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The TV movie marathon hasn’t started just yet, but it’s only a matter of a time before A Christmas Story is rolling 24/7 on screens around the nation. This year you can actually skip watching the film and check it out in real life, as the house used for some of the filming has been restored, is looking great, and is open for public tours all year long.
Yes—there is a leg lamp in the window—and there’s plenty of props, memorabilia, costumes, and other bits and pieces from the film. The place is one part movie set and one part museum, and of course there’s a gift shop where you can bring home a little of the movie back to where you call home. The address has seen its share of visitors thus far, as they’ve had more than 100,000 fans swing on through.
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Port Columbus Airport is actually quite lovely and not a desperate ghost town airport like neighbors to the west, Toledo-Express and Cincinnati-Covington. For a brief period it even boasted JetBlue service and was the hub for a sadly departed little-budget-airline-that-could called SkyBus. Still, exciting things are happening in Columbus, as evidenced by the arrival of gourmet ice cream vending machines.
The airport plugged in the machines earlier this year, and the small servings by hometown company Jeni's Ice Creams have been selling like hotcakes. Or, rather, coldcakes? Anyway, it's a unique amenity considering how obsessed airports have been with cupcakes and only cupcakes of late.
Each machine stocks 12 different flavors (6 cups, 6 sandwiches), and currently travelers may take advantage of the machines in both Concourses B and C, and coming soon to Concourse A.
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Autumn is finally here, so grab one of those pumpkin spice latte beverages and make your way to one of the many fall festivals. This month we’re focusing on those events dedicated to all things pumpkin, so here are five picks for pumpkin festivals doing their thing this month:
Circleville Pumpkin Show – Circleville, Ohio
Between October 16 and October 19th, one Ohio town turns into all things pumpkin. There’s a Miss Pumpkin Show that crowns a new gourd-geous—couldn’t resist, sorry—to reign over the annual festival. Farmers from around the state and region roll their pumpkins to the festival, as past winners have weighed in at well over 1,300 pounds. There’s a parade, live music, arts and crafts, and creatively arranged pumpkins and gourds all over downtown. Admission is free, but we’d bring spending cash for some of the attractions or for pumpkin this or that when you’re hungry.
Keene Pumpkin Festival – Keene, New Hampshire
We try to be fair and balanced in our assessment of this year’s pumpkin festivals, but the one in Keene, New Hampshire might just be the best thing going on this fall. They’ve got a food and craft court and a pumpkin road race, but what sets this festival apart are all the jack-o-lanterns. The town carved and brought in nearly 30,000 jack-o-lanterns last year, and they illuminate each and every one right around the town’s center. As you can imagine things look pretty darn awesome once the sun goes down, so bring your own pumpkin and head to New Hampshire on October 19th—just bring cash for parking.
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The War of 1812 actually didn't happen in 1812. In truth, it was a 32-month conflict between the US and Great Britain which stretched from June 1812 to February 1815, with one of the most notable turning-of-the-tides going down in 1813. On September 10, Captain Oliver Hazard Perry flew the flag "Don't Give Up the Ship" on the ships of his fleet as they went head-to-head (or cannon-to-cannon) with the Royal Navy, eventually winning the Battle of Lake Erie.
His victory is essentially the reason why (most of) Lake Erie, Detroit and much of eastern Michigan and northern Ohio belong to the United States.
Naturally this is a huge frickin' deal, and 2013 marks the bicentennial of the battle. To celebrate, ports of the Lake Erie Islands are banding together to host a gathering of 18 tall ships and re-enactments, and the public is welcome to do more than watch; you may sign up to join the crew on a ship, be a part of the land militia, or just volunteer to help the onboard tours when the ships pull into port.
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Congratulationsyou've made it through half the summer. At this point in July, you've hopefully hit a few BBQs, waved some sparklers around after dusk and chased some fireflies. There's also the matter of baseball. What can be more American than America's favorite pastime? The answer: Vintage Base Ball, games played according to the 1860 rules and blissfully free from the multi-million-dollar contracts, cheap bobbleheads, and overpriced coney dogs that cloud the modern spectacles.
This summer, head on out to watch lovers of the game play it as it once was. Check out these four vintage baseball matches and don't be too shy to dress retro yourself:
According to Mother Nature it’s not technically summer for at least another month, but we go by the calendar and the season starts with Memorial Day weekend. Thankfully theme parks also seem to follow the calendar, so the last few weeks of May are always a good time to enjoy that new roller coaster smell. That’s especially the case over in Sandusky, Ohio, as once again Cedar Point is welcoming the amusement park season with a brand new ride.
This year it’s GateKeeper that’s taking up a permanent residence inside the park, as the new roller coaster breaks all kinds of records. With a 164-foot drop and over 4,000-feet of track it’s the best in its class, and that’s even before your get buckled in for a ride.
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February doesn’t have too much going on, so it’s a great month to head somewhere warm to escape the winter weather. We realize that might not be in the cards, so that’s why we’re suggesting the old standby—drinking—to get you through this month. Here’s three beer festivals where you can toast to February:
San Diego Winter Beer Festival
It doesn’t get quite that chilly during the winter over in San Diego, but the city still has plans for their very own winter beer festival. This year’s events are scheduled to do their thing on Friday, February 8, so if you don’t have plans for this weekend—you do now. Brewers in attendance include Ballast Point, Black Market Brewing Company, and Mission Brewery.
Tickets will set you back $40 in advance, but it’s going to be around $10 more if you’re getting them at the door. Things run between 7pm and 10pm, and it all takes place over at the Port Pavilion on Broadway Pier. Live music from bands like Three Fiths Sober, 22 Kings, and YOVEE round out the event, so cheers to that.
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Of course the majority of the holidays have come and gone, but that just means we need something new to entertain us until the spring and summer warmth returns. There's still plenty of special winter beers and brews to sample, so here’s our picks for three festivals from which to take a sip or two this January.
Columbus Winter Beerfest – Columbus, Ohio
It’s January 11-12 for this year’s edition of the Columbus Winter Beerfest over at the Columbus Convention Center. Two nights mean even more beers, as organizers are promising over 60 breweries, more than 300 craft beers, and 10,000 hop heads enjoying each and every sip and sample.
Regular admission sets you back $35 per person, and that’ll get you a sampling cup and a generous allotment of tasting tickets—25 to be specific. The list of beers is still a work in process, but we’d expect some local options like Barley’s, Columbus Brewing Company, and Four Strings Brewing to make an appearance.
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Like it or not summer is gone and fall is here to stay, so we suggest fully investing your time into enjoying the season. Take in some leaves, enjoy the cooler temperatures, and of course order up a pumpkin latte at your favorite coffee shop. After that may we suggest a few pumpkin festivals, because here are three that are worth your time:
Circleville Pumpkin Show – Circleville, Ohio
Ohio might be a swing state in the upcoming election, but between October 17 and October 20 it’s clearly an orange state. The Circleville Pumpkin Show is expecting well over 400,000 pumpkin fans, as they hit the town in search of carnival rides, food booths, and arts and crafts vendors. As far for the star of the festival, there’s a pumpkin parade, a miss pumpkin show, and plenty of gourds, squash, and other pumpkin siblings. You’ll be able to indulge in all kinds of pumpkin delicacies as well, but we wouldn’t recommend taking a slice of last year’s pumpkin weigh-in winner—it tipped the scales at around 1,437 pounds. Best of all admission is totally free, so there’s really no reason to just swing on through for the afternoon.
It’s only Tuesday, but that hardly means that’s it too early to start talking about—and planning—some stuff to do this weekend. If you’re looking to get outside to enjoy the cooler temperatures but also want a little entertainment, there’s always the option to attend a fall festival. Lucky for you we have one in mind, and it’s all taking place this weekend in New Carlisle, Ohio.
This weekend the eighth annual Heritage of Flight Festival and Parade rolls into town, as stuff is scheduled for October 5, 6, and 7. The highlight of the festival has to be the tractor pull, but we’re not talking about the usual country fair style tractor pull. Here the tractors are pulling airplanes on a parade route right through the center of town, so if you’ve ever wanted to see a biplane being towed by a John Deere tractor—this is the place to accomplish that mission.
The season for apple picking is officially from around September 20 through the third week in October, so though you've got a little time left to add it to your iCal, making plans with friends and family for an outing should happen sooner rather than later.
Now, we could make a Top Ten list of DIY apple orchards, but we'd rather have you find the ones nearest you. For this, check out PickYourOwn.org, a website that lists places depending on your area within a state, and even shares a list of tips to best prepare you for a day in the orchards.
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Fun fact: fun facts are awesome. Whether you're trying to chat up a flight attendant or simply love learning something cool, we've got some tidbits to share. So all this week, we'll be squeezing our mindgrapes to bring you some awesome, random travel factoids.
Fact: Cleveland Airport serves a special edition, locally brewed beer: The Wright Pils.
Okay so typically we wouldn't recommend your scheduling an extra hour or two before your flight to spend at Cleveland's Hopkins International Airport, but that was before we found out a little secret the airport's been keeping within Terminal C (mostly Air Canada and United flights).
At the Great Lakes Brewpub near Gate C 14the only location of Great Lakes Brewing Company's Brewpub outside their Brewery in Cleveland properthe limited edition beer is on draft. You'll want some of this, as it's more than just limited edition; it's aviation-themed. The Wright Pils is "classic style with flowery bouquet and an elegantly dry finish." It's made to pair well with salads, salmon, tuna and "marbled meats." It also happens to be named for Ohio's own Wright Brothers.