Today, we bring you 10 ideas for summer family fun in each region of the state: Northeast Ohio near Cleveland and Akron, Northwest Ohio near Toledo and Sandusky, Central Ohio near Columbus, Southeast Ohio near Hocking Hills, Athens and Marietta and Southwest Ohio including Dayton, Springfield and Cincinnati and suburbs.
>> MORE: Dayton Summer Bucket List: 50 things to do this summer
>> FREE EVENTS: 20 things to do with the kids this summer
Just because summer’s long gone doesn’t mean you’ve lost your window for some fun at Cedar Point. There are plenty of special events planned throughout October making now the perfect time to go. CONTRIBUTED PHOTOS BY ALEXIS LARSEN
Looking for a little adventure?
Ohio is home to two huge regional destinations for thrill-seekers: Cedar Point, the roller coaster capital of the world, is just a few hours away and surrounded by the waters of Lake Erie and some pretty fun island adventures perfect for a quick escape. Kings Island, much closer to home, offers tons of thrills for all ages, with waterpark adventures on site at Soak City. Plan a trip and find plenty of fun nearby at places like Wake Nation, Coney Island, the zoo or at the riverfront near Great American Ball Park.
The Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal in Cincinnati offers museum experiences for all ages. CONTRIBUTED
Looking for a little geeky fun?
Nerd out at the museum.
The Cincinnati Museum Center is hosting a special exhibit this summer. "Star Wars and the Power of Costume," a Smithsonian traveling exhibit, will bring more than 60 of the costumes featured in the "Star Wars" films to the museum — including the robes of Jedi masters Obi-Wan Kenobi and Luke Skywalker, the dark outfit that Darth Vader is so well-known for, the yak-and-mohair costume of Chewbacca and many more.
Up in Cleveland, keep children of all ages entertained and learning for hours at the Great Lakes Science Center, including a Polymer Funhouse, dozens of hands-on science exhibits and shows, plus the NASA Glenn Visitor Center, where visitors can peek inside the 1973 Skylab 3 Command Module and try on a spacesuit. And of course, you probably already know you can board a model space shuttle, walk through four presidential aircraft, step inside cargo planes and take a ride on the simulator at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base nearby.
Hikers enjoy the fall foliage and explore Old Man’s Cave at Hocking Hills State Park last fall. (Kristen Zeis, Columbus Dispatch)
Credit: Kristen Zeis
Credit: Kristen Zeis
Looking to get up close and personal with nature?
Soar like Superman on one of the state's best zip-line adventures in the gorgeous Hocking Hills region.
Take the nature hike of your dreams at the breathtaking Cuyahoga Valley National Park or unwind at the Fairport Harbor Lakefront Beach, a 21-acre beachfront park, managed by the Lake Metroparks, complete with a playground, kayak and paddleboard rentals, concession stands and more. You can even bring your dog!
These are just a few ideas to get you started on your planning.
Click on the links below for a total of 50 ideas to inspire your summer day trips, weekend getaways or staycations.
>> CENTRAL OHIO:
1. Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
10. The Bridges of Union County
>> SOUTHWEST OHIO:
20. Wake Nation
>> SOUTHEAST OHIO:
30. Drafty Acres Stable
>> NORTHWEST OHIO:
40. Fifth Third Field
>> NORTHEAST OHIO:
50. Cleveland Museum of Art
Contributing media outlets: Dayton Daily News, The Columbus Dispatch, The Plain Dealer (Cleveland), The Blade (Toledo) and WOUB Public Media in Athens.
>> MORE: Tons of summer fun ideas close to home