How have you been getting out of the house and having fun?
There is still enough time to have a little fun and explore some family-friendly activities in Ohio. It's crunch time right now with school starting back, so it's prime time to get some late summer activities in.
I will be the first to admit that I have been staying inside a lot. If I didn't have to run to the grocery store every week or two or go outside to collect items from the garden, I would probably stay inside 24/7.
LATE SUMMER ACTIVITIES IN OHIO TO DO WITH FAMILY
Guided Tours at The Metro Parks
Last week, the husband, the youngest, and I went on a little adventure just about 15 minutes from our home. Something that popped up on my Facebook news feed and thought “Huh, interesting. Let's do this!” I signed us up before even asking my son or husband if they even wanted to get out of the house and have fun. They pretty much had no choice and it was great.
The Lorain County Metro parks have tons of activities in Ohio all year around, last week they hosted a 2-hour guided paddling kayak tour at the Wellington Reservation, which happens to be only about 15 minutes from our home, and we had a blast. The weather was great that day. A bit on the hot side, but definitely tolerable when we were out on the water. Make sure you take something to hold your phone in so it doesn't get wet and you can still take photos with.
Our tour was around the 21-acre U-Shaped lake where the guides talked about the different birds and other critters that took up residence at the reservation. My husband even spotted an American Bald Eagle across the lake perched in a large tree. During a recent bridge and road construction, the village removed 3-5 feet of the lake in order to repair the dam that was built for a roadway.
A little bit about the Guided Paddling Trips:
Guided paddling trip with all equipment provided including life-jacket, paddle, and boat. Participants are not required to take a level one class prior to the trip. However, they suggest participants have previous paddling experience. Open to ages 18 and up (16-17 with participating adult). A brief skills refresher will be provided prior to each trip. Pre-register by 06/15, $5 per person. (There are Covid Protocols that are followed, so you'll have to check with the Lorain County Metro Parks for those)
This 541-acre park was developed in 2005 through a collaboration between the Lorain County Metro Parks and the Village of Wellington and provides opportunities for hiking, biking, strolling, fishing, boating, and wildlife observation. A beautiful Visitor’s Center sits on the bank of the gorgeous, 21-plus-acre lake formed by the Wellington South Reservoir.
Hanging Out at Put-in-Bay
Some of the most notable historic landmarks on the Island are tied to the Battle of Lake Erie during the War of 1812. Perry’s Victory & International Peace Memorial is a 352 ft tall monument that can be seen for miles on Lake Erie. The monument recognizes Commodore Perry and his victory during the Battle. He is known for the famous quote, “Don’t Give Up the Ship”. There is a lot of American history tied to Put-in-Bay!
Put-in-Bay is one of those places that you visit once and you will want to go back again! It is truly fun for kids of all ages and probably tops one of the most traveled activities in Ohio.
You can learn more about fun things to do at Put-In-Bay by heading over to Coffee, Pancakes & Dreams who visited the island with her family.
Cuyahoga Valley National Park
The Cuyahoga Valley National Park has been a federally protected area since 1974. It encompasses the Ohio & Erie Canalway area running between Cleveland and Akron, Ohio. It’s a wonderful spot to hike, bike, or enjoy water sports like kayaking or paddleboarding.
In fact, you can now bike nearly the entire way from downtown Akron to the Cleveland lakefront on mostly non-roadway trails (a bonus for those of us that don’t like street biking)! Full expansion will be complete in 2021. I'm sure it's going to add to the list more activities in Ohio that you'll need to check out.
Learn about on and off of the Towpath Trail and more over at Natty Gal who checked out CVNP this past summer!
Greater Cleveland Aquarium
The Greater Cleveland Aquarium is nestled in the historic FirstEnergy Powerhouse on the banks of the Cuyahoga River. The building originally was constructed in 1892 to provide electricity to Cleveland’s streetcars and railways. Architect John N. Richardson designed the brick powerhouse in the Romanesque revival style and the National Historic Landmark is still known for its stylish arched windows. As the automobile’s popularity grew, the need for the powerhouse waned and the building closed its doors in 1920.
Watch a toothy sand tiger shark glide right over your head. See a Pacific spiny lumpsucker suction onto its habitat and sway with the current. Look for newly hatched panda barb fry (babies) darting around. Try to find the clownfish hiding among the anemone. Because the Aquarium is in a historic brick powerhouse many of our exhibits are freestanding and offer up-close, eye-level, or 360-degree views.
My family and I visited the Greater Cleveland Aquarium a couple years ago and we had an absolute blast. You can get through the entire aquarium in about 2-3 hours if you take your time and look at every single tank or observation area. It is a little pricey for the time you spend there, but don't let that deter you from hanging out there and learning.
Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park
Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park is dedicated to bringing art and nature together. This sculpture park covers over 300 acres and is home to over 80 outdoor sculptures. You’ll also find the Ancient Sculpture museum that houses Greek, Roman, Etruscan, Syrian and Egyptian sculptures that date back to 1550 B.C.!!!
You can roam the park on foot, but I would suggest renting a golf cart (the kids will love this!!) It’s fun to cruise around the park on a golf cart — it’s a great way to help get your kids interested in art.
Check out Zen Life and Travel for more details on Pyramid Hell Sculpture Park and other fun activities in Ohio to do down in Butler County.
Historic Haunted Buxton Inn
The Buxton Inn is located in nearby Granville, Ohio. It’s about 25 minutes from Columbus and is a super cute, boutique-style Inn and Tavern. You can come here to enjoy a meal, or if you’re brave enough, stay in one of the beautiful guest rooms.
Ranging from $89 – 120 a night, it’s a totally affordable weekend escape! Just make sure you book room #9 for the spookiest of activities in Ohio.
Lakes and Lattes check into The Buxton Inn for a family weekend and talks about the adventures they encountered. Check it out here: “Are You Brave Enough to Spend the Night in this Historic HAUNTED Inn“
The Paul Busse Garden Railway
The Paul Busse Garden Railway will be on display at Franklin Park Conservatory through January 10, 2021. This is an outdoor display that takes up a large portion of the Grand Mallway.
The Garden Railway is made of all-natural plant materials and features 4 botanical themes: FairyTale Land, Wild West Town and an animal-themed “Who Lives Here” and a European Travels section! Each theme has its own section of the display and there is a sign listing what each building is and what to look for! It was fun for the kids to find all of the different displays!
Read more about the railway and see more photos and other fun activities in Ohio over at What Should We do Today Columbus.