Fun places for kids in North Central Ohio
If there is anything that the past year has taught us, it is that finding local spots that allow us to be outside and explore are worth their weight in gold! We love playgrounds and parks and have done our best to check out all of our local options. Here are some of our favorite parks in Mansfield, Ohio.
My list of Mansfield, Ohio parks & playgrounds
Malabar Farm State Park – Lucas
Malabar Farm is known as the home to author Louis Bromfield and the wedding spot of Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart. The Farm provides numerous hiking trails and a cute, farm-themed playground. Public restrooms are located in the Visitor Center, and there are plenty of picnicking spots.
One of our favorite hikes is the Jungle Brook Trail. It is easy for kids of all ages.
If you want a quiet place to picnic and let the kids run around, check out Mt. Jeez.
Want more info? Check out this post on all the things you can do at Malabar Farm.
Malabar Farm is located at: 4050 Bromfield Rd, Lucas, OH 44843
North Lake Park – Mansfield
Located near downtown, North Lake Park is known for its lake. However, it is home to a new “Ninja Warrior” type playground. This playground is best suited to older children, as many of the obstacles are hard to reach and a long way for little ones to fall. Kids 10+ will find it to be a blast!
Visitors may want to visit during the daytime and bring a friend.
North Lake Park is located at: 268 Rae Ave, Mansfield, OH 44903
Charles Palm Park – Bellville
Charles Palm Park offers a lake, a new forest-themed play structure, and picnic tables. The park does offer restrooms, and the playground is fenced, but do note there is a lake on the premises. The quality of the structure, however, makes it a good place for a visit.
Charles Palm Park is located at 4777 Bellville North Rd, Bellville, OH 44813
Heise Park – Galion
Heise Park just received a makeover! The new playground was one of my children’s favorites. There are multiple structures that make up the playground – one for toddlers, one for older kids, plenty of climbing and spinning options, and a sandpit!
Parents will be happy to sit on one of the park benches. This park is rather large, and the old and new sections are separated by a busy road, something to think about if you have little ones. Bringing a stroller will make it easier (my favorite stroller).
Heise Park is located at: 5 Heise Park Ln, Galion, OH 44833
Richland Carrousel Park
The highlight of Mansfield’s Caroussel District, Caroussel Park is home to the first new, hand-carved carrousel to be built in the U.S. since the 1930s. All of the 52 figures were designed, carved, and painted at the Carrousel Works in Mansfield, Ohio.
The Carrousel is open rain or shine because it is located indoors. During nice weather, the garage doors open, making it feel like an open-air attraction. There are picnic tables on the lawn outside of the building.
This is one of my favorite places to take the kids in Mansfield, it’s a great treat for when they’ve behaved well or done their schoolwork, and it’s currently only $1/ride or 6/$5.
Restrooms and a small gift shop are on the premises.
Richland Carrousel Park is located at: 75 N. Main St, Mansfield, OH 44902
New in 2019, and don’t have to be a member of the Y to visit! The splash pad is open Memorial Day – September when the temperature is above 72 degrees. Admission is charged. The Splash pad is probably best suited for babies that are walking – age 10.
More info here:
The Mansfield YMCA is located at: 750 Scholl Rd, Mansfield, OH 44907
Bicentennial Park – Lexington
Bicentennial Park is a kid (and mom) favorite. The main structure is suited best for kids aged 5 and up. There is a small baby/toddler area nearby.
Bicentennial Park offers clean restrooms, a covered picnic area, and tennis courts.
Bicentennial Park is located at: Lex-Ontario Rd, Lexington, OH 44904
Fox Glen Park
This urban park is located between Mansfield and Lexington. Fox Glen Park offers a covered picnic area and a .75 mile wooded, paved trail.
While the trail is paved, it’s probably a bit rough for a wheelchair or traditional stroller. If you have little ones, I’d bring a jogging stroller or baby carrier. This would be a great place to have lunch and stretch your legs!
Fox Glen Park is located at: 496 Straub Rd W, Mansfield, OH 44904
Gorman Nature Center
Gorman Nature Center is a free nature reserve open from dawn-dusk each day for hiking. Located just minutes from downtown Mansfield, the trails will have you feeling like you’re miles from civilization.
Gorman’s Visitor Center is only open from Tuesday-Saturday from 9-3. Educational programming is available by request.
This is a great place to pack a picnic lunch and enjoy the weather. We like to take our nature journals and do some sketching or a scavenger hunt while in the park.
Gorman Nature Center is located at: 2295 Lexington Avenue, Mansfield, OH 44907
Kingwood Center Gardens
Kingwood Center Gardens is an immaculately kept, privately owned garden in the city of Mansfield. The 47-acre estate and gardens is the former home of Mr. & Mrs. Charles Kelley King, who made his fortune working for Ohio Brass. When he passed away in 1953, he left his estate to a private foundation that still manages Kingwood Center.
Admission to the gardens is $5/person – ages 12 & under are free. Check the Kingwood Center website for hours and special programming.
My favorite time to visit this park-like setting is in the spring when the tulips are blooming and the trees are budding. If you visit in the summer, make sure you mark your calendar to return to Kingwood before Christmas to see their amazing Christmas lights.
Kingwood Center Gardens is located at: 50 N. Trimble Rd. • Mansfield, Ohio 44906
Have you been to Mansfield, Ohio? What is your favorite park or playground to visit?