Fall brings so many great things here in Dublin, Ohio … cool breezes, the brilliant palette of changing leaves, football fever, a bountiful harvest from owl-Ohio-Wildlife-Centerlocal farmers and, of course, school (again). Even though fall is my favorite season, the idea of “back-to-school” makes me a little sad. (Probably not-so-much for you parents of 3+ children, huh?) I guess it’s the idea of summer—and all the fun trips, vacations, activities, fun family free time coming to an end, in order to accommodate all those things that occupy our busy schedules during the year.

If your family is anything like mine, that means everyone is going in different directions most days. But I’ve come up with a mini-solution to this drifting-effect. About this time every year, I plan a couple of family getaway weekends for the fall/winter months and plug the dates into our “master” calendar. Everyone at my house knows these are non-negotiable dates. Attendance is required. These are usually “close to home” getaways involving  Ohio travel. We try to target some new city, attraction or park we’ve never visited—then look for deals.  My starting point is always the web site of the Ohio Division of Travel & Tourism: Discoverohio.com  Sometimes I search a word like “fall” or “history” for ideas. Sometimes I go right to the Travel Tools/Local Tourism Organizations (often the CVB web sites offer great hotel packages with discounted attraction tickets).

If I know I want to visit a certain city or area—I’ll call the CVB and ask them for suggestions. I KNOW these people are as passionate about travel as I am, so it’s a great way to learn about hidden gems. And I try to offer the same service for visitors calling the Dublin CVB for Dublin or Central Ohio getaway information.

Trust me. Schedule your fall/winter getaway in now--or time will slip away.  (It will be worth it just to hear them say, “This was SO COOL, Mom!”)   So, tell us ... when & where was the last non-summer family getaway you planned?

-Post by Mary