Mansfield, Ohio is well-known for it’s home of the filming of The Shawshank Redemption, but most people miss what a great city it is for families and travelers! Mansfield offers numerous things to do with kids, especially outdoor pursuits. Here is my list of the best things to do in Mansfield, Ohio with kids!
Richland Carrousel Park
Richland Carrousel Park is the centerpiece of Mansfield’s downtown Carrousel District. This beautiful Carrousel contains 30 horses and 22 menagerie figures. All 52 figures were designed, carved, and painted by Mansfield’s own Carrousel Works.
One of our favorite features of the Carrousel is its family-friendly pricing! Rides are only $1/ each or 6 for $5. The Carrousel is also host to numerous events throughout the year. Our favorite time to visit is during Wacky Wednesday events during summer- when lunch specials add to the fun.
The Carrousel also has a gift shop and plenty of picnic tables. If you plan a morning visit, stop by the Buckeye Bakery and get a few donuts, then enjoy them after your ride.
Richland Carrousel Park is located at: 75 N Main St., Mansfield, Ohio. The phone # is 419-522-4223.
Just a short walk from Richland Carrousel Park is the Little Buckeye Children’s Museum (<- my full review). The Children’s Museum will delight kids ages 2-10. There are two stories of exhibits for which children can immerse their make-believing minds- from a grocery store, bank, theatre, construction site, model train, and more. If you live close to Mansfield, you may want to consider a membership, because I’m sure your children or grandchildren will ask to come back again.
Little Buckeye Children’s Museum is located at: 44 W. Fourth Street, Mansfield. Call ahead to confirm hours and post-pandemic reopening plans: 419-522-2332
The Infield in Lexington
While I prefer more educational or historic stops, my kids love some good old-fashioned fun! The Infield in Lexington is the place to visit to enjoy go-carts, mini-golf, and batting cages. Hours are seasonal, so call ahead before planning your trip to Lexington.
The Infield is located at: 176 E Main St, Mansfield, OH 44904 and the phone # is 419-884-4386.
The Ohio Bird Sanctuary
The Ohio Bird Sanctuary helps to care for and rehabilitate Ohio’s native birds that have sustained injury or disease. However, the Ohio Bird Sanctuary is also a destination for families who want to learn more about birds and nature!
The OBS is one of the most unique things to do in Mansfield with kids because of the variety of outdoor activities. Families can visit the birds and even feed a few in the aviary, hike the adjacent trails, or play in the nature-themed playscape. It’s an educational place to pack a picnic lunch and enjoy creation.
The Ohio Bird Sanctuary is located at” 3774 Orweiler Rd, Mansfield, Ohio. The phone # is 419-884-4295.
Lovers of the summer sun will enjoy a visit to the YMCA Mansfield splash pad! The splash pad is perfect for kids aged 1-10! Sprinklers, bucket dumps, and a detached “dry” playground make for a fun addition to your time in Mansfield. Here is my full review of the Mansfield Y Splash Pad.
The YMCA Splash Pad is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day when the temperature reaches above 72 degrees.
The Mansfield Y is located at: 750 Scholl Road, Mansfield, Ohio. The phone # is 419-522-3511.
Malabar Farm State Park
Malabar Farm is a great place for families of all ages to learn and explore! From petting farm animals, to learning agricultural and literature, to hiking, it’s easy to spend a FULL day at Malabar.
Malabar is the former home of author Louis Bromfield. This free Ohio State Park is located in Lucas, Ohio. While this is a short drive from Mansfield, it’s worth getting out of town! In the fall, make sure you drive to the top of Mt. Jeez and check out the fall colors! Our kids’ favorite spot is the cave located along the Butternut Trail.
Here is my full list of things to do at Malabar Farm State Park.
Altitude Trampoline Park in Ontario
Ok, mom, it can’t all be history and culture, sometimes young ones want to jump, climb, and hit each other! The Altitude Trampoline Park in Ontario offers all three! Lol.
Altitude Trampoline Park is a fun place for kids to burn energy during those long Mansfield winters. We like visiting on a weekday before 5 because the crowds are so minimal.
Altitude offers special programming and event pricing. They are located at: 2190 W 4th Street, Ontario. The phone # is 567-303-8883.
Kayaking at Clear Fork Reservoir
Clear Fork Reservoir is an awesome place to picnic, hike, and paddle just outside of Mansfield, Ohio. Because the Reservoir has a horsepower limitation, it feels very relaxing and safe for kayaking.
Our favorite place to put the kayak in the water is by parking at Reservoir Park #2 and finding an inlet to enter. We love our inflatable kayak because it’s easy to transport in our van and we don’t need to park right next to a boat launch. Check out my review of the Intex Explorer.
Gorman Nature Center
Gorman Nature Center is a pet-friendly park for walking, hiking, and learning about local plants and animals. The Visitor Center offers an up-close look at turtles and snakes, as well as special event programming.
Our favorite thing to do is visit the hiking trails – especially those that are entered through the pine forest to the left of the parking lot.
Gorman Nature Center is located at: 2295 Lexington Ave, Mansfield. The phone # is 419-884-3764
Mansfield and her surrounding towns have an abundance of great play structures! If you want to let the kids burn off some more energy, click here for the best parks and playgrounds in Mansfield!
Kingwood Center Gardens
The beautiful Kingwood Center Gardens are one of the premier destinations in Mansfield. Seeing spring blooms and winter Christmas lights at Kingwood are two of our favorite things to do in Mansfield! The new Garden Gateway Center at Kingwood offers a cafe, gift shop, and nursery.
For kids that love animals, make sure you leave time to feed the ducks and find the resident peacocks. For little ones, there is also a Storybook Trail!
Kingwood Center Gardens is located at 50 N. Trimble Rd, Mansfield The phone # is 419-522-0211.
Mohican State Park
Mohican State Park is approximately 30 minutes from downtown Mansfield, but it’s claimed by the locals for its fantastic hiking and camping. Mohican is also known as the Canoeing Capital of Ohio!
Our favorite thing to do at Mohican State Park is to hike with our kids. For more information on the best hiking trails and things to do at Mohican, check out my Family Adventure Guide to Mohican State Park. If your kids are a bit older, they may really enjoy the Gorge Overlook Trail – complete with a swinging bridge!
Where to stay in Mansfield
The most popular place for families is the Comfort Inn Splash Harbor. The Comfort Inn offers all of its typical conveniences plus an indoor water park! The waterpark is not massive but would be good for ages 1-10. It is located in Bellville, Ohio; not far from many of these awesome attractions.
Have you been to Mansfield? What is your favorite family-friendly activity? For more to do in Mansfield check out my favorite places to eat in Mansfield and awesome things to do in Mt. Vernon, Ohio or nearby Amish Country.
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