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)



  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.



Petting Sharks in Kentucky!?!

Lookout Kentucky here we come!!

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Woot Woot!! Newport Aquarium!! We have arrived and are precisely 205 miles from Toledo…kids got a kick out of the sign, had to take a pic!

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Our little biologist nearly lost her mind! She was beyond excited to see the number one thing on her list, the Shark Rays, which to be honest, I thought she was just making up; I didn’t even know they existed. But she was right, they do exist and they are such a magnificent creature.

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A cross between a Ray and Shark, duh! Wonder where they go the name? LOL! So we zoomed past most of the World Rivers and Shore Gallery aquariums in order to make certain we had the chance to see the Shark Rays being fed and boy am I glad we did, it was so awesome! They fed them lobster. Here is a clip (don’t worry it is short, promise).



How cool was that, right!?

Then our next big MUST SEE was Shark Central where we could pet a shark….we did manage to stop briefly to see this guy…..he was HUGE!

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Then we rushed by other tanks in order to PET SHARKS! The children were so excited, even the little one who was so terrified of a thunderstorm that she literally made herself sick & threw-up was overjoyed at the idea of petting a shark. What have I done to these children? Haha! They each ran up and claimed there spot and listened to the handlers instructions. As the handler jokingly said, “Use only two fingers to pet the shark so that you still have three fingers left for future use” , I started to wonder what kind of mom was I, I am letting my children pet sharks!? I glanced around at the other adults and children in the crowd; they all seemed to still have their digits in tact so I figured what the heck and joined them! The shark felt unlike anything I had imagined. I always thought they were smooth and silky to the touch. Boy was I wrong, they were actually quite rough.

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Then it was on to the Penguin show where we learned about all the different types of Penguins, their diet, climate, mating, etc. we learned so much!

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And at the end the handler who was located inside the exhibit had a microphone outside the exhibit so she could hear questions from the crowd. And wouldn’t you know all 3 of my kiddos had questions. Haha! I was not surprised that our little biologist had a question and it was a great one, one not covered or discussed during the show. Her question was what are predators of the Penguins? Our son, the 1st grader asked why the King Penguins were not as active as the other Penguins? And then the preschooler, I was a little nervous about her question. God only knew what she would ask. She already asked me if we could have one for a pet and I had to break the news to her gently, so I knew she wasn’t going to ask if we could take one home. Then I started wondering what other crazy thought, idea, or family secret she might share in public over the microphone. Preschoolers and microphones are a horrible combination it is like drunks singing karaoke; you never know what is going to come out of their mouths!! So she proudly walked up to the microphone, cleared her throat, and clearly expressed that she liked the handler’s bows in her hair. PHEW! That was a close one! Lol!

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We had such a wonderful time at the Aquarium we were sad to leave but not before hitting up the gift shop! The children save up money from birthdays and holidays for these rare and special occasions. So we spent 4 hours at the aquarium and I am fairly certain one of those was in the gift shop. I firmly believe God gifts you with such remarkable souls, little souls that help make you a better person and on that day he was making me a more patient soul. Haha! Our little biologist eventually made her final decision and we headed off to dinner. Dinner at Red Lobster, anyone see the irony in that? Haha! But man was my salmon and shrimp delicious! Then we went back to the hotel and swam like fish!


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It was quite the aquatic day. I shall treasure the memories for always because we will go back again but I will never go back again with a 9, 7, and 4 year old.

Thank you for the memories Kentucky!