Get Out There

Fun Near the Center of the World

We’re heading to the Center of the World today: it’s the name of a town in Ohio. The sign has been stolen many times, but we’ll be sure to take a photo as we cruise by on our virtual road trip. The weather all over the state looks to be in the mid-80s this weekend. We’re going to cover ourselves in sunscreen and get out there.

With our love for Americana, we’ll swing by to see the World’s Largest Rubber Stamp. Then we’re heading to the American Sign Museum to listen to the buzz of the neon lights and learn more about signs dating back to the 1800s. Of course, in Ohio, there are the Halls of Fame for both Rock and Roll and Pro Football, as well as many fantastic museums, but we like getting off the beaten path.

We will visit the Mad River and NKP Railroad Museum and learn about how locomotives helped build the state into what it is now. Then we’ll head off to the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad and take a ride through the national park, soaking in gorgeous views. If we feel like it and the weather isn’t too hot, we’ll get off the train in the park to explore and then jump back on the train when we’re ready to leave.

Feeling peckish, we’ll hit the West Side Market for lunch. The public market was built in 1912 and is still going strong today with ready-to-eat foods, meat, produce and dairy — all fresh. With beautiful architecture, you won’t be sorry you stopped in for a visit. If we want a meal with an international flair, we’ll go to Jungle Jim's International Market. It’s a four-acre farmers market that has prepared food and is an experience in and of itself. With decorations and theming throughout, we can spend hours here!

If we need to cool off from the August heat, we’ll head to the Christmas Story House and Museum. The house from the classic 1983 film is preserved as it was in the movie. In a building over the road, you can see many props from the film. If you are a fan, this is a can’t-miss experience.

To warm up from the December chill, we’ll head outside, still in the absurdist mindset of the film. Feeling the mood, we’ll head over to Vasehenge, a circle of 18 giant painted vases. In a town well-known for its rich pottery history, there are about one hundred massive vases scattered around the city. Having enjoyed a visit there, we’ll travel to Cornhenge, to see a memorial to a farmer, Sam Frantz, who worked on corn hybrids. One hundred and nine six-foot-tall ears of corn stand in a field.

Feeling like seeing a little more green in the natural landscape, we’ll pay a visit to the Topiary Park. It's seven acres of a 3-D, growing version of the Georges Seurat painting A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte. To see a plant version of the famous art is impressive and it's highly detailed, with 54 people, three dogs, a monkey, a cat and eight boats! Finally, becoming a bit more serious, we'll stop to see The Great Serpent Mound — the largest earthwork effigy in the world. This mound that may have been built between 1,000-1,550 AD is 1,330 feet long. There are a 1,000 other things we would like to see, but we feel this is a good place to stop in Ohio: a site with history and timelessness, manmade but still in nature.

Banner image: West Side Market; Derek Oyen, Wikimedia

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