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16 Fun Things to do in Wooster, Ohio

Plan a trip to Wooster, Ohio for unique shopping, an exciting local food scene and beautiful outdoor recreation!

The city of Wooster, Ohio is a cute, small town in northeast Ohio that just so happens to be my hometown! I lived there for my entire childhood and for several years on and off after college.

If you’re looking for a picturesque Hallmark-like downtown in Ohio, Wooster fits the bill, especially at Christmastime. I have fond memories of driving through downtown Wooster on Christmas Eve with snow coming down and the holiday decorations lit on the lampposts and the Christmas Tree on the Square.

When you grow up somewhere, it’s easy to overlook all of the fun things there are to do in your hometown. But, I’ve become a professional tourist in my current city of Columbus, Ohio, so to speak, so when I return to Wooster, I make sure to visit new places I haven’t been before .

Two boys standing in front of the Wayne County Courthouse in downtown Wooster.

This list includes some classic Wooster, Ohio destinations as well as some new kids on the block. Wooster has done a great job of investing in their downtown. The city has become a hot spot for new restaurants! Bookmark this post and keep checking back because as we continue to explore, new attractions in Wooster will be added!

Liberty Street in downtown Wooster, Ohio.

Fun Things to Eat, See and Do in Wooster, Ohio:

We’ll start out with some of my favorite things to do in Wooster and then branch out beyond the city limits! There are some definite must-do activities in surrounding Wayne County that are worth checking out if you are visiting!

1. Secrest Arboretum

  • Address: 2122 Williams Rd, Wooster, OH 44691
  • Website

One of my favorite places to visit in Wooster, Ohio is Secrest Arboretum. Secrest Arboretum is part of the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center and ATI, which is part of The Ohio State University.

This place holds a lot of memories because I went to prom here, I got engaged in the Rose Garden (which sadly no longer exists) and several of my family members were married here!

A waterfall and small pond at Secrest Arboretum in Wooster, Ohio.

Secrest Arboretum has a great place area for kids that includes a steep slide that kids can go down on a burlap sack. There are also turtle statues to climb on and fun tunnels to run through.

Make sure to walk around this beautiful and free arboretum in Ohio, because there is so much to see here, including manicured gardens, walking paths, flowers of different types and a different species of trees. 

Tall slide at the OARDC Secrest Arboretum.

2. Hartzler Family Dairy

  • Address: 5454 Cleveland Rd, Wooster, OH 44691
  • Website

Hartzler’s Dairy is a definite stop if you’re in the mood for locally made ice cream. They also have a wide variety of cheeses made from their own milk.

An ice cream cone at Hartzler Family. Dairy in Wooster.

Hartzler‘s Dairy is a local dairy that sells milk in glass bottles. The ice cream is very creamy and they also sell soft serve custard. When we visited in 2023, I got the Ditch Tea Delight which is a mint flavored ice cream with chocolate swirl and cookie pieces.

Ditch Tea is a name for a fresh iced tea commonly made by the Amish from mint leaves. Mint leaves are quite prolific and can take over your yard, or ditch, as the case may be. I’ve also seen it called Meadow Tea, which might paint a prettier picture in your mind.

A glass bottle of Vanilla Milk in front of Hartzler's Dairy in Wooster, Ohio.

They also sell flavored milk! The flavor options were vanilla, orange, raspberry, and chocolate. I got the Vanilla and took it home to drink later. It tasted exactly like I was drinking, melted ice cream and I added it to a couple shots of espresso for a delicious vanilla latte!

This is a great thing to do with your kids in Wooster because, not only do they have great ice cream, but they also have a playground on site! Pick up a treat and relax outside while the kids play!

3. Sure House Coffee Roasting Co.

  • Address: 151 S Market St, Wooster, OH 44691
  • Website

Sure House Coffee is a place that we go almost every time we are in Wooster. It’s a modern coffeehouse in downtown Wooster with a great ambience and tons of flavored syrups for your drinks.

A latte from Sure House Coffee Roasters in Downtown Wooster.

Sure House also has a selection of baked goods including delicious cronuts. There is a decent amount of seating if you want to have a coffee date or do a little bit of work on your laptop.

4. Books In Stock

  • Address: 140 E Liberty St, Wooster, OH 44691
  • Website

Books In Stock is a used bookstore in downtown Wooster that features two floors of books to peruse. You can find almost anything you’re looking for at this wonderful bookstore that has been in Wooster for over 30 years.

Rows of books at Books in Stock.

Make sure you don’t miss the children’s section upstairs! We recently visited Books In Stock when we were in Wooster for an stopover on our way to a couple days vacation. My son forgot to bring a book to read, which he does every night before falling asleep! Crisis averted by stopping into Books In Stock and picking up a used copy of Diary of a Wimpy Kid!

The children's section at Books In Stock in Wooster, Ohio.

Books In Stock also buys books, if you have some to unload! You can trade them in for credit or sell them to the shop. Check out the website (above) for all the details.

5. Christmas Run Park

  • Address: Park Ave, Wooster, OH 44691
  • Website

One of the best parks in Wooster for kids to play at is Christmas Run Park. When I was a kid, this park was a wooden castle and when it was built it was so exciting for us kids! Christmas Run Park was remodeled in 2016 and the wooden structure was replaced with a lot of fun elements.

A play structure in Christmas Run Park in Wooster, Ohio.

There are several picnic pavilions, an ADA accessible walking path, swimming pool, basketball courts and much more! Christmas Run Park has always been famous for its creek where I grew up trying to catch crawdads and local kids are still doing the same many years later!

The playground at Christmas Run Park in Wooster.

6. Wayne County Public Library

  • Main Library Address: 220 W Liberty St, Wooster, OH 44691
  • Website

When you visit downtown Wooster, make sure to stop in at the Wooster Main Library, part of the Wayne County Public Library. It’s a beautiful library with a vibrant Children’s Area.

I worked at the library for a year in high school and every summer during college. But again, this is another Wooster institution that has been upgraded since I moved away! The new building was opened in 2007 and is now an anchor to the south side of downtown Wooster.

A statue called Charlotte - Southern Girl Reading in front of the Wayne County Public Library.

Please stop and pay a visit to the statue in front, “Charlotte — Southern Girl Reading,” honoring one of my best friends (gone too soon), Mary Ann Chupp, a long time library employee.

7. Local Roots Market & Cafe

  • Address: 140 S Walnut St, Wooster, OH 44691
  • Website

Another local shop I almost always visit when we come back to Wooster is Local Roots Market & Cafe. Local Roots is a co-op that offers locally grown produce, baked goods, local meat and other sustainable products. You don’t need to be a member of the co-op to shop there.

Local Roots Cafe and Market in downtown Wooster, Ohio.

They also have a cafe serving a lunch menu and in the back of the shop there is a coffee shop, called Boo Bear’s Brew. There is a small seating area in the front of the store where you can enjoy your meal.

Vendor area at Local Roots in Wooster.

Don’t miss the annex area that is filled with handmade goods by local artisans. That area is one of the best parts of shopping at Local Roots!

8. The College of Wooster

  • Address: 1189 Beall Ave, Wooster, OH 44691
  • Website

The College of Wooster is a beautiful campus to explore on foot. Highlights for me are McGaw Chapel (which you used to be able to climb to the top of when I was in high school) and the picturesque Kauke Hall, probably the most recognized building on campus.

Kauke Hall at the College of Wooster.

Look for shows at Freedlander Theatre, home of the Ohio Light Opera, which has been performing for over 40 seasons! I’ll embarrass myself by sharing that, having grown up hearing “Ohio Light Opera” as a small chid, I firmly believed the operas involved a light show until I was a teenager. Alas, they do not. LOL

A bench and statue at The College of Wooster.

9. E&H Ace Hardware

  • Address: 115 S Market St, Wooster, OH 44691
  • Website

This building has a long history in downtown Wooster. I grew up when it was the William Annat Company, commonly called Annats. It’s where you went to get an Easter dress or a new pair of shoes. Then it became the Rubbermaid Store back when Rubbermaid was headquartered in Wooster.

A boy walking into Ace Hardware in the old Annats building in downtown Wooster.

It was sad to see the Rubbermaid Store go because it was such a destination in downtown Wooster, but we decided to stop into the new E&H Ace Hardware Store recently and I was impressed. There are 3 floors of shopping, including a small play area for kids!

A boy in the children's play area at Ace Hardware in Wooster.

I was glad we stopped in and I am happy to see this building being put to good use!

10. Mariola Italian

  • Address: 365 E Liberty St #100, Wooster, OH 44691
  • Website

If there is one person who has singlehandedly revolutionized the food scene in Wooster, Ohio, it’s Mike Mariola. A Wooster native (we went to high school together), Mike has started and maintained several Wooster restaurants.

Chicken parmesan at Mariola Italian in downtown Wooster, Ohio.

Starting with (the now closed) South Market Bistro (where my husband and I ate before getting engaged), and most recently Mariola Italian, Mike has created restaurants that have become destinations in Wooster. Make sure to also check out The City Square Steakhouse and The Rail (several locations in Ohio).

The bar area at Mariola Italian.

Mariola Italian is a beautiful restaurant with delicious Italian dishes that is quickly also becoming well known for its pizza!

11. Buckeye Agricultural Museum

  • Address: 877 West Old Lincoln Way, Wooster, OH 44691
  • Website

The Buckeye Agricultural Museum is an interesting place to visit in Wooster! Located across from the Wayne County Fairgrounds, this museum offers a lot to learn about the history of agriculture in Wooster and the state of Ohio!

Two boys standing in front of the Buckeye Agricultural Museum in Wooster, Ohio.

The museum displays lots of examples of how things are processed on farms including threshing, cheese making, tractors and other farm machinery. On display are many old fashioned tools that were used on farms throughout history.

There was also an area with a General Store where kids could interact. One of my kids’ favorite parts of the museum was the miniature model of the Stoller Family Farm in Orrville, Ohio.

Two boys learning how to use an old fashioned saw at Buckeye Agricultural Museum.

The museum is open the second Saturday every month from 10:00 AM-2:00 PM, during special community events, for field trips and by calling 330-317-9277.

12. Tulipan Pastry & Coffee Shop

  • Address: 122 S Market St, Wooster, OH 44691
  • Website

Tulipan is a Hungarian bakery and coffee shop in downtown Wooster that I have loved visiting over the years!

Outer facade of Tulipan Bakery in downtown Wooster, Ohio.

The shop was opened in 2004 by Elizabeth Lakatos who came to the US from Hungary in 1976. The bakery was taken over by a local couple when Elizabeth retired and they have continued to carry on the tradition of providing traditional Hungarian pastries, strudels, tea cakes and more!

A poppy seed roll from Tulipan Bakery in Wooster, Ohio.

The poppy seed roll has always been my go-to! They also have a good selection of coffee drinks and tea. The shop is so lovely and visiting always feels like a special experience!

Fun Things to do Near Wooster Ohio:

Wooster is the county seat of Wayne County, Ohio and you don’t have to drive too far outside of the city limits to find more fun destinatinos nearby! These options can be found within Wayne County and just a short drive from the city of Wooster.

13. Smucker Store and Café

  • Address: 333 Wadsworth Rd, Orrville, OH 44667
  • Website

If you’re in the Wooster area, you definitely have to visit the Smucker Store. There’s really nothing like it anywhere else. In fact, I think it’s one of his Ohio’s hidden gems. You can find pretty much any kind of jam, jelly, or preserve you can imagine here at this store.

A wall of jelly at the Smucker's Store in Orrville, Ohio.

The store features all things Smucker’s, including their family of brands like Dunkin’, Jif, Milk Bone, Folgers and more. There is also a small museum area inside the store where you can learn the history of Smuckers.

14. Putt-N-Stuff

  • Address: 134 S Kansas Rd, Orrville, OH 44667
  • Website

If you’re looking for something fun to do in Wooster, Ohio with kids, look no further than Putt-N-Stuff! it’s a great place to take kids to get out all of that excess energy!

The indoor play area at putt-n-stuff near Wooster, Ohio.

Putt-N-Stuff is located in Orrville, Ohio and features go-karts, batting cages, laser tag, mini golf, arcade games, an indoor playground and more!

This is a great spot for family-friendly fun just outside of Wooster! My kids have loved the go-karts and the indoor arcade games! We’ve also done a lot of mini golf here over the years!

A family playing mini-golf at Putt-n-stuff in Wayne County, Ohio.

15. Lehman’s Hardware

  • Address: 4779 Kidron Rd, Kidron, OH 44618
  • Website

Take a short trip to Kidron, Ohio and into Ohio’s amish country to find Lehman’s Hardware, a popular destination for both locals and visitors alike. This family-owned store offers a diverse selection of products, catering to the needs of homesteaders, DIY enthusiasts, and anyone seeking a taste of simpler times.

A row of straw hats at Lehman's Hardware in Kidron, Ohio.

Stepping into Lehman’s is like stepping back in time! From handcrafted Amish furniture to innovative non-electric products, Lehman’s Hardware offers a unique shopping experience for visitors! They also have a really great toy selection that my kids beg to visit!

Non electric goods for sale at Lehman's Hardware.

16. Toyrifix

  • Address: 885 W Main St, Smithville, OH 44677
  • Website

Just outside of Wooster, Ohio, in the town of Smithville, is a really fun toy store called Toyrifix! They have such a great selection of unique toys! You really need to stop by here if you’re looking for a gift that you won’t find anywhere else.

Inside Toyrifix toy store near Wooster, Ohio.

They have a wonderful selection of games, puzzles, Playmobil, LEGO, dress up options, trains, books and so much more!

Toyrifix is located in a small cluster of unique stores right next to The Barn Restaurant, which is another popular destination for those visiting Wayne County, Ohio!

I hope you enjoy finding some of the best things to do in Wooster, the county seat and heart of Wayne County, Ohio, and my hometown! Bookmark this post and come back when you’re ready to plan your visit!

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