Sometimes, it can be hard to find something to do that the whole family can enjoy—especially kids. Fortunately, Ohio is home to several hands-on museums, one-of-a-kind parks and other attractions that make education downright fun. In fact, your kids probably won’t even know they’re learning something new. The following are 12 fun and kid-friendly places in Ohio that are picture perfect for your next family outing.
1. COSI (Columbus)
Indulge your inner mad scientist with this one of a kind, hands-on science museum in Columbus. In 2008, Parents Magazine named COSI the #1 science museum for families in America. With constantly updated exhibits, it's tons of fun for both kids and adults alike.
2. Smiley Park Children’s Garden (Van Wert)
Smiley Park Children’s Garden in Van Wert just might be one of the happiest little places in Ohio. Created just for kids, this colorful oasis teaches your kids all about the art of gardening and why it's important. The Children's Garden is part of a 29.4-acre park. Smiley Park also features a Peony Garden, baseball fields, a fishing pond, playground area and so much more.
3. Spangler Candy Company (Bryan)
Tucked away in northwest Ohio in the small town of Bryan, you’ll find the Spangler Candy Company. It’s a privately-owned candy store, museum and factory you can tour via trolley on select days of the week. (On average, the factory produces 12 million Dum Dums per day!)
4. Play: CLE (Avon)
Few people know that the largest indoor adventure park in the nation is hiding right here in Ohio. Play: CLE in Avon, Ohio features some of the most epic playground equipment, obstacle courses, zip lining and more.
5. Kalahari (Sandusky)
Kalahari Resorts and Conventions features a massive indoor waterpark that friends and family members of all ages can enjoy. It’s a truly epic waterpark everyone in Ohio needs to experience at least once. It covers more than 170,000 sq. ft., making it America's largest indoor water park.
6. Velvet Ice Cream Factory (Utica)
There’s no place quite like the Ye Olde Mill in Utica—where you can see how Velvet Ice Cream is made, take a free tour of the mill and try delicious flavors of ice cream you won’t find anywhere else.
7. Lake Metroparks Farmpark (Kirtland)
Lake Metroparks Farmpark in Kirtland is a hidden gem for out-of-towners and a best kept secret for locals. It’s a farm-themed park where your kids can run, learn, play and even pet some live farm animals.
8. EnterTAINment Junction (West Chester)
EnterTAINment Junction in West Chester, Ohio is the perfect family day trip destination when you’re looking for something everyone can enjoy. It’s home to the world’s largest train display, several interactive and educational exhibits, train-themed play areas and so much more.
9. The Works: Ohio Center for History, Art & Technology (Newark)
If you’ve yet to take a trip to The Works: Ohio Center for History, Art & Technology in Newark, you’re truly missing out. It’s one of the best places in the Buckeye State to learn in an engaging, hands-on way. The 30-ft. SciDome is a one-of-a-kind way to journey through the planets. From glassblowing workshops to guided history tours, there's a little something for everyone.
10. Preston's H.O.P.E Playground Park (Beachwood)
Deemed "the largest fully accessible playground park in Northeast Ohio," this family favorite park is accessible to children of all needs and abilities, and features several designated age group areas, a play theater, an "Imagination Village" and a sand area.
11. Young's Jersey Dairy (Yellow Springs)
Tucked away in the charming small town of Yellow Spings, you’ll find Young’s Jersey Dairy—and it’s so much more than a dairy farm. While the freshly made ice cream and mouthwatering cheese curds will certainly entice you to check it out, it’s all the other fun things you can do at Young’s Jersey Dairy that will make you stay awhile.
12. b.a. Sweetie Candy Company (Cleveland)
With an inventory of more than 4,500 different items valued at $2,000,000, you really won't find a better candy selection than at b.a. Sweetie Candy Company. It's the largest candy store in the country—and it's right here in the Buckeye State. This massive candy warehouse keeps an average of 500,000 pounds of candy in stock. Any type of candy you could ever want or imagine is here.
Have you taken your kids to any of these attractions? What others would you add to this list? Share your thoughts, recommendations and experiences with us!
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Center of Science and Industry (COSI), 333 W Broad St, Columbus, OH 43215, USA
1425 Leeson Ave, Van Wert, OH 45891, USA
Spangler Candy Company, 400 N Portland St, Bryan, OH 43506, USA
Play: CLE, 38525 Chester Rd, Avon, OH 44011, USA
Kalahari Resorts & Conventions - Sandusky, 7000 Kalahari Dr, Sandusky, OH 44870, USA
11324 Mt Vernon Rd, Utica, OH 43080, USA
Lake Metroparks Farmpark, 8800 Euclid Chardon Rd, Kirtland, OH 44094, USA
EnterTRAINment Junction, 7379 Squire Ct, West Chester Township, OH 45069, USA
The Works, 55 S 1st St, Newark, OH 43055, USA
Preston's H.O.P.E. Playground Park, 26001 S Woodland Rd, Beachwood, OH 44122, USA
Young's Jersey Dairy, 6880 Springfield Xenia Rd, Yellow Springs, OH 45387, USA
b.a. Sweetie Candy Company, 6770 Brookpark Rd, Cleveland, OH 44129, USA