By Meg Berno
Posted On: May 18, 2022
Summer is almost here and there's no better time to head out and find your new favorite Ohio adventure. Check out this list of the top 100 things to do in Ohio this summer to keep you playing all season long.
Ohio State Fair in Columbus
Festivals & Entertainment
Experience the Feast of the Flowering Moon Festival in Chillicothe during Memorial Day weekend from May 27-29.
Tee-rific summer fun awaits at the Memorial Tournament in Dublin from May 30 - June 5. Swing for even more fun at Fore!Fest -- a weekend long street and music festival at Dublin's Bridge Park June 3-4.
Celebrate with Pride this year at Dayton Pride on June 3-5 and Pride in the CLE on June 4. Or check out the Athens Pride Parade from June 10-12, Stonewall Columbus Pride Festival and March on June 17-18, Cincinnati Pride on June 25, Toledo Pride on Aug. 20, and Akron Pride Festival on Aug. 27.
It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood for this year's PorchFest in Bexley on June 4. "PorchFests" are usually free events that feature music and connecting to your community. Check out other local happenings like the Larchmere PorchFest in Cleveland on June 25, the Dayton PorchFest on Aug. 20, and the Troy PorchFest on Sept. 10. Or stop by the most well-known Ohio community festival -- ComFest! This Columbus tradition takes place in Goodale Park on June 24-26 and is celebrating 50 years this summer!
Tune your ear toward Picnic with the Pops from the Columbus Symphony, which runs June - July. Or head to Southwest Ohio for the Neighborhood Concert Series from Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra from June - July. Later this summer, check out the Blossom Music Festival series with the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra, which runs July - August.
The rhythm is gonna get you when you check out one of Ohio's upcoming music festivals like Gahanna's Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival on June 17-19 and WonderStruck in Kirtland (near Cleveland) on July 9-10. Or head to Columbus for the Jazz & Rib Fest on July 22-24, Breakaway Music Festival on Aug. 26-28, and WonderBus on Aug. 26-28. End the summer with Put-in-Bay's Bash on the Bay on Aug. 24-25 or head down for the Nelsonville Music Festival on Sept. 2-4.
Get out the sparklers for Red, White & BOOM! on July 1. This Columbus firework show is back and ready to light up the sky as the "largest Independence Day celebration in the Midwest." Don't forget to check out other July 4th celebrations throughout the state for local fun and festivities.
All is fair in love and fried food when you check out the Ohio State Fair at the Ohio Expo Center and State Fairgrounds in Columbus from July 27 - Aug. 7. Make the rounds and stop by one of Ohio's other County Fairs, happening all summer long.
Huddle up with the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Week in Canton from Aug. 4-7.
Get to steppin' at the Dublin Irish Festival from Aug. 5-7, celebrating their 35th anniversary year. Celebrate even more culture and heritage at the Feast of the Assumption in Cleveland's Historic Little Italy on Aug. 12-15 and Festival Latino in Columbus on Aug. 13-14.
You'll never tire of fun at the Toledo Jeep Fest. This festival in Ohio's Glass City, from Aug. 12-14, features all kinds of entertainment from an All-Jeep Parade through downtown to a massive Vendor Midway, and so much more.
Kickoff the 100th season of football at Ohio Stadium with the Notre Dame vs. OSU game on Sept. 3. Can't wait for the game? Book a tour of the stadium for a guided look behind the scenes of the iconic playing field.
Mahoning River Water Trail in Trumbull County
Find new adventure when exploring Ohio's Nature Trails. From water trails along the different waterways, to mountain biking and bridle trails - there's something for everyone.
Take in the picturesque beauty at one of the 75 Ohio State Parks, like Buckeye Lake State Park in Fairfield - which is the state's oldest State Park. Today, it's most notable feature is the 3,100-acre lake and 4-mile shoreline.
Walk it out as you explore Ohio's trails with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources' DETOUR Trails App.
Have a wheelie good time when you take the family or some friends out for a cycling adventure. With the most U.S. Bicycle Route miles in America, Ohio offers 1,523 miles of trails. Try the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail through Cuyahoga Valley National Park or download the Ohio Bikeways Map for even more trails.
Put pedal to pavement when you check out Ohio's 27 Scenic Byways. Traverse historical areas of the state or drive through scenic sights. Because at the end of the day, it's more about the journey than the destination.
Let the sunshine in when you sit on the Solstice Steps at Lakewood Park along Lake Erie. Remember the official first day of summer (aka Summer Solstice) is June 21.
You won't be board when you paddle Ohio. From paddleboard yoga to SUP (stand up paddleboarding), there's something for everyone to try this summer. For more aquatic adventure, check out the Ohio River Paddlefest in Cincinnati on Aug. 6.
Wish upon a star as it streaks across the sky at Observatory Park (a "Dark Sky" designated park and observatory) in Geauga County. Or stop by one of Ohio's other astronomy parks - perfect for stargazing and catching celestial wonders like the Perseids Meteor Shower, which peaks on Aug. 11-13.
Build sandcastles in the sand at one of Ohio's beaches. Pull up your beach chair and enjoy a day with the kids at spots like East Harbor State Park in Marblehead or Conneaut Township Park in Ashtabula County.
Take flight along the Lake Erie Birding Trail. Learn more about the birds you'll see when you order a copy of the Ohio Lake Erie Birding Trail Guidebook. Some local libraries - like Central Ohio's Bexley Public Library - offer birding kits and worksheets you can check out as part of their special collections.
Do go chasing waterfalls this summer. There are breathtaking falls throughout the state, but some of the most well-known include Blue Hen Falls at Cuyahoga Valley National Park and the Gorge Clifton Waterfall in Yellow Springs.
The Berry Farm in Union County
Berry good times are plentiful at U-Pick Farms throughout Ohio. Pick fresh fruit at Lynd Fruit Farm in Pataskala, The Berry Farm in Richwood, or grab a handful of strawberries from Patterson Fruit Farm in Chesterland and blackberries in July from Champaign Berry Farm in Urbana.
Play and stay next door to Kings Island this summer at Camp Cedar. The resort and camping facility is less than a mile from the amusement park and features 73 deluxe cottages and 184 full-hookup RV sites. You can also relax poolside in a cabana and slide down a mini-slide into the pool during your stay.
Splash splash have a blast at one of Ohio's waterparks. Cool off at an indoor waterpark or enjoy fun in the sun at spots like Zoombezi Bay in Columbus, Coney Island in Cincinnati, or Clearwater Park near Akron (Fun Fact: This Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park™ Camp-Resort is celebrating their 75th Anniversary).
Embrace your inner child and take the kiddos to one of Ohio's children's museums. Find fun for everyone at the Children's Museum of Findlay, the Akron Children's Museum, the Little Buckeye Children's Museum in Mansfield, or the Mighty Children's Museum in Chillicothe.
The silverscreen comes alive with the kids and a big bucket of popcorn at the Sundance Kid Drive-In near Toledo. Ohio is a top state for drive-in theaters, so check out these other theaters on your next night out. Or head over to local spots like Beachwood near Cleveland and the Columbus Commons, Easton Town Center, or CAPA for their Summer Movie Series.
Go on safari at The Wilds in Cumberland with an open-air vehicle traveling among free-roaming animals like zebra, giraffes, rhinos, scimitar horned oryx, and plenty more.
Hit the road and explore all 11 of Ohio's Inviting Regions! From Lake Erie to the Ohio river, there are hidden gems all across the state to discover this summer.
The s'mores you know when cozying up at a bonfire! Check out these top destinations for the perfect family moment around the fire.
Take me out to the ballgame because it's baseball season in Ohio! Cheer on home teams like the Cincinnati Reds at the Great American Ballpark and the Cleveland Guardians at Progressive Field. Or root, root, root for the Akron RubberDucks and the Mahoning Valley Scrappers this summer.
Serpent Mound Historical Site in Adams County
See amazing works at Ohio's Native American heritage sites. Be sure to check out Serpent Mound in Peebles and the Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks in Chillicothe (both are up to be World Heritage Sites).
Blast off to New Concord for a visit to the John and Annie Glenn Museum. And don't forget to share the fun fact that John Glenn was the first American to orbit the earth on Feb. 20, 1962.
Have a Grant ole time when you explore all the stops along Clermont County's "Land of Grant Trail," which honors the life of Ohio-born President Ulysses S. Grant – who celebrated his 200th birthday this year on April 27!
Go back to the beginning and visit the first settlement in Ohio: Schoenbrunn Village. Established on May 3, 1772, this New Philadelphia spot celebrated their 250th anniversary earlier this year. Explore more of the area by hitting the stops in the Inviting Region of Appalachia.
Fortify your summer fun with an excursion to Historic Fort Steuben. Erected in the 18th century, this fortification on the Ohio River is where the now city of Steubenville was founded in 1797. Experience more history this summer as the city celebrates its 225th anniversary with events from June 12 - July 24.
Turn the page of history when you visit the Paul Laurence Dunbar House in Dayton. The home of this Ohio poet has been restored to its original beauty and is the perfect spot to celebrate his 150th birthday on June 27. The house is also part of the Aviation Trail due to his friendship with the Wright Brothers.
To infinity and Wapakoneta! Journey to the Armstrong Air & Space Museum for an out of this world experience. Filled with fantastical exhibits and special celebrations for their 50th anniversary (the museum first opened on July 20, 1972), you'll find fun for all ages.
Uncover hidden treasures when searching for fossils at Caesar Creek State Park near Waynesville. The Isotelus (or a trilobite) is Ohio's state fossil and a highly prized find! Be sure to stop in and get a permit from the Army Corps of Engineers at the park, then you can hunt away. Or head to the Olander Park System in Sylvania for more fossil hunting adventures.
Step back in time and relive the past at Historic Sauder Village in Archbold. Start your time travel trip in 1803 and then venture through to 1920s where you can walk along Main Street and get a chocolate malt at the local soda fountain.
Young's Jersey Dairy in Yellow Springs
Take a bite out of National Donut Day on June 3 with the Butler County Donut Trail. But donut ya'know, these treats are good any time of year -- check out the stops all summer long and be sure to follow @BCDonutTrail.
Raise a glass for the Wine Country Inviting Region. Sip back and relax during Ohio Wine Month in June, or spend all summer long visiting these vineyards.
Toast with a "Bone Appétit" when visiting one of the dozens of dog-friendly wineries throughout the state. Wine lovers can bring along well-behaved pups and enjoy a glass of wine, grab a bite to eat, and relax while spending quality time with the bestest furry friend.
Cone you believe July is National Ice Cream Month! Beat the heat and indulge your sweet tooth on the Ohio Ice Cream Trail.
Pack up and go with a picnic at these picturesque and fun places. Whether you're picnicking during July's National Picnic Month or anytime this summer, no spread is complete without Made in Ohio potato chips.
You won't bay leaf olive the amazing fresh food at Ohio Farmers' Markets. Find fresh food perfect for summer recipes, or just stroll the stalls and take in the colorful fruits and veggies.
Find foodie inspiration with Ohio's wild and wonderful native foods. From black raspberries, high-bush blueberries, huckleberries, and wild strawberries to the pawpaw - Ohio's official native fruit - there's so much to discover about Ohio's native foods. Maybe you'll even make some pawpaw ice cream this summer!
Knead you know Ohio was named the Best State for Pizza?! Grab a slice and check out the pizzerias that make up the (614) Pizza Trail in Columbus, the Great Miami Riverway Pizza Trail, the Tuscarawas County Pizza Trail, and the Greater Lima Pizza Trail.
Chilli out this summer and make Cincinnati-style chili with Made in Ohio ingredients or visit a nearby Skyline Chili restaurant (perhaps in an Homage t-shirt too!). Fun Fact: This year marks the centennial of Cincinnati-style chili. It was first introduced at the Empress Lunch Room by the Kiradjieff brothers in 1922.
Take it to go with some of Ohio's top food trucks. Or make a pit stop and check out the Lakewood Food Truck Park, a 12,000-square-foot indoor/outdoor area that features a rotating selection of street food.
Diamondback at Kings Island in Mason
Reach for the sky as you ride the classic Diamondback roller coaster at Kings Island in Mason or take a thrilling ride on the giga coaster - Orion. With their 50th anniversary season this year, there's fun all season long!
Hit the waves and wakeboard like a pro at Wake Nation in Cincinnati. The season runs from May 28 - Aug. 14, Tuesday - Sunday (note that they are closed on Mondays).
Surfs up when you head to Dayton - known for its river surfing, you can ride the waves of the Great Miami River with Surf Dayton. Bookings run from June 1 - Sept. 15.
Fly through the air with the greatest of ease and zipline with Tree Frog Canopy Tours in Glenmont and Common Ground Canopy Tours in Oberlin. For even more one-of-a-kind adventures, try the "Moonshine" zipline tours with Hocking Hills Canopy Tours or the "Howl at the Moon" zipline tour on June 8 at The Wilds in Cumberland (or check out their "Zipline Safari" tour).
Amusement abounds at Cedar Point in Sandusky. Ride a roller coaster, stroll along the sand at Cedar Point Beach, or head to Stockade Refreshments and munch on an "elephant ear" (also known as fry bread, this treat is fried dough with cinnamon and sugar).
It's no trick, Ohio skate parks are a rolling good time! If you don't already own your own gear, outfit yourself from Ohio spots like Next Level Skate Shop (celebrating 40 years!) in Fairview Park, Old Skool Skate Shop in Westerville, or order a board from Proper Gnar
Take your summer to new heights at Start Skydiving in Middletown, one of the top five largest drop–zones in the world. Or take your skydiving inside at iFLY in Cincinnati. You can also check out Cleveland Skydiving Center and Skydive Greene County in Xenia.
Walk among the tree tops on the canopy tour at Holden Arboretum. The Murch Canopy Walk is a 500-foot long walkway suspended 65 feet above the forest floor while the Kalberer Emergent Tower provides breathtaking views from 120 feet in the air.
Voyage through lost shipwrecks in Lake Erie, which has claimed more ships than any other Great Lake due to its shallow depths. For those who can or wish to learn to scuba dive, a treasure trove of shipwrecks await.
Gear up for a color-filled day of excitement at local paintball courses like LVL UP Sports in Grove City.
"Wisdom" by Helen Frankenthaler at Akron Art Museum
Arts & Culture
Feel like a work of art when you hang out at the centennial celebrating Akron Art Museum. Or pop by one of Ohio's other art museums like the Museum of Contemporary Art in Cleveland, the Decorative Arts Center of Ohio in Lancaster, the Southern Ohio Museum in Portsmouth, or the Taft Museum of Art in Cincinnati.
Strike a pose and strut the sidewalk for art-related events all summer long. From Gallery Hop in Columbus' Short North Arts District (which takes place the first Saturday of every month) and Franklinton Fridays to Art on Vine in Cincinnati (taking place on June 5 and July 3 at Fountain Square). And don't forget to celebrate the return - and 60th year - of the Columbus Arts Festival, taking place from June 10-12.
History comes alive when you watch a performance of Tecumseh Outdoor Drama. The show, which runs from June 16 – Sept. 4, is celebrating their 50th anniversary season.
Find where art meets nature at Topiary Park in Columbus. This topiary garden replicates the famous work by George Seurat, A Sunday Afternoon on the Isle of La Grande Jatte. Its neighbor, the Main Branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library, kicked off a renovation of their East Plaza - which connects to the park. The dedication is planned for July 15.
Turn up the dial when you take a road trip to explore Ohio's Inviting Regions by listening to an Ohio podcast. Or stream an Ohio Road Trip Spotify playlist – curated by the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Top picks are "Highway to History," "Are We There Yet?," and "Foodie Fill-Up."
Wax nostalgic and pick up some vinyl at an Ohio record store. Maybe pick up a copy and jam out to the latest tunes from Caamp. Fun Fact: this band from Athens is the featured song in the 2022 Ohio. Find It Here. commercial.
Read up on your Ohio-based and inspired books. Maybe pick up a copy of Renee Casteel Cook's new book, Ohio Ice Cream: A Scoop of History and learn some cool trivia. Like how the iconic Klondike bar was created 100 years ago by William Isaly of Isaly Dairy Company in Mansfield.
Patchwork your way through Ohio's Quilt Barn Trails, like the Clothesline of Quilt Barn Trails and the one in Gallia County. Plus, you can brush up on your history with Ohio's painted and art barns. Featuring portraits ranging from Annie Oakley to Tecumseh. And don't forget to check out Sandusky County's Barn Mural Trail for even more iconic sights.
Eye spy with my little eye over 150 miles of installation art on the Ohio Art Corridor. Catch "School of Fish," the first piece of art made for this trail or gaze upon "Locks of Love" in McConnellsville, the newest piece on the tail. Both were created by artist David Griesmyer.
Ohio Caverns in Logan County
Choose Your Own Adventure
Feel the chills of Ohio's haunted spots. May marks the halfway point to Halloween, so get ready for spooky season!
Do the locomotion and take a train ride on one of Ohio's many family friendly railways like the Cuyahoga Scenic Valley Railroad. CVSR rolls out their 50th anniversary this year, hitting the rails with the "Steam in the Valley" ride on May 13-15 & 20-22.
Journey below the Earth's crust and celebrate Ohio Caverns in West Liberty's 125th anniversary. Venture underground on their "Discovery Lantern Tour," available June 2 - Aug. 31. Uncover the state's inner depths by checking out even more Ohio caves and caverns.
Fly high and take to the skies with a hot air balloon ride from Gentle Breeze Hot Air Balloon Company in Lebanon. Soar at the Coshocton Hot Air Balloon Festival on June 9-11, the All Ohio Balloon Fest in Marysville on Aug. 11-13, and the Ravenna Balloon A-Fair on Sept. 15-18.
Unwrap Christmas in July with Castle Noel - America's largest indoor (open all year-round) Christmas entertainment attraction!
Search for Bigfoot at Salt Fork State Park in Guernsey County. Can't find the elusive cryptid known as the Ohio Grassman, check out their other stomping grounds like Hocking Hills State Park, Mohican State Park in Loudonville, and West Branch State Park.
Do the Shuffle at indoor shuffle board locales in Northern Ohio. Or take head outdoors and try your hand at Lakeside Chautauqua. Or paddle your way towards a new (old) trend: Pickleball! Check out courts and open play with Toledo Pickleball or hit the courts at Jeffrey Park in Bexley.
Take it easy on an IRL lazy river ride and go tubing along Ohio's waterways. Take a tubing trip with Hocking Hills Adventures, or try tubing from Mohican Adventures in Loudonville and Adventures on the Great Miami in Tipp City.
Take to the trails. Ohio Adventure Trails that is! From coffee trails to history trails, and foodie fun, there's always something new to discover.
There you have it! How many can you check off this summer?