It’s almost National Grandparents Day!
In 1978, President Carter proclaimed that National Grandparents Day — a day for encouraging grandchildren to visit with their grandparents and learn from their senior loved ones’ life wisdom — would be celebrated annually on the first Sunday after Labor Day. This year, it falls on Sept. 11.
Today, let’s explore a few ideas a senior living in Cincinnati could use to spend time with the grandkids this National Grandparents Day.
1. Go west!
Every fall, the month-long Old West Festival returns to delight Tristate residents young and old. Held east of Cincinnati, in Williamsburg, this event celebrates the Old West of movie and pulp paperback legend! This year, it takes place Sept. 10 – Oct. 16.
Take the grandkids through a full-size fantasy Western town. You can belly up to the bar and order a sarsaparilla at the Long Branch floor show saloon, hear trail stories and cowboy songs over at The Mockingbird, attend a hilarious shotgun wedding over at the Union Church and see Ginger and the Top Hands perform amazing horseback riding feats in The Arena.
There are roaming performers in period dress, a prospecting area where kids can pan for gold, and fun rides on the Chisholm Trail.
It’s the Old West you remember from John Ford and Howard Hawks movies, when The Duke, Robert Mitchum and Jimmy Stewart showed us how men should be men, and Vera Miles, Constance Towers, Joanne Dru showed us how to keep those men on the straight and narrow.
2. Joust spend some time together
Hear ye, hear ye! Another fun, annual event is the Ohio Renaissance Festival up in Harveysburg (about 35 miles north of Cincinnati, near Caesar Creek State Park). Step back in time to and experience a romanticized vision of Merry Olde England!
“Ren Fest” recreates a fanciful 16th century village and features nearly 100 daily shows across 11 stages, including a jousting tournament between real, armored knights!
Visit the King and Queen. Browse the artisans’ shops for goods and fineries of all make, including blown glass, tooled leather and boots. See the smithy at work over his anvil.
Eat your fill of roasted turkey, hot corn-on-the-cob and fresh-baked bread, then test your skill at the medieval games. Or, draw your bow and find out if you could compete with Robin Hood or William Tell for the archer’s prize.
With 150 costumed performers to interact with and 30 acres to roam, there’s plenty to keep you and the grandchildren entertained. Ren Fest takes place every weekend from Sept. 3 to Oct. 23.
3. Sprichts du Deutsch?
This National Grandparents Day also coincides with the last day of Covington’s MainStrasse Village Oktoberfest. Admission is free!
You and your grandkids can enjoy this lively celebration German-American culture, including polka music, authentic Küchen, a Kinderplatz play area for the little ones and (for you) a cold, refreshing beer.
There are also plenty of rides, arts and crafts vendors and performances to experience together. Go experience some real German gemütlichkeit.
4. Why go anywhere? Have the grandkids over for dinner and movie night!
All the events taking place in and around Cincinnati are great. But nothing can beat spending time talking and playing with your grandchildren.
Tell your son or daughter to take a well-deserved evening off. Invite your grandchildren over for dinner. Watch your favorite movie together. Get out the family photo albums and tell them stories about people and places they never knew. Or just listen to them and see where the conversation takes you.
Quality time is a scarce commodity. This National Grandparents Day, whatever you do and wherever you spend it together, make sure that your grandchildren know just how much you love them. They’ll appreciate the memories you’ll make long into the future.