The title of this article sounds a lot like that horror film some years back – “I Know What You Did Last Summer.”
Well, this column is by no means here to frighten you, but it could be if the kids are out of school for the summer and you’re pulling your hair out on day two of their extended break. Never fear, Buch is here with some ideas that will keep them busy and your sanity intact. This by no means is a complete list; just my “Bucher List” of my-all time favorites.
Let’s begin with the simply marvelous Five Rivers MetroParks system – what wonderful amenities they offer, and all virtually free! From Carriage Hill to Island Park, there’s literally something for all members of the family. Visit metroparks.org to peruse the many choices at your fingertips. Heck, you could even do a MetroPark or two a week and, of course, pack a picnic lunch, bring some board games, reserve one of 44 shelters and have at it! I’m telling you, this one is a no-brainer, folks.
Moving right along, many of our cities and townships offer some sort of recreational opportunities for your rug rats.
Kettering, for instance, has a marvelous list of summer programs from A to Z. Now, these do cost, but if you’re a Kettering resident you’ll receive a discount. For the rest of us, I ask, “What price for your personal mental health?” Each week, campers will enjoy cooperative games, swimming, field days, learning new skills, traveling to exciting places, meeting new friends and building relationships and – oh, did I say they’re fun, too? Registration is going on right now, so don’t wait because summer camps will fill up fast. Visit kettering.org/play/summer-camps for more information. Plus, you can sign up online.
The Boonshoft Museum of Discovery is always fun for a day-long visit, but did you know they offer summer camps as well? Well, if you did, then cool; if not, now you know. They run from June 16 through Aug. 1 and, back by popular demand, is the series of Harry Potter Camps. These fill up quickly so get cracking! Also offered up are more than 20 options designed to nurture creativity, teamwork and kids’ interest in science. Plus, you know summer is all about having fun, so every day includes active play and time for friends both old and new. It really is a wonderful opportunity for your child and there’s a discount for museum members.
Also, if you join the Boonshoft, did you know your membership card is good at hundreds of museums around the country? For more, please visit boonshoftmuseum.org and don’t wait, or you’ll be left out.
I was a little reluctant to let the proverbial cat out of the bag for this next one, because it’s my favorite place – not too crowded, and a wonderful close-to-home getaway. I’m sure you’re aware of the many mega indoor water park resorts around the state, and don’t get me wrong, they’re awesome, but this is a little piece of heaven on Earth. It’s not flashy and things happen at a sort of slower pace which suits me just peachy.
I’m talking about Hueston Woods Lodge and Conference Center in College Corner, Ohio, just five miles from Miami University.
Built in the 1960s and recently renovated, this Buch best-kept-secret has just about any and every thing you need for a day, weekend or week. The A-frame lodge offers nice-sized rooms and suites – keep your eyes peeled for room packages, too. They even have one for the lovebird in you. Indoor and outdoor pools, game room, tennis, paintball, golf and some of the best pizza, bar none. Nearby are the cabins which have just been upgraded with bunk beds, cable TV and new appliances. The lodge overlooks Acton Lake, which offers for rent canoes and pontoon boats – which my out of state friends ask, “What is it with you Buckeyes and your love of pontoon boats?” I could go on and on, but you owe yourself a visit or at least check out their website to see if it’s for you: huestonwoodslodge.com. Oh, and did I mention they had free wi-fi? Where do you think I’m writing this?
Cheers and have an awesome summer!