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10 Places in Ohio to Visit before the Kids head back to School

It’s hard to believe that it’s already August! The days are warm, but the evenings are beginning to cool off just a bit, reminding me of fall. Pretty soon it will be time for the kids to start back to school.

Even though we homeschool and take a fair share of time off throughout the school year for field trips and to travel, for us, fall means it’s time to buckle down and hit the books. But before we do, there are a few places that I still want to visit with my teenagers.

Here’s my list of 10 Places in Ohio to Visit before the Kids head back to School.

1. Cedar Point Amusement Park

My kids have already spent time at the Roller Coaster Capital of the World this year, but teenagers can never have too much fun. Or so they keep reminding me.

Hocking Hills State Park

2. Hocking Hills State Park

When I visited Hocking Hills State Park for the Shoot the Hills Photography Competition this spring, I swore to myself that I’d make a return visit before summer was over. I really want to rent a cabin, hike the trails and take a midnight canoe trip- something that would have terrified me when my kids were younger, but something I think they’d really enjoy as teenagers.

3. Lake Erie Islands

Since I was a little girl, I have loved visiting Lake Erie! I could sit at Marblehead State Park on the huge rock slabs behind the light house and watch the waves come crashing in all day, breathing in the lake air.

As much as I love to be near the shore, I’ve only ventured onto a ferry and across Middle Bass Island once and I’ve never been on Kelly’s Island. That is about to change.

4. Cleveland Museum of Art

I love art and I’ve somehow managed to pass along my appreciation to my children. When my oldest son and I visited NYC last year for his 18th birthday, it was for the sole purpose of visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Cleveland Museum of Art may not be as large, but it certainly is impressive. It’s also much closer to home and much cheaper. Did you realize that there is no charge to view the permanent collection?

5. The Ohio Historical Center and Ohio Village

I remember a field trip I took in the 4th grade to the Ohio Historical Museum and Ohio Village. I still can’t get the image of the two-headed calf out of my mind!

Though I have taken my kids to the museum, the Ohio Village hasn’t been open until recently which leads to a perfect excuse to visit Columbus if you ask me.

Camel at the Wilds in Cumberland, Ohio

6. The Wilds

Yes, we’ve already been there this year but we did buy an annual pass and we certainly can’t let that go to waste. My husband is dying to go zip lining with the kids but not me. I’m such a wimp, that I’d prefer to stay on the ground and play photographer. Someone has to capture the moment their feet leave the platform, right?  Personally, I’d really, really, really want to spend the night in the lodge and take a behind the scenes tour, which they don’t offer, but wouldn’t that be amazing?

And if we’re going to head to The Wilds, we’ll drive right past Ye Olde Mill which happens to be #7 on my list.

7. Ye Olde Mill

I think I’ve already established that my kids love ice cream more than just about anything, didn’t I? Enough said!

8. The Living Word Outdoor Drama

I’ve wanted to see an outdoor drama for years and have yet to make it to one. This year, I’m going to change that with a trip to the Living Word Outdoor Drama.

9.  The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

We’ve been to many zoos on our travels, but this one has always remained our favorite.  I don’t even remember a year that we did not visit the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium and I’m going to make sure this year isn’t the first.

10. The Polaris Fashion Place

The mall may be an odd choice of places to visit before the summer is up, but teens love to hang out at the mall and my homeschooled children are no different. We could visit anytime of the year but they are eager to buy some new clothes for school and my mouth is watering for a tiny bite of the Oreo Dream Extreme Cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory.

Where do you plan to visit before the kids go back to school?

This post is linked to Top Ten Tuesday with Angie from Many Little Blessings.

Nancy turner

Sunday 14th of June 2015

Enjoyed reading your list! We have already visited the Ohio History Museum and Ohio Village when we traveled to Columbus for my son's graduation from OHVA. Leaving tomorrow for Hocking Hills- can't wait. You mentioned outdoor dramas- check out "Tecumseh" in Chillicothe. We went a couple of years ago and it was absolutely breathtaking. Enjoy your summer!


Sunday 14th of June 2015

I'm glad you enjoyed my list, Nancy! It's been a few years since I've been to the Ohio History Museum. I think I need to plan another trip. Hocking Hills is amazing. It's gorgeous and scenic with so much to explore- and some fun roadside attractions (always appeals to me) I've heard good reviews of Tecumseh. I'd love to check it out too. Enjoy your trip to Hocking Hills! And congratulations on your son's graduation. :)

Juliann | Browsing the Atlas

Thursday 9th of August 2012

I'd have to add Cincinnati to you list of Ohio places. Not that I'm partial or anything. :) But I find Cincinnati to be so different from central Ohio. And there are a ton (realistically more like 20) of things to do.


Thursday 9th of August 2012

You're right- I could have added Cincinnati to my list- we've always enjoyed our time there. Union Terminal is one of my favorite buildings ever. I just love it. :) Protection Status
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