Learn How To Rock Climb
Hocking Hills Adventure Trek has professional guides who can take you and the family on a nature trek through Hocking State Forest and introduce you to the excitement of rock climbing on real rock faces. They specialize in taking visitors off the beaten track to discover the areas hidden gems and introduce you to the fabulous wildlife. Six-year-olds can enjoy rock climbing, while 10-years-olds enjoy the challenge of rappelling.
Benjamin & Marian Schuster Performing Arts Center
TastyPoutine, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
The Benjamin & Marian Schuster Performing Arts Center is a community center for entertainment.
Many Dayton and Ohio performing companies call this stage their home.
Interestingly, the center is built in a former department store!
It opened in 2003 and has two theaters with beautiful architecture, elegant illumination, and modern technology.
As one of the more fun Dayton attractions, the Benjamin & Marian Schuster Performing Arts Center hosts many shows.
Seasonal and traveling acts come to show off their talents and an events calendar is always packed.
The center also contains restaurants and a winter garden that you can explore!
Address: 1 W 2nd St, Dayton, OH 45402, United States
Hocking Hills State Park
Steven Russell Smith Ohio / Shutterstock
Theres a ton of great nature to be experienced when youre in Ohio.
One of the best places to go is Hocking Hills State Park.
Located about an hour outside of Columbus, Ohio, this park is full of acres of breathtaking scenery and thrilling activities.
Hocking Hills State Park caters to all sorts of tastes when it comes to outdoor fun.
Some of the things to see here include caves, waterfalls, and awesome hiking trails.
You can also go camping if you really fall in love with the area.
Hundreds of campsites are here, with plenty of amenities to make your experience as pleasant as possible.
Hocking Hills is one of the top places to see in Ohio.
You can enjoy nature in so many ways, and its a great bonding experience for both couples and families.
When you come to Hocking Hills State Park, you open yourself to one of the greatest points of interest in Ohio.
Address: 19852 OH-664, Logan, OH 43138, USA
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Hiking With Kids In Cleveland
Did you know that Cleveland Metroparks alone has 18 reservations and over 100 miles of hiking trails? That doesnt even include Cuyahoga Valley National Park or other MetroParks nearby!
Cleveland is spoiled for choice when it comes to exploring the outdoors, so you better believe there are plenty of kid-friendly hikes.
The Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath Trail that starts in Cleveland and winds its way through Cuyahoga Valley National Park is pretty flat, easy to navigate, and has a lot of attractions to see along the way. This is perfect for both hiking and taking a bike ride!
The Virginia Kendall Ledges Trail is one of the best hikes in Cuyahoga Valley National Park and is suitable for older kids as is spotting Brandywine Falls via the Brandywine Gorge Trail. Dont forget the stunning Kendal Lake Loop Trail too!
Other Metroparks in Cleveland that have great trails to enjoy with the kids include Rocky River Reservation, and North and South Chagrin Reservations.
Hinckley Reservation Outdoor Activities For Kids
432 Bellus Rd, Hinckley
While Hinckley Reservation is part of the Cleveland Metroparks system, there is a lot to do here aside from hiking. So, I decided to include it as a separate item.
Aside from exploring Wordens Ledges and Whipps Ledges together , you can also go boating, kayaking, paddleboarding, swimming, etc. on Hinckley Lake, go horseback riding, try your hand at fishing, go cycling, and enjoy the beautiful nature in the area.
There is also the Buzzard Roost where you can celebrate the return of spring and buzzards on March 15 each year, a sledding hill for the winter, plenty of areas to bring a picnic lunch, and a pool to go swimming in during the summer.
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Center Of Science And Industry
Born from the vision of Sanford N. Hallock II, the Center of Science and Industry in Columbus opened its doors to the public in March of 1964. This distinguished Center has welcomed over 30 million visitors from all over the world. Providing the largest planetarium in Ohio, the venue utilizes a 60-foot dome to offer guests a glimpse into the universe. Showcasing themed exhibition areas to help stimulate the minds of children young and old, this interactive center allows visitors to get a hands-on feel for science. Ticket price for children two to12 is $20. An additional $5 is required for the planetarium.
333 West Broad Street, Columbus, OH, Phone: 614-228-2674
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The Worlds Largest Cuckoo Clock Sugarcreek
Kids will go cuckoo for this larger-than-life clock in downtown Sugarcreek. The clock is over 23 feet tall and 24 feet wide. Make sure you time your visit before the top of the hour between 9 am and 9 pm thats when visitors get to watch the clock at its finest. The clock closes for the winter from roughly Nov- 1st of April. While you wont get to see the dancers or the bird in the winter, its fairly majestic in the snow.
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Lake Erie Islands Historical Museum
This small museum is loaded with island history and artifacts that will appeal to children and adults alike. A 15-minute video begins the tour. Learn how early settlers lived and built on the island before modern day aircraft and ferry boats. For those wanting to take home a piece of Put-in-Bay History, a resale shop is also located at the facility.
Play At Various Parks With Playgrounds
There are several parks throughout the city of Cleveland and the surrounding area that have great playgrounds. And we all know that sometimes all kids need is to run around on a playground for a while.
Some parks with good playgrounds in/around Cleveland include:
- Fairview Park This park in Ohio City has a baseball field, playground, and a mini water park. Its also right next to Kentucky Gardens, which is a beautiful community garden space.
- Lakewood Park It has a playground with play structures, as well as a skatepark, tennis and volleyball courts, and even a pool.
- Liberty Playground Located in Independence, this large playground has many play structures, climbing walls, slides, and a new area designed specifically for kids aged 2-5.
- Broadview Heights Playground & Splash Pad The fully enclosed playground has fun play structures, and the splash pad operates during the summer months.
- Prestons H.O.P.E. Playground Park This park in Beachwood is unique in that its a fully-accessible playground for kids of all ages and abilities.
- Every Childs Playground Located in Avon, this park has all sorts of fun things to play on, including a zip line, a rock wall, and some nature trails.
These are only a few of the several parks around the city that include a play area for children. If they just need to run around and wear themselves out, any park is always a good idea!
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Hocking Valley Scenic Railway
Hocking Valley Scenic Railway in Nelsonville, received its first train at this station more than 150-years ago. Today, this historical station provides passengers with an authentic train experience that includes a narrative about the areas they pass through. Regardless of reservations, seating is based on a first come, first served basis. The railway offers tours mainly on weekends, but there is also a seasonal Fall Foliage tour on Thursdays and Fridays as well. The tours are about two hours long and pricing for children aged three to 12 is $13, while kids two and under are admitted free. Only certified service animals are allowed on-board.
33 West Canal Street, Nelsonville, OH, Phone: 855-323-3768
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Fun Things To Do In Ohio With Kids Best Family Friendly Attractions
- Emily Appelbaum
Ohio is a massive and lively playground for those aching for some old-fashioned family fun.
From zoos to the worlds largest coaster collection, youll find an endless medley of fun things to do in Ohio with kids.
And, guess what? The Buckeye State is also home to the most remarkable educational museums in America.
So, the next time youre planning to visit the state, make sure to experience our recommended top Ohio attractions for families.
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A Christmas Story House
The house from the movie, A Christmas Story, is restored and open year round for tours and overnight stays. Reminisce over favorite moments and mementos from the film. There is also a museum dedicated to the movie right across the street from the home.
- The house is open year round, 7-days a week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., tours run every hour beginning at 10:15 a.m.
- There is a gift shop located across from the historic home
- The third floor is rentable for overnight stays, including the ability to spend the night in Ralphie and Randys beds
- There is a list of nearby recommended restaurants on the website
A Christmas Story House3159 W 11th St, Cleveland, OH 44109Phone: 216-298-4919Website
National Museum Of The Us Air Force
This museum in Dayton is home to all things Air Force! It’s amazing AND it’s free to visit
There are four large buildings that house flight simulators, a space shuttle replica, a presidential gallery featuring several Air Force Ones, plus planes from the various wars, photo galleries, life sized historical depictions and much, much more!
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Fairfield County District Library Main Library
When we woke up on the Saturday morning of our trip, it was raining and we needed to kill a little bit of time before the next item on our itinerary so what did I do? Google the closest library, of course! This one turned out to be a winner! The childrens department is on the third floor and on that rainy, Saturday morning, a few of the workers brought out a bunch of educational toys to fill this space above.
There was also a train table, other toys and games available and a lot of childrens books! The space was great and if you need a place to pass some time, I highly recommend it!
Orville Wright Hawthorn Hill
Thomas Dwyer / flickr
Orville Wright Hawthorn Hill is yet another one of the places to visit in Dayton, Ohio dedicated to the Wright brothers.
This was the home of Orville Wright and his family, who all moved in back in 1914.
Wilbur Wright passed away before the home was finished.
At the time, the city was a mere small suburb!
The large mansion of Orville Wright Hawthorn Hill was made as the brothers fame grew further.
The total space of the land is 17 acres, filled with hawthorn trees decorating the hillside.
The mansion was designed by the brothers with the help of an architectural firm, created in a Georgian revival style.
Orville Wright Hawthorn Hill utilized many gadgets and inventions made by Orville Wright.
This included a rod-and-chain system to control the furnace from upstairs and a toaster that could also slice bread.
There was also a water softener for shower use, a buzzer system, and a chair with an adjustable footstool and reading stand.
Many guests would come to visit the mansion over the years, including Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison, and Carl Sandburg.
Even the likes of President Roosevelt and Greeces King Constantine stopped by!
Address: 901 Harman Ave, Dayton, OH 45419, United States
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Hunt For The Best Ice Cream
Going out for ice cream is always one of the best kid-friendly things to do in Cleveland! Try a few different places and decide which is the best. Is it Mitchells? Masons Creamery? Honey Hut? All of the above?
Cleveland has some amazing ice cream, so whether they want an old fashioned ice cream sundae at Sweet Moses, or to create their own concotion at Remixx, this summertime activity is always a family favorite.
Cleveland Museum Of Natural History
The Cleveland Museum of Natural History was opened in 1920 to perform research, education and development. Today the museum collections contain more than four million specimen. With exhibits, wild animals and indoor and outdoor activities, the museum truly offers something for everyone.
- Shafran Planetarium is located at the museum and offers several shows
- There is a restaurant at the museum, as well as picnic areas outside
- Perkins Wildlife Center & Woods Garden located on site allows you an up close experience with wildlife and plants
- Check out the events that occur throughout the year for both adults and children
Cleveland Museum of Natural History1 Wade Oval Drive, Cleveland, OH 44106Phone: 216-231-4600Website
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South Bass Island State Park
Located at the end of Catawba Road, the South Bass Island State Park is one of two Put-in-Bay Campgrounds and is operated by the state of Ohio. There is a pebble beach the kids enjoyed while we tried our hand at skipping stones across the water. Over by the campgrounds, we saw the ruins of the swimming pool from the Victory Hotel built in the 1800s which we learned was one of the United States largest hotels until it burnt to the ground.
Ride On The Scenic Railway
Step back in time to take a ride on the Hocking Valley Scenic Railway. The friendly volunteers run a variety of train rides at weekends from the Nelsonville depot on Hocking Parkway, with seasonal trains to enjoy the beauty of the fall foliage, as well as the Santa Train and the Easter Bunny Train with Egg Hunt. Experience a family-friendly train robbery when a group of horseback bandits holds up the train.
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Lake Metroparks Farm Park
8800 Euclid Chardon Rd, Kirtland
This working farm and education center is such a fun place to take the kids near Cleveland! Children can see dairy cows, pigs, sheep, chickens, horses, alpaca, goats, and more! They also offer horse or tractor drawn wagon rides, as well as various demonstrations and educational programs.
Enjoy fun things like watching a border collie keep the sheep together throughout the warmer months, discover the art of sugaring and making maple syrup in the spring, and see cool farm equipment year-round.
They also have events throughout the year for the family including Maple Sugaring Weekends, Sheep Sheering Weekend, Fall Harvest Weekends, and more!
Hours: Friday-Sundays 9 am- 5 pm
Admission: $8 for adults, $7 for seniors aged 60+, $6 for children ages 2-11, and free for children under 2 as well as active military and their family.
Tip: Lake County residents get free admission on the first Sunday of the month. You just have to show proof of residency.
Accessibility note: All facilities are accessible even the horse- and tractor-drawn wagons are wheelchair accessible. Strollers and wagons are encouraged.
Happy Trails Farm Animal Sanctuary
5623 New Milford Rd, Ravenna
Enjoy a day at the farm where kids can rub pot bellied pig tummies, pet mini horses, and learn about these animals getting a second chance in life.
Tours of Happy Trails Farm Animal Sanctuary last about 1.5 hours and are so much fun. Kids get to pet and hang out with goats, pigs, roosters, horses, and more!
Hours: Open May 1-October 31. Friday and Saturday tours start at 11 am, 1:15 pm, and 3:30 pm. Sunday tours start at 12:45 pm and 3 pm.
Admission: $20 for adults, $10 for kids ages 6-17, and free for children under 6.
COVID-19 update: Only 6 people maximum per group, and reservations are required.
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Merry Go Round Museum
The Merry Go Round Museum in Sandusky, Ohio, offers the kid in everyone an atmosphere of relaxation while touring this special museum. The museum was born from the U.S. Postal services idea of issuing carousel stamps. One of the first animals featured was from a carousel at Cedar Points Kiddieland a King Horse. This enchanted museum offers tours that showcase how the animals are restored and even more incredible, how they are carved. The expertise of the carvers is always a highlight for all who witness their artistry. Kids aged four to 14 pay $4 to enter, while ages three and under are admitted free.
301 Jackson Street, Sandusky, OH, Phone: 419-626-6111
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