Exploring Northeast Ohio: Youngstown Area

Exploring Northeast Ohio: Youngstown Area

In my second exploring Northeast Ohio blog, I am headed to the Youngstown/Mahoning County area. You will recall that I think it is vitally important for young professionals in the Northeast Ohio area to realize that as a region we have so much to offer. If you haven’t been to Geneva, Canton, Youngstown, Akron, and so on…you are missing out! For me this blog isn’t as much about exploring something new, but rather visiting home.

Since moving to Cleveland 6.5 years ago, I have fallen in love with everything this amazing city has to offer. It certainly has its feel of a big city with all of the major league sports teams, museums and restaurant scene. I live in the suburbs, so I get to experience that side as well, however, I’ve yet to find places to experience Fall like I did back home. I am hopeful that this blog will make you want to visit the Youngstown area for some Fall fun.

On a recent Sunday, my husband and I had a jammed pack day in the Youngstown area filled with an incredible amount of Fall things.

First up, White House Fruit Farm in Canfield, Ohio. White House for me is the quintessential Fall stop. We pulled in at 12:07pm, when the store opened at 12:00pm to a line of cars and grass only parking. This is expected, but always reminds me how many other people love White House too. From there, we raced inside to find their signature items…donuts. We tried some samples while standing in line and then ordered a dozen of donuts comprised of pumpkin, coconut, maple, cookies and cream and blueberry (their signature). The picture below shows just one area selling donuts, there were at least double that amount in the cases.

farm

Just as we were getting ready to leave the donut line, my friend Adrienne approached and ordered herself a dozen. Adrienne, Aaron and I then made our way to purchase some of their delicious apple cider, toasted corn, cinnamon pretzel graham crackers and more. Along the way we got to sample some new varieties of apples and grab a glass of cold cider.

We put our grocery items in the car and then headed to the pumpkin pavilion and gift barn where we admired crafts, pumpkins and even more Fall. So I’m curious, which pumpkins do you like best? #trumporobama #witchorfrankenstein

pumpkin4

pumpkin3

While browsing, “Old Man Winter” got a bit jealous of our love for Fall and began to shower us with snow and hail. Thankfully, that didn’t last long and we headed down to the lake for some fun photo opportunities. #toomanyphotos #scarecrow

sillyfarmer

After leaving White House Fruit Farm, we headed to my parents’ house to grab lunch and refuel to begin the rest of the day’s activities. Next up on our list was Maze Craze in New Springfield, OH. Sure there are corn mazes everywhere, but this one seems to be the biggest one in all of Northeast Ohio after all of the research I compiled. This corn maze covers over 21 acres and is 8.6 miles of trails! Yowza – I wish I had worn better walking shoes. The theme changes each year and this year it was Alice in Wonderland. This maze is so challenging that there is a number on the brochure for you to call if you get lost. So here it goes…

cornmaze2

So while all 3 mazes are connected as one big maze, we started with black since it was the smallest and thus the easiest. The goal is to stop at 18 checkpoints along the way and get a different hole punch at each.

cornmaze

Here I am somewhere in one of the mazes. If you’ve never done a maze before, you can see it is a bit harder than it looks. My hubby was a much better navigator than me, but after the black, green and red mazes and logging a nice amount of steps on my Fit Bit, we were done! We signed our names to the wall of fame and became Maze Masters.

mazemaster

On our way back to my parents’ house, I had heard about an awesome farm called Molnar Farms in Poland, Ohio. It was sort of on the way home, so we stopped to check it out. Upon pulling in, I remembered that my mom used to take us here to pick strawberries in the summer. Here we came across some of the most awesome characters made out of hay bales. And no, I’m not talking about your typical spray painted pumpkin. Check these babies out!

minions

LOVE me some minions!

frozen

My favorite friends from Frozen

winniethepooh

Winnie the Pooh

And in case you thought they were all for children…

chewbaca

Chewbacca from Star Wars!!!

 

So after all of this fun, we stopped at my parents’ house for a delicious home cooked dinner. Thanks mom and dad! After dinner, we had time to squeeze one more Fall activity into the agenda, so I decided we should go to an event that I had heard of, but never been to before in Youngstown at one of my favorite places the Fellows Riverside Gardens. The gardens sprawl a beautiful 12 acres and are a popular spot for wedding and engagement photo sessions. My mom, husband and friend all joined me to partake in the evening’s activities. Like my morning, this was a very popular place as well and we were forced to park on the street and walk up to the gardens as all of their parking was taken. No problem as it gave my mom and me a chance to take a photo as we entered the Pumpkin Walk at Twilight.

pumpkinwalk

The Pumpkin Walk featured professional and amateur carvers alike and we had a terrific time walking through and finding our favorite pumpkins. Here is me with a photo of a few of mine.

pumpkin2

We kept walking through the garden and eventually came across a beautiful Disney display of all of the princesses and villians. Everyone loved this display, but young girls were going bananas over seeing Elsa, Aurora, Cinderella, Snow White and my favorite, Ariel.

pumpkin1

As we exited the pumpkin walk, I saw one more pumpkin that I loved and reminded me of the scarier side of Halloween.

pumpkin

With that we enjoyed some complimentary cookies and cider and got back on the road to Cleveland. I cannot think of a better way to spend a Fall day. So I’m curious, where do you like to spend your Fall days? And did I sell you on visiting the Youngstown area?

BlogAshley Basile Oeken