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2 hour trips for families

May 31, 2017
Amy Phelps , MOV Parent

During summer break, many families will be looking for places to travel, and something nearby and educational, as well as fun, may fit the bill. This summer, the Parkersburg News and Sentinel will run a weekly series exploring a new place for families to visit, all within a short driving distance, called "2-Hour Trips." The following are just a few of the places that will be visited:

Children can see costumed interpreters work a blacksmith forge, teach a one-room schoolhouse, practice medicine, run a printing press and more. And, of course, there is an opportunity to ride a real canal boat. There are several gardens on the grounds, as well as a paved walking path where the tow path once stood, that families can walk or ride bikes.

There are several stores, including a candy store, and restaurants in the historic buildings. There is also opportunities to buy hand-crafted items from the interpreters work of the time period, such as brooms, toys and more. There are also crafts kids can make at the information center for a small fee, such as tin punching, candledipping and more.

Yoder's Amish Home offers a look into the life of an Amish family through a museum home tour, and also has a livestock barn, one-room schoolhouse and buggy rides available, all with knowledgeable tour guides.

The Farm at Walnut Creek is an animal park where 500 animals roam and hay rides are available or you can drive your own car through. Guests can feed the animals and get up close and personal.

There is also a farm on the property that offers a look at plowing, canning, milking, quilting and baking, as well as a look at what homes in the area are like.

David Warther Carvings in the area is a musuem that featureds ship carvings of many different eras and workshop tours.

There is also the new Ohio Star Theater where families can catch a concert or a play. This 514 seat state-of-the-art theater features specially designed lighting and sound system. The plays this summer are The Home Game:?A Musical, running now until Aug. 19, and The Confession: The Hit Musical, running from Aug. 29 through Nov. 4. Mennonite Girls Can Cook: The Musical will begin Sept. 6 and run through Nov. 4. Concerts include Ernie Haase+Signature Sound and David Pendleton June 23, Selah and David Pendleton June 24, Michael English and Russ Taff July 18, Gospel Harmony Boys Aug. 2 and Mark Kowry, Sept. 2.

Hershberger Farm and Bakery offers a petting zoo and several animal rides for kids to enjoy.

First off is the Columbus Zoo, Aquarium and Waterpark. The zoo has 7,000 animals to meet and is one of the few U.S. zoos to have Queensland koalas, bonobos and mantees to see.

Polar bear cubs were recently born there and there are plenty of informational exhibits to see as well at the Aquarium. The waterpark, Zoombezi Bay, is a fun way to cool off on a hot day.

Also in Columbus is COSI, a hands-on science center which offers more than 300 interactive exhibits. There is evean a seven-story Extreme Screen Theater, the largest screen in Ohio, and the COSI Planetarium, the largest in Ohio with its 60-foot dome.

There are also several parks, including Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens which features plants from around the world and family activities on the weekends.

There are also several museums in the area, such as Ohio History Center and Ohio Village and the Columbus Museum of Art.

If history is of interest, there is the Craik-Patton House to visit and the Culture Center and State Museum on the Capitol grounds. There are several parks to play in the area.

Memorial Day weekend kicks plenty of activities in the area. It serves as the FestivALL Preview weekend, where the first Live on the Levee free concert is held, as well as a look at Taste-of-ALL Charleston and FestivALT, with music and food. At the State Capitol Complex is the 41st Vandalia Gathering, with Appalachian musicians.

The Capitol City Biker Bash will be held June 8-10.

And June 16-25 will be FestivALL, turning the city into a work of art, with music, theater, dance, visual art and more, with the Capitols Street Art Fair and Chilodren's Art Fair a feature.

June 18 offers the Spartan Race Workout and Spartan Kids Workout in preparation for August's Spartan Trifecta Race.

International Pageants Weekend will be Aug. 3-5, when Mrs. Miss and Miss Teen International Pageants come to town.

SportsFEST, held Aug.19-20, will welcome more than 1000 athletes to compete in jet skiing, beach volleyball, skaeboard slalom, disc golf, ultimate Frisbee, 3-on-3 basketball and grappling as well as Smashy Ball.

There will also be a splash park and playground on Magic Island for kids to enjoy.



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