Late Days of Summer in Ohio

Sep 14, 2021

Summer is my favorite season, but so is autumn. So naturally, late August to September is my sweet spot. Even though these late days of summer in Ohio can be sweltering, I love it when the season drags on a bit, unwilling to give up the stage to fall’s crisp appeal. These are the days I start squeezing out all the warm weather activities, celebrating every sparkling drop.

Summer in Ohio typically revolves around the great outdoors: biking, hiking, canoeing, and swimming to cool off. There are food festivals, outdoor concerts and plays, movies under the stars, and markets in the city. Not to mention homegrown ice cream brands from Cincinnati to Columbus to scoop all summer long.

There’s really quite a lot to enjoy in Ohio during the warm months, although I would say it’s the simple things that make this state special. Here’s a round-up of my favorite late days of summer activities I’ve been saving for last.

A Ballgame in the City

Cheering on Dayton’s Minor League with Major Charm

I grew up going to major league baseball games in Cincinnati. My youthful memories include peanuts under my feet, a funny yeasty smell in the air (beer), participating in the wave, and fireworks blasting off for home runs. There’s nothing like a pro-ball game, and summer in Ohio isn’t complete without skipping out to Cincinnati to cheer on the Reds. However, I’ll never forget my first time at a Dayton Dragons game, my city’s minor league team. It’s a more intimate experience, with not one bad seat in the house. Also, the energy boasts a chill vibe- parking plus getting to your assigned seating creates little to no stress. And between innings, there are all kinds of fun shenanigans.

A Moonset at Sunrise

Photographing August’s “Blue Moon” as the Sun Comes Up

I’m all about those sunrises and sunsets, but I’m also obsessed with the moon. Those close to me would give a nod and possibly an eye roll. One can only hear “Hey, look at the moon!” so many times before it gets to be a thing. But you get it- I catch sight of the moon, and all things come to a temporary stop for me to gaze and ask everyone if they see what I see. I say all this to point out that it’s completely bonkers that I have not set out to watch a moonset because there are plenty of idyllic country hillsides in Ohio to do just that. This summer, my husband and I planned out a perfectly timed photography sesh with the moon. We scouted a hill ideally situated for August’s late full moon, the “Sturgeon Moon,” that would be setting in the morning just before sunrise. And it was a beautiful experience- one I’ll repeat possibly again this month!

A Muralled City

Scouting for Street Art in Dayton

The city of Dayton is bursting with art, and a good chunk of it is outdoors. These bold and colorful expressions go well with summer’s playful vibe. Each one is so unique and beautiful; the pictures don’t do them justice. If you find yourself in Dayton, Ohio, you need to check it out for yourself! Grab a Sweet P’s popsicle from the city’s 2nd Street Market, rent an electric scooter found peppered throughout the downtown, and make an afternoon of hunting down your favorite mural.

A Field of Flowers

Relishing in the Late Summer Blooms

Sunflowers teeter between summer and fall, which makes them one of my favorite flowers. With a bright sunny face, it’s hard not to smile while looking at one. And with soft, fuzzy stems, they’re hard not to touch. Needless to say, standing in a lot full of them is simply magical. A handful of farmer’s markets in Ohio provide cheery fields to photograph, wonder through, and sometimes even pick. The Black Barn in Lebanon provides this pictured field for guests to visit from sunup to sundown.  

A Local Scoop

Screaming for Ohio Ice Cream

If you’re looking for summer’s unofficial dessert, it’s ice cream. And if you’re looking for some tasty local ice cream, Ohio’s got plenty. I’ve visited three in the last month, making a very sweet end to summer. Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream, which started in Columbus, uses cream from the state’s grass-fed cows and local produce to make the wittiest of artisan flavors: Goat Cheese with Red Cherries, Brandied Banana Brulee, and my personal favorite, Wildberry Lavender (pictured above) to name a few.

Also on the list of Ohio’s legendary ice cream makers: Graeters. This nationwide seller got its start serving artisan ice cream out of a cart in Cincinnati. They continue to make their ice cream through a small-batch process called the “French Pot.” You can taste the difference in this ultra-dense and creamy product. Aglamesis Bros in the Cincinnati suburb Oakley has that old-timey feel you crave in the summer. Their ice creams are delicious, as are the Italian Ices. If it’s too hard to choose between the two, you’re not alone. When in doubt, get both!

“Summer ends, and Autumn comes, and he who would have it otherwise would have high tide always and a full moon every night.” —Hal Borland

Till next time, enjoy these late sun-soaked days of summer!

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