By Meg Berno
Posted On: Jun 21, 2020
Summer is almost here and there’s no better time to head out and find your new favorite Ohio adventure with friends and family. We’re bringing you the top 100 things to do in Ohio this summer to keep you playing all season long.
Festivals & Entertainment
Get out the sparklers for Bexley’s Front Yard Fourth Celebrations on July 4th.
Stop and smell the flowers at this year’s Virtual LilyFest on July 10th.
Light up your life at the Cincinnati Lantern Festival on July 11th.
Blast off at the Summer Moon Festival in Wapakoneta July 12-20th.
Swing with the pros at the Memorial Tournament in Dublin July 14 – 19th.
Enjoy a cold one during Ohio Brew Week in Athens from July 31st – Aug. 8th.
See double at the Twins Day Festival. Previously held in Twinsburg, this year’s Virtual Festival takes place on Aug. 8th.
Celebrate the greatness of football with the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony on Aug. 8th.
Listen to the sweet strains of live Bluegrass music at the Ohio Valley Opry in McConnelsville.
Catch a moonbeam as you fly through the trees on the Zipline at Night Adventures with Hocking Hills Canopy Tour.
Wakeboard like a pro at Wake Nation in Cincinnati (think snowboarding, but on the water).
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 Family Emergent Tower provides breathtaking views from 120 feet in the air.
Break the speed limit (legally) and learn to drive a high-performance race car at the Mid-Ohio Driving School in Mansfield.
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 day of excitement at local paintball courses like LVL UP Sports in Grove City.
Wish upon a star as it streaks across the sky at Observatory Park (a “Dark Sky” designated park with an observatory) in Geauga County.
Bike aboard! Take the family or some friends out for a cycling adventure on the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail through Cuyahoga Valley National Park. When little legs give out or you get too warm, flag down the train for a ride back.
Head out into Lake Erie’s prime fishing territory to catch walleye, perch, steelhead trout and smallmouth bass.
Search for fossils at Caesar Creek State Park near Waynesville. The 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.
Roam with the buffalo at Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park in Galloway (near Columbus). The park covers more than 7,000 acres of forest, prairies and wetlands. Bison were reintroduced to the park and roam freely within two pastures.
Take a hike in Highland’s Nature Sanctuary along one of the area’s most popular trails, Barrett’s Rim.
Sail away in Lake Erie’s Put-in-Bay area, one of the most popular sailing ports in Ohio!
Relax with nature and plan a visit to the Lavender Trails.
Enjoy the outdoors at one of Ohio’s 75 State Parks.
Travel to Appalachia and explore one of the state’s most beautiful areas.
Go on safari at The Wilds in Zanesville in an open-air vehicle traveling among free-roaming animals ranging from zebra and giraffe to rhinos, scimitar horned oryx and plenty more.
Enjoy a drive-in movie 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, check out these other theaters for your next night out.
Get the wheels turning at Imagination Station in Toledo. This hands-on science center has hundreds of exhibits and demonstrations that you can explore virtually.
Shop ‘till you drop at Easton Town Center in Columbus. Use this guide for suggestions on where to eat, play and stay!
Do the indoor shuffle at these indoor shuffle board locales in northern Ohio.
Find Ohio’s covered bridges. Drive through Ashtabula county, the covered bridge capital, to find their 19 covered bridges!
Cozy up with a bonfire! Check out these top destinations for the perfect family bonfire.
Unwrap Christmas in July or anytime with the all-year open Castle Noel!
Gotta find ’em all at the 6th Annual Troll Mania on Main Street Scavenger Hunt on Aug 1st.
See the animals at the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium.
Arts & Culture
Expand your knowledge at the world class Toledo Museum of Art. While you’re there, be sure to check out the extensive collection of glass works.
Immerse yourself in the sounds and spirit of the greats at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Find over 2,000 works of art at the Tiffin Glass Museum and Shoppe. After you’ve browsed the exhibits, head next door to pick out a piece to take home with you.
Road trip to find Ohio’s painted Quilt Barns and learn the history behind this unique movement.
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.
Make your way to the top at the Cincinnati Art Musuem’s Art Climb.
Stand as still as a statue as you explore Hamilton. The city is known as the City of Sculpture, with lots of public art you can see all over town.
Walk the grounds or take a guided tour through the historic Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens.
Fly through the air on the Aviation Trail in Dayton which includes the National Museum of the United States Air Force featuring the iconic Memphis Belle. Be sure to check with specific sites on their summer opening dates.
Learn about the Underground Railroad by traveling the 33 Stops of the Clermont County Freedom Trail – the largest Network to Freedom program in the United States.
Visit and learn at the Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial and be sure to explore the newly re-opened Memorial Column, a symbol of the U.S. victory over the British in the Battle of Lake Erie.
Live like the old days at Historic Sauder Village.
Food & Beverage
Taste a Hungarian hotdog at the world-famous Tony Packo’s Café in Toledo and browse the wall of more than 1,000 hot dog buns autographed by nearly every star who has come to town.
DIY 4th of July with these recipes perfect for any at-home celebration.
Beat the heat and indulge your sweet tooth on the Ohio Ice Cream Trail.
Sip on top of the city at Rhinegeist Brewery’s Rooftop tap room or join a corn hole tournament on the main floor.
Forage for and discover native Ohio foods and chow down like an early Ohioan. Check out this guide on what to look for and where to find it!
Complete your picnic with Ohio-made potato chips. Check out this snackable list of favorites.
Sip through the Joe in the Yo Coffee Trail, just one of Youngstown’s delectable experiences.
Challenge yourself to complete the Columbus Ale Trail and no, you should not attempt all 41 stops at once. Slow and steady!
Make a pit stop at Grandpa’s Cheese Barn. With over 200 varieties of cheese, this hidden gem is a must-see on the way to and from your travels.
Become a connoisseur at one (or more) of Ohio’s 250+ wineries. Find a complete list here.
Pay tribute to the American Spirit by traveling the Darke County Whiskey Wine and Ale Trail consisting of three wineries, two breweries and Ohio’s oldest distillery.
Eat fresh at an Ohio Farmers’ Market and find your new favorite treat.
Taste your way through the Eaterarian Trail in Marion; a collection of nine authentic eateries with great food and an unassuming atmosphere.
Let’s all go to the fair and relive nostalgia with classic fair foods at the Trumbull County Fair Food Frenzy on June 26 & 27th and July 3rd & 4th.
Throw yourself your own Happy Hour with these Ohio spirits.
Literally taste the buckeye state on the Ohio Buckeye Candy Trail.
Take a drive to all the stops on the Foodie Fill-up Road Trip.
Off the Beaten Path
Channel your inner Lumber Jack with an axe throwing adventure at Cleveland’s Class Axe.
Motorcycle along Ohio’s Windy 9 to discover your new favorite route.
Get nostalgic and pick up some vinyl at an Ohio record store. Check out this list to get started.
Visit the world’s Largest Horseshoe Crab in Hillsboro. Don’t knock it ‘till you’ve tried it.
Channel your inner Cowboy at Buckin’ Ohio Pro Bull Riding all summer long
Try out the Brewed on the Bikeway Trail in Athens where you can peddle your way from brewery to brewery.
Make some feathered friends at the Ohio School of Falconry.
Brave the Shawshank Trail in Mansfield and explore authentic filming sites of the famous movie, Shawshank Redemption.
Hop on a Pedal Wagon. You can choose a route and pedal your way through happy hour!
There you have it! How many can you check off this summer?