Fun Things to Do in Ohio With a Toddler

Fun Things to Do in Ohio With a Toddler
Ohio is home to a number of indoor and outdoor recreational opportunities for families with toddlers to explore together. City, county and state parks offer playgrounds, trails and other activities for toddlers to experience. Zoos and aquariums let toddlers become acquainted with exotic animals as well as offer opportunities to pet some not-so-exotic farm animals. Introduce toddlers to where food comes from by visiting farms. And when the weather isn't agreeable, consider heading indoors with your toddler to visit one of the state's many museums or indoor activity centers.

City and County Parks

Ohio has a wide range of city and county parks that have activities that cater to families with toddlers. One such park is Sharon Woods, which is a part of the Hamilton County Park District, located near Cincinnati. When the weather is nice, toddlers can play outside at the Sharon Woods Harbor playground, which features a splash playground with water fountains and sprays during the summertime. If the weather is less-than-ideal, let the kids play inside at the Adventure Station, which is an indoor treehouse playground.

Sharon Woods
11450 Lebanon Road
Sharonville, Ohio 45241
www.hamiltoncountyparks.org/parks/sharonwoods.htm

State Parks

Let toddlers explore the great outdoors in Ohio state parks. In addition to traditional trail systems, many state parks also feature paved trails, which are ideal for stroller use when your child is too tired to walk. The Ash Cave trail at Hocking Hills State Park is one example of a paved trail. Also have backpacks suitable for carrying toddlers when exploring park trails. Many state parks in Ohio also feature multiple accommodation options, including campgrounds, cottages, cabins and lodge facilities.

Hocking Hills State Park
19852 State Route 664 S
Logan, Ohio 43138
(740) 385-6842
www.ohiodnr.com/parks/parks/hocking/tabid/743/Default.aspx

Zoos and Aquaria

Introduce your children to exotic animals by taking a trip to the zoo. There are several zoos in Ohio, including zoos in Columbus, Cincinnati, Toledo and Cleveland. In addition to opportunities to explore the zoo's inhabitants, most zoos feature special petting zoos and activities especially for young children.

Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
4850 West Powell Road
Powell, Ohio 43065
(800) 666-5397
www.columbuszoo.org

Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens
3400 Vine St.
Cincinnati, Ohio 45220-1333
(513) 281-4700
www.cincinnatizoo.org

Toledo Zoo
2 Hippo Way
Toledo, Ohio 43609
(419) 385-4040
www.toledozoo.org

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
3900 Wildlife Way
Cleveland, Ohio 44109
(216) 661-6500
www.clemetzoo.com

Museums

Hands-on museums allow your toddler to get rid of excess energy and learn something new at the same time. COSI, located in Columbus, is a hands-on science museum. The Boonshoft Museum of Discovery, located in Dayton, has a play space specifically for toddlers that features a fossil pit that children can dig through. The Cincinnati Children's Museum features a huge animal-themed semi-enclosed playground and a water table with a number of different machines for children to use.

COSI
333 W. Broad Street
Columbus, Ohio 43215
(614) 228-2674
www.cosi.org

Boonshoft Museum of Discovery
2600 DeWeese Parkway
Dayton, Ohio 45414
(937) 275-7431
www.boonshoftmuseum.org

Cincinnati Children's Museum
1301 Western Ave
Cincinnati, Ohio 45203-1123
(513) 287-7000
www.cincymuseum.org

Farms

Farms open to the public offer families the opportunity to explore where their food comes from. Particularly fun times to visit Ohio's farms are in the early fall, when families are able to pick their own apples or pick their own pumpkin from the farm's pumpkin patch. Other autumn farm activities may include hayrides or corn mazes to explore.

Young's Dairy Farm
6880 Springfield-Xenia Rd
Yellow Springs, Ohio 45387
(937) 325-0629
www.youngsdairy.com

Pioneer Trail Orchard
6313 Pioneer Trail
Hiram, Ohio 44234-9744
(330) 569-7464
www.pioneertrailorchard.com

Indoor Activity Centers

If the weather outside is frightful and your toddler is running amok in the house, it may be time to explore one of Ohio's many indoor activity centers. These centers offer children the opportunity to climb, explore, jump and run, all in a safe environment.

EnterTRAINment Junction
7379 Squire Ct.
West Chester, Ohio 45069
(513) 898-8000
entertrainmentjunction.com

Bananas!
7102 Hamilton Mason Rd.
Liberty Township, Ohio 45011
(513) 777-9200
bananasplay.com

Run Jump -n- Play
8481 Duke Blvd.
Mason, Ohio 45040
(513) 701-7529
runjumpnplay.com

Article Written By Susan Berg

Based in northern Wisconsin, Susan Berg has more than 10 years of experience as a writer and editor. Her work has been published in both print and online media, including the "Dayton Daily News" and BioZine. Berg earned a Master of Arts in journalism from Indiana University.

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