Special Events

PLEASE NOTE: These special events have been completed. Spring 2020 curriculum will be posted when registration opens on February 27th. Feel free to browse these events for a sampling of our past curriculum.

Tuesday Special Events

Stars, Stripes & Badges*

The National Flag Company, Washington Platform, Greater Cincinnati Police Museum, Cincinnati Fire Museum

Tuesday, September 24

Cost (includes transportation, tours, lunch): $50 Member, $62 Non-Member**

The National Flag Company has been around for so long you may be inclined to search for Betsy Ross in its historic photos. Now in its 150th year, the company proudly remains family owned—a rarity in today’s world. George Schaller started at the ripe “old” age of 12, put in 73 years making flags, and there has been a Schaller at the company every year since 1903. They survived WWI and every war since, the Great Depression, the Great Flood of 1937, 9-11, and all the upswings and downturns in patriotism our country has since endured. With flags still made by hand, is it any wonder that after September 11, 2001, The National Flag Company ran out of American flags within three days? It took eight months to replenish their stock. But National Flag manufactures far more than American flags. After a factory tour and visit to their Commemorative Anniversary and Flag Museum, you’ll have a newfound appreciation for Old Glory and the hands that (literally) bind her.

Celebrating another 150-year milestone, Washington Platform is a lively spot that has a storied past of its own. Standing stately over the original lager cellars and adjacent to what was once the Miami & Erie Canal, German immigrants, in particular, flocked to it. It’s there we’ll enjoy a hearty, hot luncheon buffet.

Somewhere between fictional Mayberry, North Carolina, and Watts, Los Angeles, lies Cincinnati, home of the Greater Cincinnati Police Museum, the only regional police museum in the country. Proudly guided by retired officers, the museum houses extensive exhibits covering crime, criminals, animals in law enforcement, forensics, communications, weapons, uniforms, badges, and so much more. You’ll see infamous 1930s Midwestern gangsters including Alvin “Old Creepy” Karpis, Baby Face Nelson, Machine Gun Kelly, and Pretty Boy Floyd; but most of the museum’s displays have a local angle.

Nestled into the restored Engine Company #45 Firehouse dating from 1906—with Renaissance Revival details and three doors wide enough to accommodate horse-drawn fire engines—the Cincinnati Fire Museum celebrates the fact that it was here in Cincinnati that our nation’s first paid professional fire department was created in 1853. We won’t expect you to slide down the fire pole (but you can, if you’d like to try) and you may not see a Dalmatian, but you’ll come to appreciate why this treasure is listed on the National Historic Registry and is recognized as housing one of the best collections of firefighting artifacts in the United States.

NOTE: New Oxford bus pick-up location. Ditmer parking lot is located at 4945 Oxford-Trenton Road (Route 73) across from the equestrian center. This tour involves periods of standing and walking at a leisurely pace through museums and a factory. There is one flight of stairs into National Flag and the Cincinnati Police Museum.


7:30 – Assemble at SE Corner of Dimer parking lot for first pickup
7:45 – Depart Oxford
8:15 – Assemble at VOALC in West Chester for second pickup
8:30 – Depart VOALC
9:15 – National Flag Company
11:00 – Lunch @ Washington Platform
12:30 – Cincinnati Police Museum
2:00 – Cincinnati Fire Museum
4:30 – Return to VOALC
5:30 – Return to Oxford

*ILR events/classes involving walking/hiking/exercise may be strenuous for some. Please use discretion when registering.

**Non-Members may participate in special events for an additional fee

Pedal Pushers and Pigskins*

Bicycle Museum of America, 17 West, Wilson Football Manufacturing

Tuesday, October 1

Cost (includes transportation, tours, lunch): $60 Member | $75 Non-Member** 

“You’ll look sweet, upon the seat, of a bicycle built for two.” You remember the Daisy Bell song. Hum along as you look longingly back in time at the world’s most popular foot-powered vehicles making history throughout the world and in Ohio even before the Wright brothers began building them. While the Netherlands can boast the largest number of bicycles per capita, New Bremen—a picturesque, historic town that looks like a movie set—owns the bragging rights to the museum housing the largest private bicycle collection in the world. With over 1000 bicycles in rotation, nearly 300 are on display at any given time in an historic building full of as much charm as the bicycles themselves. See America’s oldest bicycle and many of the various 1880s high-wheeler designs (climb atop!) and the 1886 model of the bicycle-built-for-two. Check out the 19th- and early 20th-century beauties with designs that range from innovative to eccentric and borderline crazy, built in an era as inventors worked to advance the new technology. Marvel at the ingenuity of the military bicycles, including the folding World War II paratrooper model. Linger nostalgically when you see the 1940s-50s models and chuckle at the bikes made famous by the likes of Pee Wee Herman. This gem of a museum provides an interactive, interpretive, curious, and cultural walk through history, as well as an enjoyable stroll down memory lane.

Just steps from the Bicycle Museum and the historic Miami and Erie Canal Lock No. 1, we’ll enjoy lunch at a terrific local hot spot, 17 West. It’s there we’ll enjoy a hearty, hot luncheon buffet. We guarantee you won’t leave disappointed or hungry.

Since 1955, more than 700,000 footballs a year have been handmade in Ada, Ohio, by Wilson’s talented artisans. Whether the footballs are headed to the NFL’s elite, college All-Americans, Friday night’s hometown heroes, or the wide-eyed kids playing a pickup game in the empty lot down the street, Wilson puts the same passion into every ball. Walk the factory floor as you observe every step of assembly from cutting to sewing, bladder insertion to lacing. Operating vintage sewing machines to deliver consistency with every stitch, the same hands that craft Super Bowl balls build every leather football from this proudly-made-in-the-USA factory.

NOTE: New Oxford bus pickup location. Ditmer parking lot is located at 4945 Oxford-Trenton Road (Route 73) across from the equestrian center. This is a walking tour. This tour involves periods of standing and walking at a leisurely pace through museums and factory floors. The Bicycle Museum has 20 steps to the second floor and another six steps to the third floor. It does not have an elevator.


7:00 – Assemble at SE corner of Ditmer parking lot for first pickup
7:15 – Depart Oxford
7:45 – Assemble at VOALC in West Chester for second pickup
8:00 – Depart VOALC
9:30 – Bicycle Museum of America
11:00 – Lunch @ 17 West
1:15 – Wilson Football Manufacturing
5:30 – Return to VOALC
6:30 – Return to Oxford

*ILR events/classes involving walking/hiking/exercise may be strenuous for some. Please use discretion when registering.

**Non-Members may participate in special events for an additional fee

Wednesday Special Events

Getting Better With Age

Wednesday, October 23; 2:15-3:30 pm
Location: Voice of America Learning Center, Auditorium
Cost: Free for Members and Non-Members

Quoting Jane Pauley’s foreword in the book The Old Rush, “Boomers are the first generation to get a heads-up when they are approaching ‘retirement age’ that there are additional opportunities available, if they want to seize them. Peter Hubbell has been looking at how the cumulative effects of all the individual decisions are changing the shape of markets and business opportunities.” Come and learn why his company, BoomAgers, calls the 50+ market “The Most Valuable Generation.”

Instructors: Peter Hubbell is CEO of the leading marketing services agency focused on age 50+ consumers. He is an accomplished author of two books on aging: The Old Rush and Getting Better With Age. Tim Love is Retired Vice Chairman of Omnicom Group, the leading marketing services holding company in the U.S. and a leader globally. Tim is an alumnus of Miami University, class of 1971, and a frequent speaker at Miami University.

Thursday Special Events

Covered Bridges Tour*

Thursday, September 26
Cost: $20 Member; $25 Non-Member**

Back by popular demand! We will explore a number of covered bridges that still stand in this area. Your guided tour begins in Oxford with a visit to the Black (Pugh’s Mill) Bridge. Next, we’ll stop at the Hueston Woods Bridge before visiting three additional bridges, one of which is very important to covered bridge fans.

Instructor: Roger Miller has an interest in local history. He writes about the area’s history and has been involved in the development of MidPointe Library System’s Digital Archives.

NOTE: We’ll be climbing off/on buses at each stop. Transportation for this event is by charter mini-bus only. No private transportation is permitted.


8:00 – Assemble at Mt. Pleasant for first pickup
8:15 – Depart Monroe
8:45 – Assemble at Oxford Seniors for second pickup
9:00 – Depart Oxford
12:00 – Return to Oxford
1:00 – Return to Mt. Pleasant

*ILR events/classes involving walking/hiking/exercise may be strenuous for some. Please use discretion when registering.

**Non-Members may participate in special events for an additional fee

Friday Special Events

Kickoff Party

Friday, October 4; 12:00pm–2:00pm
Location: Knolls of Oxford, Auditorium
Cost (includes lunch): $10 Member; $12 Non-Member**

Join familiar friends and meet new ones as we enjoy a catered lunch and kick off another exciting year of becoming engaged, enriched, and enlightened through ILR. Featured lecture: Sixth of June, 1944: A Day in Infamy. Come and listen to the experiences of the son of a Normandy Invasion veteran who attended the 75th D-Day Anniversary commemorative events in Normandy, France. Larry Mallett is a retired U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sergeant who travels to Europe each year in search of his father’s 82nd Airborne Division footsteps during the Normandy Invasion and the Battle of the Bulge. You’ll see a recently produced documentary film, Sixth of June, and hear firsthand accounts of veterans who participated in the D-Day invasion of Normandy. Sixth of June is the story of why we remember, and what we lose if we forget. NOTE: This lecture will be repeated in West Chester on November 6.

**Non-Members may participate in special events for an additional fee

Explore Watercolor Painting in Oxford…and Italy?

Friday, September 27; 1:00–3:00pm
Location: Oxford Lane Library, Havighurst Room
Cost: Free for Members and Non-Members

A short demonstration will be followed by a hands-on watercolor exercise to give participants an appreciation for how accessible and unintimidating the medium can be once you understand a few basic principles and the many ways pigments can be applied to paper. No supplies are necessary for the planned exercise; but if you already have watercolor brushes, paint, and other supplies, please bring them. NOTE: After this introduction, advance your watercolor skills by taking a full course. Playing with Color: An Introduction to Watercolor is offered in Oxford on Wednesdays.

The instructor will also discuss the Artist Immersion Program (AIP), which offers a range of classes around the world for all levels of artists. This year AIP traveled to India, Italy, France, Japan, and Spain. For more information on AIP classes and locations for the coming year, go to: artistimmersionprogram.com.

Instructor: Scott Johnston, Associate Professor of Architecture and Interior Design, has taught beginning watercolor courses for over 20 years