Are you looking for a fun, family getaway that will also provide some educational benefits for your kiddos? Look no further than your own backyard! Mason, Ohio, and the surrounding areas offer some thrilling and amazing educational adventures for you and your children alike. You won’t be disappointed when you visit any of the museums, parks, farms, and other interesting locales mentioned in this free guide. Use the recommendations below to plan that much-needed family day away!
Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden
Image via Flickr by wsilver
Your children will thoroughly enjoy connecting with nature, viewing a wide variety of animals, and spending time together as a family at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden. There are several engaging activities and fun opportunities for your children to absorb facts and details about the animals featured here. From up-close-and-personal animal encounters like feeding giraffes or helping give an elephant a bath, to self-guided adventures like zoo baby scavenger hunts, or simply spending a relaxing afternoon meandering through the various animal habitats, your family will learn more about the amazing animals throughout our world.
Safety Town offers a day camp experience for children 4-6 years of age. During this one-week experience, children will be introduced to a different theme every day. The themes include Police Officers Are Our Friends, Bicycle Safety, Pet and Animal Safety, Bus Safety, and Fire Safety. These lessons will help your children gain both the knowledge and confidence they need to practice safe life skills both at home and during their first years in school. Not only that, but their trained counselors teach these lessons through creative hands-on learning activities and fun, memorable experiences.
Your family can experience various children’s books come to life with the StoryWalk, located in Carter Park, Deerfield Township. The StoryWalk transforms the pages of children’s books into directional signs that will lead families through an interactive learning trail. It’s a great way to exercise together as a family as well as focus on learning more about nature and the environment. This free, self-guided tour is open during park hours. A few of the previous books used in the StoryWalk include ‘Around One Log: Chipmunks, Spiders, and Creepy Insiders,’ ‘Near One Cattail: Turtles, Logs, and Leaping Frogs,’ and ‘In the Trees, Honey Bees’.
Gorman Heritage Farm
A 122-acre working farm, Gorman Heritage Farm is an outdoor education center that invites visitors to learn about the history and values surrounding a working family farm. Participate in a guided tour led by the knowledgeable farm staff and get up close and personal with the friendly farm animals and various machinery. You can also take your family on one of the self-guided tours. Explore farm buildings and machines such as chicken coops, barns, tractors, and combines. In the Children’s Garden area, you’ll learn about a variety of fruit trees as well as the ecological impact of compost piles. The Animals on the Farm tour includes visiting animals like chickens, dwarf rabbits, and miniature donkeys. Gorman Heritage Farm is only a 20-minute drive from Mason.
Celebrate the heritage and culture of northern Kentucky as part of the Ohio Valley at the Behringer-Crawford Museum. A short 35-minute drive from Mason, this family-friendly museum features fascinating collections that will teach your little ones about the area’s cultural history in a fun and creative way. Your family will learn how the Ohio River became an important source of livelihood and transportation for their ancestors while exploring the Wake Robin Riverboat interactive play area. Your children will thoroughly enjoy the Prehistory Gallery where they can view sea fossils, Ice Age mammal fossils, Native American artifacts, and more.
Cincinnati Museum Center
Regardless of age, interest, or learning style, the Cincinnati Museum Center has events and programs any child will love. As a multi-museum complex, they focus on an abundance of topics including art, culture, science, history, and technology. The museum’s educators offer a wide range of programs from free exploration and play to planned workshops. At Pet Academy, your children will meet local therapy dogs and learn tips on how to keep their own pets healthy and happy. The STEM Lab offers the opportunity for further exploration in the sciences through chemistry demonstrations and touchscreen televisions.
Big Bone Lick State Historic Site
One of the more unique state parks in northern Kentucky, Big Bone Lick State Historic Site tells the story of some of America’s earliest prehistoric inhabitants. This area, once covered with swamps, was full of minerals and water these early animals could not resist. Primitive horses, giant mammoths and mastodons, the stag-moose, and the ground sloth are just a few of the ancient animals that made this land their home. Over thousands of years, the bones of these large creatures accumulated and eventually became the paleontology miracle it is today. Only a one-hour drive away, The Big Bone Lick Museum features several displays that include Ordovician fossils, Ice Age mammal bones, Native American artifacts, and much more.
Cincinnati Scavenger Hunt: True America
A completely interactive experience for families of any ages, the Cincinnati Scavenger Hunt offers an outdoor learning adventure you won’t soon forget. Together you’ll discover interesting historical and cultural facts about this great city as you trek from landmark to landmark searching plaques, statues, and art for answers to trivia questions. There are also photo challenges to engage in and curious riddles to solve that will make this day both thrilling and enlightening. This one-of-a-kind adventure is a scavenger hunt tour, interactive game, and time of family connection all rolled into one. You won’t want to miss out on this!
Which Educational Destination Will You Choose?
Now that Creme de la Creme of Deerfield Township has given you our best recommendations for cool education destinations in Mason, which one will you and your family explore together first? Have you already visited a few of these creative centers and have a family-favorite? Do you have other educational recommendations for the families of Mason? We’d love to hear about them! Simply contact us to let us know what your favorites are.