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List of local things to do adds variety to weekend trips

The Armstrong Air & Space Museum, located in Wapakoneta, OH is a great way to see an antique train engine and the famous taxidermy Noah's Ark. (photo/ gogobot)

This list is dedicated to all those who think that ONU is in the boring middle of nowhere. It is in the middle of nowhere, but to those who are determined and a little bit ingenuitive, fun things can be found to see and do. I’ve done most of the work here in this list to prove that Lima has more than just the nearest Wal-Mart. The following attractions are within short driving distance and are perfect for a weekend day trip or a night out.

1. Lima Civic Center
Located at 7 Public Square in downtown Lima, the Civic Center hosts impressive shows that surprise even Lima natives, ranging from plays to community events and from rock concerts to film festivals. The following are some of the upcoming events:

ZZ Top: Oct. 25 at 8p.m., tickets $57-$115Lima Symphony Orchestra: Eros: Nov. 9 at 7:30p.m., tickets $25-$35

Taping of “Cash Explosion:” Nov. 11, doors open at 5:15p.m., free admission

Menopause: the Musical: Nov. 12 at 7:30p.m., tickets $46-$61

Mixed Martial Arts Competition: Nov. 16 at 7:30p.m., tickets 25-$75

2. Allen County Museum
This fascinating museum, which includes an antique train engine and a John Dillinger section, is small in size but uses its space to the fullest. Exhibits range from art to firearms to the famous taxidermy Noah’s Ark, containing a little bit of everything odd that will pique all interests. The museum also has an outdoor Children’s Garden and other family-friendly features. The museum is located at 620 W. Market St. in downtown Lima.

It is open from 1 p.m.- 5 p.m. Monday-Friday and 1 p.m. - 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admissions are donation-based.

3. Armstrong Air and Space Museum
Located right off I-75 S. in Wapakoneta, the Air and Space Museum is a local must-visit for all aeronautics buffs. The museum has everything space: spacesuits, aircrafts, space simulators and a real Apollo 11 moon rock.

The museum is open from 9:30a.m.-5p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and noon-5p.m. on Sundays. Admission is $8 for adults.

4. Downtown Lima Stores
Tall buildings and beautiful architecture are scattered through downtown Lima, some of them modern and others left over from the city’s industrial prime. There are some unique stores worth a visit, like Alter Ego comic bookstore, Dome’s Nut shop, which also sells old-fashioned candy and popcorn, Miriam’s Closet, a used clothing store and Pears Avenue, a recently added store that sells refurbished and vintage furniture and unique housewares and accessories.

5. Downtown Lima Restaurants
If one tires of Starbucks coffee from NOM, The Meeting Place on Market is a cozy café alternative. Kewpee Hamburgers is the Lima cultural mainstay that, although not particularly gourmet, has to be visited at least once. As one drives through Lima, there are a plethora of home-grown restaurants and stores that can’t be found anywhere else in the world, like Rigali’s Pizza Village, Mello-Creme Donuts, or Fat Cat Diner. They are part of what makes Lima a unique and interesting place to visit.