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JUNE 2012


Family TO DO? A special supplement of the I-75 Neswpaper Group Piqua Daily Call, Troy Daily News & Sidney Daily News

June 15, 2012 • What’s A Family To Do? • Page 2

A handful of pool options for staying cool this summer BY NATALIE KNOTH Staff Writer


Josh Browder of Troy slips down the slide at the Troy Aquatic Park.

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Nothing beats relaxing by the pool on a hot summer day, and thankfully opportunities abound in Miami and Shelby counties. Opened Memorial Day weekend, Troy Aquatic Park at 460 W. Staunton Drive has three water slides, a diving board, a heated baby pool and fun activities for beating the heat. About 500 season passes are sold each year. For more information on season memberships, swim lessons, water aerobics and more, call 937335-5171 or visit Memberships and fees for programs can be paid online at or at the Troy Recreation Department at Hobart Arena. Piqua Community Pool in Pitensbarger Sports Complex boasts a 150-foot water slide, a baby pool and swim lessons. Teen nights are hosted 6-9 p.m. Tuesday and family nights 5:30-9 p.m. Sunday. Regular hours are 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Thursday; 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday; 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and 1-5 p.m. Sunday. Call 937-773-7665 or visit for more info. Sidney Municipal Pool, 12 Tawawa Dr., kicked off the beat-theheat season June 2. The pool features a 295-footlong slide, comprised of a

speed slide and spiral slide. Hours of operation are 1-7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 16 p.m. Sunday. For more information on the facility, call 937498-8171. Tippecanoe Family Aquatic Center offers a spray grounds area, two water slides, diving boards and three pools for everyone in the family. Located at 225 Park Ave., the pool attracts more than 50,000 visitors, with an average of 600 people daily. Hours from May 26 to Aug. 19 are noon to 8 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday. From Aug. 20 to Sept. 3 the pool is open from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday. A special event for dogs is slated for 5-7 p.m. Sept. 3. Each visitor 18 and older can bring a dog to splash around in the pool. Located at 800 E. Pike St., Jackson Center Municipal Pool has a diving board, shallow area for children and a spray park. It’s open 12:30-7 p.m. daily in June and 12:308 p.m. in July and August. More information is available at 937-5966314. Some swimming pools allow residents to rent the facility for corporate or group outings. Contact individual parks for more information.

June 15, 2012 • What’s A Family To Do? • Page 3

County parks come alive in the summer BY LAURA WILLIS Ohio Community Media


Fishing is one of the many things offered by the Miami County Park District. as well as the Great Miami River from Twin Arch Reserve or the Greenville Falls State Scenic River Area. The Greenville Creek also can be accessed with a fishing license. "Summer is a great time to relax and go fishing," Smith explained. • Picnicking Charleston Falls Preserve, Twin Arch Reserve, Greenville State Scenic River and Lost Creek Reserve all offer picnic tables. Other parks offer grassy green areas to settle down for a family picnic as well. • Trails and Nature The Great Miami River Recreational Trail offers 10.5 miles of trail to walk, jog, run or bike. Additionally more than 30 miles of

nature trails are offered within the Miami County Park District. Smith said there are plenty of options that can provide partially shaded trails for those hot days. Stillwater Prairie Reserve, Charleston Falls Preserve, Garbry Big Woods Sanctuary or Reserve, Lost Creek Reserve and Maple Ridge all offer partially shady options filled with various natural habitiats. "Nothing compares to the sight of prairie flowers that bloom in August and September," Smith said, encouraging families to take a walk to see these flowers at parks like Honey Creek Preserve, Charleston Falls Preserve, Stillwater Prairie Reserve, Goode

Prairie Reserve and Hobart Urban Nature Preserve. • Up for an adventure? The 2012 Ramble Quest provides a way for families to complete a hiking challenge. "The new 2012 Ramble Quest Challenge is to go to our new trails, starting with Maple Ridge (10430 State Route 185) in Covington. Every two months, a new trail will be added. When you have hiked all for of the new trails, you can call and make an appointment to turn in your 2012 rubbings and receive your Ramble Quest Pin," Smith said. The Miami County Park District also is pleased to offer other public programs this summer including:

• Night fishing with naturalist Deb Barger at Garbry Big Woods Reserve, 8:30 p.m. June 20. • Night Songs Walk at Charleston Falls Pre-

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MIAMI COUNTY — With 15 parks, nature preserves and recreational spaces, the Miami County Park District offers a variety of family activities every day of the year — but especially during the warm summer months. Amanda Smith, park district marketing director, offered several ideas for all types of families. The Miami County Park District, she said, offers space for fishing, canoeing, biking, picnicking, using trails or just enjoying nature. Which one would you choose? • Canoeing Keep cool by gently rowing down the many water sources, which offer both canoe and kayak access at the parks. "A great way to get outdoors and stay cool this summer is to go for a canoe ride," Smith said. "Twin Arch Reserve, Farrington Reserve, FL Blanenship Riverside Sanctuary, Maple Ridge and Goode Prairie Reserve offer canoeing and kayaking access." • Fishing Did you know that the Miami County Park District offers several places that you can fish without a license? "Twin Arch Reserve, Mape Ridge, Garbry Big Woods and Stillwater Prairie Reserve are parks that have ponds where you can fish without a license," Smith said. License-holders can additionally fish the Stillwater River from the FL Blanenship Riverside Sactuary, Goode Prairie Reserve, Stillwater Prairie Reserve or Maple Ridge,

serve, 9-11 p.m. June 22 • Music Picnic at Lost Creek Reserve, 4-6:30 p.m. July 29 • Old Fashioned Ice Cream Social at Garbry Big Woods Reserve, 2-4 p.m. Aug. 19 • Blue Moon Campfire at Charleston Falls Preserve, 8:30-10:30 p.m. Aug. 31 • The 21st Annual Youth Fishing Derbry at Stillwater Prairie Reserve, 1:30-4:30 p.m. Sept. 9 • Music of the Stars Campfire at Charleston Falls Preserve, 8-10 p.m. Sept. 14 • Sunset Songs at Lost Creek Reserve, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Sept. 23 There are many other events happening at the parks this year including Family Quest Naturalist Series focusing on spiders, straight arrows, snakes, and flutes; dog socials; and the Trail Run Challenge, a series of 5K and more races. Late registration details for the races as well as registration and more information for the above listed activties may be found at

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June 15, 2012 • What’s A Family To Do? • Page 4

How do you spell family fun? Y-M-C-A BY PATRICIA ANN SPEELMAN In Miami and Shelby counties, activities abound for children, teens and adults to do with their peers. But the area YMCAs and libraries have developed programs that whole families can enjoy together. Some of what they offer are listed here: The Sidney YMCA The Sidney YMCA is committed to strengthening families in Shelby County. The Y gives families the chance to connect, have fun and spend quality time together. Activities for families include swimming, tennis, basketball, use of the indoor soccer gym, and a fun center

with games, an interactive sport wall, and Shelby County’s only indoor climbing wall. Summer hours of operation for families are 5 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Monday thru Friday, and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. “Approximately 81 percent of Americans believe that a strong community can only be achieved when we invest in our kids, our health and our neighbors,” said Sam Casalano, associate executive director. “Families need a place to go where they can feel supported. Children need safe environments where they’re nurtured and inspired to reach their full potential.” To learn more about the Sidney YMCA and to get involved, contact 2289900


Summer Fun at the YMCA… Where there is something for everyone: • Join the “Call of the Wild” Summer Day Camp…for ages five to 12 years. Where fun, swimming, fieldtrips and adventures are part of everyday activities! • Try the challenging, “themed” full and half day gymnastics, acrobatics and Specialty Camps for children ages pre-school and up.


Reagan Schloss, (left), 4, plays catch with her mom Amber Schloss, both of Minster, during the Babies, Books and Blocks program at the Amos Memorial Library Thursday. Reagan is the daughter of Scott Schloss. Casalano at (937) 492.9134 or email or visit The Piqua Public Library Summer Reading Club: Reading Clubs began June 4 for all ages: preschool, school age, young adult/teen and adult.

• Sign-up for swimming lessons for all ages, or bring in the whole family for a cool dip in the pool.

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Sidney-Shelby County YMCA 300 East Parkwood St, Sidney, OH • 937-492-9134 • Find us on Facebook

These clubs run through July 28. Events will be ongoing, including movies, games, reading challenges, library tours and more. Movies: The library is offering an air-conditioned refuge for families this summer with a wide variety of family movies. All movies are projected

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on a big screen. The audience is welcome to take in food and drink. Every Wednesday afternoon through July 25 at 2 p.m., a PG- or PG13rated movie with a sports/Olympic theme will be shown. On August Wednesdays, other family films rated G or PG will be shown. The fourth Thursday of each month at 6 P.M., the library will show a family movie with a G or PG rating. Families can take in snacks. Crafts: Spend creative time with youngsters without having to plan anything or clean up afterward, as the library will provide supplies, instructions, and a helping hand to do fun family crafts. Advance registration is required. Sessions

will be at 2 p.m. July 20 and Aug. 17. Wildlife Encounter: Brukner Nature Center will exhibit live, nocturnal animals that may include an owl, an opossum or a bat at 2 p.m. July 5. Registration in advance assures a reserved seat at the presentation. Safety Fair: The Safety Fair will be held outdoors, in the lot at the corner of Main and West High streets July 28. It will include fire trucks, police cars, games, bicycle safety lessons, and more. See the event calendar at piqua for additional details about library programs. To register for partici– pation, visit the library on the square in downtown

June 15, 2012 • What’s A Family To Do? • Page 5


The Miami County YMCA offers a variety of classes for fun and fitness. Sally Driver, storyteller. June 29, 12:30 p.m. — Brukner’s Nature Center with live animals. July 6, 12:30 p.m. — The movie, “Bedtime Stories,” with popcorn. Fort Loramie Branch Library Monday, 7 p.m. — Stephanie Moorman, of Fort Loramie State Park, will present a program on nocturnal animals. Jackson Center Branch Library Friday, 11 a.m. — Stories of the night by Sally Driver. June 29, 11 a.m. — Wiggling Worms by Lynda Adams, of the Shelby County Soil and Water Conservation. July 6, 11 a.m. — Evening Dreams pre-

sented by Rich Millhouse. Tipp City Public Library The library’s fourth annual worm races will take place at the library Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. According to Julie Smith, children’s services assistant, families and individuals take their own live worms to compete

on a course constructed especially for the races. “You have to find yourself an athleticlooking worm,” she said. Night crawlers are good competitors. “Worms with legs don’t count” and won’t be permitted to race, she added. The worms are put into the center of the course and must

crawl to the edge. The races are run in heats and a trophy is awarded to the winner. “There is also an award for team spirit,”

Smith said. “It’s kind of like Nascar: families make T-shirts and wear funny hats to support their worms.” Register in advance or at the door. A Family Fundama will be July 17 at 6:30 p.m. Participants will make different versions of a ball-and-cup toy. For information about the races and other library programs, call (937) 667-3826. Milton-Union Public Library in West Milton “We’re gearing up for a fun time at the library,” said public relations specialist Tina Weber recently. She said that a family night and movie screenings later in the summer are under consideration. Troy-Miami County Library The summer reading theme is “Dream Big: Read.” Midnight Munchies will be June 23 at 10:30 a.m. Participants will make snacks and enjoy eating them. “Things that Glow in the Dark” will be the theme of a family fun night July 17 at 6:30 p.m. There will be crafts and stories about fireflies.

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Piqua or call (937) 7736753. Miami County YMCA Both the Piqua branch and the Robinson branch between Troy and Tipp City offer basketball, swimming, indoor soccer and racquetball. “Any of them can be enjoyed by families,” said Donn Craig, branch executive at Robinson. The family hours are Monday through Friday, 5 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday, 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday 1 to 6 p.m. Amos Library in Sidney Friday, 1 p.m. — Brukner Nature Center’s “A Wildlife Encounter” Meet some animals of the night. June 29, 11:30 a.m. — Gather at the gazebo near the covered bridge in Tawawa Park for “If I were an Earth Worm, I would Dream About …” July 20, 1 p.m. — Stories by Sally Driver. Shake out the sillies, tap your toes and enjoy a fun-filled afternoon of stories. On Mondays through July 16, there will be Family Fun Nights at 6 p.m. where parents and children can interact with various crafts and themes. See the online calendar for children’s events at .htm Anna Community Branch Library June 27, 2 p.m. — Lynda Adams, of Shelby County Soil and Water Conservation, will present a program, “Wiggly Worms.” Family Fun Nights and Family Movie Nights Mondays from 6 to 8 p.m. through July 16. Botkins Branch Library Friday, 12:30 p.m. —

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June 15, 2012 • What’s A Family To Do? • Page 6

Get on your bike and ride BY LINDSAY NOCE Ohio Community Media The Great Miami River Bike and Recreation Trail offers folks a great opportunity to experience local attractions and nature while burning a few calories in the process. The bike trail is the perfect option for those who enjoy staying active and want to encounter what point’s local and surrounding areas provide. The trail has markers every half-mile to keep track of distance covered. With nearly 52 miles of trails, area residents can certainly enjoy a day or an entire weekend on the path it provides access

into towns. The Great Miami River Recreation Trail runs from Piqua, south to Fairfield, connecting numerous towns and cities throughout four counties in Ohio. The idea for the trail was devised in 1965 by the late Horace Huffman Jr., of Dayton, and president of the Huffy Corp. Huffman, who worked at his father’s bicycle factory in east Dayton, inherited the family business and later formed what is now known as the Miami Valley Regional Bicycle Council. To bring it closer to home, the Linear Park project in Piqua, completed in 2001, consists of 11 miles of trail and built

atop of an abandoned railroad bed. From French Park to Lock Nine Park, much of this section runs along the Great Miami River and in some places follows the former Miami and Erie Canal. This stretch of trail features a tree-lined paved asphalt path that runs through the city of Piqua and at points also overlooks the city. A tunnel extends under Sunset Avenue and a bridge spans over College Street and a 2000 foot retaining wall in the levee of the Great Miami River offer no street crossings the entire section, which makes the path safe and relaxing. A highlight of this section is a peaceful trail

Join Us For Summer Fun! The Tippecanoe Family Aquatic Center features a spray ground area, two water slides, diving boards, and two pools to accommodate all ages.

• Birthday Parties (After hours rental available) • Swim Lessons and Swim Teams • Two 1-Meter diving boards and a 25-Meter Competition swimming pool Close out the year with fido at our Dog Day at the pool Monday, September 3rd 5:00-7:00 p.m. (One dog per person and must be accompanied by an adult 18 years or older. Cost is $5 per dog. Owners are free!)

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Regular Season Hours Of Operation • Saturday, Jun 2nd through Sunday, August 19th • Sunday – Thursday 12:00 noon – 8:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday 11:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. Mon., August 20th through Mon., September 3rd • Sunday – Thursday 12:00 noon – 5:00 p.m. • Friday and Saturday 11:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. The Aquatic Center will be closed Saturday, July 21st (rain date July 22nd) for the summer swim team championship meet 2289938


Tyrese Basil, 12,Tayvian Elder, 9, and Danasa Evans, 7, of Piqua, enjoy a leisurely ride on the bike path near Upper Fountain Park. passing through the wooded area north of High Street located on Washington Avenue. This section of the path follows the portion of the hydraulic canal that was filled in years ago. The path user will also come across the original Piqua water plant that was located just south of Franz Pond but only a stone foundation wall remains. The path provides an amazing water side view of Echo Lake and runs through Fountain Park where there is playground equipment and restrooms. Swift Run Lake is where the asphalt ends and a paved lot is available for convenient parking for anyone looking to fish and/or put in a small boat. The entire trail is open to walkers, joggers, bikers and rollerbladers. There are plenty of access points where one can enter or exit the trail including Spiker Road, Davis Park-

way, French Park, the Municipal Government Complex, Lock Nine Riverfront Park, the Miami Valley Centre Mall, Patrizio Place, and Troy-Sidney Road, Fountain Park, Roadside Park and the City’s Water Plant. Users of the trail often spot great blue heron, kingfisher, and other birds, beaver, white-tailed deer, and a variety of fish and aquatic life. The city of Piqua received an Honorable Mention Award for Park Development from the Ohio Parks and Recreation Association (OPRA) in 2002 for the development of the initial fivemile section of the Linear Park. Most of the path hugs The Miami River almost the whole route. The trail which begins in Piqua near Johnston Farm & Indian Agency, snakes along a mostly paved surface. A small gap is south of Piqua and

follows the shoulder of County Road 25-A. This gap is expected to be filled by 2012. Anew section of trail has recently been added. The grand opening of the “Paul G. Duke Memorial Bikeway” was held in Troy on June 1. The design incorporated use of the old Fairview-Snodgrass Road Bridge that was donated by the county engineer and extends from Lytle Road south to Eldean Road. There is even more trail to be added, joining the Twin Arch Reserve trail to Peterson road by way of a bridge over the Great Miami River. Construction is set to begin in the fall of 2013. So whether you are alone, with friends or with your family, The Great Miami River Bike Trail provides ample entertainment for those who enjoy an appropriate balance of health, nature, exploration and night life.

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June 15, 2012 • What’s A Family To Do? • Page 8

Camping offers an affordable vacation BY JENNIFER BUMGARNER Many families are looking for alternative “stay-cations” this year, and there are a lot of camping spots for people to get away from it all without spending a fortune. A popular local spot is Lake Loramie State Park, located between Minster and Fort Loramie in Shelby County. The park features 115 electric sites, 45 electric premium sites, 15 non-electric sites, showers, flush toilets and a dump station, boat tieups, three group camp areas available by reservation to organized groups and free WiFi access is available at the camp office to registered campers. For Betty Platfoot of Russia, camping is a way to bring the family together. “We used to camp with

our kids back in the 1980s, and it’s improved a lot since then,” said Platfoot. “We actually just got back into camping because of our grandkids. They love the outdoors.” Platfoot and her family camp at Lake Loramie State Park throughout the summer. She likes taking her grandchildren there during the week. “It’s quieter because there are a lot of older folks there” and “there aren’t as many vehicles driving around.” Platfoot also remarked that her family has always gone camping and that it’s a great way for the kids to have a good time and it is not very expensive. There is miniature golf and a playground area for kids. There also are fishing, boating and swimming. “The grandkids went fishing before we came to the playground today and I don’t think I have a single working pole left,” said


Grand Lake St. Marys offers a number of camping opportunities, along with an opportunity to see sites such as this lighthouse in the greater St. Marys area. Platfoot with a chuckle. “But they enjoyed themselves and caught little fish.”

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91 docks and tie-ups. Water skiing is prohibited and the entire lake is classified as “no wake” with the exception of the designated “speed zone” in the west end of the lake. There are canoe rentals available. There is also a 600-foot sandy beach with picnic areas and shelter houses. For people who want to get away but don’t have a camper, the park also features three cedar cabins and four rent-a-camp sites which consists of a tent, dining shelter, cookstove and other equipment which can be rented. For more information contact the park office at 937-295-2011.

While there is currently an advisory for high levels of algae toxins in the water, Grand Lake St. Marys State Park has camping available at a discounted price. Swimming and wading are not recommended for the very old, the very young or those with compromised immune systems. The park has 25 percent off camping, getaway rentals and shelter house fees and 50 percent off private and state dock fees. The discount will not be valid from June 30 to July 8. The park offers 176 electric sites, 28 non-electric sites, flush toilets, laundry, showers and a dump station. Pets are permitted except for the

June 15, 2012 • What’s A Family To Do? • Page 9


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Fall/Winter Hours Fall/Winter Hours Mon thru Fri - 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Mon thru Fri - 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Saturday - 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Saturday - 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Summer Hours (June, July, August) Mon thru FriHours - 11:00(June, a.m. July, - 7:00 p.m. August) Summer Saturday a.m. a.m. - 2:00 p.m.p.m. Mon thru- 11:00 Fri - 11:00 - 7:00 Saturday - 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.


beach area, and divers must be accompanied by at least one person. For more information about Kiser Lake State Park, contact the park office at 937-362-3822. Poor Farmer’s RV Sales, Service and Campground Inc. in Fletcher is open year round and features 504 sites with electricity and water with a dumping station, heated showers and flush toilets. There is large RV access and a tent area is available. The campground features a fishing pond, playground, basketball court, horseshoe pit and volleyball court. There are also a picnic table and fire ring at every site and two large shelter houses. For more information including rates, call Poor Farmer’s at 937-3682449.


docks which are provided for exclusive camper use. At the park there are heated shower houses, flush toilets, a laundry facility and camp comissary and games and sporting equipment are available to registered campers. A popular event at Indian Lake is the Ring of Fire. The event started in 1961 and is one of lake’s oldest traditions. Flares are lighted around the perimeter of the lake at precisely 9 p.m. on the Sunday before Labor Day. The flares display a red glow that dots the lake. The Ring of Fire ceremony marks the end of the summer season and the start of the Autumn season. The idea for the Ring of Fire originated from a similar tradition by the Seneca Indians from New York where bonfires were lit around the shore of the lake to celebrate a bountiful harvest. For more information about Indian Lake State Park, contact the park office at 937-843-2717 Kiser Lake state Park in Conover has 10 electric camp sites and 108 non-electric sites available for campers. The park features picnic tables, fire rings, a trailer waste station and latrines are provided. Sailing is popular at the 396-acre Kiser Lake and boats with motors are not permitted. Boats can be rented at two boat rentals at the park. For people who enjoy fishing, there are five fishing piers on the lake. There is also a 600-foot beach with a refreshment stand. Scuba diving is permitted except within the

419-6 299

area in and around the getaway rentals. There is free WiFi access available at the camp store to registered campers and a separate swimming beach, boat launch and boat docks/tie-ups. There is a full service camp store which loans games, fishing and sporting equipment to campers and also there are bike rentals and a miniature golf course. There are five air conditioned camper cabins available for rental and two cedar cabins. Boats of unlimited horsepower are permitted on the 13,500-acre lake, and there are several private launch ramps and eight state operated launch ramps. There is a 300 foot nowake zone around the lake’s 52-miles of shoreline. The state wildlife refuge is located on the southwest corner and is off limits to boats at all times. The park also features basketball and volleyball courts, horseshoe pits, playground equipment, nature center programs and the Fur-Ever Friends Dog Park, which offers a place for pets to run unleashed. For more information, contact the park office at 419-394-3611. Lakeview’s Indian Lake State Park boasts the most camping sites in the area with 405 electric sites, 35 electric premium sites and 12 full hook-up sites. Twenty boat camping spaces and three cabin units are also available. Cabin units are available from early May through October 31 each year. The park also has a limited number of pet camping sites available. There is also a beach, boat ramp and boat

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June 15, 2012 • What’s A Family To Do? • Page 10

Ohio amusement parks offer plenty of fun BY MELODY VALLIEU Ohio Community Media Whether it’s thrills, chills or just a little nature you’re looking for this summer, amusement parks and zoos throughout Ohio aim to please. Visitors to Kings Island also will have an opportunity to step back in time to periods between 245 million to 65 million years ago with the world’s largest animatronic dinosaur park. More than 60 life-sized dinosaurs will be on display in Dinosaurs Alive!, including 56 animatronic models, in an outdoor Jurassic forest setting. The multi-sensory and interactive dinosaur park brings inspiration, science and technology together at Kings Island where guests will also hear the sounds and see the movements of 60-plus full-sized animatronic creations made to replicate nearly every feature of the dinosaurs.

Each of the animatronic dinosaurs is hand-carved and covered with skin-like materials. The six main scenes and nine thematic exhibits tell a story for guests about what the dinosaurs ate, when and where they lived, how they protected themselves and how they adapted to their prehistoric world. The highlight of Dinosaurs Alive! is the world’s largest animatronic dinosaur, the Ruyang Yellow River dinosaur, which measures an incredible 72 feet long, 12 feet wide and 30 feet high. Other animatronic dinosaurs include the vicious looking Irratator and its cousins, the Baryonyx and the Spinosaurus, the lizard-like Stegosaurus, the meat-eating Tyrannosaurs Rex, three-horned Triceratops and the flying Pteranodon. Four of the dinosaurs have interactive consoles that allow guests to guide dinosaur movement so they can see how scientists

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believe each dinosaur moved its arms, tail, mouth and eyes. Other highlights include an excavation site replica, a kids’ paleontological dig site where visitors can uncover prehistoric fossils, and a 1,500 squarefoot dinosaur-themed gift shop that will feature more than 500 items. The Dinosaurs Alive! attraction is located near WindSeeker and the experience can last as long as a visitor wants it to. The attraction is spread out over 12.5 acres and has a 4,000foot-long path. “It’s really a park within a park. It could be a stand alone attraction,” Helbig said of the life-like creatures. “You’re in a different world when you’re in there. You’re not hearing the sights and sounds of Kings Island anymore, you’re in a different whole world.” Response to the exhibit — which opened in 2011 — has been positive, according to Helbig, and guests are impressed with how educational Dinosaurs Alive! is. He said well-informed tour guides also are available at all times to answer questions. And, unlike many of Kings Islands attractions, there’s no line to stand in. “It’s a walk through experience. You can go through at your own pace,” Helbig said. Unlike most other

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parks, Kings Islands waterpark, Boomerang Bay, is included in the price of admission, Helbig said. And, a two-day admission ticket purchased online for $52.99 is a deal from the 1990s, Helbig said. He said the two-day passes don’t have to be used on consecutive days, but anytime during the regular season. In Sandusky, WindSeeker also is receiving rave reviews, and offers a nearly 30-story view of

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Kings Island amusement park offers a wealth of fun.

1250 Wapak Rd Sidney 937-492-8820

Cedar Point, Lake Erie and the Cedar Point Beach. With the opening of WindSeeker in 2011, Cedar Point now has 75 rides, including 17 roller coasters — more rides than any park in the world. In addition, the park has recently opened several new live shows for the season. This summer’s new offerings range from country favorites to classic rock and a gravity-defying stunt show with rollerbladers, a skateboarder and dancers. An ice-skating show featuring Snoopy and the Gang also recently opened. One of Cedar Point’s other 2011 offerings will be Pink’s Hot Dogs, a Hollywood legend for more than 70 years, that will open its first franchise east of Las Vegas on the Cedar Point Midway. Pink’s is worldrenowned for its gourmet hot dogs, chili dogs, onion rings and fresh toppings.

• Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden Night Hunters opened this spring at the Columbus Zoo and will transform the traditional stroll through an existing exhibit building into a virtual experience with surprise theatrical effects that engage all of the visitor’s senses. “The renovated exhibit will take the best of the Nocturnal House and Cat House exhibits and create an environment that immerses visitors in the world that becomes active after the sun sets — the predator’s realm,” said David Jenike, chief operating officer at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden. The indoor Night Hunters exhibit is phase one of a larger outdoor Cat Canyon expansion, which is scheduled to open in full by 2013. The expanded Cat Canyon will link the Night Hunters experience with the current Tiger Canyon exhibits and include new space for pumas and snow leopards. The project aims to provide visitors with a new, exciting adventure into the world of great predators, while strengthening the zoo’s commitment to the conservation of threatened species through education and scientific research in the wild and at the zoo, according to Jenike. Night Hunters is home to Eurasian eagle owl, Pallas’ cat, clouded-leopard, vampire bat, aardvark, ocelot, black-footed cat, sand cat, fishing cat, caracal, fennec fox and bearcat, among others. • Columbus Zoo and Aquarium The Polar Frontier at the Columbus Zoo will transport visitors from central Ohio right into the heart of the Arctic. There guests will watch polar

June 15, 2012 • What’s A Family To Do? • Page 11 bears swim overhead and Alaskan brown bears practice their swimming techniques. Arctic foxes will watch you from their homes as children explore a polarthemed play area. The Battelle Ice Bear Outpost offers interactive games and information, detailing the wonders of the icy Arctic world — and what we can do to help save it. The zoo also recently said goodbye to manatees Fraulein and Bartlett, but welcomed orphaned Bernice to its Manatee Coast. As a partner in the United States Fish and Wildlife Service’s Manatee Rescue and Rehabilitation program, the zoo takes in manatees rescued from the wild and cares for them until they can be released back into the wild. Fraulein and Bartlett were released back into

the wild and Bernice joins Hamilton and Tippecanoe. The Columbus Zoo also is enhancing its North America region with the addition of the Ohio State Solar Decathlon House, an energy-efficient solar house that will allow zoo visitors to see up close the design and workings of a solar powered home. Guests can tour the home from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays. The Zommbezi Bay waterpark also is boasting two new waterslides — the Python Plunge and Big Boa Falls. Python Plunge offers thrill seekers an uphill waterslide. Riders will accelerate to exhilarating speeds as they’re blasted uphill on jetted water and then shot into a 70foot long landing pool. One of only six in the United States, Big Boa

Falls will whip riders from side-to-side and through an enclosed tunnel at high speeds. Experience the rush of weightlessness as you careen over a zero-gravity hill and splash down into a landing pool. • Toledo Zoo Not only is the Toledo Zoo home to more than 9,000 mammals, fish, reptiles, amphibians, birds and invertebrates, representing more than 800 species, but the zoo’s innovative exhibits also get visitors up close to many of favorites. The zoo’s African elephant — born June 3 — has been named Lucas and he and his mother, Renee, are available for viewing each day. Visitors can make a stop at the Arctic Encounter and get face-toface with a polar bear, or stop by the Hippoquarium and watch as a massive

hippo floats gracefully by. Interactive learning stations throughout the zoo make the visit even more engaging — and educational. Opened in 2009, the popular Nature’s Neighborhood at the Toledo Zoo gives children a chance to connect with an array of animals, from the familiar to the exotic. This summer, Nature’s Neighborhood offers programs all day long for young or young-at-heart visitors. At 10:15 a.m., visitors can make pet treats. At noon and 2 p.m., zoo staffers present fun, animal-themed shows at the Fisher-Price Discovery Stage. The afternoon wraps up with spider feeding at 3 p.m., and aviary feeding/enrichment at 4 p.m. • Kings Island, Mason www.visitkingsisland .com

(513) 754-5700 Single-day admission is $35.99 if purchased online and $52.99 at the gate for adults and $32.99 for junior/senior entry if purchased online and at the gate. Hours are 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Boomerang Bay hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. • Cedar Point, Sandusky (419) 627-235 Tickets are $47.99 for adults and $22 for guests 48 inches tall or shorter or 62 and older and and does not include Soak City waterpark entry. Soak City entry is $31.99 for guests 48 inches and taller and $17.99 for those less than 48 inches tall or 62 and older. • Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, Powell 800-MONKEYS 2290522


Admission is free for 2 and under, $9 for children 2-9, $14 for those 10-59 and $10 for those 60 and older. Parking is $5 per car. A two-day pass for the Columbus Zoo and Zoombezi Bay is $30.99 for age 2-9 and $42.99 for ages 10 and older. • Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, Cincinnati Hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is $19 for those 13-61, $15 for for children 2-12 and $15 for seniors 62 and older • Toledo Zoo, Toledo Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily Admission is $11 for adults, $8 for children 211 and seniors 60 and older and free for those 2 and younger.

152nd Annual


Shelby County Fair July 22-28

ENTERTAINMENT TENT Nightly at 8:00 p.m. July 23 • 8:00 P.M. July 22 • 7:00 P.M. King & Queen Coronation

The Hipnotix

July 24 • 8:00 P.M. Timmy “G” & The Buckeye Bandits


July 27 8:00 P.M.

July 25 8:00 P.M.

Love & Theft


Love & Theft

July 26 8:00 P.M. Jason Michael Carroll

David Crone

July 28 8:00 P.M. David Crone


Jason Michael Carroll

Whats a Family To Do 2012