The Wilds is getting a little wilder this summer.
Within the past year, the 14-acre wildlife conservation center in rural Muskingum County has added ways to explore the grounds and its inhabitants -- including antelope, bison, rhinos, giraffes, and cheetahs.
The Wild Zipline Safari is a two-and-a-half-hour adventure offering one-of-a-kind aerial views from 10 zip lines and as many observation platforms.
"The tour is designed to thrill anyone with a love for wildlife and a passion for adventure," said Jennifer Wilson, communication manager for the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium and the Wilds.
For visitors who are queasy at the thought of being airborne, there are other ways to see the park's endangered species, including a Horseback Safari, which takes guests on a ride along the rolling hillsides of the Wilds. A Sunset Safari tour that includes dinner and a tour at dusk -- as well as the standard bus tour -- is another option.
The Dulcimer Days Festival, June 15-17, will once again take place at Roscoe Village in Coshocton County. The pairing of the charming 1830s canal town with a festival that celebrates an instrument rich in Appalachian history is bound to transport guests back in time.
And with a dozen or so shops and terrific patio dining at the Warehouse Steak n' Stein restaurant during the summer, there is plenty more to do and see that will help even the busiest people catch their breath during a visit.
Be sure to sign up for a horse-drawn canal boat ride that will offer enough history to keep the adults' attention and enough to see to entertain kids. The 45-minute adventure down the Ohio and Erie Canal is open Memorial Day through Labor Day.
Fresh eats in Athens
The acclaimed Athens Farmers Market is celebrating a milestone this summer -- its 40th anniversary.
The market, which continues to add vendors, is open Saturdays year-round at 1000 E. State. St. in the parking lot of the Market on State.
After visiting the Athens institution -- which was selected by Audubon magazine in 2006 as one of the nation's best markets -- you likely will have worked up an appetite.
To sample the fresh, local ingredients, visit one of the many great restaurants in the Ohio University area that pride themselves on incorporating homegrown ingredients into dishes.
Casa Neuva, a worker-owned cooperative since 1985 that is dedicated to green, responsible business and local ingredients, never fails to disappoint.
Wine environment expands
Another option is Athens County's newest attraction, the wine bar and lounge at Shade Winery, which opened a little more than a year ago.
Three new wines -- Estate Grown Vidal Blanc, Parallel Vidal Blanc, and Multiflora Rose Chambourcin -- have been added to the menu, and a new deck and live music on the weekends will enhance the experience.
Like so much of Athens, Shade Winery goes out of its way to spotlight local flavors, such as serving crackers and cheese made by neighboring Integration Acres.