Ross Historical Center – Shelby County Historical Society
The local historical society’s home is Shelby County’s center for local history. Visitors from outside the area and locals alike will enjoy both static and rotating exhibits on display throughout the year. The Center also features an impressive research center with computer access to a variety of local history information, photos and stories.
City of Sidney’s Tawawa Civic Park
Residents of the City of Sidney are blessed with an expansive park system of almost 400 acres of park grounds. A large part of the City’s park system is the 192 acre Tawawa Civic Park in the eastern section of the City. The park is a wooded reserve includes areas for hiking, fishing, and is a wonderful outdoor location for family get-togethers, picnics and cookouts. It is also a well-known place for the runners and walkers in the area to exercise and enjoy nature at the same time.
Located in Sidney’s Tawawa park is Big Rock, a favorite for young and old for many, many years. Big Rock is but one of the many attractions located in Tawawa Park.
Sidney’s Covered Bridge
Located in Tawawa Park, the covered bridge is subject of many photographer’s work over the years, due to its peaceful, artistic setting.
The park is adjacent to multiple baseball, softball and soccer sports complexes and also the municipal swimming pool. For more about Tawawa Park and the rest of the city’s recreational facilities, please visit the Parks & Recreation section of the City of Sidney website.
Sidney’s Canal Feeder Bike-Hike Trail
Sidney offers a wonderful trail that begins along the towpath of the former Sidney Feeder Canal and later runs parallel to the Great Miami River. This 3.4 mile paved trail is great for both walking and bicycling year ’round and offers scenic views of both the Great Miami River valley and adjacent wooded landscapes.
Western Ohio’s Place for Fun! Take a thrilling ride on the Night Hawk Zipline Adventure. Play a round of miniature golf or sharpen your game on the driving range. Vandemark Farm is great fun for all ages. Kids will love a visit to the Petting Zoo and a ride on the giant swing. Call in advance for days of operation, hours, and reservations.
Airstream Factory Tour
Airstream is a world-renowned recreational trailer manufacturer and a popular stop for many who visit our area. The company conducts daily plant tours that give visitors the opportunity to see first hand how the American legend Airstream is built. Call 937-596-6111 or visit their website for more details.
Rated in 2012 by FoxNews.com as one of America’s 10 Greatest Factory Tours.
Lake Loramie State Park
This state-operated park is located to the north of Sidney near the village of Fort Loramie and includes a 1600 acre lake and 30 miles of shoreline. It offers unsurpassed convenience for the family who wants to combine boating and camping adventures. At Lake Loramie visitors can set up camp in the 167 site camping area, launch their boats and set out to do some fishing or just to cruise the lake.
Lake Loramie visitors can set up camp and launch their boats, knowing there is plenty of opportunity for cruising. A designated swimming area gives young and old alike a chance to enjoy the water or simply relax in the sun. Bicycles can be rented at the park’s camp office providing visitors the opportunity to explore the park and the community of nearby Ft. Loramie.
For more information about the Lake Loramie State Park and Lake Loramie, please visit the park’s website.
Hickory Hill Lakes – Country Concert
The hills are truly alive with the sound of country music every summer when Country Concert at Hickory Hill Lakes brings top country performers to its stage for a three-day extravaganza. Fans come from all 50 states to enjoy the non-stop entertainment.
Gateway Arts Council
Since 1988, this local group has been promoting the creation, presentation, preservation and accessibility of artistic/cultural resources for the benefit, enjoyment and enrichment of the citizens of Shelby County. For more information and/or a schedule of upcoming performances, visit their web site.
Historic Sidney Theatre
The bright lights and colorful letters on the 1930’s marquee of the Historic Sidney Theatre have been a fixture in the Shelby County community for decades. A wonderful variety of theatrical acts, live musical performances, and cinematic presentations make the Historic Sidney Theatre the perfect venue to enjoy your favorite show.
The annual Backstage Block Party is a can’t miss. Check it out here.
Peoples Federal Savings and Loan Building
This building was designed by famed architect Louis Sullivan in 1917 and completed in 1918. CLICK HERE to read about the 100 year history of this incredible building and then be sure to stop by for a visit.
Shelby County Courthouse
Built in 1883, the Shelby County Courthouse at one time held all the county government offices. Materials for its construction (limestone, sandstone and marble) were brought in by canal boat. The 170 foot center tower is constructed with galvanized iron and features four clocks.
Perhaps no other residence in west central Ohio captures the glamour and opulence of the 1890’s more than this home. Whitby Place was conceived and designed by W.H.C. Goode, one of the wealthiest men in Shelby County, and the owner of the American Steel Scraper Company. Along with its two acres, it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. (937-498-4728)
Shelby Oaks Golf Course
Come play Shelby Oaks. The “Oaks” features 27 holes of championship golf, driving range, and indoor practice facility. Their fully-stocked Pro Shop offers the latest in golf equipment and apparel. Lessons are available daily by appointment.
Great Sidney Farmer’s Market
The market is “the place to be” on Saturday mornings throughout the season. Crafters offer a large variety of homemade items, and farmers bring their freshest produce to tantalize your taste buds. Fresh baked goods and jams and jellies are always a crowd pleaser. Plants and flowers are abundant. Shop early for your best selection!
This open air market is featured in downtown Sidney on the historic Shelby County court square from early June thru early October.
The Sidney Auto-Vue Drive-In Theatre
A family-friendly Drive-In theatre where you can see two first run movies for one low price. The Auto-Vue has great concessions too.
Come on out, have some fun, and enjoy a memorable evening with your family and friends. The theatre is open seasonally; Spring, Summer, and Fall.
Moose Lodge Golf Course
Established originally as the Sidney Country Club, the Moose Lodge golf course features a challenging 9-hole layout with lush fairways, beautiful putting greens, and picturesque bunkers. Even the best of players are sure to find the “Moose” a formidable challenge to their game. Open to the public.
Sidney Community Swimming Pool
Sidney’s community pool is great fun all summer long. Open Memorial Day to Labor Day the pool features a 295 foot spiral slide and speed slide for the more daring. Designated swimming areas for the little tykes and a nice picnic area are also available. Fully trained and certified life guards are always on duty.
Great Miami River
The scenic Great Miami River, which flows leisurely through the city, offers the adventurous both fishing and boating opportunities. Designated by the United States Department of Interior as a National Water Trail, this distinction has been given to only 21 other trails in the country.
For more information about fun on and around the Great Miami River, check out the Great Miami Riverway initiative. This 99 mile water trail connects 19 communities along the Great Miami River beginning in Sidney and ending in Hamilton, Ohio.
And for a little something extra, how about Tour de Way the Great Miami Riverway’s passport program. With Tour de Way you’ll explore the riverway region all year long with 100 locations perfect for the adventurer, the art lover, the aviation enthusiast, the beer connoisseur, and everyone else in between.
To participate, simply visit one of the designated tour locations and follow the instructions to find a QR code. Scan the QR code with your smartphone. Open your camera app and point it at the QR code to be directed to the website. The first time you scan, you’ll need to create a Great Miami Riverway account so that your locations are saved. Every QR code you scan will be automatically saved in your account. Scan the locations in your passport and at bonus locations between May 4, 2019 and March 1, 2020. Grand prize winners will be announced in April 2020. Monthly prize giveaways too. You do not need to be present to win.
To get you started, here’s a list of the participating locations in Sidney.
Busch Family Fish Farm & Pay Lakes
Busch Family Fish Farm hosts seven small ponds stocked primarily with channel catfish, hybrid bluegill, and largemouth bass. Their largest pond is home to regular bluegill and crappie. You’re sure to enjoy this clean, attractive, quiet, and safe fishing facility. Personal assistance is available to those needing it while fishing. Bait shop and picnic areas on site. Guests are permitted to bring their own bait, food and non alcoholic beverages. Fishing licenses are not required.
Shelby County Fair
Each year the Shelby County Fair attracts visitors from all points who come to enjoy the thrills of the midway, sample the incredible selection of food, take in the wide variety of live entertainment, watch the harness racing and tour the agriculture and livestock displays. Call (937) 492-7385 for more information or visit the fair website.
In addition, numerous activities and attractions are hosted on the Shelby County Fair Grounds throughout the year. These include hobby shows, auctions, live entertainment of all varieties, agricultural related functions, car shows, and more. A comprehensive list of all non-fair events can be found at www.shelbycountyfair.com.
Historic Downtown Sidney
In 1819, the Ohio General Assembly determined that Shelby County needed a permanent site to serve as the county seat. Seventy acres of cleared farmland adjacent to the Great Miami River were donated and the new town was named Sidney, after Sir Phillip Sidney, an English patriot and writer. Now dubbed a National Registered Historic District, the Downtown Courthouse Square area of Sidney hosts an abundance of wonderful artwork, architecture and historic sites which are bound to catch any visitor’s eye.
Big Four Bridge
A Sidney landmark for over 75 years. The Big Four Railroad line was the east-west link through the county. It was known as the Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis (thus the Big Four Railroad), later the Bee line, and after 1930, the New York Central Railroad. Construction was finished July, 1853.
Shelby County Libraries
Starting life in 1869 as “The Sidney Lyceum and Library Association” in a small, downtown rented room – and later renamed Amos Memorial Public Library when its brand new facility was opened in 1958 – the library system in Shelby County has grown to include the main library and 5 branches in Anna, Botkins, Fort Loramie, Jackson Center, and Russia. The downtown Sidney library was completely renovated in 2017 and offers outstanding general reading and reference materials along with special interest programming, an impressive genealogical research collection, busy children’s and teen’s rooms, and expanded movie, music, & digital collections.
Bel-Mar Lanes is your home for family FUN in Sidney. At Bel-Mar Lanes you and your friends can have a great time at prices that won’t break your budget. 12 automatic scoring lanes, bumper bowling for the kids, snack bar, and COOL Cosmic Bowling where you bowl with the lights turned down, music turned up and awesome special effects lighting.
The Lost Land Corn Maze
The Lost Land Corn Maze is a fantastic outdoor fall activity – hosted weekends in Sidney from the beginning of September through the end of October.
The complete maze path totals 2 miles in length and is located at 2401 South Vandemark Road in Sidney, a short drive from Dayton, Springfield, and Lima. It’s great fun for all ages!
The Sidney-Shelby County YMCA
The Sidney-Shelby County YMCA is something different and special. The YMCA is a not-for-profit charitable organization and is particularly relevant to today’s society because it fills a void in the community. It welcomes and supports children and families and helps build values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility. The YMCA is for everyone – people of all ages, races, religions, incomes, and abilities. The YMCA builds community.
Rolling Hills Skate
Rolling Hills Skate in Sidney is a family-friendly facility providing recreational skating for individuals as well as large and small group outings. Rolling Hills not only provides a wonderful outlet for exercise, but a safe, fun and wholesome environment as well where parents can feel good about bringing their kids.
Yes, Rolling Hills Skate is a skating business, but much more than that, it’s a family business. So for your next family, civic group, church group, or school group outing, be sure to check out Rolling Hills Skate.
Anna One-Room School House
Originally constructed in 1887, this school was closed in 1925 after 38 years of faithful service to the surrounding community. The school house was restored with great care by owners Bill and Bonnie Elsass. Tours offered by appointment. Meeting room with modern kitchen available on lower level.
Call 937-394-7169 for more information.
Ft. Loramie Wilderness Trail Museum
The Wilderness Trail Museum is owned and operated by the Fort Loramie Historical Association. In it visitors can view uniforms and memorabilia from the Civil War, WWI and WWII as well as Indian artifacts. Visitors can also view a turn-of-the-century dry goods store, women’s store, and a display of old shoe-making equipment. Included in the tour is a barn which features equipment used on farms in the area a hundred years ago. The museum offers a variety of programs and events throughout the year, most notably the Williamsburg Christmas Dinners held over a four-evening period in early December each year. (937-295-3855). Find out more on their website.
Lockington Dam and Reserve
Lockington Reserve is a 200-acre tract featuring a remarkable variety of natural landscapes. Within its boundaries, one can find flood plain forest and upland woods, 90-foot high bluff, pine grove marsh areas, streams and ponds. This natural area remains undeveloped because of its role as a dry storage basin for floodwaters periodically backing up behind the Lockington Dam. The Dam itself was built between 1918 and 1921 by the Miami Conservancy District as part of a plan to prevent the flooding of 1913 from ever happening again. The dam is 6,400 feet long, 69 feet high, and 409 feet wide at its base. Lockington Dam has 1.135 million cubic yards of earth in its embankment and has a 72-foot-long spillway. When built the volume of concrete needed to construct its conduits and spillway totaled 38,000 cubic yards. Visit the website for more information.
The Shelby County Park District was created in 1978 to 1) provide unique natural land areas as they become available, 2) where people may enjoy relaxing recreational activities in a natural setting and 3) develop natural parks that will fill the void between state and municipal/village parks and preserve the natural environment for the benefit of present and future generations. You can find out more about our local park district by visiting their website.