Friday, March 9, 2012

Medina Ice Festival and Putt-ing Through the Ages

One Sunday in February, we headed out for an afternoon of family fun.  First we visited the annual Medina Ice Festival, followed by the kids' first foray into mini-golf, at Putt-ing Through the Ages, a FREE indoor course put on by the Medina County Park system during the months of January and February.

Our visit to the Ice Festival was fairly brief due to extreme cold that day.  There were ice sculptures scattered throughout the town square - unfortunately we got there just a few minutes too late to witness some chainsaw carving action - but we were still able to check out the amazing results.  We zipped up and down every path around the square to check out as many sculptures as possible before the kiddos got too cold.  Monkeyman thought it was pretty cool (no pun intended).
Here's Little Bug all bundled up and ready for some fun!

When we first arrived, the boys found this airblown dancing man to be more interesting than the ice sculptures.  They were fascinated.

Here is some kind of robot insect.


Wolf about to pounce on a rabbit

Here are some of the artists' tools.

A quick shot of the scenic courthouse on the town square.

Monkeyman aka Penguin Man

Bug's turn.

Pretty goldfish

This was our family's unanimous favorite.  It's a robot man in process of falling down.

Awesome robot man from another angle

Next we headed to Buffalo Creek Retreat at Hubbard Valley Park for Putt-ing Through the Ages.  If you recall, I learned about this from a discussion at my homeschool group meeting where a well-meaning mother issued the warning that it was based on (shhh...) evolution, and I decided that we *must* go.  The park's website described it as:
"an indoor miniature golf adventure that takes the traveler through Ohio’s geologic history. Discover the depths of the ancient ocean, work your way through the Swamp Forests, encounter giant amphibians, dinosaurs and Wooly Mammoths, traverse a glacier and acquaint yourself with Ohio’s prehistoric people."
Knowing that it was a free event, I was not expecting it to be terribly sophisticated, but it really exceeded my expectations by far - I though it was very nicely done.  There was a lot to see, and there were things to touch and read at each hole so you could learn about each period in time.  There was even a question sheet that you could take around and find the answers at each hole, and then turn the completed sheet in to be entered in a drawing for various gift baskets and goodies.  My boys are a little young for that and had little interest in reading every word but they were fascinated by all of the great visual details.

I must mention that taking a 2-year old mini-golfing is quite a challenge.  At one point we realized that we had 5 golf balls between the 4 of us because Bug had snagged one off the course from the family behind us.  Oops!  But overall the kids both had a great time, even though Shane & I were exhausted by the time we were done.

Bug, Monkeyman, and Daddy next to the totally sweet volcano.

Bug was totally enthralled with this Wooly Mammoth skeleton.

Monkeyman in action

On the final hole, "Hey!  Where'd my ball go?"
Overview of (most of) the course

Okay!  Next up, our trip to the Great Lakes Science Center in Cleveland...

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