Fall into Fun

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    French Lick, Indiana
    Paying homage to a long tradition of health, wellness and relaxation are the spas in French Lick, Indiana. For over 150 years, French Lick's famed Pluto Mineral Spring has drawn visitors to this region. Their "Pluto Water" has a notorious odor, smelling of rotten eggs due to an abundance of Sulfur in the water, was once thought to have supernatural purifying and healing properties. The wealthy would travel hundreds of miles to enjoy this spa's Pluto mineral baths.

    It turns out that our ancestors were on to something. Scientists have since learned that this mineral plays an important role in the treatment of skin diseases, as immersion in Sulfur water produces physical, mechanical and chemical effects on chronic skin diseases. Sulfur-rich waters interact with free radicals in the deeper layers of skin, providing chemical compounds producing antifungal and antibacterial activity. This makes sulfur mineral springs effective for acne, infected leg ulcers, and fungal infections. Sulfur water also increases the proliferation of lymphocytes in the blood of patients.

    So, the French Lick spas still offer guests the ever-popular Pluto mineral baths. In addition, guests may take advantage of full salon services including hairstyling, manicures and pedicures, swedish massages, facials and Vichy Showers for head-to-toe rejuvenation.

    While you're there, take advantage of the newly renovated French Lick Resort Casino, two historic hotels, shops and restaurants. Click here to learn more about the region, hotel, spring and spa. It's only 150 miles west of Cincinnati, and a scenic rural drive with the fall foliage.

    Minges Pumpkin Festival
    Once again, the owners of Minges Greenhouse & Garden are opening up their farmland located at 10109 New Haven Road in Harrison from October 20-21 2007. This will be the 23rd year that hundreds of Cincinnatians will head out to Harrison Ohio to pick up a pumpkin, take a hay ride, enjoy some homemade hot cider and shop more than 170 arts and crafts exhibtors.

    Shine up your boots, ladies, because this is the perfect opportunity to embrace your inner cowgirl! Enjoy a funnel cake as you watch cloggers dance, pig calling and a pie eating contest. Then, make your way through a straw maze and listen to live country music. Ye-haw!

    Hocking Hills
    After enjoying the changing foliage on a long trail walk, you relax on the porch swing and rock your troubles away and then slip into the hot tub as you watch a sunset that gloriously guilds the evening skies. Make that rustic dream come true with a short trek to Hocking Hills for a weekend getaway.

    Hocking Hills is located approximately 50 miles south-east of Columbus, which is about two hours from Cincinnati. Rent a log cabin for a romantic getaway, family vacation or just a stress relieving weekend (because don't even think you're going to find wi-fi or cell phone service out there).

    Enjoy the state parks and nature areas of the region, star gazing, canoeing, fishing and hiking. Looking for more unique activity ideas? Check out this event calendar for an updated list of fun things to do in the Hocking Hills wild, such as a women's retreat weekend, full moon romantic canoe trip, photography workshop and murder mystery weekend at the Ravenwood Castle & Medieval Village.

    Mammoth Cave
    It might be getting a bit colder out, but it's always the same temperature at Mammoth Cave. Since 1816, visitors have toured the subterranean labyrinths of Mammoth Cave, which maintain a 54° Fahrenheit temperature year-round.

    In addition to the many tours through the world's longest known cave, you can hike, bike, ride a horse, canoe, kayak, take a riverboat ride, watch a film, enjoy a campfire program and more. Click here for a list of things to do and places to go on your trip to Mammoth Cave.

    A Day in the Park
    The Hamilton County Park District features 17 developed parks, which offer Cincinnatians numerous trails and picnic areas, playgrounds, camping, fishing lakes and golf courses. At Miami Whitewater Forest Harbor, you can pedal and spray your way through water geysers on the lake with a three-passenger pedal boats equipped with water cannons. Other water-bound activities at Miami Whitewater include renting a row boat, pedal boat, canoe or hydrobike to explore the 85-acre lake.

    The Shaker Trace Trail at Miami Whitewater Forest has a 1.2 mile inner loop with 18 fully accessible Parcours fitness stations and an extended 7.8 mile outer loop which weaves through this beautiful park. There are paved hike/bike trails at Sharon Woods, Francis RecreAcres and Winton Woods. Woodland Mound, located at 250 Old Kellogg Road, offers an 18-hole Frisbee golf course, Parcours Trail, nature trails, picnic areas, playgrounds and play fields.

    Thanksgiving Day Race
    More than nine decades after 18 runners raced from the Fort Thomas Gym to the YMCA in downtown Cincinnati, the Thanksgiving Day race – the oldest road race of any kind in the Midwest – has become an integral part of the holiday for the thousands who run it annually and the thousands more who cheer them along the 6.2 mile course.

    Taking place on Thursday, Nov. 22 at 9am, the 98th annual Thanksgiving Day Run and Walk with start and finish at Paul Brown Stadium. Not in shape yet? That's okay, Bob Roncker and The Running Spot is hosting a personalized training program for runners and walkers. It includes a variety of benefits including group runs, expert speakers, coaching advice from Bob, shoe and foot analysis and the secrets to running a great 10k.

    Brown County, Indiana
    Pan for gold? Go to a play? Jam with Bluegrass musicians? Watch the Oaks change color? All of the above and much, much more can be done in Brown County, Indiana.

    During its heyday, the Brown County Art Colony was considered the most important regional art colony in the United States. Today, the region is still known for its strong art community, so take a stroll through this walkable town to take in all the various art shops and museums Brown County has to offer.

    Click here to check out Brown County's list of upcoming events, such as its Brown County Music Festival, 4th Annual Bean Blossom Biker Fest and 6th Annual "Back Roads of Brown County Tour."

    The Wilds
    Want to take a walk on the wild side? You can at The Wilds, a 10,000-acre endangered species center in Cumberland, Ohio. You'll find 25 exotic species at this 10,000 acre research facility, which has been open to public tours since 1994.

    Board one of the The Wilds' regularly scheduled safari transports for their signature experience. Knowledgeable guides will take you through open-range animal areas, where you'll see rhinos, giraffes and many other animals roaming in large, natural settings. Several stops along the way – including the new Mid-Sized Carnivore Conservation Center – offer opportunities to explore, learn and relax while you observe the wildlife around you. With transports running every few minutes, you choose how long to enjoy each destination before moving on. You can also experience The Wilds on a guided tour aboard a unique open air safari vehicle, or on a sunset safari tour where you can enjoy a buffet dinner and twilight tour of the open range animal areas.

    There are also opportunities for enjoying outdoor recreation like mountain-biking or fly-fishing, bringing a group for a special tour or staying overnight in the Lodge at the Wilds. Only three hours away from Cincinnati, it's one of the largest and most innovative wildlife conservation centers in the world. Make it a weekend trip and explore the neighboring communities of Appalachian Ohio.