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Southern Ohio road trip with kids

Oak Park, Illinois
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Southern Ohio road trip with kids

Hi everyone!

We're planning a road trip this summer and trying to find fun stops for the kids (8 year old twin girls and a 3 year old girl). On this leg of the trip we will be going from West Virginia to Cincinnati and then on home to Chicago We really want to drive through southern OH as we used to live in Cleveland and have done the northen OH drive to Chicago more times than we can count.

I have specifically been charged by my children with finding "hands on arts and crafty things to do/places to stop." For example, I know that at the Longaberger basket co the kids can weave their own basket but my husband is hoping to not have to go that far north. We are flexible though...

Any ideas?


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1. Re: Southern Ohio road trip with kids

Can you schedule your trip so you could visit the Ohio State Fair?

You might want to research Knitters Mercantile in Columbus, or, if traveling in mid-June, attend the Knitters Connection, but first check to see if anything there would interest your twins.



Other attractions include The Wilds near Zanesville (Zanesville itself is an arts & crafts center), the Columbus Zoo, the U.S. Air Force National Museum in Dayton (free admission; spectacular and you could leave as soon as your kids are bored; sign up for the presidential aircraft tour upon arrival), and Dayton's Boonshoft Museum of Discovery.


The excellent Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus has evening glass-working classes, but there likely is a minimum age.

And, of course, there's King's Island.

In Cincinnati, you could walk the Roebling bridge across the Ohio River, visit the excellent Cincinnati Zoo, and the Cincinnati Museum Center is very kid-friendly.

You should post in the Cincinnati Forum, as it's possible some posters there don't read the Ohio Forum.

Here's a thread that may provide some ideas:


Good planning!

Lac du Flambeau...
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2. Re: Southern Ohio road trip with kids

This is one of my favorite areas in southern OH; Keim Market is great and has a play area, too. http://www.adamscountytravel.org/amish.html

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3. Re: Southern Ohio road trip with kids

perhaps Serpent Mound?


Went as a kid and really liked it -- I always see the sign for it along Rte 32, but... never seem to have the time to make the detour.

Cincinnati, Ohio
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4. Re: Southern Ohio road trip with kids

As the first reply says, the National Museum of the United States Air Force is a must see. There was no room wasted in the three hangers are missle gallery, with all sorts of airplanes, including notable ones. There is a replica of the Wright Brother's plane, the B-29 Bockscar that dropped the Fat Man atomic bomb on Nagasaki, Japan, and many more. Be sure to sign up for the Presidential Gallery/Research&Development Tour if you can.


There is also the Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal. There is an Omnimax theater and a couple of museum exhibits. One is about the history of Cincinnati.


In Dayton, there is also Carillon Park. It showcases the history of Dayton. This includes the Wright Brothers, and the original Wright Flyer III. Inventions that had their roots in Dayton are also displayed throughout different buildings.


EnterTRAINment Junction is a huge display of model trains, from steam engines, early diesel engines, to the trains of today. It is a wonderful display.

Here is a website that lists all kinds of attrections and tourist destinations in Ohio. Enjoy your trip!


Chillicothe, Ohio
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5. Re: Southern Ohio road trip with kids

From what part of WV will you being coming from? Keep in mind that southern Ohio is very rural. Not a whole lot of touristy destinations to speak of. The Adena indian culture is very prevelent, though. I would also maybe suggest a stop in Chillicothe, as well as the Serpent Mound.

The Hopewell Mound Culture Historical Park is owned and operated by the National Park Service, my 4 and 6 year old love visiting there, especially when there is an event going on with kids activities. There is also the Tecumseh outdoor drama, Chillicothe Paints baseball games, Worthington Mansion, and one of the best bakeries I've ever been to (New System Bakery).

http://www.touring-ohio.com/ this is an excellent site to reference!

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6. Re: Southern Ohio road trip with kids

If you're coming in early August, definitely check out the Ohio State Fair held at the Ohio Exposition Center. This is one of the nation's best state fairs held in extraordinary facilities (e.g., a large arena for equestrian competitions). There is some emphasis on crafts.

Opp, Alabama
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7. Re: Southern Ohio road trip with kids

A hike at Old Man's Cave the Hocking Hills (Logan) is something everyone in the family would probably always remember.

In addition to that, after moving out of OH and the passing of some years, my daughter (who is now 19) says out of all the places I took her in OH, she remembers and loves Roscoe Village in Coshocton the most clearly and fondly. There were many things for kids to put their hands on to learn about the "canal" period and way of life in history. The "Longaberger area" is near Coshocton, so the Roscoe Village thing could be doable.


About Longaberger... There is the company HQ building that is the giant basket. And it's really cool to see but all you can do there is go in the lobby and maybe be given a free postcard. It's not where the baskets are actually made. That was our experience years ago. I'd not heard about kids weaving their own baskets. It's been a while, tho, as mentioned, so please make sure your info is more current than mine and includes directions where this is done. Maybe it's something new at the basket building?

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8. Re: Southern Ohio road trip with kids

There's also the Longaberger Homestead, but I haven't been there.

Lancaster, Ohio
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9. Re: Southern Ohio road trip with kids

Camp Sherman here is really interesting. There's not too much left, but the original military housing is now public housing and still interesting to look at. A couple of miles down 104 into the city, you can see the original camp gate posts. I'm sure there's more history you can find about it online (I just moved to the area).

The Hopewell Mound Culture Historical Park is something that I would normally has visited by now but have no because when they built camp Sherman, they leveled the mounds, and later thought that maybe she shouldn't have done that... so they built them back up. The mounds that are there now aren't the actual mounds built by Native Americans.

There's also the Adena Mansion & Gardens in Chillicothe that I haven't been to yet but it looks like a good time and there's a lot of signs for it all over the city. There's the Cardo's Family Fun Center in Chillicothe, which has bounce houses all over.

If you're looking for somewhere to just have a nice picnic/rest stop, stop at Yoctangee Park in Chillicothe. The pond there is part of the original canal that went through Chillicothe. The park is HUGE and also home to a couple ball fields (plus something like 16 more in the annex), a HUGE really nice playground for kids of all ages (they're separated but all join at the middle, so parents can hang out in the middle and easily keep an idea on kids playing on different equipment) lots of grass for running, a skatepark... it's huge. There's also an old wooden covered bridge that they moved into the park. Just as a warning through... the rest rooms by the playground are usually filthy, but the ones by the pond are clean considering it's a park lol.

I second Old Man's cave. Everyone in Southern or Central Ohio gravitate there in the summer (but it never seems crowded) and there are a lot of different levels of hiking paths. It's a really fun place to spend an afternoon or a whole day. You can also camp here (if you're interested in a cheap alternative to hotels).

If you end up coming in October, the Pumpkin Fesitval in Circleville is a MUST DO!

10. Re: Southern Ohio road trip with kids

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