Just 45 minutes from Columbus, Yellow Springs, Ohio makes the perfect day trip with your family! There’s a little bit of something for everyone in the family: from food and shopping to animals and nature!
Yellow Springs gets a lot of attention every fall – and for good reason! In early September, the Tecumseh Land Trust blooms with sunflowers and our Instagram feeds bloom with pics! Pumpkins become available at Young’s Jersey Dairy and cooler weather brings hikers out of the woodwork to the local parks.
It’s easy to spend a day or two with your family in Yellow Springs. My family spent nearly an entire day at Young’s Jersey Dairy alone! So pick one or all of these things and plan your time accordingly! You’ll get a breath of fresh air in Yellow Springs!
3 Fun Things to do with Your Kids in Yellow Springs, Ohio:
1. Young’s Jersey Dairy
- 6880 Springfield-Xenia Rd., Yellow Springs, OH 45387
We were invited to visit Young’s Jersey Dairy this year and had a blast doing All. The. Activities! It would be easy to spend an entire day at Young’s Jersey Dairy but the great thing is that you can pick and choose your activities based on the time you have available! At the very least, stop in for an ice cream cone!
A lot of farm-related activities are only available during the fall, but Young’s Jersey Dairy is open in some shape or form throughout the whole year. Check the listing of hours for outdoor activities. Special events are scheduled throughout the year!
Activities available include batting cages, a fast slide, Cowvin’s Kiddie Corral, Moovers and Shakers barrel ride, two beautiful mini golf courses, a petting zoo, and pick your own pumpkins (in September and October).
Young’s is a working dairy farm and the ice cream and cheese are made at the farm. There are two restaurants at the farm, The Golden Jersey Inn and The Dairy Store. The Golden Jersey Inn features home-style country meals with full table service. The Dairy Store offers sandwiches, bakery items and ice cream! Don’t miss the famous fried cheese curds! We loved the Italian-seasoned curds!
Activities can be purchased separately or you can purchase a Family Fun Pass with either 3 or 5 tabs allowing each member of your family to choose which activities they would like to do!
2. Downtown Yellow Springs
Yellow Springs is Ohio’s own “hippy town” – I don’t know if that’s official or if I’m just making up that designation, but you’ll find a lot of alternative and off-the-beaten path shopping and dining. When we visited recently, the downtown was overtaken by a protesters speaking out for animal rights.
The age of your kids will probably determine how much exploring of the downtown area you are able to do! Yellow Springs has a small downtown area so it’s easy to walk the whole thing, even with kids or a stroller. Parking can be tricky so don’t be afraid to explore some of the side streets for parking.
Here are some of the highlights of our day in downtown Yellow Springs:
Super Fly Comics and Games
This was a fun shop for my boys! Lots to look at in terms of books, comic books, games, characters and toys!
Little Fairy Garden
This was a really cool store dedicated totally to building your own fairy garden. There is a super sweet room for parties and events!
Yellow Springs Toy Company
Two rooms packed full of toys, games and books kept my kids entertained! Lots of unique toy and gift items here!
My husband and I enjoyed this store full of unique items made by local artists.
The Corner Cone
Is this even my blog if I don’t include somewhere we ate ice cream? The Corner Cone is a great walk up spot for ice cream and treats. One of the great things about it is the large patio/courtyard they have for seating! There is no indoor seating but the outdoor seating is plentiful!
I offer this spot for meals with a little hesitation. It’s kid-friendly in terms of the atmosphere – it’s large inside, loud, and full of TV’s. But it’s more of a bar, so if that’s not your scene, then please read this as my disclaimer!
There are just a few restaurants downtown. Haha Pizza next door smelled amazing but had a super long wait (even though it was 2:00 PM) so we went with Peach’s. We’ve also had brunch at Sunrise Cafe with a baby in tow several years ago. That is a nice option, too. Be prepared for a wait at most restaurants here on the weekends!
3. Glen Helen Nature Preserve
- 405 Corry St., Yellow Springs, OH 45387
Glen Helen Nature Preserve is a nonprofit organization associated with Antioch College. There are several things to do and see within the preserve and there a few main trails to hike! We happened to visit on a relatively cool day and had a good time hiking in the park! Glen Helen is not a state park, therefore there is a $5 charge to park at the Corry St. entrance if you are planning to hike.
Things to do within Glen Helen Nature Preserve:
The Raptor Center was our first stop within the park! The center rehabilitates raptors (birds of prey not dinosaurs 😉 ) with the goal of releasing them into the wild. The center offers educational programs throughout the year and you can park at the center and walk the grounds to visit the birds that are housed there.
One note: you cannot park at the Raptor Center and proceed to hike in the park. To hike, you’ll need to park at the main entrance at 405 Corry St.
The Trailside Museum has hands-on activities, displays and exhibits to help kids learn about nature and what to expect within the Nature Preserve. Public programs are offered there and you can pick up a map for the park! The museum is accessible through the main entrance on Corry St.
Vernet Ecological Center
The Trailside Museum has a Nature Shop, restrooms and an auditorium. Nature-themed books, gifts and toys are available within the shop. This Center is accessible through the main entrance on Corry St.
We entered our hike at the main entrance and took the Inman Trail (which is pink on the map). Your hike here begins as a descent into the preserve. In this case, what goes down must eventually come up. Our goal was to hike to The Cascades and we made it without issue or complaint from the kids.
Pay close attention to the subtle turns and corners on the map. My only complaint is that there are no trail markers on the path. Even though the trails are named and intersections are numbered on the map, there are no signs or numbers within the park so you have to pay close attention to where you are on the map!
The Cascades made a nice turn around point for us, though there are many other points of interest within Glen Helen if you want to spend more time hiking!
- Looking for more to do near Yellow Springs? Check out: Ohio Road Trip: Springfield
Bonus: Tecumseh Land Trust
- 4633 US-68, Yellow Springs, OH 45387
I’m not including the Tecumseh Land Trust as a full blown item on the list because the sunflowers only bloom for about 2 weeks out of the year! The sunflowers typically bloom around the first week of September!
We visited Young’s Dairy and drove 1 mile down the road to check the field and there were no flowers in bloom. Exactly 3 weeks later we drove down to spend the day in Yellow Springs and the flowers were already dying. So we missed the peak but still managed a few fun photos!
What are your favorite things to do in Yellow Springs? Do you have a favorite restaurant that’s kid friendly?
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