20 Kid-Friendly Day Trips from Cincinnati

Spring has sprung – and if you’re like us, you’re feeling a little stir crazy from the winter. Spring break brings the perfect opportunity to get out, stretch your legs and explore a little. Living in Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky, there are so many fantastic places to go: major cities, awesome museums, state parks — you name it!

Here are 20 kid-friendly day trips from Cincinnati that are sure to cure your case of spring wanderlust!

 

Behringer-Crawford Museum

1600 Montague Road in Devou Park, Covington, Kentucky
Just over the river in Covington’s beautiful Devou Park stands the Behringer-Crawford Museum. This museum’s mission is to celebrate the rich history of Northern Kentucky, and it does just that! Be sure to visit BCM’s Top Ten Picks, which include an authentic drive-in movie theatre and large fishing boat. Afterwards, spend some time outdoors at NaturePlay, a brand-new playscape located right next to the museum!

Behringer-Crawford Museum
Behringer-Crawford Museum


Big Bone Lick State Park

3380 Beaver Rd., Union, KY
Big Bone Lick State Park boasts 813 acres with 40 acres of picnic grounds and a 62-site campground. The park’s museum and visitor center have paleontological and archaeological exhibits on display and the adjacent grounds also feature life-sized replicas of animals like the mammoth, mastodon, ground sloth and bison.

Boonshoft Museum of Discovery

2600 Deweese Pkwy, Dayton, OH
Explore, play and be inspired by exhibits that include more than 60 animals native to Ohio. And here’s a bonus: Boonshoft is part of the Association of Children’s Museums Reciprocal Network, meaning you can get half-price tickets if you’re a member of the Duke Energy Children’s Museum here in Cincinnati.

Buzzardrost Rock

Brush Creek Township, OH
The most popular of all trails in the Edge of Appalachia Preserve system is the one that leads to Buzzardroost Rock, which stands like a giant limestone monument far above the waters of Ohio Brush Creek. The panoramic scene from this hilltop has been called Ohio’s most spectacular view.

Carillion Historical Park

1000 Carillon Boulevard, Dayton, OH
From the original 1905 Wright Flyer III to the 1835 John Quincy Adams to the first automobile self-starter, Dayton’s place in our national narrative is inextricably linked to vehicles. And Dayton’s Carillon Historical Park celebrates them all. Go and see the Wright Flyer III, the world’s first practical airplane and the only plane designated a National Historic Landmark. It’s in a room all its own – and absolutely worth the trip!

Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve

2381 OH-343, Yellow Springs, OH
This 268-acre preserve protects one of the most spectacular dolomite and limestone gorges in the state. In some areas, cliff overhangs have broken off, forming massive slump blocks scattered along the valley floor.

Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve
Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve
Columbus Center of Science and Industry (COSI)

333 W Broad St., Columbus, OH
COSI Columbus “inspires the scientists, dreamers and innovators of tomorrow.” This dynamic hands-on science center is fun for all ages.

Constitution Square, Danville, KY

105 E Walnut St., Danville, KY
Constitution Square Historic Site is a 3-acre park and open air museum. The Kentucky Constitution was signed here in 1792, making this an educational day trip option for little history buffs.

Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum

507 Mulberry Street, North Judson, IN
Located in northwest Indiana near the former junction of the Erie, PRR, C&O and NYC rails, this site offers both a museum and rides on an authentic caboose pulled by a vintage diesel locomotive.

Kentucky Horse Park

4089 Iron Works Pkwy, Lexington, KY
Located in Lexington, the Kentucky Horse Park is an easy 90-minute drive from Cincinnati (closer to an hour for you Northern Kentuckians!), making it the perfect day trip. With lots of kid friendly attractions and activities, the Kentucky Horse Park is definitely a gold medal winner.

Lebanon Mason Monroe Railroad

127 S. Mechanic St., Lebanon, OH
The LM&M Railroad offers scenic train rides through southwestern Ohio in Warren County. Special themes like “Curious George Express,” “Super Why Limited” and “Day Out With Thomas” will be a big hit with your youngest train enthusiasts.

National Museum of the U.S. Air Force

1100 Spaatz St., Dayton, OH
The National Museum of the United States Air Force is the oldest and largest military aviation museum in the world. Located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, near Dayton, it’s just a short jaunt up 1-75. Admission and parking are always free — and the guided tours will leave your aviation-obsessed kids in awe. Check the website for the full schedule of (free) daily tour offerings.

 

Ohio Caverns

2210 State Route 245 East, West Liberty, OH
Did you know the state song of Ohio is “Beautiful Ohio”? After visiting the Ohio Caverns, you’ll discover why! The largest of all Ohio caves, this park is open throughout the year, offering guided tours for families. It’s amazing to know that underneath fields of farmland in eastern Ohio lies an enchanted natural world that began forming millions of years ago — and watching your child discover and understand the historical and scientific significance of the caves is truly the best part of exploring the Ohio Caverns.

Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park

1763 Hamilton-Cleves Road, State Route 128, Hamilton, OH
This outdoor museum features larger-than-life, colorful, three-dimensional sculptures kids will love! Sprawling hills and lush greenery make for a gorgeous mini getaway. Pack a picnic and eat with a view of some of the most awe-inspiring feats of artistic vision. If you’re feeling lazy, rent an art cart and enjoy the sites on wheels!

Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park
Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park: Dragonfly Dome by Voss Finn
Red River Gorge

Robbie Ridge Rd., Stanton, KY
The Red River Gorge is a unique, scenic natural area featuring “gorge”-ous sandstone arches and towering cliffs. Outdoor enthusiasts come to the gorge year round to enjoy hiking, camping, canoeing, wildlife viewing and other recreational opportunities.

Serpent Mound

3850 State Route 73, Peebles, OH
The Great Serpent Mound in southwest Ohio is the world’s largest serpentine effigy mound. Writhing in a seemingly effortless way, the mound winds through trees on a cliff overlooking the Brush Creek Valley of Adams County.

The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis

3000 North Meridian St., Indianapolis, IN
Recognized as the world’s largest children’s museum, this Indianapolis gem features fun, rotating exhibits and non-traditional learning experiences for children and families. The Museum’s newest exhibit, Beyond Spaceship Earth, features interactive activities for astronauts young and old!

The Ridges

Athens County, OH 45701
The site of the former Athens Asylum, today The Ridges is now property of Ohio University. There are several OU buildings on the grounds, an art museum, mini golf course, and, of course, lots of picture-perfect hiking trails. There are four separate hiking trails on The Ridges: the Ridges Trail, the Athens Trail, the River Valley Nature Walk and The Ridges Cemetery Nature Walk.

Whitewater Valley Railroad 

455 Market Street, Connersville, IN
Plenty of regular and themed trains pepper the Whitewater Valley Railroad schedule – including a “Wild West Train” and “Day Out With Thomas.” Caboose rentals and charter trains are also available for interested guests.

Young’s Jersey Dairy

6880 Springfield-Xenia Rd., Yellow Springs, OH
Playgrounds? Petting zoo? Mini golf?! Young’s Jersey Dairy is absolutely worth a trip to Yellow Springs. This family owned gem is a real working dairy farm, where guests can watch the cows being milked – and then enjoy a bowl of homemade ice cream! How’s that for “farm to table?”

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