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 or maybe not feeling quite ready to travel with COVID? 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! So, it’s time to plan your week using our Spring Break Staycation ideas!
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, Grandview Heights, 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 The Fox in 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 downtown or Dublin location of North Market: You can start at a young age exposing your kids to the many great flavors that Columbus has to offer. Read more here about how to eat globally with your kids. (The downtown location is closed on Mondays.)
- 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 Playgrounds to Check Out This Spring, 4 Metro Parks to Explore with Kids, Central Ohio Parks That Spark Imagination, 6 “Mud-Free” Parks.
- Put on some VR gear and check out the new Dreamscape at AMC Easton. This is a super unique experience that combines virtual reality with an onscreen movie experience. So cool! (Must be 10 and older.)
Day 2: Take a Day Trip to a Children’s Museum
Take a look at this post- Road Trips: “Free” Science Museums
- 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) – $8 for children and $12 for adults. Check out our post, The Works: Short Drive, Big Discoveries
- Aha Museum– Lancaster, Ohio (1 Hour) $8 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. Back open! The days each week they are open vary during March and April, so double check the calendar here before making plans.
Day 3: Get Active
- Go to a Trampoline Parks: Rockin’ Jump, Get Air, Lazer Kraze (Gahanna location), Urban Air or Bounce Club to name a few!
- Explore the Columbus Metro Parks– Take a hike at Highbanks, try out the Ninja Warrior Course at Glacier Ridge, enjoy the zip line at Blendon Woods, see the gardens at Innis Woods, or see the train at Homestead. The new metro park at The Quarry as well! Here’s some more information on recommended Metro Parks.
- Swim at a Local Recreation 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. Worthington currently has limited hours and is open to residents.
- Play Laser Tag: Have a blast shooting the opposing team and earning points. Ten Pin Alley in Hilliard has a big laser tag area.
- Top Golf: Spend an afternoon at Top Golf located at Polaris. Check out the high-tech driving range!
- Play CBUS: Worthington has a wonderful new adventure park!
- Have a Game Day: Go to Pins Mechanical, Star Lanes or Ten Pin Alley for games and bowling fun! Another option is Scene 75 at Tuttle Mall.
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!!)
- Visit Legoland Discovery Center at Easton– Family fun with two rides, ten Lego zones, and much more!
- Franklin Park Conservatory – See the Palm House, Botanical Gardens and many other exhibits. There is a great playground as well if weather permits! And of course, the Children’s Garden is something that you must experience. One contributor wrote A Love Letter to Franklin Park Conservatory so read it to see why she thinks it is such a great place.
- The Ohio History Connection – A fun and interactive spot to explore our past and present!
- Make a candle at Penn & Beech Candle Co. (formerly The Candle Lab) – Pick your favorite scents and make a lasting memory.
- Tour the State House – Free guided tours are available.
- Head to a local store to get crafty. Several businesses offer FREE crafts.
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 by heading to the doll salon or taking a class like the cupcake decorating on March 24.
- Lego Store: Easton: You can play, create, and shop in this magical Legoland!
- As mentioned above, visit Legoland Discovery Center at Easton– Family fun with two rides, ten Lego zones, and much more!
- Build-A-Bear: Easton: Make a new friend for your little one to cuddle with!
- Sweet & 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. 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 March 28, 2022.
- 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 three 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. For additional ideas, check out this post; Pittsburgh: A Quick and Easy Getaway Guide.
Indianapolis: Indianapolis is two 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 two 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.
Hocking Hills: Go for a family hike and explore the outdoors at Old Man’s Cave or Conkle’s Hollow. Enjoy lunch at Millstone BBQ. Be sure to read this Family Guide to Hocking Hills for a wide variety of tips.
You don’t have to go far or pay the big bill for the plane tickets and a 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 would like to visit or if you and your family have planned a staycation! Have fun and spring is truly around the corner!