November 2015 Edition ©

Christmas Events & Holiday Fests


Ohio Christmas Events and Holiday Fests
plus other things to see and do this season

November Festivals & Events

December Fests & Events

Plus destinations and activities in

Northeast Ohio

Southeast Ohio

Central Ohio

Northwest Ohio

Southwest Ohio

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Escape The Room Challenge

escape the room ohio 

The Game Is Afoot. The Question Is – Can You Escape? The answer depends on you and your group’s abilities to solve puzzles and unravel clues.

Escape The Room Challenge is a next-generation interactive adventure based on the classic “escape the room” on-line video games. But unlike a video game, players are real people locked/trapped inside a real room with a real problem to solve. They must find clues and solve puzzles in order to escape…all the while the clock is ticking!

Escape room adventures are the latest entertainment attraction sweeping across the nation, taking the popularity of the on-line video games and transporting them to a real-life setting. Escape The Room Challenge offers a highly themed, simulated adventure in which a group has one hour to problem-solve a series of clues, puzzles and mental challenges while possibly encountering a few red herrings along the way.

Currently, there are two themed rooms with a third on the way. Esmeralda’s Curse places gamers in a mysterious gypsy fortuneteller’s parlor, where a murder has been committed. Gamers have one hour to solve clues and escape before the gypsy curse descends upon the room. Escape The Mob takes place in an old warehouse containing mob-stolen valuables and participants have one hour to solve the clues and earn their freedom before the mob returns to commit certain mayhem.

Esmeralda’s Curse can accommodate up to10 players at one time; Escape the Mob can accommodate up to eight players at a time.

By the end of the year, the new attraction will add an additional themed room and likely yet another themed room in 2016. The total four themed rooms will make Escape The Room Challenge one of the largest such escape attractions in the United States.

Escape The Room Challenge is open year-round from 10 am to 9 pm on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Admission tickets are by reservations only and are now available on-line at www.escapetheroomchallenge.com.

The Escape the Room Challenge is across the parking lot from the world’s largest indoor model train display, EnterTRAINment Junction, at 7391 Squire Court in West Chester, Ohio.

A Hocking Holiday Mallternative


As the last of autumn’s fashion show falls to the ground our attentions turn to the upcoming holidays. Do you wait till the last minute and fight the crowds and traffic at the mall? This year begin a new holiday tradition and head for the Hills for a Holiday Treasure Hunt.

From November 1 through December 13 discover hidden gems during the Hocking Hills Holiday Treasure Hunt. Visit six of the twenty-seven participating shops, collect stickers on your treasure map and you’ll not only find one-of-a-kind gifts for everyone on your shopping list you will also be entered for one of more than fifty prizes and a Grand Prize Getaway for four to the Hocking Hills.

Artists and craftsmen are inspired by the beauty of the Hocking Hills. Their creations are available in several boutiques, galleries and gift shops.   The Hunt includes a wide range of shopping choices. Prizes run the gamut of gift cards to power tools. Best of all, the lucky folks on your holiday shopping list will receive unique gifts they will never see in the mall. It’s the perfect mallternative to holiday shopping.

The Treasure Hunt is pretty easy. Collect six stickers on your treasure map. Drop your completed entry off at the Hocking Hills Regional Welcome Center or stick it in the mail by December 10. On December 15 winners will be drawn. Prizes will be sent no later than December 17 to ensure delivery by December 24.

The Grand Prize Getaway includes 2 nights in a Hocking Hills cabin for four at Valley View Cabins. Hocking Hills Canopy Tours will provide zipline tours for four. Canoe tour and mini golf for four is compliments of Hocking Hills Canoe Livery and Adventure Golf. Everyone will get the opportunity to create a custom scented candle at Hocking Hills Candle Works. The Grand Prize Getaway also includes lunch and dinner for four. That would make for one great present under the tree.

Pick up your Hocking Hills Holiday Treasure Map at the Hocking Hills Regional Welcome Center located at 13178 State Route 664 S, Logan; download the map from the website or pick one up at any participating shop.

In addition to discovering the perfect gift for everyone on your list you will be treated to some of the most stunning scenery in the Midwest. This year say so long to packed parking lots and long lines. Take a step back from the hustle and bustle. Support small, family owned businesses. Enjoy holiday shopping again. Give yourself a mallternative.

Appalachian Mountain Xmas Shopping


The gathering of crafters and fine artists will once again be showcasing their wares for early holiday shopping at Hilltop Event Center in Winchester, Ohio east of Cincinnati from November 20 to 22, 2015.

This unique annual country holiday event has become a family shopping tradition for many. There’s plenty of new and interesting fun and demonstrations this year. Jolly ol’ Saint Nick will be stopping in, too.

One of this year’s new treats is the award-winning Jim Gorman’s Toy Tractor and Farm Display. It’s a scaled down version of a regular working farm, complete with tractors, machinery, animals, big red barn and even a field of corn. The roof of the barn lifts up to show its beams and stalls and more tractors and animals. Stop in and chat with Jim and his longtime friend, Don.

Faded Memories is a subtle vision of vintage. Brenda Armstrong has a beautiful selling display of bandboxes, bears, repurposed jewelry, vintage button jewelry, bookmarks and antique hand mirrors. Brenda’s charm and vintage goodies puts off quite an era of awesome. Do you have a special vintage someone?

C.G. & Ed the artists of “From Scratch” repurpose wood into new and fresh items. Some repurposed items include tool boxes, wine totes and crates. C.G. says her top selling item is the Comfort Bird Holding Cross. Just the name alone signifies the purpose and is a great gift for any age or gender.

Inspirations offers unique lighthouse creations handcrafted from gourds grown and crafted by Sherril Cone. Each lighthouse is one of a kind and comes with a nightlight. The lighthouses that have a roof are shingled with real asphalt shingles cut down to size. Sherril does all the handcrafting and stands by her unique workmanship.

Long time artist Julie Saunders of Morning Star Art sells a wide variety of Christmas items. These feature notecards, stationary, recipe cards, art prints, wooden snowman, Santa’s, ornaments and candy canes. Julie especially loves adding hand painted touches.

If you or someone on your list loves primitives, you will love Karin’s Korner. It’s all about the primitives for Karin Schnell. It features signs, tarts, sprays, stars and more. Check out Karin’s Korner on Facebook.

House of Chymes consists of wind chimes made out of just about every conceivable piece of fancy junque one can imagine. Pam Rudd has developed an ingenious way to turn trash into treasure for that hard to buy person on your list.

So many other fine quality handmade Christmas gifts await, including Swisher Creek Farm’s sweaters, hats, gloves and socks made from Alpaca wool. In addition, there’s Meyer’s wooden toys and more. There are also many hand stitched baby quilts, games, dolls, placemats and pillows by Betty’s Sew Creative. Juniebee’s handpainted recycled glass bottles for oils, hummingbird feeders, etc. is another favorite stop. Avon, Scentsy, Tastefully Simple, Clever Containers, Earzlink and Pampered Chef are also available. Look for jams, jellies, honey, soaps, gourd creations, woodcrafts and handcrafted jewelry, too.

Bootsie Robison will be demonstrating her skill at the spinning wheel and also selling hats, scarves, mittens, sweaters and booties crocheted from her sheep’s wool. And of course, sweet treats from Buckeye Confections is always delicious. Add cookies, buckeyes, cakes, fudges, kettle korn, candies and mouth-watering more. Be prepared to buy extra for your trip home.

Santa will appear on Saturday from 1-3. Now for the special little princess in your life. Don’t miss the Christmas Princess Tea Party (right after Santa) from 3-4:00. Little princesses can come dressed in however her mood strikes. Cost is $10 – please call to reserve a spot and choose a tiara or hat, wand, gift bag, makeup and of course tea and dessert.

Artist demonstrations, Santa, tea party, entertainment, food, quality gift items and fun for all are expected at this special event located in a relaxed and cozy atmosphere. Bring your shopping list and even your fiddle and stay awhile.

Click here for a full festival schedule.

Appalachian Mountain Christmas Shopping is November 20 – 22, 2015 at Hilltop Event Center located at 9764 Tri-County Rd. in Winchester, Ohio. Phone 937-695-5545 for more information or click here.

Decode Images & Hidden Meanings


Images may hold underlying messages – if you just know how to read them.

The Toledo Museum of Art will help viewers learn to decode such messages with a new series of free visual language classes that begin Saturday, November 7, 2015. The Museum offered similar classes in June, July and August and has brought the series back after rave reviews from participants.

The “learning to look” classes help participants interpret visual clues or the language of the visual world. The workshops use objects from the Museum collection to engage with theories and methods for understanding imagery within art and in the world at large.

“We’ve had a great response to these classes from many area companies, TMA staff and volunteers,” said Mike Deetsch, Emma Leah Bippus director of education at the Museum. “This is a really thought-provoking, educational experience that’s part of our broader initiative to teach visual literacy.”

Visual literacy is the ability to read, comprehend and write visual language – or the ability to identify, read and understand images and their sometimes covert or culturally influenced meanings.

Form is the focus on Saturday, November 7th as the series kicks off. The workshop will explore connections between form, function and a viewer’s emotional response to images. The second class in the series, on Saturday, November 14, explores Symbols. Participants will learn how images become symbols that convey meaning and how memory and personal experience affect interpretation of images, their significance and meaning. On Saturday, November 21, the Ideas workshop will investigate context and how history and culture affect the way viewers respond to images.

The Museum will present two opportunities to wrap up the series with a class on Meaning: Saturday, December 5, and Saturday, December 12. This workshop will investigate the relationships among the visual languages of form, symbols and ideas. To get the most from this workshop, participants should attend the previous workshops.

Each class is from noon to 2 p.m. Space is limited; advanced registration is required. Register for the free classes at by clicking here.

Admission to the Museum is free. The Museum is open Tuesday and Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, Noon to 5 p.m.; and is closed Monday and major holidays.

The Museum is located at 2445 Monroe Street at Scottwood Avenue in Toledo, Ohio, just west of the downtown business district and one block off I-75 with exit designations posted. For general information, visitors can call 419-255-8000 or 800-644-6862, or visit toledomuseum.org.

Family Stress Time of Year


Treat it with Wine and a Show in Northeast Ohio

It’s that time of year again but don’t stress. The leaves and air are crisp and so is the wine at the annual Grand River Valley Wine Region Turkey Trot. Join Debonné Vineyards, Ferrante Winery & Ristorante, Grand River Cellars Winery & Restaurant, Laurello Vineyards, and St. Joseph Vineyards on Saturday, November 7, 2015 from Noon-5pm for this drive yourself tour of wine tasting paired with food samples for your Thanksgiving meal.

All five participating wineries are within 10 minutes of each other making this a very convenient excursion for travelers.  Each winery will feature a different part of the Thanksgiving meal and pair two wines that compliment it.  In addition, recipes will be given out.  The cost is only $5 per person at each winery and if you bring in a canned food item to each winery you will receive $1 off.  These food items will be donated to the local food banks just in time for the holidays.

“The Turkey Trot is really our celebration of the end of harvest and the beginning of the holiday season,” says Kim Laurello, owner of Laurello Vineyards.  “Locally made wines are a great way to celebrate with friends and family and makes for great conversation at the dinner table.”  Whether you are tasting new releases or old time favorites, the purpose of the tasting is to take the guess work out of the wine and food pairing for the Thanksgiving meal.

“We are still recovering from that last two harsh winters,’ states Nick Ferrante, winemaker and owner of Ferrante Winery & Ristorante.  “But the wineries in the Winegrowers of the Grand River Valley group are committed to continue to bring locally grown and produced, and internationally award winning wines to the consumer.”  The Winegrowers of the Grand River Valley formed a group several years ago when they began to realize how quickly their wine region was growing.  The Grand River Valley Wine Region is one of the fastest growing wine regions in the United States and has the quality wines to prove why.   The majority of the wines produced at these member wineries come from local grapes that they have grown. Member wineries have achieved national and international recognition with award winning wines. These wineries must adhere to strict standards.

While visiting the area the group encourages travelers to take a mini-vacation and spend their weekend in wine country.  There are lots of shops to visit and beautiful covered bridges to check out in the area.

The Turkey Trot is just one of a series of events The Winegrowers of the Grand River Valley host each year.  Other events include the ever-popular Ice Wine Festival and the Cask Tasting.

For more information about the Turkey Trot call 440-466-3485 or go to www.wggrv.com.

With Thanksgiving approaching fast, no worries, all families have their problems. But at least The Addams Family sings their way through theirs. They may have creepy family crypts and small hairy cousins. Scary bald explosive loving uncles. Parents with an unsettling amount of PDA. Annoying Goth teenage daughters. But really, the only difference between this show and your Thanksgiving dinner is, well, an enormous amount of entertainment value.

This musical comedy involves the biggest family stress of all time…little daughter Wednesday is growing up, and her parents don’t exactly approve of the love of her life. Add fantastic vocal skills, a spooky set, dancing ghostly ancestors and you have the perfect show for this time of year.

Tickets for both events are on sale now. The Addams Family tickets are $18 adults, $15 students/seniors, and $10 for children 12 and under. Rhythm and Boo’s is $8 general admission. Call the box office at 440-286-2255, or go to the website at www.geaugatheater.org. The historic Geauga Theater is located on beautiful Chardon Square at 101 Water Street, Chardon, Ohio. Special thanks to our Marquee Sponsor Middlefield Banking Company!

For those looking for other things to do in Northeast Ohio, contact the Ashtabula County Conventions & Visitors Bureau (www.visitashtabulacounty.com) or the Lake County Conventions & Visitors Bureau (www.lakevisit.com).

It’s Thanksgiving! What Could Possibly Go Wrong?


We’re hosting Thanksgiving for the first time! How exciting.

Our first arrivals were my mom, sis and kids. They came a day early. The men would arrive on Thanksgiving Day. Based on previous visits, my mom’s rescue dog has earned a reputation as “a runner” among other things. So we learned to leave an opening in the garage for the crew to pull inside. Then we shut the garage door and let everyone inside the house through the connecting side door.

What was easily forgotten was that the poor dog had been traveling for hours. Coming straight into the house among the happy greetings and hugs between family members who have not seen each other in months, he instinctively headed for the back door. But nobody noticed. Then, he apparently decided that the large green cloth chair would suffice to do his business.

He’s a big dog and he took a big leak down the side of the chair and then shifted to thoroughly saturate the carpet – of course missing the adjacent tile floor by mere inches.

After supper, my sister had pies to cook. Don’t ask me why but something went terribly wrong!

After my little sis bellowed – “OH NO!” – we all came running to find the oven caked in hardened pie remains.

Good grief what a mess it was! So we figured we’d just set the oven to self-clean and let it do its thing overnight.

In the morning, the oven was long cooled down but the damn door wouldn’t open. There was a 20+ pound turkey to cook! We burned up Google for a solution but no matter what we tried, it wouldn’t work.

I looked at the time. I glanced out the window at the patio. I looked at the time again.

“Let’s just grill this bird!” I yelled.

People looked at me like I was crazy – as they often do.

I sprang to action and grabbed the propane tank to get it filled. I just knew that if I didn’t, it would probably run out half way through cooking. Besides, my Google solution for grilling a turkey said I needed indirect heat so I needed a cooking sheet that would fit. I found an aluminum solution at the hardware store while I waited for the tank.

When I returned home, I fired up the grill. Within a minute my aluminum solution caught fire. I cleaned up that mess and zipped to the grocery store and back with a commercial grade baking pan. I slipped it under the grate. Perfect fit.

My dad and brother-in-law arrived about an hour and several beers into my roast.

“What are you doing?” They asked.

“Barbecuing turkey,” I smiled casually with a slight buzz.

Their jaws drop and eyes grow wide in disbelief.

“This is going to be a bust of a meal,” I could read them saying in their minds.

I weathered the cold, tending to the manual temperature controls toggling around 325 degrees for hours. Sometimes the temperature reached about 350 degrees and at others it went down to 300 but I managed to keep it as steady as the pouring beer.

I couldn’t jeopardize the temperature by opening the lid. I had to wait for the halfway point to finally get a glimpse of what was happening inside.

That’s when I flipped the bird.

It looked pretty darn good but my dad and I both suspected looks could be deceiving. It might be one raw mess deep in that meat.

I kept at the controls catching parts of the football game while fetching sanity refills.

On one trip to the kitchen, tensions grew and some stereotypical sibling squabbling exchanged between my sister and me. Others joined in. Oh, this was going to be a Thanksgiving to remember.

I huffed off to my patio retreat and she to the stove top where her pie disaster from the night before stayed locked inside the oven below except for its warming aroma wafting in the air as the burners heated up the side dishes.

Then came the moment of truth. I shoved a thermometer inside a breast. Then I took the turkey inside for my brother-in-law to carve. At this point, nobody trusted me with sharp objects.

My brother-in-law’s heart sunk because he couldn’t get the carving knife through the bird. He was afraid to say anything. He just stared wondering how he’d break the bad news. When he looked down again, he realized the thing was upside down.

We sat around the table – everyone silently praying for a meal that would at least not send us all to the Emergency Room.

One by one, noises of pleasure were passed around the table.

And it was a Happy Thanksgiving!

By Frank Rocco Satullo, author of “HERE I THOUGHT I WAS NORMAL: Micro Memoirs of Mischief and editor of OhioTraveler.com

Holiday Shopping in Quaint Downtowns


The holidays are an exciting, joy-filled end to the year spent with family and friends. You’ll be busy decorating, baking, shopping, wrapping and a variety of holiday fun. Don’t let the stress of finding that perfect gift for someone diminish your holiday spirit! There are many shopping options…where do you go, what do you buy? Avoid the chaos and masses at traditional big box stores and enjoy your holiday shopping in a historic, quaint downtown community in Miami County, Ohio filled with unique shops and an eclectic assortment of gifts for everyone on your Christmas list.

Miami County is bountiful with antiques and collectibles, baked goods and artisan offerings, clothing, art, pottery and handmade jewelry and soaps, and many other one-of-a-kind gifts. While you’re shopping, you can experience the delicious local restaurants and warm, cozy coffee houses. You will be right at home while strolling through these downtowns because residents and store owners will treat you like part of the family.

Make a weekend of it and enjoy one of these local, holiday events while you find those special gifts. It won’t be hard with Miami County’s offerings, so you will have plenty of time to sip hot chocolate, sing Christmas carols, take a carriage ride, sit on Santa’s lap and enjoy the holiday spirit that surrounds you.

Being held on November 14 & 15, “A Winter’s Yuletide Gathering” is Tipp City shopkeeper’s open house to kick off the holiday shopping season. Visitors are delighted to find a festive atmosphere complete with sparkling store fronts, carriage rides, and pictures with Santa. Enjoy finding unique gifts, holiday décor, discounts and more from downtown merchants.

November 19-22, the Specialty Shoppes of West Milton invite you to join them for their holiday open house. Here you will find a variety of great gifts while enjoying refreshments, in-stores specials, door prizes and holiday fun.

The day after Thanksgiving, November 27th, Troy lights up for the holidays with its 2015 Hometown Holiday Celebration downtown. Visitors to Troy will enjoy the Grand Illumination of the Christmas tree on the square, phone calls to the North Pole, an appearance by Santa Claus, carriage rides, holiday music, refreshments, and a special holiday reading. And, you will radiate with holiday cheer as you stroll through downtown visiting the merchants.

The Tipp City Christmas in the Village and Holiday Home Tour has become a “holiday must” for hundreds of Miami Valley and Ohio residents. Whether you are a couple looking for design ideas or a group of pals kicking off the holidays, they welcome you with Plaid Tidings on December 4 & 5! Ten homes will be featured on this year’s tour.  Each home will reveal the charm and traditions of the homeowners’ own holiday displays, as well as stunning tabletops designed by members of DSID, the region’s professional design organization.  Entertainers will stroll the streets, keeping toes tapping as you visit homes at your own pace.  Add to the festivities by wearing your own plaid!

Community caroling, horse-drawn carriage rides, strolling characters, children’s activities and live entertainment make Piqua’s Christmas on the Green event a family-oriented holiday celebration and a “must do” on many calendars. Held Friday, December 4th, you will have the opportunity to visit historic downtown Piqua’s variety of local shops to choose the perfect gift for your loved one. And, on Saturday, December 5th, families and friends will fill Main Street for Piqua’s holiday parade. After the parade, children can visit with Santa at the historic Fort Piqua Plaza.

After enjoying parade and some holiday shopping in Downtown Piqua, head to an Evening of Lights at Charleston Falls, one of the most popular Miami County parks. Take a stroll down a luminary trail to the 37’ lighted falls. Afterwards, there is still time for some hot chocolate, children’s crafts, seasonal music, visits with Santa and more.

Finally, on Sunday, December 6th, at Hobart Arena, get into the holiday spirit while listening to A Celtic Tenors Christmas featuring the Dayton Philharmonic and Neal Gittleman. With a polished international reputation and just over a million album sales under their belts, The Celtic Tenors offer something truly unique – the skill, range and ability of world-class tenors combined with the personality and fun of genuine artists. They have performed together for over 14 years, and offer more than beautiful voices and musical knowledge, namely the sound that evokes the very soul of the Emerald Isle. The DPO and these three operatic magicians, will enchant you with their gorgeous renditions of Irish folk classics and favorite Christmas tunes like “Silent Night,” “Ave Maria,” “O Come All Ye Faithful,” and “Joy to the World.”

Choose Miami County, Ohio for your next holiday shopping destination. The ease of finding one-of-a-kind gifts for everyone on your list will be welcoming and relaxing. And, your family will have a blast participating in all the holiday activities and events these communities offer. Miami County, not just good…Home.Grown.Great.

Medina Does Christmas + Much More!


Medina County has so much to offer. With its close proximity to Cleveland and Akron and easy highway access, I-71, I-271, I-76, all roads lead to Medina County.

The holidays are a wonderful time to visit with all that is offered. A Castle Noel – America’s largest year-round indoor Christmas entertainment attraction – extends hours to opening Tuesday thru Sunday starting on the weekend before Thanksgiving.

Here, you’ll see the Hall of Fame photos of many holiday movie and TV stars and singers. Walk through the Blizzard Vortex. Enjoy the “I Had That” Toyland Experience with hundreds of classic toys. Experience the Santa Squeeze. Enjoy the collection of costumes, set props from many favorite Christmas movies, including Cindy Lou Who’s bedroom. There’s even Will Ferrell’s Elf costume, Cousin Eddy’s RV from Christmas Vacation and so much more. New York City holiday window displays from Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s and others will delight your fancy. Oh, and you even get to slide down the Christmas Story’s mountain and slide just like Ralphie!

The Medina County Fairgrounds offers “Holiday Lights Drive Thru”, a drive-thru of great light displays made up of displays donated by area businesses and local residents. One price gets the whole car in to view the lights.

Make holiday family memories and bring everyone to window shop the enchanted Medina town square holiday windows. Enjoy a wonderful family meal together with some shopping. Then go out and find that special Christmas tree at one of many nearby tree farms. You can cut-your-own or choose from the freshly pre-cut trees on the lot.

For everyone looking for Christmas and holiday gifts, Medina County has many amazing shops. Visit the great area small towns for those unique gifts for that special someone. There are outlet stores featuring Hollo’s Papercraft and Ohio Station Outlets and its 45+ shops. Medina County offers a wide variety of antique, gift, home improvement, clothing and numerous other shops as well. Medina County also hosts a flea market where you can find great gifts for the collector in the family.

The holidays in Medina County also means many exciting events! There are craft shows such as Christmas Around the World the weekend before Thanksgiving where you will see craftsmen in costume with their crafted gifts, holiday decorations and handmade items. In Wadsworth, enjoy the Candlelight Walk and Jingle Bell Jaunt with luminaries, food, kids activities, parade and lunch with Santa.

Downtown Medina also hosts a Candlelight Walk with entertainment and holiday lights around the historic district. There’s also a parade of lights, luminaries, fireworks display and Santa. Shops will remain open with extended evening hours for the weekend.

Valley City presents Christmas in the Valley with a community sing-along, crafts, Christmas lighting and Santa. Spring Mist Farm has created Candy Cane Christmas. Be greeted by live reindeer, a live nativity, and a lit miniature village with model trains, children’s activities and walk through a dozen themed trees decorated for the holidays.

The Medina Railroad & Toy Christmas Extravaganza is an amazing show to just come and browse for gifts for the kids or kids at heart. Maybe find that toy you had as a kid and, of course, trains – new and old. What is Christmas without a train making its way around under the Christmas tree?

If music is what you love, the Medina Community Band hosts a winter concert. Enjoy the Holiday Pops Concert performance by the Akron Symphony Orchestra and choirs.

Holidays are a special time in Medina County, but there are other remarkable event all year long. The Medina Ice Festival is the place to be in February to push back the winter blahs! Get out to see the ice carvings around Medina’s Public Square, the Tower of Fire & Ice on that Friday evening and ice carving competitions on Saturday and Sunday. It’s a winter blast!

Throughout the year, pay a visit to the many great festivals and events; the Wadsworth Blue Tip Festival, Brunswick’s Summer Celebration, Lodi’s Sweet Corn Festival, Valley City’s Frog Jump Festival, Medina’s International Fest, Buckin’ Ohio’s monthly rodeo shows starting in May and the Fall Foliage Tour in Medina County. These are just a few of the numerous events taking place in Medina County.

Even with its close proximity to Cleveland and Akron, Medina County offers many exceptional hometowns agricultural and fall sites. Farmers’ Markets can be found all summer long in Brunswick, Lodi, Medina, Seville and Wadsworth. Fresh produce, apples and wine will be available at farms, orchards and markets all year long but especially in the fall with pumpkins, fall events and fun corn mazes, apple picking, and fall festivals. Throughout Medina County, there are various golf courses, many parks for hikes, fishing, educational programs, and museums and history just waiting for you. Come and enjoy the outstanding restaurants and take the time to spend a day or two with a stay in the area hotels or bed and breakfasts.

Find out more details, including dates about all of these great options at www.visitmedinacounty.com or by calling 1-800-860-2943.

Explore the possibilities… in Medina County!

Freedom Film Series


The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center announced the Freedom Film Series. It begins Thursday, November 12, 2015 at 6:00 pm with a free screening of Stories from an Undeclared War. A welcome reception will be held in the Grand Hall with the film screening promptly at 6:30 p.m. in the Harriet Tubman Theater.

“We are thrilled to partner and provide a festival like viewing and atmosphere for the community,” says Kristen Schlotman, executive director of the Greater Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky Film Commission. “The Freedom Film Series will inspire discussion and take advantage of the premier theater housed in the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.”

The Freedom Film Series will reveal stories about the pursuit of freedom past and present, reflecting on struggles and celebrating victories that encourage dialogue and change. The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center will screen films between November 2015 and June 2016, each featuring an in-depth discussion with film makers, producers, community leaders or other special guests.

“We are honored to partner on this initiative with the Greater Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky Film Commission,” says Dr. Michael Battle, executive vice president and provost of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. “Films have the power to connect us, move us to action – especially films about freedom struggles and triumphs. This series will not only bring the community together for film screenings; it will engage each of us in conversations that examine our place in the world around us.”

Stories from an Undeclared War, the first film in the series, is the powerful story of 150 at-risk students from Long Beach, California, who were considered unteachable. Inspired by their teacher, Erin Gruwell, and the writings of Anne Frank, the students discover a new way to express themselves. In a racially divided community where adolescents had been exposed to drugs, gang warfare and homicides, Gruwell made it her goal to teach students to put down their fists and guns and to pick up a pen – and become Freedom Writers. This documentary follows the students’ story from the first day of freshman year in 1994 to the present.

Following the screening of Stories from an Undeclared War, several of the at-risk students featured in the documentary – now adults – will engage the audience in a reflective and thought-provoking discussion on their experiences as Freedom Writers.

Other films included in the series include a special Work-in-Progress screening of documentary film Olympic Pride, American Prejudice in February 2016 in partnership with the Center for Holocaust and Humanity Education, American Pastime in May 2016 and Get on the Bus in June 2016.

“We are proud to support the Freedom Film Series and National Underground Railroad Freedom Center,” said Amy Kendall, senior vice president and regional branch manager for Chubb Group of Insurance Companies. “The messages of these films and the Center’s mission are in line with our commitment of doing the right thing and treating our employees, customers and all the members of the communities in which we do business and beyond with the utmost fairness and respect.”

The screening of Stories from an Undeclared War on Thursday, November 12, 2015 at 6:00 p.m. is free and open to the public. The Freedom Film Series, in partnership with the Greater Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky Film Commission, is sponsored by Chubb Group of Insurance Companies. To learn more about the Freedom Film Series visit www.freedomcenter.org.



The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center opened in on the banks of the Ohio River in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio. For more information, visit www.freedomcenter.org.

Thanksgiving Feast


at The Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake

This annual Thanksgiving Day Buffet combines endless food with a spectacular lake view.

Step out of the kitchen and spend Thanksgiving dining with friends and family at The Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake’s annual Thanksgiving Day Buffet on Thursday, November 26, 2015. Guests will enjoy traditional Thanksgiving fare back-dropped with spectacular views of Lake Erie from the warmth of The Lodge’s Horizons Restaurant. Additional seasonal menu items by The Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake’s chefs top off this year’s buffet.

Make a reservation now for a Thanksgiving buffet that includes two carving stations – oven roasted turkey and slow roasted top round – along with roasted pork loin, chicken apple sausage and sage stuffing,  whipped sweet potatoes with candied walnuts, herb roasted potatoes, green bean casserole, penne primavera, salads and other treats. An array of desserts will tempt any sweet tooth, including pumpkin, apple and chocolate cream pies, cookies, brownies and a chocolate fountain with assorted treats.

The buffet will be served from 12:00 – 6:00 p.m. Prices are $39.99 for adults and $19.99 for children ages 6 – 12. Children 5 and under eat free. Larger groups (parties of 15 or larger) can request a private dining room. Advance reservations are requested and can be made by calling 440-415-1546.

The Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake is located at 4888 North Broadway (State Highway 534) in Geneva-on-the-Lake. It features 109 finely appointed guest rooms (the majority with lake views). Horizons Restaurant is an upscale restaurant with a striking octagonal dining room and al fresco dining – all with a breathtaking view of Lake Erie. There’s also a lounge with a rectangular bar and amenities that include a fitness center, indoor and outdoor pool and gift shop. The Lodge entrance is located one mile north of Geneva State Park, on the left. For room reservations, call 866-442-9765 or visit www.TheLodgeAtGeneva.com. For Horizons reservations, call 440-466-7100, then press 2.

Toledo Zoo is a Standout


Toledo Zoo & Aquarium: The Toledo Zoo isn’t just known as the best zoo in Ohio, it’s the best zoo in America, according to USA TODAY in 2014. And rightfully so considering its many firsts such as the internationally known hippoquarium. The zoo’s aquarium has one of the most diverse collections of any zoo-aquarium in the country. Other exhibits that make this zoo special are Arctic Encounter, Frog Town, Cheetah Valley, and Primate Forest. The exhibit, Africa! features free-roaming African animals such as giraffes, zebras, wildebeests, impalas, wild dogs, and ostriches, and can be enjoyed from an observation deck or the guided Safari train that circles the exhibit itself. Click here for more information.

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