Winter in Ohio is notoriously cold, especially around the Great Lakes region, where subzero temperatures and heavy snowfall can be brutal. But the state comes alive in the spring, giving you the chance to experience a ton of spring things to do in Ohio.
If you’re raring to shake off the winter blues with outdoor activities, Ohio is the place to be. From state parks full of wildflowers to spring festivals, county fairs, and baseball games, here are all the Ohio spring activities that you can’t miss.
Explore Ohio Nature This Spring
Hike Hocking Hills State Park | Logan, OH
Hocking Hills State Park in Southeast Ohio is one of the most popular and famous natural spaces in the state! This stunning park is the perfect place for hiking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, bird-watching, and exploring waterfalls. There are more than 25 miles of hiking trails and at least seven waterfalls.
Also, you can grab a canoe or kayak to boat down the Hocking River, or go zip lining throughout the park. The state park remains a popular destination throughout the year, drawing visitors for camping and every other activity imaginable.
Anyone who loves exploring the outdoors should make sure Hocking Hills is on their agenda.
Visit Ohio Waterfalls | Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Many of the parks in Ohio are known for their stunning waterfalls, but Brandywine Falls in Cuyahoga Valley National Park is one of the most famous. The water descends 60 feet down a cliff face, making for a stunning view at every time of the year.
Brandywine Falls is accessible by an easy, 1.5-mile hiking trail, so this destination is ideal for visitors of any age. In the spring, the waterfall is an amazing sight to behold, swollen from snowmelt. In the winter, the falls freeze, allowing visitors to explore unseen spots in and around them.
Explore Wayne National Forest | Unglaciated Allegheny Plateau
Wayne National Forest is an enormous region in Southeast Ohio, covering roughly 250,000 acres in the footholds of the Appalachian Mountains. This stunning forest stretches between Athens, Marietta, and Ironton, with each part offering unique sights, outlooks, and experiences.
There are many hiking trails throughout the area, as well as spots to camp and picnic. Many people come to Wayne National Forest to look for unique plant and animal life, ride ATV trails, hunt and fish, or go boating on the river too.
Additionally, there are many fascinating cultural and historical sites throughout the forest, such as the Shawnee and Snake Ridge Lookout Towers. Clearly, it’s one of the best spring things to do in Ohio because there’s so much to do.
Swim in Natural Springs | New Paris, OH
One of the hidden gems of Ohio is its natural springs and swimming holes. These are amazing places to go for a swim, especially in the spring as the weather first begins to warm!
Natural Springs Resort in New Paris is one of the top natural springs in the state. Here, visitors can camp in their choice of cabin or RV.
The biggest attraction of the campsite, of course, is the 12-acre lake, which is fed from the natural spring. You can enjoy swimming, boating, playing on a water obstacle course, or fishing. The beach is worth exploring as well, with beautiful natural rock formations.
Hike an Ancient Natural Area | Peninsula, OH
Cuyahoga Valley National Park has dozens of amazing places to visit, but the Virginia Kendall Ledges Overlook is like no other. This stunning outcrop offers an unparalleled view of the Cuyahoga River and entire valley.
You’ll likely find yourself hiking the trail with others since the overlook is a popular place to watch sunsets. Nevertheless, the trip is worth it, winding roughly 2 miles to the top of the sandstone ledges. From here, you can look down 100 feet of sandstone cliffside, which is about 320 million years old.
Go Scuba Diving | Gibsonburg, OH
Ohio may not border an ocean, but you can still enjoy scuba diving in the state! The White Star Quarry in Gibsonburg is one of the best places to scuba dive in the region, and it’s entirely inland. This man-made lake averages a 40-foot depth and 15 acres across. Also, it features two “holes” for exploring.
The quarry rents diving equipment, though you’ll have to show proof of certification for your own safety. Anyone who doesn’t want to dive is welcome to swim or lounge on the beach. You can even bring your dog along!
Attend an Ohio Spring Festival
Enjoy a Sweet Maple Syrup Festival | Chardon, OH
Spring in Ohio is maple syrup season when the sap starts to run in the trees. People have been tapping maple trees in the spring for millennia!
Every April in the town of Chardon, you’ll find an annual festival that’s all about celebrating maple trees and maple syrup. The Geauga County Maple Festival has been going on since 1926.
The event features a community tree-tapping, beauty pageant, live music, fun competitions, arts and crafts, auctions, and even rides. The weekend wraps up with a parade featuring the newly-crowned Maple Queen, as well as music, floats, and other performances.
Celebrate Culture at the Athens International Street Fair | Athens, OH
Athens Ohio, is the home of Ohio University, making it the perfect spot for bringing people from all cultures and backgrounds together. Every year since 1969, the university has celebrated International Week, culminating in the Athens International Street Fair.
During this time, everyone is welcome to explore the cultural booths, play games and enjoy food from different countries, and learn about the amazing diversity of the human race. The fair includes street dancing, community cooking, music, food, a flag show, and much more.
Also, students and townspeople alike wear traditional attire from their heritage!
Celebrate at the Feast of the Flowering Moon | Chillicothe, OH
Each year in downtown Chillicothe, everyone is welcome to celebrate the Feast of the Flowering Moon. This festival serves to protect and share the heritage of the native peoples of the area, including the Chillicothe Tribe.
Over the weekend, visitors can enjoy traditional music, games, and food, as well as learn about the culture of the native peoples of the area. It’s a great educational opportunity because there are live demonstrations of skills and arts that were important to the tribe.
Additionally, the festival features many fair events, including competitions, fundraisers, carnival rides, a beauty pageant, and more. All of these options make it one of the best spring things to do in Ohio.
Eat Frosty Treats at the Utica Sertoma Ice Cream Festival | Utica & Sertoma, OH
Is there anything that sounds better than going to an ice cream festival? Every spring, the towns of Utica and Sertoma come together to celebrate all things ice cream-related. From ice cream eating contests to fun and unique flavors, ice cream is the name of the game throughout the weekend.
Also, there are plenty of other delicious fair foods to eat, as well as games, rides, contests, auctions, and crafts. More than 90 booths display goods from local vendors — art pieces, decor, food, farm-fresh produce, and more. Ice cream lovers will want to put this late May festival at the top of their lists.
Watch the Sky at a Hot Air Balloon Festival | Coshocton, OH
This is one festival that’s anything but standard! Every June in Coshocton brings the annual County Hot Air Balloon Festival. This late spring event is a multiday affair featuring fireworks, live entertainment, food, a science show, and of course, the main event — hot air balloons.
There are multiple balloon launches throughout the festival, including a nighttime “balloon glow” event, a sunrise balloon launch, and a sunset balloon launch on the final day. During this time, you can explore vendors, see a live science show, and enjoy other classic fair games and activities.
The event closes with a fireworks show that you’re sure to remember!
Follow the Celctic Cocktail Trail | Dublin, OH
Adults who love cocktails should head to Dublin to enjoy the town’s 12-stop cocktail trail! This long-term event takes place throughout the spring. In fact, it’s recommended that you take your time to enjoy your drinks and stay safe.
The trail takes you to 12 participating bars, pubs, and restaurants where you can enjoy signature cocktails and earn prizes. Each venue offers a unique drink and experience, so there’s something new wherever you go!
Some of the cocktails include the Shamrock Mule, Irish Sour, and Dubliner. There are nonalcoholic cocktails, too, for those who want to participate but prefer not to imbibe.
Visit the Buckeye State’s Cultural Sites
Explore Lake Erie Lighthouses
Winter is a famous time to visit the lighthouses on the shore of Lake Erie when the waves freeze over and create some of the most fascinating ice formations in the region. But these historic sites are also unmissable in the spring season when the ice melts and feeds back into the lake.
Marblehead Lighthouse is one of the best spring things to do in Ohio. This historic lighthouse dates from 1822 and is the oldest tower on Lake Erie that still operates. It offers unparalleled views over the lake and is connected to a small park where you can hike, picnic, and fish.
Learn at Serpent Mound | Peebles, OH
Serpent Mound is one of the most fascinating sites of native culture in the state of Ohio. This ancient effigy mound is deliberately styled in the shape of a coiled snake and presents fascinating insights into the history of several peoples who once lived in what is now Ohio.
However, there are still many unanswered questions about Serpent Mound, including how old it is (it may be nearly 2,300 years old!) and which native tribe constructed it. Visitors are welcome to learn and explore at Serpent Mound. You can even bring along leashed pets to look around the site.
View a Botanical Garden | Columbus, OH
It should come as no surprise that spring is an amazing time to visit a botanical garden. Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Garden, located in Columbus, is one of the best ones in the state.
The conservatory isn’t just a place for seeing plants — It’s a place where you can attend educational events and view rare flowers and plants that you’ve never seen before! Throughout the spring, you can attend exhibitions featuring orchids, tropical blossoms, newborn butterflies, and more.
Meanwhile, the gardens are bursting with hundreds of thousands of tulips, crocuses, daffodils, hyacinths, narcissus, and other spring flowers.
Tour Ohio Museums | Cleveland, OH
There’s never a bad time to visit a museum, and the Cleveland Museum of Art is proof! The exhibitions and collections rotate throughout the year, with plenty of events in every season.
In addition to the art, the museum features a series of special events and performances throughout the spring season, including musical and dance performances. The exhibitions include all types of art from every corner of the world, as well as lectures, workshops, and activities for kids.
If you’re looking for a stimulating, fun trip to shake away the winter doldrums, the Cleveland Museum of Art is a great choice.
Visit Young’s Jersey Dairy | Yellow Springs, OH
Young’s Jersey Dairy in Yellow Springs is more than just a dairy farm. It’s a place to enjoy all kinds of family-friendly fun and activities in a country setting and is one of the best ice cream shops in Ohio.
From the petting zoo to miniature golf, kiddie corral, slides, and more, Young’s is the perfect combination of activity park and traditional farm experiences. Spring is full of special events, such as the farm-wide Easter egg hunt, annual ice cream sale, and Memorial Day celebration.
Many of these events feature even more attractions, such as carnival rides and delicious homemade food from the farm. And of course, there are plenty of baby animals to see. It’s easy to understand why it’s one of the best spring things to do in Ohio.
Experience Spring Family Activities in Ohio
Go to the Zoo | Cleveland, OH
The Cleveland Zoo is known far and wide as one of the best zoos in the Midwest, and spring is one season when it really shines! In addition to the regular exhibits, the zoo features fun and educational programs and activities throughout the season.
Kids can learn to be a “zookeeper for a day” to find out if they want to pursue this career in the future. Or, they can go on a golf cart tour for an up-close look at the animals. With the weather getting warmer and summer approaching, spring is the perfect time to take a trip to the zoo.
Splash at an Indoor Water Park | Sandusky, OH
Spring temperatures in Ohio — especially on the Great Lakes — can vary widely, from warm and balmy to subzero. Luckily, swimming is always option at one of the state’s amazing indoor water parks. Kalahari Resort in Sandusky features 173,000 square feet of pools, splash pads, rides, and attractions.
You can enjoy a day at the lake even while snow is still falling outside. Drift comfortably down the lazy river, splash on a child-friendly splash pad, or fly down a waterslide. Adults will enjoy the resort’s swim-up bar, while visitors of all ages will have fun shooting water cannons and balancing on the FlowRider.
Watch a Baseball Game | Columbus, OH
Spring is baseball season, and if you live in Ohio, you’ll want to catch a Clippers game! The season kicks off in early April and continues throughout the summer with games at home and away. This is a classic experience, whether you’re a lifelong fan or a newcomer.
Join the throngs of Clippers supporters in Huntington Park, and let yourself get lost in the community (while hopefully cheering your team to victory!). Visitors of all ages are welcome at the games, but be aware that tickets go quickly — you’ll want to reserve well in advance.
Go Zip Lining | Strongsville, OH
If you’re an adrenaline junkie or an avid outdoorsman, this heart-pumping activity may be one of your favorite spring things to do in Ohio! Strongsville is home to Go Ape, an outdoor ROPES course adventure.
Visitors can challenge themselves to complete treetop obstacle courses, throw axes, and fly down a zip line. The whole experience takes place in the woods, which means that you get a day of sunshine and fresh air while challenging yourself to reach new heights — literally.
If you dare, try out the terrifying Monkey Drop. It lets you free fall 40 feet before the jump line helps you land safely on the forest floor!
Drive an Ohio Covered Bridge Tour | Jefferson, OH
Lovers of history and road trips might enjoy taking a covered bridge tour through Northeast Ohio. This area features 19 historic covered bridges from different times. They’re made with various materials and built in different styles.
The Buckeye State is home to the shortest and longest covered bridges in the United States, as well as several that date from the 1860s! But the bridges themselves are only part of the appeal.
The trip is set against a backdrop of some of the most beautiful countryside, from vineyards to farmland and forest. During the spring, keep an eye out for colorful wildflowers and animals on the move.
Have Fun at Ohio Parks | Columbus, OH
Going to the park is a spring activity no matter where you live, but Columbus takes it to another level. The Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks include 19 distinct parks and nature reserves, each with its own distinct features, attractions, outlooks, and activities.
The metro park system includes more than 230 miles of hiking trails, as well as waterways. When spring arrives, there are countless things to see, from wildflowers blooming along the trail to tadpoles hatching in ponds.
Whether you want to hit the hiking trail or just enjoy an afternoon in a cultured garden, Columbus’ metro parks are unmissable in the springtime.
Head to the Ohio Countryside
Pick Your Own Lavender | Martinsville, OH
All kinds of wonderful plants bloom in the spring in Ohio, but lavender might not be at the top of your mind! Luckily, there’s a place in Martinsville where you can revel in the smells and sights of springtime as you pick your own lavender.
At Peaceful Acres Lavender Farm, visitors are welcome to explore the fragrant fields, gather lavender, and buy a bunch in the general store. The late spring brings the farm’s annual lavender festival when there are more aromatic gifts to be found. Children get into U-pick lavender for free, so bring the kids along!
Tour the Cherry Blossoms | Athens, OH
Spring brings flowers of all kinds. In Athens Ohio, it’s the season of cherry blossoms, and they draw visitors from miles around. They’re so vibrant, in fact, that the cherry blossoms at Ohio University have been namechecked in National Geographic!
Most of the stunning trees were gifted to the university in 1979 by Chubu University in Kasugai Japan. They’ve been carefully maintained ever since and, except for a few trees that were damaged during the polar vortex of 2014, continue to blossom every spring and beautify the town.
The cherry blossoms are welcomed yearly with a ceremonial lighting. Like some of the other spring things to do in Ohio, a lot of people look forward to this lighting.
Hunt for Spring Wildflowers | Yellow Springs, OH
Wildflowers are a part of spring almost everywhere, and each region features its own unique offerings. In Yellow Springs, one of the best places to find them is Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve.
In the short wildflower season between April and May, you can find a huge variety of wildflowers. But even more enticing is the chance to spot some rare Ohio wildflowers that you won’t find anywhere — the snow trillium and the lakeside daisy.
Go on a search or simply enjoy the hike through the reserve accompanied by the varied colors of the season.
Meet Some Baby Animals | Medina, OH
Majestic Meadows Alpaca Farm in Medina is a great place to visit at any time of the year, but spring is a special season. Visitors get the chance to meet the newest members of the farm — the baby animals born as the weather warms!
In addition to alpacas, you can meet llamas, miniature sheep, horses, potbellied pigs, cows, and sheep, as well as dwarf goats, a dromedary camel, a giant tortoise, and even two red kangaroos! This is the closest you may ever get to some of these amazing animals, so it’s definitely worth a trip.
Frequently Asked Questions About Spring Things to Do in Ohio
What is there to do in Ohio for spring break?
Lake Erie is actually a popular spot for spring breakers, especially Sandusky, which has plenty of tourist attractions. The town has countless things to do, from enjoying the enormous indoor water park to swimming on the lake and riding roller coasters at Cedar Point.
What is a good spring weekend getaway in Ohio?
Countless places around Ohio are ideal for a quick spring getaway! Amish Country, wine country, and the state’s many lakes and rural areas are popular spots.
If you prefer a metropolitan setting, Cleveland and Columbus offer plenty of spring things to do in Ohio while still offering some green space to enjoy the weather.
Finding the Best Spring Things to Do in Ohio
When the snow starts to melt, it’s time to explore! Few places are more perfect to enjoy the spring than Ohio. Whether you’re in wine country, on the lake, or in the city, there’s something for everyone.