Tuscarawas County, Ohio is part Amish Country, part Appalachia and full of unique destinations for families to explore!
This post was written in partnership with Ohio. Find It Here. and the Governor’s Office of Appalachia.
Tuscarawas County is around 120 miles northeast of Columbus. A trip to this area will transport you to the edge of the Appalachian Mountains, into Amish Country and to the home of some of Ohio’s earliest history.
Our visit was filled with a wide variety of activities ranging from exploring some of Ohio’s oldest religious settlements to learning about the role that railroads and the Ohio & Erie Canal have played in this area of the state. We also ate good food, played some mini golf and saw a landmark straight out of the Guinness Book of World Records!
Read on to find out how many fun things there are to do in Tuscarawas County, Ohio!
Family Friendly Things to do in Tuscarawas County
1. Schoenbrunn Village
- Address: 1984 East High Avenue, New Philadelphia, OH 44663
- Admission: Adults: $7.00, Seniors: $5.00 Children (7–17): $4.00
Children 6 & Under: free, Ohio History Center Members: free
Schoenbrunn Village is a restored village dating back to 1772. It was settled by Moravian missionaries and is considered the first Christian settlement in Ohio!
Schoenbrunn also home to the first schoolhouse and first church in Ohio! A lot of Ohio history started right here in Tuscarawas County. The village lasted for around 5 years and it’s story is told in the outdoor drama Trumpet in the Land (see below).
When you visit Schoenbrunn Village, you can step inside the restored schoolhouse, several model cabins, the church, and cemetery. There is also a Visitor’s Center with 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.
2. Age of Steam Roundhouse
- Address: 213 Smokey Lane Rd. SW, Sugarcreek, OH 44681
- Admission: Adults: $20, Seniors (65+) & Veterans: $17, Youth (3 – 16): $12, Under 3: free
It’s hard to overestimate the “wow” factor at Age of Steam Roundhouse!
Founder Jerry Jacobson built this working roundhouse to store and preserve his collection of steam engines. His foundation continues to acquire, maintain and preserve the largest private collection of steam locomotives in the world!
The collection is impressive, to say the least, and meticulously maintained! Not only can you view the steam engines, but there are also many tools and railroad collectible items on display.
You need advance tickets to view the collection. Public tours are offered April through November and take place on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. During the summer, special family tours are offered which are geared towards younger children and last 45 minutes instead of 1.5 hours.
We were amazed by this collection of steam engines. The boys had fun picking out the one that looks most like the Polar Express! Any kid who is a Thomas the Tank Engine fan will be really excited about the turntable in the roundhouse yard!
Keep an eye out for Felix the Roundhouse Cat who lives in the roundhouse and has his own Instagram following @aosfelix
3. Cabin Creek Golf
- Address: 1361 County Road 108, Sugarcreek, OH 44681
- Admission: varies according to activity
Cabin Creek Golf has two miniature golf courses. They feature interesting course obstacles like loops, mazes, water features and they both even have a hole that requires you to tee off and hit the ball across the grass! I have definitely never seen that before at a mini golf course!
Cabin Creek Golf is also home to a driving range, sand volleyball, batting cages and a playground. It makes for a great stop if the kids need a break in between more structured activities! As a bonus (if you ask my kids) they also sell slushies!
4. World’s Largest Cuckoo Clock
- Address: 100 N. Broadway, Sugarcreek, OH 44681
- Admission: free
Did you know that Sugarcreek, Ohio is nicknamed “Little Switzerland”? If you’d like to take a trip to somewhere in Ohio that almost feels like a different county, take a trip to Sugarcreek! The buildings downtown look like Swiss chalets and Sugarcreek is home to the World’s Largest Cuckoo Clock!
The clock will chime on the hour and half hour and it’s definitely worth timing your visit to see it work its magic!
We were able to easily find parking on the street, but there is also a lot directly across the street from the cuckoo clock. There are a couple of benches around so you can sit and enjoy the scenery while you wait for it to chime. Chime isn’t exactly the right word! It’s more like perform!
The clock’s “performance” lasts for two minutes and involves dancers and a 5-man polka band! I have been wanting to make a trip to see this unique landmark, which was featured on the cover of the Guinness Book of World Records in 1977, for a while now, and I was not disappointed! In fact, the whole town of Sugarcreek was a gem!
While you’re in Sugarcreek, make sure to walk around and visit the local businesses and check out the Brick Wall Sculpture depicting the history of Sugarcreek and surrounding towns. This wall borders the parking lot across from the cuckoo clock.
5. Trumpet in the Land
- Address: 1600 Trumpet Dr. NE, New Philadelphia, OH 44663
- Admission: Adults $20.00, Seniors 60 and over: $18, Students age 13-17: $18, Children ages 3-12: $10
After a visit to Schoenbrunn Village, you may be interested in learning more about this early Ohio settlement. In that case, make sure to see Trumpet in the Land, an outdoor drama that tells the story of the pacifist missionaries that settled Schoenbrunn and how they were affected by the Revolutionary War.
The drama is around 2 hours long and takes place completely outside, so make sure to dress appropriately. We brought blankets along (and used them)! This play does include acts of violence so use your best judgement when considering attending with your own children.
6. Dennison Railroad Depot Museum
- Address: 400 Center St., Dennison, Ohio 44621
- Admission: Adults: $8.00, Seniors: $6.00 Children (7–17): $4.00, Children 6 & Under: free
The Dennison Railroad Depot is a National Historic Landmark and it is home to a museum and the Over the Rail Diner (see below). All four of us enjoyed our visit to the museum and were completely impressed by how much there was to see and do inside! My kids declared this one of their favorite stops on the trip!
Kids will enjoy taking part in Bing’s Scavenger Hunt. Bing was a local dog who played a role in World War I. Keep an eye out for his picture throughout the museum which accompanies special, hands-on activities that kids can do while they visit!
The museum consists of space inside the depot plus 4 train cars worth of historical artifacts that describe the role the Dennison Depot has played throughout history. One of the cars is just for kids with a bunk they can climb into, a replica dining car, a telegraph machine and (my kids’ personal favorite) an area where they can shovel coal into the train engine!
Another one of my kids’ favorite parts of the museum was the Model Train Room where they could make trains run through a 1940’s model of Dennison! They even had binoculars for the kids so they could stand on the landing and look down into the model from above!
Families who want to take the railroad experience to the next level can make a reservation to sleep in The Pullman Bed and Breakfast! This fully remodeled train car can sleep up to 15 people!
Downtown Dennison is in the midst of a great revitalization project of which the Dennison Depot is at the heart! If you have train lovers in the family they will truly enjoy a visit here! The history of the railroad is really at the heart of this town!
Something to keep in mind: the Dennison Depot hosts an authentic Polar Express Event at the holidays featuring a vintage train ride, snacks, activities and visit with Santa! Tickets are already on sale!
7. Historic Zoar Village
- Address: 198 Main St., Zoar, OH, 44697
- Admission: Visiting the village is free, but guided tours are available. Pricing for tours is: Adults: $10, Children (ages 5-7): $5, Under 5: free, Ohio History Center Members: free
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 had their own job and role to play in the community.
The village lasted until 1898 when it splintered due to various outside factors, not the least of which was the Civil War.
As you walk through Zoar, a good plan is to begin at the Zoar Store and 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 and explain The Separatist Principles that guided the community.
Behind #1 House is the Kitchen. My kids got an eye opening view of what life was like before washing machines and dryers! They learned how kids as young as they are contributed to the society through various chores.
Next, make your way from #1 House to the Bakery, passing by or through the Zoar Gardens! They are beautiful! At the Bakery, you can learn how bread was provided each day for the entire community!
These are some of the main stops at Zoar Village, and others may be open when you visit, depending on staffing!
8. Ohio and Erie Canalway Towpath
- Address: Canal Lands Park, 8645 Dover Rd. NE, Dover, OH, 44622
The Ohio & Erie Canalway Towpath Trail is an 87-mile trail that follows the path of the Ohio & Erie Canal. You can enter the trail at Canal Lands Park in Dover for beautiful scenery and a hike along the Tuscarawas River.
Where to Eat in Tuscarawas County
1. Miller’s Creamery
- Address: 211 W. 3rd Street Dover, OH, 44622
Miller’s Creamery is a fun lunch or dessert spot with a modern diner feel! All of us got hamburgers and they were so good! My kids loved the “fluffy” buns! Don’t eat at Miller’s Creamery without saving room for dessert!
Miller’s Creamery makes homemade sherbet and their own vanilla soft serve! We tried out some of their hand-dipped ice cream flavors and some extreme desserts like Ice Cream Nachos and Puffles. A Puffle (pictured below) is a waffle with round puffs of dough, topped with ice cream and your favorite toppings! Yum!
2. Uncle Primo’s
- Address: 435 Minnich Ave. NW, New Philadelphia, OH 44663
- Reservations highly recommended, especially on Fridays and Saturdays
Dinner at Uncle Primo’s was a real treat! The atmosphere is cozy and the food is delicious! The restaurant was hopping on a Tuesday night, an obvious favorite among the locals! I’ve already encouraged my parents to make the trip for dinner!
A really unique thing about the restaurant is that it was originally a house that was raised so that the original first floor is now the second floor and a new first floor was constructed! When you dine in, make sure to check out the photos around the restaurant to learn more about its history!
3. Over the Rail Diner
- Address: 400 Center St., Dennison, OH 44621
If you’re visiting Dennison Railroad Depot Museum, make sure to plan your trip to coincide with a meal at Over the Rail Diner! Kids who love trains will love to eat inside this authentic train depot! Our family enjoyed a great breakfast before touring the museum!
4. Sublime Smoke Fine BBQ
- Address: 110 Water St. SE, Bolivar, OH 44612
The owner of Sublime Smoke Fine BBQ got his restaurant start with a food truck in Central Ohio which was fun for us to learn! The outdoor smoker at the restaurant adds the feel of a food truck while inside, the decor of a trendy bar completes the dining experience!
We enjoyed sitting on their large outdoor patio and licking the BBQ sauce from our fingers! I definitely recommend the brisket AND adding the mac and cheese to your meal!
Where to Stay in Tuscarawas County
Comfort Inn and Suites
- Address: 1120 Gateway Place, Dover, OH 44622
We had a good stay at Comfort Inn and Suites in Dover. It was a central location, a clean hotel and they have free breakfast, which is always a plus!
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