After just a few weeks of getting back into the school-year routine, summer can seem like a distant memory. Fall break offers the perfect opportunity to recharge your batteries by hitting the road for a quick trip to a new-to-you destination. Here are just a few fun ideas perfect for a long weekend.
Just northwest of Columbus, Ohio, the charming city of Dublin treats visitors to a taste of Ireland without the costly airfare. Get acquainted with the historic city by completing The Irish Fairy Doors of Dublin Trail. Stop in at the Dublin Visitor & Information Center to pick up a passport that leads you in search of seven tiny magical fairy doors housed within local businesses. Find them all and return to the visitor center to collect your free t-shirt.
Get a dose of culture by taking an interactive cell phone tour of the 24 pieces of public art that are part of the city’s Arts in Public Places program. Must-sees include the 12-foot-high stone portrait of Wyandot Native American Chief Leatherlips, more than 100 human-sized corn statues that comprise Field of Corn and the life-like gold sculptures of men climbing high in the trees of Coffman Park.
Foodies will delight in the wealth of dining options the city has to offer. Create custom donuts at The Donut Experiment, enjoy traditional Irish fare at the Dublin Village Tavern and indulge in handcrafted chocolate at Kilwins. And fall is the perfect time to enjoy a beautiful hike through the lush greenery and cascading waterfalls found in Indian Run Falls.
Just minutes from downtown Dublin, visitors can explore Columbus Zoo & Aquarium, voted #1 Zoo in America by USA Travel Guide. For more on all there is to explore in Dublin and the surrounding area, visit www.visitdublinohio.com
While the town’s name doesn’t exactly scream fall, there is plenty of fun to be had this time of year. Head to Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari on Saturdays and Sundays, September 22 through October 28 for the park’s Happy Halloween Weekends. This family-friendly special event includes all of the rides you love at Holiday World, plus lots of Halloween shows and fun.
The cool temps also make it the perfect time for outdoor fun at Santa’s Express Zip Lines or a leisurely horseback ride at Santa’s Stables. Afterwards, grab a decadent handmade treat at Santa’s Candy Castle and then head over to Santa Claus Christmas Store for a visit with the big guy himself. (Hey, it is never too early to put in a good word!)
Just a few miles up the road, walk in the footsteps of history while enjoying the beauty of autumn at Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial. Stop at the Memorial Visitor Center to watch a 30-minute introductory film and peruse museum artifacts and exhibits portray the life of Abraham Lincoln. Then head outside to explore Lincoln Living Historical Farm, a working pioneer homestead with a log cabin, outbuildings, split rail fences, livestock, gardens and field crops. A number of hiking trails are also available, including The Allee, a tree-lined walkway that leads to the Nancy Hanks Lincoln gravesite. All are perfect for enjoying the colors of fall.
Find more info on all of the fun to be had in this holiday-themed town at http://santaclausind.org
This robust city situated along the banks of the mighty Mississippi River is packed with family-friendly fun. The Gateway Arch welcomes visitors from miles away and it is a must to get up close and personal with this majestic structure. Start at the newly renovated Museum at the Gateway Arch, which takes visitors on a historical journey through our country’s expansion into the West. From there, take a tram ride to the top of the Arch for breathtaking views. Those who prefer to stay closer to land can take a walking tour of the grounds or set sail on a St. Louis Riverboat Cruise.
If you are looking for a playground both kids and parents will enjoy, head to the City Museum. Once a shoe factory, this 600,000 square-foot space in the heart of St. Louis is now an eclectic mixture of children’s playground, funhouse, surrealistic pavilion and architectural marvel made out of unique, found objects. (Hint: the museum shop sells knee pads if that is any indication of the level of exploration you are facing.)
Baseball fans will enjoy a behind-the-scenes tour of Busch Stadium, home of the St. Louis Cardinals. Take in the view from the Radio Broadcast Booth, see the World Series trophies in the Champions Club and imagine yourself as a big leaguer in the Cardinals Dugout. If animals are more up your alley, head to the St. Louis Zoo where you can see everything from grizzly bears and gorillas to kangaroos and koalas. Admission to the zoo is free; however, there are fees for some attractions.
Learn more about this action-packed river city at https://explorestlouis.com.
Cooler temps and dazzling foliage make fall the perfect time to hit the road and explore all that the Midwest has to offer. Happy travels!