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East and a little North of Columbus is Holmes County, Ohio.  To many this is known as Amish Country.  While most people connect Amish Country to areas of Pennsylvania, those who know much about Amish history know that there is a significant and flourishing Amish community here in central Ohio.

Last year we took a week of vacation up to Amish country and stayed in one of the many rental cabins available.  Just 2 hours north of Lancaster, the Amish area is spread out through several small towns in and around Holmes county.  We stayed close to the town of Berlin, a charming little town with lots of shops and tourist attractions.  The main shops are all within walking distance each other, the only bad part for us is that we happened to be going during a road and sidewalk project they were doing so it wasn’t as easy to navigate as it normally would be, but I am sure it will be a nice improvement when it’s all done (which may be now).

Your visit to Amish Country is sure to include great homemade Amish food, plenty of shopping and enjoying the beautiful outdoors.  At our cabin we had a nice fire pit ring and plenty of firewood, so we enjoyed campfires several nights which included making smores with our little guy and cooking hotdogs over an open flame.  We also had a traditional gas grill, a hot tub and a beautiful cabin.  Our only complaint about the cabin was the incredibly small refrigerator and since we were originally planning to have 5 people and to eat at home most evenings.  In the end, due to illness, my brother and sister-in-law could not come with us, but even for just 2 adults and 1 child, the refrigerator size was a big issue.  So my advice before picking out a cabin is to look at all the photos very carefully to know exactly what you’re getting.

If you are a quilter, go to Amish country!  I’m a beginning quilter and I had so much fun checking out the various quilting shops and the fabric warehouse store.  There has to be at least 4 shops within a very small area of these little towns.  We also went to a specialty popcorn store, a nice little book store, several variety stores, a Christmas store, a toy store, a flea market, the Amish and Mennonite History center, etc, etc.

If you want to have a horse and buggy ride, there are several places available to experience Amish living and plenty of activities to do on various Amish and/or Mennonite farms.  We even went to a cheese factory well known for their Swiss cheese during their annual customer appreciation festival and had some free cheese and received some free goodies while our little guy got to have his face painted and do some cute kids activities.

One of the nights we went to a variety comedy show that was great fun.  Creative Kid even ended up being part of the act, as there was plenty of audience participation.  He still talks about the ‘magic quarter’ he was given there.  Down the road there is another theater in the area that preformed comedy plays.  There is literally something to do for everyone and I feel like we barely scratched the surface with the things we did there in a week.

So if you are looking for some fun, some shopping, some relaxation and some good food, I would say head to Amish country!  I know we’ll be back.

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