Does the economy and time constraints have you thinking this might not be a good year to take a vacation? Well, not to worry. Your whole family can have fun in nearby Licking County.

Does the economy and time constraints have you thinking this might not be a good year to take a vacation? Well, not to worry. Your whole family can have fun in nearby Licking County.

This year, the Greater Licking County Convention and Visitors Bureau has a fantastic deal for vacationers who stay as little as one day. All you have to do is book at least one night in a Licking County hotel to receive a bunch of deep discounts for local activities, stores, museums, theatres and restaurants. The special promotion runs now through November 1.

What kind of deals, you ask? A cruise on the Queen of the Lake Pontoon at Buckeye Lake has a free child admission for every paying adult. Take a ride in the comfortable and safe pontoon and see all the beautiful waterside homes and the many lake islands. The Works in downtown Newark welcomes all children free with every paying adult. Here you can see glass blowing, displays of Newark's industrial history and explore hands-on activities for all ages. In the gift shop, beautiful one-of-a-kind glass art pieces are for sale.

How about a stroll along the streets of Granville - a Norman Rockwell-like village that attracts visitors from all over the country? The James Store has beautiful clothes and offers a $5 discount off any purchase of $25 or more. You're sure to see the fancy carriage pulled by a Belgian heavy-duty horse plying the streets while the driver points out houses and buildings of historical significance. Enjoy a free historical tour with a $25 ride.

Just down the road a bit is Cherry Valley Lodge and CoCo Key Waterpark. Every kid loves the waterpark and Mom or Dad can get $10 off luxurious spa treatments of $50 or more. Waterpark passes are $19. The lodge is one of the many fine hotels in which to stay. There is a playground, a beautiful pool separate from the waterpark, a recreation area, and a fabulous lobby and porches where you can take your ease in splendor.

Hungry yet? There are restaurants from Pataskala to the eastern edge of the county. In Pataskala, try the Nutcracker Restaurant and get a free slice of homemade pie with any meal, or 20 percent off fresh hot nuts or Amish chocolates. Yum! For an elegant dinner, try the Longaberger Golf Club. They will take $7 off every dinner entree.

How about some ice cream? You can't beat the home of Ohio's own Velvet Ice Cream Company. Take a tour and see ice cream being made. Feed the ducks in the pond and watch the huge mill wheel go round and round while you explain to the kids how such mills were used a long time ago. Top it off with a visit to the old-fashioned ice cream parlor and get a free cone with every paid cone of equal or lesser value.

Is Italian food your idea of a substantial meal? Try Adormetto's Restaurant and get half off the cost of an entre or pizza. Delicious!
The National Trail Schoolhouse Inn offers a double treat. If you ride your horse, the folks at the inn stables will board it overnight for free, and give you a free dinner for staying just one night.

Are you a theatre buff? The Weathervane Playhouse is a summer stock theatre with professional actors and staff along with local talent and volunteers. It's a huge outdoor facility, and there's not a bad seat in the house. Six or seven different plays are staged throughout the summer, and you'll get $2 off every adult ticket. There's also the restored Midland Theatre on the square in downtown Newark.

Don't forget to visit the museums. The National Heisey Glass Museum is located in the heart of Newark. It has a large collection of genuine Heisey glass, plus Heisey reproductions for sale in the gift shop. Newark was the home of the famous glassmaker until the mid '50s, and the museum lovingly showcases the treasured glass in polished wood and glass cabinets. You can get a 50 percent discount off an adult admission price.

There are a lot more places to see and things to do. For more information, go to, or call (800) 589-8224. You also can request a free travel magazine that illustrates all the wonders of Licking County. Write me: mildredmoss@gmail. com. I live in Licking County and I'm glad to help answer questions.

See you this summer!