"The warm summer months are a great time to experience everything Ohio has to offer–especially outdoors," said Pat Barker, interim state tourism director. "And if you need some help cooling off, we’ve got you covered statewide with icy cold sweet treats, water parks, and more.”
10) Explore Fandemonium at Kent State University
In the days before air conditioning, fans were the only way to create a cool breeze. Over the centuries and across the continents, people explored various fan designs and utilitarian objects became ornate accessories—even exquisite works of art. You will stay cool and comfortable while exploring the history and beauty of fans from hand-painted rococo designs of the eighteenth century to celluloid art deco pieces from the twentieth century. Approximately fifty fans spanning three centuries currently fill the Alumni Gallery at Kent State University.
9) Indulge in Ice Cream!
Inquisitive minds will love Velvet Ice Cream’s Ye Olde Mill in Utica (approximately 55 miles from Columbus). Visitors enjoy an interactive ice cream museum and free factory tours that showcase what it takes to produce six million gallons of ice cream annually. Complete your frosty education with a stop at the nineteenth-century-style Ice Cream Parlour, where you can taste some of Velvet’s signature flavors such as fudge and peanut butter-packed Buckeye Classic.
Ohio communities are rich in ice cream tradition, so if you can’t make it to Ye Olde Mill, just check DiscoverOhio.com for plenty more options across the state, including Toft’s along Lake Erie and Graeter’s in Cincinnati.
8) Take a Cold-Fused Glass Class
Who knew crafters could create artful glass masterpieces without toiling in front of a hot furnace? The glass masters at Zyndorf Glass & Arts in Toledo guide eager amateurs in the art of fused glass, a cold process. Students’ one-of-a-kind creations then go into a kiln for later retrieval. For budding artists in need of immediate results, a three-hour stained glass class results in a sun catcher ready to hang in the window to enhance summer’s rays.
7) Hit the Beach ... The Beach Waterpark
Fresh off a $5 million renovation, The Beach in Mason (just north of Cincinnati) is located on 35 acres of rolling, wooded terrain with plenty of shade, live palm trees, white ocean sands, waterfalls, and crashing waves setting the scene for a lush, tropical island adventure. Don’t miss the Big Kahuna, the Midwest’s only water coaster, delivering 500 pulse-pounding feet of thrilling twists, unexpected turns, and a breath-catching final plunge through the mouth of a giant jaguar into a splash pool guarded by giant cobras.
Ohio boasts many more outdoor waterparks, from Wildwater Kingdom in Aurora (about 31 miles southeast of Cleveland) to Zoombezi Bay at the Columbus Zoo and Soak City at Kings Island, just north of Cincinnati.
6) Go Underground: Explore Ohio’s Caverns
When the temperatures outside are hovering in the 90s, a constant temperature of 54 degrees can be quite attractive. That’s exactly what Ohio Caverns in West Liberty offers, along with spectacular crystal stalactite and stalagmite formations guaranteed to wow the whole family. Visitors are conducted through the cavern on guided tours so cool, the kids won’t realize it was educational as well. A thirty-five-acre park is located directly above the cavern and contains shelter houses, picnic tables, gemstone mine, and a playground. Click here for more caverns in Ohio.
5) Bike the Trail, Ride the Rail
Running the length of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and beyond, the Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath Trail provides a level, shady (for the most part) trail for cyclists to enjoy nature at a breezy pace. Riders will enjoy seeing remnants of the former canal, canal locks, and wetlands as the trail winds along the Cuyahoga River Valley. From April through October, riders can pedal themselves out one way and return by train from any boarding station aboard the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad. Be sure to check ahead for any potential trail closures and the train schedule for the days you plan to ride.
4) Zip Through the Tree Tops
Enjoy the exhilaration of zipping through the forest with Tree Frog Canopy Tours in Glenmont, near the Mohican Memorial State Forest. Intrepid adventurers will enjoy the breeze and views from seven ziplines (nearly a mile all together) and two sky bridges. Even cooler are the night zips that send zippers off into the darkness after sunset.
There is no shortage of zipline experiences in Ohio, and they all vary geographically and in the experiences they offer. Check DiscoverOhio.com for all of the choices. For example, the Dragonfly Zipline Adventure in Hocking Hills is just for kids ages five to twelve, while Ozone Zipline Adventures at Camp Kern in Oregonia adds to the experience by educating zippers about the flora, fauna, fossils, and Native American Earthworks in the area.
3) Parasail Over Lake Erie
Few things are more serene or scenic than parasailing with Put in Bay Parasail, based in the Village of Put-in-Bay on South Bass Island. After being launched from a boat, flyers will ascend smoothly into the sky and sail above the lake with views of the islands, boats, and Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial. Put-in-Bay is accessible by ferryboat from Sandusky and Port Clinton.
2) Wakeboard Without a Boat
Wakeboarders no longer have to find someone with a boat to enjoy their sport in Ohio! Wake Nation in Cincinnati bills itself as the first and only full-sized cable wake park in the Midwest. Guests can wakeboard, water ski, kneeboard, and wakeskate on a 10-acre lake—all without a boat. The site is perfect for families or groups, as multiple riders can enjoy the lake simultaneously. Just want to cool off and observe? The park offers free admission for nonriders.
1) Ride the Best Coasters in the Country
What better way to cool off than taking a ride on one of the fastest or steepest roller coasters in the country?! With heavyweight parks Cedar Point and Kings Island both located in Ohio, there is no shortage of rides that will give your hair a serious makeover in a matter of minutes. The latests thrills are being dished out this year by GateKeeper, Cedar Point’s new winged coaster with a drop of 164 feet, speeds of 67 miles per hour, and six inversions. Click here for more on Ohio amusement parks.
Source: Discover Ohio Photo: Lake Erie Shores and Islands