National Parks / Natural World in COLUMBUS with kids

The world has some incredible natural wonders, and luckily for you, Columbus has some incredible places to visit with kids right on your doorstep….and you won’t want to forget your camera!

The national and state parks in and around Columbus, Ohio offer an incredible variety of experiences for children.  Some parks protect a unique and diverse wilderness, teeming with wildlife which is always a thrill for kids!

Some parks protect incredible fascinating and significant historical sites, where the family can go back in time through American history…who says the learning as to stop on a family day out!

Even the city of Columbus itself has smaller parks perfect for a quick trip into nature.  You don’t even need to leave the city to have that park experience - and kids LOVE them!

Shut those televisions off and put those computer games away….the great outdoors is calling and it’s calling YOU!

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  • Topiary Park

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    (1 miles) Columbus

    Explore 7 beautiful acres of nature and gardens in downtown Columbus. A relaxing, pretty and FREE family day out in Ohio!

  • The Dawes Arboretum

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    (31 miles) Newark

    One of the premier public gardens in North America, The Dawes Arboretum has over 1,700 acres of plant collections, gardens and natural areas. Founded in 1929, Dawes is a travel destination for ...

  • Ohio Caverns

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    (42 miles) West Liberty

    A remarkable natural wonder with some of the most colorful caverns in the country - all found in beautiful Ohio.

  • Hocking Hills State Park

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    (44 miles) Logan

    Wildlife, waterfalls, caves, nature, and ghosts! Picturesque wilderness for the nature loving family to explore on foot or by bike.

  • Dillon State Park

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    (47 miles) Nashport

    Features here include a 1,360-foot swimming beach and separate wading pool, plus disc golf and archery range.

  • Ohio Bird Santuary

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    (56 miles) Mansfield

    Children who visit the Ohio Bird Sanctuary will see many of Ohio's native birds. Non-releasable hawks, owls, falcons, songbirds and game-birds are house on site. In the aviary, children and adults ...

  • Wayne National Forest

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    (59 miles) Nelsonville

    A beautiful Ohio forest which features over 300 miles of trails for hiking, all-terrain vehicle riding, mountain biking, or horseback riding in season.

  • Burr Oak State Park

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    (59 miles) Gloucester

    Over 25 miles for nature loving families to spend the day in, with stunning scenic hiking trails, picnic tables and grills, a 500ft. sandy beach, fishing areas, a public shelter plus campground.

  • Aullwood Audobon Center

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    (68 miles) Dayton

    An inspirational showcase of determined and infectious environmentalism, as well as containing plenty that smaller children love about farms: plenty of animals, Bee and Butterfly yards, children's ...

  • Brukner Nature Center

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    (70 miles) Troy

    Nature preserve dedicated to environmental education and wildlife rehabilitation.

  • Ottawa Metro Park

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    (78 miles) Lima

    Featuring Metro Park Beach, which offers a raindrop play fountain, 10' extreme water slide, surf slide and mermaid fountain. Plus 9 hole frisbee golf course, adventure play equipment, sand volleyball ...

  • Check out other fun things to do below...

  • Ohio Statehouse

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    Columbus

    A fascinating trip through the Ohio Statehouse, with free guided tours that can take you through it's amazing history and architecture.

  • Center of Science and Industry

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    Columbus

    Groundbreaking exhibits and hands-on experiences for kids to understand the connection between science and life. Amazing Columbus fun and discovery!

  • Columbus Museum of Art

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    (1 miles) Columbus

    Explore the art world at the Columbus Museum of Art, with a fascinating collection and a range of exhibitions that will inspire and amaze!

  • The Johnny Appleseed Educational Center and Museum

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    (41 miles) Urbana

    offers a comprehensive insight into the life and era of famous Johnny Appleseed.

  • National Museum of the US Air Force

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    (60 miles) Dayton

    The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force is the world's largest military aviation museum. This FREE attraction features more than 360 aerospace vehicles and missiles in more than 17 acres of indoor ...

  • The Little Buckeye Childrens Museum

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    (61 miles) Mansfield

    A series of delightful role play scenarios including Bank, Vet, Market and Laboratory! Dress up, musical instruments and creative play round off this open ended learning environment.

  • Boonshoft Museum of Discovery

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    (65 miles) Dayton

    Explore the wonders of the world with a live animal zoo, the region's only public Planetarium and observatory, interactive science and technology exhibits, and more under one roof! One of the many ...

  • The Dayton Art Institute

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    (65 miles) Dayton

    Visit us often to enjoy our diverse permanent collection, world class special exhibitions, interesting educational programs and unique special events.

  • Allen County Museum

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    (80 miles) Lima

    The Allen County Museum has something for everyone. Our campus includes the main Museum (including the Children

  • The Bicycle Museum of America

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    (80 miles) New Bremen

    A beautiful museum with one of the largest collection of bicycles in the world.

  • Oil and Gas Museum

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    (90 miles) Parkersburg

    Both oil and natural gas were discovered in western Virginia by the first explorers in the mid-1700s. George Washington acquired 250 acres in what is now West Virginia because it contained an oil and ...

  • Cincinnati Art Museum

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    (99 miles) Cincinnati

    The Museum features an unparalleled art collection of more than 60,000 works spanning 6,000 years. In addition to displaying its own broad collection, the Art Museum also hosts several national and ...

  • Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

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    (15 miles) Powell

    A beautiful world of adventure home to more than 9,000 animals that are just waiting to be visited!

  • The Wilds

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    (68 miles) Cumberland

    The Wilds is one of the largest and most innovative wildlife conservation centers in the world. Located on nearly 10,000 acres in southeast Ohio, it is home to rare and endangered species from around ...

  • Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden

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    (98 miles) Cincinnati

    Over 1.2 million people visit the Cincinnati Zoo's award-winning exhibits annually and was recently rated the #1 attraction locally and one of the top zoos in the nation by Zagat Survey. It was ...

  • Newport Aquarium

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    (100 miles) Newport

    Newport Aquarium offers families plenty to see and do during every visit. The world-class facility showcases thousands of animals from around the world in a million gallons of water. There are dive ...

  • EnterTRAINment Junction

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    (84 miles) West Chester

    Explore the world’s largest indoor model train display - in Ohio! Train tracks are bustling all around - below, at eye level and some even 11’ in the air!

  • Kings Island

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    (80 miles) Kings Mills

    Thrills and spills at the largest amusement and water park in the entire Midwest! With over 80 rides, attractions and shows, it's great fun for the whole family in Ohio.

  • Fort Rapids Indoor Waterpark

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    (7 miles) Columbus

    Yee haw! 60,000 sq ft of wet and wild waterpark action with a western-themed resort setting....Jeepers!

  • Zoombezi Bay

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    (15 miles) Powell

    Over 20 acres of water park fun with 17 state of the art water slides, a wave pool, an action river, a lazy river, private cabanas, a kiddie play pool and a whole lot more!

  • CoCo Key Water Resort Columbus

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    (28 miles) Newark

    Gather your family and friends and come experience one of Ohio's Newest Indoor Water Parks. Join us for the day at CoCo Key Water Resort where we have over 50,000 sq. ft. of indoor water park ...

  • Baylor Beach Park

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    (89 miles) Navarre

    Nature's waterpark with tube slides, paddleboats, and water fun, as well as mini golf, and sports! Great family fun in Ohio!

  • CoCo Key Water Resort Cincinnati

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    (90 miles) Cincinnati

    Where we have over 50,000 sq. ft. of indoor water park adventures, where it’s always 84 degrees, kids can have a blast with slides, play island, adventure river and more!

  • The Santa Maria

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    Columbus

    In 1492, Christopher Columbus set sail searching for a direct trade route to the Indies. Carrying him was the Santa Maria - and kids can visit this incredible replica!