2015 Calendar of Major Events

Whether it’s grooving to the blues or feeling the wind in your hair aboard a hot air balloon, you’ll take home memories of Ohio — the kind that last a lifetime.

January

1/16
Hocking Hills Winter Hike
Logan •
Be in awe of the snow-covered trees and frozen waterfalls at Hocking Hills State Park. This 6-mile hike connects two of the park’s most scenic areas, Old Man’s Cave and Ash Cave. 740/385-6841, www.ohiostateparks.org  FREE

February

2/19–2/20
River City Blues Competition

Marietta • Sway along to the music and feel the rhythm as cool blues jams heat up the historic Lafayette Hotel at this family-friendly event along the Ohio River. 740/373-5178, www.bjfm.org

March

3/5
Maple Sugarin’ at the Prairie
Greenville •
Bite into a waffle drenched in fresh maple syrup at this annual event’s can’t-miss breakfast. If your children just think syrup comes from a jar, this is the place to show them how it’s made, as they can watch syrup being produced. 937/548-0165, www.darkecountyparks.org

3/31–4/3
Southern Gospel Expo
Van Wert •
The heart-warming songs from 25-plus gospel groups are sure to boost your spirits — and maybe even inspire you to dance for joy with other fans at Trinity Friends Church.  419/238-9378, www.trinityvw.com FREE

May

5/14
Spring on the Farm at Sauder Village
Archbold
• Create a lasting memory for your family as they experience farm life in Ohio as it was 100 years ago. Your children will squeal with joy at seeing the adorable baby farm animals. 419/446-2541, www.saudervillage.org

5/28–5/30
Utica Sertoma Ice Cream Festival

Utica • Nothing creates treasured memories like a day of eating ice cream. See if you have what it takes in the ice cream eating contest, or simply savor a scoop or two (or more!) of Velvet Ice Cream. 800/589-5000, www.sertomaicecreamfestival.com

June

6/11
Parade the Circle
Cleveland
• Be enchanted and inspired at this visual spectacle. Not your typical parade, it showcases brilliantly colored costumes, giant puppets and colorful floats that will bring a smile to your children’s faces as they watch in wonderment. 216/707-2483, www.clevelandart.org/parade  FREE

6/18–6/19
Vectren Dayton Air Show
Dayton • Feeling patriotic is natural after watching the high-flying acrobatics of the U.S. Navy Blue Angels jet team, the amazingly skilled synchronized headliners at this popular annual air show. 937/898-5901, www.daytonairshow.com

6/23–6/25
Tri-C JazzFest
Cleveland • Move with the rhythm and enjoy the sounds of live jazz from international and regional artists in the ornate surroundings of Playhouse Square. Your children likely will be inspired to play the saxophone or trumpet after listening to Cleveland-area students perform jazz tunes. 216/987-4444, www.tri-c.edu/jazzfest

July

7/14–7/17
Jamboree in the Hills

Morristown • Kick back as Belmont County’s quiet countryside turns into one of the top gatherings of country music in the United States. Bring a blanket to relax and sing along to hits from country music stars. 800/594-8499, www.jamboreeinthehills.com

7/22–7/23
Cincinnati Music Festival
Cincinnati • eel the energy and excitement in the air as you listen to tunes by the world’s hottest jazz, soul and R&B performers, along with up-and-coming artists, inside Paul Brown Stadium on Cincinnati’s riverfront. 800/452-3132,
www.cincymusicfestival.com

7/27–8/7
Ohio State Fair
Columbus • Experience for yourself why the Travel Channel calls this one of the country’s best state fairs. Get inspired to plant your own garden with beautiful agricultural displays, watch horse shows, listen to live music and chomp on mouthwatering fair food like elephant ears and barbecue chicken. 614/644-3247, www.ohiostatefair.com

August

8/4–8/7
Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival
Canton • 
Watch in awe as National Football League greats are formally enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame during the sport’s greatest weekend. Watch today’s stars at the NFL Hall of Fame Game and don’t miss dinner with the honorees — a must for football fans. 330/456-8207, www.profootballhof.com

8/5–8/6
Vintage Ohio Wine Festival
Kirtland • Make this outdoor festival an annual tradition with your friends. Sip on wines from Ohio’s best wineries, sample an incredible range of cuisine, enjoy live music and shop for handcrafted art. 800/227-6972, www.ohiowines.org

8/8–8/14
2016 U.S. Senior Open
Columbus • Be amazed at the continued high-level of play by golf’s legends as the Scioto Country Club and Honorary Chairman Jack Nicklaus, a Columbus native, host the U.S. Senior Open, a world-class golf competition open to professional and amateur golfers 50 and older. 614/764-4653, www.2016ussenioropen.com

8/12–8/14
Flag City BalloonFest
Findlay • See the world from the sky by taking a thrilling hot air balloon ride that will get your adrenaline going. There’s plenty to see from the ground, too. Look up to admire a sky full of hot air balloons and radio-controlled flight demonstrations. 567/208-0026, www.flagcityballoonfest.com FREE

8/13–8/14
Festival Latino

Columbus • Come hungry to feast on burritos and other authentic Latin cuisine at Ohio’s largest free Hispanic/Latino event. Introduce your family to ethnic traditions by watching dance performances and listening to live music. 614/469-1045, www.festivallatino.net FREE

September

9/3–10/23
Ohio Renaissance Festival

Harveysburg • Feel like you’ve returned to the 16th century at this re-created English village with jousters, dueling swordsmen, daring jugglers and pirates in action throughout the day. 513/897-7000, www.renfestival.com

9/9–9/11
Ohio River Sternwheel Festival
Marietta • Marvel at the size of sternwheelers as they churn the waters of the Ohio River, creating the perfect photo op
for your family. Watch as one by one, from up river and down, the sternwheelers arrive. 740/373-5178, www.ohiosternwheelfestival.org

9/16–9/18
Octoberfest Zinzinnati
Cincinnati • Learn to dance the polka as you celebrate Southwest Ohio’s rich German heritage. Get your camera ready for the hilarious Running of the Wieners and watch racing dachshunds dressed in hot dog bun costumes. 513/579-3111, www.oktoberfestzinzinnati.com FREE

October

10/6–10/9
Ohio Mart

Akron • Bring your girlfriends to the gorgeous grounds of Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens, the beautifully restored estate of Goodyear Tire & Rubber’s cofounder, for a day of shopping and memory making. Pick from fine arts and handcrafted furniture. 330/836-5533, www.stanhywet.org

10/14–10/16
Fall Festival of Leaves
Bainbridge •  Witness the change of seasons at this annual festival that’s fun for all members of the family. Enjoy an antique car show, multiple parades, live entertainment and, of course, incredible scenery.  740/703-4487, www.fallfestivalofleaves.com FREE

November

11/18–12/31
Lights Before Christmas

Toledo • Get your family into the holiday spirit at the Toledo Zoo & Aquarium, aglow with millions of lights and 200 lighted animal images. Hear the joyous sounds of carolers on select evenings. 419/385-4040, www.toledozoo.org

December

12/1–12/3
Christmas Dinners at Spiegel Grove

Fremont • Enjoy a holiday meal in the home of former U.S. President Rutherford B. Hayes. Create a holiday tradition for your family with a six-course Victorian feast and carriage rides throughout the grounds. 419/332-2081, www.rbhayes.org

12/31
Downtown Marion New Year’s Eve Pop-n-Drop

Marion • Celebrate the New Year with your family with hot chocolate and count down with the crowd
as a lighted ball — fondly referred to as a popcorn ball — drops at the stroke of midnight and fireworks light up the sky. 740/802-7329,
www.downtownmarion.com