- Family and Parenting
Kid-friendly things to do in Findlay, Ohio
Findlay, Ohio hasn't been named a Top 100 Place to raise a kid for nothing! No matter what time of year it is, there is always a lot to do.
Let's start with the cornerstone of any kid-friendly community....it's playgrounds. The city has numerous playgrounds for different age groups. Fort Findlay is the most all-encompassing. Located at the end of South Blanchard Street, it is a giant wooden fort that can keep kids occupied for hours. Check the city's website for a complete list of the city's playgrounds. For the most part they are well maintained.
Hancock County Parks and Recreation have a number of parks and scheduled activities to keep your kids busy. For example, Litzenberg Memorial Woods has various educational programs across the year...including living history demonstrations like maple sugaring. My kids couldn't believe how much grinding it took to get the syrup into sugar. Every other Monday, there's a nature program for preschoolers at Oakwoods Discovery Center. These aren't the best, but my youngest liked doing the craft after the educational part. During the winter you can rent cross country skis and set out on the trails at Riverbend Recreation Area. The kids could have kept going for hours, but it's a little pricey, so we went for only an hour. In the summer months, you can rent paddle boats or go swimming in the municipal pools at Riverside Park. For a complete listing of what's going on in the parks, check out the Hancock Parks website.
A favorite with my kids is the Mazza Museum. It's tucked away on the University of Findlay campus off Main Street and it's a museum dedicated to the illustrators of children's books. On the first Sunday of every month during the school year, it's Funday Sunday! The kids can do lots of hands on crafts and activities and meet the featured illustrator. There's a theme every time...and snacks. And it's all FREE! The Museum also has a storytime for preschoolers every few weeks.
Northwest Ohio Railroad Preservation
This place is cool. For a mere pittance ($2/adult,$1/child), you gain entrance to the museum and a ride on a quarterscale train. The museum has rooms of model trains, but the ride alone is worth the trip. I will warn you, it is an authentic replica, so don't sit toward the front of the train unless you want to breath coal fumes! They also blow the whistle...loudly! The best part of this place is that they do theme rides for all the major holidays....Easter egg hunt, Halloween pumpkin patch and scary ride for older kids, Santa train...you get the idea. It became a tradition in our household to go to the North Pole Express every year.
There's a lot of other things that you can do in Findlay...The Cube has ice skating, various festivals and fairs, ice hockey and my favorite, the annual Peep drop! Helicopters drops thousands of Peeps down onto the fields for the kids to get. For rainy days, Pirates Cove has an indoor bouncy house, laser tag and games - my kids could bounce for hours, it was better than them bouncing off the walls! Rolling Thunder Skate just opened to offer a roller skating place but it seems a bit pricey...and the local Y has tons of activities for kids that are reasonable, whether you're a member or not. Unfortunately, the dollar theater closed last year, but the local chain movie theater does do some discounts and offers some kid movie specials during the summer.
About an hour and change away is Cedar Point Amusement Park in Sandusky. Toledo has a great zoo, Imagination Station (a science museum) and many minor league teams to root for. In Fremont is the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center that has interesting period displays, such as exhibition baseball games played as they would have been in the 1890's.
These are the things that I discovered in the 2 1/2 years I lived in Findlay....and there may be more, but this was enough to keep us pretty busy!