Places to go and things to see by Gypsy Bev

Posts tagged ‘Muskingum County’

Storybook Christmas in Muskingum County

Santa enjoys “Twas the Night Before Christmas” at the Muskingum County Library.

Children and adults look forward to favorite Christmas stories year after year. Muskingum County has taken those favorites and turned them into window decorations, paintings, and outdoor displays that make you want to pick up a book and read those stories again.

“How the Grinch Stole Christmas” decorates the lawn of Park National Bank

Nearly 100 businesses in Zanesville, New Concord, and Dresden have developed displays of favorite storybooks. It’s the perfect time to take a ride or walk to see how creative they have become. The displays can be seen until Jan. 1. It’s fun to look for them along the way!

All this is possible due to the combined efforts of Muskingum County Community Foundation, the Muskingum County commissioners, and Zanesville-Muskingum County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. When groups combine their efforts, it’s amazing what can be accomplished.

“The Polar Express” arrives at New Concord’s Village Hall

This Christmas Storybook adventure began in 2014 when it was decided to add a musical light show to the courthouse. Then over 50 businesses in Dresden, New Concord, and Zanesville picked a favorite holiday storybook and decorated their places to match the theme.

This rustic manger scene, “The Very First Christmas,” at First Baptist Church in Dresden explains the real meaning of Christmas.

You’ll probably find all your favorite stories and characters someplace along the way as today there are even more. Some of my favorites were Rudolph by the new Santa house at Secrest Center, the Charlie Brown window paintings at Community Bank, and the old, rustic manger scene at the First Baptist Church in Dresden.

Window displays at Goss Supply have been a special attraction for many years.

Once the Storybook Christmas began, ideas began to form for added decorations and events throughout the season. Everything expanded and Goss Supply added a Coloring Contest with teddy bears for winners. That contest continues to this day with two winners being chosen from each age 4 – 12.

Santa’s House is a new addition to Storybook Christmas this year.

By 2016, horse and carriage rides were added at Zane’s Landing and many additional Christmas lights were placed there. The Storybook Christmas Parade began that year also with Santa welcoming in the holiday season.

“A Charlie Brown Christmas” brightens the corner downtown.

During all this time, the committee had wonderful assistance from students at Mid-East Career and Technology Center. They continue to construct decorations for the storybook themes and help hang lighted pole decorations to this day.

Take a selfie with the Elfie.

While this all began six years ago with the courthouse light show, Christmas activities have expanded dramatically since that time. This year they added the Santa house and a 5K Run and a 1 Mile Walk. It will be exciting to see what the future holds.

“Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer” stands near Santa’s home at Secrest Center.

Children will want to visit Santa at his new home by Secrest Auditorium. He is there Thursday through Sunday when he has time to visit. Check the schedule on www.VisitZanesville.com for accurate times.

Mail letters to Santa at North Pole Express mailboxes throughout the county.

If Santa’s not home, you might want to drop off a letter to Santa. There are eleven North Pole Express Mailboxes throughout Muskingum County where letters can be mailed. They will then be read on WHIZ-TV and also posted on the website.

Visit “A Special Place for Santa” at White Pillars Christmas House in Norwich.

If you happen to be in the Zanesville area in the evening, there are several places that have very nice light displays. Zane’s Landing’s Holiday Trail of Lights is filled with Christmas cheer as well as the Lemmon Family Christmas Light Show at 909 Lindbergh Avenue.

“The Nutcracker” stands at the door of Smore Baskets in Dresden.

Of course, you’ll want to end your evening in Zanesville with their Courthouse Music and Light Show, which should certainly put you in the Christmas spirit.

Windows at Community Bank are painted with “A Charlie Brown Christmas.”

When you return home, perhaps you’ll enjoy finding an old Christmas storybook you have enjoyed over the years. Sit down with a cup of hot chocolate and read one of those classic tales that will never grow old.

Wishing all my readers out there a very Merry Christmas and a New Year filled with precious memories.

Goodbye Summer! Hello Fall!

This giant ear of corn welcomes you to McDonald's Corn Maze.

This giant ear of corn welcomes you to McDonald’s Corn Maze.

Pumpkins + Corn Maze = Thoughts of Fall

McDonald’s Corn Maze provides the perfect spot for families to discover the spirit of the fall season. In 2006, the corn maze was created with hopes that a few children might be able to enjoy it. Never did they expect that over 3,000 would make their way through the maze that very first year.

The theme each year differs. This year the five-acre corn maze features a cowboy with a lasso standing by a saguaro. Wonder if he’s going to lasso a pumpkin?

A play area along side the corn maze offers many possibilities to explore.

A play area along side the corn maze offers many possibilities to explore.

This is indeed a family affair involving three generations. Jim and Susan McDonald built their home between their parents’ farms on Adamsville Road in Muskingum County. This makes for close family ties and grandparents have opportunity to watch their two grandsons grow up.

Agriculture is their main interest and they want to teach youngsters and adults more about the process of getting food from the farm to the table. Jim lived on a farm all of his life so it was no surprise when he graduated from Ohio State University at their Agricultural Technical Institute with a degree in greenhouse and management production. He opened his first greenhouse the year after he graduated.

All kinds of pumpkins are waiting to be taken home for decorations.

All kinds of pumpkins are waiting to be taken home for decorations. Those in the front are called “Witches Warts”.

There’s no shortage of pumpkins here as McDonald’s has fifteen acres of pumpkins with choices of different sizes, shapes, and colors. Choose from Buckskin, White Pumpkins, or Witches Warts to name a few. They expect to have over 10,000 pumpkins this year as well as a large supply of mums, gourds, and cornstalks. Everything you need for a fantastic fall scene.

Pictures is an overview of the 2015 maze.

Pictured is an overview of the 2015 maze.

They cut the maze in June when the corn was about a foot high. The drawing of the maze scene was placed on a grid, then Susan carefully directed Jim on his mower foot by foot to make it perfect. That’s no small feat in a five acre maze.

Educating students and adults about honey bees is one of Jim's enjoyments.

Educating students and adults about honey bees is one of Jim’s enjoyments.

Affectionately called Old McDonald, Jim has farming in his blood. School groups, 4-H clubs, scout troops and even seniors enjoy his stories about the farm. As you would expect, it’s not unusual for a verse or two of “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” to be part of the day’s events.

Maggie the Milk Cow even goes to the county fair for demonstrations on how to milk a cow.

Maggie the Milk Cow goes to the county fair for demonstrations on how to milk a cow.

Today’s children don’t have much opportunity for up-close contact with real farm life. Jim wants them to understand where their food comes from. His enthusiasm about farm life is almost tangible. Even though it’s hard work, it obviously has its rewards as he enjoys telling children about pollination by honey bees, milking a cow, growing pumpkins and why it’s always earth day for a farmer.

This goat stands on top of a large bale of round ray and peers into the plastic pipe used as a slide. Should he or shouldn't he?

This goat stands on top of a large round bale of hay and peers into the plastic pipe used as a slide. Should he or shouldn’t he?

A petting zoo gives everyone a chance to be in contact with different baby animals such as a lamb, goat, duck, pig, or rabbit. Nearby a small playground contains a unique “sandbox” – a round watering tank filled with fifty bushels of shelled corn. There’s also stones to play hopscotch, and a slide made of plastic pipe atop bales of hay.

Take a walk in the Enchanted Forest and discover how early farmers lived.

Take a walk in the Enchanted Forest and discover how Ohio’s first farmers lived.

Then take a leisurely walk through Enchanted Forest and surround yourself with nature. Listen for the special sounds of the woods and learn about the plants that grow there as many have markers with names and uses. Deep in the woods is a teepee, home of Ohio’s first farmers.

McDonald's Greenhouse also has a large assortment of mums to brighten your fall.

McDonald’s Greenhouse also has a large assortment of mums to brighten your fall.

Sometime during your visit, be sure and climb on the hay wagon for a ride through the beautiful countryside filled with autumn leaves. Sit on bales of hay while the tractor pulls you down a path to see the fall season in beautiful Ohio. There’s a small admission price of only $6 per person for the day, but unlimited fun as it includes all activities.

A visit here adds up to a perfect fall experience filled with learning and fun…no ghosts or witches allowed, except for Witches Wart Pumpkins.

McDonald’s Corn Maze is located east of Zanesville, Ohio off I-70. Take Exit 157 (State Route 93) north to 3220 Adamsville Road. It’s only about two and a half miles from the interstate.

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