Stuck on what to do during your visit to Mount Vernon? There are plenty of choices, whether you’re in the mood to explore outdoor spaces or are eager to find indoor entertainment. Here are some of our top picks for things to do while you're here.
Explore a Magical Park
Ariel-Foundation Park is truly a spectacular given the many attractions to be found on the vast property. Across hundreds of acres, you’ll find vast stretches of green space, sculptures and monuments. One of the most unique parks around, Ariel-Foundation Park is made possible by funding and oversight by Karen Buchwald Wright and Katie Wright, of the Ariel Corporation and Ariel Foundation.
Among the attractions to explore in this expansive space is an impressive observation tower to climb, a “tree of life” labyrinth to walk, a dramatically terraced hill with pathways, and a “river of ice” glass sculpture flowing down one hill. Pathed woods are also part of the magic, along with three lakes for fishing and boating. There are also two historic train depots and the Schnormeier Event Center to explore or book for weddings and other events.
Cycle Through History
The Kokosing Gap Trail is the perfect trail to spend an afternoon of biking or strolling through scenic Knox County. The 13.4-mile paved trail stretches from Mt. Vernon to Danville. Along the way, you’ll experience quaint villages, farmland and wooded areas alike, all on a historic trail, which served as the former Pennsylvania Railroad bed. The trail is available 24 hours a day.
You’ll also pass through quaint sandstone tunnels and over historical bridges. There’s also a train caboose and a playground to explore. Restrooms along the way continue the train depot theme. If you’re hungry, you’ll find stores, eateries and even a dairy stand on your adventure.
Musing About Museums?
Take the kids to the SPI — Science and Play Intersect. SPI will soon be expanding at the Wright Center at 400 S. Main Street. You'll find more discovery center space, along with extra room for climbing and other play areas, new exhibits, a darkroom for light experiments and educational events.
The Knox County Historical Society is another family friendly option. Cruise through changing exhibitions of Knox County artifacts as well as the Dan Emmett birthplace home to take in the local history. They offer tours and ongoing events.
And don’t forget to leave room in your trip for Mount Vernon Nazarene University’s Art Gallery. The space features student and professional work and describes its mission as providing “thought-provoking, inspirational, and masterfully created works.”
Feast Your Senses
The Alcove is proud to be unveiling our newest “facelift” after more than a century of delighting hungry visitors — from our early beginnings as a candy and ice cream shop to our current space, which serves as a restaurant, lounge and dinner theater. Whether you’re in the mood for a sumptuous prime rib dinner in the main dining room, pub food in the lounge, or a full dinner theater experience, you’ll find great food and drinks, as well as entertainment, at The Alcove.