Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Loveland Castle Field Trip

While we were on a little weekend getaway, we decided to go do something outside of the lodge.  I am a homeschooler after all, so I love looking for fun field trips.  We looked up some things online, and settled on Loveland Castle!

We knew the kids would be intrigued, it was only 15 minutes from where we stayed at Great Wolf Lodge, and it wouldn't take long to do a self-tour.  Emory had just completed AO Year 2, which focused on the medieval ages, so it was good timing for him.

Fair Warning . . . this is a photo heavy post!  It was a fun and fascinating place for my kids!

I had never heard of Loveland Castle before, but read a little about it before we left.  Apparently the creator, Harry Andrews, was declared dead in WWI.  His fiancĂ© married someone else before he was declared undead, so he decided to stay in Europe and visit castles and such.  He was a medieval enthusiast, and eventually he built Château Laroche in Ohio as a replica of European castles.  

A few doors were locked, and some personal rooms had barred doors so you could only see in (bathroom, kitchen, bedroom), but you can take tours through a large portion of the castle and see the lovely arches, winding stairs, death holes, spy holes and unique features he built into the castle.  The castle was built in connection with his scout troop, which was called the Knights of the Golden Trail, and they run the castle now as a museum.  

They had a video playing in one area, to learn more about Andrews, or you could go the other direction and there was a Knights of the Golden Trail member speaking to guests.  It was a self-guided tour through the castle and garden though.  We were there between 30-45 minutes, but you can stay longer and take in more details if you don't have a toddler in tow.  

They had benches set up throughout the gardens so you could picnic, or convince your siblings to take a picture with you!

The kids thought the winding stone staircases were neat.

The girls kept asking where the Princess or Queen or Prince was, and they were disappointed that there wasn't going to be a real princess.  They finally declared I was the Princess and Daddy was the Prince!  Eleanor was excited to find this purple chair, purple being her favorite color.

Since it was a museum, they did have some things in cases.  There were picture and postcards and mementos featured throughout.

The kids just thought all the period pieces were interesting.

As well as the period weapons . . .

"This Guy . . . "

There were so many little details, that everywhere you looked, you'd find something interesting in the walls.

Most of the rooms were built to scale, except the ballroom, which was built as a 1/5 replica.

The lighting on this is bad, but if you look through the spy hole, you can see outside, down to the entrance area.  The boys thought that was cool.

This girl loves posing for pictures!

We were walking down to the dungeon here!  You could see a "skeleton" chained up through a door, but the lighting was bad and it was hard to get a picture.  The boys still though the idea of the dungeon was cool.

Back outside, you can walk the garden paths.  More benches and lots of great plants.  Some kids insisted on having their pictures taken.

The view from the other side.

Walking back towards the entry, you can see the arches, the windows...the neat details!

Saw this guy on the way out . . .

This was a great little trip, and we would recommend it to others.  If you're in the Cincinnati/Mason OH area or passing through, it makes a quick side trip.  It's fairly inexpensive, impressive to littles who might be looking for royalty, and just interesting to the rest of the group.  

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