5 Fun Ohio Day Trips for Families
Ohio is a state filled with unique and exciting destinations that make for perfect family day trips. From a world-class zoo to educational museums and natural wonders, there is something for everyone in the Buckeye State.
In this article, we’ll explore five Ohio day trips for families, each with its own charm and appeal. Whether you’re looking for adventure, education, or just a fun day out with the family, Ohio has plenty of options to choose from.
So pack your cooler, buckle up, and get ready for a day of adventure during one of these fun family day trips in Ohio.
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1. National Museum of the US Air Force
Visiting the National Museum of the US Air Force is an awe-inspiring experience that will leave you with a profound appreciation for the achievements of the US Air Force.
Located in Dayton, Ohio, the museum houses an extensive collection of aircraft and exhibits that cover the history of military aviation. Walking through the various galleries, you can see everything from early experimental aircraft to modern fighter jets, as well as historical artifacts, such as uniforms and medals.
A few highlights include several Air Force One planes and an entire exhibit on Space Force.
The museum also offers interactive exhibits, such as simulators and hands-on displays, that allow visitors to experience what it’s like to fly some of the aircraft on display.
Whether you’re a history buff, an aviation enthusiast, or just looking for a fascinating day trip, the National Museum of the US Air Force is a must-visit destination.
Where to eat nearby
The perfect place to grab lunch near the National Museum of the US Air Force is Dewey’s Pizza. Dewey’s Pizza is a local favorite for its delicious and unique pizza creations.
Each pizza is made with fresh ingredients and cooked to perfection to create a yummy crispy crust. The menu features a wide range of options, including classic toppings like pepperoni and sausage, as well as more unique combinations like fig and prosciutto or buffalo chicken.
Dewey’s also offers gluten-free and vegetarian options, making it a great choice for those with dietary restrictions. The restaurant has a casual and welcoming atmosphere, perfect for visiting during a family day trip. Overall, Dewey’s Pizza is a must-visit for anyone looking for great pizza in Dayton.
2. COSI in Columbus Ohio
A trip to COSI (Center of Science and Industry) in Columbus, Ohio is a perfect day out for families, students, and science enthusiasts alike.
This interactive science museum offers over 300 exhibits covering a wide range of scientific disciplines, from biology and chemistry to physics and space exploration. You can participate in hands-on activities and experiments, including operating a mini-submarine, exploring the human body, and learning about the latest technological advancements.
The museum also features a planetarium and a giant screen theater that offers a range of educational films. COSI hosts special events and traveling exhibitions throughout the year, making each visit a unique experience.
You can easily spend a day exploring all that COSI has to offer. A visit to COSI is an entertaining and educational experience that sparks curiosity and inspires a love for science in visitors of all ages.
Where to eat nearby
BrewDog Franklinton is a popular family-friendly craft brewery and taproom located near COSI. Known for its innovative beers and edgy, punk-rock attitude, BrewDog offers a unique and welcoming atmosphere for beer lovers and foodies alike.
The taproom features an extensive selection of beers on tap, as well as a range of bottled and canned options to take home. The menu also includes a variety of delicious pub fare, including burgers, sandwiches, and shareable appetizers. You’ll find something to please everyone in your group!
BrewDog Franklinton is also known for its commitment to sustainability and environmentalism, using renewable energy sources and eco-friendly practices whenever possible.
Whether you’re a beer enthusiast spending time with your family at COSI or just looking for a fun and laid-back spot to refuel after a day at the museum, BrewDog Franklinton is a must-visit destination in Ohio.
3. The Butler County Donut Trail
The Butler County Donut Trail makes for a unique and delicious day trip in Ohio that appeals to kids and foodies alike. The trail consists of twelve local bakeries and donut shops that offer a wide variety of handcrafted donuts.
You can explore the trail at your own pace, enjoying one or more stops along the way, and collecting stamps on your trail passports. From classic glazed and powdered sugar to more creative flavors like maple bacon and s’mores, there’s something for everyone on the trail.
The Butler County Donut Trail also offers a fun way to explore the surrounding communities, as many of the participating shops are located in historic downtown areas. Overall, the Butler County Donut Trail is a unique and enjoyable experience that offers a tasty way to discover the local culture and support small businesses in the area and makes for a fun day trip in Ohio for families.
Don’t miss attractions in Butler County
In between stops at the donut shops and bakeries, check out a few of these fun attractions in Butler County.
Enjoy Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park, which is a beautiful outdoor space that features over 300 acres of art and nature.
Families with kids will love EnterTRAINment Junction, a massive indoor train-themed amusement park that includes a funhouse, laser tag, and a model train display.
Lastly, the Voice of America MetroPark is a beautiful park that features walking trails, fishing ponds, and picnic areas, making it a great place to spend a relaxing afternoon outdoors and burn the calories consumed by all those donuts!
4. Go Wild at the Cincinnati Zoo
A trip to the Cincinnati Zoo is a fantastic way to spend a day in Ohio. As one of the oldest and most respected zoos in the country, the Cincinnati Zoo offers visitors the chance to see a diverse range of animals in a beautiful setting.
From gorillas and tigers to flamingos and penguins, there’s something for everyone at the zoo. One of the highlights of the Cincinnati Zoo is the Zoo Babies exhibit, where visitors can see and learn about the newest additions to the zoo’s animal family.
In addition to the animals, the zoo also offers a range of interactive experiences, including a petting zoo and a giraffe feeding station. The Cincinnati Zoo is also committed to conservation efforts and education, making it a great place to learn about the importance of protecting and preserving wildlife.
A visit to the Cincinnati Zoo is an exciting and educational experience that is perfect for animal lovers of all ages. The last time we visited, we spent the entire day at the zoo and could have gone back for more the next day! Definitely add this to your plans for Ohio day trips for families.
💥 Want more fun things to do in Cincinnati? Here is a post with a few hidden gems worth adding to your list!
Top off your day with Graeter’s Ice Cream
Stop at Graeter’s Ice Cream after your visit to the Cincinnati Zoo for a delicious scoop (or two!) of ice cream. Graeter’s Ice Cream is a beloved institution in Ohio, known for its rich and creamy ice cream made with high-quality, locally sourced ingredients.
Founded in Cincinnati in 1870, Graeter’s has been serving up delicious ice cream for over 150 years. Their signature flavor is Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip, which is made with fresh black raspberries and chunks of dark chocolate.
In addition to their classic flavors, Graeter’s also offers seasonal and limited edition flavors throughout the year, as well as a range of sorbets and vegan options. The ice cream is handcrafted in small batches using a French Pot process, which results in a creamy, dense texture that sets it apart from other ice creams.
A visit to Graeter’s Ice Cream after a day at the Cincinnati Zoo is the perfect ending to your day!
💥 Insider tip: Don’t miss Jungle Jim’s on your visit to Cincinnati. This AMAZING (and a little bit crazy) grocery store is like nowhere else. Allow yourself at least an hour to wander the aisles and pick up some fun treats for the ride home!
5. Ohio Caverns
Visiting the Ohio Caverns is a fascinating and unforgettable experience for anyone who loves natural beauty and geological wonders.
Located in West Liberty, Ohio, the caverns offer you the chance to explore a vast underground network of limestone caves, tunnels, and crystal formations. The tour guides lead visitors through the caverns, pointing out fascinating features like stalactites, stalagmites, and underground rivers.
One of the most interesting sights in the Ohio Caverns is the Crystal King, a massive crystal formation that measures over five feet tall. The caverns also offer a unique natural air conditioning system that keeps the temperature in the caves a comfortable 54 degrees year-round, so it’s a great place to cool off in the summer or warm up in the winter!
Overall, a visit to the Ohio Caverns is a unique and awe-inspiring experience that is perfect for nature lovers and families who want to explore the incredible beauty of the natural world.
💥 Related post: another fun day trip to a Midwest cave is in Indiana – Marengo Cave!
Enjoy a sweet treat at Marie’s Candies
Do you love homemade chocolates? Marie’s Candies is a family-owned and operated chocolate shop located in West Liberty, Ohio.
Founded in 1956, Marie’s has been serving up delicious handmade chocolates and candies for over 65 years. The shop offers a wide variety of chocolate treats, including truffles, caramels, nut clusters, and chocolate-covered pretzels.
One of their most popular items is the Buckeye, a creamy peanut butter center dipped in rich chocolate that resembles Ohio’s state tree nut. Marie’s also offers sugar-free options for those with dietary restrictions.
The chocolates are made using only the highest quality ingredients, and the shop has a reputation for its attention to detail and commitment to customer service. With a charming and nostalgic atmosphere, a visit to Marie’s is a must-stop after a day of exploring the Ohio Caverns.
Conclusion: 5 Fun Ohio Day Trips for Families
In conclusion, Ohio is a fantastic state for families looking to enjoy a fun and memorable day trip.
From exploring the natural wonders of the Ohio Caverns to experiencing the thrill of feeding a giraffe at the Cincinnati Zoo, there is no shortage of exciting destinations to choose from.
Add in educational and cultural experiences, such as the National Museum of the US Air Force and the Center of Science and Industry (COSI), and you can keep yourself busy for days!
Whether you’re a local or just passing through, Ohio has something to offer for everyone in the family. So start planning your next Ohio day trip and get ready to make some unforgettable memories with your family.