Five Picks for the Fourth of July Holiday Weekend


Discover a New Metropark

Remember Sunday drives to Oak Openings or Pearson when you were a child? How about family reunions by the river at Side Cut? Picnics at Pearson, a wedding at Wildwood, fishing at Farnsworth? Rekindle old memories or make new ones by visiting a park or area within a park where you haven’t been in years. Or, make fresh memories by visiting one of the three new parks that opened in the last year: Wiregrass Lake, Fallen Timbers Battlefield and Westwinds. All parks open every day of the year from 7 a.m. until dark. Admission is free. [Explore all the Metroparks]

Make Ice Cream Like a Pioneer

Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Pearson

Calling pioneers of all ages! The Johlin Cabin at the Seaman Road entrance to Pearson will be open to enjoy. See how much home life has changed in the last 149 years and beat the heat with an historical treat – ice cream. Stop by any time between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. to lend a hand making ice cream making, or to peek inside the small cabin. Save time for a stroll on the trail and see what birds might be visiting the wetland from your perch on one of the observation decks. Free. [About the Johlin Cabin]

Make Yourself at Home

Sunday, noon to 5 p.m., Wildwood Preserve

Enjoy a free guided tour of the 30,000-square-foot, Georgian revival home and learn about the region's rich history. After touring the Manor House, take a walk through the Ellen Biddle Shipman Garden, or hit the trails through the spectacular grounds of Wildwood Preserve. Kids will love the new playground, too. Free. [About the Manor House]

Travel Back in Time


Celebrate 4th of July with the Providence Canal Experience. The volunteer canal boat will offer rides at 12:30pm, 2:00pm and 3:30pm. Ticket prices are $7 for adults, $6 for seniors (60 and over) and Metropark members, $4 for children (ages 3to 12); ages 2 and under free. Minimum of 7 riders needed per boat run. The Ludwig Mill and Heritage Center will be open free of charge. The attraction is normally open Wednesday through Sunday this time of year, but will also be open Monday for the holiday. [About The Canal Experience]


Paddle the Mighty Maumee

Friday-Monday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

New this year: You can now rent kayaks by the hour at Farnsworth in Waterville. Paddle around Missionary Island, or take a downriver trip all the way to Side Cut Metropark in Maumee. Practice your paddling skills and stay cool on the water as you get to know the scenic Maumee River from a different perspective. Normally open Friday-Sunday, the concession will also be open Monday for the holiday. [Details]