Ohio Caverns is the perfect place for the whole family. Located in West Liberty, Ohio; Ohio Caverns is a destination suitable for kids. I’ve always believed that children are meant to be little explorers, so where better to go explore than a cave?
What I found out (thanks to our trusty guide) is that a cavern and a cave are not synonymous. #homeschoolmomfail. If you want a long explanation as to why I recommend this link, with the main point being that both caves and caverns are typically caused by the weathering of rock.
However, a cave is typically visible on the surface and has an opening where a man can access (think of Old Man’s Cave at Hocking Hills, OH), whereas a cavern forms underground and will also contain stalactites and stalagmites. All caverns are caves, but the reverse is not true. Clear as mud?!
Another reason to take the kids to the Ohio Caverns in winter is that it’s always 54 degrees in the cavern! Too cold to walk outside? Take a guided tour below the earth.
Now I will admit, taking three little ones there was not the easiest feat. The pathways through the cavern are narrow and that made it difficult to carry a 2-year-old. Since they estimate that it takes 50 years to form a stalactite the size of a golf ball, the owners do not want the natural habitat disrupted. This makes complete sense– but it was hard to keep our 3-year-old Spiderman wannabe from touching the walls!
If you want to take little ones, it may be easiest if you take a baby/toddler carrier. Having them attached to you will help with their eagerness to touch everything.
Ohio Caverns was formed by water below the earth and there is still standing water throughout the cave. We had everyone wear their snow boots and I’m so grateful we did, otherwise, the kids would have had wet feet!
Guides do fun little things like turning off all the lights, and they end the tour by playing “Beautiful Ohio.” Apparently, tours have ended with that song since 1926 (although I do want to know what they used to play the song in 1926?!?).
The Ohio Caverns is a great place to take kids! It makes for a great science lesson- along with garnering some hometown pride for our diverse state. Here is the website for Ohio Caverns.