Spend some bonding time with your family at Ohio's many charming festivals. Learn about the area's traditions, both new and old, at the state fair, carve up a pumpkin at a festival dedicated to the gourd, and warm up with some hot chocolate at Winterfest.
This sprawling state fair is among the nation's largest. In late July, seemingly all of Ohio gathers for 12 incredible days. Live concerts and entertainment compete with scavenger hunts, amusement park rides, and special guests to make this an unforgettable family day out. Celebrity impersonators rub shoulders with actual celebrities. Naturally, the festival's catering revolves around the state's prolific produce. Shop 'til you drop or kick back at a beer garden — your options are endless.
Some 23,000 pies are sold during this four-day autumn pumpkin-focused extravaganza in Ohio's Circleville. Try pumpkin pastries and myriad other pumpkin products at 300 different stands. There's even pumpkin beer. Kids will love the pumpkin-themed games and pumpkin-related crafting sessions.
The town of Bowling Green is transformed into a wonderland of festive family fun. This February festival brightens up wintry days with ice sculpture installations and a chili cook-off. Go ice skating or take a ride in a horse-drawn carriage. A plethora of food stalls offer hearty treats, including some of the best hot chocolate in the state.
Head to Ohio and head outside. Many of the state's celebrations focus on local produce – bite into a crisp apple, savor some tasty freshwater shrimp, and feast on a stack of maple-syrup soaked pancakes.
Every one of the apples at Lebanon's Country Apple Festival was picked within 30 miles of the festival. Dine outdoors in leafy Lebanon's September sunshine on candied apples and unctuous apple pies. Savor a little apple wine, or browse the market for homemade crafts and apple-themed products.
Ohio is rightfully proud of its plentiful freshwater stocks. Every September, the state gathers to indulge in local fish and shrimp. Here you can observe fish, frogs, and turtles in extensive display tanks, and you can even pet a sturgeon at this unusual Ohio event. Kids can feed trout or build a palace at the sandcastle play area. Don't leave without trying your hand at the shrimp peeling and eating contest or exploring Freshwater Farms' serene environs.
What isn't improved by a drizzle of maple syrup? Oxford's homage to the natural sweetener centers on a gigantic pancake breakfast. The festival takes place over two weekends in March at Hueston Woods Lodge. Here, you can learn how maple syrup is made and get an insight into life in days gone by. Tours involve a hayride through the woods to where it all begins.
Get set to rock at must-see events in Ohio, with big names and lesser-known acts. There are plenty of musical events to choose from in the state – you may be hard-pressed to choose just one!
Columbus' Rock on the Range sees some 40,000 rock music fans pour into Columbus Stadium every day of this perennially sold-out show. Major corporate sponsors and rock royalty make this a festival worth traveling to. Previous headliners have included ZZ Top, Evanescence, and Slipknot.
June kicks off with an eco-friendly blast of music and zeal. Over 100 acts take over six separate stages at this popular festival. Conceived by Bill Donabedian, the festival strives to blend technology with music and sustainable living.
For four days, the forests of southeastern Ohio are the venue for a music festival of local, national, and international performers. Local food and an eco-friendly approach have secured Nelsonville Music Festival as one of the state's clear favorites. The event is family-friendly, with music-making activities for children and special events such as an annual puppet parade and community mural making.
There's more to St. Patrick's Day than Guinness and Irish stew. You'll find plenty of both here, as well as Celtic rock alongside traditional Irish ballads. Shamrock yourself to the nines, practice your Irish accent, and get ready for Emerald Isle-themed partying!