Take a Holiday Mini-Vacation!
By TourismOhio

Take a Holiday Mini-Vacation!

I don’t know about you, but something peculiar happens to me this time of year, never with a set date, but 100% guaranteed. My eyes roll at too early holiday tunes and I groan as my mailbox fills up with shopping fliers. Then, out of the blue, I’m humming Jingle Bells and hankering for winter follies…just like that!

As soon as I get that twinkle in my eyes, I’m on a mission to find fun weekend getaways. So I was tickled to discover that in December there is a veritable winter wonderland complete with indoor water slides in the West Chester area of Cincinnati.

First, we (my husband, stepdaughter and I) set our sights on EnterTrainMent Junction, which features the WORLD’s largest indoor model train display. Even if trains aren’t your thing, you’ll enjoy this experience. The exterior is quite deceptive–a gigantic warehouse that doesn’t hint at all of the fun things inside. You enter directly into an impressive little railroad town that boasts sparkling street lamps, cobblestone streets, a general store and more.

After a quick stop at the ticket booth, we made our way to The Train Journey, which features 2+ miles of tracks in a 25,000-square-foot space. We walked from room to room staring at the rail cars, tiny towns and incredible attention to detail. We really got into the winter-only game of keeping an eye out for Santa figurines, which was like playing “Where’s Waldo?” with 3D “Waldo’s!” This display begins in the 1800s and travels through the decades to the present day.

We had a lot of fun in the seasonal extravaganza “Journey to the North Pole,” which takes visitors through snow-capped mountains, giant hanging ornaments and, of course, trains!

Mr. & Mrs. Clause were even there for photo ops, with the help of a few good elves (who also handed out soft-baked cookies). While we browsed the gift shop, a choo-choo clock reminded us we’d been there nearly all day, yet we hadn’t even ventured into the A-Maze-N Funhouse.

Ready to unwind we headed to our room at the Crowne Plaza North, connected to Co-Co Key Water Resort— a gigantic indoor water park that was a steamy 80+ degrees.

The next day, we had a blast on the water slides, adventure river (don’t call it lazy!) and in the activity pool. Co-Co Key also has an enormous indoor/outdoor hot tub for the 16+ crowd and an arcade.

That afternoon on our way back to Columbus, we planned a stop at The Christmas Ranch, an impressive light display on 100+ acres in Morrow. Well worth the time, this mini village has six themed Christmas shops, farm animals, hot chocolate and treats, wagon rides and more.

After our visit at the ranch, we were ready to go home and welcome the holiday season!

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