When a family outing can be both fun and educational, everyone wins. Whether you have young children or teenagers, there are lots of educational destinations around Ohio that will ignite your family’s curiosity and inspire a love for learning. Here are some day trip ideas that are not only entertaining but also offer lots of opportunities for learning a little something, too!
The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2023, so now is the perfect time to visit if you haven’t already! This museum is the world’s largest military aviation museum, and is packed with fascinating exhibits that explore the history of aviation, from the very first planes to the high-tech aircraft of today. Visitors can get an up-close look at historic aerospace vehicles and missiles — many rare and one-of-a-kind — along with sensory exhibits that bring the past to life. But this museum is much more than just a collection of planes. It also celebrates the brave men and women who have served in the Air Force over the years, with exhibits that highlight the challenges they faced and the sacrifices they made.
Money: It’s more interesting than you might think! There’s a whole world of currency to uncover at The Money Museum at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, a place where learning about funds can be fun. Stand beneath a 23-foot-tall money tree, trade on Barter Islands, try to identify counterfeit dollar bills, make your own currency and explore other hands-on activities that bring the story of money to life. Explore the secrets behind the creation, distribution and security of currency; journey through the fascinating history of money; and even step inside a real bank vault.
At the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, families can step back in time and learn about the courageous individuals who fought for freedom and equality during one of the darkest periods in our nation’s history. This interactive museum allows visitors to experience the powerful stories of the Underground Railroad, a network of secret routes and safe houses that helped enslaved people escape to freedom. Visitors will be immersed in sights, sounds and emotions while exploring exhibits filled with artifacts and multimedia displays that bring history to life. This museum is a place of remembrance, education and inspiration, where families can engage in thought-provoking discussions about race, justice and equality in the modern world.
A unique historical site in Ohio, Serpent Mound is a must-visit. Built by the ancient American Indian cultures of Ohio, it is one of the largest effigy mounds (a mound in the shape of an animal) in the world, representing a snake with a curled tail. The site also contains three burial mounds — two created by the Adena culture (800 B.C.-A.D. 100), and one by the Fort Ancient culture (A.D. 1000-1650). Serpent Mound gives visitors a glimpse into the culture and beliefs of ancient Native American civilizations, and the surrounding park also offers plenty of recreational opportunities for families and nature-lovers. Take a hike along the nature trails, or bring a picnic and soak up the peaceful atmosphere. As a designated National Historic Landmark, Serpent Mound is truly a wonder to behold.