* Hocking Hills (hike, camp, zip line, canoe, etc.)

* Dayton (Yellow Springs, Young Jersey's Dairy, National Museum of the United States Air Force, Boonshoft Museum of Discovery)
Read my blog post below from April 9, 2015

* The Wilds (stay in a yurt)

* Mansfield, Ohio (Visit Little Buckeye Children's Museum, Ohio Bird Sanctuary)
Read my blog post below from June 11, 2015

* Roscoe Village (Coshocton)- a historic town restored to life in the 1830's (canal rides, historic tours, shopping, gardens and more). 

Little Buckeye Children’s Museum

While COSI may be a great Science Center I have long wished for a Children’s Museum in Columbus, Ohio. I found a true gem- Little Buckeye Children’s Museum in Mansfield. Although it isn’t in Columbus it is close enough and so worth the drive!

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There were 28 interactive displays that allowed your child to be creative, engage in pretend play, explore and learn. The colorful artwork on the walls and quotes reminding you about the true importance of play were visually appealing. With two floors of fun there was so much to do.

So often children want to model adult behavior and act like a grown up. Little do they realize that working in the real world isn’t always glamorous as they think, but at least they were pumped to test out some career options. My daughter enjoyed taking care of doll babies in the hospital, using hair supplies to style and accessorize human like heads and take my order as she worked at McDonalds. My son was really interested with the bank area where he could use money to role-play as a banker. He also enjoyed acting as a dentist while he pretended to clean his sister’s teeth.

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Other areas to spark curiosity included a nature area with tanks of small living creatures, a room full of soft foam building materials to make structures, and a transportation area with trains and airplanes.

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Another few notes:

  • Admission is $7, which I think is really reasonable. They do have reciprocity for half off admission if you have a membership with another children’s museum (not science centers).
  • Cleanliness was a priority at this museum. There were spots to place toys that may have wondered into little one’s mouths, play sections were organized and I even saw one of the workers wiping down the tables and chairs while we were leaving.
  • Snacks such as Animal Crackers and Goldfish could be purchased for a dollar.

Other spots nearby:

  • As an added perk you can walk down the street and spend $2 to allow your child to take a ride on the carousel.
  • Visit the super cute boutique called Little Bo-tique. What a cute name and such an adorable store. They sell new and gently used children’s clothes and accessories, toys and maternity clothes. In the back is a play area to keep your kiddos entertained while you shop around. The owner was so friendly, offered balloons to my kids and answered politely as they asked her a million questions.DSC_1650
  • Two Cousins Pizza is down the street. I heard that the pizza is tasty and kids can make their own pizzas. There are great reviews on tripadvisor so we will be checking this place out on our next visit to Mansfield.
  • Ohio Bird Sanctuary is about 9 miles away. It is free and a neat place to visit. (I have more to say about this spot so stay tuned!)

Needless to say I was beyond impressed with our day in Mansfield. The next day my kids were already asking to go back. I know it won’t be long until we visit again!  🙂

Day of Fun in Dayton

We had a jammed pack day of fun exploring Dayton!

Our day started at Boonshoft Museum of Discovery.  My kiddos had a blast using their imaginations in the pretend play sections where they took care of pets (stuffed animals), made pretend pizzas, acted as police officers and even put me behind bars in a jail cell. They loved the large climbing structure and slides. We all enjoyed seeing various animals up close.

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Next we headed to the National Museum of the United States Air Force. Wowzers! This museum is huge and FREE! Can’t get much better than that! We all learned a lot about history and were amazed at the size of some of the warplanes and other artifacts.

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Our last stop was Scene 75. It is the country’s largest indoor play center and it sure was massive. This place is fun for all ages (even adults) and there are so many things to do it was hard to know where to start. Some of the fun features were arcade games, indoor go karts, laser tag, inflatables, indoor miniature golf, mini bowling, restaurant, Chaos room where there were multiple big screen projectors to play video games and more.

We didn’t get all that I wanted to see in during this trip so we will return soon!