This year for Fall Break, I decided my family needed to embark on a little getaway. I wanted to go somewhere completely new to us, somewhere not too far away, but somewhere totally different- a change of scenery. After reading a recent Cincinnati Family Magazine article about traveling with baby (https://bit.ly/2ITH16w )I decided to look into visiting Fairfield County, Ohio.
Located about 2 hours from my front door in Northern Kentucky, Fairfield County is a doable day-drive with the family in tow. Whether you stay for an overnight, a long weekend or a full week, there is plenty to explore and something to please every member of the family. For your next family trip, visit Fairfield County, Ohio!
AHA! Children’s Museum
1708 River Valley Circle South, Lancaster, OH 43130
$8 per person, Free for children 12 months and under
With over 30 exhibits, AHA! Children’s Museum is a must-visit attraction for families exploring Fairfield County. The museum’s new location is large, clean and staffed with a helpful and friendly team. The exhibits are thoughtful to a child’s needs. The hands-on components around every corner get kids gears turning, there are costumes to promote pretend play and the themed stations meet all interest and ability levels.
The Fairfield County community has rallied behind the AHA! Children’s Museum with great support and pride. There are many organizations who have helped sponsor exhibits- even the local high school helped build wooden benches for the new Raymond B. Martens Nature Playscape, set to open October 20th. Visit AHA! this fall for an outdoor adventure featuring a tike trail, climbing structures and replicas of a covered bridge and canal boat!
730 S. Ewing St., Lancaster, Oh 43130
$7 per child, no time limit
After a few hours of sitting in a vehicle for a road trip, kids can get a little bit bouncy. The absolute perfect place to take your family to burn off some steam is Jolly Hoppers! This indoor inflatable park is stocked with an obstacle course, slides, bouncers, a toddler area and even a ball pit!!! It is fun to join the kids to stretch your legs and bounce, too, but if you feel the need to sit back and relax, there is ample seating for grown-ups.
Sharp Farms Market
7129 Old Logan Rd. SE, Sugar Grove, Oh 43155
Sharp Farm has a rich family history. After hitting a financial rut, Robert L. Sharp’s farm was almost lost in 1852, but when he struck it rich during the California gold rush he was able to pay off debts, and save the farm! Ask to see the actual journal Robert kept on his journey out west! There is also a geologically rich rock quarry on the property; in the past it has been mined for it’s beautiful stone.
While the Sharp Family Farm is historically and geologically significant to Fairfield County, it is also a great place to make new memories with your family. The lush green fields dotted with bright orange pumpkins make a perfect backdrop for fall photographs, as do the many cutout scenes on the property. Watch your little ones grow each year with the marked ruler, indicating how many feet tall your kiddos are. There is also a large corn pit for the kids to bury themselves in and make corn-angels, and kids of all ages are sure to love the petting zoo with quacking ducks and cheeping chicks. Look for something new to enjoy with your family every year you visit this family owned farm!
Farm Fresh Fear: Haunted Farm
5450 Old Millersport Road NE, Plesantville, Oh
Are you looking for a hair-raising activity during your fall visit to Fairfield County? The Haunted Farm will have your whole family shrieking frightfully with its haunted barn and haunted 3 acre corn maze. If you have a child that is ready to experience their first haunted attraction, but is still a little nervous, simply adorn them with a glow stick to signal the actors to adjust their scare levels accordingly. There is also music or a band each night, a bonfire for roasting FREE marshmallows and the Crows’ Nest store that sells merchandise and handmade halloween decor. Horrifying and wonderfully executed, this attraction will leave you screaming for more; beware of the butcher in the meat locker and the children in the corn maze!
1120 N High St., Lancaster, Oh
Remember the merry-go-round, carousel, roundabout feature of your favorite park growing up? Rising Park has one! Delight as your child goes faster and faster around, laughing and squealing with joy. This park has climbers, slides, swings, bridges and more at the modern playground. There is also an impressive fountain at the pond, tons of picnic tables and a gorgeous view of the city. Be sure to pack a picnic and take in the beautiful fall sights.
Bob’s Backyard Barbeque
157 West Main St., Lancaster, Oh
Enjoy the best barbeque in all of Fairfield County at Bob’s Backyard Barbeque. Specialties include the Mac and Moo sandwich (brisket with sauteed onions, mac n cheese and cheddar cheese on toasted bread), delicious wings, smoked meats and a huge assortment of sauces. Kid-friendly items include hot dogs, grilled cheese and fries. Although my youngest son who loves food devoured half of my entree- the ultimate pork sundae (mac n cheese smothered with pulled pork, sauteed onions, Lancaster sauce, spicy mustard-mayo and tomatoes- YUM!). Kudos to Bob’s for stocking their bar with Cincy favorite, Rhinegeist! I was able to have a taste of home with my dinner- Bubbles.
JB’s Downtown Grill
11 N. Columbus St., Lancaster, Oh
Sit back, relax and play a song on the jukebox while you enjoy delicious brunch at JB’s. Brunch options include giant pancakes with rhubarb butter, eggs benedict, biscuits and gravy and other breakfast classics. Whatever you order, be sure to include a cheddar chive biscuit- they are outstanding! Or enjoy juicy sliders while you dine outside! Choose from classic sliders, pulled pork, pork belly, veggies or buffalo chicken sliders. At only $2.95 each, create a slider sampler, and try them all. Don’t forget to add seasoned fries, or even deviled eggs to round out your meal. JB’s is filling, family friendly and priced just right.
1804 W Fair Ave, Lancaster, Oh
What vacation would be complete without decadent dessert? Visit Nancy Scoops for soft serve in a variety of flavors (vanilla, chocolate, pistachio, cake batter, red velvet and MORE!), a hand dipped scoop (cookies and creme, bear claw, cookie dough, etc), milkshakes, slushies, and sundaes. My recommendation is the Monster Sundae- 1 lb of soft serve with caramel, hot fudge, pecans, cashews and whipped cream. Yum!
Where to Stay
Holiday Inn Express & Suites
1861 Riverway Dr., Lancaster, Oh
When looking for a place to lay your head at night in Fairfield County, look no further than the Holiday Inn Express & Suites. This location is clean, has an indoor pool and includes complimentary continental breakfast. What more could you ask for?