Independent vinyl shops deliver more than music

Kids these days have music wrapped around their little fingers. They can pretty much listen to whatever they want, whenever they want, thanks to online streaming services, such as Spotify and Pandora.

“Alexa: Play ‘Watermellon Sugar.’ ”

“Alexa: Repeat.”

So it was surprising when our 13-year-old daughter, Rosie, put “vinyl records” atop her Christmas wishlist in December.

In an effort to support local businesses during the pandemic, we set out to find Rosie’s top requests at record stores in central Ohio, where we were quickly reminded of how much fun these music-lovers havens really are.

“You get the browsing experience,” said Kyle Siegrist, owner of Lost Weekend Records in Clintonville. “If you’re buying online, you’re usually looking for a particular record. When you’re in the store, something might catch your eye.”

We flipped through crates of albums, admiring the covers. We reminisced at the site of promotional flyers from past shows plastered on the wall. We listened to the banter of customers.

“Plus, you can haggle in the store,” Siegrist said.

“Wait, you can haggle?” a customer retorted.

“Not on new stuff, but on old stuff. That’s part of the fun of a record store.”

At home comes the joy of listening to your new or used record.

“Sick,” said Rosie, as she pulled a new 5 Seconds of Summer record from its sleeve. She held it in her hands, admiring a rainbow created by the grooves in the vinyl. She placed it on her record player and put the needle atop the spinning circumference. She sat on the edge of her bed and listened, as we once did.

The magic of vinyl wasn’t lost on our daughter.

Here are a few other places in central Ohio to get in the groove and start spinning vinyl.

Lost Weekend Records: You’ll find vinyl in all genres at this 18-year-old shop located along High Street in Clintonville. We’re talking new releases, classic rock, jazz, country, folk, reggae, pop and many others. They also have many used CDs, DVDs, books and music collectibles.

Elizabeth’s Records: Here’s another Clintonville gem, along Indianola Avenue just south of Studio 35 theater. She’s got many, many cool rock albums and more from several other genres.

Used Kids Records: An Ohio State University staple since the mid-’80s, Used Kids boasts a huge selection of new and used vinyl, CDs and DVDs, as well as used stereo equipment. In 2016, it moved to the city’s “SoHud” neighborhood near Summit and Hudson streets.

Magnolia Thunderpussy: Five decades of experience is behind this well-loved Short North shop that has lots of boxed sets, rare items and imports. Its website offers more than 15,000 titles.

Spoonful Records: This small shop in downtown Columbus just passed the decade mark and specializes in new and used vinyl. It also has 8-track tapes, CDs, new Audio-Technica turntables – and pinball machines you can play.

Records Per Minute: Pony up just $2 for more than 50,000 used records at this University District shop along High Street. Plus, it’s just a cool interior space to wander through, with wood floors and brick arches.

Pat’s Endangered Species: Pat likes to call his Delaware shop “The Last Record Store on Earth.” There are just a few more left (as you can see here), but Pat’s is a really nice space to wander through, not only for records but for vintage concert T-shirts and some used stereo equipment.

Outside of central Ohio? Check out Rolling Stone’s “10 Best Record Stores in America.”

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Take a global spring break while sheltering in place

Take a global spring break while sheltering in place

It’s officially spring break for our kids. Yet here we are at home in Columbus on the verge of a mandatory, 2-week shelter-in-place order from our governor to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Canceling your vacation plans doesn’t mean you have to miss out on what the world has to offer, at least while you’re spending time at home in front of your computer. You can catch some interesting livestreams around the world – live footage from cameras placed at or near notable global landmarks.

For instance, today we’ve been staring at a live view of the crosswalk near the intersection of Abbey Road and Grove End Road in London. It’s where the Beatles were filmed crossing for the renowned Abbey Road album cover. Double-decker red buses and motorcycles zoom by, as we wait for pedestrians to cross. Little do they know we’re observing their every move from Columbus, Ohio.

Here’s a list we’ve put together that shows live streams of Old Faithful, Times Square and various other locations including Aruba, Las Vegas, San Francisco and Dublin, Ireland, as well as some rather unusual places.

United States

Around the World

Just for Fun

Abbey Road, London

Abbey Road, London

Times Square, New York City

Times Square, New York City

Old Faithful at Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Old Faithful at Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Dublin, Ireland

Dublin, Ireland



Donkey Barn in Ipswich, Mass.

Donkey Barn in Ipswich, Mass.

Critter Cam, Tustin, Calif.

Critter Cam, Tustin, Calif.

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23 engaging stops along St. Rt. 23 from Columbus to the Ohio River

23 engaging stops along St. Rt. 23 from Columbus to the Ohio River

With every twist and bend throughout southern Ohio’s Appalachian hills and valleys, St. Rte. 23 takes you past some of the best attractions, restaurants and shops in southern Ohio. Here are 23 engaging stops that’ll make the trip from Columbus to the Ohio River (and back) an alluring adventure.


1. Learn quirky facts about the village of Ashville at Ohio’s Small-Town Museum. Check out the futuristic traffic light designed by a local inventor in the 1930s.

2. Pick your way through Pickaway County at a cornucopia of pick-your-own produce farms and roadside stands. Watch for blueberries and tomatoes in summer, and gourds and pumpkins in fall.

3. See pumpkins, parades and lots of people at the annual Circleville Pumpkin Show, featuring four days of free fun, beginning the third Wednesday in October.

4. Discover an entertainment legend at the Ted Lewis Museum in downtown Circleville. The early 20th-century jazz clarinetist was known for his top hat, cane and the remark, “Is everybody happy?”

Lindsey’s Bakery5. Savor a pumpkin doughnut every day of the year at Lindsey’s Bakery, home of the 400-pound pumpkin pie found annually at the Circleville Pumpkin Show.


6. Sit beneath the stars in Chillicothe as more than 100 “Tecumseh!” cast members tell the story of a legendary Shawnee leader’s struggles to defend his homeland during the late 1700s.

7. Stoke your sense of adventure by exploring Ross County’s five state parks. Follow hiking, biking and bridle paths, go boating and fishing, and stay in a cabin or tent and stargaze at night.

8. Visit the rustic landscape that inspired the Great Seal of the State of Ohio at the Adena Mansion & Gardens in Chillicothe. Stroll through the 1800’s mansion, once home to Ohio’s sixth governor, Thomas Washington.

9. Rekindle yesteryear inside dozens of antique shops on the Ross County Antique Trail. The treasure hunt meanders through Chillicothe, Bainbridge and Kingston.

10. Lose your head at Chillicothe’s Haunted Mountain, a family-friendly, Halloween experience that puts guests on a trail visited by the Headless Horseman.

11. Take yourself out to a Chillicothe Paints ballgame and feel the nostalgia of collegiate baseball in the 1954-built V.A. Memorial Stadium.

12. Enjoy a movie or live performance at Chillicothe’s Majestic Theatre, the oldest continuously operating theater in America. Built in 1853, it’s welcomed legends such as Bob Hope and Sophie Tucker.

13. Uncover the history behind the Hopewell Culture National Historical Park in Chillicothe, where visitors can find a dozen mounds and earthworks dating to A.D. 500 within a 21-mile radius.

14. Rediscover the vibrancy of downtown Chillicothe, Ohio’s first capital. Explore historic buildings, shop at independent boutiques and dine at local culinary standouts.

15. Experience the thrill of auto racing at Waverly’s Atomic Speedway, billed as “the fastest 3/8-mile dirt track in the country” that’s entertained fans for more than six decades.

16. Tune into Prussia Valley Dulcimers in Waverly for a major selection of acoustic instruments, including locally-crafted mountain dulcimers, guitars, banjos and Native American flutes.

17. Step into the Old West at Dogwood Pass, a replica town in Beaver complete with a saloon, jail, general store and many other tributes to the Wild West.

18. Reserve a spot on the U.S. Department of Energy’s popular, guided tour of a former uranium enrichment plant housed on more than 1,200 acres in Piketon.

19. Pop up a tent at a primitive site or sleep in an appointed cabin, at the 400-plus-acre Long’s Retreat Family Resort in Latham. Canoe or swim in a spring-fed lake or speed around the go-kart track.


Portsmouth by Wendy Pramik20. Reap the rewards of Main Street Portsmouth, a collaboration of independent business owners and community leaders who’ve both preserved and revitalized this historic city along the Ohio River.

21. Celebrate Independence Day in historic downtown Portsmouth with live music and an annual fireworks display that beautifully reflects upon the Ohio River.

22. View 2,000 years of history depicted on Portsmouth’s floodwall murals, from Native American earth mounds to “King of the Cowboys” actor Roy Rogers.

23. Attend a gallery opening or catch a musical show at the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts on the campus of Shawnee State University in historic Portsmouth.

Portsmouth Floodwall by Wendy Pramik

Circleville Pumpkin Show

(This story, written by Wendy Pramik for Great Lakes Publishing, printed in the Ross County Visitors Guide.)

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Learn what’s brewing in central Ohio, earn cool T-shirt

The Columbus Coffee Experience lets you sample the quality of superior roasted coffee in Ohio’s capital city. On the self-guided tour from Experience Columbus, you get a passport at one of the 17 participating coffee shops. After getting four stamps, you earn a trail T-shirt, and if you fill ‘er up, you can redeem the passport for a travel mug. Read more in our guest blog, “Check out what’s percolating in Columbus,” for
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2020 Ohio Travel Guide

Get your copy today

We had the pleasure of writing the Southeast Ohio section of the 2020 Ohio Travel Guide. The free publication, produced by Tourism Ohio, is packed with inspirational travel ideas and calendars of events. Get your 2020 Ohio Travel Guide.

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We joined Phil Kelly and Shawn Ireland on Good Day Columbus to share our experiences writing for our blog Columbus Family Adventures, and how you can start one for yourself.

The journey of blogging with Columbus Family Adventures

We recently joined Phil Kelly and Shawn Ireland on Good Day Columbus to share our experiences blogging for Columbus Family Adventures, and how you can start a blog for yourself. Watch our clip on Good Day Columbus.

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Made in Cbus Trail: Make keepsakes at four central Ohio shops, earn a tote bag

Make keepsakes at four central Ohio shops, earn tote bag

I find the most memorable adventures to be hands-on experiences. They’re even more meaningful when I can make a keepsake along the way.

The Smithery: Make memorable, metal trinkets at Grandview shop

Such was the case when I tapped the letters of my family members’ names onto a bronze heart while making a necklace at the Smithery in Grandview Heights. The shop offers metal smithing classes for adults and children, and has a gift shop full of neat, handmade creations by local artisans.

The Smithery: Make memorable, metal trinkets at Grandview shop

I participated in a “Make and Take” workshop that included choosing a charm, stamping it with decorations and threading it onto a chain. It took about 30 minutes, and it cost less than $20.

Plus, I received a stamp in my Made in Cbus Trail passport, taking one step closer to receiving a free tote bag from Experience Columbus.

The Smithery is one of more than 30 central Ohio stops on the Made in Cbus Trail. Visit one to pick up your trail booklet. Shop and collect stamps at any four, and you’ll receive a Made in Cbus tote bag, compliments of the visitors bureau.

Below are three more do-it-yourself projects we completed along the trail.

Candle Lab
Multiple locations throughout central Ohio

“Wasabi,” “Snickerdoodle,” “Old Books.” We considered these peculiar fragrances when we set out to make our own candle that captured our personalities at the Candle Lab in downtown Worthington.

The Candle Lab is a specialty store where customers can buy pre-made, scented candles, or concoct their own. Fragrance selections vary by season, and you can choose up to three scents to blend. The candles are made of pure soy wax, which burns long and is environmentally friendly.

The process of picking a scent, mixing it with liquid wax and allowing it to harden takes a little over an hour. Most candles cost less than $25.

Popular fragrance recipes among the younger crowd include mixing “Bubble Gum” and “Watermelon” to produce a scent resembling watermelon-flavored Bubblicious chewing gum. Another mixes “Campfire,” “Toasted Marshmallow” and “Dark Chocolate” to yield a s’mores-scented candle.

I settled on an earthy trio of pineapple, peach and patchouli, since I’m a sucker for alliteration.

The Candle Lab’s fragrances are stored in amber bottles with white labels. We poured each of our selections into a bartender’s jigger. Then we emptied the mixture into an 8-ounce tin filled with soy wax and a wick. Voila! In an hour’s time, we had our personalized candles.

There also are Candle Lab store locations in Grandview Heights, the Short North and near the Greater Columbus Convention Center.

Igloo Letterpress

You might not think of a print shop as a place to take your family. But Igloo Letterpress in Worthington is a great place to visit for personalized stationery and related classes.

For instance, you can take classes in bookbinding, calligraphy and the art of letterpress printing. Owner Allison Chapman uses seven printers, including one that dates to 1892, to create stunning letterpress works of art.

Allison told me the old printer came from her grandfather, who was a printing hobbyist. The same equipment is used to make greeting cards and posters sold in the store, including an impressive farmer’s market series.

Igloo Letterpress also offers handbook binding, custom stationery and a variety of unique cards. Allison says stationery-making is the most-popular class. Participants use antique wood and metal machines to typeset their names and then complete the printing process.

The stationery class costs $40 and can be scheduled by appointment via the company’s website. No appointment is needed to make a book at the Book Bar, where you can quickly put together a journal for less than $10.

Better yet, pair a visit to the Book Bar with a visit to the nearby Sassafras Bakery, which has a milk-and-cookie happy hour from 3-5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Wild Cat

Wild Cat is an independent business in the heart of Clintonville that’s just as creative and wild as its name suggests.

Here you’ll find an assortment of T-shirts, coasters and nightlights touting local institutions such as Tee Jaye’s Country Place and Nancy’s Home Cooking.

You also can learn lots of off-the-wall skills, including how to make pom-pom earrings, a crocheted unicorn toy or a watercolor painting of succulents. You can even learn how to read tarot cards.

We like to pop in on Saturday mornings during the Clintonville Farmer’s Market, when Wild Cat offers free activities for children.

We’ve strung plastic beads to form friendship bracelets and cut construction paper into strips to create super-hero wristbands.

My daughter also made a necklace with interchangeable magnetic pendants while attending a birthday party.

Enjoy more pics of these do-it-yourself adventures:

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Merry-Go-Round Museum: There’s motion in this Sandusky menagerie

There’s motion in this Sandusky menagerie

Merry-Go-Round Museum: There’s motion in this Sandusky menagerie

Think of a merry-go-round, and the image of horses leaps to mind. But organizers at the Merry-Go-Round Museum, along the shores of Lake Erie, want you to know there are more to carousel critters than just painted ponies.

The museum, which opened in 1990 near Cedar Point in Sandusky, displays a mixed breed of figures and provides an opportunity to ride one aboard a restored 1939 Allan Herschell carousel, the main attraction of the museum.

Besides horses, visitors will find a rabbit, camel, goat, chicken, dragon and a menacing wolf. All are masterfully carved from wooden boards and painted in realistic detail. Some come from France, built around the turn of the 20th century.

Merry-Go-Round Museum: There’s motion in this Sandusky menagerie

The museum also offers an opportunity to see and chat with a carver at work. During a recent visit, I learned that non-horse figures are called menagerie pieces. Some of the old ones are on loan from private collections. Others were recently carved or restored and soon will be installed on working carousels throughout the country. Just 200 original wooden carousels are still in operation across the United States today.

The first thing you’ll notice, though, is the building that houses the museum. Built in 1927 as a post office, it’s on the National Register of Historic Places, thanks in part to its unique, round shape.

It became a carousel museum in 1990, two years after the Postal Service issued four commemorative carousel stamps. Sales of the stamps drew thousands of people to the odd duck of a building. Carousel enthusiasts put two and two together and decided what better place to house a round ride than a round building in the center of town.

The Merry-Go-Round Museum is located at 301 Jackson St., Sandusky. Admission is $6 for adults; $5 for seniors ages 60 and up; and $4 for children ages 4-14. For more information, call 419-626-6111 or visit

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