When the skies are gray and the weather is chilly or downright cold, you and your family probably want to spend the day inside. But if you don’t want to be cooped up in the house, you can go to one of Mason’s awesome indoor entertainment destinations. Whether your family wants to play games, splash around a pool, learn about history and science, or read a good book, there’s something for everyone in southwestern Ohio. Crème de la Crème of Deerfield Township has put together this list of our favorite things to do on a gray day in the Mason, Ohio, area.

Great Wolf Lodge

Image via Flickr by DiscoverDuPage Licensed CC BY 2.0

The Great Wolf Lodge has a location right here in Mason, and it’s the perfect place to get rid of rainy or snowy day blues. That’s because it boasts a signature indoor water park, a kid-friendly bowling alley, an arcade, mini golf, themed escape rooms, a Build-a-Bear Workshop, and family dining options. You can purchase one of the entertainment packages on their own, or have a family staycation with these fun activities and a sleepover in one of the themed rooms.

Cincinnati Museum Center

The Cincinnati Museum Center is home to three separate museums with tons of cool exhibits. In addition, there’s an OMNIMAX theater that plays fantastic documentaries that explore the depths of the oceans, fascinating animal habitats, expansive caves, and the final frontier of space.

The Children’s Museum has hands-on exhibits and activities that encourage learning through play. There are eight themed play areas, including two meant for the youngest museum visitors. In these areas, kids of all ages can learn about space, explore a forest, test their engineering skills, and play on a farm. The Cincinnati History Museum showcases the history of the area, including the early settlers, the evolution of transportation, and the people and events that currently shape Cincinnati today. The Museum of Natural History & Science features ancient dinosaur fossils, live science demonstrations, and an interactive lab.

Cincinnati Art Museum

If your family is more into art, consider spending the day exploring the Cincinnati Art Museum. Here you can view artworks from different time periods, including pieces by contemporary artists. You’ll see art from all over the world, too, including Africa, Asia, Europe, and America, and in different media, like sculptures and paintings. Plus, this museum regularly changes out pieces in its collection, so there’s always something new to appreciate. 

National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

Immerse your family in American history at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati. This museum features exhibits that educate on the history of slavery and race relations in America and around the world. You’ll also learn about the current forms of slavery that the museum and many different organizations are fighting against. Your family can view short films, artifacts, educational reenactments, art, and other items that help you better understand the people, events, and impacts related to slavery. The museum also hosts rotating special exhibits, including art exhibits and documentaries.

Newport Aquarium

Head over the state line to nearby Newport, Kentucky, for the Newport Aquarium. Here you and your family can explore fun ocean-themed exhibits, view all sorts of aquatic animals, and even get up close and personal with sharks and stingrays. This aquarium is home to hundreds of species, including sharks, water-dwelling reptiles like alligators and turtles, amphibians, snakes, freshwater and saltwater fish, and penguins. You can even walk through an Amazonian rainforest, climb across Shark Bridge, and watch penguins play in the snow.

Arcade Legacy

Bored of the games you’ve got at home? Head over to Arcade Legacy at the Cincinnati Mall or in nearby Newport, Kentucky. At both locations, you and your kids can play dozens of classic arcade games, including Galaga, Ms. Pac-Man, Rally-X, Mortal Kombat, and Street Fighter. There are free pinball games and 50-cent machines. This arcade also has contemporary console games on the Nintendo Switch, Xbox, and Playstation.

This place also has board games and comics you can purchase and enjoy in-store or at home. You only have to pay an entry fee to get in and play whatever you want for however long you want. 

Boonshoft Museum of Discovery

The Boonshoft Museum of Discovery in nearby Dayton is well worth the drive. This museum is fun for all ages and has many different fascinating exhibits that explore different subjects and themes, including animals, space, art, and nature. There are more than a dozen interactive exhibits, including rotating special exhibits the museum changes out every few months.

If you have small kiddos, the Kids Place is an indoor educational play place for children 4 years and younger that features toys, climbing areas, and more. The Discovery Zoo houses more than 100 animals of many different species including birds, bats, snakes, frogs, meerkats, otters, and more. The Hall of the Universe is your spot to learn about galaxies, planets, the Sun, and many other cool features of space. Splash! has you and your kids learning all about water systems, waste management, and careers in the water department right here in the Miami Valley.

Blue Marble Books

Blue Marble Books is an independent children’s bookstore located in nearby Fort Thomas, Kentucky. This local bookstore is an institution in Northern Kentucky and Southwestern Ohio, having been around since 1979. If it’s rainy or snowy outside, head here so your kids can explore the shelves to find new books to read, including those written and/or illustrated by local children’s authors and artists. Your kids will also love exploring the store’s recreation of the bedroom from the classic children’s book “Goodnight Moon.” 

This bookstore hosts weekly storytime events virtually on Facebook and Instagram Live, which you can enjoy from the comfort of your home. Or, you might visit for an author signing event so your children can meet their favorite storytellers and hear the book read aloud. 

So there you have, the eight best places to visit on a dreary day in southwestern Ohio. Did we miss your family’s favorite place to spend a gray day around Mason? If so, contact us today. We’ll be sure to add your favorite destination to our growing list!