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Some Summit County treasures

Published: April 10, 2017 4:22 PM
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From the magnificent Civic Theatre in downtown Akron, to the music and entertainment at the Hard Rock Rocksino, to the beauty of the expansive Metro Parks system, Summit County has a lot to offers both its residents and its welcome visitors.
Here are just 10 of the many attractions that can be enjoyed in the county.

• Blossom Music Center
Address: 1145 W. Steels Corners Road Cuyahoga Falls
Phone: 330-920-8040
Website: http://www.livenationvenue.com/blossom-music-center

Whether a little bit country, a whole lot rock 'n' roll or a soulful mixture of rhythm, folk, rap and blues, this outdoor venue in Northern Summit County is a place to satisfy every musical taste.
Some of the biggest acts in musical history have rocked the amphitheater's stage since it opened in 1969 as summer home of the Cleveland Orchestra. Blossom has a total capacity of about 23,000 with a mixture of pavilion and lawn seating.
All center events are rain or shine, which can lead to a beautiful summer evening under the stars or a throwback Woodstock-type mud romp.
Handicap parking is available on site as well as a variety of parking options for purchase. And while picnic tables are located along the path from the main gate for guests who would like to grab a bite before the event, tailgating in parking lots is not permitted and grills, tents and open containers are prohibited.
Other prohibited items include animals, except those used for assistance by individuals with disabilities, in-line skates, skateboards, bicycles or action sports equipment. Weapons are a no no as well as laser pointers, drones, selfie sticks, fireworks, large signs, posters flags or markers. Folks wanting to video tape the event will be disappointed because video cameras are not allowed. Audio recorder and any type of ipad or tablet is also on the naughty list.
Visitors should consider alternative routes to Blossom Music Center due to road construction and area slowdowns.The venue is easily accessible from all parts of Ohio. Check the website for specific routes.
Unlike local bars and clubs, once a patron leaves he or she will not be permitted back into the venue.
And while tailgating and open containers are not permitted, Blossom allows blankets, chairs that sit no higher that 9 inches above the ground and collapsable strollers. For those who want a chair they are available to rent for $5. Other items given a thumbs up are compact umbrellas, small purses, which will be searched, small cameras without a detachable lens, cellphones, small binoculars, non-aerosol sunscreen and insect repellent.
Munchies can be brought into the venue as long as they fit into a 1-gallon clear zipper top bag. No hard or soft sided coolers of any kind will be allowed.Clear bottles of factory sealed water, up to 20 ounces will be allowed, however frozen water bottles, glass bottles and aluminum cans are not permitted.
Concession stands are located throughout the venue with a wide variety of food and beverages for purchase.
-Information from staff reporting and http://www.livenationvenue.com/blossom-music-center

• Akron Zoo
Address: 505 Euclid Ave. Akron, Ohio
Phone: 330-375-2550
Website: http://www.akronzoo.org

Visitors wanting to experience a taste of exotic lands and non indigenous wildlife don't have to spend hours watching cable Television shows or saving pennies for an African safari vacation.
Lions, bears, pandas, penguins, wolves and snakes galore await visitors right smack dab in the heart of Akron at the Akron Zoo.
After entering the zoo's Welcome Center at the corner of Edgewood and Euclid Avenues, visitors are ushered through a wildlife kingdom of animals, reptiles, birds and fish.
As visitors will learn, the zoo does not just display animals. it is also at the forefront of education and conservation efforts which are helping the zoo residents and their animal family members across the world.
The zoo, open year around offers seasonal events which include Breakfast With The Bunny, Snack with Santa and Boo at the Zoo.
Birthday parties are welcome as are corporate meetings and wedding packages.
The zoo also offers a variety of educational programs geared toward animal safety and consecration.
The Akron Zoo offers a unique and fun setting for any occasion, from birthday parties to picnics; to baby showers; to after-hour events. The zoo is open April to October from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily and from
November until March from
11a.m. to 4 p.m.
Information from staff reporting and http://www.akronzoo.org

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• The Akron Civic Theatre
Address: 182 South Main Street Akron
Phone: 330-253-2488
Website: http://www.akroncivic.com

Visitors to this gorgeous entertainment venue, built in 1929, immediately walk into a piece of Summit County history when they enter the theater's lobby. The remarkable architecture stands out among the many theaters in the Akron area. Local and nationally known musical acts and comedians frequent the theater, and movies are shown as well.
The theater was built by Marcus Loew and designed by famed theater architect John Eberson. The interior structure was fashioned after a Moorish castle featuring Mediterranean decor, including medieval carvings, authentic European antiques and Italian alabaster sculptures.
Among facilities of its size, the Civic is one of only five remaining atmospheric theaters in the country where patrons experience a twinkling star-lit sky and intermittent clouds moving across the horizon, all while sitting inside the auditorium.
The theatre closed briefly in 2001-2002 and underwent an extensive restoration and expansion. The facility was brought up to modern performance and patron standards, and its failing 70-year old infrastructure was restored. The Civic began a partnership with the City of Akron in 2003 to program and operate Lock 3 Live! a new outdoor performance venue featuring more than 80 events and attractions scheduled between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
-Information from staff reporting and www.akroncivic.com

• Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens
Address: 714 N Portage Path, Akron
Phone: 330-836-5533
Website: http://www.stanhywet.org/

One of the most well-known and beloved spots in the county, this beautiful estate was built approximately a century ago and attracts locals and non-locals to its many events and countless tours each year.
Stan Hywet Hall was built for F.A. Seiberling and his family. In 1898, Seiberling co-founded The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, naming it after Charles Goodyear, the inventor of the vulcanization process for rubber. Guests have many options to take both guided and self-guided tours, and can explore the many landmark attractions within this landmark including The Manor House, the Carriage House, the Corbin Obeservatory and The Carriage House.
"We invite guests to visit and take a tour to learn more about the many ways the Seiberlings' legacy still influences our community today," Linda Conrad, President & Executive Director at Stan Hywet, said in a recent news release.
Opening in mid-April on the lower level of the Manor House is THE SEIBERLING LEGACY, a new permanent exhibit that presents a complete picture of the Seiberlings' civic generosity. A visual story told in eight "chapters," the display presents the many ways the family used its fortune and influence for the betterment of others. Each chapter -- Community Spirit, Business & Innovation, Transportation, Health & Wellness, the Environment, Culture, Military Service and Housing -- addresses another aspect of this family's altruism.
"Nooks & Crannies," the behind-the-scenes Manor House specialty tour, has been retooled with a new tour route and augmented with more details incorporated from additional research on the domestic staff who lived and worked on the estate. New exhibit panels and Walk the Hall guides are part of the refreshed tour.
The lifecycle and impact of bees and other pollinator insects are part of the new Pollinator Garden. Designed to educated guests about the need for pollination plants and the challenges facing these essential insects, it is located between the Butterfly Habitat and the Corbin Conservatory.
Other popular events throughout the years include Founder's Day Weekend June 9-11, 2017, an Easter Egg Hunt, the Father's Day Car Show, a summer Gala event, Ohio Mart, Deck the Hall, and plant sales. Live entertainment is offered too - murder mysteries are presented indoors periodically, and Stan Hywet is the summer home of the Ohio Shakespeare Festival which performs productions in the outdoor lagoon area.
Stan Hywet is Akron’s first and largest National Historic Landmark, and is also the nation’s 6th largest historic home open to the public. It is an accredited museum of the American Alliance of Museums, one of only 26 in Ohio and one of only 802 in all of the United States. The Estate includes five historic buildings and eight historic gardens on 70 acres. Stan Hywet was named the #1 Historic Home Tour in America by readers of USA Today.
Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens is open April 1 through the end of November Sunday from 10am-6pm; the last admission is at 4:30pm. Daytime hours change for the month of December. The Estate is also open with on Memorial Day and Labor Day with regular operating hours.
-Information from staff reporting, Stan Hywet news releases and www.stanhywet.org

• Akron Art Museum
Address: One South High, Akron
Phone: 330-376-9185
Website: https://akronartmuseum.org/
This treasure of a museum began in 1922 as the Akron Art Institute. At that time it was located in two borrowed rooms in the basement of the public library. Over the subsequent decades its location and mission changed but it always remained a staple of local arts. The name Akron Art Museum was adopted as recently as 1980, emphasizing the importance of collecting as part of the organization's mission. The next year the museum moved to a renovated historic downtown Akron structure, the 1899 old post office building, which it still occupies.
The museum offers many events and programs, of a great variety of different types. There are classes for children, guest talks presented by artists, Family Film nights and concerts, poetry readings, Yoga classes and more. For the past 10 years the museum has presented the Annual Art & Ale event, which features locally crafted brews from Ohio’s best brewmakers, complemented by some of the region’s favorite local food.
Its nationally recognized collection was documented through the publication of collection catalogues.
In 2007, the museum opened the James L. and John S. Knight Building, and in 2015 a new outdoor space, the Bud and Susie Rogers Garden, welcomed a range of activities, including introspection, exploration, expression, social interactions and memorable art experiences.
-Information from staff reporting and akronartmuseum.org

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• Summit County Metro Parks
Address: 975 Treaty Line Rd, Akron
Phone: 330-867-5511
Website: http://www.summitmetroparks.org/

Summit County residents count themselves extremely lucky to have the parks system that they do. Founded in 1921, Summit Metro Parks is the second oldest park district in Ohio. The parks include 14,300 acres, including 16 parks, several conservation areas and more than 125 miles of trails, with 22.4 miles of the multipurpose Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail. Annual attendance for the park district averages 5 million visits.
The parks' Bike and Hike paths are very popular, both for walking and riding. Some additions to the Metro Parks in the past two decades include Overlook in Cascade Valley, Liberty Park in Twinsburg, Springfield Bog Metro Park in Springfield Township and the Tallmadge Meadows Area in Munroe Falls. Other parks in the system include Freedom Trail, Towpath Trail, Cascade Valley, Deep Lock Quarry, Firestone, Gorge, Hampton Hills, Sand Run, Silver Creek, O'Neill Woods and the F.A. Seiberling Nature Realm.
“Our parks and trails are enjoyed year-round by Summit County residents and visitors to Greater Akron,” said spokesperson Nathan Eppink. “We offer dozens of programs every month and areas to hike, bike, run, fish, swim and more, so whether you want to explore the outdoors alone or with a group, get exercise or learn something new, sit and watch wildlife or have a picnic — there’s something for just about everyone.”
-Information from staff reporting and www.summitmetroparks.org

Canal Park
Address: 300 S Main St, Akron
Phone: (330) 253-5151
Website: http://www.milb.com/

One of the most notable and popular additions to the downtown Akron area in recent decades, Canal Park is the home of the Akron RubberDucks Minor League Baseball Team.
The first game at Canal Park was played April 10, 1997, with more than 9,000 people in attendance.
Canal Park features one of the largest free-standing video boards in the minor leagues, the largest in all of Double-A baseball.
Canal Park's playing surface covers more than 100,000 square feet. The field is 100% Kentucky bluegrass.
The home clubhouse spans more than 3,000 square feet on the third base side of the ballpark. Inside the RubberDucks clubhouse are two batting/pitching cages, a weight/workout facility, trainer's room, manager's office, coaches' office, player's lounge and lockers. The visitor's clubhouse also features a trainer's room, manager's office, coaches' office and player lockers.
Special events at the stadium include the well-attended movie nights. An HD video board was added in 2013, and movie fans can watch a favorite movie from the field or the stadium under the stars. Recent films have included Frozen and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The annual Canal Park Festival of Beers features a selection of many different craft beers and local favorites with live music and more activities. And fireworks follow many of the ballgames.
-Information from staff reporting and www.milb.com

John S. Knight Center
Address: 77 E. Mill St. Akron
Website: http://www.johnsknightcenter.org/

The John S. Knight Center's 1994 opening was a centerpiece of the revitalization of the city of Akron, and this meeting venue has been welcoming convention planners, tradeshow exhibitors and event attendees to the heart of downtown ever since.
Conventions, Expos and Bridal shows are just some of the many activities and events the Knight Center hosts throughout the year. Here's just a few of the many specific events in 2017 at the venue, covering a huge variety of different interests: Akron Boat & Water Sports Show, Akron Women's Expo, Akron Roller Derby, Rubber Stamping Collection, The Cat Fancier's Association All Breed Cat Show, Akron Marathon Health & Fitness Expo and the Summit For Kids Expo.
The John S. Knight Center has 28,000 square feet of exhibit hall space.‚ÄčThere's a two-story, 3,000 square foot glass rotunda and a rooftop patio for mixers and cocktails.
-Information from staff reporting and www.johnsknightcenter.org

Hard Rock Rocksino
Address: 10777 Northfield Road, Northfield Village
Phone: 330-908-7625
Website: www.hrrocksinonorthfieldpark.com
Having opened in December 2013, the Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park in Northfield Village offers something for everyone. “We are Northeast Ohio’s destination for gaming, dining and entertainment,” says Scott Frost, Rocksino vice president of marketing. Open 24/7 the Rocksino has more than 2,200 video lottery terminals and three in-house venues touting entertainment at Club Velvet, the Hard Rock Café and the Hard Rock Live concert venue. Club Velvet entertains guests with comedy acts, and themed music nights. The Hard Rock Café features local bands weekly to entertain guests while they grab a drink at the bar or have dinner at the café. The largest of the three venues, Hard Rock Live, puts one more than 70 concerts per year including groups like Foreigner and Meatloaf, country artists such as Vince Gill and Jennifer Nettles, Motown acts like the Temptations, among others. Four restaurants are open with a variety of dining experiences. The Constant Grind offers gamers a quick-bite option from breakfast items to deli sandwiches, while the Fresh Harvest Buffet offers lunch and dinner items such as salads, grilled items, pizza, and a variety of meats and sides. The iconic Hard Rock Café offers diners the typical HRC fare including burgers, sandwiches, salads and signature drinks. For guests who are looking for finer fare, Kosar’s Wood Fire Grill offers diners a variety of steaks, seafood, and more in an elegant atmosphere with piano entertainment. Kosar’s also offers a private dining room and outdoor dining.
-Information from Explore Nordonia Hills 2016

Brandywine Falls Address: The Inn at Brandywine Falls is located at 8230 Brandywine Road in Sagamore Hills.
Phone: 330-467-1812
Website: www.innatbrandywinefalls.com
As part of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Brandwine Falls is one of Nordonia Hills most beautiful attractions. Water cascades down a 65-foot drop over layers of Berea Sandstone, Bedford Shale and Cleveland Shale into Brandywine Creek, creating the beautiful waterfall that attracts people from all over. The shaded boardwalk leads down several levels of stairs to an overlook in the waterfall’s gorge. Hikers can go as low as creek level by following the 1.5 mile Brandywine Gorge Trail. According to the national park’s website, hikers can see vernal pools and enjoy views of the creek during their walk. The hiking trail starts near the Inn at Brandywine Falls, a bed and breakfast run by Katie and George Hoy. The Inn was a Greek Revival home built in 1848 by James Wallace and is on the National Register of Historic Places. The bed and breakfast has six rooms for guests and was renovated by the Hoys 27 years ago. George said the Inn and property belong to the people of the United States but they have a 50-year-lease on the property, which used to house a saw mill at the top of the falls and grist and woolen mills as well. “The mill wheel and buildings are long gone, but part of the foundation is still there,” Hoy said. He said the Inn hosts more than 10,000 visitors each year, half of whom are repeat visitors.
-Information from Explore Nordonia Hills 2016

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