illustration by Cait Jones
Summer days slip by, and a chill creeps into the evening air. Fall is quickly approaching, but there’s still plenty going on in The 330. These great fall events will help you make the most of early autumn days and nights.
1. Summit County Historical Society Mutton Hill Quilt Show
In the 1800s, the area around Perkins Mansion was known as “Mutton Hill” because of the sheep farm there that produced some of the world’s finest wool. Spinning, weaving, then layering that wool into blankets became more than just a practical pursuit for women of The Western Reserve. “Quilting was an important event on the frontier, as it allowed women to be together and share with each other,” says Dave Lieberth, Board Chair of the Summit County Historical Society.
In 2015, the society launched the Mutton Hill Quilt Show as an “opportunity to show not only local history, but history preserved in a traditional women’s craft.” The inaugural event featured over 200 quilts, including some from the Historical Society’s own collection.
This year’s show will take place October 22 and 23 at the John S. Knight Center in Akron and will include vendors, raffles and lectures by experts. “Even if you aren’t into quilts, if you are into fine art, [the pieces] are breath-taking,” says Lieberth. Learn more by visiting www.muttonhillquilts.org, or www.johnsknightcenter.org.
2. The PNC Wagon Wheel Challenge between KSU and UA
Are you a Zips fan or a Flashes fan? Whichever way your blue-and-gold flag flies, the PNC Wagon Wheel Challenge offers a full season of exciting sports match-ups. Since 1945, the neighboring schools have battled it out on the gridiron for possession of the historic Wagon Wheel Trophy.
Legend has it that John Buchtel, founder of The University of Akron, traveled by wagon to Kent in the spring of 1870. His wagon got mired in mud at the very spot where the Kent Normal School—later Kent State University—would begin in 1910. Buchtel’s wagon wheel remained buried for decades until KSU’s Dean of Men thought the artifact would make a fitting trophy for the victor of the annual Kent-Akron football game.
In 2011, the game’s sponsor, PNC Bank, announced that the rivalry would expand to include 15 NCAA varsity sports. Victories in each event add points, culminating in the traditional game. This year’s face-off will also be KSU’s Homecoming at Dix Stadium on October 1. Get all the details for both teams’ events at www.gozips.com or www.kentstatesports.com, depending on your allegiance.
Nothing says autumn like the smell of bonfire in the crisp air. If you don’t have the space or bravado to light your own, check out these area events to get your fix of flame.
Learn about some of the earliest families to settle the Cuyahoga Valley by a blazing bonfire during the Lantern Tours at Canal Corners Farm and Market. You’ll have a chance to tour the 1905 Wisconsin-style dairy barn and the Lantern Theater. Tours begin at 7 p.m. on October 21 and 22 at 10901 Tinker’s Creek Road in Valley View. Call 216-401-5131 or visit www.lanterntheatreohio.com for more information.
Bring the whole family to learn how the chipmunk got its stripes, then roast a marshmallow at the Animal Folk Stories Campfire on September 9 from 8-9:30 p.m. at the Liberty Park Nature Center, 9999 Liberty Road, Twinsburg. For information, call 330-865-806 or visit www.summitmetroparks.org.
Hike with a naturalist, then sit by a campfire to toast marshmallows at Firestone Metro Park’s Tuscarawas Meadows Area for the Hike and Fire event on September 23 from 6:30-8 p.m. Find it at 2620 Harrington Road in Akron; call 330-865-8065 or visit www.summitmetroparks.org for more details.
There’s no safer way to enjoy a bonfire than with firefighters standing by. Come to the Brunswick Hills Firefighter’s Association Annual Halloween Bonfire on October 22 from 5-8 p.m. at Plum Creek Park South, and wear your Halloween costume and bring your own carved pumpkin for a chance to win prizes for each. Follow Brunswick Hills Firefighters on Facebook for all the details.
Stark Parks is full of fire-fueled fun this fall. Events like the Towpath Lantern Hike, the Full Moon Hike and Campfire, and the Game and Campfire Night are great ways to heat up those chilly evenings. The Outdoor Cooking event will also help you savor the flavors of autumn. Get all the details about locations, dates and pre-registration at 330-409-8096 or www.starkparks.com.
3. Apple picking
Fall is apple season, so get ready to stock up! A trip to one of these farms or orchards makes for a fun family outing that just might include pie.
Bring the whole family to Kruner’s Farm in Green to pick your favorites. Be sure to sample their award-winning apple cider, too. Find them at 5424 S. Arlington St., and check out www.rkuner.home.mindspring.com for recipes and fun apple facts. Open August 15 through Thanksgiving weekend, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week. Call 330-896-1391 for details.
Mapleside Farms in Brunswick offers visitors a seven-acre corn maze, the longest slide in America (311 feet!), and Ohio’s largest “Jumping Pillow” to bounce on. There’s also a themed festival every weekend in September and October. Check out www.mapleside.com for all their events, then hurry to 294 Pearl Road to start playing. Call 330-225-5577 for information or 440-845-0800 to plan your special event.
Not only can you pick apples at Bauman Orchards, you might also find end-of-the-season peaches. Don’t miss the indoor farm market for homemade pies, local honey and farm-fresh eggs. Located at 161 Rittman Road in Rittman, Bauman’s is open year-round, Monday-Friday 8 a.m.–6 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m.–5 p.m. and closed Sundays and holidays. Call 330-925-6861 or visit www.baumanorchards.com for more information.
Bring your bike to Beckwith Orchards in Kent to pick Beckwith Big Reds or Swiss Gourmets, then hop on the adjacent Portage County Hike and Bike Trail. Open August 1 through November 1, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and November 1 through December 23 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Beckwith’s is closed Thanksgiving Day. Find your favorite variety at 1617 Lake Rockwell Road, www.beckwithorchards.com, or 330-673-6433.
4. Go to a Drive-in Movie
Drive-in movie theaters have been around for 83 years. Savor the last warm nights of the season by piling everyone into your car and taking in a double feature at one of these open-air cinemas.
Blue Sky Drive-In offers double features nightly, then transforms into a flea market on the last Sunday mornings of May through October. Call 330-334-1809, come to 959 Broad St. in Wadsworth, or visit www.blueskydrive-in.com or www.facebook.com/Blue-Sky-FAF-Farmers-Art-and-Flea-Market for showtimes and more details.
Magic City Drive-In has been Barberton’s go-to fun spot since the 1950s, with two big screens showing double features seven nights a week. Chauffeur your group to 5602 S. Cleveland-Massillon Road Call 330-825-4333 or visit www.magiccitydrive-in.com for directions, features and more.
Come early to Midway Drive-In Theater at 2736 State Route 59 in Ravenna to avoid long lines of cars and catch a live entertainment opening act on select nights. Call 330-296-9829 for more info or visit www.funflick.com for showtimes and a brief history of the drive-in theater.