Finding Fun in Medina County

High Voltage Go Karts

Year-round family fun and a quaint, old-town atmosphere awaits visitors in Medina County — Amish Country’s northern neighbor.

“There are all kinds of fun things to do in Medina County,” said Dan Hostetler, executive director of the Medina County Visitors Bureau.

Medina County boasts a rich agricultural history that evolved along with a strong tradition of manufacturing from the early days of the Industrial Revolution. Wadsworth, for example, once was home to the world’s largest manufacturer of safety matches — a distinction still celebrated during the city’s annual Blue Tip Festival. The A.I. Root Co., in the city of Medina, began making honey four years after the Civil War ended, diversified into making beeswax candles during the 1920s and remains an international leader in the candle industry today. The Medina factory outlet is open for retail sales, and the factory offers tours for large bus groups, Hostetler said.

Some of the best-preserved Victorian architecture in the nation, maybe most evident on structures on and around Medina’s quaint Public Square, is another reason why camera-wielding tourists beeline to Medina County, Hostetler said.

The county’s seven old-fashioned gazebos, including a festively illuminated one in the city of Medina, and other small-town centers make Medina County a winter holiday wonderland.

Meanwhile, Castle Noel, America’s largest year-round indoor Christmas attraction, keeps the holiday magic alive no matter when you visit. Perhaps the county’s most popular tourist attraction, Castle Noel features iconic items from famous movie sets, like the Santa slide from “A Christmas Story,” “Elf’s” costume and Cindy Lou Who’s bedroom set from “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”

“Castle Noel also features animated New York City Christmas window displays from famous department stores like Sak’s Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s,” Hostetler said.

The county’s past and present agricultural heritage is on display at a variety of farms and festivals. Spring Mist Farms in Brunswick Hills, for instance, offers seasonal pony, wagon and sleigh rides as well as the opportunity to pet and feed animals like Charlie the camel. Mapleside Farm in Brunswick is a family destination that offers a variety of events, an adventure farm, an apple house, and various concerts and festivals throughout the year.

In Medina, The Alpaca Boutique features hats, scarves, sweaters and other items made from alpaca fiber.

Hostetler said many interesting museums are scattered throughout Medina County. “Most of our townships have neat little museums that celebrate the history of our region,” he said.

Among the county’s popular museums are the Medina Toy & Train Museum, which includes airplane models, dolls and books about transportation, and the Northern Ohio Railway Museum in Chippewa Lake, which emphasizes trolley trains with rides and walking tours.

Exciting family fun can be found at commercial entertainment centers, like Brunswick’s Scene 75 — which includes go-carts, laser tag, bumper cars and other indoor attractions — and High Voltage Indoor Carting in Medina, which features high-speed electric go-carts and other indoor entertainment.

“With many wonderful parks for fishing, biking and hiking, there is plenty to do outdoors in Medina County as well,” Hostetler said.

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