Discovering the Best Family-Friendly Activities in Southwestern Ohio

As a travel expert, I have explored many destinations around the world, and I can confidently say that Southwestern Ohio is a hidden gem for families looking for a fun and memorable vacation. With its charming small towns, scenic landscapes, and rich history, this region offers a wide range of tourist spots that are perfect for all ages.

The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden

Located in the heart of Cincinnati, the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden is a must-visit attraction for families. This family-friendly zoo is home to over 500 animal species from around the world, including elephants, giraffes, and polar bears. The zoo also has a beautiful botanical garden with over 3,000 plant species, making it a perfect spot for nature lovers. One of the highlights of the zoo is the Cat Canyon exhibit, where visitors can see big cats such as lions, tigers, and cheetahs up close.

The zoo also offers various interactive experiences, including feeding giraffes and riding on a train that takes you around the park.

Kings Island

If you're looking for some adrenaline-pumping fun, then Kings Island is the place to be. This amusement park is located in Mason, Ohio, and is home to some of the best roller coasters in the country. The park has over 100 rides and attractions, including the famous Diamondback roller coaster that reaches speeds of up to 80 miles per hour. In addition to thrilling rides, Kings Island also has a water park called Soak City, which is perfect for cooling off on a hot summer day. The park also hosts various events throughout the year, such as Halloween Haunt and WinterFest, making it a year-round destination for families.

National Museum of the U.

S. Air Force

Located in Dayton, Ohio, the National Museum of the U. Air Force is the oldest and largest military aviation museum in the world. This museum is a great place for families to learn about the history of aviation and see over 360 aircraft on display, including presidential planes and space shuttles. The museum also has interactive exhibits, such as flight simulators and a space shuttle exhibit where visitors can experience what it's like to be an astronaut.

Admission to the museum is free, making it an affordable option for families.

Hocking Hills State Park

For families who love the outdoors, Hocking Hills State Park is a must-visit destination in southwestern Ohio. This state park is known for its stunning natural beauty, including waterfalls, caves, and rock formations. Families can go hiking, camping, or even zip-lining through the park's lush forests. One of the most popular attractions in the park is Old Man's Cave, a gorge with breathtaking waterfalls and unique rock formations. The park also offers various guided tours and programs for families to learn more about the park's history and wildlife.

Newport Aquarium

Situated on the banks of the Ohio River in Newport, Kentucky, the Newport Aquarium is a top-rated aquarium that offers an immersive experience for families.

The aquarium is home to over 90 exhibits and 14 galleries, showcasing thousands of aquatic animals from around the world. One of the highlights of the aquarium is the Shark Bridge, a 75-foot-long rope bridge that hangs over a tank filled with sharks, stingrays, and other marine life. Families can also touch and interact with various animals, such as penguins and stingrays, making it a fun and educational experience for all.

The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

Located in Cincinnati, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center is a museum that tells the story of the Underground Railroad and the struggle for freedom in America. The museum has interactive exhibits, artifacts, and multimedia presentations that bring this important part of history to life. Families can take a self-guided tour or join a guided tour to learn more about the brave men and women who fought for freedom. The museum also hosts various events and programs throughout the year, making it a great place for families to learn and engage with history.


Southwestern Ohio has something for every family, from thrilling amusement parks to educational museums and beautiful state parks.

These family-friendly attractions are not only fun but also offer opportunities for families to bond and create lasting memories together. So, if you're planning a family vacation, be sure to add these top tourist spots in southwestern Ohio to your itinerary.

Alexandria Kravec
Alexandria Kravec

Incurable bacon guru. Award-winning internet ninja. Freelance beer enthusiast. Hardcore bacon specialist. Evil beer aficionado. Sushi nerd.