Explore Ohio with These Cabin Fever Cures

Explore Ohio with These Cabin Fever Cures

PHOTO COURTESY OF CEDAR POINT

After the pandemic seemed to take away last summer, we’re finally starting to emerge into something resembling a normal world. We’ve all had a little cabin fever, and we’re ready to go out exploring again. With that rekindled interest, here are some places throughout the state to scratch any itch you might have.

National Museum of the Great Lakes, Toledo The history of America is intertwined with the history of the Great Lakes. This museum, opened at its current site in 2014, details important history, from the formation of the lakes as glaciers receded thousands of years ago to their strategic importance in the War of 1812 and in the growth of American industry. (As an added bonus, you’re not far from that other Toledo landmark, Tony Packo’s restaurant.) 419-214-5000; nmgl.org

Put-in-Bay  The village on South Bass Island in Lake Erie has acquired a reputation for, uh, let’s say adult-inclined fun and frivolity. But there are plenty of family-friendly activities as well, including the historic Perry’s Victory and International Peace Monument (on a clear day, they say you can see Detroit, Cleveland and Canada from the top) and the newly-expanded Lake Erie Nature and Wildlife Center. Pick up a brochure with a map of the new Kids Love Put-in-Bay trail for further suggestions, or find it online. visitputinbay.com

Cedar Point, Sandusky  What’s summer without a trip to Cedar Point? Last year was supposed to be a celebration of the venerable amusement park’s sesquicentennial, a true milestone for any business. But most of the attendant festivities were postponed until this year. The park is still just as fun as you remember, with rides and activities for all ages. cedarpoint.com

Cuyahoga Valley National Park There’s one national park in Ohio, and it’s not far from Cleveland. The park, encompassing the Cuyahoga River through southern Cuyahoga and northern Summit counties, was named a national recreation area in 1974 and then a national park in 2000. The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad runs train excursions through it, and the Towpath Trail — with its origins as part of the canal network through Ohio — is available for hikers and bikers, as well. nps.gov/cuva

Cleveland Cultural Gardens What started with a 200-acre donation by John D. Rockefeller in 1896 — not far from University Circle and Little Italy — has blossomed into the Cleveland Cultural Gardens, a series of 33 different gardens, each representing a nationality of origin for Cleveland residents. The ethnic groups that manage each garden — reflecting first the European immigrants that came to Cleveland in the early 20th century and now including Asian and African communities — regularly sponsor events in their gardens, and One World Day returns this summer for its 75th anniversary. clevelandculturalgardens.org

Pro Football Hall of Fame, Canton  In 1920, a group of pro football owners gathered at a Hupmobile dealership in Canton to form a new league — and 42 years later, that origin made Canton the natural home for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. It’s a repository for memorabilia from the game’s early days — leather helmets, uniforms from teams that have long since folded and an assortment of equipment that looks ridiculously primitive now — but it’s also an interactive living museum, with virtual reality and video games. 330-456-8207; profootballhof.com  

Butler Art Institute, Youngstown  In 1919, Joseph Butler, one of Youngstown’s pre-eminent industrialists — as well as a historian and a patron of the arts — built a fireproof repository for his already sizeable American art collection. In the century since, the collection has grown to include more than 22,000 pieces, reflecting everything from American masters like John James Audubon, Albert Bierstadt and Norman Rockwell to Pop artists like Andy Warhol. There even are artists who are famous in other fields, including actress Kim Novak and musicians John Mellencamp and Tony Bennett. 330-743-1107; butlerart.com

National Veterans Museum and Memorial, Columbus Opened in 2018, this museum is dedicated to showing “how veterans are made” — including the ideals that led them to military service, the experiences they might have had in the armed forces from colonial days up to the present, and the desire to be good citizens and good neighbors that doesn’t end with their military service. The museum is interactive, with everything from stations to draw and write notes to veterans to an opportunity to carry military gear (intended for kids, but also popular with the veterans themselves). 888-987-6866; nationalvmm.org

Cincinnati Museum Center In the 1920s, the Queen City was served by a multitude of railroad stations. Plans were made for a union terminal, and in 1933, the Art Deco masterpiece opened. Today, the station is the Cincinnati Museum Center, reopened in 2018 after a two-year renovation to update its utilities, repair structural issues that come with a nearly 90-year-old building, and return it to its former glory. Under the massive rotunda — still decorated with the murals detailing important people and moments in Ohio history — are entrances to a variety of museums, from a history museum to a new Holocaust and Humanity Museum. There also is a children’s museum and a natural history museum. cincymuseum.org

1 Comment

  1. The Butler Institute of American Art now has a large collection of must-see kinetic and STEAM artworks donated by The Bermant Foundation in California that children and families will LOVE! New pieces are being installed and on view each week as we work towards completeing the install of most of the 98 new pieces. Admission is free!

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