20 Kid Approved Ohio Destinations

The kiddos put together a list of their favorite Ohio destinations we have visited. The following destinations are fun family friendly destinations that were of particular interest to children ages 2-11 years of age & us kids at heart too! (Tip: When purchasing tickets for admission inquire about discounts, AAA, reciprocity, etc. We were able to get admission FREE at some of these thanks to our local memberships)

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  1. Campbell’s Sweets Factory Tour (Cleveland…pair this one with #16 for an awesome day trip) Roadtrip2
  2. Spangler Factory and Museum (Bryan…pair this one with #4 for an awesome day trip) Roadtrip5
  3. Imagination Station (Toledo…pair this one with #18 for an awesome day trip) )
  4. Imagination Kingdom (Wauseon…pair this one with #2 for an awesome day trip)Roadtrip3
  5. Sauder’s Village (Archbold)
  6. Castle (Loveland) Roadtrip4 
  7. Newport Aquarium (technically it’s in Kentucky but it is so close to Cincinnati) roadtrip6
  8. COSI (Columbus)
  9. Maumee Bay State Park & Lodge (Oregon Ohio) 
  10. Armstrong Air & Space Museum (Wapakoneta)Roadtrip9
  11. Young’s Jersey Dairy (Dayton…pair this one with #20 and/or #12 for an awesome day trip)  
  12. National Museum of the U. S. Air Force (Dayton…pair this one with #11 and/or #20 for an awesome day trip)  
  13. African Safari Wildlife Park (Port Clinton) Roadtrip11
  14. Cedar Point (Sandusky)
  15. Kalahari (Sandusky)
  16. Christmas Story House Tour (Cleveland…pair this one with #1 for an awesome day trip) Roadtrips
  17. Kings Island (Cincinnati)roadtrip8
  18. Toledo Museum of Art’s Family Center (Toledo…pair this one with #3 for an awesome day trip) 
  19. Toledo Zoo Aquarium (Toledo)
  20. Boonshoft Museum (Dayton…pair this one with #11 and/or #12 for an awesome day trip)

 

Have some great memories of visiting an Ohio destination with your family? Do own/work at a must visit Ohio destination? Please share! As stated, we are currently working on our summer bucket list; we would love to hear your recommendations.

 

 

Campbell’s Sweets Factory Tour

Our latest trip to Cleveland was hands down the best so far!

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It included an awesome, informative, & highly delicious tour of the Campbell’s Sweets Factory. Campbell’s Sweets Factory sells savory and sweet treats including, but not limited to, various gourmet popcorns, chocolates, cupcakes, etc.

Brief History…..

Campbell’s Sweets’ heritage spans four decades of candy making excellence, beginning Amos “Jupie” Campbell’s famous Karmelkorn®. Amos started the sweet journey when he opened highly profitable Karmelkorn franchise shops in four mall locations and a plaza store.

In 2004, Jeff (Amos’ son) and wife, Lynn opened Campbell’s Popcorn Shop in Cleveland’s historic West Side Market. At that time, they, along with two of their daughters, Holly and Bethany, launched their business with only a microwave, bowls, cooking utensils and some raw products. With a lot of hard work, sweat equity and integrity they have seen their business grow and flourish. source

Tour time….

We began our tour next to a huge popcorn machine where we learned a bit about the history of popcorn, the different types of kernels, and why certain kernels are used for caramel & heavier flavoring. I have to be honest, I was highly impressed at how captivating the information was, my kiddos listened so intently.

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And then the fun really began, they turned on the popcorn machine & it started popping!! The machine produced a catchy beat with the popping of each kernel, suddenly a stream of popcorn came pouring out, and the magnificent aroma of freshly popped popcorn enveloped the space. There is nothing on this Earth that compares to the comforting aroma of freshly popped popcorn except maybe tasting freshly popped popcorn! And it tasted amazing!

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It was so warm, fresh, and the texture was perfect, though the taste was a bit bland but not for long, next step, caramel!

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Ever wonder why they use the copper kettles? Turns out it is because the copper stays hotter much longer than stainless, which means the caramel won’t harden. That was just one of many nuggets of wisdom shared during our tour.

 

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After mixing the popcorn and caramel together we paused for a quick sampling and then formed popcorn balls. He used a handy little tool, in fact we counted as he made them, and in one minute he made 30!! Far faster, convenient, and efficient than forming them by hand, I kinda wish they sold that nifty little tool.

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After the caramel popcorn balls were formed a stick was then placed in each and a popcorn ball on a stick was distributed to each tour attendee.

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Then the final step because what’s better than a caramel popcorn ball on a stick? A caramel popcorn ball on a stick dipped in chocolate!! We were all winners that day! Each person dipped their own popcorn ball in the chocolate and while the chocolate cooled we shopped!

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Get this; the tour cost $5 a person, $5 that you get back in Campbell’s bucks to spend in the shop at the end of the tour!

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So not only did we get to go home with the caramel popcorn balls dipped in chocolate that we watched and participated in making but we also went home with some gourmet popcorn too! It was so difficult deciding which flavor to bring home, CLICK HERE to see their menu and see that the struggle was real! Ha-ha!

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Touring Campbell’s Sweets Factory was such a fun, unique, informative, and delicious family experience.

Details…

Campbell’s Sweets Factory is located at 2084 W. 25th St. Cleveland, OH 44113

Hours:

Monday- Thursday: 10am-7pm

Friday & Saturday: 9am-7pm

Are you ready to schedule a tasty tour of Campbell’s Sweets Factory?

Call (216) 965-0451 today

Add to the fun….

Now you can visit Campbell’s as a destination on The Euclid Beach Boys’ famous Rocket Ship Car or Thriller Car!

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For more information, visit http://www.theeuclidbeachboys.com and click on the “Ride & Dine Ohio” link. You can also email them at euclidbeachboys@aol.com to schedule your Rocket Ship Car or Thriller Car Ride & Dine Tour to Campbell’s Sweets.

 For more information, call 440-460-0565

While you are in Cleveland be sure to stop by the gorgeous West Side Market for lunch or simply a cup of Joe!

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Additional Fun Family Friendly destinations in Cleveland:

A Christmas Story House Tour: A Journey back to Childhood

Childrens Activities Around Cleveland

Top 10 Things to Do with Kids in Cleveland

15 Cleveland Kid-Friendly Restaurants for Parents to Eat Out and (Most Importantly) Drink

 

 

5 Tips for Packing Healthy Lunches your kids will actually eat!

Whether you are packing lunches for school, a road trip, a picnic in the park, or a fun filled day at the zoo the struggle is the same & very real! Getting your children to eat healthy is like trying to rearrange the stripes on a Zebra!

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Educate– Educate the kiddos on nutritious foods!! If at all possible take the kiddos with you to the store.  Teach them how to read food labels:

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Simplicity is your best friend here. Focus on products with short, pronounceable ingredients and look for these labels: organic, antibiotic-free, non-GMO!

Look out for sodium. Small amounts of sodium are necessary for keeping proper body fluid balance but too much can contribute to high blood pressure. Almost all foods naturally contain small amounts of sodium but many processed foods contain greater amounts.

Watch the sugar content! Fruits naturally contain simple sugars but also contain fiber, water, and vitamins, which make them a healthy choice. Snack foods, candy and soda, on the other hand, often have large amounts of added sugars. And when it comes to drinks, water is the best option.

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Select foods high in protein. The body, muscles, skin, and the immune system are made up of protein. Foods high in protein include eggs, meat, poultry, fish, milk, cheese, yogurt, nuts, soybeans, and dried beans. Anywhere from 10 percent to 20 percent of the calories that kids consume each day should come from protein.

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Want some help?

Take the kiddos to Imagination Station’s Eat it Up! Exhibit! It is the perfect & fun way to help educate your kiddos on nutrition!

Also, check out Heather Stouffer, CEO of Mom Made Foods, she is a huge advocate of watching food labels…watch her video ‘5 tips for reading food labels’ HERE .

Kids Pick– Let the children select the food they enjoy.  Bottom line, if you pack broccoli and your son hates it, he won’t eat it. Let your kids weigh in on what they want to pack in their lunches, and offer them a few healthy choices so they feel like they’re in control.

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Think Outside the Sandwich! – A sandwich is not a requirement for a lunch, think outside the sandwich! Try turkey and cheese roll-ups, sushi, meatballs, deviled eggs, veggies or fruit with dipping sauce (hummus, peanut butter, ranch, etc.)

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Portion control- Double check the nutrition labels and make certain children are only consuming one serving size, if not less, most serving sizes are for adults, not children.  Some company’s do offer a child size, like Stonyfield, the adult size has 23 grams of sugar and the children’s size has half the amount. It is vital that children watch their portion sizes.

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Bacteria & Germs – Be safe. Pack lunches properly to ensure food safety and freshness. Invest in a reusable ice-pack; Rubbermaid makes this awesome blue ice that keeps ALL containers cool.

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Always wash their hands before she eats.

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Heed these 5 tips and watch the magic happen!

What is your biggest issue with kids lunches?

 

 

 

 

Outdoor Adventure Center in Detroit, totally worth the trip!

A couple weeks back a good friend of mine texted me about taking the kiddos to a new place in Detroit over spring break. (Yep, you read right, Detroit!) I figured what the heck; I am always up for an adventure! Besides, I will let you in on a little secret; I always have a backup plan. This time my backup plan was to take the kiddos to the Hands on Museum in Ann Arbor if this Outdoor Adventure Center place was a total bust. So, needless to say, my expectations going into this Outdoor Adventure Center were extremely low. But I am happy to say there was no need for a backup plan. In fact I just have one word for Detroit, BRAVO!!!

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As we entered the Outdoor Adventure Center my mind was officially blown! Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources totally nailed it! There was so much amazing hands-on, interactive, imaginary, outdoor play inside that my kids are already begging to go back. And what I really appreciated, from a parent’s perspective, was the fact that the children weren’t only having fun but learning so much about the beautiful state of Michigan, including some history…like the fact that the building we stood in was where Henry Ford was employed as a young apprentice way back in the 1860, talk about some rich history!

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History

A little history on the former Globe Building: The industrial complex began life in the late 1860s as the Dry Dock Engine Works, which employed a young Henry Ford as an apprentice. It was there that Ford apparently first became familiar with combustion engines. At the turn of the 20th century, the company was absorbed by the Detroit Shipbuilding Co. When the Detroit Shipbuilding Co. dissolved in the late 1920s, the former engine building plant was used by a stove manufacturer, the Detroit Edison Co., for appliance repair and finally the Globe Trading Company – a wholesale machinery firm.  It sat vacant for decades until work began transforming the building into the OAC. Source

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Educate

Michigan has 11,000 inland lakes, more freshwater shoreline than any other state in the nation, tens of thousands of miles of rivers and streams, and more than 3,000 miles of water trails – all yours to enjoy! Discover how as you step into a fishing boat, reel in a big fish and learn about Michigan’s world-class fishing opportunities – by boat, pier or shore, on the Detroit River, throughout the Great Lakes and across our inland waters. Next, paddle down a river in our kayaking simulator and discover the adventures that await on Michigan’s waters, from paddle boards, canoes and kayaks to motorized boats and wave runners. Source  

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Walk behind and touch an indoor waterfall to get a glimpse of what it’s like to visit one of Michigan’s 150 waterfalls. Then cross a pond over stones, spot the fish beneath and discover small amphibians. As you travel through an underground cave, learn about our state’s geology, the valuable natural resources that are under the ground, and Michigan mining – its history and importance to our economy. Source

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Experience the 35-foot-tall bur oak tree from top to bottom. Explore what lies under, and slide down, giant tree roots and look through a lightning-strike fissure. Peek into a bear den and learn about Michigan’s black bears. Then climb to the second story and check out the inside of the tree trunk, the net climb and a suspension bridge. Learn about the importance of trees as a source of food and shelter for all kinds of wildlife and as a renewable resource used to create a variety of products we use every day, making forests an important part of Michigan’s economy. Source

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Discover the possibilities along Michigan trails! Hop on one of the simulators and experience what it’s like to ride a snowmobile, off-road vehicle or mountain bike. With more than 13,000 miles of trails in Michigan, some in urban areas, there’s something for everyone – from hiking, biking, horseback riding and cross-country skiing to snowmobiling and off-road vehicle riding. Learn about all the opportunities to hit the trail and enjoy nature while exploring Michigan’s communities. Source 

 

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See how small, everyday living changes, like reducing your water and electricity use and recycling, can benefit you and the environment. Discover how kitchen waste and rainwater contribute to a healthier backyard environment for your family and neighborhood wildlife and how to attract birds and bats to your backyard. Source  

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FOOD: ADDED BONUS!!

You know how in most places they frown upon people bringing in outside food, not at the Outdoor Adventure Center! They have a cafeteria where you can eat your packed lunch, awesome, right! I know most of us are on a tight budget so anytime I can pack food instead of spend I am a happy momma!!

ADDRESS: 1801 Atwater St, Detroit, MI 48207

WEBSITE: https://www.michigan.gov/oac

PHONE: (844) 622-6367

HOURS & PRICES:

Closed Monday & Tuesday

Wednesday- Friday 10am-3pm

Saturday 10am-5pm

Sunday-Noon-5pm

Admission:

Adults (age 13-61) $5

Seniors (age 62 and older) $3

Children (ages 2-12) $3

Children under age 2 FREE

Plan your trip today!

There was so much to see & do, I know my kiddos wanted to linger longer in some areas so we are totally going back!! Huge thank you goes out to my amazing friend Ashleigh (mom to 4 beautiful little girls, well, one towers over her now but as an added bonus they can now share shoes!! Lol! ). And again, BRAVO and thank you to Detroit & Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources, you totally nailed it!!

Additional Resources:

Restaurants in the Area

10 Things to do in Detroit

10 Things to do with Kids in Detroit

50 Things to do with Kids in Detroit before they Grow up