The state of Ohio offers everything from museums with dinosaurs and archaeological exhibits to zoos and aquariums with exotic animals. You can ride a roller coaster one day and take a walk through an unspoiled natural park the next. See how the Amish live, then splash down in a wild water park. Check out some amazing adventures to have and things to do for family fun in Ohio.

Check out museums in Toledo

1. Visit the National Museum of the Great Lakes

The National Museum of the Great Lakes is a unique attraction with plenty of hands-on displays and multimedia exhibits related to the Great Lakes. These interactive experiences are designed to get everyone involved on a personal level as you explore how the lakes shaped the history of the entire continent. The artifacts, memorabilia, and experiences here are every bit as awe-inspiring and entertaining as they are educational, and the kids will love to play while they learn about these iconic bodies of water. This experience might even turn your child into the next burgeoning historian who might make discoveries of their own.

2. Explore the Secret Forest at the Toledo Botanical Garden

The Toledo Botanical Garden is among the most popular places for family fun in Ohio with kids. This urban oasis offers plenty of time to explore and see all the beauty of nature. The gardens are immaculately tended and feature dozens of species of native flowers. Kids will love exploring the Secret Forest, a multi-level area just for them where they can run, jump, roll, and play all day long. You can even take a pollinator walk to learn about creatures that help plants grow or take a guided tour of the garden.

Explore iconic amusements in Sandusky

3. Ride the coasters at Cedar Point

Cedar Point is arguably one of the most famous adventure theme parks in the entire world. This classic amusement park offers over 70 pulse-pounding rides, including an entire kiddie park. Live entertainment shows with singing, dancing, comedy, and acrobatics are held at various points throughout the day every day. Of course, it also offers all the iconic amusement park foods and midway games you would expect. You could easily spend several days exploring the park and riding every ride.

4. Splash down at Kalahari Resorts waterpark

Kalahari Resorts waterpark is one of the largest indoor waterparks in the United States. Since it's indoor, you can enjoy it when the rain is pouring down and the lightning is flashing. It also means you can ride a waterslide or tube chute in the dead of winter. You'll find a wide range of kids activities in Ohio here, from a swimming pool to thrilling waterslides, or book one of their underwater experiences. Play water basketball or send the littlest ones to the Coral Cave with bouncers and games at zero depth.

5. Take a safari in The Wilds

The Wilds is a branch of the Columbus Zoo, located in Sandusky. It's one of the top family things to do in Ohio because it's a truly unique way to see exotic creatures and get up close and personal. Here, the animals all roam freely in a natural habitat and you can take a safari tour where guides will share insights on creatures like rhinos, zebras, giraffes, and African painted dogs. Kids will be thrilled to be so close to these wild creatures and learning about who they are and how they live.

Go sightseeing in Cincinnati

6. Try an Ohio Riverboat tour

Cincinnati is a beautiful city along the Ohio River, and booking an Ohio Riverboat tour is among the most exciting and breathtaking ways to experience it. The tour starts at a local marina and shows you both the Ohio and Kentucky sides of the river while passing beneath the major bridges in the city like the Big Mac Bridge and the Roebling Suspension Bridge. Your guide will be knowledgeable and eager to share the entire history of the river and the city. It's one of many educational and fun Ohio kids activities.

7. Have an Escape Room Adventure

Cincinnati isn't just breathtaking scenery. It's also full of fun, challenging, and intellectual puzzles for family fun in Ohio like the Great Escape Room adventure. This one is best for families with older kids and teens and will test your ability to work together as a team by engaging your problem-solving skills. You'll be locked in a room with a mission you must complete to get out, usually within a certain timeframe. You can choose from multiple adventures, so you can visit several times and have different experiences.

Head for the freshwater shores in Huron

8. Relax on the gold sands at Nickel Plate Beach

Those who are looking for a beach vacation along the banks of Lake Erie will enjoy Nickel Plate Beach. When it comes to family fun in northeast Ohio, you'll find all the relaxation and freshwater fun you want here. It's been rated as among the best family beaches in Ohio and offers silky soft sands, crystal clear water, and sandbars where you can sunbathe, build castles, swim, or enjoy the beach amenities like volleyball courts and playgrounds for the little ones.

See Columbus, the state capitol

9. Get hands-on at the Center of Science and Industry

The Center of Science and Industry, or COSI, as it's called by locals, should be on everyone’s list of kids activities in Ohio. Parents Magazine voted it the number 1 museum for families due to its vast collection of science exhibits that are hands-on and fully interactive. It's built to teach kids about the natural world, inspire their curiosity, and engage them with puzzles and state-of-the-art technology. Here, kids can explore a dinosaur gallery, view live shows, explore the depths of the ocean and even fly into outer space.

10. Go on a Scavenger Hunt Adventure

Scavenger Hunt Adventures is a real-life puzzle hunt that takes you all across the city of Columbus. You'll use a smartphone app that gives you clues and challenges to compete, each of which will lead you to the next location. As you go, you'll learn all about iconic locations in the city and explore its rich history while you have an exciting adventure meeting Presidents, theatrical jesters, and hidden gems. You'll be amazed at the old architecture, deep cultural traditions, and centuries of history that are all throughout this city.

11. See the animals at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium lets you explore over 580 acres of land showcasing over 7,000 animals which represent more than 800 individual species. The exhibits are split among themed areas like the Adventure Cove, North America, Asia Quest, Polar Frontier, Congo Expedition, Shores and Aquarium, Heart of Africa, and Australia and the Islands. The Aquarium is divided into Discovery Reef, Manatee Coast, and Reptile Habitat. As you explore the animal exhibits you can make side trips to the Zoombeze Bay water park, ride on the 1914 carousel, or hit the small Rides at Adventure Cove amusement park.

Walk the Lake Erie shores in Cleveland

12. See the dinosaurs at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History

The Cleveland Museum of Natural History has been ranked by several publications as one of the top family things to do in Ohio. Here you can explore the entire history of the world from prehistoric ties to the far reaches of outer space and beyond. Many of the exhibits here are hands-on and interactive, and the fantastic dinosaur exhibit has serveral complete skeletons, so kids can get up close and see the real scale of these mighty monsters.

13. Walk the paths of musical history at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

From Jimi Hendrix to John Lennon, from Michael Jackson to David Bowie, Simon and Garfunkel to Queen and so many others, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame celebrates popular music from its earliest origins to the modern day. This gigantic pyramid shows off hundreds of exhibits with thousands upon thousands of pieces of memorabilia related to the most famous artists in music history. It's a way to experience culture and art that have shaped our entire society, and it's one of the more exciting and educational kids activities in Ohio.

Visit the NFL's Birthplace in Canton

14. Check out the Pro Football Hall of Fame

Canton is the birthplace of the NFL, and the Pro Football Hall of Fame allows you to learn all about the history of the NFL from its original beginnings all the way back in 1920 to the modern day with exhibits commemorating hundreds of players who are deemed to be the best of the best in the history of the sport. The museum has welcomed over 10 million fans since its opening in 1963 and sees visitors from all over the world. It's a chance to see Super Bowl rings and learn about your favorite players.

Other Ohio adventures to have with the kids

15. See a waterfall at Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Cuyahoga Valley National Park features some outstanding outdoor adventure-type kids activities in Ohio. During the spring, summer, and fall it's a great place for hiking, fishing, biking, kayaking, and other outdoor activities. The park also offers a lot of kid-centric activities like train rides and programs for junior rangers to teach them all about wilderness. In the wintertime, the park is great for sled riding, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and other winter sports. You can see waterfalls, plant life, native animal species, and get away from the hustle and bustle for a while.

16. Explore a simple way of life in Amish Country

The Amish are an interesting culture that embraces a simpler lifestyle, and a visit here is a great way to introduce kids to the idea that technology and the lightning-fast modern way of life aren't the only way to be happy. Amish Country lets you disconnect and learn about a culture where people get things done with their hands, and embrace a simpler way of life. The countryside is dotted with bakeries, small gift shops, beautiful farms, and colorful landscapes that are sure to bring memories to the table which last for a lifetime.