Looking for a fun family vacation that won’t break the bank? Ohio is the perfect destination to plan a memorable family getaway on a budget. Whether you love the great outdoors or appreciate arts & culture, Ohio has something for everyone. Here are our top five picks for free things to do in Ohio so you can spend less time stressing about your bank account and more time enjoying the company of your family.
Cleveland Museum of Art
If you’re trying to expose the family to the finer things, The Cleveland Museum of Art is the perfect place to do just that. The Cleveland Museum of Art consistently ranks as one of the best comprehensive art museums in the United States and one of the most- visited in the world. With over 45,000 works of art, it’s easy to get lost in the dynamic exhibits. Visiting with young children? The museum offers a number of experiences for families. Free programming options include Thursday Art Stories, Sunday Open Studios for Families, and Play Days. Believe it or not, this one-of-a-kind attraction is free to all visitors.
Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Nature enthusiasts will be completely in awe of Cuyahoga Valley National Park – Ohio’s only natural park. With over 125 miles of hiking trails, adventure-lovers will have access to waterfalls, rolling hills, and breathtaking views. If you’re trying to keep the family active, The Cuyahoga River is great for kayaking and canoeing. With no entrance fee, you’ll be able to experience nature’s beauty without having to reach for your wallet. Looking to really bond with your family? Consider a camping trip to spend quality time together reconnecting in the great outdoors. There are some fees associated with your reservation but it’s hard to put a price on quality family time. Everyone will cherish their memories of sitting around a campfire eating s’mores and telling ghost stories for years to come.
National Museum of the U.S. Air Force
If you’re seeking a fun and educational family adventure, look no further than the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. The museum’s military aviation collection is one of the world’s best. Visitors can get a firsthand look into the Air Force’s history, heritage, and traditions. The museum even holds a family day one Saturday a month with family-friendly programming. These programs are designed for children and adults of all ages and offer several hands-on opportunities for all to enjoy. Admission is completely free so no need to stress about breaking the bank.
For families that appreciate nature and art, look no further than Topiary Park. At the heart of Topiary Park is a living sculptural interpretation of Georges Seurat’s Post-Impressionist Painting A Sunday Afternoon on the Isle of La Grand Jatte. As the only known topiary representation of a painting, you can feel accomplished in seeing this one-of-a-kind display. The topiary garden is comprised of 54 human figures, eight boats, three dogs, a monkey, and a cat. If your family loves animals, they’ll be delighted to explore the shrubbery. Guests can even see “the painting” from the artist’s point of view by standing in the proper spot (the eastern-most hill to the left of the bronze plaque). This iconic scene will make for an amazing family photo opportunity. Beyond the topiary attraction, there are beautifully landscaped walking paths for the whole family to enjoy.
Wildlife fans will be blown away by this premier birding spot in Ohio. Located along western Lake Erie, more than 300 species have been spotted in this beautiful area. Magee contains wetlands, woodlots, and beaches for a very diverse backdrop. Make bird-watching more interesting than ever by playing a game of who can spot/identify the various birds you encounter. A little friendly competition could be fun for the whole family.
There’s so much to do & see in Cleveland, some of which you may never knew existed. While not all of these activities are free, here are some additional things to do in Cleveland that will make your family vacation unforgettable.
Even with so many affordable activities, a trip to Ohio could still seem out of reach. Check out some of these tips & tricks that will help you make the most of your budget. For starters, being flexible is key! If you have the option to book midweek flights or even tolerate a layover, you’ll likely be able to save some serious cash.
If you’re concerned about accommodations, this beginner’s guide should serve as a useful resource to ensure you find lodging that matches your price point and style.
With so many diverse and exciting things to do, Ohio is the obvious choice for your next family vacation. Stop stressing and book your fun-filled trip for the entire family that won’t drain your savings account!