Ohio Spring Break on a Budget
By Anietra Hamper

Ohio Spring Break on a Budget

Enjoy Spring Break without worrying about your wallet.

Malabar Farm in Lucas

For families sticking around Ohio this spring break, you have dozens of options to keep the family busy and remain budget-conscious at the same time. In fact, you can easily to combine a few of my staycation ideas for a week of diverse fun.

Guggisberg Inn Winery

Take a tour

There are literally hundreds of free factory tours throughout the state and probably a few in your own back yard. Factory tours are fun for the family as you see behind the scenes of manufacturing for everything from ice cream to whistles. A few of my favorite tours include the American Whistle Corporation in Columbus, the Guggisberg Cheese Factory in Millersburg and Harry London Chocolates in North Canton.


Search for hidden treasure as you set out on a Geocaching adventure with your family. Ohio has an impressive network of geocaches all around the state. You can stay in one area or hit a new area each day to see who finds the most geocaches. It is easy to get started at Geocaching.com where you can register and find the coordinates for geocaches throughout the state.

Suspension Bride at Mill Creek Metro Parks 

Metro Parks

You can spend part of your spring break at a Morning Coffee and Wildlife Watch, on a Nature Bike Ride or exploring Swamp Things in one of the many scheduled Metro Parks programs. Ohio is rich in Metro Parks systems that offer hiking and bike trails as well as guided naturalist programs. Mill Creek Metro Parks in Youngstown, Central Ohio Metro Parks in Columbus, Cleveland Metro Parks, and Metro Parks of Toledo are just a few of the Metro Parks systems that offer ongoing courses and activities as well as self-guided opportunities. These are great resources for staycation adventures and most programs are free.

Ohio Bird Sanctuary

Explore more than 90 acres of trails at the Ohio Bird Sanctuary in Mansfield. On the grounds you can enjoy live bird displays, walk through a songbird aviary and see how birds are rehabilitated in the bird care clinic. Admission is free.

Cincinnati Museum Center

The Cincinnati Museum Center is an impressive complex of museums that feature everything from earth sciences to history and archaeology. The center offers changing exhibits as well as mainstays that cater to every age group. You might even book an overnight to enjoy several days at the museum and explore what Cincinnati has to offer.

Paintball or Laser Tag

How about a family laser-tag challenge? There are so many laser tag facilities in Ohio that it is easy to challenge another family to a fun and active battle.Or play some paintball at LVL UP Sports, which is central Ohio’s paintball mega park.

Become a junior ranger

The National Park Service gives kids a chance to become a Junior Ranger and help spread the word about protecting some of our best natural resources. By completing a few activities, your kids receive a badge to become an official junior ranger. You can also start a passport book to encourage visiting other national parks (Passport to National Parks). Most National Parks offer the program. Just stop by a Ranger Station for more information.

Malabar Farm

Malabar Farm is one of the most unique Ohio State Parks due to the history and number of activities available throughout the year. Located in Pleasant Valley, Malabar Farm still raises chickens, goats and beef cattle. There are interactive family activities almost every weekend including the Maple Syrup Festival which takes place several weekends in March.

For more family fun adventures, check out #OhioFindItHere. at Ohio.org.

About the Author

For Anietra Hamper, writing is a passion. Anietra spent nearly 20 years as a top-rated television news Anchor telling thousands of stories that impact people's lives. Now, away from the spotlight, Anietra is a published travel writer. In fall 2013, Anietra was honored to be selected as a member of the prestigious Society of American Travel Writers. Anietra's zest for exploration and photography has taken her to untouched regions of Vietnam and tribal territories of the Philippines, sharing those journeys along the way through articles and blogs. Anietra is also a correspondent for Child Fund International; one of the largest non-Government Organizations in the world. Anietra graduated Cum Laude from Heidelberg College in Tiffin, Ohio and studied journalism at American University in Washington D.C. She enjoys fishing, photography, fitness and playing with her rescued dog Sunny. You can follow Anietra online at ThreeWordPress.com.