Where are you going for Spring Break? Don’t feel like breaking the bank and taking the whole family on a Disney cruise this year? Can’t get the same time off work that your kids are out of school? Just want to be together as a family? Whatever your reasoning, we’ve got you covered with an abundance of day trips in the great OH and a few suggestions just a short drive away!
Skip the packing, the flights, the planning, and the cost by enjoying a week in Ohio with your family. It’s a great way to have a family vacation while staying close to home.
Spring Break Staycation Ideas
Day 1: Visit a New Place in Columbus
- Pick a suburb or area of Columbus to explore: Drive down to German Village, Worthington, Westerville, Dublin, Hilliard, New Albany, Italian Village, The Short North, Victorian Village, Grove City, OSU Campus or Bexley and spend the day enjoying shops, bakeries, and lunch spots. You may want to try Sassafrass in Worthington, The Fox and the Snow in German Village, and Kittie’s in Bexley to name a few!
- Spend a day at an indoor play place: Let your kiddos burn off some energy at the variety of play places that Columbus has to offer. Be sure to check out our guide here- Guide to Indoor Play Areas.
- Have Lunch at the North Market: You can start at a young age exposing your kids to the many great flavors that Columbus has to offer. Little Eater and Pitaschio Vera are a few of my favorites. 🙂
- Visit a new playground or park: Let’s hope the weather is warm enough to spend some time outdoors running around. It’s always fun to explore a new park or playground and we have lots of suggestions. Pack a lunch and extend the time spent outdoors. Check out the Playground Finder in our Family Directory or these posts for ideas: 10 Playground to Checkout This Spring, 4 Metro Parks to Explore with Kids, Central Ohio Parks That Spark Imagination, 6 “Mud-Free” Parks.
Day 2: Take a day trip to a Children’s Museum
- Buckeye Children’s Museum– Mansfield, Ohio (1 hour) – $8 per person, including adults. (Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays until Memorial Day)
- Mighty Children’s Museum– Chillicothe, Ohio (1 hour, 15 minutes)- $6 and they are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
- The Works– Newark, Ohio (45 minutes) – $6 for children and $10 for adults.
- Aha Museum– Lancaster, Ohio (1 Hour) $6 per child. For lots of others on where to play and eat in Lancaster, check out this post: A Day Trip to Lancaster
- COSI– Columbus, Ohio – $20 for children and $25 for adults.
Day 3: Get Active
- Go to a Trampoline Parks: Rockin’ Jump, Get Air, Sky Zone, Lazer Kraze (Gahanna location) or Bounce Club to name a few!
- Explore the Columbus Metro Parks– Take a hike at Highbanks, enjoy the zip line at Blendon Woods, see the gardens at Innis Woods, or see the train at Homestead.
- Swim at a local Rec Center: The pool water is warm and the air is HOT so you can feel like you are on vacation, right? The best part is you don’t have to apply sunscreen. The Worthington Community Center and The Westerville Community Center both have awesome pools that you can buy day passes to attend.
- Go ZipLining: Zip Zone Canopy Tours: Ages 4 and up, come out for a thrill! Use the link to read more one of our contributor’s fun adventures at the Adventure Park.
- Play Laser Tag: Have a blast shooting the opposing team and earning points. Check out the day of fun our two contributors had with their children: Lazer Kraze Crazy
- Have a Game Day: Go to Pins Mechanical, Star Lanes or the new Ten Pin Alley for games and bowling fun!
Day 4: Explore your Artistic or Educational Side
- Columbus Museum of Art – Explore the beautiful exhibits and let your kids get creative in The Wonder Room. (Free admission on Sundays!!)
- Franklin Park Conservatory – See the Palm House, Botanical Gardens and many other exhibits. There is a great playground as well if weather permits!
- The Ohio History Connection – A fun and interactive spot to explore our past and present!
- Make a candle at The Candle Lab– Pick your favorite scents and make a lasting memory.
- Tour the State House – Free guided tours are available.
Day 5: Spend the Day at Easton or Polaris
- American Girl Store: Easton: We could spend hours just playing and looking around in this store, but you can also make a day of it with lunch at the Bistro or head to the doll salon. They have a number of special events as well.
- Lego Store: Easton: You can play, create, and shop in this magical Legoland!
- Build A Bear: Easton: Make a new friend for your little one to cuddle with!
- Sweet and Sassy: Polaris: Need a haircut or a spa day? This is a fun place to be!
- Don’t forget lunch at all the delicious dining options too!
Day 6: Connect with Animals
- Beyond the Zoo-Best Places Around Columbus and Ohio to See Animals: Some of the ideas in this post are listed below, but there are tons of other suggestions for farms, sanctuaries, zoos, parks and more.
- Slate Run Historical Farm: Experience first hand what life was like living on an Ohio farm!
- Columbus Zoo: So many great exhibits and special events during Spring Break like Eggs, Paws and Claws. Put a new spin on a zoo trip and download this free Zoo Scavenger Hunt.
- Olentangy Indian Caverns– This is such a neat experience to see the animals up close and personal! They reopen April 2.
- Visit The Wilds: A truly unique and beautiful experience to see cranes, cheetahs, and so many other animals in a breathtaking habitat.
- Ohio Wildlife Center: Many special events to see Ohio’s wildlife.
- Young’s Dairy: Take a day trip and visit with the goats, cows, and pigs!
Day 7: Take a Short Road Trip
Pittsburgh: Pittsburgh is a 3 hour trip from Columbus and has a wonderful Children’s Museum to explore. While you are there, you may want to visit the Strip District for great food and restaurants. The banana chocolate chip hotcakes at Pamela’s Diner should be on your breakfast list! If you go to the Strip District, don’t forget to visit Wholey Fish Market and Penn Macaroni.
Indianapolis: Indianapolis is 2 hours and 45 minutes from Columbus and also has an excellent Children’s Museum to entertain your little ones all day long!
Cleveland: Pack up the minivan and head 2 hours north to explore the vibrant city of Cleveland. Spots to put on our list: The West Side Market, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Great Lakes Science Center, or The Cleveland Zoo.
Dayton: Do your kids love space and airplanes? Plan a short drive to see the US Airforce Museum. You won’t be disappointed! Be sure to see one of our contributor’s experience at the Museum with lots of tips, here.
You don’t have to go far or pay the big bill for the plane tickets and 5-star resort with your kiddos this year. We hope this inspires you to have a staycation with your family. Let us know in the comments, what places you like to visit or if you and your family have planned a staycation! Have fun and spring is truly around the corner!