Great Ohio daytrips

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent

Columbus area

Columbus Zoo

Visit all the zoo's regions, ride the train in North America and take a boat ride in Asia.

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Zoombezi Bay

New waterpark with lazy rivers, giant wave pool, gisnt slides and much more.

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Franklin Park Conservatory

Franklin Park Conservatory offers botanical collections, gardens, waterfalls and educational programs.

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Center of Science and Industry (COSI)

COSI features 300 interactive exhibits throughout 7 exhibition areas. Explore hidden worlds under the seas or become an engineer. Explore the universe and land a rocket ship, or play tricks on your senses. Test the laws of gravity on the country’s only high wire unicycle! Discover the magic of the movies on our giant 7-story Extreme Screen Theater.

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German Village

German Village is a beautiful historic district on the southern edge of downtown Columbus.

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Columbus Museum of Art

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Ohio Statehouse

The Ohio Statehouse is open Monday – Friday 7 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Saturday & Sunday 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Free guided tours are offered from Mondays through Fridays on the hour from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m., and on Saturdays and Sundays from noon until 3 p.m. Tours depart from the 3rd Street Information Desk.

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Columbus Crew

The Crew is Ohio's professional Major League Soccer club. Crew Stadium is located off I-71 and 17th Avenue on the grounds of the Ohio Expo Center. The season runs April-October.

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Anthony Thomas Candy factory tours

In 45 minutes or less, view chocolates being produced from copper kettle to final packaging.

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Ohio Caverns

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Olentangy Indian Caverns

Off of Home Road, 3 miles west of US 23 north of Powell. Tours of this limestone wonder are offered daily April 1- Oct. 31. Outside the caverns is a reproduction of an indian village.

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Cleveland area

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Immerse yourself in the sounds and spirits of the greats at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s Rock and Roll Night School. Night School consists of a monthly series of educational, discussion-based classes offered free of charge from 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. in the Museum’s 4th floor theater. Check out the Rock Hall exhibits and musician appearances this summer including: ”Take Me Out: Baseball Rocks!” and the Legacy of the Doors which opened in June.

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The Children's Museum

Cleveland Museum of Natural History

From dinosaurs to diamonds, the Museum is a beautiful blend of traditional and interactive galleries related to history, art and the natural world.

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Great Lakes Science Center

Almost 250,000 square feet of space make the Great Lakes Science Center one of Americas largest interactive science museums. More than 400 hands-on exhibits, larger than life OMNIMAX¨ films, daily demonstrations and more than 4,000 exciting educational demonstrations annually, show visitors the interdependency of science, environment and technology, particularly in the Great Lakes Region. 601 Erieside Ave., Cleveland.

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Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Cuyahoga Valley National Park is a place where you can learn about history and nature at the same time. There are over 125 miles of trails including the The Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail. Parts of the old Ohio & Erie Canal runs through the park. It was a 308-mile waterway connecting Lake Erie to the Ohio River. This transportation route, which influenced local and national prosperity, was dug entirely by hand by mostly German and Irish immigrants. Cuyahoga Valley National Park can be accessed by many different highways, including I-77, I-271, I-80 (Ohio Turnpike), and State Route 8. Park signs are visible from each of these freeways.

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Hale Farm & Village

Explore life in 19th century America! Visit authentic historic buildings. Chat with talented interpreters. Enjoy our farm animals. Bath, Ohio in Cuyahoga Valley National Park. 2686 Oak Hill Road PO Box 296, Bath, Oh. Educational programs offered daily.

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Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad

On Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad you will experience the fun and adventure, the romance and nostalgia of riding the train on one of the oldest, longest, and most scenic excursion railways in the country. Enjoy an unforgettable journey through the heart of beautiful Cuyahoga Valley National Park, along the Cuyahoga River and the historic Ohio & Erie Canalway between Cleveland and Akron, and on to Canton. Choose from a variety of different excursions and special events available throughout the year. Days, departure times, and fares vary.

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Cincinnati area

Newport Aquarium

Newport Aquarium showcases over 7,000 aquatic creatures from around the world in a million gallons of water.

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The Beach Waterpark

With 49 of the most thrilling water rides and exciting attractions anywhere, including the Kahuna Beach and Volcanic Panic, the entire family can plunge into all the fun of summer at The Beach.

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Kings Island

One of the best amusement parks in the United States. Located off of I-71 in northern Cincinnati. Open May-October.

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Other points of interest

Seneca Caverns - The Earth Crack

Located south of Sandusky in Bellevue, Ohio. 2.5 hours from Columbus.

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Kelley's Island Glacial Grooves

The Glacial Grooves on the north side of Kelleys Island are the largest easily accessible such grooves in the world. They were scoured into solid limestone bedrock about 18,000 years ago by the great ice sheet which covered part of North America. A trough 400-feet long, 35-feet wide, and up to 10-feet deep remains today. The ice, probably hundreds of feet thick, flowed from the north in what is now the Lake Erie basin. The Devonian limestone containing the grooves contains marine fossils that are 350 to 400 million years old. Many other grooves were quarried away during the last century. There is camping available on the island at the Kelley's Island State Park. Reserve early as spots fill up fast in the summer months.

Put-in-Bay and South Bass Island

Putinbay, Nicknamed the "Key West of the North" offers an exciting nightlife with live musical entertainment to satisfy all generations. Strolling Barbershop singers, bagpipers, steel drums and Ohio's best entertainers are frequently seen on Put-in-Bay island. Also on the island is Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial. For a small fee, you can go to the top of the column and can see all the way to Canada on a clear day. Web site:

National Museum of the US Air Force

The National Museum of the United States Air Force galleries present military aviation history, boasting more than400 aerospace vehicles-- many rare and one-of-a-kind -- along with thousands of historical items and powerful sensory exhibits that bring history to life and connect the Wright brothers' legacy with today's stealth and precision technology. Also home to several Presidential aircraft including the Air Force One which carried President Kennedy back to Washington D.C., after he was killed in Nov. 1963. Located in Area B, Wright-Patterson AFB, near Fairborn, Ohio. Web site: