101 ways to spend 101 days in Northwest OhioWritten by Jordan Finney | | firstname.lastname@example.org
The opportunity to compile this year’s “101 ways to spend 101 days in Northwest Ohio” special issue made it evident to me that the Lake Erie region has a whole lot more to offer than many of its own residents realize.
As a disclaimer, this list does not attempt to provide an exhaustive account of every activity in the region, or even most activities. It could easily be doubled or tripled, and serious points of interest would still be omitted. For a sample of the region’s bustle, just look at July. In addition to all of its ongoing activities, some upcoming events include several live music concerts, an African-American festival, the Glass City Rollers’ first away bout and the Toast of Ohio Wine Festival at the Merry-Go-Round Museum in Sandusky.
I chose this particular 101 with the intention of accurately capturing a snapshot of local life. The list does attempt to give voice to a diverse litany of interests so that thrill-seekers and nature-lovers alike will discover some new prospect worth trying. It has no particular order or ranking system and groups each of the 101 ways in a category for ease of reading.
Before you naysay it, read it. I am amazed at the flurry of fun going on around us: networking events like Instameet and EPIC Toledo Lunch n Leads, drive-in movies, frequent festivals and fairs, a whole host of historical sites and physical fitness studios … at least 101 ways to make you wish you were here.
What’s missing from “101 ways to spend 101 days in Northwest Ohio”? What should be included next year? Post your suggestions on our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/toledofreepress) or email us at email@example.com.
– Toledo Free Press Staff Writer and Project Editor Jordan Finney. Read her full column about compiling this list here.
1. ‘The Nutcracker’
The Toledo Ballet will host its 74th annual production of Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker,” the longest-running performance of the holiday favorite in the nation. Dec. 13-14. At the Stranahan Theater.
2. Levis Commons Fine Art Fair
Spend the weekend with thousands of other local tourists in Perrysburg at the 10th annual open-air art fair. Aug. 16-17. Browse handcrafted jewelry, ceramics, painting, glass photography, fiber and more at The Town Center at Levis Commons. Free admission and parking. At 3201 Levis Commons Blvd., Perrysburg.
3. Toledo Opera
Prepare for an evening of fabulous costumes, impressive sets and sonorous music. This season’s offerings include “Tosca,” “Susannah” and “Lucia di Lammermoor,” all with English translations provided above the stage. Closed captioning – opera style.
4. Local theater productions
Toledo is brimming with opportunities to attend a theater production, including an upcoming rendition of “The Pirates of Penzance” at the Toledo Repertoire Theatre (Sept. 12-21). In addition, there are ongoing performances at the Stranahan Theater, The Village Players Theatre and Valentine Theatre, not to mention regional and collegiate performances.
5. Handmade Toledo
This DIY-oriented community of craft artistans will offer a Pop Up Shop during The Arts Commission’s July Art Walk. 6-9 p.m. July 24.
6. Toledo Symphony
This regional orchestra has been active for more than seven decades and employs nearly 80 professional musicians. This season, the symphony has three main series: Mozart & More, Classics and Pop. Its next free “Music Under the Stars” concert is July 27. At the Toledo Zoo.
7. Uncork the Artist
Regardless of the depth of your artistic prowess, let a local professional lead your group through a painting lesson. All supplies provided. $35 per person or $65 for two. Furthermore, Uncork the Artist invites you to attend the free grand opening of its new venue in Perrysburg, a night of food and independent art projects during the first week of August. Also, You Can Be An Artist in Maumee.
8. National Center for Nature Photography
The photography center celebrates nature through its themed photo exhibits and shows, annual contests, classes and programs. Its state-of-the-art gallery, closed for renovations, will reopen in September with additional exhibits and space. Free admission. Open noon to 5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday after renovations are complete. At Secor Metropark, 10001 W. Central Ave., Berkey.
9. Art Walks
Thursday art walks showcase creative art displays in numerous galleries, spotlighting the diverse talents of the region’s artists. The next event is set for 6-9 p.m. July 24.
10. Artomatic 419!
Hosted by The Arts Commission, this grand-scale multimedia event offers space for visual, performing and literary artists to showcase their talents. Its last showing attracted 10,000+ guests who marveled at the imaginative creations of 500+ local artists. Mark your calendars: Artomatic 419! will return spring 2015.
11. Art Hours
The Glass City wouldn’t be complete without the Toledo Museum of Art’s hands-on, hour-long art classes that illustrate how to make various glass projects. Sample activities include hot sculpting (for TMA members) and flameworking (open to public), both typically offered on Thursday evenings.
12. Life drawings
The Art Supply Depo sponsors “Drink and Draw,” a $10 life drawing session ($7 with a friend!). The shop provides a model and music while 18-and-older participants bring their own drinks and art supplies. Fourth Tuesday of every month. 7-10 p.m. At 29 S. St. Clair St. The next date is July 22.
13. Toledo Museum of Art
No Toledo to-do list would be complete without this internationally renowned museum. In addition to free admission to most exhibitions, TMA offers glass blowing demonstrations, docent-guided tours and a Masters Series featuring famous artists, scholars and musicians (the next one is with Brett Leonard at 6 p.m. on Sept. 25). Prepare to spend a day lost in its halls. At 2445 Monroe St.
14. Banned Books Week
Local residents will join University of Toledo students to celebrate the freedom to read without censorship at the annual Banned Books Week Vigil on Sept. 25.
15. Toledo Pride
The fifth annual LGBTQA (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning and allied) weekend-long event at Promenade Park (Aug. 22-24) will feature live entertainment, a Downtown parade, dozens of vendor booths and Sunday Funday. Kick off the weekend with the Nite Glo 5K at the University of Toledo.
16. Crosby Festival of the Arts
Northwest Ohio’s annual “premier fine arts festival” highlights the imagination of more than 200 artists from across the country. The event takes place at Toledo Botanical Garden. Final full weekend of June.
17. Toledo Walleye Winterfest
Fifth Third Field will become a full-fledged winter wonderland for 10 days (Dec. 26 to Jan. 4) during Toledo Walleye Winterfest, a grand-scale sports event sponsored by ProMedica. Local fans will witness the Walleye hockey team battle the Kalamazoo Wings (Dec. 27) and the Fort Wayne Komets (Jan. 3) in a true outdoor hockey arena.
18. Lights Before Christmas
Need a reason to stick around Toledo for the winter? This “electrical spectacle” takes nearly 10 miles of extension cords and more than 1 million lights to illuminate the zoo. Mid-November to Dec. 31.
19. Rifle and pistol matches
First held in 1903, the National Matches have become a shooting sports festival with more than 6,000 annual participants whose skill levels vary from beginner to best in the world. Some matches include expert instruction and dozens of vendors set up shop on commercial row all month. Free to spectators, July 6-Aug. 15. At Camp Perry, Port Clinton.
20. Ethnic festivals
African American Festival (July 19-20), Toledo Hibernian Irish Festival (Aug. 8-9), Birmingham Ethnic Festival (Aug 16.), German-American Festival (Aug. 22-24), Greek-American Festival (Sept. 5-7), Latino, Polish – spend a weekend celebrating ethnic diversity and culture, dancing to live music, shopping and snacking with friends.
21. NWO Hopheads Festival
Adults 21 and older are invited to an outdoor concert at Centennial Terrace for a full night of live music, appetizing food and craft beer. This festival (Aug. 8) has become a networking opportunity for nearby craft beer enthusiasts. $25 pre-sell tickets include 20 samples, a souvenir cup and admission. $10 admission at the gate. At 5773 Centennial Road, Sylvania.
22. Food-themed fests
A handful of Northwest Ohio’s food-themed fests include Swanton’s 106th Corn Festival (Aug. 16), Oak Harbor’s Apple Fest (Oct. 11-12), Grand Rapids’ Applebutter Fest (Oct. 12) and Whitehouse’s Cherry Fest (June 2015).
23. Whitehouse’s Winterfest
Seriously entertaining cardboard sled races, horse drawn carriage rides, a competitive chili cook-off, music, snowball-throwing contests, dancing, the annual 5K race and more — Whitehouse’s annual Winterfest event is coming your way in February 2015.
24. Ghost walk
Fort Meigs will sport a “spirited stroll” this fall. Oct. 17-18, 24-25. A War of 1812 tour guide will escort guests through the spookier side of this historic landmark. The fort also features costumed historical interpreters (May through October), military history roundtables (the next one is Sept. 18) and a museum full of wartime artifacts. $4-8, children 5 and younger are free. At 29100 W. River
25. Party like it’s 1945
The Dan Zola Orchestra will perform at Liberty Aviation Museum’s upcoming Big Band Hangar Dance on Aug 23. Swing dancing and an entourage in vintage dress (think military and zoot suits) will characterize the evening. During the rest of the year, visitors may meander through the museum’s collection of aircraft, vehicles and other historical artifacts, including a refurbished flyable B-25. $5 donation. 3515 East State Road, Port Clinton.
26. Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center
Enter through one of the six sets of original White House gates to see the home, library, museum, tomb and 25-acre estate of the 19th U.S. president. The center’s latest exhibit showcases exclusive archaeological information from the U.S. Civil War prison site of captured Confederate officers. $3-$7.50. Running now through early-January. In addition, GroveFest – an annual fundraising event complete with kids’ activities, music, a popular auction and piles of food – will be on July 26. At Spiegel Grove, Fremont.
27. Merry-Go-Round Museum
Visit with one of the artisan carvers who restores carousel animals while listening to the “oom pa pa” of a nearby band organ. $4-6 admission, children 4 and younger are free. One of its upcoming events, Toast of Ohio Wine Festival ($5. Noon-8 p.m. July 26), will offer guests wine tasting, an art show and gourmet food. At 301 Jackson St., Sandusky.
28. Wildwood Manor House
This colonial home has become a celebrated fixture at Wildwood Preserve Metropark. It annually hosts a Tea in the Solarium event, late spring to early summer. Open for free tours April through Oct. 31, Tuesday through Sunday. Noon to 5 p.m. At 5100 W. Central Ave.
What began as a family hobby has developed into a start-up operation centered around Ohio’s largest multi-gauge model public railroad display. Model train enthusiasts, prepare to drool. $6-8, children 3 and younger are free. At 6732 E. Harbor Road, Marblehead.
30. The Canal Experience
Providence Metropark’s Canal Experience immerses visitors in a 19th-century lifestyle, complete with mule-drawn canal boats, a working water-powered saw, one of the last functioning limestone locks and costumed characters along the Miami and Erie Canal. $4-6, ages 2 and younger are free. May through October.
31. The Blair Museum of Lithophanes
Home to 2,300 lithophanes, the largest collection of its kind in the world. Lithophanes, etchings engraved in translucent porcelain, can only be properly viewed when lit from behind. Spotlighting “Revelations and Withholdings” through Oct. 26. Free and open Saturday-Sunday May through October. Year-round special group tours available at $5 a person. At Toledo Botanical Garden, 5403 Elmer Drive.
32. The 577 Foundation
Unwind during an hourlong tour of this property’s quaint cottage, remodeled machinery room, cow barn, log home, community gardens and curious geodesic dome. At 577 E. Front St., Perrysburg.
33. Go on an African safari
Drive-thru passengers feed a diverse range of creatures, including alpacas, bongos and camels. The Walk-Thru Safari option feels more akin to a traditional zoo setting, complete with popular pig races and a new white alligator exhibit. The African Safari Wildlife Park is open for the season through Nov. 30. 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. $13.95-21.95, children 3 and younger are free. At Port Clinton.
34. Floating classroom
A 100-passenger cruise vessel, affectionately named The Sandpiper, gives one-to-four hour educational boat tours on the Maumee River. Topics of interest range from eagles to Veterans’ Glass City Skyway bridge to Big Lucas. May through October. $5-11. At the foot of Jefferson Avenue in Promenade Park.
35. Ogle at the universe
The Ritter Planetarium at the University of Toledo sports the first Spitz SciDome XD projection system in the world, offering visitors a glimpse of the heavens – literally. Its summer program, “Summer Skies Over Toledo,” impresses visitors with an entrancing live-guided tour of the Toledo night sky. Fridays through Aug. 29. 8:30 p.m. $5-7, children 4 and younger are free.
36. Frogtown-inspired races
Toledo’s Frogtown Races, one of the most prestigious fall regattas in the Midwest, will take place Sept. 27. High school, college and adult rowers from the U.S. and Canada will compete in a 3-mile course on the Maumee River. At International Park, Main Street.
37. Play beach volleyball
There’s something strangely satisfying about diving for a loose ball in the summertime — and even more so when it’s at the beach. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, or simply have mad volleyball skills, sign up for the Battle of Put-in-Bay 2014 volleyball tournament (Aug. 15-16). To make matters more entertaining, the sports event is also a costume contest — dress to impress! $200 per team. At the Sand Bar, Put-in-Bay.
38. The Butterfly House
More than 1,000 free-flying butterflies from around the world flutter about this wheelchair-accessible glass house conservatory. Photography welcome. Open May through October. $7-9, children 3 and younger are free. 11455 Obee Road, Whitehouse.
39. Stroll in an arboretum
The 47-acre R.A. Stranahan Arboretum highlights local urban landscape ecology and an aromatic collection of rare and local trees, shrubs and grasses. Year-round free admission, open Monday through Thursday. At 4131 Tantara Road.
40. Biggest Week in American Birding
More than 60,000 people from 46 states and 13 countries flocked to this year’s Biggest Week in American Birding” for bird watching and photography. Next spring’s 10-day event (May 8-17) will feature half-day bus tours, speakers, workshops, displays and daily walks at venues including the world famous Magee Marsh boardwalk. Organizers say Northwest Ohio in May is the best place anywhere in North America to observe the spring migration of songbirds.
41. Go cycling
The University/Parks Trail is a popular trail open to cyclists, walkers, joggers and skater alike. Stretching from University of Toledo’s campus to King Road in Sylvania Township, this six-mile stretch is perfect for outdoor fitness fans — and it’s free.
42. Ottawa Park
Ottawa Park, home to the Greater Toledo Inline Hockey League, boasts the only open-air ice rink in Northwest Ohio. The park also has a 500-ton stone amphitheater and the only disc golf course in Toledo.
43. Fun runs
A sample of Northwest Ohio’s upcoming fun runs and mud runs includes Black Swamp Dash (Aug. 2, Oak Harbor), Zombie Race (Aug. 16, Holland), The Color Run (Aug. 16, Toledo), The Survival Race (Aug. 17, Holland) and Dance Dash (Sept. 20, Perrysburg).
44. Mountain biking
Toledo’s Jermain Park is the first designated free-to-the-public mountain bike park – and the only mountain bike park in Northwest Ohio. Its more than six-mile course is the perfect venue for events like the Toledo Free Ride. The bike skills area contains dirt jumps, a pump track and a separate area for progressive stunts and skills.
45. Cultivate your green thumb
Toledo GROWs, Toledo Botanical Garden’s outreach program, is a grassroots organization that tends to more than 165 community gardens. Find a garden near you by emailing info@toledo garden.org. Its market stand supplies fresh vegetables and herbs (11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursdays). Tours are available April through October (1-2 p.m. Wednesdays). At 900 Oneida St.
46. Find a fossil
Budding paleontologists can dig all day for world-renowned fossils in the five-acre rock quarry at Fossil Park. No tools are permitted, but bring a toothbrush and water to clean off your fossils, and something to carry those little Devonian Era relics home in. Free admission and parking to the fossil pit (April through mid-November) and the park itself (open year-round, except during the Sylvania fireworks display). At 5675 Centennial Road, Sylvania.
47. Watch a Lake Erie sunset
Take the time to venture out to Lake Erie and watch the sun set over the water. There’s a reason that dozens of vacation houses and bed & breakfasts have settled on the shoreline.
48. Great Lakes Popcorn Company
Interested in sweetening (or spicing up) your weekend movie date? The Great Lakes Popcorn Company has your local grocery store’s pack of Orville Redenbacher’s beat. If for nothing else, swing by the Walleye Capital of the World to try one of the local company’s more than 30 flavors of popcorn: bubble gum, wild walleye, margarita. 115 Madison St., Port Clinton.
49. Savor chocolate history
The South Bend Chocolate Company’s museum explains the growing process, history and production of chocolate from a culinary perspective. Ohio’s first chocolate museum consists of a film about chocolate, exhibits and a photo-opportunity with cardboard cut-out Lucy from “Lucy at the Chocolate Factory.” Open daily mid-May through mid-September, weekends through mid-October. At 820 Catawba St., Put-in-Bay.
50. Toledo Flavors Food Tour
These new three-hour food tasting and cultural walking tours afford partakers the opportunity to eat at six or more venues, explore the Warehouse District with an insider view of its history and architecture and gain a new perspective on Toledo’s culture and culinary scene. $42 for adults, $30 for children. Tours held rain or shine, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursdays and Saturdays through September.
51. Wine and cheese tastings
Local connoisseurs and amateurs gather on Thursdays at Treo Wine Bar to try four different wines and a sample platter of the day’s cheeses. $15. At 5703 Main St., Sylvania.
52. Iconic Toledo food
Local residents and out-of-towners alike can’t fully appreciate The Glass City without knocking back a couple of glasses over chow time at one of its widely known culinary hubs. Suggestions include hot dogs from Tony Packo’s, steak from Mancy’s, everything bagel from Barry Bagels, ice cream from Mr. Freeze, chili dogs from Rudy’s and garbage salad from Grumpy’s.
53. Farmers Markets
Wander around one of Northwest Ohio’s open-air marketplaces for an assortment of homegrown and handmade finds. Local markets include Downtown at Erie Street Market (8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays May through November, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays December through April), Perrysburg (3-8 p.m. Thursdays May through early October), Westgate (3-7 p.m. Wednesdays May through October) and Bowling Green (4-7 p.m. Wednesdays May through mid-October).
54. Apple picking and cider making
MacQueen Orchards grows more than 16 varieties of apples and 10 varieties of peaches, and invites you to pick your own fruit from mid-September to the third week of October. In addition, its annual Apple Stir & Crafts Festival set for the first weekend of October will have an apple pie contest, huge play area for children, horse-drawn wagon rides and delicious food. At 7605 Garden Road, Holland.
55. See the circus
The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey is taking “The Greatest Show on Earth” to a new level this fall (Oct. 30-Nov. 2) with its new circus show. Legendary circus icons from 25 countries will come together as one cast for “LEGENDS,” a spectacular mythological production that boasts Asian elephants, a 20-acrobat troupe balanced atop a pair of bicycles and a high-flying trapeze act. At the Huntington Center, 500 Jefferson Ave.
56. Imagination Station
The popular science center offers more than 250 interactive exhibits, including NASA’s “Science On a Sphere” through Sept. 7, a Science2Go! gift shop and several education programs. $8-10, children 2 and younger are free. At 1 Discovery Way, Toledo.
57. Support a local record store
More than 1,000 independently owned record stores celebrate their unique culture during Record Store Day, an international event on the third Saturday of every April (next year’s date is April 18). Local record stores include Culture Clash (4020 Secor Road), RamaLama Records (3151 W. Central Ave.), AA Records Are Us (3010 Lagrange St.) and more!
58. Leadership Toledo
Leadership Toledo inspires people to become active participants in their communities with a nine-month $2,500 training program for adults and a program for teens. Its annual Restaurant Week Toledo will be March 2-9.
Trapped Toledo has created an interactive adventure that locks a group of people in a small room and dares them to try and escape. Wednesdays through Sundays, ages 15 years and older, $18.50-25. At 4400 Heatherdowns Blvd.
60. Toledo Zoo tours
As if it didn’t already house the whole animal kingdom, this regional favorite boasts two new exhibits: Penguin Beach and Flamingo Key. The zoo also offers a slew of popular behind-the-scenes tours so visitors can get up close with wild animals: rhinos, giraffes, polar bears … your choice.
61. 419 Day
What was once a savvy social media movement has emerged as a city-sweeping day of love where community members lend support to each other and local businesses on April 19. Snap some photos in the city, pay it forward to a stranger and remember: “You will do better in Toledo.”
62. Glass City Rollers
Metro Toledo’s flat track roller derby league will kick off its traveling season July 26, with an additional away bout Sept. 13. Scheduled home bouts include Aug. 16, Oct. 4 and Nov. 1. At 525 Earlwood Ave. Oregon
63. Watch fireworks after a Mud Hens game
Mosey over to Fifth Third Field to cheer on your hometown Hens as they outrun other minor league baseball teams. Even better, your $10 admission fee to home games on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays will also snag you a front-row seat to a spectacular Downtown fireworks show.
64. Casino concerts
Enjoy an evening by the river listening to live music at Hollywood Casino Toledo’s summer concert series. Upcoming performances include Wilson Phillips (9:30 p.m. July 19), Smokey Robinson (9 p.m. Aug. 8), Summerland Tour (7 p.m. Aug. 9) and Travis Tritt (9 p.m. Aug. 22).
65. Check out the local universities
If you didn’t grow up in the Lake Erie region, take a tour of the local universities to sense the vibe of Northwest Ohio’s younger generation. The campuses at University of Toledo, Bowling Green State University and Lourdes University offer events throughout the year that are open to the public. Stop by the front office for information.
66. Contemporary dance class
Bird’s Eye View Circus Space quickly became Toledo’s go-to studio spot for lessons in aerial silks, stilt walking, static trapeze, hand balancing and flexibility, acro yoga jam and more. The studio’s newest program, a Contemporary Movement class, provides a fun outlet for dance and fitness enthusiasts to gain strength and flexibility by jiving to a fusion of ballet, jazz and modern styles. $10 a class. 6-7:30 p.m. Thursdays beginning July 24. At Collingwood Arts Center, 2413 Collingwood Blvd.
67. Get tech-savvy
At Seed Coworking, 25 S. St. Clair St.
68. Join a writer’s forum
The Northwest Ohio Writers Forum meets on the third Saturday of each month (except July, August and December) to discuss everything from freelance writing to copyright law. The group also enjoys listening to presentations by guest speakers. Membership costs $25 a year, $15 for students. At various branches of the Toledo Lucas-County Public Library.
69. Movies at the Memorial
For the month of August, Perry’s Victory & International Peace Memorial will screen free films on Saturday nights. Check its website to see which films will be playing. Movies begin at dark. Bring a blanket! At 93 Delaware Ave., Put-in-Bay.
70. EPIC Toledo Lunch n Leads
Individuals volunteer themselves to host this local luncheon series. Each attendee purchases his or her own lunch and eats while the host gives a 15-to-20-minute business presentation. Professional networking consumes the remainder of the hour. Meets noon to 1 p.m. on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month.
71. Attend a networking event
A Toledo-based grassroots organization called So Now creates an alliance of like-minded professional women who network and help each other achieve goals. The next So Now dinner is at 6:16 p.m. July 23. $20, includes buffet dinner and open networking.
72. $5.50 movie Tuesdays
Cinemark Cinemas at Levis Commons or Franklin Park offer a $5.50 Tuesday special. Purchase a ticket to any 2-D movie – yes, even new releases – for any showtime. At 2005 Hollenbeck Drive, Perrysburg and 5001 Monroe St., Toledo.
73. Toledo Antique & Classic Boat Show
Event organizers describe this regional show as an “extravaganza of antique, classic and historical watercraft through the ages.” Set for Aug. 24-25, the eighth annual show invites all boating enthusiasts to enjoy a day with live entertainment, local vendors and artisans and displayed boats ranging from the 1920s era through modern-day replicas. At The National Museum of the Great Lakes, 1701 Front St.
74. Holy Celebration Batman!
Celebrate Batman’s 75th birthday with the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library! Free events include a movie marathon (July 21-25 at McMaster Center at Main Library, 325 N. Michigan St.) and a crafts and puzzles celebration (9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. July 21 at Main Library, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 26 at Main Library and Point Place Branch Library, 2727 117th St.). Local comic book writer and historian Jim Beard and the Bat-Thespians will also present 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. July 26. At Sanger Branch Library, 3030 W. Central Ave.
Locally-hosted TEDx events combine TEDTalks videos and live speakers to inspire thoughtful conversation about “ideas worth spreading.” Organizers planned the next conference for Sept. 18.
76. Attend an Instameet
Instameets are popular global events where IGers network and share photography. Touch base with Toledo’s vast Instagram networks (@IGers_Toledo, @owe_grammers) for the next Instameet time and location.
77. Live comedy shows
Need to unwind with a good laugh? Catch a live comedian at Funny Bone Comedy Club. Or, if you’re a starving comic in search of a gig, impress with your best show during Toledo Open Mic Night. At 6140 Levis Commons Blvd., Perrysburg, in Fat Fish Blue. Laffs Inc., 3922 Secor Road, also brings the laughs, including an open mic night on Wednesdays.
78. Befriend a bookworm
Book clubs are offered at numerous Toledo-Lucas County Public Library branch locations (Birmingham, Heatherdowns, Oregon, Point Place, Sanger, Sylvania, Washington and Waterville) as well as Way Public Library in Perrysburg.
79. Drive-in movie
Both Field of Dreams Drive-In Theater in Liberty Center ($4-7, children 4 and younger are free) and Sundance Kid Drive-In in Oregon ($4-9, children 5 and younger are free) offer popular movies in an outdoor atmosphere.
80. Go antiquing
Hidden treasures abound in Northwest Ohio antique shops. Whether you plan to buy or just browse, an unbelievable find may catch your eye if you stop by a local venue: Adams Street Antiques & Art (1500 Adams St.), Great Finds in Maumee (1414 Reynolds Road, Maumee), Maumee Antique Mall (1552 Reynolds Road, Maumee), Leffler’s Antiques (2646 W. Central Ave.), Toledo Architectural Artifacts (20 S. Ontario St.), Ancestor House Antiques (3148 Tremainsville Rd.) and HH Antiques (14 N. Holland Sylvania Road).
81. Fly a kite
A scattered group of kite fliers called the Black Swamp Air Force meets informally from 1-3 p.m. on the first Saturday and third Sunday of every month — some die-hard fliers even participate in “ice flying” during winter’s subzero temperatures. The BSAF also schedules sundry kite-building educational workshops for kids and adults. At Maumee Bay State Park, Oregon.
82. Digitized treasure hunting
Grab a group of friends and go for an outdoor treasure hunt with a GPS-enabled device. More than 6 million geocachers participate in this worldwide modern-age version of hide-and-seek by navigating coordinates in search of hidden treasure.
83. Try yoga
This dynamic breathing meditation exercise must be a popular pastime for Toledoans. Several yoga studios are active around the Toledo area, including: It Yoga Toledo (135 N. Michigan St.), Bikram Yoga Toledo (5107 Monroe St.), Presence Yoga (3450 W. Central Ave.), Zen in the District Inc. (1700 Canton St.) and many more!
The widespread popularity of this strength conditioning program in recent years has inspired CrossFit gyms around Northwest Ohio to launch, including CrossFit Toledo (757 Warehouse Road), Glass City CrossFit (3063 W. Alexis Road), CrossFit LifeSport (3128 Douglas Road) and CrossFit Perrysburg (26963 Eckel Road, Suite 206, Perrysburg).
85. Take flight
Bypass rush-hour traffic by opting to fly thousands of feet in the sky with a certified pilot to coach you along the way. Glass City Flight, a flight training school at Toledo Express Airport, offers a $100 introductory flight to give newbies a sample of small aircraft flight excitement. At 11341 W. Airport Service Road, Swanton. Crow Executive Air at Toledo Executive Airport also offers flying lessons. At 28331 Lemoyne Road, Millbury.
86. Ride on a hot-air balloon
Activities at Findlay’s 2014 Flag City BalloonFest (Aug. 8-9) will include paid helicopter rides, a children’s fair, food vendors, a car show and — you guessed it — hot-air balloon flights. The festival will be held at 322 S. Main St. in Findlay. The balloon flights cost $225 per person, 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. Aug. 8 and 9. Emory Adams Park, Findlay. Proceeds go to Findlay Service League, Special Olympics of Hancock Co., United Way and Voices For Children.
There’s also a balloon festival in Montpelier.
87. Honor Flight Northwest Ohio
This regionally-operated hub has paid for more than 1,800 veterans to visit their memorials in Washington, D.C. The upcoming Sept. 24 flight at the Grand Aire Hangar will be the final flight, largely because the organization accomplished its goal to send any World War II veteran to D.C. who expressed a desire to go. Visitors to this patriotic event will send-off veterans from 7-9 a.m. and welcome them home between 8-9:30 p.m. Don’t be surprised if you shed a tear when the band’s playing, flag are waving and a whole troupe of wide-eyed veterans walks down the runway toward a cheering crowd. At 11777 W. Airport Service Road, Swanton.
88. Become a Chick
Chicks for Charity is a grassroots movement that lets local women of all ages donate however much money they want to the organization’s charity of choice (the 2013-14 recipient is Shared Lives Studio). Chicks do what they’re already doing – everything from informal card games to dinner parties to lemonade stands — to raise funds for an under-the-radar local charity. Becoming a Chick is easy; there’s no age requirements, fundraising quotas or monthly meetings. Some upcoming events include the annual golf scramble at Chippewa Golf Course in Curtice (9 a.m. Aug.16, $70 per player and $280 per team) and $5 Coffee Fridays noon to 2 p.m. at Shared Lives Studio. 20 N. St. Clair St.
89. Boxercise for IBC
Get in your weekly workout at the International Boxing Club with this challenging routine. A method that combines aerobic and anaerobic training, boxercise proceeds help fundraise for IBC’s outreach to Toledo’s at-risk youth. $5 a class, Monday through Thursday. At 525 Earlwood Ave., Oregon.
90. Tent City
Local non profit 1Matters invites the community to volunteer at its annual homelessness awareness event Oct. 24-26. At Civic Center Mall. Volunteers will help Toledo’s unhoused population connect with free medical screenings and dental care, haircuts, meals, showers, flu shots, IDs and more. Want to help plan this year’s event? Meetings are every third Thursday of the month, 7 p.m. at Red Cross HQ, 3100 W. Central Ave.
91. Light the Night
This is the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s annual fundraising campaign to raise money to find cures for blood cancer. Raise $100 or more and you will receive a commemorative T-shirt, wristband for refreshments at the events and a lantern. Set to start from the SeaGate Centre 5-10 p.m. Oct. 5.
92. Human trafficking awareness
The 11th Annual International Human Trafficking, Prostitution and Sex Work Conference is set for Sept. 18-19. Speakers, researchers and survivors will discuss the needs of the various individuals involved in human trafficking. At the University of Toledo. In addition, the Lucas County Human Trafficking Coalition meets on the third Wednesday of every month. 9:15-11:15 a.m. Kent Branch Library, 3101 Collingwood Blvd.
93. Cedar Point’s new rides
Cedar Point’s seemingly endless supply of rides, shows, food options and other attractions just became a little more wild. The “Best Amusement Park in the World” just added Pipe Scream, which twists passengers through 302 feet of track at 43 mph, and a new classic thrill ride called Lake Erie Eagles.
94. Wood County Fair
More than 100,000 people are expected to attend this 140th annual fair, set for July 28-Aug. 4. In addition to its quintessential food, exhibits, rides and prizes, must-see events at this year’s bash include a parade, demolition derby, national horse-pulls, and a new Monster Truck Throwdown. $6 a person, $24 week-long passes, children 9 and younger are free. 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday and Sunday, 8 a.m. to midnight on Friday and Saturday. At the Wood County Fairgrounds, Bowling Green.
95. Sauder Village
Tourists longing for an up-close experience of rural Northwest Ohio history can travel through Ohio’s largest living history village with costumed guides and working craftsmen. Upcoming events include basket-making workshops (Sept. 17-18), a free evening lecture on the American Civil War (Oct. 6) and the 28th Annual Woodcarver’s Show & Sale in Founder’s Hall (Oct. 25-26). Open April through October. At 22611 State Route 2, Archbold.
96. Glacial grooves
The Glacial Grooves State Memorial on Kelleys Island in Lake Erie is an internationally renowned example of glacial grooves. The prehistoric trough, 400 feet long by 35 feet wide, extends over the island’s malleable limestone. And it’s only a ferry ride away.
97. Explore a shipwreck
Lake Erie provides ample opportunities to explore shipwrecks, which are naturally preserved by its noncorrosive freshwater. Local scuba divers, professional wreck dive guides and maritime history buffs await your visit. Become an eco-tourist of Ohio’s underwater history, just for the day – and email TFP if you find any treasure.
98. See the world’s largest geode
Put-in-Bay’s Crystal Cave, below local favorite Heineman Winery, houses the world’s largest geode. A geode is a small, hollowed rock lined with crystals and minerals. This cave’s crystals range from 8 to 18 inches long and its walls are lined with a blue-colored mineral called celestite. $3-7, early May through late September. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. At 978 Catawba St., Put-in-Bay.
99. Seneca Caverns
Explore one of the area’s largest underground caverns. Depending on water level, walking tour guides will take visitors through seven rooms or levels. At 110 feet below the surface, the lowest level showcases the popular “Ole Mist’ry River,” a flowing underground stream. $8-15, children 5 and younger are free. Open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day through Sept. 1 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday Sept. 2 through Oct. 12. At 15248 E. Township Road 178, Bellevue.
100. Free Comic Book Day
Die-hard comic fans, mark your calendars: The first Saturday in May is Free Comic Book Day. Line up at most comic shops for the free goods, including JC’s Comic N’ More (6725 W. Central Ave.), Monarch Cards & Comics (4400 Heatherdowns Blvd.), Toledo Game Room (3001, W. Sylvania Ave) and Seann’s Anime and Comics (5805 Monroe St.).
101. National Tractor Pulling Championships
About 60,000 people crowd into the Wood County Fairgrounds for this annual event, one of the largest of its kind in the nation. Aug. 15-17. $20-44 for a single-session pass, three-day passes start at $100, children 10 and younger are free. At 13800 W. Poe Road, Bowling Green.
Compiled by Toledo Free Press Staff Writer and Hillsdale College student Jordan Finney.
What’s missing from “101 ways to spend 101 days in Northwest Ohio”? What should be included next year? Post your suggestions on our Facebook page (facebook.com/toledofree press) or email us at letters@toledo freepress.com.