"You're off to Great Places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, so ... get on your way!"
— Dr. Seuss, "Oh, The Places You'll go!"
Searching for something to do this summer? Look no farther than Hudson Monthly's "Staycation Guide." We have compiled a list of activities to satisfy even the pickiest vacationer — sporting activities, history, culture (theater) or something new. Try one or try them all, and then tell us how you liked them. Or send us other suggestions for activities in the area. Most of all, have a fun, safe, enjoyable summer.
The Peninsula Swimming Quarry
Back in 1900, sandstone, which was used to make sidewalks and mill stones, was mined from the swimming quarry. The quarry was connected to the railroad in 1906 and a factory was later built on the site as a stone sawing mill. The quarry was closed by 1917. In 1955, it reopened as a local swimming hole. The shallow end ranges from zero depth to approximately 4 1/2 feet deep and has a dock to jump from. The deep end, which requires a swim test, is about 12-feet deep, has three diving boards and two rocks that swimmers can jump from.
Looking for more information on stone quarries? An exhibit, "Peninsula-area stone quarries," is currently on display at the Cuyahoga Valley Historical Museum. The museum, 1775 Main St., second floor, Peninsula, is open Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 4 p.m. It is closed on all major holidays.
The Quarry: 1980 West Streetsboro Road, Peninsula, Ohio. 330-657-2202.
Open Thursdays - Sundays from 12:30 to 7:30 p.m. Day pass costs: $7.50 per person. Age 2 and under are free. There also is a $5 after 5 p.m. special. Visit the Peninsula Quarry on Facebook for more information.
The Liberty Park Nature Center, 9999 Liberty Road, Twinsburg, is the perfect spot for a leisurely walk through the woods.
Part of the Summit County Metro Parks, the nature center officially opened in May and offers three trails — the 1.1-mile Ledges Trail that leads past sandstone ledges and through a wetland; the easy, paved 0.25-mile Maple Loop and the under construction 0.6-mile natural-surface Bluebird trail that heads through a meadow.
On top of the nature center, there is an outdoor classroom, barn stone amphitheater and campfire area. There is even a 6-foot tall black bear replica outside.
Liberty Park is a partnership between Summit Metro Parks and the city of Twinsburg which purchased the Twinsburg Ledges area in 2001. The park is now more than 3,000 contiguous acres in conjunction with Tinker's Creek State park, thanks to additional purchases and leases by the Summit Metro Parks which manages the area. Visit www.summitmetrolparks.org for more information.
Akron History Hikes (partnered with Summit Metro Parks)
Glendale Cemetery Trolley Tour
July 20 at 7 p.m.
Hop on board a trolley tour of Glendale Cemetery. The tour will meet at Lock 3. The cost is $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under. There is some walking required. Those interested should register in advance by calling 330-865-8065.
The cemetery, founded in 1839 by Dr. J.D. Commins, includes four buildings near the main entrance that are listed on the National Register of Historical Places. Even the ground have recently been added to the Register as a historic landscape. A site on the underground railroad, the John Brown House, 550 Copley Road, also is open during special open houses July 23, Aug. 27 and Sept. 24 from 4 to 6 p.m. Visit www.summithistory.org for more information.
The Akron Zoo
The Akron Zoo is a great summertime destination. It offers intimate looks at exotic animals nestled in amongst beautiful landscaping. The best part? It is small enough to see everything in one day, but big enough to offer something exciting for everyone.
The property was donated back in 1900 by George and Ann Perkins. The 79 acres is now Perkins Woods Park. At the time, two brown bears, with a small facility, lived at the park. Today the zoo is thriving. It is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and last year, more than 367,000 visitors walked through the front gate. The latest addition — the Mike and Mary Stark Grizzly Ridge exhibit — includes grizzly bears, a walk-in aviary, river otters, red woves, blad eagles and more. Considering a future as a zoo keeper? There also are behind-the-scenes tours, plus keeper for a day, zoo veterinarian for a day and trainer for a day opportunities.
Hours: May through October 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., 500 Edgewood Ave., Akron, OH 44307, www.akronzoo.org
For those who have always wanted to create their own car and race like the wind, perhaps a visit to the 78th All-American Soap Box Derby World Championship is the perfect Staycation destination.
Race Week festivities take place July 20-25 with more than 500 qualifiers from 40 states and several countries.
Soap Box Derby racers are busy all year from buidling their own gravity-powered cars to racing in district events to qualify for the championships.
There are several divisions.
The Stock Division is for racers ages 7 through 13 who build their cars from a kit. The Super Stock Division — for racers ages 9 to 18 — builds on what they learned and creates a larger, heavier car, also from a kit. Masters Division participants, racers ages 10 to 20, usually build their cars from a masters kit purchased from the International Soap Box Derby. The final division — ultimate speed — is a team competition. The cars are innovative, drivers are between the ages of 16 to 24 and must have competed in previous races.
Spectators can come straight down Derby Downs Drive to see the cars in action. The events leading up to the Championship race are free, but the main event July 25 is $5.
An opening ceremony is planned for July 20 with races taking place the rest of the week. The championship is July 25 and begins with an opening ceremony at 8:30 a.m. and the race at 9 a.m.
Visit www.aasbd.org for race times and for information on the All-American Soap Box Derby Museum. It is closed during race week, but normal operating hours are Mondays through Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Derby Downs, 789 Derby Downs Drive, Akron, Ohio 44306.