Ohio Road Trip: Springfield

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Just 45 minutes from Columbus, Ohio, Springfield makes an easy day trip or a fun weekend trip for families!

Thanks to Greater Springfield Convention & Visitor’s Bureau for partnering with us on this post.

In mid-June my family took a trip to Springfield, Ohio to discover some new family-friendly activities and explore a city that was new to us! We were pleasantly surprised to find that Springfield is only 45 minutes from Columbus, which makes this trip an easy day trip or an overnight trip where you won’t spend a huge chunk of your time driving!

Here are 6 family-friendly activities in Springfield, Ohio plus where to eat and where to stay during your trip!

Family Friendly Activities in Springfield, Ohio

1. Champion City Guide and Supply

137 E Main St.

Coffee Cup at Champion City Guide and Supply

Champion City Guide and Supply is a combination of local victor’s bureau and shop for local goods. Its modern design makes you want to hang out and learn more about the Champion City. Springfield is called the Champion City as a reference to the Champion Farm Equipment brand once manufactured there. It’s a great first stop where you can pick up some info on the city and any t-shirts or locally made goods you may want to take home!

2. Hartman Rock Garden

1905 Russell Ave.

Hartman Rock Garden

Hartman Rock Garden

If you’re in Springfield, Hartman Rock Garden is a definite can’t miss! It’s smaller than I expected, but there’s still so much to see! There are carefully curated Biblical scenes, events in history, small villages and more! The garden began as a resident’s private work of art and it is set in the middle of a regular neighborhood.

Hartman Rock Garden

The garden is open from dawn to dusk, daily, and is free to enter. Donations are accepted at a donation box on the property.

3. Springfield Farmer’s Market

117 S. Fountain Ave.

Springfield Farmers Market

Springfield Farmers Market

The Springfield Farmers Market takes place in the open space adjacent to the Heritage Center in downtown Springfield. There are 35 vendors offering fresh flowers, produce, baked goods, coffee, tea, eggs, meat and more! . When we were there we grabbed an ice tea from Just Organic Tea, an egg sandwich from Whitters Wings. and finished off breakfast with a pastry from Blue Oven Bakery!

Egg sandwich outside Springfield Farmers Market

The market is open Saturdays, June through September from 9:00 AM – 12:30 PM

4. Springfield Museum of Art

107 Cliff Park Rd.

Outside of Springfield Museum of Art

Boys drawing on chalkboard at Springfield Museum of Art

The Springfield Museum of Art is a fun, kid-friendly spot. The museum houses a few permanent artists and a few changing exhibits as well. There is a kid’s art-lab that offers hands on, artistic activities for kids. When we were there, kids could cut and paste buttons and ribbons on a community art piece, draw their own masterpieces, complete portraits of famous people and trace art work that was on display in the museum using an overhead projector.

Boy working on artwork at Springfield Museum of Art

Admission is $5 for adults, children are free.

5. Snyder Park

1900 Park St.

Playground at Snyder Park in Springfield, Ohio

If you’re looking for a spot for the kids to get out some extra energy before bedtime or the car ride home, Snyder Park is a great playground and park area! Within the park you will find the Springfield Rotary Centennial Playground and Bethie’s Sprayground. Both the playground and sprayground are ADA compliant and accessible to all children!

Playground at Snyder Park in Springfield Ohio

6. Ohio Caverns

2210 E. State Route 245, West Liberty

Ohio Caverns

Ohio Caverns is about 40 minutes north of Springfield and 1 hour from Columbus. Ohio Caverns can be a day trip on it’s own! We headed to Ohio Caverns on Saturday afternoon after spending Friday night in Springfield and came home to Columbus from there.

Inside Ohio Caverns

Ohio Caverns is the largest of all the caves in Ohio. There are several tour options available to see the caverns. My family took the Natural Wonder Tour which took about an hour. Afterwards we did gem mining! The caverns are so fascinating! It is just amazing to me what is hidden below our sight that we may never know about!

Boys gem mining at Ohio Caverns

Where to Eat in Springfield, Ohio

1. Seasons Bistro and Grille

28 S. Limestone St.

Seasons Bistro and Grille in Springfield Ohio

Boy eating grilled cheese at Seasons Bistro in Springfield, Ohio

A mid to upscale dining option for families. There are kids meals available and dress is business casual.

2. Winans Coffee and Chocolates

32 N. Fountain Ave.

Inside Winans Coffee shop in Springfield, Ohio

Inside Winans Coffee Shop in Springfield, Ohio

A great stop for coffee and chocolates. There are Winans locations around Columbus, of course, but this has to be one of the coolest!

3. Mike and Rosy’s Deli

330 W. McCreight Ave.

Deli Counter at Mike & Rosy's Deli in Springfield, Ohio

Boy seated in booth at Mike and Rosy's Deli in Springfield, Ohio

An authentic mom and pop deli and sports bar. My kids loved all the sports memorabilia on the walls!

4. Snow Cove

117 S. Fountain Ave.

Boys eating ice cream at Snow Cove in Springfield, Ohio

If you’re looking for a cold, sweet treat to cap off an evening or to cool off on a hot afternoon, try out the Snow Cove, which is  in the same area as the weekly farmer’s market. Offerings include hand dipped ice cream and shaved ice!

Ice cream at Snow Cove in Springfield Ohio

Where to Stay in Springfield, Ohio

Courtyard Marriott Springfield

100 S. Fountain Ave.

Fountain outside Courtyard Marriott in Springfield, Ohio

My family was hosted at the Courtyard Marriot in Springfield. It was a great location! Many of the activities listed here are walkable from the hotel and it is directly across the street from the farmers market! There is an indoor pool and fitness center and a restaurant on site!

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Just 45 minutes from Columbus, Springfield, Ohio makes an easy day trip or overnight road trip! In this post you will find 6 family friendly things to do in Springfield, Ohio plus where to eat and sleep!

 

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Easterseals Recommended Accessible Parks, Playgrounds and Trails in Central Ohio and Surrounding Area

ICYMI: Easterseals Recommended Accessible Parks, Playgrounds and Trails in Central Ohio and Surrounding Area

 


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5 of the Best Things About Ohio

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These are 5 things we love about the great state of Ohio!

Thank you to Bob Evans for partnering with us on this post!

My husband, my kids and I were all born in Ohio! While my husband and I have lived in other cities and states, we both eventually moved back to Ohio and have come to love this state for all the great things it has to offer! Here are 5 of the best things about Ohio:

1. Lake Erie Has A Lot to Offer Ohioans

Boy on Lake Erie beach

I grew up in Northeast Ohio and took Lake Erie for granted for most of my life. But after having kids, my husband and I started searching for vacation spots that didn’t require flying or a long drive in the car. We were still craving being at the beach and by water, so we started to explore Lake Erie. We have vacationed at Lake Erie for the past three years now and we have made many treasured memories with our young kids. In just a 2 hour drive from Columbus you can enjoy beaches, lighthouses, boat rides, water skiing, fishing and fresh fish to eat!

2. In Ohio You Can Experience a Variety of Landscapes

Waterfall at Hayden Falls, Dublin, Ohio

If you’re not from Ohio, the variety in landscape within this great state might just surprise you! From the hills of Hocking Hills and Southern Ohio to the rolling cornfields of Amish Country to the beaches of Lake Erie to the skyscrapers of the major cities, no matter what your scene is, you can find it in Ohio. It doesn’t take too long to get from one view to the next! You can easily spend your summer weekends road tripping through Ohio and experience a wide variety of scenery!

3. Ohio is the Birthplace of So Many Amazing Restaurants

Buckeye Hotcakes at Bob Evans Restaurants

We enjoy and take full advantage of so many local restaurants! The Ohio food scene is growing and with Ohio’s agriculture, we are able to enjoy so many local, seasonal ingredients. Living in Columbus we also enjoy being a “test market” for new products before much of the rest of the country! While there are tons of local food options, it can be easy to forget that many large restaurant chains also had their start in Ohio!

Bob Evans himself started his own restaurant in Rio Grande, Ohio nearly 65 years ago! Bob Evans was a generous man who was fiercely proud of his home state of Ohio! In celebration of Ohio, Bob Evans Restaurants has added Bob Evans Buckeye Hotcakes to the menu for a limited time and is calling all Buckeyes to share their state pride on social media by posting a picture or video of whatever it is that makes them proud to be an Ohioan, using the hashtag: #TheOhioWay. Make sure to hop over to my Instagram page where I am hosting a giveaway! You could have a chance to win a $25 Bob Evans gift card!

4. Ohio Has a Vibrant Capital City

downtown skyline, Columbus, Ohio

If you already follow my blog then it’s no secret that we love Columbus! Columbus is the Midwest’s hidden gem, offering all of the amazing things about a large city, without a lot of the stressors of urban living. I lived in one of the top 5 largest cities in the US for 4 years and when I moved to Columbus I traded away the frustrations of parking, traffic jams, high crime and high costs of living while still enjoying all the benefits of a big city: theater, museums, job opportunities, a vibrant food scene and so much more! When it comes to things for kids and families to do, there is really no end in sight!

5. In Ohio You Experience All Four Seasons

fall trees at Inniswood Metro Park, Columbus, Ohio

I can’t believe I’m about to say this because I am not a huge fan of Winter: but what is it that makes Spring in Ohio so sweet? The fact that we survived the preceding Winter! And when it comes down to it, I am actually happy that we get to experience all four seasons in Ohio. As much as I like warmer weather and sunshine, I do love the beauty of fall, my kids love playing in the snow and I have been attempting to try to embrace each season and enjoy the rhythm that the changing seasons naturally builds into our lives.

We are proud to be Ohioans and these are just 5 of the things that make this state GREAT! What do you love about Ohio? Make sure to share your Ohio pride on social media using #TheOhioWay!

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Farmland in Ohio


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Top 10 Things to do with Kids in Columbus, Ohio

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Peach Picking Fun at Branstool Orchards

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This post was written in partnership with Branstool Orchards.

Peaches at the grocery store are hit or miss, am I right? Mostly miss, in my opinion. I’m always afraid to buy them because they usually disappoint. There is nothing like a sweet, juicy peach, but they are just hard to come by at your local grocery store.

Did you know you could pick your own peaches in Central Ohio? I’ll be honest, I did not. I figured peaches had to come on a truck from Georgia, therefore they were picked early with a makeshift calculation for landing on the shelf at peak ripeness. (Can you tell I’m a little bitter about grocery store peaches?)

Little did I know, amazing, juicy, sweet peaches are yours to be had less than an hour down the road from downtown Columbus (Ohio, not Columbus, GA 😉 )! Branstool Orchards is a beautiful spot off Route 62 in Utica, OH where you can pick your own peaches! (And not just peaches! Apples and pears are available, too!)

Picking your own peaches at Branstool Orchards is a relaxing and family-friendly experience. Kids are encouraged to take part, dogs are welcome, and there are picnic tables throughout the orchard where you can stop and have a snack or a picnic! Branstool Orchards wants your family to have a good time when you visit! They want it to be an outing where your whole family is relaxed and enjoying the process, not just the end result!

You can pick up a wagon (for either your kids or your peaches) and stroll through the orchard. I think most kids LOVE this kind of thing! It’s so good for them to make the connection about where their food comes from, and I think they enjoy it more when they know they’ve hand-picked what they’re eating.

I don’t know many kids you have to convince to eat a peach, but mine can be weird about eating a lot of things I personally think are delicious, so you never know. I do know that being able to pick the peaches and eat them out in the orchard made my kids 100% willing to eat them at home – something that is never a given!

You guys, it’s beautiful! It’s relaxing and unpretentious. Are there farms that are pretentious? I don’t know, but that just feels like a good way to describe the orchard!

Peach season is typically July through September. This year things came a little early at the orchard, so they are expecting just 2-3 more weeks of peach availability! Keep an eye on their Facebook page for updates on what peaches are currently available.

If you don’t have time to pick your own, no worries! Pre-picked peaches are available in the market.

Branstool Orchards handpicks their own peaches at the perfect point of ripeness and then employees hand sort them, picking out “seconds” that don’t meet their quality standards. We got to see this first hand, and you can too, as the workspace is visible from and attached to the market. Don’t worry, the “seconds” don’t go to waste, you can buy them at a reduced price for canning or jam!

Branstool Orchards is partnering with several local businesses: Columbus Brewing Company is using Branstool peaches for a peach beer! If you head down the road to Velvet Ice Cream Factory, you can get a peach sundae made from Branstool peaches!  Urban Spreads uses Branstool peaches in their jam, sold at the market! So many amazing ways to eat (or drink) a peach!

Another great thing about the produce grown at Branstool Orchards is their chemical-free initiatives. Over the past several years they have been reducing their use of chemical pesticides by using mating disruption and companion planting. You can read more about that here. They also polish their apples instead of using the wax you will find on your grocery store apples which is another bonus!

With the exception of just a few items, everything in the farm market is from Ohio. The produce that is not peaches, apples or pears is from local Amish farms, provided for your one-stop convenience, and (just so you know) there are also two options for cobbler topping available for purchase! 😉

If you can’t make it out for peaches, Apples will be available to pick until November! You can see the approximate ripening dates here and make a plan for this fall!

I hope you and your kids can carve out a day for peach picking before the season ends!

Know Before You Go:

Website: Branstool Orchards
Address: 5895 Johnstown-Utica Rd NE, Utica, OH 43080
Phone: 740-892-3989
Hours: Monday – Saturday: 9:00 AM-6:00PM, Sunday: 10:00 AM-5:00 PM

  • It is recommended that you allow at least 1 hour for U-Pick.
  • U-Pick peaches are $1.50/lb.
  • There is a $10 minimum for peach-picking.
  • Boxes are provided for picking.

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