John Glenn Astronomy Park to share hero’s legacy with next generation

Forty miles southeast of Columbus in the secluded and tranquil woods of the Hocking Hills State Park, community members are setting their sights on the sky. Ohio’s Hocking Hills, known for its lack of light pollution and resulting clear night sky views, has always been a mecca for astronomy fanatics. Thus, members of the Friends of Hocking Hills State Park (FHHSP) has broken ground on for John Glenn Astronomy Park, which opens in early 2018. Named for one of America’s greatest heroes and an Ohio native, the park is made possible through generous donations and pledges from community members.

John Glenn Astronomy Park will not only allow visitors to explore the night sky, but will also offer daytime study, welcoming visitors to its Solar Plaza to study the Sun, Earth and the North Celestial Pole, among other celestial features. It is ideal for research, star parties, special events and general daily visitation. Designed by Ohio-based M&A Architects, the Astronomy Park includes:

  • An ideal elevation of 1,000 feet
  • An 80-foot in diameter Solar Plaza, which highlights the Sun’s orientation to the Earth as it changes throughout the year and is encircled by a low wall with notches that offer framed views of the Sun on key days
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John Glenn Astronomy Park in Ohio

Study the sky night or day!

What does it take to make for ideal astronomy viewing? Exactly the conditions you will find in Ohio’s Hocking Hills. That is why it is now the home of the John Glenn Astronomy Park. The Hocking Hills State Park is located forty miles from Columbus, easy to get to but far enough to have excellent visibility without light pollution getting in the way of star gazing.

Clear night skies have drawn many astronomy enthusiasts and now the John Glenn Astronomy Park takes that to the next level. The Solar Plaza welcomes visitors to study the daytime features of the sky. The Sun, Earth, and the North Celestial Pole are just a few of the features on display before the night time show begins. The enclosed 540-square-foot observatory allows for viewing the night sky with its retractable roof.

If you want to spark some excitement in nature and science this is a great destination. So many of us get a diluted view of the stars that it is easy to forget how magical and inspirational they are. This park offers visitors the experience of the near pristine night sky through a large telescope and with their bare eyes.

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Hocking Hills Ohio

Pristine Ohio, Ready For Adventure

Hocking Hills Ohio is a destination for any nature enthusiast. Come, stay, and enjoy the outdoors day and night with hikes, high flying tours, rock climbing, and stargazing. Located just 90 minutes south of Columbus Ohio, the Hocking Hills State Park should definitely make your vacation ‘To Do’ list- there really is so much to do there. Then when you need a break from the great outdoors, head inside with some of the local shops, do some antiquing, or check out the artwork on display in the Historic Square Art District.

Hocking Hills Eco-Tours High Rock Adventures is just one of the many options for visitors to get out and enjoy this stunning landscape while keeping active. For the adventurers in your family, there is repelling and rock climbing that will have your pulse pounding. If that is not your style, a gentler option is the hiking tours through the pristine wildlife and unique rock formations. The Ecotour Adventures are informative, insightful about nature, and are just good old fashioned fun. High Rock Adventures goes so far as to issue a Rock Challenge. Spend time in rock halls, experience ascents, descents, squeezes, tunnels, narrows, and scrambles. You won’t need to wear a harness, but you will get your hands on time with the local rock formations.

If rock climbing doesn’t get you high enough, try Hocking Hills Canopy Tours for another opportunity at a bird’s eye view of Ohio. They offer a variety of tours to meet your needs, even ones under the light of the moon. Rated one of the top zipline adventures, this is sure to thrill you. Their Dragonfly Tour even allows the younger members of your family to get in on the zip lining. Spend time as a family speeding through the tree tops, or this is a perfect adults only activity too.
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Cedar Point Hotel Breakers

Cedar Point Hotel Breakers has been totally restyled and refreshed for 2015. The hotel has been totally redone for the ground up. For those that have never been before, it will be a new experience, and even for those that have been to Hotel Breakers before it will still be a new experience then the hotel that you knew.

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Hotel Breakers has always been a place to share a great time with your family and friends. 110 years ago, the guests arrived by train and ferry and were looking for the same type of fun as the guests that still travel there today. Of course, 110 years is a long time ago and so the scene has changed a bit, but has only gotten better with time.

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Hotel Breakers is located just shy of the Roller Coaster Capital of the World, Cedar Point. As Cedar Point will delight you during your visit, Hotel Breakers will be the perfect place to come back to after a day filled with fun. Each room has an LCD TV, refrigerator, microwave, and of course funky new bedding and decor.
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Got Cabin Fever? Indulge it.

 

Winter this year has been (for much of the country) a very long, bitter, and brutal one.  Many of us are suffering from cabin fever, and can’t get out- or don’t want to.  I say, go with it.  An extended and frigid winter is no reason you have to stay cooped up in your own house, even if you are not a skier, skater, or if you left your dog sled in your other garage.  So what to do?  Head to Ohio.

Yes, Ohio.  Ohio doesn’t often get the respect it deserves.  Besides being the home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and of Fannie May chocolates (and yes, you can go on a factory tour with samples to be had), it’s also the home to more number one children’s museums, zoos, and centers as a whole then any other state.  Take that, Florida!

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So- head to Ohio.  There is this hidden gem called Hocking Hills, known as a “Scenic Wonderland” where there are 9 state parks and forests.  Steeped in Native American History,the clear abundance of natural resources and water encouraged pioneers to settle in the area in the 1790’s.  It’s still wild looking- wildlife that you can spot includes “deer, barred owls, ruffed grouse and an occasional bobcat”  as well as wild turkey (according to the Southeast Ohio Tourism Department).  Along with the natural hiking trails of differing lengths and levels of difficulty, many of which are marked off or able to be found on maps in visitors centers, are more then 15 natural waterfalls, some of which are seasonal.  The largest and most often flowing tend to be Cedar Falls and the Upper and Lower Falls at Old Man’s Cave.  You can walk a scenic 2 mile trail between them if you choose.
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Fort Rapids- Save On Your Ohio #Vacation @DiscoverOhio

Fort Rapids is central Ohio’s largest indoor water park resort- and the perfect family fun travel destination. Where else can you get 60,000 square feet of wet and wild fun for the whole family, all in one convenient location? Come relax and unwind in one of the guest rooms or family style villa suites, then zip down 12 unique water rides, float in the lazy river, get drenched by the 1,000 gallon tipping bucket and win big at the 5,000 square foot Gold Rush Arcade. Then, stop by the Branding Iron Grille or Copper Star Saloon for lunch or dinner. The Conference Center at Fort Rapids Indoor Water Park Resort will cater to all business and social needs, as well. With over 6,000 square feet of flexible meeting and banquet space, The Conference Center at Fort Rapids can accommodate groups of up to 500 for almost any type of event you’re holding, from corporate and association meetings, to very memorable and unique wedding reception that guests will never forget- and won’t leave early. You’ll find Fort Rapids is the ideal destination whether it’s for business or pleasure. Let Fort Rapids Indoor Water Park Resort will help you create a memorable experience.
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Visit the Columbus Zoo- in the winter? You bet!

What kind of zoo visit can you have in a snow storm? A surprisingly fun one, actually. Especially at a zoo which is open year round as the Columbus Zoo and Aquariumis.

The morning we decided to check out the zoo, we pulled into the parking lot as some small flurries started to fall from the sky. As we found our parking spot, the snow storm picked up. We bundled up and began our trek. The zoo was very quiet in terms of visitors and also animals. We did a quick walk through a few exhibits, but unfortunately most of the animals were not out and about. We saw the gray wolves which were out and very active. Also, the interactive barn was open. The sheep and goats were very happy to see others walking about. Our main objective was to see the polar bears in their new enclosure.<br/>
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The Beach Waterpark- Your Next Day-Cation

OK, so it is not summer time in the slightest. But it will be here before you know it- so think warm thoughts!
If you start day dreaming of hot weather and water parks, it will come true, right? (Or, eventually, seasons will change, haha.)

Have you ever heard of The Beach Waterparkin Warren County, Ohio? The Beach Waterpark is a huge water park, and a great way to spend a hot summer’s day. From the Kahuna BeachWavepool to the massive amount of water slides ranging from tame to insanely twisty. For those more interested in the cooling properties of the water and not so much the the wild or thrilling, there are “lush palm trees” to lounge under and a huge lazy river to slowly float your day away.

For the bigger kids, Splash Mountain offers tons of attractions including otter slides and a pool with waterfalls and fountains. There is also the Toucan Lagoon which is a zero depth slide with a miniature body slide.
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