I don’t know about you, but keeping kids entertained in the summer can be exhausting and expensive. Luckily, in Findlay, there are a lot of family friendly options that are both fun and affordable! Check out the ideas listed here that are all no more than $5 a person.
Pick a Park
Find your favorite area park and playground and have fun! No matter if your family wants to walk the trails, go fishing, splash in some water, or find their imagination on a playground there are many choices to choose from. Pick a park every weekend and let us know your favorite at the end of the summer (you can even keep track of your favorite parks in our free Kids Passport!). We love all our parks, but we are especially partial to Miracle Park and Playground, Oakwoods Nature Preserve, Riverside Park (keep reading for info about the StoryWalk!), Fort Findlay Playground at Emory-Adams Park, Brucklacher Memorial Park, and Riverbend Recreation Area. Learn more here!
Experience the Mazza Magic
If your family hasn’t already been to the Mazza Museum you need to make plans to do so immediately. This museum, located on University of Findlay’s campus, displays original children’s book illustrations with the coordinating book displayed alongside it. Families can come to the museum and see concept art, as well as finished pages from favorite books from childhood. This magical museum can’t be missed! Mazza is open Wednesday – Friday, Noon – 5 p.m. and Sunday, 1 – 4 p.m. Learn more here!
Did you know that all of the art galleries in Findlay are free to visit? Of course, we just mentioned Mazza Museum, but Findlay Art League is a can’t-miss experience for the art lovers in your family. Each month the gallery features a new show, and also has workshops and classes throughout the summer and the year (for adults and kids!). Findlay Art League is open Tuesday – Friday, Noon – 5:30 p.m. and Saturday, Noon – 4 p.m. Located just a couple blocks away is Marathon Center for the Performing Arts’ Fisher/Wall Art Gallery. The gallery is located on the top floor of MCPA and changes shows every 6-8 weeks. Fisher/Wall Art Gallery is open Monday – Friday, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., but you should call to confirm if making a special trip. Another free way to experience the arts in Findlay this summer is to take part in the self-guided Mural Trail! Hancock County is home to so many murals, many that were added by Awakening Minds Art in recent months, are interactive and make great photo ops. Learn more here!
Take a (Story) Walk
Get outside and read a few books each by visiting our area StoryWalks! Simply start at the beginning and page one and read as you walk the path, by the end of your walk you will have read an entire book! The Findlay-Hancock County Public Library shares which stories will be featured each month at each location for you to enjoy as you walk. StoryWalks are located at Riverside Park (begin near the Band Shell!), Benton Ridge Park, and Findlay City Schools Jacobs Preschool (park in the lots off of N. Blanchard or Glenwood St.), Jacobs playground is open to the public when school is not in session). Learn more here!
Hop on the Train
$2-$3 per person
Northwest Ohio Railroad Preservation, Inc. is one of Findlay’s not-so-hidden gems with fun for the entire family, especially those that are train-obsessed. NWORRP is made up of a museum, playground, and, of course, quarter-scale trains. On your visit you will want to spend some time in the museum learning about the rail industry, as well as checking out the multi-room model train setup (it is so impressive!). Admission to NWORRP includes 1 train ride, but you can always purchase additional rides as well. You can choose to ride inside the train or in the open air section – for a size reference see the photo of my 6′ 4″ husband inside the train car! NWORRP is $3 for adults and $2 for children, and is open Saturdays and Sunday, 1 – 4 p.m. Learn more here!
Take a Dip at an Area Pool
$3-$5 per person
One of the easiest ways to stay cool this summer is going to the pool! Luckily, Hancock County is home to several great community pools for you to choose from. Findlay’s Riverside Pool‘s admission is $3 for children up to 17 and $5 for adults. The pool at Mt. Blanchard costs $4 for those 4 and older. The Arlington Pool and McComb Pool each cost $5 for entry (McComb does have $1 Mondays!) and Bluffton Community Pool admission is $4, with 2 and under free. Learn more here!
Travel Back in History
When I asked my kids which part of the Hancock Historical Museum was their favorite it launched more than a 10 minute
argument discussion about their favorites. The Transportation Room was a must-see for my vehicle loving 6-year-old, the log cabin is a favorite of my 9-year-old who is currently reading Little House in the Big Woods. We all love picking our favorite pieces of Findlay Glass and enjoy seeing the different rotating displays throughout the year. They both agreed that touring the Hull House is a must (they made their own spooky stories for the house that I’m 99% sure are not historically accurate) and don’t get them started on the bath tub from the USS Maine, who’s unique story hooks them every visit. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for seniors, and $2 for children, the museum is open Wednesday – Friday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Sunday, 1 – 4 p.m. Learn more here!
Paddle the Blanchard
$5 for a 30 minute rental
An afternoon spent on the Blanchard is always an afternoon well-spent. Zonta Landing at Riverside Park offers canoes, kayaks, and paddleboats to rent for just $5 for 30 minutes. You can paddle around the park or head upstream a little bit to paddle through Findlay Country Club and even all the way to Eastpoint Landing near Bright Road. Zonta Landing is open Saturday, Sundays, and holidays in the summer from 1 – 7 p.m. Of course, if you have your own kayak or canoe you’re not just limited to the Blanchard – see all the places you can put your boat in here. Learn more here!
Attend an Event!
There are SO many events and programs that take place year-round, but especially in the summer. There are several village festivals with free admission and low-cost activities, and several of summer’s favorite (and affordable!) annual events like Northwest Ohio Antique Machinery Show, Car Tunes on Main, and Flag City BalloonFest are all back in full force this year!
MCPA’s weekly Lunchtime Lives and Riverside Summer Concert Series are free and held at Riverside Park will put a little boogie in your family’s summer. SummerREAD at Findlay-Hancock County Public Library incentivizes reading and allows kids to earn points as they read and complete fun (free!) activities at home. The library offers many opportunities for free and affordable fun each week with story times for different ages, Makerspace and Teen-specific programming, take-home activities, and much more. Hancock Parks also offers a full calendar of programs and events in the summer, most of which are under $5 or free. HPD and the library do require pre-registration for many programs so be sure to plan ahead! Learn more here!
Bonus: Children’s Museum of Findlay
While admission is more than $5 ($7 per person), the Children’s Museum of Findlay is well-worth a couple extra dollars for a fun day…and a break from the summer heat. While it is a chunk of change from the get-go, a family membership is $100 and pays for itself in just 4 visits for a family of 4. The Children’s Museum is open Wednesday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Sunday, Noon – 4 p.m.
This is just a small sampling of the affordable fun awaiting you and your family this summer – be sure to share your budget-friendly ideas with us!