Web Content Viewer
dad and daughter Snow tubing at Snow Trails in Mansfield Ohio

Ohio's Guide to Winter Break with the Kids

Experience the fun of winter break with these seasonally exuberant activities.

Snow tubing at Snow Trails in Mansfield

Ohio's Guide to Winter Break with the Kids

By Abbey Roy

Posted On: Dec 19, 2021

It's every parent's favorite time of year -- Winter Break! From skiing and holiday lights to water parks and science exhibits, you'll find endless fun for you and your little ones this season in Ohio.

dad with two daughters riding toboggan at Strongsville Toboggan Chutes near Cleveland Ohio

Go For A Ride

Roller coasters may be off your winter to-do list, but thanks to the Strongsville Toboggan Chutes, that hair-raising experience can (nearly) be duplicated. Pull down your stocking cap, climb a flight of stairs and jet down the 700-foot refrigerated ice chute with your hands raised – if you dare.

For additional outdoor winter thrills, Ohio boasts several ski resorts: Boston Mills-Brandywine in Peninsula, Mad River Mountain in Zanesfield, Snow Trails in Mansfield and Alpine Valley in Chesterland. Family members of all ages and abilities can ski, snowboard or tube their way through an afternoon. And don’t forget the hot chocolate afterward!

kid playing at indoor waterpark at Kalahari Resort in Sandusky Ohio

Splash Around

When you're tired of freezing weather, ditch the parka and don your swimsuit for a weekend of splishy, splashy fun. Whether you plan to try your hand at indoor surfing, drift around the lazy river or just veg in tropical weather while the kids burn some energy, your weekend at the beach doesn't have to require airfare. Book your stay at Sandusky's Kalahari Resort or Great Wolf Lodge (with locations in Mason and Sandusky).

two young kids walking through a light display at cleveland metroparks zoo in ohio

Be Enlightened

Nothing conveys the magic of the season quite like holiday lights. Throughout winter break, various zoos across Ohio (including ClevelandColumbusCincinnatiToledo and Akron) offer stunning lights displays. You can also stay in the car and check out drive-through displays at Butch Bando's Fantasy of Lights in Delaware.

Other options include the Legendary Lights of Clifton Mill (Instagram it!) and Dayton's Woodland Lights. Take in all the magic Ohio has to offer on the Ohio Holiday Lights Trail – and see how many spots you can check off your list!

mom and daughter sliding down giant red slide in castle noel in medina ohio

Celebrate The Season

Ohio is great year-round, but this time of year lends itself to some extra-special seasonal attractions that merit a day trip (or two). Check out Medina's Castle Noel, A Christmas Story House in Cleveland (check out that leg lamp!) and The Christmas Ranch in Morrow.

kids hiking in the winter and snow along trails at hocking hills state park in logan ohio

Take A Hike

Believe it or not, strolling through nature is an activity that can be enjoyed during all four seasons. To help capitalize on these opportunities, Ohio State Parks has hikes throughout the winter. Even after the break, mark your calendar for awesome winter hikes throughout the state, like Hocking Hills State Park in Logan. 

Try Burr Oak State Park's 1-mile Winter Solstice Hike on Dec. 21, the shortest day of the year - followed by hot chocolate and homemade cookies by the fire after the hike.

kids playing inside the  LegoLand Discovery Center at Easton Town Center in Columbus Ohio

Appease Your (Inner) Child

Let's be honest... we go to children's museums for the kids, but don't we all have a little fun, too? Thanks to the variety of activities and displays at kid-friendly museums in MansfieldClevelandAkron and Cincinnati, parents and kids can have fun side-by-side Whether it's through imaginative play, indoor playgrounds or scientific experiments, there's all kinds of fun for everyone. 

And if you have a Lego fan in your family, don't forget to check out the new LegoLand Discovery Center at Easton Town Center in Columbus. While you're there, you can build to your heart's content!

the nutcracker ballet performed by balletmet in columbus ohio

Catch A Show

The holidays are a great time to introduce your littles to a bit of culture. Whether it's dressing up for an evening at the Nutcracker or A Christmas Carol. The list of family-friendly shows across Ohio is vast.

family inside looking at exhibit at the National Museum of the Great Lakes in Ohio

Get Scientific

Who says winter break is a time to stop learning? Keep discovery alive with a day at one of Ohio's several science centers or planetariums. Stop by the National Museum of the Great Lakes in Toledo or check out the current exhibits at Great Lakes Science Center in Cleveland. 

Check out The Works' SciDome in Newark, where visitors can go on a voyage through the solar system or search for a virtual oasis in space. 

Whatever route you choose, there's no shortage of activities to keep the family busy this winter break. Kiss cabin fever goodbye and get out there!

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

Travel Inspiration

Here are some of the latest articles from our team:

Ohio. Find It Here. Newsletter

Find travel inspiration for your next trip, get the latest Ohio news & find out about great events with our newsletter!