Ohio is a great place to visit for fun and adventure. From the “rolling hills” of Appalachia to the bustling cities in the north, there’s something for every traveler. However, if you’re looking for something more exciting and daring, Ohio’s theme parks are second to none.
Whether you love roller coasters or more tranquil experiences like zip-lining through treetops, Ohio has plenty of attractions that will make your stay unforgettable. These theme parks offer an array of thrilling rides, games, live events, and incredible dining to round off your visit.
The Best Theme Parks in Ohio
This guide highlights some of the best theme parks in Ohio and what makes them worth visiting. Get ready to buckle up and enjoy a fantastic experience!
Ghostly Manor Thrill Center
You can tell from the name this park differs from your average theme park. Located in Sandusky, Ghostly Manor Thrill Center combines the excitement of a traditional entertainment center with the spooky thrills of a haunted house.
You’ll find indoor roller skating, a laser maze, VR gaming, an XD 4D theater, bounce houses, and a play area. The real draw, though, is the haunted house, filled with creepy animatronics and special effects. You are in for a spine-chilling experience!
They also have an escape room for anyone who loves a good challenge. Come as a pair or group, and you’ll be tasked with solving puzzles to unlock clues and find your way out. This brain-busting attraction is one of the finest in Sandusky.
LEGOLAND Discovery Center
Welcome to the world of LEGO! It is one of the best places to take your kids to in Ohio. Located in Columbus, LEGOLAND Discovery Center is an indoor theme park that offers LEGO-themed rides, interactive games, and activities.
There are loads of LEGO structures scattered around the kids’ center, but how about building LEGO creations? The model builder workshop teaches kids to express creativity by building brilliant models made of LEGO bricks.
Parents and kids can also go inside the central area and dig into massive bowls of LEGO bricks to craft anything, including cars, towers, cities, and more. There are ramps to race LEGO cars and other structures to accommodate whatever your kids can imagine.
That’s not all! Merlin’s Apprentice ride is a popular attraction at the park’s center. The ride involves pedaling an enchanted cart and soaring through the sky. The carriage takes you around in a circle, and the faster you pedal, the higher you fly!
Finally, enjoy an unforgettable cinematic experience at 4D movie theatres, where shows run regularly every half hour. Slip on 3D glasses and watch your favorite characters come alive right in front of you as they face challenges with wind and rain effects that enhance each story (the fourth dimension).
Fun ‘n’ Stuff
Fun ‘n’ Stuff is the family theme park to visit if you want a blend of indoor and outdoor attractions. This Macedonia-based park offers go-karts, mini golf, batting cages, and other outdoor activities for all ages.
Start the fun indoors on the Himalayan coaster and whirl around in an up-down and backward motion at high speeds. It’s an exhilarating experience, guaranteed to make all 32 riders scream with excitement.
Move to the 6,000 square feet laser tag arena, which offers a real-time combat experience between aliens and zombies. Choose your team, get into your battle suit, and defeat the enemy to take control of the galaxy. Laser tag is open to everyone, but Fun’ n’ Stuff recommends it for kids ages six and above.
Other fun outdoor activities (weather permitting) include:
- Free Fall
- The Lost Kingdom Mini Golf
- Extreme Looping Bikes
- Batting Cages
- Rock Climbing Wall
Memphis Kiddie Park
Memphis park is the best place to take your preschoolers or toddlers for a fun day out. This park is the perfect size for little ones, so they feel comfortable and can have lots of fun. It features several classic kiddie rides, and most kids can ride them alone without accompaniment.
The park also has rides that need an adult partner, such as the mini roller coaster and miniature train. Both these rides are slow-moving and safe for your little ones, so you don’t have to worry about speed. Each ride is different; there are boat designs, car designs, and rockets that your kids can explore.
After jumping, running, and riding all day, kids and adults will work up an appetite. The park has a concession stand serving snacks and drinks your toddler would love, making it easy to stop and refuel!
Memphis Kiddies Park also hosts birthdays. Book a date and bring your child back with their closest friends to celebrate.
Tuscora Park is a small amusement park located in New Philadelphia, Ohio. It’s been serving locals since 1899 and is an affordable place to enjoy family fun and entertainment. From swimming to tennis, amusement rides, picnic pavilions, and pools, the park has everything to keep your family entertained.
All the attractions at the park are suitable for kids; the highest height requirement for any fun activity is 48 inches (4 feet), so even the younger toddlers can join in. They can take the airplane or sky fighter for a flying adventure, drive around in the vintage amusement dune buggies, or ride a coaster around the 280-foot oval track.
Visit the concession stand by the pool and get their favorite bites, including hot dogs, ice cream, hamburgers, fries, and other snacks. The park has picnic tables everywhere, so you can take a break to sit down and enjoy lunch with your family.
Coney Island Park
Coney Island Park is a massive water park and a family amusement center. It’s the perfect place to cool off from the summer heat with its many pools, slides, and other attractions. Bring your goggles, arm floaties, and sunscreen to ensure everyone is set for a day of fun!
The park features several water rides, including the Sunlite water adventure, a floating obstacle course, water slides, a splash ground, and dive pools. Every water activity at Coney Island will excite you, but the floating obstacle course is a guest favorite because it’s a-m-a-z-i-n-g!
This massive floating obstacle course is the largest aquaglide obstacle course in the United States. It features over 150 feet of climbing slides, obstacles, and balance beams. This course is the ultimate outdoor waterpark experience and could be the highlight of your kid’s summer.
Stricker’s Grove is an old-time family-owned private amusement park in Ross, Ohio. The park is available for rent to groups, churches, organizations, etc., so you can enjoy all the attractions without worrying about crowds.
The park is open to the public four times a year and several days in July for the 4H Community Fair. If you’re not a member of a group or organization that can afford to rent out the entire park, you can still enjoy what Stricker’s Grove offers. The public days are the Fourth of July, Family Day (the second Sunday in August), Labor Day, and Customer Appreciation Day.
Plan to visit Stricker’s Grove with your family or friends on one of the open days and get ready for a classic experience. You will find two roller coaster rides, an arcade with skeeball and video games, horseshoes, a shooting gallery, 18-hole miniature golf, and several rides for everyone, including kids.
Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is the perfect destination for an animal-loving family. See and interact with more than 10,000 animals from different regions.
Some of the tours and experiences you will love include a playdate with Frankie (an Asian elephant), winter giraffe feeding, bathing an elephant, seeing the quickest resident in the zoo (a cheetah), having a closer look at the seals and sea lions, and stingray feeding time.
If you want a more intimate and less crowded animal experience, camp out at the zoo and discover what animals do after hours. You will learn about conservation, our natural world, and everything in between. The camp-in experience includes a guided night hike, meals, snacks, and other special activities. It’s a fantastic experience!
Popular Ohio Amusement Parks
Cedar Point is the roller coaster capital of the world, home to some of the wildest and most thrilling rides anywhere. This century-and-a-half-year-old park packs a lot of excitement into its 364-acre s, accommodating up to 71 rides and several attractions.
Adrenaline junkies can try out their new hybrid coaster, Steel Vengeance, which reaches a speed of 74 miles per hour. It is the longest roller coaster in the world and one of the tallest at 205 feet. Get ready to feel your heart in your throat as you go through twists, drops, and a couple of inversions!
The classic Millennium Force is another must-ride. It has a maximum speed of 93 miles per hour and is one of the world’s tallest and fastest roller coasters. Some other popular rides include Top Thrill Dragster and Maverick.
If rides aren’t your thing, there’s still plenty to explore at Cedar Point. They have a waterpark, called Soak City, and several dining options to give you an energy boost when needed. The park also hosts several events and celebrations year-round.
The live music there is trendy, with talented performers playing a range of genres, including country, rock, soul, and more. You will also find cabanas, fine dining, and many other surprises. Cedar Point is an amusement park that’s worth every penny.
Since opening in 1972, this 364-acre amusement and waterpark complex has been a major attraction for locals and tourists. Located near Cincinnati, Kings Island features several rides and attractions, including 14 roller coasters, three water parks, and live entertainment. Kings Island has the kind of fun you can’t find anywhere else in Ohio.
The park’s Eiffel Tower replica is a standout feature, offering beautiful views over the entire property. Ride to the top, enjoy a spectacular view you will remember, and take some great photos. Folks on your social media feed may not notice it’s a replica of the real thing! You can ride on it too.
The roller coaster lineup at Kings Island is second to none, with record-breaking rides that will blow your mind. The Beast is the longest wooden roller coaster in the world and will give you a rush. The Diamondback and Mystic Timbers are thrilling coasters, while the exhilarating Delirium will take your breath away.
The 33-acre Soak City water park will wow water lovers. There are over 50 water activities, including slides, waterfalls, lazy rivers, and wave pools. The park has several family and kid-friendly attractions, including Race For Your Life Charlie Brown, Kite Eating Tree, and Joe Cool’s Dodgem School.
Don’t just read about it, though. Experience Kings Island’s immense fun and excitement for yourself! Visit once, and you’re hooked.
An Experience Like No Other in Ohio
Have you chosen to spend the next summer vacation in Ohio, or are you living there but have never had the time to explore Ohio theme parks? Now that you know the exciting adventures the theme and amusement parks in Ohio offer, it’s a no-brainer to plan your trip there.
Pick a theme park that best suits your interests and prepare for a memorable time. Your vacation just got a thousand times more fun!
Featured Image Credit: Deposit Photos
Karee Blunt is a nationally syndicated travel journalist, focused on discovering destinations and experiences that captivate and inspire others through her writing. She is also the founder of Our Woven Journey, a travel site focused on inspiring others to create memory-making adventures with their loved ones. Karee is passionate about encouraging others to step out of their comfort zone and live the life they dream of. She is the mother of six kids, including four through adoption, and lives with her family in the Pacific Northwest. You can learn more about Karee on her about me page.