toledo
Toledo Firefighters Museum
The Toledo Firefighters Museum brings to life over 150 years of firefighting history and tells the tale of the heroes of the Toledo Fire Division.
Located in the “Old Number 18 Fire House,” the display includes many large pieces of vintage firefighting equipment, including an 1837 Neptune – Toledo’s first fire pumper. Lovingly restored by Toledo firefighters, the hand-pulled, hand-operated Neptune required a 20-man crew and could deliver about 300 gallons of water per minute.
In addition, visitors will see fire gongs, antique fire toys, vintage uniforms and more.
918 Sylvania Ave., Toledo
419-478-3473 (FIRE), www.toledofiremuseum.com
The Historic Brandville School, built in 1882, has been restored and is listed on the National Registry of Historical Buildings. It is now the cornerstone of the Oregon-Jerusalem Historical Society.
The complex houses a treasure trove of local history memorabilia and artifacts. The second floor houses an extensive Civil War display which includes the military uniform of Frederick Nims, close friend and confidant of General George Custer. Showcased is an original oil painting by Gilbert Gaul, depicting the Civil War Battle of Cold Harbor, Virginia.
A carriage house constructed to display the society’s display houses a replica of Metzger’s General Store, circa 1870, with many items from the original store plus vignettes of a doctor’s office, a barber shop and a Victorian living area. Farm implements are also on display, in addition to a one-horse sleigh and many tools and devices used by local tradesmen in the past.
Also located on the campus is a completely restored portable one-room schoolhouse, complete with blackboard, desks, schoolbooks, and other items that may have been used in the late 19th century.
Open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursdays (excluding holidays). Call 419-693-7052 to arrange tours for groups of four or more. No charge; donations accepted.
1133 Grasser St., Oregon
Woodville Historical Museum
Woodville Historical Museum, operated by the Woodville Historical Society, features materials and artifacts documenting the rich history of the small village located on the banks of the Portage River about 20 miles east of Toledo.
Among the items on display are a collection of Native American artifacts believed to go back thousands of years, pictures of early Woodville, a complete collection of school yearbooks and copies of the local newspapers from 1927 through 1978.
Museum visitors can learn about the 1900s oil boom, Indians in the Woodville area, lime plants, early schools, the Lake Shore Electric rail system that once traveled between Toledo and Cleveland and more.
Open March through December, Wednesdays and Fridays 2-4 p.m. Additional hours: June through August, Wednesdays 6-8 p.m. and by appointment.
107 E. Main St., Woodville
North Coast Veterans Museum
The North Coast Veterans Museum at is a tribute to those who have served in the uniformed service of the United States, especially those who have lost their lives in combat or training.
The dramatic and colorful military displays include weapons, uniforms, pictures, memorabilia, military accessories, tents and first aid from the Civil War to present. The museum is also working on a collection of books that details information about Ohio veterans. For hours and information, call 419-332-5912.
411 N. Main St in Williams Park, Gibsonburg
Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center
Original White House gates lead the way to the nation’s first presidential center and museum, – a tribute to 19th U.S. President Rutherford B. Hayes.
The facility at Hayes and Buckland avenues in Fremont is built on 25 acres of the President’s beloved “Spiegel Grove” estate and includes his 31-room Victorian mansion, museum, library and burial site. The exhibit galleries house nearly 1,800 artifacts on permanent display, including exhibits devoted to President Hayes’s military service, his political roles and details of his personal life.
Through Jan. 4, 2015, the center is presenting, “Privy to History: Civil War Prison Life Unearthed.” Northwest Ohio is home to the only Union Army Civil War prison specifically designed to house captured Confederate officers. Johnson’s Island Civil War Prison continues to reveal fascinating details about the war and the men who fought and died. This exhibit focuses on additional information learned through archaeological evidence discovered since the 1965 publication of “Rebels on Lake Erie,” the seminal history of the prison written by Charles E. Frohman. Numerous artifacts recovered from the site in recent years are on display.
A number of special events and exhibits are presented throughout the year, including Verandah Concerts and Ice Cream socials in the summer months, an annual Independence Day concert (July 4), a Civil War re-enactment (Oct. 4-5), a special Hayes train display in December and sleigh rides on the grounds (Dec. 26-28 and 30-31), weather permitting.
800-998-PRES (7737), www.rbhayes.org
Wood County Historical Center & Museum
The Wood County Historical Center and Museum’s many museum and outdoor exhibits help tell the story of the county’s rich history. More than 30 rooms cover historical elements from the native people of Northwest Ohio, the Black Swamp, Oil and Gas Boom, various clothing and decorating styles, and trends in medicine, politics and government.
The center also offers a variety of special programs and events throughout the year, including a series of Victorian teas, Civil War Encampment, Wood County Harvest Festival & Power of Yesteryear Tractor Show (Sept. 20), Halloween Folklore & Funfest (Oct. 18) and Old Home Holiday Tours (Dec. 6-19).
Exhibits include “1930s Arts & Crafts-era Decorating Styles,” “I Love the `80s – a Cultural Comparison of the 1880s and the 1980s,” “Wood County Infirmary History,” “Native Indians of Northwest Ohio” and more.
Open Tuesday-Friday 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 1-4 p.m. through Oct. 31. Closed Mondays and holidays, and in November and January. Special extended holiday hours are available Dec. 6-19.
13660 County Home Rd., Bowling Green
Fort Meigs State Memorial Park
Fort Meigs, a War of 1812 battlefield in Perrysburg, features a reconstructed fort and museum. It is one of fifty-eight sites within the Ohio Historical Society.
Under the command of future President William Henry Harrison, Fort Meigs helped defend the Northwest Territory against attacks by the British and the Native Americans during the War of 1812.
A replica of America’s largest walled fort, Fort Meigs offers several re-enactments featuring soldiers in period costumes throughout the year, such as Independence Day 1813 (July 4); Life in Early Ohio (Aug. 23-24); Garrison Ghost Walks (Oct. 17-18 and 24-25); The World at War: Miniature War Gaming Day (Nov. 1); and Holiday Open House (Dec. 14).
The fort is open April through October. Museum is open year-round. Hours are Wednesday to Saturday 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday noon-5 p.m. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays.
29100 W. River Rd., Perrysburg
Step back in time at the Canal Experience and discover what life was like along the Miami and Erie Canal in 1876.
Visitors can experience what canal life was like aboard The Volunteer, a 60-foot boat replica of the time period. A two-mule team pulls the boat, while the crew handles the ropes and opens and closes the massive gates of the restored lock. See characters in period attire throughout the park.
Other highlights include a visit to Isaac Ludwig Mill, The General Store, Scenic Providence Dam and Lock #44, one of the last functioning 19th century limestone locks. Shelter rental and boat charters are also available. Special events include a Centennial Celebration July 4; Canal Days celebration Sept. 13 and more.
Providence Metropark, Old US 24 at SR 578, Grand Rapids
The Keeper’s House at Marblehead Lighthouse
Built in 1822, the historic house was home to Benajah and Rachel Wolcott and the residence of the first three lighthouse keepers for the oldest lighthouse in continuous operation on the Great Lakes. This structure was built by the same stonemason who built the Marblehead Lighthouse.
9999 E. Bayshore Rd., Marblehead
419-798-9339, www. thekeepershouse.org
Located in the former U.S. Post Office, the Merry-Go-Round 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 structure, 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 museum’s “Ups and Downs” exhibition examines how carving factories would create the different animals like several menagerie elk, created by various carousel manufacturers. A jumping giraffe will take the stage during the exhibit, as will a wolf, lion, and tiger.
From Memorial Day through Labor Day, hours are Monday through Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday noon- 5 p.m. Off-season hours are Wednesday through Saturday 11 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday noon-5 p.m.
301 Jackson St., Sandusky
Connect with the past at Ohio’s largest living-history village located at 22611 SR 2 in Archbold. Enjoy guided tours, period craftsmen, hands-on activities like arts and crafts and several annual events including an Old-Fashioned 4th of July celebration, Fiddle Contest and Summer on the Farm (July 12), Annual Doll & Teddy Bear Show & Sale (Aug. 2-3), Annual Apple Butter Making Week (Sept. 24-27), Fall on the Farm & Scout Day (Oct. 11), Annual Woodcarvers’ Show & Sale (Oct. 25-26) and Holiday Lantern Tours late November into early December. Other amenities include a restaurant, inn, campground, bakery and on-site shopping.
Sports of all sorts
Toledo Mud Hens
The Toledo Mud Hens, the Triple A minor league affiliate of Major League Baseball’s Detroit Tigers for 26 years, play home games from April through September at Fifth Third Field at 406 Washington St. in Toledo’s Warehouse District.
Future major leaguers are among those on the team’s roster, and occasionally fans can see current major leaguers sent down for rehab or to better hone their skills.
A number of special events, promotions and giveaways are held at games throughout the season, including fireworks, which are will be held after a number of games. At every Sunday home game, Hens players sign autographs and kids get to run the bases after the game.
In addition, visitors to Fifth Third Field can enjoy a wide variety of food choices that go way beyond the traditional hot dogs, peanuts and popcorn, including Buffalo Chicken Dip, Mac & Cheese Dog, Asian Pot Stickers, Chicken & Waffle Bites, Chocolate Chip Funnel Cake, Cinnful Almonds and more.
Pick up t-shirts, caps and all sorts of fan gear at the Swamp Shop, accessible from inside or outside the stadium. (M*A*S*H fans may remember that Max Klinger – Toledo native Jamie Farr – pined for his hometown of Toledo and dumped his dresses for Mud Hens jerseys and ball caps he took over the company clerk position vacated by Radar.)
For a complete schedule, tickets or more info, call 419-725-HENS or visit www.mudhens.com.
ARCA/ Toledo Speedway
ARCA/Toledo Speedway features ARCA-sanctioned, late-model stock car, factory stocks and sportsman racing Friday nights April through Sept. 20 at 5639 Benore Rd. off the I-75/Alexis Road exit in Toledo.
The speedway features a half-mile, semi-banked oval and quarter-mile figure eight in the middle. Events include the sportsman, figure-8, street stocks, winged sprint cars and 4-cylinder racing, special Kids Nights, smashing school bus figure-8 races and more.
For a complete schedule and more info about the speedway, call 419-727-1100, or visit www.toledospeedway.com.
Raceway Park, located at 5700 Telegraph Rd., Toledo, is open for simulcast wagering Wednesday through Monday, noon-midnight. Call 419-476-7751 or visit www.racewayparktoledo.com for more information.
The Fremont Speedway plays host to exciting open-wheel racing every Saturday night April through Oct. 18. Races at “The Track That Action Built” keep fans on the edge of their seats as 410 and 305 sprint cars and trucks battle wheel to wheel, sliding around the one-third mile semi-banked clay oval.
Gates open at 4 p.m. Racing starts at 7 p.m. Times may vary on special races. Races may be added, cancelled, or changed. Semi-truck parking available.
For more info, a complete schedule or ticket information, call 419-307-4241 (office), 419-333-0478 (track), or visit http://fremontspeedway.wix.com/speedway.
Bowling for – the fun of it
Recreational or skilled bowlers looking to live life in the fast lane have several centers to choose from in the Maumee Bay area. Many of them offer glow bowling (luminescent balls rolled down lanes near darkness) as well as bumper rails for kids and newbie bowlers who need help to get rolling. Local lanes include:
• Penny Jo’s Eastern Lanes, 3511 Woodville Rd. at I-280, Northwood. 419-691-8551, www.pennyjoseasternlanes.com.
• Toledo Sports Center, 1516 Starr Ave., Toledo. 419-693-0687, www.toledosportscenter.com.
• Tri County Lanes, 512 Lime St., Woodville. 419-849-3400.
• 20th Century Lanes, 1284 S. SR 19, Oak Harbor. 419-898-8701.
Black Swamp Mud Run Course
Adrenaline Rush Sports, LLC., in partnership with the Ottawa County Fairgrounds and several local businesses, has made NW Ohio the home to a premier, permanent obstacle mud run course.
Located at the fairgrounds, 7870 SR 163, Oak Harbor, the Black Swamp Mud Run Course is designed for anyone 11 and older to run – athletes and non-athletes alike. Runners can take breaks half way through or at every obstacle, or hit it hard and aim for the record.
What is a mud run? Think about adults giving themselves permission to play in the mud again, run an obstacle course, and just get dirty.
Upcoming runs include the Black Swamp Dirty Dash Run Runs set Aug. 2 and 3 and the Night of the Dead Run Oct. 10 and 11.
Traveling or thinking of inviting friends who will have to travel? The Ottawa County Fairgrounds has on-premise camping to make it a full adventure weekend! Area hotels are offering discounted lodging.
Don’t want to get muddy? Spectators can see almost 85 percent of the course from the grandstand viewing area or from the sidelines.
Visit www.adrenalinerushsports.net for info, links for registering and race prep suggestions.