6 Family Friendly Day Trips



If you've just purchased one of the Columbus houses for sale, or you've lived in the city for a while and are looking for something a little different, you'll have access to a wide range of opportunities for family-friendly day tripping.


Columbus is centrally located between Ohio's two other major cities, Cincinnati and Cleveland, and there is a long list of historic towns, parks, and many other fun destinations within easy reach to explore.




Downtown Mansfield, the Carrousel District


The kids will love visiting Mansfield, with its downtown area known as the Carrousel District. Located just an hour from Columbus, it's home to the Richland Carrousel Park which made history when in 1991 it opened America's first new hand-carved carousel in 60 years. It was inspired by G.A. Dentzel, one of the most highly acclaimed carvers of the early 20th century and includes 52 creatures including horses, chariots, and a menagerie of others, like a mythical hippocampus.


Mansfield is also home to a fantastic children's museum, an immersive attraction aimed at kids aged two through 10, with dozens of exhibits, including a dinosaur dig where the kids can play paleontologist as they discover bones from prehistoric creatures, a doctor's office where they can perform exams and take X-rays, and a petting farm where they can ride a horse, feed pigs and milk cows while.


Hocking Hills State Park


An hour southeast of Columbus you'll find Hocking Hills State Park, home to unusual rock, caves, a spectacular waterfall, and all sorts of hiking trails. A walk in autumn brings the chance to stroll through brilliant fall colors. Zipline rides, kayaking, and rock climbing are all possibilities here too, but the highlight may be Ash Cave, which forms a huge recess in the rock that you can walk into.


Amish Country

There are more than 330,000 Amish in America, and Ohio is home to its own Amish Country, made up of several towns, with the largest Millersburg, about an hour and 40-minute drive from Columbus. You'll be in a place that feels foreign; in fact, in many of the communities, people speak Pennsylvania Dutch as their first language. The Amish live without cars and most modern technology - you can see them getting around in horse-drawn carriages and purchase some of their magnificent handcrafted items downtown.



Cuyahoga National Park


Less than two hours north of Columbus is the state's only national park. Stretching from Cleveland to Akron, this huge park is a magnificent area of natural beauty following the course of the Cuyahoga River with walking and biking trails, caves, and waterfalls. A 2.2-mile trek, perfect for miles, will take you around the Virginia Kendall Ledges, passing through the forest dotted with mossy cliffs, caves, and huge limestone boulders. There are several notable waterfalls too, but the most impressive is 65-foot-tall Brandywine Falls, easily accessed via a wooden boardwalk.


Olentangy Indian Caverns


For those who have an interest in Native American history and perhaps want to teach their kids more about it too, the Olentangy Indian Caverns are less than a 30-minute drive north of Columbus. The natural cave system was once used by the native Huron people as their shelter. The caverns stretch over three floors and provided a safe haven during war, as they're hard to see from above ground. Guided tours can take you underground to explore them. Other attractions can be enjoyed here too, including mini-golf, a petting zoo, treasure hunt maze, and gem mining.


Springfield


Just 45 minutes from Columbus, Springfield is home to a fun farmer's market, a unique rock garden, and a child-friendly art museum. At Young's Jersey Dairy, you can visit a petting zoo, hit the batting cage, play mini-golf and enjoy famously delicious ice cream cones. On a warm day, Buck Creek State Park hosts a large lake for watersports like swimming, water skiing, fishing, and boating.


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