Dust off the camera and pack up the car. Even if a vacation seems out of reach this year thanks to money or time constraints, a nearby “daycation” can help your family recharge and relax. These destinations are all within a 4 hour drive of downtown Cincinnati and offer fun for family members of all ages.
African Safari Wildlife Park Drive or walk through a safari in the wilds of, well, Ohio. The African Safari Wildlife Park, in Northern Ohio’s Port Clinton, showcases giraffes and zebras as well as animals from other parts of the world such as the formidable Scottish Highland Cow, Galapagos and Sulcata Tortoises, camels and alpacas. The park also features unusual activities like pig racing and camel rides. Smaller kids will enjoy the Jungle Junction playground. Kids under 3 get in free. 3.5 hours from downtown Cincinnati. 267 S. Lightner Rd. Port Clinton, OH (419)732-3606 43452 Hours and ticket prices vary by season. Visit African Safari Wildlife Park on Facebook.
Cincinnati Bengals Training Camp Every summer, the Bengals and their coaching staff head to Georgetown College to train for the upcoming football season, and fans are welcome to watch. Admission is free aside from a $15 parking charge for passenger cars. In many ways this is a more family-friendly option and a chance to get much closer to the field than at a regular game at Paul Brown Stadium. Some lucky fans even manage to snag autographs from their favorite players during training camp. 1.5 hours from downtown Cincinnati. Dates and hours are announced in mid-summer, with training typically starting in late July. 100 Crawford Dr. Georgetown, KY 40324 Visit the Bengals on Facebook.
Longaberger Homestead and Home Office The home office of a basket-weaving company might sound like an unlikely destination, until you consider that the building was built to look like an enormous Longaberger basket, complete with carrying handles. After driving by the World’s Largest Basket Building in Newark, make an afternoon of it and check out the Longaberger Homestead just down the road in Frazeysburg to see workers weaving the baskets, eat lunch and spend time at a factory store stocked with baskets for your basket baskets. 3 hours from downtown Cincinnati. The Homestead is located at 5563 Raiders Road, Frazeysburg, OH 43822 (740)322-5588 Hours vary by season. Closed Wednesdays. Visit Longaberger on Facebook.
Adams Heritage Center and West Union In addition to the wide variety of Amish restaurants and stores featuring authentic goods from the local Amish population, Adams County is a great place to get away from it all. Some of the prettiest Appalachian scenery can be found along the hiking trails near the Ohio River and the Ohio Brush Creek. A trip to Adams County is not complete without stopping to explore the mysterious Serpent Mound. This snaking land formation was built as early as 800 BC, but no one is quite sure why. 2 hours from downtown Cincinnati. To reach Adams County, head east on SR 32. Visit the Adams County Travel and Visitors Bureau on Facebook.
Kentucky Horse Park This Lexington gem is more than just a horse museum. The Kentucky Horse Park offers horseback trail riding, horse-drawn tours of the facilities and farm, an excellent playground and pony rides. It would be hard not to become a horse lover after spending a day with the horses among the rolling, green hills that make Kentucky a picturesque equestrian mecca. 1.5 hours from downtown Cincinnati. Hours and Admission vary by season. 4089 Iron Works Parkway Lexington, Kentucky 40511 (859) 233-4303. Visit the Kentucky Horse Park on Facebook.