OHIO TRAVEL & TOURISM GUIDE TO OHIO ATTRACTIONS
April 2015 Edition ©


Camp & Canoe Capital

mohican-wildlife

The Camp & Canoe Capital of Ohio Is Ready for Spring! 

Spring is right around the corner and that means it is time to Discover Mohican! The Camp & Canoe Capital of Ohio is ready for the warm weather and events to continue throughout the year. Campgrounds are opening, canoes, rafts and kayaks will soon float down the Mohican River, sporting events will begin and the horses will be out on the trails.

Spring also means the 14th Annual Mohican Wildlife Weekend. Mohican Wildlife Weekend is a celebration of wildlife, heritage, habitat and natural history. There are seven sites with over 30 programs available throughout the weekend of April 24th – 26th. This year’s theme is “Face Your Wildest Fears.” Learn about bats, eat bugs, meet and learn about the birds of prey in Ohio and see the “Animals That Travel with Jack Hanna.” All of this and more in one jam-packed weekend. Visit mohicanwildlifeweekend.com for more information.

It is also time to put that training to use and join in on the sporting events taking place in Mohican. Forget the PR Run, in April, will take 300 runners for a scenic and challenging run through Mohican State Park; crossing rivers and more. The month of May is the world renowned Mohican Mountain Bike 100. This race will crisscross four counties along a single loop, climbing more than 11,000 feet and go toe-to-toe with the top pros on this legendary ultra-endurance loop in Northeastern Ohio. After those exciting events, take a rest and then challenge the Mohican Trail 100 Run. Often referred to as the MO100, the race has become one of the nation’s premier ultra-marathons. It is reportedly the fifth oldest ultra-running race across the Nation.

History is alive with the museum showcasing a rare 34 star American flag on display, as well as one of the oldest motorcycle sidecars. Enjoy sponsored hikes along Mohican State Park and Mohican-Memorial State Forest. These hikes, with the help of the Mohican Trails Club, will showcase some of the hidden gems of the park; that few only get to see.

Make sure to make time to venture out to the Wolf Creek Grist Mill opening in April. Considered to be one of the oldest working mills in Ohio, they also host many worthwhile events. Join in on the fun of a nature scavenger hunt, take a tour of the mill and its cabins and start making plans for the International Wine at the Mill Festival.

Plan to stay for the week or weekend. With over 4,000 campsites, private cabins, a castle, resort, historic B&B and more. Take a stroll through downtown Loudonville for shopping and dining. There is plenty of room to discover the best of Mohican. Visit DiscoverMohican.com for more information or find them on Facebook, twitter and Instagram – Discover Mohican.

Cruisin’ the Hocking Hills

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Play Spring Video

When Car and Driver Magazine took the 2014 Austin Martin Vanquish out for a test drive they headed for the Hocking Hills, their “Midwestern driving roads of choice” and put the performance car through her paces.   “The driving route is maybe the best in the world, this side of the Nürburgring,” says Car and Driver’s John Phillips.

Their route followed the southernmost loop of the Hocking Hills Scenic Byway past the iconic Hocking Hills State Park sites of Old Man’s Cave, Cedar Falls and Ash Cave.   Car and Driver has used this loop since 1989. In fourteen short miles the route is perfect to evaluate performance over repeat runs.

Road & Track brought their top six contenders for the coveted title of 2015 Performance Car of the Year. BMW’s M235i and M3, Ford’s Mustang GT, Alfa Romeo 4C, Porsche’s 991 GT3 and Ferrari’s 458 Speciale all cruised through “the leafy crucible of Ohio’s Hocking Hills.”

For years, car clubs, collector car owners, car manufacturers and motorcyclists have discovered the joys of cruisi’n the Hocking Hills. As spring washes over the Hills the roads dip and twist through forests, over high vistas and around hairpin curves like a siren’s call to anyone who enjoys a country drive.

The inaugural Hocking Hills Cruise-In will take place May 29 to 31 this year. The weekend event kicks off with a Car Party in historic downtown Logan on Friday complete with 50’s and 60’s rock & roll by the Gas Pump Junkies. Saturday will be filled with cruises, along-the-way activities, plenty of good food then show off your “baby” at the Show ‘n Shine Car Show. Complete details, including multiple cruise routes, are available at CruiseHocking.

The Hocking Hills Scenic Byway is a great place to start your cruise. It begins at US 33 and State Route 374. Follow State Route 374 till it merges with State Route 664 and travels a short distance north till it turns and heads south toward State Route 56. Drive west on State Route 56 to South Bloomingville where you pick up State Route 664 and head north back to State Route 374. TIP: Stop by Jimbo’s on State Route 56 in South Bloomingville for one of their legendary burgers.

Head to the southern Hocking Hills for a drive through the Zaleski State Forest and Lake Hope State Park. From US 33 exit at State Route 328 and travel south to State Route 56. Drive east on State Route 56 to State Route 278 then head south on State Route 278 to US 50. Turn east on US 50 to State Route 356 then drive north on State Route 356 to State Route 56. Head west on State Route 56 to State Route 328 then north to US 33. TIP: Have lunch al fresco overlooking Lake Hope at the Lake Hope State Park Lodge on State Route 278.

Now it’s time to head north. From US 33 exit on State Route 664 and travel north to Zwickle Road (Twp 72) turn left onto Zwickle and ride to Logan-Horns Mill Rod (Twp 32). Turn left on Logan-Horns Mill Road back to State Route 664 then south on State Route 664 to Walnut Dowler Road (Twp 44). This will bring you into historic downtown Logan. TIP: Plan to spend a little time on historic Main Street and enjoy shopping, dining and frozen yogurt.

Stop by the Hocking Hills Regional Welcome Center at 13178 State Route 664 S (US 33 & State Route 664) for the new Hocking Hills Road Tour map. Our friendly volunteers will be ready with directions, suggestions and everything you’ll need for a resplendent ride through the Hocking Hills.  Fuzzy dice are optional.

Hilltop Mothers Day Buffet

hilltop-ballroom

Play Video

The Hilltop Ballroom Mother’s Day Buffet has become one of Southern Ohio’s premiere Mother’s Day events of the year. It is May 10, 2015 with seating at 1:30 pm. Great responses and testimonials have launched Hilltop into their third year of presenting fine affordable dining in a sparkling yet cozy atmosphere in a rural setting. Who does not want to be the super hero and treat that Special Lady to a super special day?

Be greeted with smiles and a gift for Mother. Dine in an elegant lit ballroom with clothed tables, fine china and linen napkin. The wait is not long with the buffet type dining and help is available for those in need. Be ready to enjoy the mouth-watering menu of carved pork tenderloin and gravy, boneless chicken breasts, fresh vegetable blend, fresh cut fruit salad, spring mix salad and veggie tray with dip. Top it off with a baked potato bar with fresh toppings of chives, bacon bits, broccoli, diced onions and loads of butter, cheese and sour cream. Hot rolls with butter and dessert are also included. Quench your thirst on possibly the best sweet tea or lemonade that you have had or will ever have to drink.  A guest last year reported his consumption of eight glasses of tea and then got “one for the road.”

After the meal, take time to savor family and conversations over a freshly brewed cup of coffee and scrumptious dessert. Keep in mind that family gatherings do not have to be limited to Thanksgiving or Christmas, so why not make this a new family tradition. There is absolutely no rush for your departure so just enjoy.

Hilltop has special menus and prices for kids under five-year-old, so please call for more information. Reservations are highly recommended and seated first, but last minute walk-ins are usually accommodated.

Next door to the Hilltop Event Center is GoodSeed Garden Center and their annual GoodSeed Farm Mother’s Day Event. They offer a FREE plant for every Mother. Guests also enjoy live music, special offers on featured products and more.

Mark your calendar now for November 20-22, 2015 for the Appalachian Mountain Christmas held inside the Hilltop Event Center where 35 of Southern Ohio’s most highly acclaimed artisans will be showcasing their wares for your Christmas shopping pleasure.

Hilltop Event Center is located at 9764 Tri-County Rd in Winchester, Ohio. Visit their web site at http://hilltopdesigns.wix.com/hilltopdesigns.

Anchor Store …of a City!

everything-rubbermaid-building

Brings back two product lines and Sunday hours

Good shopping districts and malls know the secret to gaining consumers, offer an appealing anchor store. A magnet! Which is just what the historic and iconic Everything Rubbermaid Store has been for Wooster, Ohio for more than 22 years!

The four-story building is a landmark building at the town square and is a strong part of Wooster’s past and present. It’s a good neighbor, a giving citizen, and is a strong part of the region’s history dating back over a century.

Everything Rubbermaid Store is back to opening on Sundays starting April 12, 2015. Not only that, it is bringing back two product lines – Calphalon bakeware and Graco products. And of course it has all its other staple selection and savings as one of America’s most recognized brands. In addition to selection and savings, the store provides full-shipping services and an indoor playground.

Rubbermaid began as Wooster Rubber in 1920.  Five businessmen started the company by making toy balloons, paving the way for Rubbermaid. The historic store’s original purpose was to test customer response to new Rubbermaid products being manufactured in the former nearby factory.  The first such product was a patented rubber dustpan in 1933.  Since then, Rubbermaid, now Newell-Rubbermaid remains a leader in developing cutting-edge technologies and products that have organized the lives of nearly every American for decades.

The store truly represents its name – Everything Rubbermaid – by offering the largest assortment of Rubbermaid products anywhere in the world.  The 24,000 square feet of shopping has an enormous assortment of items that cannot be found anywhere else.  The product line has grown to provide something for everyone.  The selection includes items from Irwin Tools, Sanford (Sharpie, Expo, Paper Mate, Uni-bal), Goody, Rubbermaid Commercial and, of course, the full line of Rubbermaid Home Products and Food Storage.

You can see a storied history appear throughout the store.  For example, there are old air tubes that were used by sales clerks to send payment from the customer up to the fourth floor to process the receipt for purchases and return change.  Today, the tube system is used at Christmas time as a fun way for children to send their Christmas lists to Santa at the North Pole and receive an instant reply …and a treat.

The store’s “look” often changes with the influx of new products coming to market. There’s also the “Bargain Land” floor featuring 30% to 50% off discontinued items and special purchases.

The store has two big sales events each year. Every year, on the last weekend in April, the store participates in the Home and Garden Show located at the Wayne County Fairgrounds.  While the selection may be limited, the prices can’t be beat. Also, the store participates in the Orrville “Uptown Downtown” garage sales on the first Saturday in October. This too is a truckload sale.

For those customers who don’t have the luxury of physically visiting the store, log onto the virtual storefront at www.everythingrubbermaidstore.com. There’s also an eBay store accessed by clicking on the EBay icon or searching for everythingrubbermaid01.

Everything Rubbermaid Store is open seven days per week (except major holidays): Monday through Friday from 9:30 am to 6:00 pm; Saturday from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm; and Sunday 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm (April through December). The mail order department is open Monday through Friday from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm, but if you call on the weekend, they may still be able to help.

Everything Rubbermaid Store is located at 115 S Market St. in Wooster, Ohio. For visitor information call 330-264-7119 or visit http://www.everythingrubbermaidstore.com/. Click here to play video.

Stan Hywet Celebrates Its 100th Year

Stan-Hywet-gate-tulipsBeginning a 2nd Century in Bloom 

Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens is celebrating a milestone year marking its 100th anniversary. The season, “2nd Century in Bloom”, features special tours and exhibits highlighting the history of the estate, including the shift of this magnificent house from a private residence to public museum now enjoyed by visitors from around the world. Stan Hywet is located at 714 North Portage Path in Akron, Ohio.

Built between 1912-1915, F.A. Seiberling and his family moved in on Christmas Day, 1915. Designed by architect Charles S. Schneider, the Manor House is one of the finest examples of Tudor Revival architecture in America. The Seiberlings hired Boston landscape architect Warren H. Manning to design the gardens and grounds.

“We are honored to be the stewards of this magnificent estate. The Seiberlings left us with an enduring legacy which we have the privilege to share, and a rich archive that will be presented throughout the 2015 season. We are dedicated to ensuring the gardens are always in bloom, the Estate is preserved and restored, the stories are shared and every generation in our community helps set the stage for the second century of this national historic landmark,” notes Linda Conrad,  President & Executive Director of Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens.

A highlight of “2nd Century in Bloom” is a new specialty tour, “Blueprints to Bricks: Manor House 100th Anniversary Tour.” Offered twice daily, this tour, both inside the Manor House and outside on the grounds, focuses on how the Estate was planned and constructed, with a new tour route in the Manor House, where guests will see and venture into areas and unique spaces that are usually not accessible.

In the gardens, BLOOM! is on display, June 2-September 20. This larger-than-life installation features the glass artistry of Craig Mitchell Smith. Thirty-two kiln-fired and nature-inspired glass sculptures will be “planted” in the gardens; twelve are inspired by, and designed specifically for the Estate. The sculptures will be up-lit for special “Twilight & Flashlights” evening tours on Thursdays and Fridays from August 20-September 4. Also outside is  “Picturing the Past” an exhibit with 15 select oversized photographs of the property, dating from 1912-1915.  These images will be strategically placed on the grounds at the photographer’s vantage point, giving guests who visit in 2015 a look at then and now.

Stan Hywet hosts its official 100th anniversary celebration at Community Day on Sunday, August 16, 2015. Admission will be free for registered guests (online at stanhywet.org later this spring). The day includes vintage base ball, complimentary tours, antique cars, games, a Goodyear Band concert, geocaching, historic interpretations by the History First Hand acting troupe and more.

Special events that are guest favorites are also returning. “Inspiration in Bloom,” a fresh floral exhibit is on display in the Manor House, April 10-12 and October 1-4 in 2015. Founders’ Day commemorates the 80th anniversary of the founding of Alcoholics Anonymous at the Gate Lodge, and the Father’s Day Car Show features century cars from 1915 and earlier, live music, and a display of vintage bicycles by the Ohio Wheelmen. The annual Gala, a Shakespearean Ball on June 19, 2015, is inspired by the Seiberlings’ housewarming party shortly after they took up residence at Stan Hywet.

The 49th annual Ohio Mart is October 1-4, 2015, with highlights that include a 100th anniversary store and a museum tent celebrating the history of Stan Hywet’s volunteer Auxiliary Board at this annual artisan craft festival. In keeping with the yearlong theme, “Deck The Hall” in November and December focuses on “The Seiberling Family Christmases” with an exhibit of the family’s traditions in the 1920s, and a scale model of the Manor House – made out of gingerbread. More than 800,000 lights will illuminate the Estate, including Dazzle and Gingerbread Land.

More information is available at www.stanhywet.org or by calling 330-836-5533.

Win Prizes All Month Long!

bt-a-99

Play Finders Keepers: It’s a Free-4-All! 

Win prizes in April just by searching for or stumbling across our mascot (shown in the above photo) hidden somewhere within OhioTraveler.com. If you find the photo, click the caption and follow the instructions. Be sure to copy the URL (web address) where the photo was hidden. The photo on this page and the instructions page don’t count.

Prizes that you could win just by being the first to find our mascot – The OhioTraveler – are as follows:

  1. WON by Randall Rains: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame = Two free tickets
  2. WON by Meghan Murray (4 tix), Stephanie Morris (4 tix) and Candace Fox (2 tix): Ohio Caverns  = 10 tickets
  3. WON by Joe Giesler and Michelle Wood (4 tix each):  http://www.shadowboxlive.org/
  4. WON by Julie Lynn: Ghostly Manor Thrill Center = Two free tickets

    Get the alert for our next giveaway by liking us on Facebook 

  5. Ross-Chillicothe Convention & Visitors Bureau = Two free tickets each to Tecumseh Outdoor Drama AND Adena Mansion & Gardens
  6. Historic Roscoe Village = Four free tickets to “Mudlarked in Roscoe”
  7. Wayne County Visitors Bureau = Two free tickets to the Ohio Light Opera
  8. Lake County Visitors Bureau = Four front row tickets plus free parking to Lake County Captains baseball game
  9. Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage = two free tickets
  10. Oberlin Heritage Center = Six free tickets
  11. GoodSeed Garden Center = $50 gift card
  12. Touch of Italy Bed & Breakfast = $40 gift card
  13. Ashtabula Covered Bridge Festival = $30 gift card
  14. Country Porch Winery = Prize to be determined (between $25-100 value)

When someone finds a photo of our mascot – the OhioTraveler – and his suitcase, the caption says to simply click to open and reveal what may have been won.

This opens a page with prize details, a promotion and link for the donating organization and final instructions for the chance to win. It also has a photo of the mascot but this isn’t the “hidden photo.”

The potential winner then clicks to open OhioTraveler’s Facebook page to post what they found, leaving an automatic timestamp of when they found it. If they are the first, then it’s truly “Finders Keepers” and the prize will be sent to them.

We will post one prize at a time until they are all found.

Happy traveling our web site! Increase your odds by sharing this with a friend and searching together.

Only one winner per email address, mailing address and Facebook profile per month. Friends, family and clients of OhioTraveler.com are not eligible to win. Winners have 14 days to respond to our Facebook post citing the winner and claim the prize by replying back to us with mailing information at scoops@ohiotraveler.com otherwise the prize will be awarded to the next contest winner.

Getaway to Coshocton

Clary Gardens CoshoctonApril is the Perfect Time to Getaway to Coshocton

It’s been a long cold winter and now that spring is finally here, it’s the perfect time to get away and relax a bit in Coshocton, Ohio.  Enjoy the great outdoors, blooming gardens, history, shopping, dining, getaway packages, comedy, bluegrass, and wineries.

Spring is surely in full swing at Clary Gardens where thousands of bulbs are beginning to bloom.  April 19 is the open house at Clary Gardens which kicks off their Bulbs in Bloom celebration through the blooming season.  Admission is free at this botanical garden with rose gardens, wooded trails, ponds, children’s garden and a beautiful outdoor amphitheater.

The UKC Beagle Nationals are held annually in Coshocton and this year once again hundreds of beagles will compete at the Coshocton County Fairgrounds on April 17-19.  Comedy and music are also in the mix this Spring in Coshocton. On April 4 and May 2 the Warehouse Steak ‘n Stein offers live Comedy Club nights to add a bit of humor to the season.

Historic Roscoe Village offers the Canal Town Journey guided tour in April and May at 1:00 p.m. daily with a costumed guide sharing stories of what life was like during the 1800s in this busy town along the Ohio & Erie Canal.  Visitors enjoy strolling along the street rich with history experiencing delightful shops, delicious dining, and restored 1800s buildings in Historic Roscoe Village ~ America’s Canal Town.

“The Roscoe Village Visitor Center also offers daily hands-on 1800s craft making such as tin punching and candle dipping,” said Jan Myers, Director of the Coshocton Visitors Bureau.  “Visitors love doing these crafts and kids are especially delighted.  At the Roscoe Village Visitor Center, you can also see a working canal lock model and watch a fascinating documentary on Ohio canal history.  We also send lots of people to the Toy Cellar in Roscoe Village where you can see all kinds of antique toys and even get to play with some of them!”

Enjoy live bluegrass music at the Coshocton Village Inn & Suites each month, including April 18 and May 16.   Sunday, April 26, is the Coshocton Community Choir’s Spring Concert at 3:00 p.m. at McKinley Auditorium.  This annual concert features over 200 musicians and attracts hundreds of visitors each year.

The Yellow Flag Community Yard Sales kick off the month of May from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on May 1-2 throughout the Village of West Lafayette.  “They have this big yard sale event each year in May and again in the fall (September 4-5 this year),” said Myers.  “Visitors from near and far enjoy finding deals in this quaint rural community.”

“We also invite travelers to stop in to our office – the Coshocton Visitors Bureau and the Annin Flagmakers Showroom,” added Myers.  “We are now located in Historic Roscoe Village. We share lots of visitor information about the Coshocton area and all of Ohio and we also have US flags.  We are so proud to have an Annin Flagmakers factory in Coshocton where they make the American flag and patriotic decorations.  We are the only official showroom for Annin in the country and we are thrilled to sell American-made flags and decorations made right here in Coshocton!”

Coshocton also opened a geotrail last November for those who love geocaching.  “The Coshocton Crow Geotrail has 13 caches to find throughout the county,” said Myers.  “We are excited to showcase some of our historic sights and cool attractions along this geotrail.  When guests find all the caches on the trail, they can turn in their worksheet and receive an exclusive geocoin. There are details on our website, so we hope to see many more people this spring enjoying our geotrail.”

The wineries that make up Coshocton’s Three Rivers Wine Trail are just the places to spend time relaxing with friends appreciating all Spring has to offer.  Enjoy visiting Raven’s Glenn Winery, Rainbow Hills Winery, Yellow Butterfly Winery and Heritage Vineyard Winery.  “There’s  a lovely bed and breakfast at Rainbow Hills Winery and a delightful guesthouse at Heritage Vineyard Winery,” shared Myers, “and Coshocton Village Inn & Suites also offers winery packages.”

Make it an overnight getaway by spending time at one of Coshocton’s many affordable lodging options.  Several spring specials are available including  an April package, an Easter Weekend getaway package and a Mother’s Day weekend package from Coshocton Village Inn & Suites; and a Spring getaway special at Roscoe Hillside Cabins.

Find more details about getaway packages, attractions, these events and more, at www.VisitCoshocton.com or call (740) 622-4877 or 800-338-4724.  Request a free visitor packet to make planning your Coshocton getaway easy.

Ohio Farm Turned Classroom

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Old-fashioned farm tour meets current curriculum standards

Play Spring Tours Video

Niederman Family Farm meets many of Ohio’s common core requirements for grades K-6.

Agriculture used to be an American way of life, something you just knew. Today, it’s something taught, but not in the traditional sense or classroom – at least not on Niederman Family Farm. Perhaps Southwest Ohio’s largest classroom, this farm opens its 210 acres to busloads of school children every spring and fall so they can learn about a lifestyle all but forgotten, yet still critical to our local and national economy.

Unfortunately, many farming communities have been overrun by suburban sprawl. Niederman Farm is one of the holdouts found between Cincinnati and Dayton. The massive loss of farms across the Midwest has left generations of children removed from the seeds that sowed America since its birth. But the Niederman family is changing that one group at a time.

“We run a working farm and use Agritourism to bring a unique educational opportunity to kids in an entertaining way,” said Bethann Niederman of Niederman Family Farm.

Science and Social Studies are two of the main ingredients the Niedermans work into the educational mix. Science is learned through daily and seasonal changes while food grows and is harvested. It covers the physical and behavioral traits of living things and the need for food, water and shelter.

“The kids flip out over Bessie!” said Brian Garver, Manager at Niederman Family Farm. “She’s a mechanical cow that kids can actually milk. They get to touch live animals in the large and small animal barns, too, as a way to teach basic needs of living things.”

But not to worry parents, every student is required to use the hand sanitizer provided at every station or classroom.

The Science Studies curriculum also features lessons on sun, energy and weather covered in the self-guided pumpkin school and the basic needs of living things.

The Social Studies curriculum covers the generations of heritage farming, food dependence and the farmer’s rainbow (“food pyramid”). Scarcity – the importance of not wasting – is also featured along with a class on production and consumption focusing on community produced goods.

“We cover a lot more than this,” said Garver. “Our web site has a comprehensive list of Common Core requirements we meet shown under the farm tours section.”

Spring and fall are also ideal seasons to get kids out of the classroom to an outdoor setting that still serves as an educational classroom. Both spring and fall tours are currently booking at Niederman Family Farm. To learn more, email niederman@fuse.net.

When the new farmhands are finished with an honest day’s work and have filled their heads with newfound knowledge, a piece of the farm follows them back to their classrooms. Special teaching aids, programs and agri-learning tools prepared in traveling kits for teachers continue the lesson long after leaving Niederman Family Farm.

The Niederman family continues to adapt, educate, entertain and grow memories for school kids every year. As a farming family in its fourth generation, they have a lot of knowledge to share. Three generations of Niedermans currently live and work on the farm. They take pleasure in offering insight to today’s farms as well as a nostalgic look back at farming in America.

Niederman Family Farm is located at 5110 LeSourdesville-West Chester Road in Liberty Township, Ohio between Cincinnati and Dayton. Reservations for spring tours are required. Call 513-779-6184, email niederman@fuse.net or visit www.niedermanfamilyfarm.com.

Blossoming Amish Country

wheat-ridge-amish

 Play Video

The southwest Ohio region of Appalachia Country has a little secret – www.WheatRidgeAmish.com! This is a new web site that highlights the growing Wheat Ridge Amish community and Miller’s Furniture, Bakery and Bulk Foods stores.

This cluster of authentic Amish-owned and operated stores has been around a few decades but it’s remained the kind of secret people love to share. Driving there puts you on the back roads of rural Adams County, across a covered bridge and sharing the road with Amish buggies, pedestrians, bicycles and foot-propelled scooters. It is as you would imagine true Amish Country in Ohio – quiet and serene.

Welcome to Wheat Ridge Amish Country.

When Wheat Ridge Road bends, you come upon a place where it isn’t uncommon to find an SUV parked side-by-side with a horse and buggy. There are several buildings, each with its own staple of Amish-made offerings. But its humble owners of today started as the kids of Lydia and Harry Miller in their humble farmhouse back in the 1970’s. This is where their baked goods led to a booming business in furniture, bulk foods and of course – fresh baked treats hot out of the oven.

Miller’s offers everything from apple fritters to armoires. Through their generations of growth, Miller’s has maintained their down home feel backed by Amish integrity that has people driving hundreds of miles to experience. What is now a large operation, Miller’s Furniture, Bakery and Bulk Foods is still a family business that provides that mom and pop touch.

Today, the 300-acre farm has 34,000 square feet of furniture under one roof, plus more outside, and a separate building for the bakery and another for the bulk food store. The cash registers are powered by wind-generated energy. Plus the Miller’s use a lot of solar energy and air compressors. In every store, you are bound to bump into a Miller working, whether it is the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and now even the 4th generation of the Amish family.

The Amish have excused themselves from modern conveniences, believing that a life of simplicity and hard work brings them closer to God. The Miller family has provided friendly service, lively conversation and quality goods for decades. Nothing’s changed except the size of the family working behind the counters to help their patrons.

Every year, there are special events and sales during Memorial Day Weekend, Labor Day Weekend, a Fall Cookout, End of Year Clearance and from time-to-time, quilt auctions and other special occasions. But they are always closed on the Lord’s day of rest – Sunday.

  • May 22, 23 and 25, 2015 (closed 24th): Memorial Day Storewide Sale 10% off all items in stock at furniture store only (excluding outdoor building and gazebos and select bedroom sets).
  • September 4, 5 and 7 (closed 6th): Labor Day sale offers 10 percent off all items in stock at furniture store only. Excludes all outdoor buildings, gazebos and select bedroom sets. It is recommended to order early for Christmas.
  • September 5, 2015 (Labor Day Weekend): The 18th Annual Amish School Benefit Cookout. The menu includes hamburgers, hot dogs, noodles, Chip’s fresh pie, homemade ice cream, coffee and soft drinks.
  • September 26, 2015: Annual Adams County Marathon – Run in Amish Country. Call 606-831-3260.
  • October 3, 2015: The 38th Annual Miller’s Anniversary Customer Appreciation Day – Visitors get a free 2016 Miller’s calendar complete with 2016 sales dates and special event dates. The menu includes BBQ chicken, baked beans, cole slaw, fresh pie, homemade ice cream, coffee and soft drinks.
  • October 9 – 11, 2015: Wheat Ridge Old Thyme Herb Fair & Harvest Celebration at 817 Tater Ridge Rd. in West Union, Ohio. Friday – Sunday from 10am – 6pm. Call 937-544-8252 for more details about this event or visit www.wheatridgeherbfestival.com.
  • November 27 and 28, 2015: Storewide Thanksgiving Sale offering 10 percent off all items in stock (furniture store only). Excludes all outdoor buildings, gazebos and select bedroom sets.
  • December 26, (not the 27th), 28, 29, 30, 31 in 2015 and January 1, 2016 (Closed Sunday): The End of Year Clearance Sale! This includes free coffee and cookies at the bakery and free cheese and candy samples at the Bulk Foods Store. Get 10 percent off all items in stock (furniture store only). Excludes all outdoor buildings, gazebos and select bedroom sets.

Miller’s may be one of the last outposts of Ma & Pop shops, but they’re thriving on a business model built the old-fashioned way – they aim to please! And they’ve been doing just that for more than 35 years.

To plan a visit to Millers Furniture, Bakery & Bulk Foods and Wheat Ridge Amish Country, call 937-544-8524 or log onto www.WheatRidgeAmish.com.

Penguin Shores

penguins-at-clemet-zooCleveland Metroparks Zoo is ready to welcome the pitter-patter of tiny webbed feet when six African black-footed penguins take up residence in Penguin Shores presented by Cleveland Clinic Children’s, a seasonal traveling exhibit opening April 3, 2015 in the Zoo’s Northern Trek area.

The penguin exhibit, designed by Illinois-based Animal Interaction Design Group, in partnership with Cleveland Metroparks Exhibits team, is slated to run through mid-September 2015. The special exhibit will be free with regular Zoo admission. It features naturalistic rock work with nest boxes, ledges and irregular surfaces, and a pool for swimming. Guests will be able to learn about penguins in the wild and conservation efforts under way to help them.

“This is the first time penguins will be seen at our Zoo since 2002,” said Executive Zoo Director Dr. Chris Kuhar. “And with 2015 being the celebration of the ‘Year of Clean Water,’ the timing couldn’t be better for us to mount this special exhibit. The penguins will serve as ambassadors for conservation as part of the Zoo’s contribution to the Cleveland Water Alliance and Sustainable Cleveland’s Year of Clean Water.”

Life-size cutouts of different penguin species placed throughout the Zoo will help guide guests to the Penguin Shores area in Northern Trek. Once they arrive, guests will experience a totally re-themed exhibit area around the former Grin ‘n’ Bear Eats concession stand. A colorful South African seaport now stands in its place, preparing to transport guests to the rocky coastlines and beaches where the penguins live.

A new live animal show with all-star critters from the Zoo’s Conservation Education department will be performed several times daily at the seaport and cutouts of the African penguins will make great photo opportunities for kids and families.

All-new behind the scenes opportunities to see the penguins up close will be available as well through the Zoo’s Inside Tracks and Overnights programs.

African black-footed penguins are native to the rocky coastline and islands of South Africa. They are well-adapted to swimming and fishing in the cold water off the South African coast. They eat anchovies, sardines and other small fish species. They are classified as “endangered” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, mainly due to the commercial overfishing of their primary prey species, and environmental damage from the oil industry.

The Penguin Shores exhibit will outline how pollution from plastics and destruction of habitat are affecting penguin species in the wild.

The Zoo last exhibited penguins in a mixed-species exhibit at the Birds of the World building which included Humboldt, macaroni and king penguins. The king penguins were the last species to leave the Zoo in 2002.

Northeast Ohio’s most-visited year-round attraction, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Admission is $13.25 per person, $9.25 for kids ages 2 to 11 and free for children younger than 2 and Zoo members. Parking is free. Located at 3900 Wildlife Way, the Zoo is easily accessible from Interstates 71, 90 and 480.

For more information, visit clevelandmetroparks.com/zoo or call (216) 661-6500.

Cedar Point – Standout in Tourism Award

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The best or top attractions in Ohio are recognized by OhioTraveler.com for being STANDOUTS in Ohio tourism. This month, the long overdue honor goes to Cedar Point:

Cedar Point: Saying that Cedar Point is a standout in Ohio tourism is stating the obvious. It’s kinda like saying the sun is hot. Cedar Point is a standout in global tourism! It is often referred to as the roller coaster capital of the world and the best amusement park on the planet. It hosts a world-record 72 rides, and 17 are roller coasters – many of which have set world records in height, speed, steepness, you-name-it. It opened in 1870 and is the second longest running amusement park in the country. Its unique island-ish setting on Lake Erie in Sandusky, Ohio takes you to a thrilling new world that delivers adventure to everyone. Learn more about Cedar Point – the amazement park – at https://www.cedarpoint.com/.

This award recognizes Ohio’s truest standouts in tourism. More details about the award and all award recipients are at ohiotraveler.com/standouts-in-ohio-tourism/ .