3 Fun Things to do with Kids in Yellow Springs, Ohio

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Just 45 minutes from Columbus, Yellow Springs, Ohio makes the perfect day trip with your family! There’s a little bit of something for everyone in the family: from food and shopping to animals and nature!

Yellow Springs gets a lot of attention every fall – and for good reason! In early September, the Tecumseh Land Trust blooms with sunflowers and our Instagram feeds bloom with pics! Pumpkins become available at Young’s Jersey Dairy and cooler weather brings hikers out of the woodwork to the local parks.

downtown Yellow Springs

It’s easy to spend a day or two with your family in Yellow Springs. My family spent nearly an entire day at Young’s Jersey Dairy alone! So pick one or all of these things and plan your time accordingly! You’ll get a breath of fresh air in Yellow Springs!

3 Fun Things to do with Your Kids in Yellow Springs, Ohio:

1. Young’s Jersey Dairy

  • 6880 Springfield-Xenia Rd., Yellow Springs, OH 45387

boy feeding goats at Young's Jersey Dairy

We were invited to visit Young’s Jersey Dairy this year and had a blast doing All. The. Activities! It would be easy to spend an entire day at Young’s Jersey Dairy but the great thing is that you can pick and choose your activities based on the time you have available! At the very least, stop in for an ice cream cone!

Ice cream at Young's Dairy

A lot of farm-related activities are only available during the fall, but Young’s Jersey Dairy is open in some shape or form throughout the whole year. Check the listing of hours for outdoor activities. Special events are scheduled throughout the year!

activities at Young's Jersey Dairy

Activities available include batting cages, a fast slide, Cowvin’s Kiddie Corral, Moovers and Shakers barrel ride, two beautiful mini golf courses, a petting zoo, and pick your own pumpkins (in September and October).

boys playing mini golf at Young's Jersey Dairy in Yellow Springs Ohio

Young’s is a working dairy farm and the ice cream and cheese are made at the farm. There are two restaurants at the farm, The Golden Jersey Inn and The Dairy Store. The Golden Jersey Inn features home-style country meals with full table service. The Dairy Store offers sandwiches, bakery items and ice cream! Don’t miss the famous fried cheese curds! We loved the Italian-seasoned curds!

fried cheese curds at Young's Jersey Dairy

Activities can be purchased separately or you can purchase a Family Fun Pass with either 3 or 5 tabs allowing each member of your family to choose which activities they would like to do!

2. Downtown Yellow Springs

downtown Yellow Springs, Ohio

Yellow Springs is Ohio’s own “hippy town” – I don’t know if that’s official or if I’m just making up that designation, but you’ll find a lot of alternative and off-the-beaten path shopping and dining. When we visited recently, the downtown was overtaken by a protesters speaking out for animal rights.

boy standing against mural in Yellow Springs, Ohio

The age of your kids will probably determine how much exploring of the downtown area you are able to do! Yellow Springs has a small downtown area so it’s easy to walk the whole thing, even with kids or a stroller. Parking can be tricky so don’t be afraid to explore some of the side streets for parking.

Here are some of the highlights of our day in downtown Yellow Springs:

Super Fly Comics and Games

comic book store in Yellow Springs, Ohio

This was a fun shop for my boys! Lots to look at in terms of books, comic books, games, characters and toys!

Little Fairy Garden

little fairy garden shop in Yellow Springs, Ohio

This was a really cool store dedicated totally to building your own fairy garden. There is a super sweet room for parties and events!

Yellow Springs Toy Company

Yellow Springs Toy Company

Two rooms packed full of toys, games and books kept my kids entertained! Lots of unique toy and gift items here!

Urban Handmade

Yellow Springs Ohio

My husband and I enjoyed this store full of unique items made by local artists. 

The Corner Cone

The Cone Corner in Yellow Springs, Ohio

Is this even my blog if I don’t include somewhere we ate ice cream? The Corner Cone is a great walk up spot for ice cream and treats. One of the great things about it is the large patio/courtyard they have for seating! There is no indoor seating but the outdoor seating is plentiful!

Peach’s Grill

I offer this spot for meals with a little hesitation. It’s kid-friendly in terms of the atmosphere – it’s large inside, loud, and full of TV’s. But it’s more of a bar, so if that’s not your scene, then please read this as my disclaimer!

Sandwich from Peach's Grill in Yellow Springs, Ohio

There are just a few restaurants downtown. Haha Pizza next door smelled amazing but had a super long wait (even though it was 2:00 PM) so we went with Peach’s. We’ve also had brunch at Sunrise Cafe with a baby in tow several years ago. That is a nice option, too. Be prepared for a wait at most restaurants here on the weekends!

3. Glen Helen Nature Preserve

  • 405 Corry St., Yellow Springs, OH 45387

boy hiking in Glen Helen Nature Preserve, Yellow Springs, Ohio

Glen Helen Nature Preserve is a nonprofit organization associated with Antioch College. There are several things to do and see within the preserve and there a few main trails to hike! We happened to visit on a relatively cool day and had a good time hiking in the park! Glen Helen is not a state park, therefore there is a $5 charge to park at the Corry St. entrance if you are planning to hike.

Things to do within Glen Helen Nature Preserve:

Raptor Center

birds at Glen Helen Raptor Center

The Raptor Center was our first stop within the park! The center rehabilitates raptors (birds of prey not dinosaurs 😉 ) with the goal of releasing them into the wild. The center offers educational programs throughout the year and you can park at the center and walk the grounds to visit the birds that are housed there.

One note: you cannot park at the Raptor Center and proceed to hike in the park. To hike, you’ll need to park at the main entrance at 405 Corry St.

Trailside Museum

boy at the Trailside Museum at Glen Helen in Yellow Springs

The Trailside Museum has hands-on activities, displays and exhibits to help kids learn about nature and what to expect within the Nature Preserve. Public programs are offered there and you can pick up a map for the park! The museum is accessible through the main entrance on Corry St.

Vernet Ecological Center

Nature Shop at Glen Helen Nature Preserve

The Trailside Museum has a Nature Shop, restrooms and an auditorium. Nature-themed books, gifts and toys are available within the shop. This Center is accessible through the main entrance on Corry St.

Hiking

Hiking Path at Glen Helen Nature Reserve

We entered our hike at the main entrance and took the Inman Trail (which is pink on the map). Your hike here begins as a descent into the preserve. In this case, what goes down must eventually come up. Our goal was to hike to The Cascades and we made it without issue or complaint from the kids.

Pay close attention to the subtle turns and corners on the map. My only complaint is that there are no trail markers on the path. Even though the trails are named and intersections are numbered on the map, there are no signs or numbers within the park so you have to pay close attention to where you are on the map!

Boys at The Cascades at Glen Helen Nature Preserve, Yellow Springs

The Cascades made a nice turn around point for us, though there are many other points of interest within Glen Helen if you want to spend more time hiking!

Bonus: Tecumseh Land Trust

  • 4633 US-68, Yellow Springs, OH 45387

Sunflowers at Tecumseh Land Trust

I’m not including the Tecumseh Land Trust as a full blown item on the list because the sunflowers only bloom for about 2 weeks out of the year! The sunflowers typically bloom around the first week of September!

Boys in sunflowers at Tecumseh Land Trust

We visited Young’s Dairy and drove 1 mile down the road to check the field and there were no flowers in bloom. Exactly 3 weeks later we drove down to spend the day in Yellow Springs and the flowers were already dying. So we missed the peak but still managed a few fun photos!

What are your favorite things to do in Yellow Springs? Do you have a favorite restaurant that’s kid friendly?

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3 Fun Things to do with Kids in Yellow Springs, Ohio


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13 Fun Things to do in Lancaster Ohio with Kids

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Just 45 minutes from Downtown Columbus, there are lots of family-friendly things to do in Lancaster, Ohio! Perfect for a fun day trip or overnight getaway for families!

Thanks to Visit Fairfield County for partnering with us on this post.

Even though Columbus has so much to offer, I often find myself craving a getaway. I love that there are so many places within driving distance of Columbus where we can get away, either overnight or just for a day trip, and feel like we’ve gone somewhere totally new!

kids in lancaster, ohio

flower art in lancaster, ohio

Lancaster, Ohio has a population of around 40,000, has a cute, walkable downtown area, nice parks, its own collection of local restaurants and a decent sized mall. So, something for everyone! 

13 Things to do in Lancaster, Ohio with Kids:

1. Art and Clay on Main

smoothie bowl at Square 7 coffee shop in Lancaster, Ohio

We LOVE Art and Clay on Main! This is a must-do stop in Lancaster, whether you have time to stay and paint, or you just need to stop in for a smoothie or a cup of coffee at the Square 7 Coffee Shop inside.

The great thing about this spot is that both the art studio and the coffee shop are social enterprises of the Fairfield County Board of Developmental Disabilities. That means that the shops serve as places where people with developmental disabilities can receive training and employment.

 

Allow for an hour or two to paint a piece of pottery here and also 6-12 days before it is ready to be picked up. They will actually hold your pottery for up to 45 days so you don’t have to feel rushed to make the trip back to Lancaster within the week! They have pottery pieces in all sizes and skill levels! There are small items just for kids. Another bonus is that all fees are included in the price, so there is no additional studio fee.

2. A-Ha Children’s Museum

This museum alone could compromise a whole day trip! My kids and I spent a couple of hours here one afternoon and probably could have stayed longer! The museum moved into this new location, just on the periphery of the River Valley Mall in April of 2018.

 

The museum contains a water play area, building blocks, a construction vehicle and fire truck to climb in, pretend fishing, dinosaur digging, and a “real life” play area that contains a house, grocery store, pizza shop and more! There is also a separate space for art projects and classes and a new outdoor nature playscape that we have yet to visit but looks super fun!

bulldozer at AH-A Children's Museum in Lancaster, Ohio

The museum is perfect for kids ages 6 months to age 8. is $8 per person. (12 months and under are free!) If you have an EBT or WIC card, admission is $3. There is a designated lunch area and you can bring your own food. Same day re-entry is allowed!

3. The Well

This could easily have been put under the “where to eat” section, but it could also very well be a destination. I’d heard about The Well for quite some time before actually making a visit there! 

food at The Well in Lancaster, Ohio

The Well calls itself a “modern gathering place for the whole family to eat, drink, play and live” and offers healthy options for breakfast and lunch as well as an extensive smoothie menu! The vegetarian menu offers ingredients are non-GMO and local and organic when possible. You will find many gluten free options as well.

What makes The Well a destination on your kid-friendly trip to Lancaster is the play area towards the back of the restaurant! With a good number of seating options around the play area, you can eat and still keep an eye on your kids as they play! 

play area at The Well in Lancaster Ohio

One thing to keep in mind: The hours of the restaurant are Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM and they are closed on Saturdays and Sundays!!

4. Jump N Trampoline Center

kids playing at Jump N Trampoline Center in Lancaster Ohio

If your kids need to burn off some excess energy, check out Jump N Trampoline Center! Kids have the choice between playing in the foam pit or bouncing on the trampolines!

 

There is a viewing area upstairs that also has a foosball table and makes for a great spot for parents to keep an eye on their kids and have a seat. Socks are required for play.

6. Ohio Glass Museum

displays at Ohio glass Museum in Lancaster, Ohio

The Ohio Glass Museum in downtown Lancaster offers an in-depth look at the glass factories that made their home in Fairfield County. Through displays, a movie and glass blowing demonstrations, it is easy to get a good understanding of the role glass has had in this area! I definitely learned a lot!

woman doing a glass blowing demonstration at Ohio Glass Museum in lancaster, Ohio

This might not be the best spot for toddlers, but my kids, ages 4 and 7, were intrigued by the glass blowing demonstration. (They take place at 2:00 PM and 3:00 PM each day they are open). They were also relatively held by the movie about the history of glass making in Lancaster!

Children under 6 are free to enter the museum.

7. Fairfield County District Library – Main Library

children's department at Fairfield County District library in Lancaster, Ohio

When we woke up on the Saturday morning of our trip, it was raining and we needed to kill a little bit of time before the next item on our itinerary so what did I do? Google the closest library, of course! This one turned out to be a winner! The children’s department is on the third floor and on that rainy, Saturday morning, a few of the workers brought out a bunch of educational toys to fill this space above.

kid playing with toys at library in Lancaster, Ohio

There was also a train table, other toys and games available and a lot of children’s books! The space was great and if you need a place to pass some time, I highly recommend it!

8. Rising Park

Ahh, Rising Park. This place is a gem, as well.  A great playground. A pond. Lots of green space. And a huge mountain. Say what?

kid playing on equipment at Rising Park in Lancaster, Ohio

When she found out I was taking my kids to Lancaster last summer, a friend of mine told me we had to hike to the top of Mt. Pleasant in Rising park because the views were spectacular! She was right, of course, but I nearly had a heart attack getting there with my two young boys!

kids at the top of Mt. Pleasant in Lancaster, Ohio

Seriously though, the view is worth the hike. The trail is about a quarter of a mile long, rising up 250 feet! Be forewarned that it is NOT an “easy” hike – but I did it with my kids who were just 4 and 6 at the time. There are no real guardrails at the edge, so make sure to keep kids close!

9. Lancaster Festival

This annual festival “celebrating art, music and community” is lots of fun for all ages! The festival lasts for 11 days and features live music acts, food trucks, theatre performances and activities for children. The festival activities are spread out all over the city, taking place at various venues, parks, restaurants and community organizations.

 


Last year we attended and were able to see The Floorwalkers (one of my favorite Columbus bands) and a magic show for kids! In 2018 Martina McBride was the headliner and Kansas will be performing in 2019! 

11. Covered Bridge Trail

covered bridge in Lancaster, OhioFairfield County is home to 17 of the 125 wooden covered bridges remaining in Ohio. That makes them the county with the most original covered bridges in the state! If you’re looking for another “trail” to conquer, click this link for a map of all of the covered bridges in Fairfield County and head off on your quest! I’ve seen a few and they’re beautiful!

12. Paperback Exchange

kids petting cats at Paperback Exchange in Lancaster, Ohio

If you’re exploring downtown Lancaster, make sure to stop in to Paperback Exchange! My kids asked to go back again and my husband took them back a second time. Without me, though, because I am allergic to cats. And the cats were the very things my kids want to see the most! Besides cats, the store boats an impressive collection of books for sale, including books for kids and young adults! There is also a small section of handmade gifts!

Paperback Exchange in Lancaster Ohio

13. River Valley Mall

I’m putting the mall on this list because sometimes, with kids, you just need a place to let them let out some steam and take a little break. We attended one of the magic shows here as part of the Lancaster Festival and my kids enjoyed this play area. They went through a season of being really interested in who was on each bill and coin and this play area was right up their alley. It has a money theme!

kids in play area at River Valley Mall in Lancaster, Ohio

It’s not a huge play area, but it does the trick. The mall is a decent sized mall but the food court does not offer too many options for eating so make sure you check out the following list of places to eat in Lancaster, Ohio!

Kid-Friendly Places to Eat in Lancaster, Ohio

While you’re in Lancaster, you’re going to want to check out some of these local spots for lunch or dinner! I have taken my kids to each one of them, but I will tell you individually how “kid-friendly” I feel they are and what to expect.

1. Ale House 1890

kid eating pizza at Ale House 1890 in Lancaster, Ohio

Ale House 1890 was a little bit intimidating for me when we first arrived. On this visit, it was just me and the kids and I wondered how kid-friendly it was going to be. But we were able to sit on the patio which was totally relaxing! My oldest really liked the pizza – and he’s a very picky eater! I loved my salad!

shrimp salad at Ale House 1890 in Lancaster, Ohio

2. Cherry Street Pub

kid eating wings at Cherry Street Pub in Lancaster, Ohio

Cherry Street Pub is a great option for families because there is a lot to look at inside and there is a big menu! It’s loud (in the normal, restaurant kind of way) so the happy hubbub covers up most of unexpected noises your kid might make! 😉 My kids shared food from the appetizer menu – wings and pizza. The wings were a definite hit! You might expect a little bit of a wait here, the restaurant is popular!

3. Bob’s Backyard BBQ

food at Bob's Backyard BBQ in Lancaster, ohio

This place is definitely low key and kid-friendly! The meat was good and the sides were tasty! My only complaint was that they were out of hot dogs when we visited – which is a guaranteed menu item for my kids. (My kids are super picky, I’m not even going to try to pretend that they’re not.) They were also out of wine. I’m not sure how often food items run low here, but if you’re flexible, give it a go. It tasted good and the atmosphere was relaxed and kid-friendly!

4. JB’s Downtown Grill

hamburger at JB's Downtown Grill in Lancaster, Ohio

JB’s Downtown Grill is another spot to check out if you’re out and about in the downtown area! There is a kid’s menu with the traditional items: chicken tenders, grilled cheese, quesadilla, etc. And the menu for adults features sandwiches, burgers, wraps and salads. The burgers contain “Chef Jamie’s secret seasoning” so my husband and I both got a burger! The meat was super flavorful, so I’m a fan of that seasoning, whatever it may be!

5. Nancy’s Scoops

kid eating ice cream at Nancy's Scoops in Lancaster, Ohio

Don’t forget dessert! Nancy’s Scoops has a huge menu of options, including food, milkshakes, sundaes, hand dipped ice cream and much more!

6. Gypsy Joe’s Ice Cream

kids eating ice cream at Gypsy Joe's in Lancaster, Ohio

Gypsy Joe’s is another cute option for dessert! The decor inside is very fun! 

Where to Stay in Lancaster, Ohio

My family was hosted at Holiday Inn Express and Suites. We had a great experience here! The room we had was large with a kitchen and living room area, which was really nice! It was an easy distance from all of the things listed here!

kids playing piano in downtown Lancaster, Ohio

What are your favorite things to do in Lancaster, Ohio? What should we do next?

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flowers against brick in Lancaster, Ohio

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9 Things to Do with Your Kids This Fall in Columbus

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Fall is such a fun time in Central Ohio! Here are 9 things you can only do during the Fall in Columbus and Central Ohio!

What Are Some of the Best Things to do with Kids During the Fall in Columbus?

There are so many things that can only be done during the fall season and we love to take advantage of as many as we can! From pumpkin farms, to marching bands to model trains, here are 9 things we enjoy doing as a family during the fall!

1. Attend a Skull Session at St. John Arena

My kids love instruments and any kind of band, so we were excited, though a little nervous, about taking them to a Skull Session at OSU! It’s a great way to get caught up in the football spirit, even if you don’t have tickets to the game!

A Skull Session is basically a pep rally where the marching band plays, the players come out and the coach gives a little speech . . . it’s very high energy and really a lot of fun!

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I’d recommend either parking on West Campus (parking is $20!) and taking a shuttle or parking in a neighborhood along the Olentangy bike path and walking up the path to St. John Arena.

The Skull session happens 2 hours and 20 minutes before each game and lasts an hour. When it’s over, you can mull around amongst the tailgaters, pick up some free samples (1/4 of a Sugardale hot dog, anyone?) and enjoy the energy of game day.

We were nervous because we weren’t sure what would happen to our strollers when we got there! We were able to take our strollers (yes, we had two) into the arena, but we left them outside the gymnasium, along the outer wall. It was a risk, but no one decided to walk off with a stroller on game day. Phew! I don’t know where else you could put your stroller, as the seating in the gymnasium is very tight. It worked out for us and we were really glad we did it!

You can see the schedule of OSU games here! Friends recommended arriving 20-25 minutes early to get good seats, and I will pass that advice on to you. We got there around 9:20 AM for the 9:40 AM Skull Session and were able to get good seats facing the band.

2. Visit a Pumpkin Patch

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There are so many pumpkin patch options, it’s kind of amazing! Every weekend in October is filled with Fall Festivals – honestly, I had no idea before I started this blog how many there are! Make sure to visit my post, Central Ohio Pumpkin Patches and Fall Festivals for a complete list!

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We recently visited Jaquemin Farms on a Monday! This one is great, in my opinion, because it is open during the week and for only $2 kids ages 3-10 can play in the corn box and run through the straw maze! Kids 2 and under are free! During the weekends, they have bouncy houses and the price is a bit higher. So if you have preschoolers at home during the week, this is a great way to spend an inexpensive morning at a pumpkin patch! Other weekday options include Circle S Farms, evenings at Lehner’s Pumpkin Farm.

If you want the BIG pumpkin farm experience complete with kettle corn, a zip line, a huge pumpkin trampoline, mazes, corn bins, pedal carts and more, make sure to check out 15 Things to Do at Leeds Farm!

Another place we love to go is Smith’s Farm Market! The picture below is a few years old, but they always have a large selection of pumpkins and picturesque settings for fun pictures with pumpkins!

smith-farm-market

3. Go Apple Picking

I’ve shared about our visit to Orchard and Company, and Branstool Orchards, and here’s a list of more apple picking ideas from Columbus Moms Blog! It’s getting late in the season, but there are still apples to be picked at many farms and a lot of them have farm festival weekends as well! If you’re looking for some options during the week (as opposed to the weekend), a few farms are open on select Fridays: Lynd Fruit Farm, and Cherry Hawk Farm, to name a few.

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4. Attend Boo at the Zoo at Columbus Zoo

boo-at-the-zoo

Boo at the Zoo happens for THREE weekends in October this year! The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium has added an additional weekend for 2019! The weekends in October are the 11-13th, 18th – 20th, and the 25th – 27th. Dress your kids (or yourself!) in costume and visit a lot of vendors in different areas of the zoo who want to fill your kid’s basket with candy! It’s also totally acceptable to take your baby in a cute pumpkin costume in a stroller and accept candy on his or her behalf! 😉

5. Take a Road Trip

I shared 6 Ohio Road Trips to Take This Fall here, one of them being the Fall Festival at The Farm at Walnut Creek. Even if you can’t make it for the festival, a drive to Amish Country will be beautiful when the leaves (finally!) start to change!

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More fun road trip ideas include:

Fall is my favorite time of year for a road trip!

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6. Visit a Metro Park

Once the leaves start to change, there are some great options for leaf viewing in our local Metro Parks! A great one is Battelle Darby! There are walking paths through the woods and also bison viewing! While you’re there, check out the living stream in the Nature Center!

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Inniswood Metro Park is also beautiful in the fall. Seriously, check out this picture I took during the fall (below)! It felt like a fairy tale! It was amazing!

7. Visit a City Park

Don’t underestimate your local city park for fall beauty. Here is a list of all the Columbus City ParksFranklin Park is particularly beautiful in the fall! Keep an eye out for the Harvest Parties at Columbus Rec Centers. You don’t have to go far to celebrate! 🙂

columbus parks

8. See Model Railroads at COSI

Mark your calendars for Model Railroad Days at COSI: November 20-24, 2019. My kids LOVE this special couple of days when several model railroad clubs take over a few galleries at COSI. There are a lot of model trains to see and also trains to play with! It only comes once a year, but it’s one of those things my oldest son always asks about!

model railroad days at COSI

9. Visit the Huntington Holiday Train at Main Library

This is something I consider a Christmas tradition for our family, but it does arrive before Thanksgiving, so technically, it’s a fall activity, right? 😉  In mid November, the train will be installed at the New Main Library! It’s really beautiful, and if you have train lovers, like I do, it’s something you have to see!

Huntington Train

What else would you add to the list of “can’t miss” fall activities in Columbus?

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ICYMI: Fun for the Whole Family at EnterTRAINment Junction

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9 things to do with your kids this fall in Columbus, Ohio


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