When spring arrives in Ohio, most people are ready to get out and start exploring again. The season can be cold (snow in April isn’t unheard of), but the bright sun is enough to encourage getting out of the house. Planning a few spring day trips in Ohio is the perfect way to do so.
Here are some recommendations for some of the best destinations throughout the state of Ohio to visit during the spring season.
Holden Arboretum | Kirkland
In spring, there’s nothing more refreshing than the bloom of flowers. What better place is there to see that than the Holden Arboretum? Although it’s open throughout the year, spring is when the brooks start flowing and the tree buds start to burst.
Depending on when you visit, you can climb the 120-foot Emergent Tower to get incredible views of Lake Erie and walk across the Murch Canopy Walk, positioning you about 65 feet over the forest floor.
Feast of the Flowering Moon | Chillicothe
Occurring Memorial Day weekend, the Feast of the Flowering Moon is an exceptional experience in Native American culture. Coming at the end of spring, it’s the perfect time to get outdoors and learn a bit.
There’s dancing, exhibits, crafters, and lots of music to enjoy. And, you can interact with various experiences and demonstrations. It’s all located in the historic downtown area of Chillicothe Ohio. Expect to find some outstanding food here as well.
Hocking Hills State Park | Logan
One of the best places to visit during a warm spring day is Hocking Hills State Park. Pick any part of it to explore, though booking a tent spot at the Dillion State Park Campground is an excellent choice for adventure lovers. There are cabins and a few resort lodges for those who don’t want to chance a cold day.
The spring tends to be wet, which means you’ll need good hiking boots and spend lots of time watching the fast-moving streams. The wildflowers are likely to start blooming by the end of April, and you’ll find it’s still cool enough to enjoy some of the longer hikes here.
Geauga County Maple Festival | Chardon
Throughout the early spring months, numerous locations host Ohio maple syrup tapping, a fun process perfect for learning about nature with a sweet treat to take home.
The Geauga County Maple Festival tends to take things to the next level. Along with syrup tapping, there are rides, games, and lots of fun foods to enjoy. It’s one of the first outdoor festivals of the year at the end of April.
Watch spring bloom at the Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. There are not only exotic plants to learn about but also a hot shop that hosts demonstrations starting in April. This is a fantastic way to experience glassblowing and sculpting firsthand. You can book a personal session if you like.
Plan to spend some time exploring the Chihuly Collection (a vibrant display of glass art) and the botanical gardens in Franklin Park.
On top of that, don’t pass by the John F. Wolfe Palm House, which is located in one of the oldest parts of the area. In the evening, the Light Raiment II experience is an architectural lighting installation that lights up the house. There’s also a fabulous bonsai collection here.
Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens | Akron
A stunning mansion, Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens opens its doors in April to the world of the 1800s and 1900s. You can tour the historic 65-room Tudor Revival manor house and the 70 acres of landscaped grounds.
There are fun activities to explore, such as Seiberling Explorers and Discovery Days designed to encourage kids to fall in love with history. Also, you can take the Stan Hywet Interactive Trail to learn about the grounds more in-depth. The butterfly garden is the perfect place to start a spring day too.
Eden Park | Cincinnati
A long walk through Eden Park can fill your senses with the fresh air of a spring day. This urban park may be open space during the winter months, but it comes to life as the 186 acres of land blossom during April and May. Plus, the Ohio cherry blossoms here bloom in late March to early April.
The park grounds also include the Cincinnati Art Museum, the Krohn Conservatory, and the Cincinnati Playhouse.
While outdoor concerts may not have started just yet, Mirror Lake and the Bettman Foundation are likely to be perfect for relaxing near on a warm day. You can spend some time along the President’s Grove walking paths too.
Hale Farm & Village | Peninsula
Opening in June each year, the Hale Farm & Village is like stepping back into 19th-century life. Around the property are 32 historic structures, each one boasting a story to tell. Many have trade and craft demonstrations, and there are farm animals, gardens, and shops to explore.
Though the available activities and events change each weekend, there’s often something to learn and do, whether it’s the history of the Western Historical Society, a musical event, or interactions with costumed interpreters who tell their stories.
Young’s Jersey Dairy | Yellow Springs
On a warm day, you may have a craving for some Ohio ice cream. Instead of heading to the grocery store, visit Young’s Jersey Dairy, a working dairy farm with much to offer.
Open throughout the year, springtime begins tours and fun activities at the farm, including Club Cowvin, a fun place for kids to play. The farm animal petting area also opens at this time of the year.
Mapleside Farms | Brunswick
Mapleside Farms is the place to be for summertime events and the John Appleseed festival in the summer and fall, but spring brings a different vibe.
Plan to visit during one of the Concerts in the Barn events, where local groups perform their favorite music in an 8,000-square-foot, beautiful barn. There are plenty of drinks to enjoy and ample space for some dancing as well.
Marblehead Lighthouse | Marblehead
The Marblehead Lighthouse is an exceptional sight perched on the shores of Lake Erie. Built in 1819, it is a traditional lighthouse sitting on a peninsula that juts into the rocky shores of the waterway.
This Lake Erie lighthouse is still operated by the U.S. Coast Guard, and guided tours are often available. Even if you can’t get onto the water just yet, you can get some impressive views of the lake from the lighthouse.
Columbus Zoo and Aquarium | Columbus
Spring is an excellent time to visit the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. It’s one of the best zoos in Ohio to visit. The birth of new animals, the blossoming trees, and a renewed sense of life seem to be buzzing around. There are a variety of events taking place and lots of educational programming.
Also, there are quiet hours when the zoo is specifically designed to be less stimulating without as much music or noise to distract from the natural beauty of the area. Don’t forget to celebrate Earth Day with the zoo too.
Dayton Art Institute | Dayton
Noted as one of the best museums in the country for children, the Dayton Art Institute is full of things to learn and explore. It’s a museum dedicated to fine arts, with numerous displays available. There are often adult and youth programs sponsored during the spring months.
If it’s a particularly rainy spring day, spend some time at one of the special exhibits here or take a guided tour of the location. Established in 1933, this museum has much to offer in the way of historical treasures, beautiful architecture, and hands-on fun.
Beaver Creek State Park | Columbiana County
A 2,722-acre public recreation area, Beaver Creek State Park is one of the best state parks in Ohio to visit any time of year, but it comes to life during the spring months. It’s a rugged landscape with some challenging hiking trails to take on.
Be sure to visit during the spring bloom season, when you’ll see white trillium wildflowers popping up everywhere. It’s a stunning sight.
Depending on the time of the season you visit, you may also get to enjoy some camping and boating here. In addition, it’s a good place to catch rock bass and smallmouth bass if you’re interested in stream fishing.
And, you can visit Friends of Beaver Creek State Park’s Pioneer Village, which has a number of historical buildings to explore and learn about the history of the area. The covered bridge, trading post gift shop, and schoolhouse are must-see locations.
Richland B & O Trail | Mansfield
For those who love a good bike ride, the Richland B & O Trail is the perfect option during the spring months. It’s more than 18 miles in length and connects several communities — including Lexington, Bellville, and Butler — to the city of Mansfield.
This is an excellent option for those who have some experience biking. There are some steep hills and narrow paths to navigate along the route.
Brandywine Falls | Sagamore Hills Township
Brandywine is well known as a local ski resort, but during the spring months, there may not be anything more impressive in the state than taking in the rushing of water down Brandywine Falls.
This 60-foot waterfall is accessible near the Summit Metroparks Bike and Hike Trail. The conditions can get a bit slippery, but it’s worth the exploration.
While here, take the 1.5-mile Brandywine Gorge Loop that goes beyond the waterfall. There are often breeding salamanders in the area.
Sawmill Creek Resort | Huron
Huron Ohio is home to the Sawmill Creek Resort, a golf course and a marina right on the lake. With over 200 acres of woodlands to explore, the world-class Tom Fazio golf course, and the marina, there’s plenty to do all weekend here.
For those who love the game, the golf course spans 6,700 yards and has a diverse terrain makeup with some beautiful weeping willow trees, marshes, and challenging holes to love to hate. With a par 71, it’s a challenging course for the experienced golfer and those willing to take on the greens.
Buckeye Imagination Museum | Mansfield
On a day that’s too cold to take young children outside, you may want to plan a day trip to the Buckeye Imagination Museum. It’s a fantastically fun place for young children with lots of hands-on exploring to do.
This play-based museum lets your children learn a bit about science, arts, and sharing while having fun along the way. It fosters a sense of self-discovery and creativity with interactive mini stores, water table fun, and a big train room.
The Farm at Walnut Creek | Holmes County
Home to over 500 animals in the heart of Amish Country, The Farm at Walnut Creek is an interactive place to visit. Not only are there lots of animals to see, but you’ll also get to see what a non-electric farm looks like and how it operates.
On top of that, you can pick up some of the first produce of the season and ride a horse-drawn carriage around the park.
Go Ape Zipline and Adventure Park | Strongsville
For those who have a lot of energy to burn off after being indoors so much during winter, head to Go Ape Zipline and Adventure Park just outside of Cleveland Ohio.
It’s an outdoor adventure experience in the Metroparks that allows you to explore the forest canopy on a treetop rope course. There are numerous challenges along the way and an impressive zip line to fly past as well.
Findley State Park | Wellington
Findley State Park is the place to be if you love to bird-watch. During the spring months, you’ll likely see indigo bunting, purple finch, and great-crested flycatcher birds start nesting in this 838-acre forested park.
The park is dedicated to creating a natural habitat to support the bird population in the region. It’s even possible to see woodpeckers, warblers, hawks, and numerous other birds along the hiking trails. You may even spot a few rare species here.
Explore More Exciting Activities on Spring Day Trips in Ohio
From museums to outdoor festivals, spring is when Ohio is ideal for exploring. It’s not too warm, and it offers plenty of things to do throughout the state. Spring things to do in Ohio can be just as versatile as the weather itself.