Who said there’s nothing to do in the winter? February is the time to learn something new! We’ve got you covered with events for Black History Month, an epic blown glass exhibit at the Mansfield Art Center and a brand-new fragrance exhibit at Kingwood Center Gardens. You’ll also find sweetheart hikes in our local parks and so much more to entice you to get out of your house and explore Richland County during the month of February.
Start the month by supporting local businesses and get a jump on buying that special someone a Valentine’s Day gift. Get fresh finds at downtown stores, the perfect bottle of wine or brew from our Wine & Ale Trail sites, or a gift card at a favorite attraction around Mansfield and Richland County.
Celebrate Black History Month
Kick off Black History Month at the Mansfield Richland County Public Library. Make your way to the second floor for your chance to make Cornbread-in-a-Mug (Teens), a Kente Cloth Key Chain (adults) and view A Place for All People: Introducing the National Museum of African American History and Culture. These free events kick off on the first and are recurring on Monday throughout the month.
Join Debra Weaver of Art Projects for Kids at North Lake Park (Feb. 25) in learning the painting technique and style of Lois Mailou Jones and make your own painting to proudly display at home. Advance registration is required.
Explore the Arts & Sciences
Visit the Mansfield Art Center to view the new Trail of Tears exhibit by Darren Goodman. This exhibit has been displayed around the world, but the Mansfield show is one to be remembered. The exhibit at the art center is the largest and most comprehensive the artist has ever presented in the United States. Once you’ve been inspired by his work, sign up to create your own blown glass masterpiece.
If you’re not ready for glass blowing, you can try a number of other mediums at various skill levels. From Paint Your Pet classes for young children (ages 5-14), to wire art (15 and up) block printing, fused glass, stained glass, and clay projects there is so much to experience! Check out our calendar of events for a full list of classes offered.
Other crafting opportunities include making your own chunky blanket to bundle up in at SS Second Chances Art and Craft Studio, creating a fused glass heart pendant or love-inspired painting at North Lake Park, or learning how to make a Bear Needle Felting (Feb. 19) at Alpaca Meadows.
You can still enjoy the arts if you’re not creative. Purchase a ticket to see the Mansfield Symphony perform side by side with the Mansfield Symphony Youth Orchestra to perform the well-known classical repertoire of Mahler’s “Titan” Symphony No. 1 at the Renaissance Theatre (Feb.12). Enjoy an afternoon concert at The Teddy Bear Concert: Carnival of Animals (Feb. 6) featuring local actors and Mansfield Symphony musicians for an interactive and imaginative trip to the zoo.
The theatre also offers a 6-week workshop series for school age kids to develop their vocal skills, acting abilities and gain experience performing in a small cast setting in the RYOT (Renaissance Youth Opera Theatre) premiering in-person and on livestream Feb. 5. Not to leave out the wee little ones in the family, the Renaissance offers opportunities for infants and toddlers to explore music in this free class (Feb. 7).
Kingwood Center welcomes visitors to discover the science of smells in Making Scents: the Art and Passion of Fragrance. This interactive exhibit is on display through April and is included with admission to Kingwood. While on the estate grounds, you may opt to add on a tour of Kingwood Hall and explore the newly opened 3rd floor or warm up with a tour of the greenhouse (Feb.1) Not to leave out the little ones, Kingwood offers Storytime is also offered every Tuesday for those 8 and under.
Bundle Up & Experience Nature
Beat those winter blues when you stay active and get social during the winter months with parkrun Mansfield weekly 5k. This weekly event is held every Saturday. Meet at North Lake park at 9 a.m. to join the run.
Take a stroll down a luminary-lit trail during the Sweetheart Hike at Pleasant Hill Lake Park on Feb. 12. Both afternoon and evening hikes are offered. This self-guided moderate hike is 1.3 mile long with hot cocoa and cookies waiting for you at the end of the trail.
Bundle up the family and head to Malabar Farm State Park for the Winter Hike for Health (Feb. 12). Maps and refreshments will be available in the Visitor Center from 9 to 12 p.m.
Don’t forget Kingwood Center offers weekly Winter Wellness Walks guided walks each Wednesday in Partnership with OhioHealth.
Fun & Educational Opportunities
Learning doesn’t always happen in a classroom, you’ll find wonderful opportunities in Richland County to expand your child’s knowledge of the natural world.
Get to know the birds and staff that run the Ohio Bird Sanctuary during monthly Keeper Demonstration (Feb. 5) and Avian Encounters every Saturday from 1-2 p.m. This month there’s even a Winter Nature Camp (Feb. 21) to shake off the winter blues and a Movie and Game Night for your 6- to 12-year-olds. (Feb. 25). Of course, the highlight of the night is meeting one of the resident birds. Registration is required.
Learn about owls and then venture along the trails at Gorman Nature Center to find them during Owl Prowl (Feb. 11). Join the Great Backyard Bird Count after a tasty Breakfast with the Birds during the All Day Family Friendly Bird Day (Feb. 12) and head back for The Night Sky (Feb. 12) monthly astronomy program for a nature packed weekend in one of Mansfield’s favorite local parks.
Pair up with your significant other or one of your best friends and concoct love potions at Kingwood Center during a fun mixology class (Feb. 15).
Sip your favorite glass of wine while following the instruction of Paint & Pinot at Fox Winery (Feb. 24).
Renew your vows (Feb.12), participate in a game night, play Taproom Trivia (Feb. 15) or get your workout on during POUND & POUR at The Phoenix.
Steve Brown at The Phoenix (Feb.4)
Dueling Pianos at The Hub at Village Square (Feb. 11)
Crazy Gringos at Fox Winery (Feb. 12)
Ryan Bandy at Hudson & Essex (Feb. 18)
Luke Watson at Fox Winery (Feb. 18)
Source: Destination Mansfield – Richland County; Photo: Renaissance Performing Arts Association