These historic villages in Ohio teach us about Ohio’s history, how communities functioned in the past and allow us to experience living history first hand!
If you’re interested in Ohio history or want to give your kids a little appreciation for their modern conveniences, take a trip to one of these historic villages in Ohio. Step back in time to experience what life was like in one of these small towns and interact with villagers who can teach you all about life in early Ohio!
There are a lot of hidden gems in Ohio and these 3 historical villages in Ohio are no exception! Pick one to explore this year!
1. Ohio Village
- Location: Columbus, Ohio
- Address: 800 E 17th Ave., Columbus, OH 43211
Ohio Village is part of the Ohio History Connection and is adjacent to the Ohio History Center in Columbus. This village is a recreation of what life was like in Ohio in the 1800’s. Each year the village progresses into the next year. In 2023, the village represents life in the 1890’s.
Things to do at Ohio Village
This small Ohio town features a walkable gravel road taking you to various buildings and businesses you would expect in a 19th century village: a church, one room schoolhouse, a hotel, a bicycle shop, a funeral parlor, mercantile, toy shop and more!
You can also enter houses belonging to local villagers to see how daily life was lived and interact with actors who can tell you what life was like in the 1890’s and what they needed to do each day in order to make life work.
Ohio Village Events
Some of our favorite events in Columbus to attend are Ohio Village events! These annual events are looked forward to by many! Events take place throughout the year. Here are a couple of the most popular events at Ohio Village:
All Hallows’ Eve
This annual event takes place in October and features a celebration of 1890’s Halloween traditions. You can attend a retelling of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by a bonfire (including a glimpse of the Headless Horseman!), enjoy pumpkin carving, a masquerade party, fortune telling, games and more!
Dickens of a Christmas
Dickens of a Christmas is a popular event at Ohio Village that features Christmastime in the age of Charles Dickens. Attend the tree lighting (back when lights were a new thing!), do holiday crafts, take a horse and carriage ride and more! You can interact with the characters from A Christmas Carol or attend a Dickens Christmas Dinner or Brunch!
Ohio Village Muffins
Did you know that Ohio Village has its own base ball team? (Yes, baseball was two words back then.) The Ohio Village Muffins play baseball by the rules that existed in 1860. Players dress in uniforms from the time period and games are played throughout the seasons against other base ball teams from all over Ohio and beyond!
When is Ohio Village Open?
Ohio Village is open weekends only in April and May. Beginning Memorial Day Weekend through October, they are open and Wednesday through Sunday. Opening and closing dates may change depending on the year, so make sure to check their website before planning your visit!
How much does it cost to visit Ohio Village?
Admission to Ohio Village is included with admission to Ohio History Center. 2023 admission is as follows:
- $14/age 60+ or college student with ID
- $10/ages 4–12
- Free/age 3 & under
- Free for Ohio History Connection members
2. Historic Zoar Village
- Location: Zoar, Ohio
- Address: 198 Main St., Zoar, OH, 44697
Zoar Village was a communal society settled in 1817 by German dissenters looking for religious freedom. The village was founded on the idea that all members would work together to provide meals, clothing and daily needs for each other. Each member (including young children) had their own role to play in the community.
This historical village in Ohio lasted until 1898 when it splintered due to various outside factors including the influence of the Civil War.
Things to do in Zoar Village
This historical village is different in the sense that it is part of the larger town. Cars drive through Zoar Village just like they would any other small Ohio town. You are able to walk through the village on your own, or you can take a guided tour.
A good place to start is the Zoar Store. Then make your way to the Town Hall where there is a museum featuring artifacts from the village.
Visiting the #1 House is a must! There are two floors of artifacts and educational descriptions that tell you how the communal village functioned. There is also a very helpful exhibit explaining The Separatist Principles that guided the community.
Behind #1 House is the Kitchen. Kids can get an eye opening view of what life was like before washing machines and dryers! Your kids can learn about how children as young as they are contributed to the society through various chores.
Head from #1 House to the Bakery, passing by or through the Zoar Gardens! They are beautiful! At the Bakery, you can learn how this one bakery provided bread each day for the entire community!
Zoar Ohio Events
Historic Zoar Village is host to many events throughout the year including events for homeschoolers and events focused on the Civil War. Here are a couple of highlights:
Zoar Antiques Show
This event at Zoar Village takes place on a weekend in July and features historic demonstrators, artisans, vendors and antique dealers.
Christmas in Zoar
Visit the village decorated for the holidays! There is a tree lighting ceremony, vendors, musical entertainment, wagon rides, historical demonstrations, a church service and more!
When is Zoar Village Open?
Historic Zoar Village is open for tours on the weekends in April, May and October. Tours are available Wednesday through Sunday in June through September. Zoar Village is closed November through March.
The Zoar Store is closed in January and February and Open Wednesday through Sunday from March through December. Check the website for exact hours before visiting.
How much does it cost to visit Zoar Village?
Admission to Zoar Village is free, but there is a cost for guided tours. Tours are included with membership to Ohio History Center. 2023 tour admission is as follows:
- $10/Adult and older children
- $5/ages 5-7
- Free/under age 5
- Free for Ohio History Connection members
3. Schoenbrunn Village
- Location: New Philadelphia, Ohio
- Address: 1984 E High Avenue, New Philadelphia, OH 44663
Schoenbrunn Village is a restored village dating back to 1772. It was settled by Moravian missionaries (namely David Zeisberger) and is considered Ohio’s first Christian settlement.
Things to do in Schoenbrunn Village
When you visit Schoenbrunn Village, you can visit the restored schoolhouse, several model cabins, the church, and cemetery. Make sure to also save time for exploring the Visitor’s Center which offers more history and artifacts.
Actors portray members of the village and are able to give lots of information about life in the settlement which valued equality among genders and races. You can take a guided or self-guided tour.
Schoenbrunn was also home to the first schoolhouse and first church in Ohio! A lot of Ohio history started right here in this village in Tuscarawas County. The village lasted for around 5 years and it’s story is told in the outdoor drama Trumpet in the Land. (You can read more about that in my post featuring things to do in Tuscarawas County.)
Schoenbrunn Village Events
There are several events that take place at Ohio’s oldest historical village! Here are some highlights:
The Schoenbrunn Village Colonial Trade Fair
This annual event takes place in October on the grounds of Schoenbrunn Village and features vendors in period clothing. The vendors sell goods that are authentic to the time period of the late 1700’s.
Re-enactors play music and offer historical demonstrations of things like weaving, cooking and muskets. There are games, activities and more!
Spring and Autumn Lantern Tours
In the fall and spring, Historic Schoenbrunn Village opens on specific evenings for lantern tours featuring storytellers, luminary lined paths, historical re-enactors, refreshments and more!
When is Schoenbrunn Village Open?
Schoenbrunn Village is open Tuesday through Sunday Memorial Day through Labor Day. During September and October, the village is open weekends only. Schoenbrunn Village is closed November through mid-May. Make sure to check the website for exact hours before you visit!
How much does it cost to visit Schoenbrunn Village?
2023 admission is as follows:
- $4/ages 7–17
- Free/age 6 & under
- Free for Ohio History Connection Members
There are a lot of fun things to do with kids in Ohio! I hope you are inspired to take a day trip to one of these historical villages in Ohio to learn about Ohio’s fascinating history!
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