Move backward 3

It was one of those lazy afternoons mothers long for, no one needed to be anywhere, there was no immediate task that required mom’s attention, and dinner was still a couple hours away. So we decided it might be fun to play a game…I was secretly hoping it might become an impromptu game night! I love a good game night! Anyway, we decided on the game, Sorry.

 

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So we set up the game on the living room floor. Everyone determined which color they wanted to be, which surprisingly takes much longer than one would anticipate, sometimes longer than it takes to play the actual game(first everyone wants to be the same color, then no one wants to be that color, and then our little peacemaker suggests that everyone has one of each color, can you imagine? Haha!).  And after two potty breaks and the dog walking through, on, and kicking the pawns a few times (I am pretty sure he was Sorry for his actions…like that? Haha!), we were finally all ready to play. Now, it should be noted that sometimes half the fun in playing a game is just in setting it up, seriously, just asks our 4 year old. She is quite fond of the setting up the game process…and it isn’t unusual for her to just walk away mid-game to set up another game. But this time was different, this time she stayed and played…and even brought along a few spectators.

 

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So we got the game started! The first few cards were pretty simple and since our 4 year old is a champ at counting she thought it was awesome. The cards read, Move forward 12, Move forward 4, and then Move backward 3. “Mom, you can just go forward or pick a different card, we don’t play with those”, explained our 7 year old. What!?  “Well, in order to win you need to move forward” he says.  I explained that he is correct, in order to win you do need to move forward but the whole point of the game is about being able to handle obstacles  that you weren’t expecting, kind of like in life. “No, mom this isn’t Life, it is Sorry” he kindly corrected me. Haha! Clearly my attempt at an analogy was lost. So I just explained that we will be following all the cards for this game, backward, forward, ALL. So we go around the board and everyone received “nice” cards, no go backward cards. Then it is my turn again and I pull a card that states “Take a pawn from Start and switch places with an opponent…bump the opponent back to start” Hmm…which child’s dream of winning this game should I destroy? Seriously, who wrote these cards!? And I had to go and make a big speech about following ALL the cards. What a predicament!! Do I go back on my word?  I can understand the lessons learned through going backward, it teaches kids about persevering and not giving up even when they lag behind or fall short but nowhere in life will someone switch places with you.  So, do I shatter a child’s dream of winning or go back on my word? Now I know why this stupid game is called Sorry!

 

What would you do?

 

Sunday’s Food for the Soul: Are You a TRUE Friend?

While talking to an acquaintance the other day she had made the comment that she wished she had more GREAT friends.  That got me thinking; in today’s culture where the main emphasis is the virtual world, do we all hunger, crave a true, great friendship? However great friendships just don’t happen, to have a great friend you need to be a great friend. What kind of a friend are you?

 

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Do you hold others to unrealistic expectations? If the situation was reversed would you be willing to hold yourself to such high standards?

Are you quick to forgive?

Do you give selflessly, without expectations or an IOU?

Do you judge? Do you base friendships on superficial qualities? What kind of car they drive, house they have, status, profession, etc.?

Are you willing to give your undivided attention?

Do you try to make yourself superior? No one wants to feel like an inconvenience.

Do you build the other up?

If there is a problem can you have a conversation and see where each other is coming from? Do you have sympathy and compassion? Are you understanding of each other’s circumstances?

 

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Have you had a friendship that has lasted the tests of time? How do you make certain your friendships thrive? How do you make certain you are a friend that is worth having?

The Day the Water went Green & I Didn’t!!!

As many of you know I am very passionate about living a green and sustainable lifestyle. When my children were babies we used cloth diapers, cloth wipes, and our last baby even refused a bottle and strictly nursed (clearly my favorite! Haha! Just kidding!).  My household cleaning products consist of water, baking soda, vinegar, and rags. I read labels on products and look out for any carcinogens, pesticides, toxins, etc. I do not purchase paper towels or napkins (oh the heated conversations I had with my husband those first couple years of marriage, yes, napkins…I do realize how silly it sounds, haha!).  I am happy to say that we have been using cloth napkins for 9 years now…he has grown accustom to the environmental and financial advantages.  I do not purchase disposable dishes, utensils, or sandwich bags. We have a filter on our faucet for our water and we use water canteens and travel mugs when we need to take water with us. I am a ‘just say no’ to water bottles kind of momma! Now, it should be noted that my mommas is not. In fact she is the complete opposite of me. And we are related, crazy, right!? She has tons of water bottles and basically disposable EVERYTHING! I have been on her for quite some time encouraging less consumption! As of yet I have not made much segue, it kills me when I see all the bottle waters stacked up!!  WHY!! Why such consumption?

 

That Horrific Morning…..

August 2, 2014!!! This day will forever go down in history!! It started off like any other morning. I woke up around 7 pm, made my way downstairs to make some much needed coffee. Turned on the television as I walked through the living room then slide in dog pee as I entered the kitchen (I keep it real folks…and the truth is lately I have been slipping on dog pee at least 3 mornings a week…our dog is a diabetic and currently suffers from old dog syndrome, but damn he’s cute!). While cleaning the pee I overheard the news in the other room. It indicated that we should not drink our water…which let’s be honest it happens sometimes and we just boil it….next phrase out of the Newscasters mouth, DO NO BOIL!  My first thought was, what!?! My second thought was, oh crap that means no coffee!!! SH*T just got real!!!  I have a family of 5, a diabetic old dog, and household to take care of and I cannot do that sans caffeine!!! So the next logical step was, panic. So I tried it for a minute but it literally got me nowhere so I decided to maintain composure and go in search of caffeine, I mean water.  By then my 7 year old son was up so I brought him along thinking between his 7 year old brain and my non-caffeinated brain we should have the equivalent of one working adult brain and I figured we would be back in 15 minutes or so. Little did I know!!!

The Hunt for Caffeine, I mean Water….

August 2, 2014 7:45am we arrive at Kroger’s. We walk in, me in my sunglasses, thinking those are more forgiving than my tired eyes and unwashed face…if only I could just splash a little water on my face! And I was rocking a hot bed hair too…looking back I guess I could have brushed my hair, after all there was no ban on brushing, oh well. We grab a cart and make our way to what WAS the isle filled with water, flavored water, and Gatorade, all of which were gone! We left the cart in the isle and made our way back to the car. On our way to the car a gentleman yelled to everyone GO TO MICHIGAN THEY HAVE WATER! So we all piled into our cars and drove to Michigan (BTW, Michigan is literally 8 minutes up the road so we didn’t go far). We get there and SHOCKER, they are all out of water!! At this point I am feeling like such a failure! There was no way I could go home empty handed. And I am starting to suffer from caffeine withdrawal, I am not going to lie, it wasn’t pretty! So I drove a half hour into Michigan and every stop was OUT OF WATER (later they actually typed up signs so you didn’t have to waste your time getting out of the car). Now the real irony was that I was driving all over the place for water while it was pouring down rain outside…in case you were wondering, God definitely has a sense of humor. Haha! What was initially going to only take all of 15 minutes had tuned into 2 hours, and we needed gas!  So I pull into a gas station and I finally had the brilliant idea to grab an iced coffee…what can I say, my brain doesn’t function well without caffeine! And of course I looked for water but they were all out! Thus the search continued!!

 

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Time to Eat some Humble pie….

After 3 hours of searching for water, numerous texts coming in from family and friends informing me not to drink the water and to rush out ASAP to grab some (talk about rubbing salt in the wound) I knew what I had to do. I knew it would not be easy. I knew I would have to take a huge piece of humble pie…well, maybe more like the entire pie.  I made a call. I called….I called my water bottle loving momma! And she hooked a girl up! She said we were more than welcomed to her bottled waters, disposable dishes, utensils, etc. And not once did she make mention of my green and sustainable ways not being conducive to the situation or say her way was right, nope, because she is one of the most classy, remarkable people I know…always willing to help, to lend a hand, to build you up. Yep, my water bottle loving momma saved this green and sustainable preaching momma, turns out we might just need each other after all, who knew! And hopefully all her consumption and my conserving will somehow balance out in the end, maybe?!

 

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It Kills me to admit….But I had to….I confess….

So this ‘go green’ momma used disposable dishes and utensil because we were not able to use the water to clean our dishes. Used wet wipes as baths for the kids. Hand sanitizer to wash hands. I used paper towels to clean up spills (dog pee) because we couldn’t use hot water to do laundry. And more bottled waters than I would like to admit to in order for the family to drink, dog to drink, and use for anything else…cooking, cleaning, brushing teeth. It kills me to look at the picture of all those items that go against a green and sustainable lifestyle. But I must admit a little wine in the evening and iced coffee in the morning made the experience much more manageable. And the people, oh, the people in Toledo and the surrounding area were absolutely amazing!!

A Huge thank you to everyone who offered their home to us to get showered/cleaned up, who offered water and other necessities, and to all those who helped others, your generosity truly warmed my heart. After witnessing all the kindness bestowed on neighbors this past weekend it has definitely confirmed what I already knew, Toledo is a great place to live because of the people!! God Bless all of you!

 

 

 

101+ Places to go with Kids in Toledo

I have collated a list of fun kiddo and family friendly destinations in Toledo and the surrounding area, each has a brief description. Each destination has been linked to the website where you can retrieve more thorough information regarding hours of operation, rates, etc. Know of a fun Toledo destination that isn’t listed? Please feel free to share in the comment thread. Thank you!!

 

  1. Toledo Metroparks (Offers fun programs for kids and events for families)
  2. Olander Park (Swimming, fishing, playgrounds, etc. Sylvania, OH)
  3. Fort Imagination Playground (Enclosed playground for little kids & large playground for older kids-Woodlands Park, Perrysburg, OH)
  4. Carr Park (Fun playground for all ages-Bedford, MI)
  5. WGTE (Check events and be sure to attend family fun days) 
  6. Fossil Park (Bring small/medium paint brush to brush off fossils and baggy to take home fossils- Sylvania, OH)
  7. Toledo Lucas County Public Library (Check times and locations for Story Time and other amazing events for kids and families)
  8. Maumee Bay State Park (Swimming, biking, boardwalk, trails, nature center, cross-country skiing, sledding, etc. Oregon, OH)
  9. Toledo Museum of Art’s Family Center (Children can paint,make theme inspired craft, listen to a story in the gallery, and play at the Family Center)
  10. Gathering Volumes (Story Time –Sun. 1pm, Tues 6pm, & Thurs 10am – Always Check Calendar to confirm times)
  11. Barnes & Noble (Fun themed story times with awesome crafts! Fallen Timbers, Maumee, OH)
  12. Bass Pro Shops (Fun events for kids’ checkout their calendar- Rossford, OH)
  13. Toledo Firefighters’ Museum (Checkout the fire trucks, old equipment, kids learn about fire safety in Jed’s room where a fire is simulated, & more)
  14. Home Depot Kid Workshops (Kids get to use tools and make something to take home)
  15. Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge (Checkout the “Let’s Go Outside” Backpack at the visitors center. Each is filled with fun tools for exploring like binoculars, bug jars, magnifying lens, cloud guide, and more! Oak Harbor, OH)
  16. Fallen Timbers (Lil’ Timbers Kids Klub has fun activities throughout the year and there are great seasonal events like ice skating and carriage rides- Maumee, OH)
  17. Toledo Police Museum (Fingerprint Comparitor from the 80s designed to be accessible and appealing to kids. Downtown Toledo)
  18. Sylvania Heritage Museum & Railroad Depot (Genuine railroad depot building that served Sylvania residents for 98 years, from 1858 to 1956. It is the oldest train depot in existence in the State of Ohio. Downtown Sylvania, OH)
  19. Mazza Museum (Largest museum of original artwork by children’s book illustrators in the world. The museum’s goal is to promote literacy and enrich the lives of all people through the art of children’s literature. Findlay, OH)
  20. Levis Commons (Fun seasonal activities for the kids and families like Sandtastic fun & breakfast with Santa!!- Perrysburg, OH)
  21. Imagination Kingdom Playground (Adorable playground for kiddos, pack a picnic and let their imaginations run wild while they burn off all that extra energy- Wauseon, OH)
  22.  Butterfly House (Watch a beautiful array of butterflies flutter around while listening to classical music play, try to locate and identify the various butterflies with the brochures provided. Also offers fun Autumn events like the corn maze! Whitehouse, OH)
  23. Gust Brothers Pumpkin Farm (Admission is FREE, but you are going to want to bring some spending cash because it isn’t officially fall until you stop by the farm and see all the farm animals, cows, pigs, chickens, rabbits, and more! Enjoy a hayride and finally pick out the perfect pumpkin!! And other goodies in the store…fresh produce and squash!!-Ottawa Lake, MI)
  24. The Canal Experience at Providence (Go back in time and ride the Volunteer, a reproduction of a mule drawn canal boat, visit the Mill, enjoy characters dressed in period attire-Grand Rapids, OH)
  25. Erie Orchard (You pick…blueberries, apples, pumpkins, and more! But the real fun starts in the fall…enjoy corn maze, hayrides, bounce house, music, and more…check their calendar for events! Erie, MI) 
  26. Fort Meigs State Memorial (Fort Meigs State Memorial honors the site of the largest wooden-walled fortress in North America, built during the War of 1812. Take self-guided tours, view weapons demonstrations, and learn the history of the fort. Perrysburg, OH)
  27. The Toledo Symphony (Music under the Stars-FREE concert in the summer)
  28. Valentine Theatre (Check calendar of events…offers great classic film series!! Downtown Toledo)
  29. Ohio Skate (Roller skating!! 2 locations, Maumee, OH and Toledo, OH)
  30. Copper Moon Studios (Fun art classes for kids! Walk-ins welcomed! Holland, OH)
  31. Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center ( Memorial to the 19th President of the United States it contains a treasure trove of information for history buffs. The Center includes the Hayes Mansion, Presidential Library, Museum, and the tomb of the former president- Fremont, OH)
  32. 577 Foundation (Offers an array of classes for all ages and encourages ecologically responsible living- Perrysburg, OH)
  33. Art Supply Depot (Offers art classes, paint pottery, and more! Downtown Toledo)
  34. SS. Col. James M. Schoonmaker/National Museum of the Great Lakes (Kids will have a blast when they step foot on a real Ship-Downtown Toledo)
  35. Bowlero ( Bowling alley, awesome arcade where kiddos can win prizes, bowling, food, & fun!)
  36. MacQueens Apple Orchard (Fall destination!! Their apple butter fest is amazing!! Fall events are fun, fun, fun! Check calendar for avtivites and events-Holland, OH)
  37. Interstate Bowling (They participate in the kids bowl for FREE program-Rossford, OH)
  38. Sundance Kid Drive-in (Oregon, OH)
  39. Q-Zar (Laser tag & Arcade- Sylvania, OH)
  40. Ritter Planetarium (Located on the campus of University of Toledo)
  41. Super Suppers (family day…kids help make meals)
  42. Toledo Speedway (there are free kids nights)
  43. Toledo Mud Hens (baseball) 
  44. Toledo Rockets (football/basketball)
  45. Toledo Walleye (hockey) 
  46. Bowling Green Falcons (football, hockey, basketball, etc.))
  47. Sylvania Playland (Bounce Houses, indoor play sets, and miniature golf-Sylvania, OH)
  48. Par 2 Golf (Go-karts, bumper cars, putt putt,  arcade games, & ice cream Toledo, OH)
  49. Toledo Gymnastics Academy (call for open gym time)
  50. Sunrise Gymnastics (call for open gym time)
  51. Sky Zone Toledo (Indoor Trampoline Park- Holland, OH)
  52. Hero’s (Bounce Houses, carnival games, and snacks…open play times available -Perrysburg, OH)
  53. Imagination Station (Hands-on science Museum- Downtown Toledo) 
  54. Toledo Zoo (Be sure to checkout the new penguin exhibit and Aquarium!!)
  55. Indian Creek Petting Zoo (walk thru this unique petting zoo…see camels, Zebra, peacocks, bunnies, alligator, and more!! Lambertville, MI)
  56. Uncork the Artist (Instructor guided classes, kiddos leave with an awesome masterpiece!)
  57. BG Bounce (Giant Indoor Sand Box, Toddler Room, Art Room, Science Center, Party Rooms,Nerf Wars, Paint Ball Arena, Dodge Ball, Game Arena Rooms, Food & Fun!)
  58. Peace Love & Pottery (Paint Pottery Sylvania, OH)
  59. Funagins (Paint Ball, Bounce Houses, Arcade, & More!)
  60. Sandpiper (100 passenger cruise vessel located on the Maumee River -Downtown Toledo)
  61. Calder’s Dairy & Farm (Watch them milk the cows, visit the animals on the farm, check out the goat scape, enjoy some yummy ice cream treats, and more! Carleton, MI)
  62. The Petting Farm at Domino’s Farm (Visit all the animals down on the farm, enjoy a hayride, pony rides, and more! Ann Arbor, MI)
  63. Planet Rock (All things climbing…rock wall- Ann Arbor, MI)
  64. Funtastic Play Center (Indoor playground with 2 main areas of play for children under 8 and 2 storey padded play structure with 14 different obstacles including a zip line, rock wall, and 3 slides! Checkout their Facebook page for Open Play times Canton, MI)
  65. Jungle Java (Fun indoor climbing and play area for kids…food available too! Canton, MI)
  66. Hands on Museum (Hands on science museum for kids! Ann Arbor, MI)
  67. The Creature Conservancy (See a wide variety of domestic and exotic animals. You may buy food cones to feed to the barnyard animals. Ann Arbor, MI)
  68. Gallop Canoe Livery (Canoeing as a family is so much fun! This park offers canoe, two-person kayak, one-person kayak, paddleboat, and rowboat rentals, river-themed programs and a coffee shop, score!! Ann Arbor, MI) 
  69. Jungle Junction  (Largest Indoor Play Area in Ohio-Six levels of adventure with over 60 play features including slides, air cannons, obstacle courses, interactive game panels, toddler zone, & more! Only $6 for ALL day play!!)
  70. Michigan Science Center (With live stage shows, an IMAX® Dome Theatre, a Planetarium, 250+ hands-on exhibits, lab activities, special exhibits and more, there are approximately two dozen ways to customize your MiSci visit. There’s more than you can see and do in a week!)
  71. Monsoon Lagoon Water Park (Splash adventures and games! The park features water playgrounds, slides, Go-Karts, bumper boats and mini-golf. -Port Clinton, OH)
  72. The Scrap Box (kiddos will get a kick out of all the recycled scrapes! Great for arts & craft projects! Ann Arbor, MI)
  73. Rolling Hills Water Park (Ypsilanti, MI)
  74. Bowling Green Water Park (Bolwing Green, OH)
  75. The Old Road Dinner Train (Fun events like Grandparents day, Dad & Daughter Day, Kids Halloween Express, and more! Blissfield, MI)
  76. Snook’s Dream Cars (travel in the past lane…see old cars, parts, etc. Bowling Green, OH)
  77. Ohio Maple Syrup Events (Maple syrup tours, watch it being made, enjoy pancake breakfast, and more…click on link under central ohio for all the maple syrup listings-Central, OH)
  78. Henry Ford Museum (9 acres to explore Americas past and future- Dearborn, MI)
  79. Greenfield Village  (Step back in an 80 acre time machine, see Noah Webster’s house, ride and original model ‘T’, train ride, and more! Dearborn, MI)
  80. Liberty Aviation Museum (Determined to showcase the aircraft of Worl War II, the Liberty Aviation Museum was established in 1991. Museum houses dozens of vintage aircrafts, vehicles, and multimedia exhibits Port Clinton, OH)        
  81. I-MAX Theater (The ultimate film experience!!! Special projectors, giant screens, 2D & 3D! Dearborn, MI)
  82. Marblehead Lighthouse (Built in 1821, Marblehead Lighthouse is the oldest operating lighthouse on the Great Lakes! Marblehead, OH)
  83. Jiffy Mix Plant Tours (Educational and informative walk through of the plant and refreshments provided Chelsea, MI)
  84. Sauder Village (Offers experiences rich in history and fun…kids will enjoy the train, store, helping make butter, candles, ice cream,etc. Be sure to stop in the bakery for homemade treats! Archbold, OH)
  85. The Chelsea Tree House (Indoor playground/climbing equipment for kids…and offers snacking options)
  86. Erie Spirit Sailing Adventures (Enjoy a family friendly day out on the waters of Lake Erie. Choose from standard tour packages or work out a custom plan with the Captain and let your adventure begin. Marblehead, OH)        
  87. COSI (Columbus Ohio Science Institute…amazing exhibits, phenomenal kids area, I-MAX theater, great scientific demonstrations and more!! Get in for FREE with an Imagination Station membership- Columbus, OH)
  88. Boonshoft Museum (This is another awesome hands-on science museum with some added fun, a playground/indoor 3 story slide, fun critters, planetarium, and more!! Get in for FRE with zoo membership-Dayton, OH)
  89. National Museum of the U. S. Air Force (Educational experience to say the least…children will be amazed by the huge air crafts, NASA room, enjoy fun demonstrations, learn about history, tour a real air plane, and more!! Dayton, OH)
  90. Spangler Factory/Dum Dum tours (Enjoy a trolley ride through the factory where you will learn the history behind the Spangler Factory and see how the various candies are made…and enjoy samples!!-Bryan, OH)
  91. Splash Universe (Fun indoor water park!! Dundee, MI)
  92. Great Wolf Lodge (Zero depth outdoor pool and more…indoor lazy river, slides, etc. Sandusky, OH)
  93. African Safari Wildlife Park (Must see experience!! Better than Animal Kingdom at Disney World!! Drive through and view & feed animals!! Walk around, pet animals, and watch animal demonstrations…and ice cream, yum! Port Clinton, OH)
  94. Merry-go-Round Museum (Enjoy a fun and relaxed atmosphere while you tour the Merry-Go-Round Museum and learn about the history and art of the carousel. And enjoy a ride of course! Sandusky, OH)
  95. Kalahari (Zero depth indoor pool/young children play area, wave pool, slides, and more! Sandusky, OH)
  96. Train-o-rama (Featuring Ohio’s largest, multi-gauge model, public railroad display-Marblehead, OH)
  97. Cedar Point (Roller Coaster Capital & Amusement Park…amazing kids Planet Snoopy area, Dinosaurs Live, and more ! Sandusky, OH)
  98. Ghostly Manor Thrill Center (The Travel Channel has featured Ghostly Manor Thrill Center among the best place to visit in a lifetime. Virtual rollercoaster, bounce houses, and more! Sandusky, OH)        
  99. Kelley’s Island (Check out the Glacier grooves, neat fossils, bike as a family, see what Kid Stage is up to and more! Kelley’s Island, OH)
  100. Wild Winds Buffalo Preserve (Daily tours into the herd…children can see buffalo up close, horseback riding trails, stay the night in a Tipi or Safari Tent!!Fremont, Indiana)
  101. Pokagon State Park (Swimming, fishing, horseback riding, sledding, tobogganing, skiing, pack a picnic and enjoy the day or spend the night camp or lodge- Angola, Indiana)
  102. Country Tree Lane Farm (Milk a real, live cow, hold baby ducks, chicks and bunnies, feed all the large Farm animals, go thru a straw maze, ride a barrel train, get a pony ride & more. Fun seasonal activities including Easter Bunny Hay Rides, U-Pick pumpkins, & more!)
  103. Clayful Art  (Kids Night-Your child will explore their imagination while learning a variety of hand building techniques.  They offer complimentary snacks-1 project offered once a month Friday nights from 6-8p.m.)

  104. Paint Your Place (Kiddos have an educated art instructor to help guide them through each stroke till their masterpiece is complete)
  105. Children’s Museum of Findlay (They have so many exhibits for you to explore. To see more or to view the learning topics for each exhibit before your visit, click on the images under Exhibits on their website)
  106.  Outdoor Adventure Center  (Experience exciting outdoor adventures with hands-on activities, exhibits and simulators — walk behind and touch a waterfall, step into a fishing boat and reel in a big fish, hit the trail on a mountain bike or snowmobile, and much more.)
  107. Nickel World Low-key indoor arcade featuring video games, skeeball & other games all for just one nickel, and kids get plus tickets & prizes.
  108. Toledo Playzone Over 70 Arcade Games Laser Tag Spine Zone Bumper Cars Virtual Reality Games, & Café Menu.
  109. Get Air Trampoline Park (Coming Soon)
  110. Pat Catan’s Craft Center Craft supply chain, with the makings for scrapbooking, jewelry, needlework, floral arranging & more. Often offers FREE crafts for kids on weekend , check calendar.
  111. The Armstrong Air and Space Museum Located in Wapakoneta, Ohio, is the hometown of Neil Armstrong, first man to set foot on the Moon. The museum chronicles Ohio’s contributions to the history of space flight.