As the sunshine returns and spring break approaches, your family may be itching for a change of pace. Luckily, Cincinnati is surrounded by a number of family-friendly destinations to suit everyone’s interests.
Let’s Go On Spring Break! Here are just a few ideas for a quick trip this spring:
Visitors to Hopewell Cultural National Historical Park in Chillicothe, Ohio, can walk in the footsteps of our state’s earliest inhabitants, the people of the Hopewell culture who thrived here for a span of five centuries (200 B.C. to 300 A.D.). There are five noncontiguous units within the park, all representing some of the finest examples of Hopewellian resources. Before setting out to explore the mounds, be sure to stop at the visitor center to learn the history of the mounds and view artifacts excavated from the area.
Spend time on the farm
Young’s Jersey Dairy, in Yellow Springs, Ohio, is a hidden gem in the heart of our state. This family farm is a real working dairy farm, where guests can watch the cows being milked — and then enjoy a bowl of homemade ice cream! Two miniature golf courses, covered batting cages and tons of farm-themed fun make this a great place to spend a day with the family.
Commune with nature
Clifton Gorge Nature Preserve, also located in Yellow Springs, spans 268 acres and seeks to protect one of the most spectacular dolomite and limestone gorges in the state. Registered as a National Natural Landmark in 1968, Clifton Gorge encompasses a 2-mile stretch of the Little Miami State and National Scenic River that is perfect for hiking. It is also one of the most spectacular sites in the state for viewing spring wildflowers. Overnight camping is available at nearby John Bryan State Park.
Take a walk on the wild side
The Indianapolis Zoo is putting the “spring” in spring break this year with their brand-new festival, xZOOberance. The festival, which runs Thursdays through Sundays from March 21 through April 7, features live entertainment on two different stages; a cheer garden offering beer, pretzels, treats and kid-friendly refreshments; and a whimsical garden of remarkable animal-shaped topiaries. There is also plenty of spring fun for little ones, including outdoor musical instruments, animal matching games and creative crafts. Visitors will also get a taste of the zoo’s revamped dolphin show. And don’t forget to stop by the adjacent White River Gardens to see the exotic butterflies that have returned as part of Butterfly Kaleidoscope.
Create a spring break adventure
French Lick Resort, nestled among the hills of Indiana’s Hoosier National Forest, offers the best of both worlds: opulent amenities for the grown ups and activities galore for the kids. The resort’s KidsFest Lodge will offer special activities March 8 through April 7 as part of their “Spring into Wild” promotion. Safari-themed crafts, games and scavenger hunts will be part of the daily itinerary, and the “Born to be Wild” shows on Saturdays offer the chance to see exotic animals up close. KidsFest activities are supervised by trained attendants, giving mom and dad the chance to visit the spa, or simply explore the resort grounds on their own.
Make a splash
It may not be warm enough to hit the outdoor pool just yet, but there is plenty of indoor water fun to be had at SoundWaves, the brand-new indoor/outdoor water experience housed in the Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee. This one-of-a-kind water experience features 111,000 square feet of indoor attractions, dining and amenities, as well as 106,000 square feet of outdoor water attractions. Mega slides, river rapids, a lazy river and more are intermixed with living walls and plant beds to deliver the feel of a tropical oasis. Year-round 84-degree temperatures make it feel like summer all year long. (Note: Admission is guaranteed with an overnight package at Gaylord Opryland. During your stay, be sure to spend time exploring the Music City.)