Tag Archives: Ohio

Winter Wildlights

As evening exercise it beats running mindless laps at the gym or stumbling along a dimly lit running trail.  But a walk through Ohio’s most spectacular light display offers much more than a Christmas cookie calorie burn!

Wildlights at the Columbus Zoo has become an annual Christmas tradition for many of us in central Ohio.  It’s a jeweled version of an Ohio winter with acres of glittering trees and walkways rainbowed by glowing lights.  Musical light shows and live music, reindeer, a scuba Santa diving amongst tropical fish in a coral reef (as well as a dry one, available for souvenir photos), a 1914 carousel, a Christmas train ride…  Wildlights is geared to engage the whole family.

And actually, it can simply be a great evening stroll. Even on a crowded night, it beats tangling with frantic shoppers at the mall.



Wildlights runs through Jan 1, 2012 at the Columbus Zoo in Columbus, Ohio.  Admission is $14.00. Reduced admission for children (ages 2 9) and seniors. Parking is $5.00. Free admission/parking for Columbus Zoo members.

*Purchase and print your tickets on-line to avoid waiting and save $1.00. Even better, buy a season pass. Walking through Wildlights is a lot warmer (and more fun) than standing (and shivering) in long admission lines.

 (Photo credit: Columbus Zoo Ornament; Hannah Hartzell)

Information updated for 2011-2012 season from December 6, 2010.



Black Friday 2011


Not quite what you expected? Let me explain.

My best shopping experiences generally involve selecting the tastiest tomatoes in produce or the cool tools at the hardware store (I even have a favorite sales guy in electrical). I don’t abhor “real” shopping, but my natural inclinations pull me toward trails more often than malls. And quite frankly, Black Friday intimidates me. I wouldn’t even buy a banana in the midst of such an adrenaline-laced retail event.

So we escaped to Caesar Creek State Park. The parking lot was uncrowded. The trail was as clear as the air and the views. We completely missed the bargains. The competition. The madness.

This season arrives pre-loaded with a frenzy of traditions and obligations. It’s worth taking a quiet moment to choose what is most personally meaningful. If shopping is your thing, be my guest (and you can claim my parking space. At the back of the lot —sorry!). But before methodically checking off the items on your annual list, why not take a look at the list itself. See if last year’s priorities are worthy of the same attention this year.

It turned out that my “must do”s hadn’t changed over the past twelve months. Which is why we went hiking as a family the day after Thanksgiving.

For more on choosing meaningful traditions, visit “Traditions” on the Inspiration page at Heather Dugan Creative .

Cincinnati Things To Do on raveable



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Loitering in Autumn

Autumn always leaves me wanting more. It’s the appetizer-sized season that usually has me eying adjacent months for just a little more of the same.

This year it seemed to linger a little longer. As I’ve hit my favorite running trails this past week, bright splashes of color can still be found amongst the architecture of bared trees. It was one lovely last breath of crisp air under a warm sun. Fairly soon, the exhale will be a puff of frosty vapor.

At this time last year, a friend and I stole away to Mohican State Park for a midweek hike. No crowds. No maps or cell signals either, but we still managed to find the rusty red fire tower and a couple of hiking trails. We explored a little, climbing down to a waterfall with a massive tree root structure for handholds, and picnicked at the Pleasant Hill Dam.

More of an amble than a race, it was Fall at a savoring pace.

Updated from November 15, 2010.

Loudonville Things To Do


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