December 13, 2015
Do you have Off Season Blues? A cure has been found, at least through December. Check it out!
If you are like me, you try to find things to do in the off season to keep your mind from missing being at a park too much. When I ask my enthusiast friends what all they do to cure the off season blues the typical responses I get are watching POVs, read up on park dedicated websites and watch park updates on social media. Doing so I believe is fine, but I’d be more than happy to get out of the house to cure my off season blues. Over the next few months, I’m going to let you know of various activities that you can use to cure your off season blues. Most of the blogs in this grouping will be geared toward Ohio, since I’m from there and we do have a large number of club members and fans from Ohio! If you are not from Ohio, keep reading! Maybe you’ll see something that will make you want to head to Ohio and check out an attraction or two to remedy your off season blues!
So it is December. Many celebrate Christmas and other holidays during this time of year. Many businesses and attractions also help patrons celebrate.
When I think of Christmas time I think of the days my family and I would load up in our vehicle to go look for Christmas light displays through neighborhood among other places. There are several options to see Christmas light displays at this time of year.
The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in Powell, Ohio (just north of Downtown Columbus) hosts a great event known as the Wildlights throughout the zoo! The Wildlights contains Millions of LED lights, 3 animated light shows, special animal viewings and even a chance to meet Santa! The Wildlights will be on display through January 3rd and they are closed on Christmas eve and Christmas day. This experience in my opinion is like no other. The Wildlights can be a ton of fun for children up to senior citizens. Just a word of advice, it can get very cold so bundle up and put on your walking shoes because there is a lot to see! For more information check www.columbuszoo.org
While we are on the topic of zoo lights, head down to Cincinnati and visit the PNC Festival of Lights at the Cincinnati Zoo! The PNC Festival of Lights offers similar opportunities as the Wildlights at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, however the Festival of Lights offers a blacklight puppet show, a meet and greet experience the Frozen princesses, Elsa and Anna, many themed areas and even a train ride around the all new Swan Lake light show! I’ve visited the Festival of Lights a few times! The atmosphere is great and the hot chocolate is amazing! I would suggest though to bundle up for the weather and plan on walking a lot! While I believe this zoo is smaller than the Columbus Zoo there are several hills and a lot to see so you want your best walking shoes on! For more information you can visit: http://cincinnatizoo.org/events/festival-of-lights/
If you are more interested in seeing lights by car, there are a few experiences that you can travel to. I’ve only been to see two recently so I apologize if I don’t share your favorite, but you can definitely let us know where your favorite drive through Christmas light displays are! To the south east of Columbus, there is a small city known as Lancaster, Ohio. There is a family that hosts the Collison’s Festival of Lights at 5601 Westfall Rd. SW, Lancaster. This display is a huge drive through! It’s not too incredibly far from where I live and it’s definitely worth the drive to and through it! One of the best things about this drive through is that there isn’t an admission fee, although donations are welcome and accepted. The drive through takes you around a big house, which some have reported seeing Santa peeking out of a window, throughout the property and even around a large pond! This display runs through January 1st and is well worth the drive. For more information you can check them out on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/CollisonsFestivalofLights
The other drive through attraction that I’ve visited, isn’t technically in Ohio, but is fairly close. It’s about a 2 hour drive from Columbus and is very worth the drive if you were to check it out from further away. Oglebay’s Festival of Lights in Wheeling, West Virginia, is a massive 300 acres (6 mile) drive through that has been around since 1985! As of this year, all of the lights have been upgraded to LED! Each and every year Oglebay adds a new display to the line up of an already amazing set of displays! There are multiple shops you can visit before you take a drive through the attraction, like shopping, relaxing at the spa, even enjoying a laser light show! The drive through is techinally free, but donations are accepted. I would suggest visiting the laser light show and the shops as well. You can visit the following two links for more information: http://www.oglebay-resort.com/PDF/FOL2015_activities_Web.pdf and http://www.oglebay-resort.com/festival.html
I want to let you know, if looking at lights isn’t your thing….there are a couple more opportunities to get into the Christmas spirit and cure your off season blues!
Near Cleveland, Ohio there is a house that you may have seen in a very popular Christmas movie….A Christmas Story! Yes, it really exists! The best thing about it? You can actually go in it! Across the street from the house there is a museum dedicated to the movie! In the museum you can see various props used in the movie including the newly acquired Red Rider BB Gun used by Ralphie himself! You can also take a tour around the Cleveland area to visit the various filming locations for the movies including Higbee’s Department Store and the Bo Ling Chop Suey Palace! You can visit the attraction any time of the year, but at this time of the year is great, especially when trying to cure your off season blues! For more information check out: http://www.achristmasstoryhouse.com/
If you are into fitness or want to visit one of Ohio’s amusement parks during the downtime, you can sign up for the Santa Hustle at Cedar Point! The Santa Hustle is held on December 20th at 9 am! While there is a fee to participate ($50 to run/walk the 5k or $65 to do the half marathon) all funds raised go toward The Teen Leadership Corps and toys are accepted as donation to Toys for Tots. This event allows walkers and runners to see views of Cedar Point inside and outside of the park! For those interested, you have until December 18th to sign up! You can do so here: http://www.santahustle.com/cedar-point/
There are a multitude of events and attractions throughout Ohio that helps get everyone in the Christmas spirit and helps cure the off-season blues! If I were to cover them all, I’d have to do a blog a day to cover them all!
Please feel free to let us know what your favorite Christmas attraction/experience is, even if it’s not in Ohio! Until next time, enjoy your December and get those off season blues cured by checking out one of the experiences I mentioned above!