Ohio Adventures

Still firming up your family’s spring break travel plans? You don’t need to leave the state to have a great vacation. Buckle up – we’ve got ideas for four quick trips that will transport your family to major fun!

Take a walk on the wild side in TOLEDO

Head north for a day at the Toledo Zoo & Aquarium (www.toledozoo.org). Open year-round, this zoo is home to everything from orangutans to polar bears. Special features include two carousels and a train ride that circles the zoo’s African exhibit.

Wondering what’s new at the zoo? After a major renovation, a grand opening of the zoo’s aquarium is scheduled for March 27th. The new and improved facility features larger tanks, more diverse inhabitants and a shark and stingray touch tank.

Plan an educational outing to YOUNGSTOWN

Kids can learn while they play at OH WOW! The Roger & Gloria Jones Children’s Center for Science & Technology (www.ohwowkids.org). With galleries devoted to avionics, engineering, early childhood and more, there should be something for every budding scientist here. Geared toward kids ages zero to fourteen, the museum provides tons of opportunities for visitors to interact with its exhibits.

After you’ve had your fill of science, head over to the Butler Institute for American Art (www.butlerart.com) to view works by Winslow Homer, Mary Cassatt and Andy Warhol. If you have athletes in your group, be sure to check out the Donnell Gallery of American Sports Art, which houses a variety of sports-themed works. Admission to this Youngstown museum is free daily.

Soak in the scenery in PENINSULA

Ready for some time outside after a long winter? Visit scenic Cuyahoga Valley National Park (www.nps.gov/cuva) for fresh air and active fun. Hikers can choose from 125 miles of trails ranging from “easy” to “difficult.” Consider beginning your tour at the Boston Store Visitor Center, where you can learn about the park and ask a ranger for itinerary advice.

When it’s time to let the kids take a rest, climb aboard the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad (www.cvsr.com) to enjoy the park’s sights from a new perspective. The railroad offers a three-hour scenic ride from its Peninsula Depot, along with special seasonal programs like “Day Out With Thomas” and “The Polar Express.” Check the schedule and purchase your family’s tickets online.

At ZipZone Canopy Tours (www.zipzonetours.com), adventurous families can enjoy a variety of exciting zip line experiences. Introduce your kids to the sport with the basic two-hour Canopy Tour, or up the excitement factor by choosing the nighttime Full Moon Tour. Participants must be at least seven years old. Visit the company’s website for complete rules and restrictions. ZipZone’s official season runs from March 28th through November 8th, but tours may be available other times by request.

If everyone in your group is at least fourteen, consider pairing your aerial adventure with a land-based one. SegAway Tours of Columbus (www.segawaytoursofcolumbus.com) offers informative small group segway tours of downtown Columbus. Each two-hour tour departs from the Greater Columbus Convention Center and includes an introductory training session. This year’s tours start on March 1st.

While you’re in the area, splurge on a sweet treat at the original North Market location of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams (www.jenis.com). This upscale chain scoops unique flavors like Goat Cheese with Red Cherries, Wildberry Lavender and Brown Butter Almond Brittle. Don’t worry – ice cream purists can keep it simple with Ndali Estate Vanilla Bean or The Milkiest Chocolate in the World.

As you can see, Ohio has something for everyone when it comes to family fun. Choose a destination from our list and start planning your adventure!

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