The pages of Country Living magazine come to life during the Country Living Fair, Sept. 13-15 at Ohio Village, on the grounds of the Ohio History Center. With hundreds of vendors selling the best in antiques and contemporary crafts, you're sure to find a new heirloom piece. We're giving away five pairs of tickets to the Fair! To enter, comment below with the item you'll be searching for this year at the Country Living Fair. We'll award the tickets on Sept. 3 at noon.
Here are a few tips to help you have the very best time at the Fair:
1. Buy your tickets in advance. Though lines move fast, this is a really popular event. So save a few dollars and go straight to the front by pre-paying here. You're only able to buy online until Sept. 10. You can also buy an early bird pass, which gets you into the Fair 90 minutes early to get first dibs on the unique antiques and hottest crafts. Kids under 16 are free, and regular parking fees apply. If you are local to Columbus, the Museum Gift Shop at the Ohio Historical Center is also selling tickets in advance until Sept. 12.
2 .Take breaks - but make them productive. The Fair is HUGE. There is more here than you can see in one day. You're going to get tired at some point. BUt when you do, make sure it's during a talk or demo from a celebrity guest. Among the national and local talent are Cari Cucksey, of HGTV and the Beekman Boys, authors of heirloom cookbooks and winners of CBS's Amazing Race. Allison Chapman, of Worthington's Igloo Letterpress will talk about her work.
3. Explore the buildings and grounds of Ohio Village, in addition to the Fair. This area isn't open to the public very often, and there are some architectural treasures, relocated here from all over the state. Make sure you explore the Ohio History Center, too. From the Ice Age-era Conway Mastodon to the new exhibit, The 1950s: Building the American Dream, history lovers will find lots to explore.
4. Bring a friend and make space in your vehicle for some great finds. If you're planning on buying large pieces, a dolly or cart is not a bad idea. A reusable water bottle and picnic blanket are good moves, too.
5. Stay the night. You're going to be beat after a day at the Country Living Fair, and if you do it right, you'll miss lots of the fun Columbus has to offer. Here's a list of hotels with a special Country Living Fair rate. If you're into antiques, check out this list of some cool shops in Columbus. You also might want to visit one of Columbus' historic neighborhoods, like German Village. Or go a whole other direction and shop upscale fashion and design at Easton Town Center. However you choose to spend the weekend, you'll have a great time!