Planning a day that’s fun for the whole family can sometimes feel like a challenge, but planning a day of fun that doesn’t leave a big dent in your wallet? Well, that can be even harder! Thankfully, the Mason area features plenty of exciting places to visit if you know where to look.

That’s why Crème de la Crème of Deerfield Township (Mason) put together this list of local activities to take the guesswork out of figuring out your next day of family fun. Whether you make the quick trip into Cincinnati or explore the attractions we’ve found right here in Mason, you’re sure to find something everyone in your household can enjoy. From historical landmarks to artsy activities, not to mention a variety of unique parks, this area truly has it all. Here are five great things to do without traveling far from home.

Cottell Park

A young boy leaning against an old tree.

Image via Unsplash by anniespratt

Enjoy a day outdoors at Mason’s Cottell Park, a community park boasting a range of activities sure to keep the whole family entertained. You’ll find Cottell Park at the intersection of Snider Road and Irwin-Simpson Road. The park is open every day during daylight hours, and it features fun for all ages.

With 2.3 miles of paved trails and various amenities, Cottell Park makes it easy to have a fun day as a family without spending a cent. Go on a laid-back walk on the walking path, or head over to the playgrounds for some active time for the kids. Enjoy catch-and-release fishing, or get in a family game on the baseball fields, tennis courts, or basketball courts. Make sure you check out the Snyder House while you’re at the park, too. This landmark includes a stone patio and garden, offering a beautiful backdrop to your time outside.

Alverta Green Museum

The Alverta Green Museum has served as the home to the Mason Historical Society since 1988. Admission is free, making it the perfect way to spend a day with kids interested in history. The museum is typically open on Thursdays and Fridays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and the first Saturday of every month from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. If you’d rather visit at another time, you can make an appointment.

The museum takes its name from Alverta Bedacht Green, an antique dealer and longtime area resident who deeded her home to the historical society in 1987. Located in Mason’s historic district, the museum transports you back in time. The 1890s-era Victorian house is chock full of artifacts and furniture donated by residents of Mason. The house itself was built by William C. VanFossen, who was elected mayor in 1892 and subsequently served four terms.

The Mason Historical Society also offers a range of events throughout the year, including cemetery walks, ice cream socials, and more. They even offer donation-based yoga classes at the Alverta Green Museum, open to yogis of all skill levels. This museum makes having fun for free close to home a breeze.

Schappacher Park

Schappacher Park is another Mason park filled with an abundance of opportunities for free fun. Your family will love traipsing around the playground, which features a mix of new and retro playground equipment ideal for energetic kiddos. Swings, a roundabout, a four-person see-saw, and more make this playground a perennial winner when you need an easy-to-access activity for the kids.

The dog run, spanning more than 38,000 square feet, offers another highlight if you’re looking to take the family pet out on your adventure as well. Everyone will enjoy the serene scenery here, too, which includes a stream and gorgeous mature oak trees. The park is open every day during daylight hours.

Findlay Market

Make the short drive over to Cincinnati to spend a day at Findlay Market, the oldest continuously operated public market in Ohio. The market has run out of the same iron-framed building since way back in 1855, making it both a historic monument and an institution to daily life in our area.

This living landmark boasts plenty of ways to fill your day. Browse the market’s handmade goods and delicious fresh foods, or stop by the Biergarten. While you’ll find plenty of goods and foods to buy, you can simply stroll around the market for a completely free way to enjoy time as a family in Cincinnati’s historic Over-the-Rhine neighborhood. The ArtsWave Music at the Market program connects visitors to local artists, so take in the music and walk around while basking in the atmosphere.

Taft Museum of Art

Have a budding artist in your brood? You’ll want to plan a day at the Taft Museum of Art. This museum is super easy to get to in Cincinnati, and better yet, they offer totally free admission for kids 18 years old and under, members, and both retired and active military. Tickets for adults are $12 at the door or $10 online, so you won’t have to spend a ton to make a day of this with your kids.

The extensive art collection housed at this museum boasts master paintings and sculptures from Europe and the United States as well as Chinese porcelains, 17th- to 19th-century European watches, French Renaissance enamels, and furniture from 19th-century America. That means there’s something for everyone to enjoy here!

Can’t make the trip into Cincinnati? The museum also offers virtual “Family Fundays,” bringing the museum right into your home with hands-on activities that you can stream with the kids at any time. Led by the museum’s learning and engagement team, these interactive videos cover activities like blending paint, drawing with sidewalk chalk, loom weaving, and more.

That wraps up Crème de la Crème’s list of five fun ways to spend your day as a family in Mason! Did we miss a free activity you enjoy as a family in our area? Drop us a line so we can check out your favorite spot and add it to our list.