Since I now live in Ohio, where is it that I need to explore?Maumee River at Walbridge Park Toledo Ohio

I’ve got a list started, but if you see places that I need to check out (and I haven’t mentioned them below), please leave a message in the comments!

Ohio River

While not quite as awe-inspiring as the Mississippi, the Ohio River is a major waterway and has captured my imagination through lots of history lessons. That, and I’m just a sucker for a big collection of water. 

It also helps that the bit I’ve already seen of the Ohio River is a whole lot prettier than the parts of the Mississippi that I’ve seen!


Explore Lake Erie Islandsbeach on Kelleys Island Ohio

For years, I’ve heard about Put-In-Bay . . . but I know nothing about it! Over Labor Day weekend, we did explore Kelleys Island. I’m excited to go back and check out other islands in this corner of Lake Erie!


Serpent Mounds

The Serpent Mounds are one of the US’s few prehistoric Native American monuments.  There are, of course, lots of historic and contemporary Native American monuments throughout the US.  But anything that’s around 1000 years old . . . that’s impressive anywhere, and REALLY rare in this part of the world!  I have got to go there!



While I’m off exploring the Ohio River, Cincinnati might be a great place to stay. Being a big city, there might be more to do there than just explore the river.  I’m looking forward to filling in all those blank spaces about what might make Cincinnati a fun place to go.  

Being a mom blogger who likes show off the places she lives, I love seeking out other like-minded bloggers.  So I’m taking all my Cincinnati travel tips from Adventure Mom!


Cuyahoga Valley National Park–and Train!

Until we started looking at the map of Ohio, I had no idea that there was a National Park in Ohio. Even better–it’s just outside of Cleveland, so it’s even easier to get here than to Hocking Hills!  Bonus points for Cuyahoga Valley–I have a transportation-obsessed five-year-old, and they have a passenger train!  



I spent two summers as a counselor at a camp just north of Columbus. As environmental educators, we heard a lot about COSI (Columbus’s Science Center, geared for kids). I now have kids. We all like science. It’s time to finally check out COSI!

Even better, admission at COSI is among those on the ASTC Travel Passport Program.  That means that for families that have a membership at Toledo’s Imagination Station (or other participating science center), admission to COSI is free!

Hocking Hills

Hocking Hills was also firmly placed on my bucket list, thanks to those summers at camp. I don’t know what else there is to do besides hike around. But I like hiking! (And I sure hope my kids will, too!)

Checking out the mom/travel bloggers in this part of the world, my central Ohio/Amish country/Hocking Hills travel tips come from Leah at the YoderToter Blog!

Sleep in a Treehouse

Not only are there treehouses to sleep in near Hocking Hills, but Lucas County’s Metroparks have built a series of treehouses just twenty minutes from my house. I don’t really care where I sleep in a treehouse, but someday I want to sleep in a treehouse!


Concert at Severance Hall

We were wandering around Case Western’s campus in September, and fortunately I looked up at the sign as we passed by this concert hall.

“Wait–that’s SEVERANCE HALL?!?”

In Mexico, you know you’ve made it as a musician if you’ve played in Bellas Artes and the National Auditorium. In the US, you’ve made it as a musician if you’ve played in Carnegie Hall (in New York) and Severance Hall . . . but I had no idea where Severance Hall was!

I had been assuming the East Coast.

Nope! It’s in Cleveland. I live relatively close to Cleveland! We’ll be listening to some wonderful music there one of these days.


Sauder Village

Sauder Village is at a perfect halfway point between Ft. Wayne and Toledo. Last year, we had all kinds of plans to meet my mom there for the day. But then COVID happened, so we still haven’t been there. Bring it on, May! Sauder Village will be one of our first stops once they open for the season on May 6th!


National Air Force Museum

Air Force Museum Dayton Ohio

I remember coming here as a kid. Despite not being into machines, I remembered being fascinated by this museum, so this past summer we met up with my parents and toured it with my kids. (It helps that some of my kids and my husband are REALLY fascinated by big machines.)

It’s free, it’s easy to get to (just outside of Dayton), and it has lots to see. It’s a great trip for everyone, whether you’re into airplanes or not.



Cleveland Ohio

Just like Bowling For Soup, Cleveland wasn’t big on my list of places to go. Then we went there over Labor Day weekend, and stayed near Case Western Reserve University. It was so beautiful, so serene . . . Mario kept asking, “this is in YOUR country?” That little corner of Cleveland was such a pleasant surprise, that I’m curious to see what the rest of the city has to offer.

At the very least, it borders Lake Erie on one end, so . . . that’s something!


German Village in Columbus

Once again, my camp days are coming back to haunt me. During the summer, the Actors’ Theater of Columbus performs Shakespeare outside at Schiller Park in Columbus’s German Village. Those weekends escapes from camp that I spent in Columbus, watching Shakespeare and wandering through The Book Loft were just magical. I’d love to recreate those weekends.

This summer, I might just get to do that!  Furthermore, the Actors’ Theater’s program for this summer sounds fantastic!  


Manatees at Columbus Zoo

Columbus Zoo manatees

This past summer, I caved in and subscribed to Disney+, and my kids immediately got hooked on the zoo show they have. It’s produced by Jack Hanna, who–surprise!–is based out of the Columbus Zoo!

So when Nature Boy’s birthday rolled around this past summer, I thought it was absolutely worth a trip to Columbus. I was right. My favorites were the manatees!  I don’t think I’ve ever seen manatees anywhere else!


Water Park at Cedar Point

I do not like roller coasters. Not a bit. My children have no interest in them, either. However, we do like waterslides. So I could be talked into the waterpark that is on the premises at Cedar Point

But that’s as close as I’ll get to Cedar Point!


Here’s hoping that this next year will let us out and explore a little.

If not, I’ll just keep adding to the list!

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Photo of Cincinnati by Rafik Wahba on Unsplash.

Hocking Hills photo by Matthew Hernandez on Unsplash.

One Reply to “Ohio Bucket List”

  1. Love your bucket list! We’re making ours for our upcoming return to Ohio too! The Mohican area near Mansfield also has some treehouses that look amazing and the Wilds is on our list after watching Secrets of the Zoo. Taking our boys to LMC is also on our list…Maybe our kids will meet up @ camp someday!