What can I do with my kids in winter?

What do you do when Buckeye Chuck says we’re in for a long winter, but the kids are ready to get out of the house now? Richland County has opportunities for winter fun, indoors and out! Get the kids away from screens with our favorite family-friendly winter activities:

Bring your children, age 4-9, to Snow Trails to learn to ski and snowboard on Fridays, weekends, and peak days. The Snow Trails comprehensive Cubs and Bears Children’s Programs will teach your children a new skill in a safe environment during this half-day program. The Children’s Program includes a lift ticket, ski or snowboard equipment rental, helmet, and instruction/supervision as well as a mid-session snack. Your child’s lift ticket is valid for the entire day and can continue to be used, along with rental equipment, until the slopes close for the day.

Explore the snowy grounds of Kingwood Center Gardens. Take your kids on a literary journey along the Storybook Trail where they’ll discover “Winter Sleep: A Hibernation Story” page by page. After your snowy adventure, warm up in the new Garden Gateway Visitor Center with warm soups and sandwiches at the Gateway Café. They even have Little Garden Sprouts Lunch Boxes, designed with kids in mind.

Richland Carrousel Park is open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 11-5 PM, all year long! Your kids will love riding the whimsical, hand-carved animals around and around. After you finish riding the carrousel, shop for toys and gifts in the gift shop or grab a concessions snack.

The Ohio Bird Sanctuary birds of prey display, songbird aviary, hiking trails, and educational programs are open year-round for families to learn about their local Ohio birds. Plan your visit for a Saturday afternoon so you can take part in “Avian Encounters” at 1-1:30 PM, when visitors have a chance to meet the rescue’s feathered residents up close.

From the bucket brigade to internal combustion fire engines, your kids will love learning about the history of firefighting at the Mansfield Fire Museum. Explore a reproduction of a turn-of-the-century firehouse as well as part of Main Street in downtown Mansfield. Winter hours are available by appointment.

Spend the day getting creative at the Mansfield Art Center. See what’s on display in the gallery or take a class for older children, teens, and adults. They have classes for many artistic interests, mediums, and ability levels — perfect for budding artists who are comfortable learning in a classroom setting and following instructions. Visit the Mansfield Art Center website for a full schedule and class descriptions.

Experience the Bible through over 100 life-sized dioramas with audio narration and special effects at BibleWalk, Ohio’s only life-sized wax museum. The tours include: The Life of Christ (60 min), The Miracles of the Old Testament (60min), Heart of the Reformation (30 min), The Museum of Christian Martyrs (30 min), Amazing Grace-The Journeys of Paul (30 min), and Kingdom of God tour (30 min). BibleWalk can fill an hour of your afternoon or an entire day — you get to choose how many tours you want to do with your little ones!

Gorman Nature Center has family-friendly programs all year long like “Breakfast with the Birds” and “The Night Sky.” Bring the kids to a winter program or bundle up for a chilly winter hike through the gentle hills of the park’s forests and prairies.

When you’re ready to eat, stop by Buckeye Express Diner where your kids will love dining in a real refurbished rail car. This restaurant is family-friendly with diner staples like burgers, hotdogs, and grilled sandwiches to please picky palates and caboose baskets for small appetites.

Spend the night at Comfort Inn Splash Harbor where your stay includes free admission for up to four to the Splash Harbor water park, which features a 49-foot looping water slide, dumping buckets, shooting geysers, two hot tubs (one just for the adults), water basketball hoops, a floating raft and kids pool area.

What do your kids love to do in the winter? Share your favorite family adventures with us at info@destinationmansfield.com.