November Archives

Fall Fun in Amish Country

Fall is that magical time for most people; from the crisp air to the crunching of leaves, it is a season to be celebrated, and they embrace that celebration here.

Fall is the time to harvest the fields and gardens and prepare for those cold winter months. You will find activity all around Holmes County and watch the landscape transform from the lush green fields into the kaleidoscope of colors that are ominous with autumn.

Where do you begin that fall-filled adventure? Head to the farms before they close for the winter months. Yoder’s Amish Home in Walnut Creek allows you to explore the working farm and see what goes into fall harvest time. The kitchen will likely have an abundance of sweet treats baking and canning, from fresh cookies to the canning of applesauce, corn, beans, and anything else coming out of the garden.

Want to let the kids explore all day in one place? The Farm at Walnut Creek is your stop; located outside of Walnut Creek, the farm is full of exotic and domestic animals that you may feed. The wagon ride across the fields allows all ages to feel young at heart, feeding giraffes, water buffalos, fallow deer, and pigs of all sizes. After the wagon, spend time going through the aviary section of the farm to discover birds from around the world.  The farm also has a working home and barn, where on top of the canning and samples, they will bring in other Amish businesses that sell items such as baskets, baked goods, leather items, and wooden toys.

Hershberger’s Farm and Bakery is where you can go pick your own pumpkin straight out of the fields. Gather all your fall essentials, from the gourds and pumpkins to fresh kettle corn and apples. Let’s not forget the adorable animals located in the petting area. Spend hours cuddling with baby goats, bunnies, pigs, cows, sheep, and of course, Big King. This Belgian Draft Horse is a sight, towering over all in the petting zoo with grandeur. While you are there, make sure to hop in a buggy and take a ride around the farm, the drivers are great at answering questions and enjoy sharing about the farm.

Are you looking to gather this fall produce for the winter months? Maybe you want to pick your own? Moreland Fruit Farm, located in Moreland, is a working fruit farm that offers a variety of you-pick produce products. They focus on strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries in the summer months. In the fall, they offer you pick for apples, pears, and pumpkins. So, load up those straw baskets or totes and head over to gather your bounty this season.

Another option would be Hillcrest Orchard in Walnut Creek. The orchard is perched on the hillside overlooking walnut creek, creating a great spot for photos and apple picking. The storefront will have gorgeous mums in full bloom, pumpkins, gourds galore, and a favorite – apple cider. If you love fresh hot apple cider, they carry various flavors to fit everyone’s taste buds.

You’ve gathered all the produce and pumpkins and experienced all the animals but may still be looking for more to do while in Ohio Amish Country to grasp those fall days. No worries, there are plenty of outdoor options to embrace Ohio Autumn.

Amish Country Riding Stables is where you can ride horses through the woods, across a vineyard, and through the fields. Located on the Guggisberg Swiss Inn grounds, you will feel like you have stepped into a storybook. The stables are weather dependent and book quickly, so you should call in advance to book your ride.

If sports are more your type of adventure, well, there are a few outdoor options that will keep you moving while here. Fire Ridge Golf Course is centered outside of Millersburg and will have any golf enthusiast itching to take a swing. Maybe shooting sports are more your thing, Airport Ridge Sporting Clays packages for all levels of shooters. You can spend time taking a lesson with a professional or grab your buddies and try your luck. Husbands and wives, girl groups, guys weekend, and even kids will all have fun breaking clay birds as they fly through the sky. The Hatchet Club, while indoors, is a must-try while visiting here. The team will walk you through how to throw the axe properly, give you pointers, and then allow you to enjoy the time. It is a great stress reliever and team-building experience. Make sure to bring anything you may want to eat or drink, as they have a BYOB status now.

Are you looking to stretch those legs and reconnect to nature? Mohican State Park is just minutes away and full of trails, canoeing, covered bridges, and the sounds of nature. In the fall, it is busy with photographers looking to grab that perfect fall image, but thanks to the vast amounts of the protected forest, no one feels the increase. Hummingbird Hill Flower Farm, outside of Shreve, is also a fabulous way for travelers to reconnect to nature and center themselves. The healing vibes at the flower farm give visitors a calming and peaceful atmosphere; they spend hours walking the flower beds and watching the hummingbirds, butterflies, and insects flutter about. Head up to the patio area, where you can watch the sunset. Plan and schedule your trip during one of their events which range from flower pressing and eco prints to sunset sound bathing and yoga retreats.

As you can see, fall in Ohio Amish Country is spectacular and full of life.

See Our Sponsors

Lehmans – The Recipe for the Holidays

Looking for the recipe for a perfect holiday this year?

Traditionally, a recipe refers to baking and cooking.  However, What is a recipe? A gathering of ingredients and combining them to make the end result even better.

Here are some non-traditional ideas for the recipe for a lovely holiday season.

Perhaps you would like to gift an experience instead of an item this year.

How about a family board game night?

Santa’s bag never held so much old-time FUN. Watch little eyes get big and smiles appear with non-electric toys, board games, and puzzles! They entertain and delight all ages and provide a welcome break from the ever-present technology. These games don’t have sound effects, they don’t use batteries, and you don’t need a computer to make them work. Instead, they encourage creativity and pretend play and stir the imagination, along with a dose of healthy competition.

Toys, Games, and Gifts For All Ages – Lehman’s (

Why not plan a trip to Amish Country and make your first stop at Lehman’s?

What started as a small hardware store serving the local Amish in Kidron, Ohio, grew into something much bigger than founder Jay Lehman ever dreamed. Gathering four pre-Civil War era buildings under one soaring roof, today Lehman’s is a place to embrace the past: from old-fashioned treats and sodas to practical, non-electric goods that help you live a simpler life. Make sure you stop by our year-round Christmas store!  Shop and reminisce your way through thousands of products while browsing Jay’s antique collection located throughout the store. Make sure you give yourself plenty of time—the full shopping experience is nearly a quarter mile long!

Retail Store_Departments – Lehman’s (

Doesn’t a family and friends cookie exchange sound fun?  Or a baking day with your children?  Get all the cooking and baking supplies you need for yourself or as a gift to a loved one.

Plan an evening of cookie baking and decorating with your children or siblings; each person can take home a plate of homemade treats.  Or delight the baker in your life with baking tools and gadgets that are sure to delight and get lots of use. As well as baking tools, you can find premium cutlery, American-made glassware, old-fashioned helpers, hand-thrown pottery, canners, and food preservation supplies. You’re sure to find a gift they’ll appreciate and use again and again.

For the Cook – Lehman’s (

How about investing in some high-quality holiday décor that you can enjoy year after year?

From vintage favorites to brand-new finds, there’s something for just about every style and every room. Adorn your walls with inspiration, enjoy the comforting glow of handmade candles and display beautiful nativities, ornaments, and sleigh bells. Add some homespun elegance to your homestead and deck your halls in old-world style this season.

Holiday Decor – Lehman’s (

Whether you are planning a festive event for your loved ones, entertaining family and friends, or shopping for everyone on your list, Lehman’s is the place to visit.  Even Santa shops at Lehman’s…Play this video and see for yourself.

See Our Sponsors

Holiday Shopping in Coshocton

Coshocton is filled to the brim with locally-made artisan goods, antiques, and rustic shops, making it the perfect destination for holiday shopping. A gift from a Coshocton shop has meaning, character, and depth. Give the gift of supporting local businesses, restaurants, and craftspeople.

The Holiday shopping season kicks off along the brick-lined street of Historic Roscoe Village on November 12 with the annual Jingle and Mingle shopping event. Fill out the free punch card at each participating shop for a chance to win a village gift basket at the end of the day. Many shops offer sale items, refreshments, and a festive atmosphere.

It’s easy to find special gifts at the locally owned Shops of Roscoe Village. Fine jewelry may be found at The House of GA Fisher Jewelers, where the family has served the community with excellent service and quality for three generations. River Ridge Leather specializes in hand-made items made with the highest quality leather. Specialty food stores include bakeries for both people and dogs, an old-fashioned candy shop, and a market that features Ohio-made food and wines. Other shops feature home decor, Very Bradley, and locally made art, and ladies’ clothing.

Coshocton’s Historic Downtown District is also filled with quality shops, including a two-story antique mall, a nationally recognized quilt shop, clothing for the whole family, gift shops, and another muti-generation jewelry store. A shopping event for the whole area is planned for December 3. Details may be found at

Starting after Thanksgiving, several local tree farms open for “Cut-your-own-Christmas Tree” experiences. Make memories and give the gift of supporting local entrepreneurs as you decorate and shop! More information may be found at

Be sure to save the dates for the 51st Annual Christmas Candlelighting Ceremonies in Historic Roscoe Village! The first two Saturdays in December (December 3 & 10) are special days in the village. Imagine strolling the historic street with a bit of snow in the air, evergreens and lit trees along the walks, candles in the windows, a welcoming light to all who come. Families enjoy the day of shopping and special activities that may include carolers, roasted chestnuts, a visit with Santa, and crafts, followed by the Christmas Candlelighting Ceremony, which begins at 6pm. Gathering at the base of the village’s giant Christmas tree with friends old and new to remember the past, hear stories, and see the 30-foot tree be lit. The passing of candlelight from one person to another is magical. As the light brightens the darkness, so does the sound of Silent Night, which is sung throughout the crowd.

For more local shopping information and events, please visit or reach out to the Coshocton County Visitors Bureau at 740-622-4877.

See Our Sponsors

Holiday Season in Medina County

Wrap Christmas and the Holiday Season
in A Little Medina County Magic

Warm sweaters? Check. Thermos filled with hot chocolate? Check. Trusty four-wheel-drive “sleigh” with plenty of horsepower? Check. You’re all ready for a great holiday excursion! But where to go? This year, treat the family to a grand tour of beautiful Medina County! Within daytrip driving distance of Cleveland and Akron, Medina offers that rare combination of small-town coziness and big-city flair.

Christmas every day

Start your expedition at Castle Noel, 260 South Court Street, Medina, Ohio 44256. Touted as America’s largest indoor, year-round Christmas entertainment attraction, Castle Noel has the world’s largest privately owned collection of Hollywood Christmas movie props and costumes. And that’s not all. View the animated New York City Christmas windows from famous Big Apple stores or visit the gift shop. Guaranteed to put you in the holiday spirit!

Ready to refuel? Enjoy the cuisine at one of Medina’s many eateries, like Miss Molly’s Tea Room, 140 West Washington Street, Medina, Ohio 44256, where the Victorian age is deliciously on display on a menu replete with pastries and other fare. Or brush up your Irish brogue and raise a glass at Gandalf’s Pub & Restaurant, 6757 Center Road, Valley City, Ohio 44280.

If you’re looking for some holiday cheer, visit Medina County wineries, including Filia Cellars Winery, 3059 Greenwich Road, Wadsworth, Ohio 44281, and Jilbert Winery 1496 Columbia Road, Valley City, Ohio 44280.

Shop ‘til you drop 

Next, find that perfect present at one of the many boutiques, gift stores, specialty outlets, antique shops, or fashion emporiums found throughout Medina County.

You can also take part in several candlelight walks. The City of Medina and A.I. Root Candle Company will host the 38th annual Medina Candlelight Walk on November 18-20th around Medina square. This three-day affair annually attracts up to 40,000 people and includes holiday light displays, the lighting of the Christmas tree in Medina’s lovely gazebo, fireworks, a parade, and much more.

Likewise, Wadsworth, Ohio holds the Wadsworth Candlelight Walk on November 18th starting at 5:30 pm. You can take a horse and carriage ride, watch the Christmas tree lighting ceremony, visit Santa, view ice sculptures, win the raffle and sample the delicacies on offer. You can also attend Christmas in the Valley, an annual holiday festival including a parade held in Valley City, Ohio, December 10-11th. Say hi to Santa in his horse-drawn carriage!

Or attend A Celtic Christmas, a 27-year tradition held Sunday, Nov 27 at 2:30 PM at the Medina Performing Arts Center, 851 Weymouth Road, Medina, Ohio 44256.

To end your day, retire to one of Medina County’s welcoming B&Bs or hotels to recharge your batteries for tomorrow’s fun. The award-winning Spitzer House Bed & Breakfast, 504 W Liberty Street Medina, Ohio 44256, features private baths in all guest rooms. Or try Reutter’s Roost Bed & Breakfast, 2267 Columbia Road, Valley City, Ohio 44280. Nestled in a 1913 Queen Anne style house with a wraparound Victorian porch, the B&B sits on over a hundred acres of hikable land.

Start planning your holiday getaway today, or download the visitor’s guide.

See Our Sponsors

Christmas in Steubenville

It’s a Christmas In Steubenville
and Nutcracker Village

Love the seasonal lights and music? Do you want to take great Christmas photos with the family? Looking for a fun holiday weekend? Look no further than Steubenville in eastern Ohio, which has become a mecca for Christmas lovers.

It all began eight years ago with the creation of the Steubenville Nutcracker Village. Starting with just 35 life-sized original nutcrackers depicting characters from literature, art, music, and entertainment, the collection has grown each year, and with the addition of 15 new nutcrackers this season, there will be 200 on display 24/7 throughout the historic business district on 4th Street in downtown Steubenville from November 22, 2022, through January 7, 2023. Maps indicating the locations of the Nutcrackers can be obtained at Leonardo’s Coffeehouse (159 N. 4th Street) and the Steubenville Visitor Center (120 S. 3rd Street).

All the nutcrackers are designed and produced locally by the creative elves at Nelson’s of Steubenville.  From the characters of the Wizard of Oz to the members of the Rat Pack and a huge variety of figures from history and the professions, the nutcrackers provide excellent opportunities for making family memories and taking selfies.

A number of additional attractions have developed alongside the Nutcracker Village, including a Holiday Market and Christmas at the Fort at the Fort Steuben Visitor Center on S. 3rd Street on weekends during the event. Set up under a canopy of lights and music in Fort Steuben Park, the Market offers gifts, décor, and foods of the season. Choirs and singers gather around the 32’ Christmas Tree while St. Nicholas strolls among the visitors. New this year, a Forest of Animated Trees will light up the central lawn in the Park. Weekend movies, puppet shows, and rides on the Holly Trolley add to the fun. The reconstructed 18th-century Fort Steuben is open for tours at a nominal fee. Inside the Visitor Center, a model train village is on display, and the Fort Gift Shop is stocked with holiday items, books, toys, and souvenirs.

The downtown streets are decorated with 25 live Christmas trees with a tree decorating competition for local non-profits that viewers can vote for. Students from the local schools have decorated storefronts to enhance the holiday spirit.

The Public Library of Steubenville & Jefferson County offers a Nutcracker Storywalk among the trees and nutcrackers on 4th Street, so visitors can search for pages and enjoy a seasonal classic while they walk.

The Children’s Corner on 4th & Market Streets will be open on weekends with free crafts, games, performances, and photos with Fr. Christmas.

Leonardo’s Coffeehouse on N. 4th Street will have a Museum of Classical Christmas Masterpieces displayed on their 2nd floor. North 4th Street will also be the site of the German Gluhwein Garden, where visitors can sip on mulled wine and bask in a Bavarian atmosphere. Other shops along the street will have special holiday sales and offerings.

No holiday event is complete without a parade, and the Steubenville Sights and Sounds of Christmas Parade will process down 4th Street at noon on December 3rd with bands, dancers, and floats to celebrate the season.

Another popular way to join the fun is to participate in the Saint Nicholas Day Lantern Parade that will take place along 4th Street on the evening of December 4th. St. Nicholas and companions will begin at First Westminster Presbyterian Church and lead lantern-bearers, bellringers, angels, and celebrants to the Creche at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, singing hymns and spreading the joy of the Christmas season.

Other holiday events include Christmas concerts and music workshops, a Holiday Hike at Beatty Park, Story Time led by the Public Library of Steubenville & Jefferson County, and Holiday Hayrides.

After a lapse of two years, the original musical production Wooden Heart Follies is returning this season. Created by veteran community theater actors, directors, and playwrights John and Von Holmes, the play brings to life nine nutcrackers, using the music of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite with comic lyrics added. The story begins once upon a time in a magical land called Steubenville, where the mad scientist nutcracker falls in love with his human designer and turns the Nutcracker Village upside down. Audiences will discover whether nutcrackers really do like sugar plums and whether or not wooden hearts can fall in love. The production will run December 1-4; tickets can be found at

Dates to be aware of:

  • Nov. 22- Steubenville Lights Up and Nutcrackers Village & Holiday Market opens
  • Nov. 27- Blessing of Advent Wreaths and Nativity Sets
  • Nov. 25-27, Dec. 2-4, Dec. 9-11, Dec. 16-18, Weekend Events and Holiday Market
  • Dec. 1-4, Wooden Heart Follies at the Masonic Temple, Thursday performance free to the local community at 6:30pm; Friday (6:30pm), Saturday (4pm), and Sunday (4pm) tickets: Adults $10; Children 12 and under: $5.
  • Dec. 3, Sights and Sounds of Christmas Parade
  • Dec. 4, Lantern Parade
  • December 8 – Old Fashioned Country Christmas Concert, Sycamore Center, N. 4th Street, Steubenville; music for the season; 6:30pm
  • December 10 – Drum Line, Market Street, 4:00; rain date Dec. 11, 4:00

For information on these as well as lodging and dining options in Steubenville, contact the Steubenville Visitor Center by phone (740-283-1787), email (, or stop by 120 S. 3rd Street in Steubenville, Ohio.

See Our Sponsors

Holidays in The Hills

As late fall arrives in Ohio’s Hocking Hills the region comes alive with holiday activities.  Fall leaves carpet the forest floor, the smell of fires in the hearth rise from cabin chimneys and the season of holiday traditions begins.

From November 1 to December 12, hunting for the perfect gift becomes more fun.  The 8th Annual Hocking Hills Holiday Treasure Hunt includes more than twenty-five shops filled with one-of-a-kind treasures.  The hunt begins with a treasure map.  Collect six stickers from participating shops, and you will be entered in a drawing for more than twenty-five prizes and a Grand Prize getaway for a family of four to the Hocking Hills.

Along the way, hunters will find handcrafted items, locally created works of art, home accents, specialty foods, and more.  Make this the year for truly unique gifts for everyone on your list.  Have fun, delight your friends and family and win prizes. Now, that’s a fun hunt!

Want to get the whole family together but don’t have the room?  Bring your gang to the Hocking Hills and enjoy all the comforts of home with all the room you need.  Lodges can accommodate dozens and are outfitted with gourmet kitchens, game rooms, spacious decks, fireplaces, and hot tubs, some even have indoor swimming pools.  Spend the holidays with your loved ones in your own private resort environment.

Everyone is encouraged to visit responsibly.  Help ensure the Hocking Hills are around to be enjoyed forever by following some simple guidelines:

Do Your Homework

  • Stay on Trails
  • Be Nice. Mother Nature is Watching
  • Pick Up After Yourself and Your Pet
  • Take Only Photographs. Leave Only Footprints
  • Leave Critters Alone
  • Pick a Prepared Campsite
  • Keep Your Campfire Small
  • Trendy Isn’t Cool; Cairns hurt nature, carving is never okay and extreme selfies are dangerous
  • Support Local
  • Volunteer Opportunities
  • Spread the Word

Join the hundreds who have taken the pledge to visit the responsibly.  Visit, take the pledge, and receive a Love Hocking Hills sticker.

From everyone in the Hocking Hills, we wish you the happiest of holidays and a new year filled with health, happiness, and prosperity.

See Our Sponsors

Holidays at Maria Stein Shrine

Holidays are Special at the Maria Stein Shrine

Creating family traditions is a cherished activity around the holidays.  This year along with the light shows and Christmas parades, check out the Maria Stein Shrine of the Holy Relics, where the spirit of love and peace abounds all year long. You can create those family memories that will truly enhance your celebrations for years to come.

From November 25 through January 8, 2023, the Shrine will again be hosting a Nativity Exhibit from the donated collection of Tim and Katheleen Nealeigh. You will be able to view more than 60 nativity sets and see how the simple scene of Christ in the manger with Mary and Joseph has been interpreted in many cultures over the years.  The Relic Shrine’s first-floor Gathering Space will be filled with sets from differing time periods, cultures, and artistic mediums. It is a wonderful reminder of the true meaning of Christmas and a way to foster discussion about how this holiday has been observed by many cultures from across the globe. Since the first nativity scene was developed by Saint Francis of Assisi, different people have been putting their own spin on the birth of Christ. This display of nativities showcases the various ways Jesus’ birth has been interpreted.   Bring the whole family for this wonderful reminder of the reason for the season with this free exhibit. It is open to the public during the normal Shrine Hours: Monday through Thursday, 9:30 am to 6 pm, Friday and Saturday, 9:30 am to 4 pm, and noon to 4 pm on Sundays.  They are closed December 23-26, 2022, and December 31, 2022-January 2, 2023.

For a special event the kids will long remember, make your reservations for the Maria Stein Shrine’s annual St. Nicholas Celebration.  Taking place on December 4th from 1pm to 3 pm, the afternoon includes activities, prayers, pictures with St. Nicholas, cookies, cocoa, and plenty of holiday fun. The event is $10 per child, and reservations can be made online at

When the hustle and bustle of the holiday season feels a bit overwhelming, a visit to the Maria Stein Shrine of the Holy Relics may be just the right tonic for your soul.  This quiet place of peace and prayer provides a great opportunity to sit and reflect on one’s blessings. It is a great chance to slow down, breathe, take stock, and leave with a clearer mind and a grateful heart.  An added bonus when you visit is a stop at the Shrine’s Pilgrim Gift Shop. It is a wonderful place to shop for Christmas gifts. From children’s books to jewelry, to beautiful nativity sets and many other inspirational gifts, you will find many special items for your loved ones at the Pilgrim Gift Shop.

The Maria Stein Shrine of the Holy Relics provides faith nourishment and spiritual renewal through opportunities for prayer, pilgrimage, and inspiration from the lives of the saints. People from around the world visit the shrine to explore and enjoy this environment rich in holiness and history. The Relic Chapel is home to the second-largest collection of relics of the saints in the United States.

The Shrine is located at 2291 St. John’s Road in Maria Stein. To learn more about the Maria Stein Shrine of the Holy Relics, visit, follow us on Facebook, or call 419-925-4532.

For more great holiday travel inspiration, check out

See Our Sponsors

Holiday Lights at Lost Creek Reserve

Making Spirits Bright

The holiday season is quickly approaching, and it’s time to indulge in all things Merry and Bright! If you are looking for the perfect holiday experience to cherish with friends and family, look no further than Miami County Park District’s Holiday Lights at Lost Creek Reserve in Troy. This 1.25-mile drive-thru light display will surely brighten up your holiday season.

As you begin the tour down an illuminated lane, you’ll be greeted by friendly staff and towering snowmen. The journey continues as you traverse picturesque farm lanes and the edge of a dense woodland filled with over 60 twinkling displays containing thousands of lights. These displays showcase holiday favorites, including a larger-than-life Santa and his reindeer, elves, lighted tunnels, farm scenes, and more!

Woodland trees will also be illuminated to enhance their natural beauty. As guests emerge from the woods, the lighted Knoop homestead and barns come into sight. As you make your way down the final stretch and enter the barn area, you’ll be treated to a breathtaking view of the Victorian-era house aglow with lights.

When planning the tour, visitors are encouraged to make a day of it by dining and shopping at charming local businesses in nearby Troy, Tipp City, and Piqua. The event is truly a community affair as it is partially staffed by volunteers from local nonprofits and service organizations that receive a donation from the proceeds.

Miami County Park District’s Holiday Lights at Lost Creek Reserve is located at 2385 E. St. Rt. 41 in Troy. It will be open on Fridays and Saturdays from 6 to 10 p.m. and Sundays from 6 to 9 p.m. starting Black Friday (November 25) and continuing thru December 23 (closed both Christmas eve and Christmas day). Additional days to enjoy the drive-thru light display are Monday-Thursday, December 19-22, from 6 to 10 p.m. There is a cash-only fee of $10 for vehicles and $30 for large passenger vans. For more information, visit or call 937-335-6273.

Lost Creek Reserve is the largest park within the district, with 457 acres of landscape. It has 5.75 miles of trail that takes you past farm fields, through wooded areas, and along Lost Creek, making this Reserve a great place for hiking, cross-country skiing, and viewing wildlife.

The Holiday Lights at Lost Creek Reserve has been part of the Ohio Holiday Lights Trail for the past two years. Bask in the glow of holiday cheer with over 40 stops that take you around Ohio to the best light shows in the state. You can download the trail map at and visit these dazzling displays for an unforgettable holiday experience.

Visit for additional information on local hotels, dining, shopping, and holiday events.

See Our Sponsors

BG Winter Weekend Getaway

Bowling Green, Ohio, is the place to be for a winter weekend getaway. Located in the middle of Northwest Ohio in the center of two major highways and one scenic byway, Bowling Green (BG) is the place to stay and experience Northwest Ohio all year long.

They have shopping in their historic downtown, where you can find something for everyone on your list. At stores like Ben’s, where you are sure to find the best toys for all ages, or Finders, a record store that will fulfill every music lover’s dreams. Looking for more unique finds? Just outside of their downtown, you will find Bowling Green State University gear for fans and alumni, thrift store bargains, and other clothing options.

Take a break from shopping and warm up with a cup of hot cocoa at one of their local coffee shops. Get cozy with a book at Ground’s for Thought or Novel Blends, or treat yourself to something special at Flatlands or Juniper Brewing Company. Looking for the tried and true, they have Dunkin’, Biggby, and Starbucks, too!

As your first evening draws to a close, fill your empty stomach with some of BG’s amazing food. They have everything from pizza, to burgers, to vegetarian & gluten-free options. Looking for an exclusive dining experience? Try The Clay Pot Bistro’s “Dinner with Chef Bobby.” The Clay Pot Bistro is rooted in the primary belief in the power of good food, and they feature dishes inspired by their homeland of Bulgaria.

Rest your head at one of the five local hotels, then wake up and experience the Wood County Museum. There you can take a step back in time as you take in their exhibits, ranging from the “Mary & Carl Bach Story” to their newest exhibit, “Allure & Illusion: A Rose-Colored Romance.” This exhibit showcases beautiful wedding dresses once worn by local community members. If you are in the mood to explore more of Wood County, check out The Wood County Driving Tour.

“Whether you are a long-time resident or a visitor to Northwest Ohio, you can enjoy a scenic driving tour through Wood County’s past and present. Notice the impact the Black Swamp left on the land. Learn about the adventurous lives of heroes buried in our cemeteries. Take a deeper look at the architecture and natural resources.

This Driving Tour doesn’t quite cover all 617 square miles of Wood County, but you will surely discover roads and Historical Markers that are new to you. There is no particular order or time frame for this tour. Start where you like. End where you like. Tackle a few towns today and a few more next weekend.”

Another night of rest, and there’s more to do! BG’s parks are a year-round experience, especially when there’s snow! 10/10 recommend Wintergarden for some cross-country skiing and nature exploring. If you want a more relaxing view of the outdoors, take a horse-drawn carriage ride through the Slippery Elm Trail.

Come stay in Bowling Green, Ohio, this winter and then see the rest of Ohio’s Northwest! If you are ready to start planning your trip today, visit their website at

See Our Sponsors

Grove City Is A Hidden Gem

The fall colors are fading fast, and even though some of us are hesitant to admit it, winter is just around the corner. It’s fair to admit that cold weather isn’t most people’s idea of a great time, but with the right knowledge on hand, you can plan for just as much adventure and fun in the colder months of the year as the warm ones.

Grove City, Ohio, might be one of the best-known hidden gems that Ohio has to offer. Best-known hidden gem, you ask? What does that mean? Grove City is one of the largest Columbus, Ohio suburbs. Depending on where you are downtown, it can be just a ten-minute drive away. Those who have taken the time to travel and explore Grove City have come to find that it has an impressive range of all-encompassing and exciting adventure options for people of any age range and ability.

With Christmas just around the corner, you may be looking to get a head start on some holiday shopping to beat the last-minute crowds. It’s highly recommended to check out Grove City’s Historic Town Center if you’re looking for one-of-a-kind gifts. The most meaningful gifts are the ones with thought behind them, the ones you’ll never find a replica of again and that you’ll hold onto for years. Grove City’s Historic Town Center has just that. If you’re visiting, make sure to stop into Country Hearth Primitives for a collection of antique goods and home decor created by local vendors, all packaged in a quaint shop that holds over four floors of goods. If it’s art you’re after, Sommer House Gallery and Co. has just what you’re looking for. They offer custom framing and also dapple in giving old furniture new life by offering to stain, chalk paint, update hardware, and do custom carpentry work. If you’re into fashion, there are plenty of locally owned boutiques where you’re sure to find one-of-a-kind fashion items you won’t find anywhere else. Grace and 62 Boutique, Grove Sheek Boutique, and the Look are all also located in the Historic Town Center, all within walking distance of each other.

Once you’ve worked up an appetite, stop by our local brewery, Grove City Brewing Company. They brew their own beer in-house and have a delicious menu that’s sure to fill your stomach after a day full of adventures. If you’re more of a wine drinker, they’re conveniently attached to Plum Run Winery, where you can sample a variety of local Ohio wines.

If beer and wine aren’t your thing, there are plenty of restaurants to choose from, such as the Italian American-inspired cuisine at Cimi’s Bistro, overlooking the beautiful Pinnacle Golf Course, or numerous pizza places across the city. In fact, if you plan to visit more than once, check out the Grove City Pizza Trek. Eat at all the participating locations and grab your well-deserved Pizza Trek t-shirt from the Grove City Visitors Center located in the Town Center on Broadway.

If you’re more of a nature lover, Grove city is surrounded by a plethora of outdoor hiking trails and metro parks. Home to the REI River Trail, Scioto Grove Metro Park boasts more than 620 acres of beautiful nature along the Scioto River, with mature forests and scenic bluffs overlooking the river. It has 3 miles of trails, picnic areas with shelter houses, and numerous overlooks. It’s one of the few parks around the word that is in partnership with REI, who helped fund the building of a backpack trail with 5 campsites. But even if you’re not looking to book a campsite, it’s a great way for backpackers to stay in shape during the colder months, or if you’re just getting into the sport, it’s also a great trail for beginners.

Grove City is also adjacent to Battelle Darby Creek, another staple for nature lovers to hike, snowshoe, and cross-country ski along miles of snowy trails throughout the park. If you’re into cross-country skiing, the 3.2-mile Dyer-Mill Trail is specifically reserved just for skiers. If hiking is more of your thing, the 8.3-mile Darby Creek Greenway is perfect, especially if you want to get another peek at the two bison pastures it passes by.

Maybe nature isn’t your thing, but you’re still looking for something exciting and adrenaline-pumping? Gather your family and friends and head to LVL UP Sports paintball park, home to the largest paintball castle in the midwest. A colossal, multi-level structure, the paintball castle is open year-round and offers countless opportunities for fun for kids and adults of all ages.

Regardless of your age, ability, or the type of adventure you’re looking for, Grove City is full of things to do no matter the time of the year.

See Our Sponsors

3-D Wood Carving By Hand

Paul Weaver, a local Amish man, spent 20 years honing his skill at three-dimensional wood carving. Each piece usually takes three months to complete, using only hand tools.

Most of the carvings are from a solid block of butternut wood, sometimes with leaves still growing out of it. No adhesives are used.

His collection is on display, daily, at the historic Lehman’s Hardware Store in Kidron, Ohio. Every fourth Saturday of the month, Paul Weaver is there to answer questions and explain his process. It’s free but donations are appreciated.

52 Hand-carved Carrousel Figures

On the corner of Fourth Street and Main Street in Mansfield is old-fashioned fun in a modern setting. Here, the Richland Carrousel Park has merry activities year-round.

When it opened in 1991, it was the first new, hand-carved carrousel to be built and operated in the United States since the 1930s.  Each of the 52 figures was carved by Carousel Works in Mansfield in the style of G.A. Dentzel, a famous carver of the 20th Century.

Take a ride for just a buck on any of the 52 hand-carved carrousel figures. Enjoy cotton candy, popcorn, slushes, and more. Look for special events around holidays throughout the year plus semi-annual Wine-d Down Wednesday Ladies Nights. Plan a birthday party or anniversary here for a very memorable experience.

The Richland Carrousel Park is located at 75 N. Main St. in Mansfield, Ohio (Map It). It is open daily from 11am – 5pm. For more information, call 419-522-4223 or visit 

A Minute at Bear’s Mill

old ohio film videoohio youtube videos
Featured Video of the Month

This month’s featured video showcases
the Historic Bear’s Mill in Greenville, Ohio.
Take a minute to walk through the active
four-story mill with our camera as your eyes.

To plan a visit to Bear’s Mill, click here.

Kinetic Sculptures at Dawes Arboretum

The Dawes Arboretum is an especially perfect fit for Lyman Whitaker’s kinetic sculptures, and for that matter, Whitaker himself. The artist, having been sculpting for more than half a century, is also a gardener and gentleman farmer. His work reflects his deep appreciation for nature, as well as his interest in permaculture—the development of sustainable agricultural ecosystems.

Created by the Dawes family in part to serve as a place to nurture trees and plant specimens from around the world, The Dawes Arboretum is “enriching lives through the conservation of trees and nature.” Beman and Bertie Dawes founded The Arboretum in 1929, inspired to do so by their mutual love of trees and nature.

Bertie Burr Dawes was a self-taught naturalist who enjoyed gardening, fishing, shell and butterfly collecting, bird watching, and photography. A native of Lincoln, Nebraska, her father was an attorney who served as Mayor of Lincoln and State Senator.

Beman Gates Dawes was the son of a Civil War Brigadier General who operated a lumber business in Marietta, Ohio. Although Beman’s business interests would lead him away from the family business of lumber, he passionately studied trees throughout his life. Beman and Bertie were married on October 3, 1894. The Dawes Arboretum is the nearly 2,000-acre embodiment of their zeal for nature that you can enjoy today.

Daweswood, the oldest section of The Arboretum, provides a peek into the lives of the Dawes family. In addition to beautiful gardens and large maple trees, you can also admire the charming Italianate-style architecture of Daweswood House and view the Dawes Memorial. Depending on the season, perennials, flowering trees, and shrubs fill the well-groomed gardens. Nearby, The Arboretum’s towering maple trees impress beyond words. Plan a fall season visit to witness them at their most spectacular.

Many longtime visitors to The Arboretum return again and again to enjoy the much-loved Garden Gateway. Here you’ll discover the All Seasons Garden, Japanese Garden, Azalea Glen, Learning Garden and Cypress Swamp. “Serene” and “tranquil,” often used to describe Whitaker’s kinetic sculptures, are just as aptly fitting for the Japanese Garden. A pond, gravel, hills, trees, shrubs, and a stone path that crosses a reflecting pool evoke a natural ambience of soothing calmness.

Azaleas, rhododendrons, and other shrubs with vibrant flowers fill the nearby Azalea Glen, where eye-popping hydrangeas steal the show in late summer. The heavenly scent of the naturally perfumed air will linger in your memory long after your visit.

The Learning Garden, a newer installation at The Arboretum, features an arbor, tables and chairs, raised beds of vegetables, an accessible walkway and breathtaking plantings in the surrounding areas.

One of the more unusual natural features of The Arboretum is The Cypress Swamp, not so much for what it is, but for where it is. This swamp is one of the northernmost bald-cypress swamps in North America. Visit in late winter through early spring and you’ll likely spot Jefferson and Spotted Salamanders. No matter when you come, a stroll down the swamp’s boardwalk will reward you with fascinating, close-up views of the trees’ “knees.” For a truly unique perspective, take in the view from Glacier Ridge and witness the sweeping valley below which was home to a glacier 10,000 years ago. The magnificent tree collections here include hollies, oaks, boxwoods, beeches, and buckeyes.

The Woodlands section of The Arboretum boasts deep woods, a hike through which provides glimpses of native plants alongside the Woodland Garden Trail. Relax in the gazebo and take in all the sights, sounds, and scents of this lush natural setting. The Woodland Garden, a path and area created through a community collaboration, is home to an array of native plants including buttonbush, foamflower, wild geranium, large-flower trillium, Jack-in-the-pulpit, and more. Nearby is one of the oldest cemeteries in Licking County. The Beard-Green Cemetery is owned by and named for the families of Revolutionary War soldiers John Beard and Benjamin Green who were early settlers of the area.

Dawes Lake, located at the southern end of the Main Grounds, features trees and shrubs, deciduous and evergreen conifers, an eight-acre pond with an island and amazing Hedge Lettering. Fall and winter seasons are an incredible time to visit the Conifer Glen; miniature, dwarf, compact, intermediate, and full-size specimens of conifers appear in abundance throughout this exceptionally landscaped collection. Bridges and boardwalks guide you through this breathtaking 14-acre area. Take a climb up the 36-foot Outlook Tower and enjoy the four-season splendor of incredible views, as well as the best view of the 2,040-foot-long Hedge Lettering, spelling out “Dawes Arboretum.”

The Red Barn Reserve is a natural outdoor classroom for all ages, offering meadows, a pond, boardwalk, wetlands, wooded areas and a charming rustic barn. Stroll the trails to explore the many ecosystems. You may even see the tracks of a coyote or red fox crossing the path in front of you or catch a glimpse of a water snake winding across the pond’s surface.

Arboretum East, a vast natural area of unique cultural history, comprises woodlands, a pond, agriculture fields, and a gorge overlook. If you’re a little more adventurous, you’ll love the East Trails with uneven terrain and seasonally wet and muddy areas.

A short drive from the main grounds will take you to the Dutch Fork Wetlands. This diverse ecosystem is home to six pools, a meadow, observation deck and shelter house, as well as a variety of plants, birds, insects, and mammals. The restored 70-acre wetland and grassland ecosystem serves as a successful mitigation site.

Your visit to The Dawes Arboretum will be an enlightening, enriching, and educational experience you’ll never forget. The rare opportunity to see Lyman Whitaker’s kinetic sculptures thoughtfully placed to create a striking contrast between art and nature will likely never be repeated at The Arboretum. But no matter when you visit, you’ll be immersed in a fascinating landscape that changes with each season and is never the same place twice.

For more information visit

See Our Sponsors


Journey BOREALIS is an entirely new chapter in the history of Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park and Museum. Pyramid Hill will create a visual art experience that showcases local and regional new media and light-based artists and partners with local arts organizations to redefine an all-new holiday light show at Pyramid Hill.

The entire Pyramid Hill team is proud to present Journey BOREALIS, an event that is focused on collaborative partnerships with regional arts organizations. Presenting a safe, drivable, holiday light experience that stands as a creative outlet for local artists is extremely important to the park.

See Journey BOREALIS, an artful adventure through the holiday lights at Pyramid Hill. This 2.5 mile, one-of-a-kind, drive-through holiday light spectacular features more than 1,000,000 lights and holiday art. Journey BOREALIS will be open Monday–Thursday 6:00–9:00pm and Friday–Sunday 6:00–10:00pm. For more, visit

Vermilion Postcard Project

“A Busy Day on the Lagoons” – In the early 20th century, the Vermilion Lagoons was a low-lying swamp. In 1929, it began its transformation into a residential community. Today the neighborhood consists of 160 Cape Cod-style houses with docks.

Public art enthusiasts looking for a beautiful autumn drive that takes you to the shores of Lake Erie should check out Public Art Vermilion’s award-winning Postcard Project.

Featuring 15 mural-sized postcards of nostalgic scenes of Vermilion, Ohio, The Postcard Project offers a map of the postcards in a history-filled tour guide of the project. Public Art Vermilion, a program of Main Street Vermilion, also announced a selfie contest inviting visitors to vote for their favorite postcard. To participate, visitors should take a photo of themselves in front of their favorite postcard, post it to Facebook or Instagram, and tag it with #PublicArtVermilion.

All of the postcards in the project were hand-painted on 5×8-foot boards in oil by Amherst, Ohio artists Mike Sekletar and Brian Goodwin, and feature scenes from vintage postcards, some dating back more than 100 years ago. The scenes were selected from close to 10,000 postcards that were loaned to the project by Vermilion residents.

Many of the most popular postcards depict sites that no longer exist, such as the “Crystal Beach Ballroom” which was well-known in its day for hosting Guy Lombardo, Cab Calloway, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Lawrence Welk, and other Big Bands of the era, but was torn down when Crystal Beach Park closed in 1962. Others are a delightful combination of “then and now” such as “Night View of Liberty Street Looking East,” depicting some storefronts that still exist today.

The Postcard Project recently was recognized statewide by Heritage Ohio with the Best Main Street Committee Project Award as part of Ohio Preservation Month in October. The project was recognized for combining history, art and community engagement.

The Postcard Project Tour Guide, available at Main Street Vermilion’s office at 685 Main Street in Vermilion, is available for a suggested donation. The 16-page booklet has a map of locations for all 15 postcards, including a walkable tour of 10 postcards located in historic downtown Vermilion with stores and restaurants to enjoy along the way.

Public Art Vermilion is a program of Main Street Vermilion, a non-profit organization that is dedicated to the revitalization, beautification and preservation of historic downtown Vermilion. For more information on Main Street Vermilion visit

The Black Cyclone From Wooster

Charles W. Follis:
The First African American Professional Football Player

By Frank Rocco Satullo, The OhioTraveler

Everyone knows the name, Jackie Robinson. On April 15, 1947, he ran onto the baseball field and into the history books as the first African American professional baseball player in the modern era.  However, hardly anyone knows the name of the man who first broke the color barrier in professional football 43 years earlier, Charles Follis. …Click here to read more.

Click here for the rest of the story

It’s Thanksgiving! What Could Go Wrong?


We were hosting Thanksgiving for the first time! How exciting.

Our first arrivals were my mom, sister, niece, and nephew. They came a day early. The men would arrive on Thanksgiving Day.

Based on previous visits, my mom’s rescue dog 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 decided that the large 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 noo!” – we all came running to find the oven was 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 doggone 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 didn’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 into action and grabbed the propane tank to get it filled. I just knew that if I didn’t, it would probably run out halfway 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 propane tank to be filled.

When I returned home, I fired up my modest 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 some beers into my roast.

“What are you doing?” they both asked at the same time.

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

Their jaws dropped, and eyes grew 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 at 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 inside 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. My sister simmered over the top of the stove. Inside the stove, her pie disaster from the night before remained trapped. Its warming aroma wafted in the air as the burners on the stove top heat the side dishes.

Then came the moment of truth. I shoved a thermometer inside a breast. Then I took the turkey into the house for my brother-in-law to carve it. 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 and wondered 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 wouldn’t send us to the Emergency Room.

One by one, noises of pleasure passed around the table. Some declared that it was the best turkey that they ever had.

And when nobody got sick, I gave thanks.

By Frank Rocco Satullo, author of “HERE I THOUGHT I WAS NORMAL: Micro Memoirs of Mischief and creator of

Holiday Shopping in Amish Country

Are you tired of waiting in long lines and fighting for parking spaces at the mall? Discover the quaint downtowns and villages of Wayne County, Ohio. A place where you can shop in a relaxed stress-free atmosphere and experience Christmas Shopping the way it was meant to be.

Shop Downtown Wooster, where parking spaces are as abundant as the many shops who call this historic main street community home.  Enjoy the “unwrapping” of the Christmas windows every November, as the Downtown Merchants celebrate Window Wonderland and the arrival of Santa.

Just south of Wooster is the Pine Tree Barn. This historic landmark barn was built in 1868 on a 200-acre Christmas tree farm. You’ll find beautiful gifts, home furnishings, a year-round Christmas shop, and a gourmet luncheon restaurant. Take a horse-drawn wagon into the field to cut your own tree!

Visit the small towns and villages for that special holiday experience. Located near the historic Lincoln Highway, you’ll find The J.M. Smucker Company Store and Café in Orrville, where Smucker’s jams and jellies have been proudly made for over 100-years. The P. Graham Dunn Retail Gallery in Dalton invites you to their showroom for inspirational wood décor that can be personalized. And be sure not to miss Lehman’s in Kidron who offer creative solutions for a simpler life.

The Village of Smithville boasts many fine shops in The Barn Restaurant Complex including the Oak Cupboard General Store, the new Rustewelle and Barker, antique repurposing shop and Toyrifix Specialty Toy Store where it is rumored that the shelves are stocked by Santa’s elves.

The Village of Shreve invites you to stroll its main street and visit Shreve Hardware & Supply. It’s the perfect old-fashioned place to shop for that “hard to buy for” man on your list. Next door you’ll find the Des Dutch Essenhaus Restaurant, Quilt Shop, & Bakery stocked with wonderful cookies and cinnamon rolls.

For your free holiday guide to shopping, restaurants, events, and accommodations in Amish County visit

See Our Sponsors

Songs of the Past at New Museum

Nestled in the scenic hills of Southeast Ohio is an unexpected and rare music history museum. Music Makers Museum holds a collection of early music recording and playing technology. The kind most people only see from a distance in the movies.

Charlotte and Rodney Pack collected the technology and early artists’ recordings over a span of twenty years. Then it took them another five years to figure out how to create the family-friendly, interactive exhibition “How’d We Get Here?” The exhibition explores how Americans have collected, enjoyed, and recorded music from the mid-1800s to 2000.

The exhibition opened June 2019, in the Rocky Fork Lake Region of Highland County, Ohio. Hours vary by season and special events, details are listed at and Facebook.

“There are only a handful of museums worldwide that feature phonographs as their main collection. This is the only one of its kind worldwide to combine the early recording technology, artists, music genres and general history all in one place,” said Rodney Pack, who is nicknamed the Phonograph Man for his meticulous phonograph restoration work.

Visitors can see and hear close up the early music technology, hearing voices recorded on wax cylinders from over 100 years ago. Thirty working phonographs tell the story of Thomas Edison’s phonograph invention, improvements and competition. Edison’s invention took music from being a live performance to captured sound and earned him the nicknamed “The Wizard”.

“Can you imagine what it would feel like to listeners of the late 1870s to hear the mysterious sounds coming from the strange mechanical box?  Edison claimed it was ‘The Phonograph with a Soul, said Charlotte Pack, Music Makers Museum curator and history author.

Music Makers Museum evolves past the phonographs into radio, wire recorders, magnetic tapes, a 1946 jukebox and electronic record players, even an MP3 Player. Visitors can also explore America’s changing musical landscape from Vaudeville to Marching Bands, Ragtime to Jazz, Early Country to Bluegrass,
Rock ‘n’ Roll to Disco and the artists who made it popular.

A timeline of presidents, wars, key inventions and fun facts put the music changes into context. “People really like the timeline because it helps them see the evolution of music in America. It helps them understand how music, culture and history all relate,” said Rodney Pack,

Depending on how much you read and talk, the museum can take anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours. “The most we had someone stay is three hours, so far. We are a small museum, with a big mission: to preserve the voices of the past to inspire future generations. Each musician’s or inventor’s story was chosen and written with an inspirational message,” said Charlotte Pack.

“For example Ada Jones had epilepsy. During recording sessions, she was bullied by co-workers and it was very physically demanding work as each record cylinder had to be individually recorded. There were no master copies and reproduction in the 1880s. Sometimes Jones had a seizure but would get up off the floor and go back to recording. She was the first popular female recording artist. Children and young adults need to know, despite their challenges they can be successful in life,” said Charlotte Pack.

As the sound of Aunt Nancy and Uncle Josh’s Vaudeville laughter drift through the air from the first popular home phonograph, a family is interacting.  Two grandparents and three grandchildren are listening and laughing together. Near the 1946 Seeburg jukebox, an elderly couple reminiscence about their days of dancing to Rock ‘n’ Roll music.  Music Makers Museum has created a space to remember, to make new memories and to talk about music as the “backdrop of our lives.”

Music Makers Museum is situated in rural Appalachia, music from an outside candy apple red searchlight horn greets you and the landscaped grounds and ample sitting areas provide an opportunity to enjoy nature. Nature lovers can also discover many trails at the nearby parks: Rocky Fork Lake State Park, Paint Creek State Park, Pike State Park, Fort Hill State Park, Highland Nature Sanctuary and Serpent Mound.

Hillsboro, the county seat, draws a large crowd each year with the annual Festival of Bells July 4th weekend. The festival sponsors national upcoming Christian and country artists who perform nightly. Or in nearby Bainbridge, visitors can also take in a show at the Paxton Theater, home to the longest running county music show the “Paint Valley Jamboree”.

The afternoon drive can be topped off with fresh Amish pastries or “possibly the world’s greatest cheesecake” at the Cheesecake Factory. Highland County is centrally located about an hour from the larger cities of Cincinnati, Columbus and Dayton, Ohio.

For Music Makers Museum latest news, open hours and changing exhibit schedule, please visit

Contributed by Visit Highland County

Christian Shopping Experience

A Leader in Christian Gift, Art and Home Décor 

It has been just over 10 years since P. Graham Dunn – a leader in Christian gift, art and home décor – moved off of their 100-acre farm in Dalton, Ohio. The farm has been in the Dunn family for seven generations.

Since then, droves of Christians and non-Christians alike have flocked to the 104,000 square-foot structure at 630 Henry Street in Dalton, Ohio next to the historic Lincoln Highway.  This building hosts the company headquarters, manufacturing, warehousing and distribution functions, and the spacious and beautiful retail showroom. Visitors get a bird’s eye view of the entire manufacturing process from their perch inside of the 18,000 square foot retail store.

Living by their credo – “Lift Him Up” – P. Graham Dunn has gone from a mere idea in Peter Dunn’s mind to household name in just 30 years. But before Peter and his wife, LeAnna, ventured into a business creating wall decor, home furnishings and gifts that please the eye and inspire the heart, they accepted a mission from their church to open a home for runaway girls in New York City. In order to keep the girls occupied, they initiated a small woodworking business. The girls carved plaques and gifts that quickly became popular items at outdoor markets in Greenwich Village. When the mission in New York was complete, the couple bought the woodworking equipment and installed it on their farm in Dalton, Ohio. The rest of the story, as they say, is history.

A trip to Wayne County, Ohio doesn’t end with P. Graham Dunn. The Wayne County Visitors Guide highlights everything the county offers spanning a wide-variety of interest, including its renowned Amish community and rural charm.

Although the Wayne County Amish are well known  for traveling by horse-and-buggy, simple living, peacefulness and merchants offering hand-stitched quilts, delicious home-cooking, and unsurpassed craftsmanship in woodworking, what really sets the county apart from other destinations is its cultural activities and events, and the diverse attractions featuring household names like Simply Smucker’s, and Lehman’s.

For those looking to stay the night, consider The St. Paul Hotel and have a bite at City Square Steakhouse. Then, catch a performance at Wayne Center for the Arts and listen to the Wooster Symphony Orchestra or perhaps The Ohio Light Opera. End the night with a glass of wine at one of the local wineries.

Consider a visit to Pine Tree Barn. It is a historical landmark built in 1868. Its 25,000 square feet inside has been restored into gift shops, a home furnishing and design studio, and a gourmet luncheon restaurant. The 150-acre Christmas tree farm overlooks two lakes, and a nature and wildlife preserve. For the heritage enthusiast, there’s the Wayne County Historical Society featuring a schoolhouse built in 1873, a log cabin, mercantile shop and more. In addition, for railroad enthusiasts, make a whistle stop at The Orville Railroad Museum.

For more information or to obtain the new Wayne County Visitors Guide to learn about everything to see and do in one of Ohio’s most visited counties, visit or call 800-362-6474 to plan your next trip to the crossroads of culture and countryside.

Ohio’s Newest Wild Show Cave


Excerpt from a past edition of OhioTraveler

Come and explore your wild side at Ohio’s newest thrill-seeking adventure!

Cave Adventures is home to an extraordinarily breathtaking cave, developed millions of years ago by glaciers.  Many have heard whisperings of urban legends about this cave for years. Now, this extraordinary natural phenomenon is open to those willing to get dirty to see it.

Each guest is fitted with their own helmet, gloves, and a headlamp to light the way to a rare experience—33 feet underground where it is always a comfortable 54 degrees!  It is primitive exploration at its best. And it requires crawling, climbing, and walking. There will be water and mud encountered. It’s part of this immersive experience so wear water-resistant clothing. Also wear hiking boots or mud boots with non-slip soles. Shorts and short-sleeves are a no-no. It is recommended to bring clean clothes to change into after the adventure, and a bag to transport the dirty clothes back home. A changing area is provided. Each tour group will have 2-6 people plus an experienced guide.

Along the journey underground, otherworldly sites feature stalactites, stalagmites, soda straws, columns, flow stones, curtains and more! The ancient cavern boasts a “red room” that promises to astound visitors.

The tours are available daily all year long. Guests must be 15-years-old or older. Anyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult. The cost per person is $90 for three-hours that won’t be forgotten.

Cave Adventures is located at 3781 Slate Stone Road in Cable, Ohio. Plan your expedition by calling 937-772-1260 or by visiting

Mohican’s Year Round Adventure

Open all year, Mohican-Loudonville is conveniently located near two state parks and a state forest that provides the perfect outdoor adventure any time of year. There are several miles of hiking trails, 25 miles of mountain biking trails and 88 miles of bridle trails. By participating in the outdoors, in all seasons, the traveler can experience a new adventure several times per year.

Discover the story and history of Mohican. Once inhabited by many Native American tribes, the Mohican River became a pivotal part of life for the Native Americans and the pioneers. As time and technology became more advanced, so did the town and its story. Discover the stories of Charles F. Kettering and of Hugo Young’s Flexible Sidecar Company, and other famous chapters in the area’s history.

The Mohican-Loudonville area has a quaint downtown with independent shop owners that will introduce the visitor to an array of art, clothing, jewelry, gadgets that solve all sorts of issues, electronics, antiques and more. Creative Outlet has the largest selection of Authentic Native American jewelry and artwork in northern Ohio. Four Seasons has two full floors of gifts, boutique, collectibles and flowers to explore.

Let the culinary senses take the taste buds away from casual to fine dining. Enjoy a unique diner experience, down home comfort cooking, and other tastes sure to be delightful. The Copper Mug Bar & Grille, at Landoll’s Mohican Castle, is known for its fine dining, yet casual atmosphere. If pizza or burgers are the desire, then make sure to visit Bromfield’s Dining Room or Boxer’s Lounge, at the Mohican State Park Lodge. The view from the dining room is amazing and the burgers are delicious!

Camping is available year round as are the hotels, cabins and castle. The Blackfork Marken Inn Bed & Breakfast was built in 1856 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  Private cabins will keep the lights of the city out and allows visitors to revel in the pristine hillsides of Mohican-Loudonville. Mohican Country Cabins offer seclusion and hot tubs. These cabins are perfect for any get-a-way!

Landoll’s Mohican Castle hosts its annual Christmas murder mystery dinner performed by the nations #1 ranked murder mystery troupe, The Murder Mystery Company. Tickets are on sale now. Contact Landoll’s Mohican Castle for reservations.

Stay. Play. And discover why Mohican rocks all year round at

Wright Brothers Makeovers

Museums in Ohio and North Carolina are sharing the story of the Wright brothers with major makeovers less than eight weeks apart.

The National Park Service recently reopened the Wright Brothers National Memorial’s restored and enhanced visitor center at Kitty Hawk in North Carolina.

The nonprofit Dayton History in Ohio recently reopened its aviation center in Carillon Historical Park as the federally designated John W. Berry, Sr. Wright Brothers National Museum.

“This is an amazing year for the story and legacy of the Wrights,” said Alex Heckman, Dayton History’s vice president for museum operations. “Such nearly simultaneous openings of different museums dedicated to the same subject are uncommon, but the Wright story is anything but common.

Wilbur and Orville Wright lived in Dayton and built their first airplanes in their bicycle shop. They chose to make their first test flights at Kitty Hawk, on North Carolina’s Outer Banks, because it offered extra lift from steady winds and softer landings on sandy ground. Local residents welcomed them and often gave a hand as they tested a series of gliders between 1900 and 1903, leading up to the world’s first successful flights of a powered machine. On December 17, 1903, Wilbur and Orville Wright made four brief flights at Kitty Hawk with their first powered aircraft.

The two museums share another connection: the National Park Service. Dayton History’s museum is a privately owned and operated unit of the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park, a collection of several Dayton-area sites related to the Wright brothers. The park service owns and operates the Wright Brothers National Memorial at Kitty Hawk.

In fact, Dayton’s national park supported the development of new exhibits for the visitor center at Kitty Hawk. Edward Roach, the national park’s historian, and Ranger Ryan Qualls worked extensively with the national memorial’s staff and contractors to review the new exhibits as they were developed.

Qualls said the new exhibits replace ones made in the 1960s and tell a story that includes both Dayton and Kitty Hawk.

“The larger story is about individuals overcoming what seemed like insurmountable obstacles and are designed to help visitors relate the Wright brothers’ experiences to their own lives,” said Ranger Ryan Qualls.

Likewise, the Wright Brothers National Museum exhibits in Dayton include artifacts important to the Kitty Hawk story, including the camera that snapped the famous picture of Orville’s first powered flight. Its centerpiece, the original 1905 Wright Flyer III, flew in both places.

A Wright descendant, Amanda Wright Lane, serves on aviation history boards in both Ohio and North Carolina said local groups are working to cross-promote the story of the Wright brothers.

“They really understand it’s a bigger story” than either location alone, said Amanda Wright Lane of Columbus, Ohio.

Lane, a great-grandniece of the Wrights, is a voluntary trustee for the First Flight Foundation in North Carolina, which supports the national memorial, and several aviation heritage organizations in Ohio, including the National Aviation Heritage Alliance, whose partners include Dayton History and the national park.

“It’s a worldwide story,” Lane said. “Dayton and Kitty Hawk have both upgraded their facilities, and that’s fantastic.”

Winans Chocolates + Coffees


Winans Chocolates + Coffees Pairs Everyone’s Favorite Tropical Treats

By Courtney Denning

Coffee and chocolate seem like they were made for each other. Coffee’s rich, earthy brew perfectly complements chocolate’s smooth, creamy sweetness. The combination of chocolate and coffee is one of the best food combos out there, akin to peanut butter and jelly, wine and cheese, chips and salsa. They just fit.

One reason coffee and chocolate pair perfectly may be because they come from the same tropical environments: rainforests. Coffee originated Ethiopia (the Horn of Africa); chocolate is native to Mexico and Guatemala in South America. Today both are grown in South America and Africa. Both come from tropical, evergreen trees and must go through labor-intensive processes before they are consumed. It’s a lengthy process, but so worth it!

Joe Reiser decided to create that perfect flavor combination when he and his wife, Laurie Winans Reiser, added coffee, to their well-established chocolate product line, at Winans Carriage House Candies in 1994. At the time, there were no coffee shops in Piqua, Ohio — the location of Winans Carriage House Candies since October 1961. To get his daily caffeine fix, Joe drove to Dayton (just over 30 miles one way) for a cup of good coffee. As one might imagine, this arrangement didn’t and couldn’t’ last long. Joe bought a small espresso machine and stuck it in a corner of the chocolate shop. It was “Joe’s Corner” but it quickly became popular with regular Winans customers. Coffee was officially added to the company in 1994 and Joe began roasting his own coffee in 2003. Joe and Laurie also changed the name of the company, to reflect the addition of coffee. Winans founder, Max Winans, was skeptical, saying “it would never work.” Fortunately, Max lived to eat those words.

Winans has won “The Best Coffee” award for seven years running via the Dayton Business Journal’s “Best of” awards, proving that coffee and chocolate work together. The freshly roasted coffees pair so well with Winans traditional chocolates that they’ve become an inseparable pair. Customers can order a cup of coffee and pick out their favorite chocolates from the candy case for an early morning wake-up or late afternoon treat. At the flagship store in Piqua, customers watch their favorite treats being made. The flagship store not only serves as the Winans corporate office but also houses the company’s candy factory, coffee roastery, and warehouse.

When the Piqua Daily Call newspaper building became available for purchase in the summer of 2014, the Reisers decided to take a plunge. At that point, the retail store was in the recently renovated Fort Plaza Hotel along with the Piqua Library. The roastery was in the garage of the original Winans Carriage House, where the company started in the 1960s. The candy factory was in yet another location, a nondescript building on the south end of town. Moving to the former Piqua Daily Call building put the retail store, factory, roastery, and corporate offices all under one roof. The new Winans Hometown Store + Tasting Room officially opened in August 2015. It’s one of fifteen Winans stores, 14 of which are located in the state of Ohio. One Winans obsessed Iowan opened a franchise after leaving Piqua to return to her hometown of Coralville, Iowa.

The success of Winans and the popularity of their new factory tours, which allow customers to go behind the scenes and watch candies being made and learn about the production of coffee and chocolate in South America, show that coffee and chocolates’ relationship has what it takes to go long term!

Visit Winans Hometown Store + Tasting Room and see the candy factory in action! Learn Winans’ family history, see their famous copper kettles and one of the world’s oldest working Hobart mixers. You might see buckeyes, caramels, brittles or wurtles being made! “Wurtles” are Winans’ version of the whimsically named chocolate turtle. To schedule a tour, call 937-773-1981.

Winans Hometown Store + Tasting Room is located at 310 Spring Street in Piqua, Ohio. Contact Winans at 937-773-1981, or Follow @WinansChocolate on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Twitter.

Small Town Holiday Fun

Medina Holiday and Christmas Events and Fests

Combines Small Town Atmosphere with Big City Flavor

Featuring one-of-a-kind shopping and attractions like the famous Root Candles and world-renown Castle Noel, the holidays are a beautiful time to visit Medina County, Ohio.

With its close proximity to Cleveland/Akron and with highway access via I-71, I-271, I-76/224, Medina County is and easy daytrip during the holiday season.  The vast array of festivals, shopping, attractions, historic architecture and eateries make Medina County a special place to visit and live.  It combines small town atmosphere with big city flavor.

Visit the many fabulous, unique shops and outlets to find all your holiday gifts during the holiday season.  For example, The Log Cabin shop features re-enactors, supplies and muzzle-loading guns along with a large collection of new and used books.  Visit the Village of Seville for unique shops.  There are antique shops, antique malls and consignment shops worth exploring all around Medina County.

Root Candles at West Liberty is a nationally known, local business that has been in existence for over 100 years.  Root is a candle making company offering home accessories, decorations and candles of all shapes and sizes.  Root’s candles are known for their fragrances, for being clean and long burning.  Their retail store is in the original factory building along with an outlet shop.

If you need scrapbooking, art supplies, paper and envelopes, visit Hollo’s Papercraft in Brunswick.  Ohio Station Outlets features more than 60 shops and a train that you can ride around the facility.  Medina County has many small locally owned and operated gift shops in Wadsworth, Brunswick, Seville and around Medina’s Historic Square.  Ormandy’s Trains and Toys is where you will find children’s traditional favorite Christmas toy – model trains.  Boyert’s Greenhouse has great holiday decorations to decorate the inside and outside of your home.  At Century Cycles, you can find that new bike to take out and enjoy the bike trails in Medina County and all across the state.  Stop at one of the area’s wineries for a tasting.  Select your favorite wine to enjoy at home during holiday meals and parties. Find that special gift for all your holiday gift needs at one of the many specialty shops in Medina County.

Make your holiday visit more memorable with a visit to Castle Noel, America’s largest holiday entertainment complex.  Here you can stroll past New York City department store Christmas window displays, holiday Christmas photos of Christmas shows and stars, walk through the “I Had That” Toyland Experience where you can find many of the toys you played with, go through the Blizzard Vortex and Santa’s Squeeze to experience what Santa feels as he climbs down the chimney.  View the large collection of costumes, props and set pieces from numerous Christmas movies such as Will Ferrell’s “Elf” costume, the Grinch’s 16 foot sleigh, Cindy Lou Who’s bedroom set and many other pieces from the The Grinch movie.  See Cousin Eddy’s RV from Christmas Vacation, items from Tim Allen’s Santa Claus movies and much more. Before you leave be sure to climb Santa Mountain where you will meet Santa Claus and take a ride down the slide just like Ralphy did in A Christmas Story.

In the lower level of Castle Noel, check out the indoor “Alien Vacation” freaky black lights and 3D mini-golf.  Play 18 holes and travel across the world with Santa showing the Aliens’ Mayan Temple and the North Pole Ice. Then go with Santa and the Alien’s as they travel into space.  Enjoy a drink (adult or kids beverages) at the “The Bridge” Spaceship Bar.

Medina County has many fun events. For example, there’s Medina’s Candlelight Walk in November. Here you’ll meet Santa, see a light parade and fireworks. There’s also the Holiday Lights drive-thru at the county fairgrounds, Santa Express train rides at Ohio Station Outlets, Christmas Around the World Craft Show  where crafters will be demonstrating. Christmas at the Ranch is at Buckin’ Ohio in December with live music, nativity, crafts and more.  Candy Cane Christmas is at Spring Mist Farm featuring a petting farm, hayrides, and live nativity.  Candlelight Walk and Jingle Bell Jaunt and Santa Parade are all held in downtown Wadsworth, plus holiday concerts.  For all the train enthusiasts, the Medina Model Train and Toy Show at the Community Center at the Fairgrounds in Medina.  Also at the Community Center at the Fairgrounds hosts the Medina Flea Market.

Start a new family tradition with a stop at one of the many Medina County Christmas tree farms.  Take the family out and wander a tree farm searching for the perfect Christmas tree, cut-your-own or take home a fresh cut tree and fresh pine roping to decorate your home.

After finding that perfect tree, plan a lunch or dinner at one of many wonderful restaurants. There’s plenty in this winter wonderland in Medina County to make fun holiday memories.  With the vast array of activities, events and some of the most beautiful historic architecture in the state, Medina County is well worth the visit.  Oh, and don’t forget the fantastic Medina Ice Festival held every February. Call 800-860-2943 or visit for a calendar of events and visitors guide.

Ohio Veterans Day Destinations

Here are over a dozen Ohio Veteran’s Day destinations that truly symbolize the holiday and our remembrance of those who served.

Champaign Aviation Museum

Fallen Timbers Battlefield

Fort Jefferson

Fort Meigs

Fort Recovery

Fort Steuben

Mansfield Soldiers & Sailors Memorial

MAPS Air Museum

McCook House Civil War Museum

Motts Military Museum

Ohio Veterans Museum & Hall of Fame

National Museum of the U.S. Air Force

Spirit of ’76 Museum

Stengel True Museum

USS Cod Submarine Tour

WACO Museum

These are just some of the places out of many others with military collections at various historical museums, events, and sites. Visit to see these sections of the website for more ideas of where to go for Veteran’s Day in Ohio or discover other places for long weekend getaways.