It’s that time of winter when I begin to wonder if we’ll ever get outside in the sunshine again. Cabin fever has reached a peak in our home and I’m sure it has yours, too! Here’s a list of 10 indoor Ohio attractions that are good for kids…and their parents.
While you may think of art museums as only for adults, the Cleveland Museum of Art is inspiring for all ages. The Armor Room allows children to dream of the times of knights and warriors. Another popular exhibit with our children was the Egyptian mummies and artwork. And, great news for adults, general admission is free.
The LEGOLAND Discovery Center opened in Columbus in the fall of 2018. This completely indoor attraction is geared towards children aged 2-10 but has something for all ages. Pack a lunch and plan to spend the day building, riding, playing, and watching 4D movies. Your children will be begging to go back!
Here’s our family’s review of LEGOLAND Columbus.
Another Museum of Art? Yes! Believe it or not, you can always find something for the children at an art museum. Throughout January and February, the Columbus Museum of Art is host to a LEGO exhibit. This year, the exhibit runs through February 22 (hurry!) and is called “Think Outside the Brick.” Even if you miss it, there is still plenty for kids!
This museum is just across the Ohio River from Cincinnati, but I’m including it anyway! The Newport Aquarium was voted the #1 Aquarium in the Midwest! Cabin fever will float away after a few hours gazing at the world’s underwater life. Make sure you leave time to watch the penguins put on a show at Penguin Palooza and then walk the world’s first and only Shark Bridge.
Mansfield, Ohio is a small city with the perfect museum for kids! If you have children aged 2-9, The Little Buckeye Children’s Museum is a two-story building full of exhibits your little ones will enjoy. Kids can race DUPLO cars, put on a play in a miniature theatre, and even work a McDonald’s drive-thru. The model train is perfect for your Thomas enthusiasts. You can read our full review HERE.
When you’re done visiting the Museum, make sure you leave time to visit Mansfield’s
This Cincinnati Children’s Museum just reopened last spring after an extensive renovation. The museum is full of interactive child’s play. Our favorite spot was the wilderness section titled, “The Woods.” Kids have hundreds of ways to crawl, climb, and slither their way through a forest-themed area. This section alone will make parents wish they could be a kid again!
There’s also water play, a construction site, a large grocery-store, vet clinic, giant teeth (think: dental hygiene), and an art room. Adults will appreciate the numerous seating areas! TIP: If you’re trying to save money, cafeteria tables are located just outside the entrance. Pack a lunch.
For more ideas of things to do in the Cincinnati area, click HERE.
A smalltown boy from Wapakoneta, Ohio made it all the way to the moon. Now the museum that bears his name draws visitors from all over the world. However, the museum chronicles more than just the life of Armstrong, there is a large emphasis on Ohio astronauts, the Apollo 11 mission, and NASA.
Our children were 8, 6, and 4 at the time of our visit and we found this to be an easy museum to visit with kids. Things that aren’t meant to be touched are behind glass. Interactive displays are sprinkled throughout the museum to keep young ones paying attention. Our youngest, age 4, even found things that kept her engaged. You can find a full review of our visit HERE.
The Bicycle Museum of America is an indoor attraction located in New Bremen, Ohio. In 1997, the owner of Crown Equipment went to Chicago and purchased the entire collection at an auction in the hope to bring it back to his hometown. The museum contains three floors of exhibits showing the history of bicycles. Newer bikes of interest are the bike from the movie, “Pee Wee’s Adventures” and those of actor Robin Williams.
Interactive displays are the biggest hit among young children. Our children’s legs weren’t quite long enough to pedal the high-wheel bicycle, but my husband and I had a fun attempt! On the third floor, children can help pedal a car and try a scooter. For more to do in this part of Ohio – click here.
It’s not often that you visit a historical museum that is equal parts educational for kids and interesting for adults. Dennison Railroad Depot Museum fits the description and more.
Dennison, Ohio is the epitome of a railroad town. The small village lies halfway between Columbus and Pittsburgh, a perfect 100 miles from each. This distinction made it a place born out of pure need- A steam train could go 100 miles before needing water.
One of the perks of the Railroad Depot Museum is that for kids under 7- admission is FREE. Kids are also given a scavenger hunt to help, Bing (the railway dog), to find all of his bones. On top of this, they receive a dog-tag style necklace and earn a charm once they completed the hunt. This interactive play helped my kids learn about the railway in a fun way! For a lengthy review of our visit click HERE.
Looking for a warm tropical destination that doesn’t require a plane ticket? Standing in the midst of towering ferns and flowering plants at the Franklin Park Conservatory may be just what the doctor ordered. If your children like butterflies, the 25th annual Blooms and Butterflies exhibit begins on March 9.
If you have a train enthusiast in your family, the Himalayan exhibit has a model train! You can find out more about visiting the Franklin Park Conservatory HERE.
What’s your favorite indoor attraction in Ohio? Do you visit museums or prefer a mall or PlayPlace? Give me your best ideas!