1 | Be a Dum-Dum
Hey, we might like Dum-Dum’s, but we ain’t suckers. Celebrate over 110 years of family-owned business at the Spangler Store & Museum, the world headquarters of Dum-Dums. Take a tour of the factory of visit the museum. 400 N Portland St, Bryan. spanglercandy.com
2 | Rural relics
Grab your camera, or delete all those old photos on your phone, and saddle up for a full day of photo-ops by visiting Ohio’s Bicentennial Barns. The result of artist Scott Hagan’s project—which required him to travel 65,000 miles and use 650 gallons of paint—the 88 barns in each Ohio county celebrated Ohio’s bicentennial in 2003. But hey—these aren’t the only barns worth seeing. barnartist.com
Make sure to stop by:
–Col. Tom Henricks Astronaut Barn (770 E Main St, Woodville) celebrating the Sandusky astronaut.
–Rutherford B. Hayes Barn (3675 Fangboner Rd, Fremont) which depicts the late 19th president.
–9-11 Memorial and Public Safety Service Memorial Barn (1524 CR 32, Gibsonburg).
–Battle of Fort Stephens Barn (2004 Christy Rd, Fremont).
3 | Rub-a-dub… What??
How big is the world’s largest rubber duck? 61 feet tall and 15-tons. Travel to Sandusky when the World’s Largest Rubber Duck, named Mama Duck, makes her first appearance in Ohio from July 12-15 during the Sandusky Festival of Sail. thebigduck.us
4 | Travel the river
River Lures Kayaking offers two kayak rental launch points for riverside fun. Visit Farnsworth Metropark (8505 S River Rd, Grand Rapids) and the recently-opened Middlegrounds Metropark (111 Ottawa St, Downtown Toledo) to enjoy a fun, relaxing trip downriver. Rent single or tandem (two) person kayaks for day paddling on the Maumee. For those wanting to view the River from terra firma, they also offer bicycle rentals so riders can pedal their way along the scenic riverside Towpath Trail. riverlureskayaking.com
5 | Host a cookout
Backyard BBQs have been all the rage for years, complete with Mom’s homemade cake and Dad’s grilled specialties. So get the grill out, throw on the jams and invite some friends and family to your humble abode or to a local park. Farnsworth Metropark in Waterville has perfect views of the Maumee, while Burnham Park near Plummer Pool in Sylvania has that small-town nostalgic feel.
6 | Get in the Ice Age groove
Experience one of the coldest times on earth at one of Ohio’s natural wonders: the Glacial Grooves at Kelleys Island. Mother Nature made it, but Ohioans love exploring this National Natural Landmark, which is one of the world’s largest and most visible examples of glacial scarring—at 430 feet long, 35 feet wide, and 15 feet deep, the limestone bedrock shows nature’s powerful force. Geologists think that the glacial grooves on Kelleys Island were formed about 20,000 years ago.
7 | Eat local
Like, real local. Try the humble pawpaw fruit, a bizarre, tropical tasting apple native to Ohio and the state’s official native fruit. Sample it during the Ohio Pawpaw Festival, held in Albany, Ohio September 14 to 16, or forage for the pawpaw in southern Ohio. Learn about other native Ohio plants, such as spicebush, black walnuts, ramps, persimmons, elderberries and wild mushrooms, by visiting integrationacres.com. For rules about foraging for wild edibles at one of Ohio’s 20 state forests, visit wildlife.ohiodnr.gov/species-and-habitats/state-listed-species.
8 | Spin your wheels
Grab your bicycle, and a friend or two, and head for the trails. Not including the bike trails at local parks, Northwest Ohio boasts 11 bikeways, including the famous Wabash Cannonball Trail. See the full list, including info on the trail length and surface types, at ohiobikeways.net/nwregionlist.htm
9 | Art in nature
Check out work from area sculptors during two outdoor exhibitions this summer. Gibsonburg offers the 14th annual Sculpture in the Village exhibit, featuring 33 pieces in Williams Park (facebook.com/gccvog). Closer to home, ten new sculptures are on view on the University of Toledo campus, as part of the 13th annual Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition (utoledo.edu/al/svpa/art).
10 | See a movie outdoors
The Toledo Museum of Art offers outdoor film screenings throughout the summer, including Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom on June 29th. Or something old school, head to the Sundance Kid Drive-In (4500 Navarre Ave, Oregon) for a double feature. Shows change weekly, call 419-691-9668 or check out the greateasterntheatres.com for screenings and times.
11 | Make a splash
Soak up the fun of summer and swim at cool, local watering holes. Surrounded by rock cliffs and averaging 22 feet deep, spring-fed Centennial Quarry (5773 Centennial Rd, Sylvania) offers diving platforms, water toys and swim rafts. Clearwater Quarry, off-the-beaten-path at 4601 Genoa Rd, Perrysburg, includes a diving board and water slide, and the surrounding area features grills, picnic tables, a basketball court and volleyball.
12 | Take a stroll by the water
Visit Grand Rapids, Ohio, to explore the boutiques and local restaurants along Front Street. Stop at Rita’s Dairy Barn for a twist cone and watch the rapids from the benches along the water before heading home.
13 | Admire some vintage rides
Grab a car-lover and visit the Mayberry Square Dream Cruise and Burnouts car show on the first Monday of every month. Buy a 50/50 ticket, enjoy live music and ogle at dozens of historic automobiles.
14 | Hit the Farmers’ Markets
Toledo, Whitehouse, Bowling Green, Sylvania, and Perrysburg all host weekly Farmers’ Markets. Pick up something grown locally for dinner, enjoy a sweet treat and catch up with friends. It’s a fun way to shop. Find a guide to local markets HERE.
15 | Get to the beach
Lake Erie boasts some beautiful beaches. East Harbor State Park, 40 miles to the east, is one of the best spots on the Lake. On a clear day you can see across to the Erie Islands. This Catawba Island park offers campgrounds, picnic spots and provides a great summer getaway.
16 | Grow a garden
Make a visible difference in your community by getting involved in a local community garden. Tend to native flowers and herbs for the birds and bees, and extra tomatoes for those BLTs. Visit toledogrows.org for more information about a community garden near you.
17 | Pour your heart out at a brewery, and in vino Lake Erie.
18 | Volunteer Hours
Giving back to local organizations can be a fun way to meet new people and be involved in the community. The Toledo area is home to hundreds of institutions looking for help with events and programming. Food For Thought, Toledo Metroparks and the Toledo Museum all offer regular volunteer hours, or visit unitedwaytoledo.org for hundreds of listings on volunteer opportunities.