Berlin, Ohio

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent

A drive through Ohio's Amish country is a fun way to enjoy life at a slower pace and taste some of the best homemade food the Buckeye State has to offer. Berlin, Ohio, is less than a two-hour drive from Columbus, yet it is like stepping into another world.

Berlin is an ideal day trip because there are several Amish communities easily accessible in one visit including Walnut Creek, Millersburg, Charm and Sugarcreek. This is one trip where the kids can help point out places to stop and explore as you see points of interest. There are petting zoos on local farms and plenty of bakeries, shops and cheese factories offering tours to visitors. With a flexible agenda, a day trip to Berlin can be a fun and spontaneous adventure.

Stroll down Main Street(Main Street in downtown Berlin; most stores open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays, closed Sundays).Park the car and stretch your legs as you stroll down Main Street and stop into the many small shops. You will enjoy great finds at the Berlin Antique & Craft Mall, locally made gifts at Harvest Moon and old-fashioned sodas and toys at Sommers General Store. Main Street is beautifully decorated during every season of the year, making it a fun place to get out and walk around as you enjoy seeing the local Amish pass by with their horses and buggies.

Heini's Cheese Chalet(6005 County Route 77, Millersburg; 800-253-6636; January-April: open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays–Saturdays; May-December: open 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays; closed Sundays and holidays; free admission). Heini's Cheese Chalet is a fun to visit with kids. Located one mile north of Berlin, you can learn the history of cheese and how it's made while noshing on endless cheese samples and touring their factory. Heini's is a family-owned business that supplies Amish families in the area. The cheese is made fresh with milk delivered by local farmers in traditional milk cans.

The Farm at Walnut Creek (4147 County Route 114, Walnut Creek; 330-893-4200; April-October: open 8:30 a.m. until one hour before sunset, Mondays-Saturdays; November-March: open by reservation only; admission: $11.75 adults, $8.75 children (2-12), $8.75 seniors, cash only). While you will see several animal parks in the area, The Farm at Walnut Creek stands out because it is an authentic Amish farm. Your kids can explore the working farm and see more than 500 animals from around the world. Enjoy a wagon ride through the grounds, or stay in your own car as you get up close to animals like camels, zebras, giraffes, horses and buffalo. You can even hand-feed giraffes out of a horse-drawn wagon. During your visit, you will see daily life on the farm as the Amish do daily chores like plow fields, can fruit and sew quilts.

Amish Country Theater (3149 State Route 39, Walnut Creek; 888-988-7469; performance start time: 7 p.m. Thursdays, 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; admission: $22 adults, $11 children 11 and under). Enjoy a performance inside an authentic Amish barn. The 325-seat auditorium at the Amish Country Theater offers various show options with engaging performances by Amish comedy artists and ventriloquists. If you get hungry, check out the homemade desserts at the Barnyard Fixin's stand.

For more information about Berlin, go to