There is nothing run-of-the-mill about Idle-Hour Ranch. With more than 200 animals, including 40+ species, the Iddings family's exotic menagerie has grown quite a bit over the years. Guests to the ranch can meet one of its most beloved residents, Sam the giraffe, or catch glimpses of mountain lions and peacocks. Open to visitors on the weekend, various attractions include a mini farm market, a safari-themed corn maze, and face painting.
The smells of hay and freshly picked apples mingle with the shouts of children on the annual Erie Shores Farm Tour. An organized event between four very different, yet equally welcoming, farm facilities, the self-guided tour encompasses fall foods and a range of harvest-themed activities. Hillcrest Orchards welcomes visitors with attractions such as hayrides, a corn maze, and pedal carts, while staff at Dostall Farms lead their guests on a guided tour of their humane meat-processing facility, where animals are fed only grass or corn. The event ends with a prize drawing at Matus Winery, where staff also give a guided tour of the wine-making facilities, including the giant barrel where the winemakers sleep every night. To ensure participants don't lose their ways, Erie Shores Farm Tour provides a complimentary map and suggested travel routes between locations.
Vehicles leisurely roll across African Safari Wildlife Park's landscape, yielding to a host of friendly creatures. Camels, giraffes, zebras, forest-dwelling bongos, Asian sika deer, and Scottish highland cows await you. Guests can hold cups filled with feed, which exotic muzzles devour, and a walking area provides an up-close look at enclosed species such as the rare white alligator. Warm-weather months bring out additional activities, including animal rides, pig races, and educational animal shows where guests can interact with small animals. Food and beverages from African Safari's ice-cream shop, snack bar, and grill help sate midday hungers caused by watching a guanaco sneeze.
Since it began in 1893, the Cuyahoga County Fair has only missed three years: 1932, during the Great Depression, and 1942?43, during World War II. Every other year, local residents have flocked to the fairgrounds to sample the foods, ride the rides, and soak up entertainment that grows more diverse with each passing summer. Beyond a lineup of main events?such as concerts and motor-sports exhibitions?every day of the fair is an opportunity to zip along rides, see animals, and pit yourself against contests, including watermelon- and Ferris-wheel-eating competitions.
When Spring transitions into Summer, two-mile-long rows of strawberries at Blooms & Berries Farm Market grow plump on the vine, ripe for the picking. Throughout summer, the operating farm grows a wide variety of fruits and veggies, which they sell at two farm stands. The coming of autumn brings new activities, which draw more than 15,000 visitors annually, such as trekking and roaming through a seven-acre corn maze, observing the Bucking Cow Train, and indulging caramel apples and fresh apple cider. Seven days a week, families can explore the enormous corn maze, take a hay ride, or feed goats compliments and snacks.