Sweet Tooth Tours

Ohio has a confections trifecta that will satisfy any sweet tooth! Unlike Willie Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, you don’t need a golden ticket to see candy galore at Spangler Candy Company, b.a. Sweetie Candy Company and Anthony Thomas Chocolates.

Spangler Candy Company in Bryan, Ohio makes millions of sweets daily. Hop on a trolley tour to see the museum, factory and store. This is the place where all of your Dum Dum Lollipops come from as well as candy canes. Did you know that the stripe on a candy cane has to be done by hand? They also make marshmallow candies and a variety of bulk candy. Learn how a paperboy turned $450 into the purchase of a factory and launched his own candy empire. For tour information, click here.

b.a. Sweetie Candy in Cleveland is the largest candy store in the country. It features over 4,000 different kinds of candy totaling about 400,000 pounds of candy under one roof with nearly 2 million pounds in stick. They have everything from old-time favorites to the latest craze. There’s even an old-fashioned truck full of candy just inside to greet customers as their jaws drop upon entering this sweet store. For visitor information, click here.

Visitors to Anthony Thomas Chocolates in Columbus can walk along a glass-enclosed suspended catwalk to see candy made at this 152,000 square-foot state-of-the-art candy factory. In one shift, 25,000 pounds of chocolate are produced. Even Augustus Loof would be left satisfied (sorry, no chocolate river here). To plan your tour, click here.

Ohio, it’s sweeeet to be here!

‘Spring’ to Coshocton in 2017!

Signs of spring weather arrived in mid-February, about five weeks shy of actual springtime. Nevertheless, Coshocton is blooming with activities to do! In April, the Johnson Humrickhouse Museum is hosting their annual Teen-Age Talent Exhibit, featuring over a hundred works of art from local high school and home school students. See everything from watercolors and pastels, to photography and sculpture, and much more. With the exhibit being around 27 years, it has attracted and entertained people from all over. The museum is also hosting “What Women Want ~ A Night Out Just for Women” in April, and the “Pushing the Surface Exhibit,” in May and June, which will feature 25 art quilts from nationally known artists. Visit www.jhmuseum.org.

The Coshocton Crow Geotrail trail is highly rated by geocachers for its many beautiful sites and family-friendly caches. Not only will you visit 13 of Coshocton’s most interesting places, but you’ll also find fascinating facts about crows. Did you know that there is a surplus of them? You will definitely find out once you come and visit Coshocton – www.visitcoshocton.com.

If you are a local history buff, then you don’t want to miss “Facts & Photos of The Flood of 1913” in March. Dave Snyder, who is a curator of the Walhonding Valley Historical Society and Museum will present a slideshow with dioramas, books, and pictures showing the impact the great flood had on the community, and the significant destruction to the canal system. This is a perfect event to attend as it is free, interesting, and educational! Plus, if you have any knowledge of the local history, the better! Visit www.roscoevillage.com.

In April, the Coshocton Community Choir will be featuring its Spring concert “I’m Gonna Sing!” Over 200 singers and musicians from central Ohio participate in this annual concert. The choir, now in its 46th season, has commissioned a number of arrangements from well-known composers. Musical selections span the centuries with classics from each era being performed. This concert features the 100-voice adult choir, the children’s choir, The Roscoe Brass Quintet, and the 40-voice teen choir, all performing a mix of sacred and secular choral music. When you attend this concert, it will be sure to put you in the Spring mood and inspire you to sing along! Visit coshoctoncommunitychoir.org.

Treat yourself to a glass of wine and a scenic view. The Three Rivers Wine Trail has a winery for you! Whether you would like to sample wines at a California style wine bar or sip wines in a rustic setting, you’ll find your perfect spot – and maybe a new favorite wine. Click here to see Coshocton wineries.

The Majestic Monarch

The Krohn Conservatory in Cincinnati’s Eden Park features its 2017 International Butterfly Show, The Majestic Monarch, now through June 18.

This year’s show will celebrate the beauty of the majestic monarch butterflies and their amazing long journey across North America. Thousands of free-flying butterflies, of all varieties including the monarch, will fill the showroom and delight visitors with their beautiful colors and designs. Experience what it is like to be a butterfly surrounded by towering fir trees, giant flowers, and islands of color provided by the beautiful hydrangeas, marvelous marigolds, and gorgeous celosia.

Become a “Citizen Scientist” when visiting by observing which fruit nectar feeding station or which flower attracts the most butterflies. There is a lot to learn about Monarchs –– and everyone at Krohn is hoping that each visitor will spread the word about the importance of creating and preserving butterfly habitats.

The show will be open daily from 10am – 5 pm. Admission is $7/adult, and $4/child ages 5-17.

In April, here’s what’s happening:

The Land of Nod Tour Bus Visits Krohn
Sunday, April 2
10am – 5pm
A great day for families –– there will be Charlie Harper themed art activities and giveaways like tote bags and animal headbands.

Greater Cincinnati Orchid Society Potting Bee
Sunday, April 2
1 – 4pm
If you need help with potting your orchid, or want to learn more about orchids, mark your calendars for the Potting Bee!

Daffodil Show
Saturday, April 8 and Sunday, April 9
10am – 5pm
Come for the butterflies and stay to see hundreds of the most beautiful daffodils on display during our very first daffodil show!

Easter Sunday: Enjoy an early morning with the Butterflies!
Sunday, April 16
8am – 5pm (Regular admission applies)
Purchase refreshments and enjoy the butterflies and flowers during these special early hours.

Photographer Nights
Sponsored By K & R Photographics
Mondays, April 17, 24
5:30 – 7:30pm
$12 per person (price includes unlimited admission pin)
Photographers and tripods welcome! Come get great shots of our butterflies after regular show hours.

Earth Day Celebration
Sponsored by Scherzinger Termite and Pest Control
Friday, April 21
10am – 2pm
The first 300 visitors will receive a free tree seedling sponsored by both Scherzinger Termite/Pest Control and Friends of Krohn.

Many special events, both family-friendly and adults-only, have been planned throughout the 12-week show ranging from Photographer Nights to Family Nights and just about anything in between.

For more information about Krohn Conservatory and the International Butterfly Show, call 513-421-5707 or go to www.cincinnatiparks.com.

Sweet Moses & Cleveland Orchestra

 

Sweet Moses Soda Fountain & Treat Shop unveiled its newest creation in collaboration with The Cleveland Orchestra to celebrate the Orchestra’s Second Century and upcoming season. The year will be the ensemble’s 100th season of concerts and marks the launch of its Second Century.

The shop’s Cleveland Orchestra Second Century Chocolate Bar is handmade using premium Belgian chocolate and features a relief of the iconic home of The Cleveland Orchestra – Severance Hall. The special edition chocolate bar (available in both milk and dark chocolate) will be available later this year.

“We are honored to take part in the Cleveland Orchestra’s upcoming centennial celebration and are thrilled about this collaboration,” said Sweet Moses founder Jeff Moreau. “The Orchestra’s lasting legacy and commitment to musical excellence is a source of pride for all of Cleveland.”

“The Cleveland Orchestra is delighted to be collaborating with Sweet Moses for this exclusive chocolate,” said Ross Binnie, Cleveland Orchestra, Chief Marketing Officer. “This wonderful sweet shop in Gordon Square has a special meaning for us, as it was one of the venues we performed at during our first ‘At Home Neighborhood Residency’ in 2013. Sweet Moses is a wonderful partner and what better way to celebrate our Second Century than by adding a fantastic chocolate.”

Sweet Moses, located in the historic Gordon Square Arts District, epitomizes the quintessential ice cream and confections experience. Harkening back to the days of the vintage soda fountain, attention is paid to every detail – from ice cream served up behind an authentic Bastion-Blessings soda fountain and root beer straight from the barrel to handmade English toffee and chocolate barks to freshly-popped popcorn and homemade pies. Even the hot fudge and caramel sauces that top the sundaes are fresh out of the Sweet Moses kitchen. For more information, please visit www.sweetmosestreats.com.

Under the direction of Music Director Franz Welser-Möst, the New York Times has declared Cleveland to be the “best American orchestra” for its virtuosity, elegance of sound, variety of color, and chamber-like cohesion. The Cleveland Orchestra divides its time each year across concert seasons at home in Cleveland’s Severance Hall and each summer at Blossom Music Center. Additional portions of the year are devoted to touring and performance residencies around the world. Through concerts, tours, recordings, radio broadcasts, and internet streaming, the Orchestra is heard each year by millions of fans around the world.

The Cleveland Orchestra was created in 1918 by the Musical Arts Association, a non-profit corporation founded in 1915 to promote the presentation of live symphonic music in Cleveland. The Cleveland Orchestra became the Association’s only focus going forward, with strong leadership and community generosity enabling the ensemble to quickly grow from a respected regional group to national fame and then international acclaim. The Orchestra’s fame and acclaim have continued to grow and flourish, with the institution outlining a series of ambitious goals for its Second Century — to build upon its legendary musical excellence, to develop the youngest audience of any orchestra, to focus on fully serving the communities where it performs through concerts, engagement, and music education, to strengthen its business acumen and financial strength, and to embrace innovation and technology in support of its musical mission to engage people of all ages through the power of music to enrich lives and inspire minds, to foster learning and understanding, and to spark creativity and imagination. For more information, please visit www.clevelandorchestra.com.

Wild Orphans: To Rescue Or Not?

“Mommy, look what I found!”

Whether it is a baby bird, squirrel, bunny, or other wild animal, children have a knack for finding wild orphans.  Across the United States during the spring and summer months, thousands of young wild animals will be picked up; some need to be rescued, most do not.

“At Brukner Nature Center, we care for more than 1,400 animals each year,” said Becky Crow, Curator of Wildlife.  “They are brought to us by well-intentioned individuals, but many of them did not need to be rescued,” Crow added.

Baby bunnies, also known as kits, are one of the wild animals rescued most often, but usually do not need human help.  Mother rabbits are only at the nest to feed their young twice a day for about five minutes—at dawn and dusk.  And, yes, they really did put the nest in the middle of your backyard!  One reason for this is so mama rabbit can see any predators that may be approaching while she is nursing her young.  Kits are in their nest for only two to three weeks; a pretty short time before they are independent.  Leave the nest alone unless you find cold, limp babies, or obviously injured ones.  Brukner Nature Center has more advice for you on how to keep the young safe in the nest until they are ready to live on their own.

There is a myth that once a baby bird is touched by a human, it will not be cared for by the parent birds.  Not true!  First of all, birds, except for those in the vulture family, have a poor sense of smell.  They cannot even tell that you touched the nestling when returning it to the nest.  However, if you put a cold baby bird back in the nest and it is unable to beg for food when the parent arrives, it is in trouble.  It is always best to call Brukner Nature Center for help and advice.

Did you know that mother deer forage for food, leaving their camouflaged, spotted fawns alone for several hours at a time?  People who come across these vulnerable-looking fawns in the woods, their backyards and along roadways always assume they need help.  Unless the fawn is obviously injured—broken leg, open wound, flies buzzing around it—it is most likely perfectly fine.  Its mom intends to come back soon and expects to find the youngster right where she left it after the last feeding.

“It is illegal, as well as unwise, to keep wildlife as pets or even to try to raise orphans unless you are trained and have the proper permits from state and federal wildlife agencies,” said Crow.  Licensed wildlife rehabilitators have the knowledge and experience to care for wild orphans that need help.  They know how to raise orphans to be healthy and wild.  When you find a wild animal you think needs help, it is best to call for advice so both you and the wild animal remain safe.

In this area, you can call Brukner Nature Center at 937-698-6493.  Please make certain the wild animal in question needs to be rescued.  Even with the best efforts of Brukner Nature Center, there is no substitute for Mother Nature.

Brukner Nature Center is a non-profit, privately-funded organization promoting the appreciation and understanding of wildlife conservation through preservation, education, and rehabilitation.  Hours of operation are: Monday through Saturday from 9:00am-5:00pm and Sundays, 12:30-5:00pm.  Admission is $2.50 per person or $10 for a family of 4 or more (cash or check).  No admission charge on Sundays!  For more information, call 937-698-6493, email info@bruknernaturecenter.com, or visit www.bruknernaturecenter.com.

Community – Not For Us Alone

Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens opens its season with the theme of Community – Not For Us Alone. In the spring, the Manor House unveils a new permanent exhibit, The Seiberling Legacy, as well as a revamped behind-the-scenes “Nooks & Crannies” tour. The new Pollinator Garden opens near the Corbin Conservatory.

Featured prominently above the front door of the Manor House is the phrase “Non Nobis Solum,” which is Latin for “Not For Us Alone.” this expression is emblematic of how the Seiberlings lived, inspired to make their community a better place for all. F.A. and Gertrude Seiberling helped to shape the fabric of Akron as gracious hosts, patrons of the arts, philanthopists and entrepreneurs.

“We invite guests to visit and take a tour to learn more about the many ways the Seiberlings’ legacy still influences our community today,” notes Linda Conrad, President & Executive Director at Stan Hywet.

Opening in mid-April on the lower level of the Manor House is The Seiberling Legacy, a new permanent exhibit that presents a complete picture of the Seiberlings’ civic generosity. A visual story told in eight “chapters,” the display presents the many ways the family used its fortune and influence for the betterment of others. Each chapter — Community Spirit, Business & Innovation, Transportation, Health & Wellness, the Environment, Culture, Military Service and Housing – addresses another aspect of this family’s altruism.

“Nooks & Crannies,” the behind-the-scenes Manor House specialty tour, has been retooled with a new tour route and augmented with more details incorporated from additional research on the domestic staff who lived and worked on the estate. New exhibit panels and Walk the Hall guides are part of the refreshed tour.

The lifecycle and impact of bees and other pollinator insects are part of the new Pollinator Garden. Designed to educated guests about the need for pollination plants and the challenges facing these essential insects, it is located between the Butterfly Habitat and the Corbin Conservatory.

This garden features host plants (where insects lay eggs and larvae) and pollinator plants, the food source (nectar) in the flowers. Plants such as milkweed, Joe-pye weed and blueberries in the garden will attract bees, moths, and butterflies – insects that use flowers as a nectar source. An educational replica beehive will be on display in the Pollinator Garden to explain how a beehive and its hierarchy works.

Special events – guest favorites – are back. Founders’ Day Weekend, June 9-11, commemorates the 82nd anniversary of the founding of Alcoholics Anonymous at the Gate Lodge. The 60th annual Father’s Day Car Show on June 18 features cars from 1957 (the same year that Stan Hywet opened as a historic house museum). The annual GALA – Starry, Starry, Starry Night – is June 23. Ohio Mart, the popular annual artisan craft festival is October 5-8. Deck The Hall in November and December features “Postcards from the Past” in the Manor House, Rudolf in his corral, two animated shop windows, more than 900,000 lights illuminating the Estate, including Dazzle and Gingerbread Land.

Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens is open April 1 through the end of November from Tuesday through Sunday from 10am-6pm; the last admission is at 4:30pm. Daytime hours change for the month of December. The Estate is also open on Memorial Day and Labor Day with regular operating hours.

More information is available at www.stanhywet.org or by calling 330-836-5533. Stan Hywet is located at 714 North Portage Path in Akron, Ohio.

Carmen

 

An all-female creative team bring to life a Civil War-era take on the exploits of the fierce and fiery gypsy girl, Carmen. 

This reimagined and reduced new production of Bizet’s most famous opera features the spoken dialogue of the original score, but is set during an early 20th century era of civil war and unsettling social atmosphere. An all-female creative team breathes new life into the powerfully beguiling gypsy Carmen who has no rules when it comes to seducing the soldier José, but his growing desire to keep her triggers a web of jealousy and murderous rage. As part of Opera Columbus’ artistic collaboration with The Juilliard School’s Marcus Institute for Vocal Arts and its Artist Diploma in Opera Studies (ADOS) program, mezzo-soprano and ADOS artist Avery Amereau will perform the role of Carmen.

Opera Columbus presents Carmen at the Southern Theatre (21 E. Main St.). There will be a preview performance on Wednesday, May 3, at 1 pm with additional performances on Friday, May 5, at 7:30 pm, and Sunday, May 7, at 2 pm. It is performed in French with English surtitles with the Columbus Symphony and BalletMet 2.

Tickets are $25-$88 (preview tickets are $10-30) at the CAPA Ticket Center (39 E. State St.), all Ticketmaster outlets, and www.ticketmaster.com. To purchase by phone, call (614) 469-0939 or (800) 745-3000. Young people aged 13-25 may purchase $5 All Access tickets while available. For more information, visit www.GoFor5.com.

In 2015, Opera Columbus’ entered into an artistic collaboration with The Juilliard School’s Marcus Institute for Vocal Arts and its Artist Diploma in Opera Studies (ADOS) program. The ADOS program is an intensive, two-year curriculum of advanced opera studies for highly gifted and experienced singers at the post-master’s level, selected through a comprehensive audition process. As part of the new collaboration, Opera Columbus Artistic Director Peggy Kriha Dye, herself a graduate of Juilliard, observes the artists’ development as they work through the ADOS program. Dye and Juilliard’s Director of Opera Studies Stephen Wadsworth collaborate to determine what roles best suit each artist and what operas best suit upcoming Opera Columbus seasons. Selected ADOS artists are then contracted by Opera Columbus to perform in an upcoming, main stage production beginning with the 2016-17 season.

Mezzo-soprano Avery Amereau has garnered much attention for the unique quality of her voice and sensitivity to interpretation. She has been praised by The New York Times as “sensual and achingly perfect” as well as “particularly excellent,” and by Opera Today as possessing “an effortlessly rich mezzo-soprano voice worthy of any professional stage in the industry with charisma to match.” A native of Jupiter, Florida, Amereau received her Bachelor of Music degree at Mannes College, and her Master of Music degree at The Juilliard School studying under Edith Wiens. During the summers of 2011-14, she studied at the Internationale Meistersinger Akademie under the tutelage of Malcolm Martineau, Ann Murray, and John Fisher, among others. She is currently pursuing an Artist Diploma in Opera Studies at Juilliard, where she is a proud recipient of a Kovner Fellowship.

For more information, visit www.OperaColumbus.org.

Pyramid Hill 20th Anniversary

Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park & Museum in Hamilton, Ohio is celebrating its 20th Anniversary throughout 2017. This unique blend of art and nature has been a destination for folks for years as it continues to grow.

Three special events are planned from July through Fall spotlighting the park, the art, and the pyramid house. The park event will present a concert in partnership with the Hamilton-Fairfield Symphony Orchestra and the Cincinnati Opera. The concert will include a new original composition by John Paul Stanbery, The Music Director and CEO of the Hamilton-Fairfield Symphony Orchestra and Chorale. The art event will bring an outdoor installation by Australian artist Amanda Parer titled Intrude and will remain on display for two weeks with a variety of themed programs. The home event will celebrate the opening of the Harry T. Wilks home, Pyramid House, which is currently under renovations. Harry T. Wilks opened the park as a public not for profit organization in 1997 as Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park and Arboretum.

“The logo was a perfect depiction of the land, stream, hills and trees. In the progression of the park and the name, we wanted to find a visual representation of an Art Park. The sculpture at the entrance is now very identifiable with the park,” said Director of Park Operations, Shaun Higgins. “So with the blessing of artist John Henry, a depiction of Passage is now part of the visual representation of Pyramid Hill. Easily identifiable and unique.”

The roots of Pyramid Hill date back to 1987 when Harry T. Wilks (1925-2014) purchased 40 acres of land just outside of Hamilton, Ohio. He desired to build his home there and before it was finished in 1992, he added several adjoining parcels of land. He would clear the land as he acquired it and build roads, create lakes and clear hiking trails. After the home was completed he invited friends to Pyramid Hill, and in 1995 he received nine offers to purchase home sites. However, by that time, Harry began to appreciate the beauty of the land and nature and wanted to preserve it for future generations.

Harry combined his love of art and had the idea to create a public sculpture park and formed a non-profit foundation to which he donated the land so it could be free from private development. He began visiting sculptors and purchased several pieces to place in the newly formed park. The park opened as a public not for profit in 1997. The park has been buzzing with school tours and visitors ever since with the park gradually acquiring national and international attention and appearing in articles in newspapers and magazines all over the country. World-renowned artists such as Perlman, Meadmore, Liberman, Isherwood, Rosenthal and Barrett, wanted to show their sculpture at Pyramid Hill.

Youth and adult programs as well as a vibrant event schedule were actively engaging the community within the year. In 1999 Holiday Lights On The Hill began to light up the Christmas season and continues as an annual tradition for many families in the greater Hamilton area. In 2003 the first annual Art Fair became a reality with artists from all over the country displaying their work. Each year, the roads are lined with wonderfully talented artists, live music, family art activities and unique food vendors. The Ancient Sculpture Museum inside of the park opened in 2007. The annual Zombie Ball was added in 2015 and the Museum Gallery Series began featuring local and regional artists in the Ancient Sculpture Museum in 2016. It features an indoor display of ancient Greek, Roman, Etruscan and Egyptian sculpture. Pyramid Hill’s programs and artistic offerings continue to build and improve, attracting visitors from around the world.

Pyramid Hill continues to bring people to art in nature by featuring over 60 pieces of outdoor sculpture in a natural setting of hills, meadows and forests. Admission is $8 for adults $3 for children. Visit www.pyramidhill.org for more information to plan your visit.

Dennison Depot is a Standout!

Dennison Railroad Depot Museum is a standout in tourism and in history. This is one heck of a whistle stop! The depot is incredible. It’s like buying a ticket to a bygone era. And then you wander through the museum which is housed in one train car after another stretching down the track in what has to be one of the longest museums around. But that’s not all, this depot is special. The G.I. generation saw 1.3 million servicemen stop at the track side canteen in Dennison, Ohio. This town earned its friendly service offering a free cup of coffee and a sandwich to all the servicemen. At the Dennison Railroad Depot Museum, you can find a great mix of WWII Canteen stories and tales of the railroad in an area where the trains made the town! 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/.