6 Easy Day Trips from Columbus, Ohio that are Perfect for Families

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Plan an easy day trip from one of these 6 road trip ideas that are one hour or less from Columbus and great for families!

Even though there is so much to do in Columbus, sometimes we need a little change of scenery! I love when we discover a cute little downtown area, an amazing park or a great museum that is just outside of Columbus! It’s like being on vacation, even though you’re just a short drive away!

Archway in Hartman Rock Garden in Springfield, Ohio

Hartman Rock Garden in Springfield, Ohio

I’ve put together this list of easy road trips from Columbus, Ohio that are great for families. These are all trips you can do in a day.

The criteria for this list is that they are a one hour or less drive from downtown Columbus! So if you’re looking to break up the weekday routine or want a weekend getaway, pick one of these nearby cities and go exploring!

Easy Day Trips from Columbus for Families

Ohio has so much to explore! Central Ohio is in the middle of all of it and I’m so happy we can take mini vacations to some pretty cool places! I hope you are inspired to plan a day trip to one of these places with your kids! Tag me in your pictures on Instagram @whatshouldwedotoday_cbus !

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6 Easy Day Trips from Columbus, Ohio for Families


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5 Fun Things to do with Kids in Bellefontaine, Ohio

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Just one hour from downtown Columbus, Bellefontaine, Ohio provides a fun, family-friendly way to spend the day!

Thanks to Logan County Visitors Bureau for partnering with us on this post.

I love discovering new (to me) towns that are easy day trips from Columbus! I am always happy to end up pleasantly surprised by the places we find within an hour’s drive! One of those happy discoveries happened this fall when we were invited by the Logan County Visitor’s Bureau to visit Bellefontaine, Ohio – just a tad less than an hour from downtown Columbus!

Downtown Bellefontaine, Ohio

My family spent the day exploring the area including mini golf, pizza, and, of course, coffee! 😉 Plus we found one of the most adorable and inspiring toy stores I have ever been in! Set aside a day for a trip from Columbus to Bellefontaine and enjoy what this cute town has to offer!

buildings in downtown Bellefontaine, Ohio

child in downtown Bellefontaine, Ohio

5 Family Friendly Things to do in Bellefontaine, Ohio:

1. Logan County History Center

  • 521 E Columbus Avenue, Bellefontaine, Ohio 43311, 937-593-7557

Our first stop in Bellefontaine was the Logan County History Center. Housed in an impressive mansion, the museum was filled with a surprising amount of displays and things to see!

Logan County Museum in Bellefontaine, Ohio

Honda opened in Marysville in 1979 and opened another plant in Logan County in 1997. The Logan County History Center, in conjunction with Honda, celebrated 40 years of Honda with an ongoing display of cars, car parts and history. The display includes donations from the International Friendship Center, an organization created to support families moving to Ohio from other countries to work with Honda. The display includes many Japanese items.

Transportation Museum in Bellefontaine, Ohio

The Logan County Transportation Museum was added in 2014 and includes examples of transportation throughout history from Conestoga to railroads to planes. My kids enjoyed seeing the many vehicles on display!

plane on display in the Transportation Museum in Bellefontaine, Ohio

The museum is filled with rooms that rotate displays. Some of the displays we enjoyed were communication devices through the years, the civil war and old toys! (And by old I mean the 80’s and 90’s haha). There really is a lot to see here! It would be a definite stop for kids who love vehicles!

child inside the Logan County History Center


2. The Fun Company

  • 136 S Main St., Bellefontaine, Ohio 43311, 937-599-2993 

Inside The Fun Company toy store in Bellefontaine, Ohio

I’m still thinking about how magical this toy store is. What an amazing hidden gem just outside of Columbus! I loved how The Fun Company had little nooks and crannies for playing and reading. 

two boys inside The Fun Company in Bellefontaine, Ohio

Toys were out on display for kids to test out. The colors and decor in the store made it absolutely dreamy. Can I move in? My kids loved it, I loved it, it was a highlight of the trip for sure!

reading area inside The Fun Company in Bellefontaine, Ohio

Books for sale at The Fun Company in Bellefontaine, Ohio


3. Six Hundred Downtown

  • 108 S Main St Bellefontaine, OH 43311, 937-599-6600 

Six Hundred Downtown, pizza restaurant in Bellefontaine, Ohio

We stopped for lunch at the restaurant Six Hundred Downtown. The restaurant is owned by Brittany Saxton who is a 5 time World Pizza Champion. I can’t say for sure what that is, but it sounds like major #goals! She has also competed on Guys Grocery Games on the Food Network!

pizza at six hundred downtown in Bellefontaine, Ohio

The name Six Hundred comes from the temperature at which you bake pizzas – 600 degrees. The atmosphere in the restaurant is classic and comforting. It was great for kids and it would also be great for a date night!

boy playing with dough at Six Hundred Downtown in Bellefontaine, Ohio

We had garlic knots as an appetizer and a pizza for our main course. The pizza was VERY good.  The restaurant offers a kid’s menu and some of the meals do include a drink. All kids meals are $4.50. The best part for my kids is that they bring pizza dough to the table for kids to play with while they wait!


4. Putt & Play Golf Center

  • 209 W Columbus Ave., Bellefontaine, Ohio 43311, 937-404-1330 

boys playing mini golf at Putt and Play in Bellefontaine, Ohio

In downtown Bellefontaine you will find a fun indoor activity center called Putt & Play Golf Center. Inside they have a golf simulator, a mini golf course, laser tag and a virtual reality booth. We chose to play a round of putt putt golf! Indoor mini golf courses are somewhat hard to find so this was a lot of fun on a cold day!

boy and dad playing mini golf in Bellefontaine, Ohio

This course was unique because of its train theme! The course was fun and not too challenging for the kids. My kids are still young enough to get frustrated by really complex mini golf courses, but this one was just right! 

trained theme mini golf at Putt and Play in Bellefontaine, Ohio

train themed mini golf at Putt and Play in Bellefontaine, Ohio

If you’re in the Northwest area of Columbus this might even work for a unique birthday party idea – especially if you’re having a train-themed party! There is a party room and Birthday Party Packages start at $12.99/person.


5. Sweet Aromas

  • 120 Court Ave., Bellefontaine, OH, 937-599-CAFE

kids at Sweet Aromas Coffee shop in downtown Bellefontaine, Ohio

We stumbled upon Sweet Aromas after we came out of the toy store! My husband and I got an afternoon pick-me-up in the form of caffeine! I’m always thrilled to find local coffee shops when we visit new cities. This one  had a large seating area, cute decor and fun gift items for sale! 

merchandise for sale at Sweet Aromas coffee shop in downtown Bellefontaine, ohio

Sweet Aromas, Six Hundred Downtown, Putt & Play and The Fun Company are all within walking distance in downtown Bellefontaine so any of these stops  would be great paired together!


6. Marie’s Candies

  • 311 Zanesfield Rd., West Liberty, OH 43357, 937-465-3061

Marie's Candies in West Liberty, Ohio

I’ve added a bonus stop to the list! It’s a bonus because it’s not in Bellefontaine so it requires and extra 10-15 minutes of driving to West Liberty, but it’s worth it! There are a lot of fun and unique candy items for sale here and everyone who comes into the store gets a free sample. They even let us sample other candies that were for sale behind the counter before we made our decisions!

inside Marie's Candies in West Liberty, Ohio

We picked up a Christmas gift, jelly beans for the boys and I got the most amazing maple cream candies! I’m thinking I need to drive back for some more ASAP!


Bottom line: Just an hour from Columbus, a day trip to Bellefontaine, Ohio with your kids will be filled with surprising finds, yummy treats and lots to explore! Put this one on your list!

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5 Fun Things to do with Kids in Bellefontaine, Ohio, Family Friendly Things to do in Bellefontaine, Ohio, Road Trip from Columbus, Ohio

 


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drive through light display in Hebron, Ohio

WonderLight’s Christmas in Ohio Glows with Over One Million LED Lights!

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WonderLight’s Christmas in Ohio’s drive through holiday light display is fueled by over one million synchronized LED lights and is sure to inspire awe and wonder this Christmas season!

Thank you to WonderLight’s Christmas in Ohio for sponsoring this post.

tall christmas tree at WonderLight's Christmas in Ohio

WonderLight’s Christmas in Ohio is a Drive Through Holiday Light Show that will Put Your Family in the Holiday Spirit!

Christmas has officially arrived in Ohio! WonderLight’s brand new drive through holiday light display has landed at National Trail Raceway in Hebron, Ohio, 30 miles east of downtown Columbus. This show is unlike any other light display in the Central Ohio area, featuring over 1 million LED lights that are synchronized to the music that plays through your car stereo.

LED tunnel at Christmas in Ohio drive through holiday light display

My family got to experience a sneak peek of this drive through light show the day before it opened and we were glued to our seats, trying to take it all in! The path for vehicles winds through exciting and beautiful displays of light and sound! The synchronized lights were quite impressive!

toy soldiers at WonderLight's Christmas in Ohio

Synchronized to modern and classic holiday songs, the lights dance and shine to the beat. There are even singing snowmen! My kids were singing along to Jingle Bells and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer! It was fun to guess what song was going to play next and my kids were always excited when they recognized it!

synchronized Christmas Tree at WonderLight's Christmas in Ohio

Some of our favorite parts were the tunnels that you drive through along the path. It was amazing to be surrounded by so many lights! My kids were leaning out the window and singing along!

tunnel to drive through at WonderLight's Christmas in Ohio

As you approach the Raceway, you will be able to see the show lighting up the area from a distance! The first thing you will probably notice is the 80-foot Christmas Tree! As we approached there were lots of oohs and ahhs – from the kids AND the adults!

synchronized drive through light display near columbus, Ohio

The show takes place every night beginning November 15, 2019 and running through January 5 2020. The show will go on, rain or shine! The drive-through path is about 2 miles long and the musical show lasts for 30 minutes before repeating itself. At the show you will be able to donate to the Salvation Army and other organizations that will be announced as the show goes on!

lights on the grounds at Christmas In Ohio

Tips for Visiting WonderLight’s Christmas in Ohio:

1. Visit on a Weeknight!

If at all possible, it is suggested that you visit on a weeknight! Crowds (and a longer wait time) is expected on weekends!

2. Tune In and Turn Off!

Be ready to turn ON your radio to 88.3 FM so you can hear the music. You need to have your radio station properly tuned in order to fully experience the synchronized show! You will also be asked to turn OFF your head lights to get the full effect of the show! 

drive through holiday light display in Hebron, Ohio

3. Pack a Snack!

We’ve learned this lesson the hard way a few times on longer drives! A few ideas include bringing a thermos of hot chocolate (but not dolling it out until you arrive!) or packing some cookies or popcorn to enjoy while watching the show! I packed a bag of home-popped popcorn for each person in our family and no one was allowed to eat it until they got to the show!

4. Get Cozy!

One of the great parts about this experience is that you don’t have to leave your car to enjoy it! So, even if it’s freezing, you can be warm and comfy in your car. However, I would recommend dressing warm because it is fun to roll down the windows to take pictures or video or just get closer to the experience! So pack some gloves or a warm blanket if you think you might want to roll the windows down!

lights at WonderLight's Christmas in Ohio

5. Save Money!

Want to save money? Do the math! The show costs $7/person, but kids 3 and under are free. Compare that to the price of a carload which is $30. Larger families can save money depending on the ages of their kids! Or plan to take a mini-van with your friends and pay just $30 for up to 7 people and save up to $19!

Know Before You Go:

Location: National Trail Raceway, 2650 National Road SW, Hebron, OH 43025

Dates: Nightly, November 15, 2019 through January 5 2020

Times: 5:30 PM to 10:00 PM  – Any cars still in line at time of closing will be permitted to enter and enjoy the show.

Price: $7.00 per person, children ages 3 & under are free! Carload Special: $30.00 for up to 7 passengers.

Tickets: Purchase tickets in advance at  www.christmasinohio.com/tickets or at the gate.

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