My 2018 Ohio Bucket List

If you’ve followed me for any amount of time, you know that I have a love/hate relationship with the state I call home.  February in Ohio is THE PITS.  It’s long and cold and the winter blahs are REAL.  However, the joy that Ohio pulls from me in winter is made up for in the other 8+ months of the year!  Ohio has so many attractions- from Cedar Point to Hocking Hills to Presidential History and our three C cities!

There is no denying, Ohio is great for the traveler.  Here’s my 2018 Ohio Bucket List, in the hopes it gets me very excited about the next 9 months of warmer temps.

2018 Ohio Bucket List

1. Experience history at Lanterman’s Mill

Lanterman’s Mill in Mahouning County, near Youngstown, is an 1840s mill that still grinds corn, wheat, and buckwheat.  There are a nearby trail and covered bridge.  This picturesque locale is high on my list.

2. Sleep in a yurt on Kelley’s Island

Last year we took a day trip to Put-In-Bay and it’s hard to believe I spent over 33 years in Ohio without visiting Lake Erie’s Islands!  This year I’d like to explore the quiet, Kelley’s Island and take it up a notch by sleeping in a yurt.  This one even comes with a lake view!

3. Hike all trails at Malabar Farm State Park

We’re lucky to have Malabar Farm State Park and Mohican State Park practically in our backyard.  Last year we hiked the Jungle Brook Trail at Malabar, but this year I’d like to hit two additional trails – the Doris Duke and Butternut Trail.  All of the hikes at Malabar Farm are under 1 mile, so they are perfect for young kids.

4. Watch the Festival of Sail in Sandusky Bay

Sandusky, Ohio is celebrating her bicentennial in 2018 with fun events throughout the city.  The Festival of Sail is one – even the World’s Largest Rubber Duck will be in town!  The view from the rooftop bar at Hotel Kilbourne will probably be the hottest spot in town.  While in town, I’d also like to take the kiddos to the Merry-Go-Round and Maritime Museums. {See 5 Things to do in Sandusky with kids}.

2018 Ohio Bucket List- Sandusky Bay will host the Festival of Sail

5. Wander the Children’s Forest in Huron’s Osborn MetroPark

Just east of Sandusky in Huron, Ohio, the Children’s Forest was just reopened within the Osborn MetroPark.  I love when playground equipment takes on a natural element (think a seesaw made out of a split log), and I know the children would enjoy as well.

6. Play tourist in our own town at the Ohio State Reformatory

The Ohio State Reformatory is best known for being the backdrop to the 1989 film, The Shawshank Redemption.  My husband and I visited back in 2010, but now that we are locals, I want to take the kids.  Hey, I can’t think of anything better to scare them into being upstanding young people than to take them to a creepy prison, right?!  I found a fantastic Groupon for our family and we hope to visit ASAP.   {See if it’s still available}

7. See the Infinity Mirrors Exhibit at the Cleveland Museum of Art

One of the best free Ohio attractions is the Cleveland Museum of Art.  It’s world-class art and antiquities, coupled with a state of the art building, make it a fun day for the entire family. This summer the Museum is hosting the popular exhibit, “Infinity Mirrors” by YoYoi Kusama.  While the exhibit does cost, I’ve heard that it is a hit with children.  Tickets should be released soon, but the display runs July 7- Sept 30.

#yayoikusama #art

A post shared by Yayoi Kusama (@yayoikusamas) on

8. Learn about Ancient China, but only drive to Cincinnati

Ohio is host to another notable exhibit in 2018.  The Terracotta Army is coming to the Cincinnati Art Museum. While I’d love to go to Xi’an, China; I’m excited to get a taste of this attraction without obtaining a Chinese Visa. 😉 The Terracotta Warriors will be on display from April 20- August 12.

9. Take a walk in the shade at Oak Openings

Oak Openings is a 5,000-acre preserve within the Toledo Metroparks.  The park is home to over 50 miles of hiking trails.  Spending more time in Northwest Ohio has been on my Bucket List for a while, and Oak Openings is just the place to start.

10. Watch my (proverbial) ship come in at the Marietta Sternwheel Festival

Last year, we were planning to spend a night in Marietta at the Sternwheel Festival before traveling onward to North Carolina.  Then, the stomach flu hit.  Waaaaa.  This year I’m dying to get back to Marietta and show my favorite people all the things I love about this river city.  The Festival always takes place the weekend after Labor Day. {See 5 Reasons You Must Visit Marietta, Ohio}

Marietta shows off her Stern-wheeler history throughout town - 2018 Ohio Bucket List

11.  Thankfully I don’t have to like snakes to visit this Serpent

Ohio’s Serpent Mound is up for consideration as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  If that’s not enough reason to visit the ancient southern Ohio mound, I’m not sure what is!  Native American history abounds throughout Ohio, and we’re fortunate that this site has been preserved.  Radio-carbon dating now says that the Great Serpent Mound may have been built around 300 B.C.   Looking for more on Ohio’s Native American mounds?- See Visiting the Newark Earthworks with kids.

12.  Explore Cincinnati’s underground

Always living closer to Cleveland or Columbus, I haven’t really spent much time in Cincinnati.  So, I’m eager to get to the bottom of Cincinnati’s history (pun!) by taking a tour of Queen City’s Underground.  American Legacy Tour’s showcase the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood, a hidden crypt, and some newly discovered underground tunnels.

13.  Take an Ohio getaway with the hubs

I adore our children, but time alone with my husband is always needed!  We try to get away once a year… last year we only managed one night at the new Hilton Cleveland for our anniversary.  I’m not sure what 2018 will hold, but I’m eyeing the Hotel LeVeque in Columbus or 21c Cincinnati.

14.  Get a dose of holiday cheer at the Castle Noel

You serious, Clark?  If visiting Cousin Eddie’s RV isn’t on your 2018 Ohio Bucket List, we have a problem. Haha! I recently learned about Castle Noel: America’s Largest Indoor Year-Round Christmas Attraction and I’m interested enough to want to visit.  It looks like it’s a guide-led 90-minute tour so this may be one that causes us to leave the kids at home.

I guess I’ve given 2018 some pretty tall orders.  In fact, I read this to Mr. YT and he said, “Wow, I just wanted to go to an Indians game.” #dead

What do you hope to visit in Ohio this year?  Have I given you any new ideas?

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2018 Ohio Bucket List- showcasing the places to visit and explore in Ohio this year! Ohio is full of fantastic attractions for all ages!

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6 thoughts on “My 2018 Ohio Bucket List

  1. Love lists and love Ohio so I love your list!

    thanks for sharing some places I haven’t yet seen. I will put them on my list now, too.

  2. I stumbled upon your list while researching things to do for a vaca for my hubby and I this spring. I’m definitely looking forward to checking out a few of the items you listed. Also, I happen to work for Castle Noel and I wanted to let you know that the Cousin Eddie RV is the actual one used in the movie. In fact, all of our movie props and costumes are the authentic ones from the movies! Hope you do make it to visit us and consider bringing the kidddos for some of our amazing events during the year. Feel free to reach out and I can fill you in!

    • Thanks for stopping by, Tami! I corrected the post to show that it is the actual “quality item” featured in the movie. Now I really want to get up to Castle Noel! I’ll be in touch when I know we’ll be visiting. Thanks!

  3. Thanks for the list. I’ll be adding some of these to my own.
    As a Youngstown resident I’m thrilled to see Millcreek Park included in your list. There are so many things to do there. I suggest you stop off at Fellows Riverside Garden to have lunch or a snack at Kravitz’s deli in the Davis Visitors Center. It’s a local favorite.

    • Thanks, Annette! I’ve never been to Youngstown as an adult, so I’ll be sure to check out your suggestions! Thanks for stopping by the blog.

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