Fun Things to Do in Ohio With Kids: 50+ Ideas for This Weekend

Kid-Friendly Things to Do in Ohio

As you plan your next adventure in Ohio, take advantage of the unforgettable activities that cater to kids of all ages. Whether you're seeking thrilling outdoor escapades, engaging educational experiences, or wholesome fun, Ohio has something to suit every taste.

Embark on an exciting journey as you discover the countless possibilities across some of the best cities in Ohio.

Quick Highlights

  • Ohio offers interactive animal encounters at places like the Columbus Zoo and Cincinnati Zoo for memorable up-close experiences.
  • Educational attractions like COSI in Columbus and the Great Lakes Science Center entertain and enrich.
  • Outdoor adventures in Ohio include ziplining at Hocking Hills and exploring fossils at Fossil Park.
  • Entertainment options like Tuscora Park and festivals provide a great time for all ages.
  • Water fun can be had at Cedar Point Beach, Great Wolf Lodge Water Park, and Alum Creek State Park.

Animal Encounters

Kid Watching Polar Bear at Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

If you're looking for engaging educational things to do in Ohio, animal encounters could be the perfect fit. The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is home to 10,000 animals, making it a must-visit destination. The zoo provides ample opportunities to learn about diverse species—and best of all, it's open 363 days a year.

The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden is another gem for wildlife enthusiasts. This acclaimed zoo offers a picturesque setting and awe-inspiring animal encounters, including Hangin' with the Hippos, Gentle Giants, and Roam'n with Red Pandas.

The Toledo Zoo & Aquarium is perfect for those seeking up-close wildlife encounters and educational adventures. With a focus on conservation and education, this zoo allows you to get closer to the animal kingdom while learning about their habitats and behaviors.

Another option just outside of Cleveland, Majestic Meadows Alpacas & Boutique in Medina County, provides an interactive experience with over 75 animals, including alpacas, llamas, cows, and donkeys. Guests can enjoy a petting zoo, special events, and activities, making it a great destination for summer fun.

The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is a fantastic destination for various animals and engaging wildlife encounters. The zoo's commitment to conservation and education shines through its exhibits, making it a fun and enriching experience in the Cleveland area.

For a unique safari-like adventure, visit the African Safari Wildlife Park. Here, you can witness exotic animals up close and immerse yourself in a memorable wildlife experience that will make your trip to Clinton unforgettable.

Educational Attractions

When researching educational attractions in Ohio, you'll find a host of interactive exhibits and hands-on experiences suitable for all ages. Given the depth and breadth of the educational things to do with kids in Cleveland alone, the statewide options are virtually limitless. 

First up, the Children's Museum of Cleveland offers interactive exhibits tailored for children up to age eight, complete with themed play areas and a sensory-friendly room.

The Great Lakes Science Center also stands out with its special youth exhibits, making it an ideal destination for anyone seeking engaging and educational experiences. These attractions not only entertain but also enrich visitors' knowledge in various fields of science and technology. The center is next door to Cleveland Browns Stadium in an area with lake views, so spending a day there is easy. 

For interactive learning opportunities in Columbus, the Center of Science and Industry (COSI) boasts over 300 interactive exhibits. COSI also has an outdoor science park beyond the indoor exhibits, perfect for toddlers to elementary-age children.

Finally, for aviation enthusiasts, the National Museum of the US Air Force is home to hundreds of aircraft. It might be worth a trip to Dayton to check out the world's oldest—and largest—military aviation museum.

Whether you're fascinated by hands-on experiments, themed play areas, or outdoor science exploration, Ohio's educational attractions offer a wealth of opportunities.

Outdoor Adventures

Cuyahoga Valley National Park Scenic Railroad Train

Explore rugged beauty and thrilling activities in Ohio's outdoor adventures. Hocking Hills State Park combines river adventures, ziplining, camping, hiking, boating, and fishing, catering to outdoor enthusiasts of all ages. For those seeking an extra dash of adrenaline, NevilleBillie Adventure Park in Logan offers a ropes course and paintballing to get your heart racing.

If you're looking for a blend of outdoor fun and unique experiences, head to Dublin, Ohio, where geocaching, hiking trails, Irish foods, and playgrounds await. Outside Toledo, Fossil Park provides a geological wonderland featuring Devonian Era fossils, an accessible quarry, playground facilities, and scenic trails for a day of educational exploration.

For those intrigued by underground wonders, a visit to the Olentangy Indian Caverns in Delaware, OH, presents a fascinating journey through underground caverns with winding trails, self-guided audio tours, mini-golf challenges, and playground activities.

You can also embark on a National Park Scenic Excursion on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, offering a 3.5-hour ride through picturesque landscapes. Before or after the train ride, be sure to check out some of the best hiking trails near Cleveland in Cuyahoga Valley National Park. 

All-Ages Entertainment

Consider making a day trip to New Philadelphia to visit Tuscora Park, a nostalgic experience with classic amusement rides ranging from thrilling roller coasters to a gentle carousel. The park's swimming pools provide a refreshing break from the summer heat, while live performances, including music, magic shows, and theatrical productions, ensure there's never a dull moment.

Ohio is also home to several noteworthy festivals that can entertain all ages. Events like the Ohio State Fair, Cleveland International Film Festival, Columbus Arts Festival, Cincinnati Music Festival, and Ohio Renaissance Festival provide everything from music and arts to food and games.

Another fantastic entertainment option is the Magical Theatre Company in Barberton—a community in Summit County just 40 miles south of Cleveland—which provides professional theatre experiences tailored specifically for young people. With engaging performances and interactive programs, the Magical Theatre Company offers a unique opportunity for children to immerse themselves in the world of theatre.

Water Fun

Two Kids on a Water Slide

Indulge in thrilling water adventures at various Ohio attractions, including indoor water parks, amusement parks, and scenic beach destinations. Great Wolf Lodge Indoor Water Park and Kalahari Resorts in Sandusky, one of the best cities on Lake Erie, offer themed suites and activities beyond the waterparks.

Check out Kings Island, Greater Cleveland Aquarium, Soak City Water Park, or Cedar Point Beach for more aquatic adventures.

Alum Creek State Park is another popular destination that's perfect for paddleboarding and fishing. No matter where you go, don't miss the opportunity to cool off and make lasting memories at these fantastic water destinations in Ohio.

Unique Experiences

Dive into the world of creativity at the "You're Fired!" studio in Oxford, where all ages can enjoy paint and pottery activities. Or you can discover the art of glassmaking at Haute Fusion Glass Studio in Middletown, creating fused glass creations with renowned artist John Ferrando. 

To journey through automotive history, visit the Salty Dog Museum in Shandon, where vintage firetrucks and classic cars showcase the evolution of automobiles in an interactive setting. Alternatively, consider stepping into the world's largest model train display at EnterTRAINment Junction in West Chester Township.

For some extreme fun, feel the thrill of indoor skydiving at iFly in Liberty Township, offering a safe and unique flight simulation experience. All told, these unique experiences offer a blend of creativity, thrill, history, and wonder that will stick with you.

Cultural Exploration

Young Child at an Art Museum

Make the most of Ohio's rich cultural tapestry by exploring renowned art museums, historical centers, and vibrant symphony performances. Start by diving into the Cleveland Museum of Art, where you can marvel at amazing collections and engage with interactive exhibits in one of Cleveland's best neighborhoods, University Circle.

If you find yourself in Cincinnati, don't miss the chance to visit the Cincinnati Art Museum, which showcases art from countless eras and cultures. And for a deeper dive into history, head to the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. Visitors can immerse themselves in the moving narratives of African American heritage and the struggle for freedom.

The Toledo Museum of Art is another must-visit destination, known for its vibrant arts scene, extensive glass collection, and special exhibitions that showcase a range of artistic expressions.

Lastly, treat your ears to a symphony performance at the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. Experience the talented musicians as they captivate audiences of all ages.

Amusement Parks

When it comes to fun for all ages in Ohio, it's hard to top Cedar Point. The iconic amusement park stands out with 18 exhilarating roller coasters, a cool waterpark, a private Lake Erie Beach for a relaxing break, and special events and tours to enjoy in Sandusky. Despite being an hour's drive away, Cedar Point is often mentioned as one of the best things to do near Cleveland.

Over in Brooklyn, the Memphis Kiddie Park features classic amusement park rides, while Kings Island in Mason is home to water rides and a giga coaster called Orion. And for a dose of holiday cheer all year round, don't miss Castle Noel in Medina, where you can immerse yourself in festive displays and interactive exhibits suitable for all ages.

Ohio's amusement parks offer a wide range of experiences, ensuring there's something for everyone to enjoy during your outing.

Sports in Ohio

Family Cheering at Football Stadium

Whether you're a baseball fan, a basketball enthusiast, or a football fanatic, Ohio's sports scene has something for everyone.

  • NFL Teams: Cleveland Browns, Cincinnati Bengals
  • MLB Teams: Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Guardians
  • NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers
  • NHL's Columbus Blue Jackets
  • College Teams: Ohio State Buckeyes, Dayton Flyers, and Miami University RedHawks

If you're up for some friendly competition, you can enjoy mini-golf at Swings-N-Things Family Fun Park in Olmsted Falls or get a game going at Lakewood Park & Playground in the Cleveland suburb of Lakewood. These options offer a chance for quality bonding time while staying active and enjoying the outdoors.

For a more nature-inspired experience, Ohio provides opportunities for active engagement like hiking, biking, kayaking, fishing, and boating along the trails at Scioto Audubon.

Plan Your Next Adventure Across Ohio

Whether you're seeking interactive animal encounters, educational experiences, or other entertainment for kids, Ohio is home to countless indoor and outdoor activities all year round.

From exploring wildlife at the zoo to learning about science at museums, there are endless opportunities for excitement in the Buckeye State. Don't forget to also check out cultural attractions, amusement parks, and sports for a well-rounded Ohioan adventure with the little ones.

Ready to start looking for your new home in Ohio? Call The Young Team at (216) 402-4774 today to get in touch with a local real estate expert who can help you start your homebuying journey.

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