5 Fun Day Trip Destinations

Grande coffee, full tank, lengthy playlist, and empty bladders, its road trip time, baby!! There is something so welcoming, comforting, dare I say, relaxing, about taking a day trip with the kids. Planning is minimal, packing is slim, and the fact that you still get to come home to your own bed at the end of the day is very appealing. Here are 5 fun day trip destinations (in order to make the most of your trip note the, “while you are here you might want to check out”, at the bottom of each) that will have you enjoying the novelty and excitement of the day and sleeping like a baby in your own bed at night.

 

5 Fun Day Trip Destinations for Spring Break

 

1. Children of all ages will enjoy the Willy Wonka Experience at the South Bend Chocolate Company Factory Tour

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There are two factory tour options offered. Visitors who take the basic factory tour (free, 20 minutes) are treated to a history lesson of chocolate and its origins, as a guide leads guests through all of the factory processes, including panning, enrobing and more, including a test sample at the end. For those wishing to take the extended “Inside Scoop” tour/Go behind the scenes—where few have gone before, except those with golden tickets (run at the top of each hour, last 45 minutes or more depending on whom you meet and where you go! Expect chocolate surprises). For Wonka-wannabes only! You will dip a chocolate spoon and walk through the Chocolate Museum.

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And be sure to hit up the “almost perfect” area after your tour, this is where the chocolates that are slightly less than perfect are sold for a discount, like, pecan clusters (AKA turtles), mint-meltaways, chocolate covered tart cherries, etc.

Address: 3300 West Sample Street in South Bend, Indiana

Phone: 574-233-2577 to schedule a tour

Website: https://sbchocolate.com/tour/

Hours: Tours are at the top of every hour. Mon – Fri 9am-4pm & Sat 9am-2pm (Closed Sundays & major holidays).

Cost: the ‘Basic Factory Tour’ is FREE and the ‘Go Behind the Scenes’ tour is $5.00 adult/$2.00 children (11 & under)

While you’re in South Bend you might also want to check out:

  • The Studebaker Museum https://studebakermuseum.org/
  • St. Patrick’s County Park at, 50651 Laurel Rd, South Bend, IN 46637- with wooded trails, play equipment & picnic sitesspringbreak1803

 

 

2. This isn’t Just for the Kids! Fort Clarkston is a relaxing adult environment that just so happens to provide unique & fun activities for kids too!

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Finally a place that understands what moms’ really!! This is the #1 hot spot for children entertainment & adult relaxation combined!! Parents can enjoy free wi-fi, sipping on coffee or tea from the café, or just cozying up with a magazine or book with a tasty treat. You may not even notice your kids as they will be completely mesmerized by the astounding 2,400 square foot playstructure standing 3 levels tall and the 2 level bitty playstructure for the tots. Twisty, bullet and wavy slides will take the children from peaks to valleys, meanwhile the maze, bumper balls and rope climbs engage children of all ages. They also offer redemption games and arcades! Be sure to redeem your tickets at their ticket redemption desk for valuable prizes.

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Fort Clarkston offers a bar where moms can grab a glass of wine or beer and visit with other moms (or enjoy a little solitude), as well as feed the kiddo’s dinner/lunch at the café; it really is a mini vacation for moms!!

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Hours: Monday – Thursday 9am-8pm, Friday and Saturday 9am-9pm, & Sunday 9am-6pm

Address: 7127 Dixie Highway, Clarkston, MI

Phone: (248) 297-5453

Website: http://fortclarkston.com/

Hours: Monday – Thursday 9am-8pm, Friday and Saturday 9am-9pm, & Sunday 9am-6pm

Cost: Mon-Thurs. $10 for the entire day!!   Fri-Sun. $12 for the entire day!!   Parents are $5

While you’re in the area you might want to check out:

 

3. Airstream Factory Tour

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Ever wonder how an Airstream is made? See how they craft every piece of the Airstream Travel Trailers, and how they really do put every one of those rivets in by hand.

TOUR INFORMATION: The Airstream Factory Tour is held every Monday through Friday beginning at 2PM EST in the lobby of the Service Center (located on the north side of 274, next to the gas station). Cost is free. Please arrive 10-15 minutes ahead of time to check in. Late arrivals may not be permitted to join the tour. (Please note Friday tours are held after normal hours meaning you may not see the plant in full production. If you plan to attend around a holiday, please call in advance to verify our tour schedule).

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The tour lasts approximately 1.5-2 hours, requires a one-mile walk, and is divided into two parts. The first part highlights the building process of the travel trailers while the second part focuses on the touring coach process.

Hearing and eye protection is required and will be provided for you. They ask that you wear closed-toed shoes (no sandals or open toes). Reservations are not required except for groups of 10 or more or if you have any special needs requests.

Address: 419 W Pike St, Jackson Center, OH 45334

Phone: (937) 596-6111

Website: https://www.airstream.com/company/tours/

Hours: Monday through Friday beginning at 2PM EST

Cost: FREE

While you’re in the area you might want to check out:

The Bicycle Museum of America https://momonthegoinholytoledo.com/2017/07/17/the-bicycle-museum-of-america/

 

4. Merry-Go-Round Museum

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Enjoy a fun and relaxed atmosphere while you tour the Merry-Go-Round Museum and learn about the history and art of the carousel. The “oom pa pa” of the band organ, and the “painted ponies” on display will thrill and enchant you.

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Have your smiles ready as you relive your childhood excitement when you climb aboard the working “fully restored” Allan Herschell Carousel with the band organ playing. Watch carvers bring neglected carousel pieces back to their full beauty.

Address: 301 Jackson St Sandusky, OH 44870

Phone: (419) 626-6111

Website: http://www.merrygoroundmuseum.org/

Hours: Wed-Sat: 11am-4pm & Sundays 12pm-4pm

Cost: Adults: $6.00, Senior Citizens: $5.00, Children (4-14): $4.00, (under 4): FREE (The cost Includes 1 Ride Token)

While you’re in the area you might want to check out:

African Wildlife Safari http://www.africansafariwildlifepark.com/

The Maritime Museum https://www.sanduskymaritime.org/information

 

5. Great Lakes Science Center

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The Great Lakes Science Center invites visitors of all ages to “learn by doing” with their 400 hands-on exhibits. You’ll find permanent installations on technology, the environment, the body, and the Great Lakes themselves as well as interesting temporary shows and an adjacent OMNI-MAX theater—you can easily make a day of it!!

Address: 601 Erieside Ave, Cleveland, OH 44114

Phone: (216) 694-2000

Website: http://greatscience.com/about/who-we-are

Hours: Tuesday – Saturday 10am-5pm & Sunday noon-5pm

Cost: Adult $16.95 and Youth (2-12)* $13.95 Theater tickets cost extra

While you are in the area you might want to check out:

https://momonthegoinholytoledo.com/2016/04/07/campbells-sweets-factory-tour/

Have a favorite road trip destination? Please share! We are always on the lookout for fun day trip destinations.

Castle in Ohio!? WHAT!? Totally falling in love with Loveland!

I know, I was shocked when I heard the news too, a castle, in Ohio? What!? And how have I never heard of it before? It is a little hidden treasure in Loveland Ohio, which by the way is just the cutest town!

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Our little Knight was beyond ecstatic to visit the castle; he packed his shield, sword, & helmet and sat on the edge of his seat till we arrived in Loveland. The girls were pretty psyched too! It was a rather quick trip to Loveland from Toledo, with potty & coffee stops it took us 4 hours. It could easily be a fun day trip, who doesn’t love a good ROAD TRIP!! Woot Woot!! Or you could make a fun mini-vacation out of it and visit other local fun spots like we did. (We stayed at the Hilton Homewood Suites (now that’s a true vacation for moms….there is an indoor pool & workout space, kids can sleep on pullout couch in separate room from parents, there is a full kitchen so you can grab food from grocery store, or on weekdays you can get an awesome breakfast & dinner, oh, almost forgot the best part, .50 cent wine, SCORE!!) it was like having a wife, haha! Someone else to make the beds, cook the meals, clean up, simply amazing! I wish I could live there. Lol!)

When we arrived in Loveland our first stop was lunch. We found a nice pub called Paxton’s that was delicious! We highly recommend the food & clean  restrooms…which I had the fortune of visiting 4 times between the 3 kiddos, and by the 4th time I actually had to pee, lol!

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And there is a true gem next door to Paxton’s, Loveland Sweets!! If we weren’t all suffering from a massive Easter candy hangover we would have been all over that!

Loveland Sweets is a purveyor of hand-crafted chocolates, caramels, marshmallows, and ice creams. Their house-made candies are prepared in small batches using only the finest ingredients. They also offer an extensive line of quality panned chocolates, fine domestic and European chocolates, gummis and novelty candies as well as seasonal specialities. Their ice cream is made on the premises, and flavors change frequently allowing them to feature ,among other things, fresh local fruits during the peak of berry and peach season.

And next time we go back I want to eat here…..in the passenger car….

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The Works is owned and operated by Scott and Jamie Gordon, both of whom were born and raised in Loveland. They share a keen interest in seeing the historic district of Loveland not only succeed, but thrive. That interest, along with their desire to build a unique, family friendly restaurant serving up great food was the driving force behind the creation of The Works.

The building in which The Works resides has historical significance in Loveland, which is one of the major reasons why Scott and Jamie decided on approaching the City of Loveland about their idea. This landmark was built in 1905 and served originally as a water filling station for steam locomotives. Later on, the building served as the firehouse and public works building. Scott and Jamie’s first hands-on experience with the facility was back in high school during class float building activities.

As if the wait and anticipation from the drive & lunch wasn’t enough we then had some trouble actually locating the entrance road to the castle. The castle is located at the end of a very steep and winding road, with private property signs all over the place, good thing we live on the edge. LOL!  We took a chance and went down that questionable drive and sure enough at the end was the castle!

 

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Brief History:

The Castle is based on tenth century castles in Europe. It was built by Harry Andrews, a World War I veteran who objected to the use of guns and machines in modern warfare. He preferring the sword of old.  So how does a US Army vet get through the first mechanized war if he objects to firearms? Harry was a nurse.  Discharged after suffering meningitis (during which he was declared dead), Andrews spent six months in Europe after his discharge visiting castles.  His imagination stirred, he settled to the Cincinnati area to found (or, as the Order puts it, reactivate) the Knights of the Golden Trail, an order open to any man willing to help save civilization.  As part of his dream, he built Loveland Castle.

The Order currently owns and operates the Castle.  A popular tourist attraction, it’s also rented out for weddings and for Scout functions.  Open all year for tours, it is only available for private functions during warm weather months.  It is possible to spend the night in the Castle.  However, before making your reservation, keep in mind this is a working tenth-century-style building.  There is no heat or electricity, and the only bathroom is a porta-john in the parking lot.

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castle_aquariumnewport 036We so enjoyed our self guided tour of the castle! The kiddos called it an exciting adventure! The grounds are so beautiful too, we will have to go back when the flowers are in bloom, I am certain it will be absolutely breathtaking!

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When we go back I would like to attend a drop-in class at Cincinnati Circus & Flying Trapeze, I am interested in the Aerial performance or Aerial fitness class, how cool would that be? I would also like to stop in the antique shop….I saw a couple potential future Pinterest projects screaming my name as we drove past the window.

I would also like to rent bikes from Loveland Bike Rental and take a casual ride along the Little Miami River with the kiddos (maybe pack a picnic) or perhaps make it a day trip with the hubby & rent the tandem to wine sampling at the Valley Vineyard in Morrow….um, yes please! I can’t wait to go back!!  Eee! I have totally fallen in love with the little town of Loveland!