Is anyone else looking forward to reconnecting with your kiddos? Spending quality time together as a family making some epic memories? Whether you’re looking for some free local indoor activities, something to make and take, or an awesome day trip, this guide has you covered!
Date Night!! The two words every couple looks forward to, especially those with kids. It means a night away from the kiddos, reconnecting with your spouse, and remembering why you fell in love in the first place. It is easy to get caught up in the responsibilities of adulthood & parenthood. That is why it is so important that you step away from it all for a few hours and have some fun, remember the fun, that thing you did before you had a job, mortgage, kids, you know before you had major responsibilities!?
Here are some FUN Date Night destinations you and your significant other are certain to enjoy:
As moms and wives we are the one everyone comes to with request, complaints, clean laundry, food, TLC, etc. but what about moms? Where do they go to recharge, to be seen, heard, to have fun? 3 words, Ladies Night Out!!!
Health experts say that maintaining positive relationships with friends should rank right up there with healthy eating and exercising. That being socially engaged leads to more positive emotions and may actually boost your body’s immune system and reduce the physical signs of stress. So, no more excuses! It is time to give the girls a call, and set up a Ladies Night Out!!
Needs some ideas?
Here are 10 awesome Ladies Night Out destinations in Toledo! (In no particular order)
1.UNCORK THE ARTIST – Full disclosure; I was a tad nervous the first time I did this because I was afraid of everyone seeing my canvas and the fact that I was a total novice, a.k.a. clueless! Haha! My worries were quickly put at ease when the instructor explained that she would be giving us a step-by-step instruction, score! And the glass of wine didn’t hurt. Lol! That’s right; you are more than welcome to bring your favorite bottle of wine to enjoy while creating your gorgeous masterpiece! They offer a nice variety of painting to select from, CLICK HERE to view the calendar.
2. TRAPPED TOLEDO -I had THE BEST time doing this! I love activities that involve wit and working together. Team work, baby!! You are locked in a room with a group of your friends and you must use your intellect and the group’s collective knowledge to find hidden clues, solve puzzles & overcome challenges to escape before time runs out. We made it with just minutes to spare. Are you ready? CLICK HERE to check out the current experiences, and see which piques your group’s interest!
3. SANDPIPER – I planned a Ladies Night Out back in August on the Sandpiper, specifically, the Dinner Cruise. It was such a relaxing and enjoyable experience. We were allowed to bring wine, and I did, but the river and cruise was intoxicating enough, I never did open my bottle of Sangria. Thus, if you are in the mood for a “chill” evening out with the girls than a cruise down the Maumee River is perfect! There are a variety of options to choose from, CLICK HERE to see the schedule.
4. HOLLYWOOD CASINO – Luck be a lady! Call up the girls for a fun filled casino night!! Get dressed up and dolled up for a night to remember! Enjoy delicious food, dancing, fancy “girlie” drinks, & channel your inner Grace Kelley, Audrey Hepburn, etc. for an epic Ladies Night Out!!
5. BIRD’S EYE VIEW CIRCUS -Hands down this is the coolest!! I just did this with a group of friends and it was amazing! We did the areal silks. (That is me in the image above) They offer a variety of options to select from, aerial hoop, hammock, and aerial yoga, stilt walking, juggling, etc. and offer private group lessons. Did I mention this is SO cool! I highly recommend you get this on the calendar ASAP as they do fill up fast! This is certain to be a night all the ladies will remember! CLICK HERE for a list of activities they offer and contact info.
6. BOARD & BRUSH Wood signs, Workshops, & Wine– No experience necessary! Bring your personality & creativity and they provide the wood, wine, & paint!! There is something so therapeutic about painting & hanging out with the girls. It is such a great way to relax and unwind While they mainly use wood elements for projects, they also offer a wide variety of other materials in the DIY wood sign workshops, including; Glass, Chalkboard, Canvas pillows, Slate, Terra cotta pots. Checkout their calendar for workshop schedules & book your today!!
7. PUB CRAWL – Sometimes a girl just needs to let loose, laugh, and live it up! Don’t feel like making a bunch of plans. Perhaps an impromptu Ladies Night Out is in order? Then downtown Toledo is the perfect spot for a LNO Pub Crawl!! Why just enjoy the ambiance and atmosphere of one pub/brewery when there are a slew of great spots downtown….you would really be doing yourself, your friends, and the city a disservice if you only visited one all night, true!? Haha! Now I am not endorsing intoxication by any means, pace yourselfers, drink responsibly, eat something, have a designated driver, and have fun!!
8. GATHERED GLASSBLOWING STUDIO– Are you mesmerized by the art of glassblowing or maybe you are just looking to do something new, different, something outside your comfort zone? They will introduce you to the art of glassblowing and help you create a glass piece of your own. Or better yet, don’t feel like making something, then check out their Hot Glass, Cold Beer, & Cool Music event every 3rd Thursday of the month. CLICK HERE to check out their calendar of workshops
9.LISA’S MANICURE & PEDICURE SPA– Imagine an evening of relaxation….sitting in the massaging chair, feet soaking in the warm water, sipping wine, snacking on munchies, and enjoying fabulous conversations with friends. Yep, Lisa can make that happen! I am a fan of Lisa’s because it is an all-natural/green nail salon so you don’t have to worry about any ridiculous fumes giving you a headache. You can rent the space after hours for a Ladies Night Out to remember!! CLICK HERE for Lisa’s contact info so you can get your LNO in the books asap!
10. FOODOLOGY COOKING CLASSES – Native Toledoan and Chef Julie Daunhauer is finally answering the question we have been asking for years, “Where can I take cooking classes in Toledo without enrolling in a college program or certification course?” She offers a variety of courses at various class levels (beginner, intermediate, advanced) if you are just looking to take a class (adults are welcomed to bring an adult beverage to enjoy while they cook) or you could set up a private party, checkout the website for more! Foodology supports local businesses and farmers and strives to purchase locally grown food for the cooking classes whenever possible.
So what are you waiting for? Don’t end up on national news, call up the girls for a Ladies Night Out!!
I posted this a couple weeks back on Facebook……
My 1st BIG Project of the school year: Stop Storing the Past & Make room to enjoy the Present!
Problem: “You can’t take it with you when you go”. So why do I have vast amounts of nostalgic memorabilia taking up valuable real-estate throughout my home? Total confession, the moment I became a mother I also became a sentimental fool…I have kept everything, first outift thru size 3T, first/almost all- art projects, etc. But what I would really like to do with the space is have a multipurpose family area for homework, piano lessons, puzzle assembling, etc.
Solution: Take pictures of everything. Place images in a photobook chronologically. In the back of the book attach a pocket to place memory cards from that year, any video/DVD footage, and/or small paper item. And then get rid of all the “stuff” after it has been documented.
It sounds very practical right? I’ll see how well my mommy heart does with this Project. Cheers to realizing the importance of no longer storing the past but making room to enjoy the present!!
So, I began my quest. First stop, family vacation 2015, Lake House (I decided to take it easy on my mommy heart and begin with the most recent items/memories). I managed to hunt down all images, pamphlets, and children’s art work from the Annual Lake House Art Show! Honestly, the hardest part thus far has been the collecting of everything and identifying the date/location. And the easiest part, thanks to Adroamapix is the putting the book together.
Why do I adore Adoramapix, let me count the ways….
- User-friendly! Everything about the AdoramaPix experience is very easy. Gone are the days of complicated formatting. Adoramapix formatting is so simple my kindergartener could do it. And the variety of themes, layouts, backgrounds, etc. is incomparable. They even offer round formatting options, so cool! They think outside the box, literally! I love it!
- Economical price points! The only thing I can’t stand more than wasting my time with irritating, frustrating, formatting issues is wasting my money! Not an issue with Adoramapix, their products are priced accordingly and there aren’t any weird add-on costs at the end. BONUS: AdoramaPix offers credits through contests, sharing, etc. that you can accumulate to go towards your next project, score!!
- PROFESSIONAL- The end result left me speechless!
The quality of the photo book is like none other, the colors are so rich & vibrant color. I simply adore the fact that the thick, durable, professional grade photo paper resists fading & ensures that my photos will be just as colorful for future generations…which is HUGE for me since I am tossing most of these treasured items, in particular, the kiddos’ artwork, after I take the images.
(This page, swoon! I ❤ this memory….I want to go back to this day. The kiddos were obsessed with watching the Shrinky Dinks shrink in the oven. Did I mention this is such an emotional process…now I know why I just threw thing in the storage room. My heart aches…they are growing too fast :()
(The Lake House Art Show is clearly a pajama friendly event, lol! In fact I think she lived in those PJs that week, next summer I should just pack bathing suits and PJs, lol!)
Looking to create a photobook? You are going to want to jump on this deal….all Mom on the go in Holy Toledo followers can get 15% off photo books from @Adoramapix! Code:photobook15 Ends: 11/05/2016 http://bit.ly/23Tm25J.
One book down! Woot! Woot! Small victory, one photobook down and a thousand to go, lol! What photobook project are you working on? Are you one of those amazing, on-top of things, parent who is already collating images for Christmas photobooks? I so admire those parents.
I met up with some other moms and their kids at the park the other day. The moms discussed the latest happenings in their lives while the kiddos played on the playground. I shared that I had just taken the kiddos back-to-school shopping at Franklin Park Mall, and let me tell you, if looks could kill. Lol! The other moms were all stunned. What’s more, when I told them I finished ALL our back-to-school clothing shopping at the mall, in one day, and saved money, their jaws dropped. I continued and explained that the mall has really evolved and made some awesome accommodations for us moms! So look out mall rats the mall moms are taking back Franklin Park Mall! We are coming with kids in tow, toddlers and tweens, diaper bags swung over the shoulder, we are baby wearing, double stroller pushing, breastfeeding, and ready to shop!!!
10 Reasons Why Franklin Park Mall is the Best Place for Moms to Shop
- Best variety of stores in Town– I adore the fact that it doesn’t matter what the occasion, or your budget; there is a store in the mall that will meet your need. Need a gift for that kid’s birthday party that starts in two hours? Disney Store to the rescue! Did your child’s sandal just literally break while walking through the mall (true story)? The solution is a piggyback ride to Payless! Entering the 2nd trimester and your pants are getting snug? Destination Maternity has you covered momma! And you might want to stop off at Godiva Chocolatier to curb those cravings. Did your child decide to reclaim the coin they just threw in the fountain? Bath & Body Works has Hand Sanitizers to attack those germs! Looking to ramp up your culinary skills? William Sonoma offers classes and everything you need to make your kitchen into a chef’s dream come true! And there are SO many more stores, Click Here for Mall Directory.
- Moms don’t have to cook, do the dishes, or break the bank!!!- Franklin Park Mall has food that’ll tantalize the taste buds and price points that meet every budget. Whether you are meeting up with other mommas, dinning with the kiddos, looking for a quick bite, or want to linger a bit longer with friends Franklin Park Mall food court and restaurants have you covered! We opted to celebrate the occasion of back-to-school shopping with lunch at Bravo! (I am a fan of their kids’ menu; they have the usual suspects like chicken fingers and pizza but also offer healthier options too….and for me it just doesn’t get any better than their salmon salad!!) Click Here for a Directory of Restaurants.
- Deals, Deals, & More Deals!!!- Oh my gosh… I am blown away by all the great deals that not only the individual stores offer, but the mall too! Franklin Park Mall now offers a Mall-wide rewards program called, Oh, So Simple Rewards. And like it says, it is oh, so simple, to register. You simply enter an email at a sign-up kiosk, swipe the credit card or debit card that you will be using to make purchases, shop, dine, see a movie, etc. Then for every $250 spent on that card $10 gets put back automatically on your card! Winning! (And it adds up fast….just think, a date night, dinner, movie, movie with the kids, kid’s birthday party at Build a Bear, back-to-school shopping, shoes, shoes, & more shoes!! Means money back on your card ;))
- Moms can get their workout in while they shop! – After a day at the mall my legs felt so toned. I didn’t even need to work out the next morning. Best part, you can just meet up with friends and stroll the mall then grab a coffee (Coffee Karma is opening soon!) or lunch, you don’t have to shop (can’t believe my fingers just typed those words, lol!).
- It never rains or snows inside the climate controlled environment– Don’t get me wrong those “other” places are nice too (the one in Maumee and the other in Perrysburg) but what I really like about the mall is that I don’t have to come in contact with all the elements outside each time I enter and exit a store. And as a mom with 3 kiddos there is nothing more annoying than having to put on ALL the winter stuff, mittens, scarves, hats, and coats to leave a store just to have them take it all off when they enter the next store…rinse and repeat!! FYI, if you are looking for a cute umbrella JCPenney had these adorable gems.
- Family Lounge & Nursing Moms’ Quarters– Franklin Park Mall offers a clean, safe, and comfortable environment for nursing moms and moms with little ones. The family lounge has tactile boards to engage preschoolers and toddlers while mom tends to the baby. Curtains are even available for those moms who wish to be more modest, otherwise there is a comfortable sofa and television.
- Awesome Community Events– Franklin Parks Mall partners with the Girl Scouts for their annual Lock In. Has, My Buddy, My Books, where children enjoy book readings by local celebrities, including Muddy the Mud Hen and there are crafts, entertainment, giveaways, and more! Summer Play Days at the Disney Store. My kiddos have so enjoyed the $1 Summer Movie Clubhouse features. And there is so much more, click here to see all the cool events going on at Franklin Park Mall.
- Gumballs & Fountain– No matter what you call it, rewarding good behavior, bribing, etc. it works! I was shocked how fast my son tried on a shirt once I said he could have a gumball afterward. Mind you, I forgot to clarify that he had to take off the shirt he had on first, lol! And the Fountain is also another great incentive and the best part; the donations go to the conservation projects at the zoo!
- Parking Garages– This one is self-explanatory, but SO awesome! Franklin Park Mall has two parking garages making parking a breeze, which is much appreciated when you have little ones in tow. Added bonus, if you are lucky enough to snag one of the parking spots below you can continue to avoid the elements, i.e. rain and snow.
- Toledo Proud– Now there is a store in the mall where you can get all your Toledo fan paraphernalia, Toledo Rockets, Toledo Mud Hens, & Toledo Walleye (latter two are coming soon)!! We had to get the little lady a Toledo Rockets Shirt (while on vacation each kiddos was allowed to pick out a shirt but she wanted her shirts to say Toledo, not Grand Haven, lol!).
Guess where all of us mommas are meeting up next week?
Enter to win $50 to Franklin Park Mall!!!
To enter simply comment below and share what you like most about Franklin Park Mall. Also, I would advise following Franklin Park Mall on Facebook for up-to-date events going on and/or enter to receive texts on deals (they don’t bombard you with texts).
Winner will be randomly selected August 10th at 11:59pm. Good luck! And happy Back-to-school shopping!!
There are so many magnificent things for the children to see, do, and learn, and the best part, it is all FREE!
History of 577 Foundation
The property goes back to the 1880’s as an old farmland, while the deed to the place was actually signed by President John Quincy Adams. In 1935, Duane and Virginia Stranahan purchased the 12 acre property, built their home and raised a family of six children. Virginia always had an interest in gardening & agriculture. Their home was a small farm with pigs, chickens, cattle, horses & victory gardens for each of the 6 children.
Many of the riverfront estates began to sub-divide and develop. None of her 6 children wanted this place, so Virginia decided to return her property to the community in a way that will preserve the land she loves, teach stewardship & make it useful to as many people as possible. At the age of 80, she decided to practice her belief as a preservationist. “To keep a corner of Perrysburg green” and “give people a way to get down to see the Maumee river” were a couple of the reasons she gave people when they questioned why she was preserving her estate from development. “Whatever we do here, let’s be educational, environmental, experimental, and let’s have fun” these words were often used as she opened her grounds and facility to the public. And one of the most significant comment when people asked what we were all about was “What would you like us to do?” (Source)What will you will find at the 577 Foundation?
We started our exploration in the Geodesic Biodome! The Biodome was filled with fun learning opportunities from solar energy, data showing the weather related conditions in the Dome, a fun scavenger hunt, Koi pond, and more!
Virginia’s Children’s Garden
We than followed the path around to Virginia’s Children’s Garden. It was the most adorable garden filled with fun interactive activities for the kids including climbing apparatuses, games, small wading stream, a stage to dance and/or put on a puppet show, tree house, and more!
Then we were off to Did’s Dig, where each of the kiddos channeled their inner paleontologist and searched for 350 million year old silica shale fossils like, clams, sea lilies, corals, trilobites and bony fishes including sharks! Best part, the kiddos got to take their fossil finds home with them!
After searching for fossils the kiddos had worked up a sweat so we headed back in time to the 19th century to cool off in a Log Cabin home. It was donated and moved there in 1995. It was originally built in 1804 and replicated to be an example of the 19th century.
After checking out the Log cabin home the children wanted to go back to Virginia’s Children’s Garden, which was clearly their favorite. On the way back we did happen upon the Compost Corner. There are several compost bins for, leaves, weeds, vegetables, etc. that the community organic gardeners are asked to use for any scraps taken from the garden. Then, once everything composts the result will be rich nutrient fertilizer to go back on the garden, talk about sustainable!
We were there for two hours and barely skimmed the surface on all the magnificent educational, hand-on, and most importantly, fun experiences 577 Foundation offers. On the way out we did stop in the Carriage Room that is filled with books for the Once-Read Book Center. The Book Center is open daily and operated by non-profit organizations. And this part is really awesome; the proceeds from the purchase of books benefit the group in charge as well as Read for Literacy.
For more information about book donations, signing up for one of the amazing classes offered here, or perhaps you have a talent you wish to share via a class, here are all the details…..
Hours: Monday-Sunday 9am-5pm
Address: 577 East Front Street, Perrysburg, OH 43551
Phone: Phone: (419) 874-4174
Every summer we make a bucket list of places and things we would like to do. And this summer we decided to visit all the Ohio Presidential sites. Mind you, there are 8 Presidential sites in Ohio. Our First stop on our Ohio Presidential Tour is the birthplace of our 18th President, Ulysses S. Grant in Point Pleasant, Ohio.
Ulysses S. Grant (April 27, 1822 – July 23, 1885)
18th President of the United States (1869–77).
Commanding General of the United States Army (1864–69)
Birthplace: Point Pleasant, OH
Our drive down to Grant’s birthplace was so scenic. The hills, though they seriously made this momma car sick (thank God for Dramamine), also provided such a magnificent view that we NW Ohio peeps don’t have the pleasure of relishing. As we pulled up to Grant’s birthplace home it reminded me of a little town you would see on a train board, complete with a church on a hill, whitewashed everything, etc. it was so cute and quaint.
Our tour guide, Jim, greeted us at the door. Now, I will admit, going into this I think we were all kind of anticipating a boring, monotone, anticlimactic kinda tour, and what we received was the complete opposite. In fact Jim’s passion and enthusiasm for our 18th president became contagious, by the end of our tour the kids couldn’t wait to go to the next Presidential site.
Here are my Top Highlights from the Tour (I don’t want to give them all away….you need to have something to look forward to when you visit, wink wink).
What’s in a name?– Ulysses S. Grant was actually born Hiram Ulysses Grant. He despised the name Hiram and never went by it; he always went by his middle name, Ulysses, or Lysse. So where did the S in Ulysses S. Grant come from? When congressman Thomas L. Hamer nominated him for Military Academy at West Point he assumed his name was Ulysses Simpson Grant due to the fact that he had always gone by Ulysses and back then the mothers maiden name was often used as the middle name. Grant tried to explain that it wasn’t his name but all the forms had it written already and since he hated the name Hiram it was the perfect opportunity to be rid of that name, which was probably a good thing since his initials had to be sewn onto everything at the Academy and having the initials H.U.G. would have probably resulted in a lot of harassment from the other guys. Note the chest at the foot of the bed, which is Grant’s actual chest that he took with him to the Academy (it did not photograph well thanks to the Plexiglas).
Family Heirloom– The hutch below was a wedding present to Grant’s parents, talk about a piece of history, I am a sucker for all antiques! I was totally excited when Jim said we could touch the piece (they usually don’t let you touch anything…and yes, I am worse than the kids, lol!), though it looks smooth it was really rough, when you look at it upclose the craftsmanship was apparent….I am a history of furniture junky, so I found this piece to be quite fascinating.
Did momma get that out with A-L-L (stain lifter!?)-There were a lot of period pieces in the one room house and a handful of actual pieces/items that belonged to the Grant family, including the nightgown hanging on the wall, which was Grant’s mother’s nightgown. We are talking about an almost 2 hundred year old nightgown. Anyone else dying to know how she laundered it? I have shirts in my drawer that don’t look that white!
Next round is on Lincoln!-When McClellan got wind of Lincoln wishing to make Grant a three Star Lieutenant General, (only George Washington had risen to that rank in the U.S. Army before him), he protested by stating that Grant shouldn’t receive this ranking because he drank an excess of alcohol. To which Lincoln replied, “Find out what Grant drinks and send a barrel of it to each of my other generals!” Here is a copy of the letter from President Lincoln addressing Grant as Lieutenant General …..
Isn’t it Romantic & Who’s buried in Grant’s Tomb? – Grant died from throat cancer on July 23, 1885—four days after completing his memoirs (memoirs that he only wrote because he wanted to leave his wife with money…he had lost it all when he fell victim to a Ponzi scheme) On August 8, 1885, more than a million people attended his funeral procession, which was seven miles long and lasted five hours. Money was a concern with regard to his funeral arrangements; he could have been buried in Arlington Cemetery and it wouldn’t have cost anything but he refused because he wanted to be buried with his wife….I totally let out a vocal, and loud, AWWWW, when I heard this, how romantic! Speaking of romantic, she carried a lock of his hair for always in her locket.
A public foundation was formed to fund a memorial & within two years, approximately 90,000 people from around the country and the world donated more than $600,000 to construct Grant’s tomb. (At the time, it was the largest public fundraising effort ever). Designed by architect John Duncan, Grant’s Tomb was completed in 12 years and remains the largest mausoleum in North America.
And there was so much more that we learned about Grant’s family, childhood, etc. in fact, I learned so many intriguing things about Grant that I now wish to read his Memoirs and I can honestly say that prior to visiting his birthplace I had little, to no interest, in doing so.
Kiddos got their first stamp in their Ohio Historic Passports…..
Explore Ohio, a state rich with stories of Native American and African American culture, 19th-century life, ancient earthworks, presidential heritage, space travel and more. Enjoy your visits. Have fun while you learn. And don’t miss the chance to capture a memorable adventure that is uniquely yours!
Within your passport you’ll find helpful information about each Ohio History Connection site. As you visit, you can collect site stamps representing each location and answer challenging trivia questions.
Passports will be available at the Ohio History Center and many of our sites throughout Ohio.
If you are looking for a place to eat nearby we recommend…(you can sit outside by the Ohio River)
Phone: (513) 553-4911
Address: 1551 State Route 232, Point Pleasant, OH 45153
Admission: Adult: $3.00, Senior: $2.00, Children 6-12: $1.50, OHC Member: Free, Children (Under 6): Free, School groups: $35/bus
Hours: Open April–October Wed – Sat: 9:30 a.m.–noon & 1 p.m.–5 p.m. Sun: 1 p.m.–5 p.m. (Will open by appointment during the off season).
Pearson Metropark located at 761 Lallendorf Rd Oregon, OH 43616.
Treasures you’ll find at Pearson Metropark…
Seasonal Fun: Fishing, Paddle Boats, Ice Skating, & Sledding
As you drive around the bend the first things to catch your eye is the beautiful lake, it calls to you. Take a walk around the lake and soak in the natural beauty (clean restrooms, flush toilets, and changing area is available).
The lake offers more than just breathtaking views and a therapeutic walk, you can also fish, paddle on the lake with one of the paddle boats, & ice skate in the winter months (when the ice is safe…and they have added lighting so you can skate until 8pm)
The Ohio Division of Wildlife stocks the lake at Pearson with rainbow trout from the Castallia hatchery, providing a unique fishing opportunity to catch this cold water species in early spring. Fishermen also take catfish and other species. The lake’s stair-stepped shore makes it an accessible place to introduce children to fishing.
Paddle Boat Concession…..
Pedal around the pond at Pearson. Charming pedal boats are available for rent, Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day Weekends, noon to 7 p.m. Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.
Cost: $5 per half hour.
This hill is marvelous for sledding in the winter months. And there are benches and a fire pit at the bottom where you can warmup in-between slides down the hill.
Window on Wildlife
Sit down and cool off or warm up (depending on the season) while enjoying nature’s beauty and all Gods littlest creatures including, squirrels, chipmunks, a large variety of birds, and whomever else may pay a visit to the outdoor space while you observe from the comfortable climate controlled indoor room.
See what life was like in the notorious Great Black Swamp in the mid-1800s. The Johlin Cabin at Pearson will take you to a time when life was hard, and a place where it was even harder.
Pioneers and soldiers who traversed the dark swamp described it in colorful terms, relating the rough roads where their wagons would get stuck in the muck, the fierce mosquitoes, deadly diseases and the work it took to clear a piece of ground. But they also spoke of the rich farmland that lay beneath the wet woods.
The Johlin Cabin was donated by the Johlin family of Oregon and moved about a mile into the park when Pearson was expanded in the early 2000s. Located at the north entrance to the park on Seaman Road, the cabin today is used for family programs where you might be invited to churn butter, plant crops or attend to other chores. (Source) http://metroparkstoledo.com/features-and-rentals/the-johlin-cabin/
Catch some cabin fever and explore the Johlin Cabin from a new perspective. Spend an hour or an afternoon seeing the Johlin Cabin, activities for all ages with be provided; this is a free event, no reservations needed. (See Park events & calendar for Cabin openings)
Children love this ah-mazing play-scape. Similar to the Farnsworth playground the Pearson playground also incorporates custom equipment that illustrates the environmental history specific to the area; the inspiration was clearly the Great Black Swamp.
The play-space is filled with marsh themed attractions including a spider, frog, Lilly pads, interactive woodpecker, etc.
The playground includes a climbing wall, slides, soft rubberized surfacing, lots of swings, etc. and the best part, this play-scape was created with all children, with all abilities in mind. It is accessible to all.
AND SO MUCH MORE…..
Beautiful rental facilities, baseball diamonds, soccer field, tennis courts, etc.
Oh, and we can’t forget the Trails!
If you are seeking a peaceful, serene, and scenic retreat from the ordinary look no further than the trails at Pearson Park. Take a relaxing stroll on the Black Swamp Short Loop Trail (0.8mi round trip, perfect for littler legs). Become one with nature on the Wood Thrush Trail. And if you are looking to get your workout in for the day then the Exercise Trail has your name written all over it (2.9mi round trip). You are welcomed to walk, jog, run, and even cross country ski on all the trails. Planning on bringing your bicycles? There are trails for bicycles too! (See map, link at the bottom of this page under DEETS)
You can do it all at Pearson! And the best part, after a day at Pearson; fishing, paddling, running, walking, picnicking, and playing on the playground the kiddos will be exhausted and begging to go to bed…everyone will sleep great! (And the older I get the more appreciative I am for an awesome night’s sleep, there really is nothing like it. ;)).
Hours: 7am-dark everyday
Address: 761 Lallendorf Rd Oregon, OH 43616
Ranger Phone: 419) 360-9178
Additional Toledo Treasures (click on images)
Wildwood Preserve Metropark located at 5100 W Central Ave, Toledo, OH 43615.
Treasures you’ll find at Wildwood Preserve Metropark:
Natural beauty and man-made elegance come together as one at Wildwood Preserve Metroparks. The 493-acre park is the former estate of Toledo’s Stranahan family. Surrounded by natural habit, the stately home, now called the Manor House, played important roles in Toledo—and the park district’s—history. (Source)
Manor House & Garden
The Manor House was built in 1938 by Champion Spark Plug tycoon Robert Stranahan and wife Page. Stranahan is a name deeply rooted in Toledo’s history.
As you walk up to the house you can imagine guests arriving at the estate in one of the Stranahans’ limousines, a butler would have greeted visitors at the large front door and showed them to the Gentleman’s Study or Morning Room where Robert or Page waited to welcome them.
Visitors who spent extended periods of time at the estate were further impressed by the amenities of the home.
- Seven bedrooms were reserved for live-in maids, and all the main rooms in the house featured call buttons that ensured family and visitor needs were just an arm’s reach away.
- Each guest bedroom included a walk-in closet, private bathroom and ﬁreplace.
- When guests left their rooms, house staff cleaned the ﬁre places and restocked them with wood.
- An underground fan and tunnel system leading to the banks of Ten-mile Creek delivered cool, fresh air throughout the home.
While the estate was certainly constructed to entertain and impress visitors, its most important function for the Stranahans was to provide a familial sanctuary. Robert and Page had two children of their own, but Robert had ﬁvechildren and Page had two children from previous marriages. In constructing Stranleigh (Manor House Estate), they created a home large enough for their many children and grandchildren to visit them comfortably. Two large dormitory style rooms were included on the third ﬂoor and reserved exclusively for their grandsons and granddaughters.
Mainly for the children, a large in- ground swimming pool was installed in front of the home. The white cabana changing rooms stand to this day marking the location of the pool. Swimmers enjoyed high and low diving boards, lights for night swims and lessons from a swimming instructor.
For nearly 40 years Robert and Page Stranahan dedicated themselves to making the estate of their dreams a reality. They spared no expense constructing and maintaining Stranleigh. Given the lengths the Stranahan family went to create such a unique property, it is not surprising that nearly 65,000 Lucas County residents voted to preserve the estate in 1974.(Source)
I have so many fond memories of time spent at the Manor House with loved ones, touring the decorated Georgian colonial style house at Christmas, Tea as a child with my grandmother and mother, the annual Ice Cream Social on the front lawn, and the traditions continue with my children. In fact we spend so much time here in the summer we jokingly call it our summer house, haha! When you visit Wildwood Preserve Metropark do take the time to read the plaques located around the park and learn more about the history of Stranleigh.
The new playground is all the rage right now (just opened this month!) and is filled with fun climbing apparatuses for the older kiddos, merry-go-round for all ages, xcelerator, a playground for the littlest park dwellers (toddlers and preschoolers), an expression swing (adult or older child sits face-to-face with baby/toddler), safety surfacing to cushion falls, and more.
The one thing that was disappointing about the new playground is the swings, not all of our friends can play on it; we have friends with special needs who have to sit on the side and watch due to the fact that there isn’t an adaptive swing seat….also, we were disappointed that the new playground has less swings than the old one….we need more swings! (please 😉 )
Window on Wildlife
The Window on Wildlife is housed in what were formerly the old Stables on the Stranahan Estate and is now called Metz Visitors Center (also houses the Park Information, Rentals, Programming, & Environmental Educational).
It is a relaxing indoor space with large windows looking outside. There is plenty of seating to sit, relax, and observe wildlife and nature. My kiddos enjoy watching the birds, squirrels; chipmunks, turtles, etc. pass by the windows.
(It should be noted that the Window on Wildlife is receiving a facelift, so the outdoor scenery might look a bit different when you visit). It is a must see whenever we visit, no matter the time of year, FYI; it is a great spot to stop and warm up in the winter months.
While you’re at the former Stables be sure to stop in the restroom and checkout the décor,
Trails & Boardwalk
What’s a park without trails, hiking, biking, dog walking, etc.? There are no shortages of trails at Wildwood; Meadow, Prairie, Floodplain, Woods Trails, and the Boardwalk offer such magnificent scenery, variety is the spice of Wildwood Preserve.
No two trails are the same, each offers a different habitat to observe and explore. What’s more is the fact that each trail changes with the seasons, there is literally something new each day.
And there is so much more….
Do make certain you check out all the awesome programs offered at Wildwood for toddlers on up & the awesome events going on weekly, CLICK HERE for Calendar & Programing Events
Also be sure to check out Oak Grove Schoolhouse when you go!
Hours: 7am-dark everyday
Address: 5100 W Central Ave Toledo, OH 43615
Ranger Phone: (419) 270-7500
Also be sure to checkout…..(click on image)
Farnsworth is located at 8505 S River Rd, Waterville, OH 43566.
Treasures you’ll find at Farnsworth Metropark:
The Interurban Bridge
The Interurban Bridge was once the largest earth filled, concrete reinforced bridge in the entire world, though the bridge is in ruins it is quite a sight to behold.
The Roche de Bout (also spelled Roche de Boeuf)
The Roche de Bout is one of the only significant rock outcroppings in the Northwest Region of Ohio and serves as a support for the bridge. The rock was an important landmark to Indians centuries ago, who met on the rock for meetings, including one before the famous 1794 Battle of Fallen Timbers. As long as the water level is somewhat low, you can easily wade out to the rock.
The 100-mile Bowling Green Fault line, the only fault line in the entire Great Lakes Region & it runs through the park. If the water is low enough you actually are able to see it.
Towpath Trail is 2.5 miles and Easy (Stroller and ADA accessible).
The trail parallels the Maumee River the whole way, passing by several islands on the river owned by the Ohio Division of Wildlife. (Unfortunately, there’s no way of getting to the islands).
However the Kayak Concession is open and you can rent a Kayak and Kayak around the islands.
Price: (Credit card payments only) Single Kayak, $10 per hour Tandem Kayak, $15 per hour Downriver kayak trip, Farnsworth to Side Cut Metropark, including transportation back to Farnsworth, $20 per person. E-bike rental, $10 per hour
Hours: Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Fishing & Camping & Picnic Areas
The playground (closest parking lot is the Boat Launch entrance to the park on 8801 S. River Road (US24), ) is AWESOME!
It includes; a turtle, a Great Blue Heron, a buckeye leaf, and even the Bowling Green Fault Line are depicted in the sculptures. Not only can children enjoy playing outside in the park, but they can learn about it at the same time.
And there is a really nice, new, shelter adjacent (and restrooms too) that is available to rent along with a charcoal and gas grill (locked)…it would make the perfect spot for a family reunion, birthday gathering, etc. Kids could play on the playground, older kiddos/adults could take turns kayaking, have a cookout, walk the towpath, and enjoy the natural beauty that is Ohio!
Hours: 7am-dark everyday
Address: 8505 S River Road (US 24) Waterville, OH 43566
Ranger Phone: (419) 779-6052