Are your kids bored with their summer vacation?
When school let out, students were just happy to be free and they had so many plans — now chances are they’re a little less enthusiastic. Some of the shine has worn off.
Don’t worry. We’re here to help parents get summer back on track with some ideas for fun day trips!
Through July, we’ll suggest places that can put some excitement back in your vacation. This week we’re focusing on some destinations just outside of Lorain County.
Lagoon Deer Park
1502 Martins Point Rd.
Cost: $9 for ages 13 and up, $5 for ages three to 12. Feed is available in $1, $2, and $5 bags.
More than 200 animals roam this petting zoo. Walk right up to the many deer eager to make friends. They’ll want to know whether you have food, which they’ll eat from your hands!
Also see llamas, goats, miniature donkeys, emu, sheep, peacocks, and more. Right now there’s a Scottish Highlander visiting; it’s an enormous, hairy cattle breed with impressive horns.
Maybe you’ll even get to hold a baby animal, if the opportunity’s offered by staff. On a recent trip, they let us hold a newborn goat!
If you’re interested in fishing, there are four ponds stocked with bass, carp, trout, bluegill, crappies, perch, muskies, and more. Take your own poles but you don’t need a state fishing license. The cost is $8 for adults and $5 for children.
The Cleveland Museum of Art
11150 East Blvd, Cleveland
Cost: Access to the museum’s galleries is free. Special exhibits may have a cost. There is a charge to use the attached parking complex.
Few experiences are more impressive than standing just a few feet from a stone relief that decorated the palace of Assyrian king Ashurnasirpal II nearly 3,000 years ago. Or looking into the marble eyes of a first-century Roman statesman. Or sitting in front of Claude Monet’s “Water Lilies.”
The CMA has a $755 million endowment and ranks the fourth-wealthiest art museum in the United States. Its collection reflects that status with 45,000 works from around the globe.
See statues of Japanese warrior demons, African jewelry and masks, clay pots from ancient Greece, suits of glistening armor once worn by knights, furniture, tapestries, religious paintings — items so valuable as to inspire awe.
See works by the influential Western masters: Cezanne, Renoir, Picasso, Rodin, Degas. See priceless modern works that force you to think about today’s values. Experience photographs that show how the medium has changed both technologically and in artistic focus since its inception in 1839.
11106 Market St., Birmingham
Head just over the border into Erie County to visit the lush Schoepfle Gardens, part of the Lorain County Metro Parks system. They feature 70 acres of natural woodland along the Vermilion River, dotted with rows of flowers, curving pathways, sculpted topiary, and lush grass.
Hostas grow in the shade and roses bloom in the sun. Take a blanket and a picnic lunch. There’s a scenic overlook of the river built atop an old railroad bridge; there are also plenty of spots to look for wildflowers and songbirds along hiking trails.
You’ll want to snap photos of your kids at the Children’s Garden, where a restored carousel is open from 1-4 p.m. on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays and 10 a.m. to noon on Fridays during the summer.
Otto Schoepfle, onetime president of the Chronicle-Telegram in Elyria, purchased the land where his grandparents had once lived and inspired community members to help transform it into a botanical wonder.
In 1969, he donated the property to the Metro Parks. Schoeopfle lived in the house at the gardens until he passed away in 1992 at age 82.
Jason Hawk can be reached at 440-775-1611 or @EditorHawk on Twitter.