Editors' Picks: 20 of the Best Things to Do in Ohio!

Winter, spring, summer and fall, there's plenty to do in Ohio. Looking for excitement, adventure, or just plain old family fun? We've got a list of the best activities for year-round enjoyment in the Buckeye State.

Toledo Craftsman's Guild Spring Festival of Crafts

Held in Toledo's spacious Stranahan Great Hall every spring, this arts and crafts spectacular is just one of the many shows presented by the Toledo Craftsman's Guild each year in the Glass City. Bringing together a bevy of local artisans selling hand-crafted and uniquely appealing art and decor, the show also features a chance for visitors to win gift certificates to local merchants. Altruistic souls will appreciate the fact that, like several other shows presented by the Craftsman's Guild, this event encourages visitors to bring household and food items to support local charities.

Where to go: Toledo

When to visit: March

Admission fee: Both admission and parking are free.

Don't miss: One-of-a-kind, hand-crafted home decor, art, fashion, and collectibles. Multiple drawings to win free gift certificates.

Sugar Maple Festival

Spring brings sugar maple fever to this Southwestern Ohio town. Featuring live music, plenty of delicious food, a dog show, and more, this festival brings together sweet treat, good eats, plenty of kids' activities, and a festive beer garden for the adults.

Where to go: Bellbrook

When to visit: April

Admission fee: None

Don't miss: The fabulously fun recycled art contest, the craft beer garden, the big parade, featuring everything from dog show winners to performing horses, antique cars, and local marching bands.

Dyngus Day Cleveland

Polka power! Celebrating the Forest City's deep Polish and Eastern European roots, Dyngus Day ("Wet Monday" in Polish, another term for Easter Monday) serves up the all-day live polka music with delicious food, dancing, and plenty of beer to create "the biggest polka party Cleveland has ever seen!"

Where to go: Cleveland

When to visit: Easter Monday

Admission fee: None

Don't miss: In addition to the rocking polka beats, keep an eye out for plenty of Polish treats for sale in the food market, as well as the Miss Dyngus competition, a variety of craft beers, and more. Also, don't forget your squirt gun-this holiday lives up to its "Wet Monday" appellation, with everyone trying to soak everyone else! You might want to pack a pussy willow or two as well. Old Polish tradition makes the fuzzy buds the weapon of choice for fun-seeking pranksters on Dyngus Day.

Appalachian Festival

Immerse yourself in Ohio's proud Appalachian culture and history with a visit to this annual festival in Cincinnati. For nearly 50 years, the Appalachian Festival has celebrated the Buckeye State's legacy of old-fashioned arts and crafts, delicious food, and rolicking music. From kettle corn to basket weaving to living history presented by storytellers and musicians, this festival has something for everyone who's ever been curious about Appalachia.

Where to go: Cincinnati

When to visit: Mother's Day weekend

Admission fee: General admission (ages 12 to 54): $10.00. Senior citizens (ages 55+): $5.00. Children (ages 4-11): $2.00. Children (ages 3 & under): Free. Parking: $6.00

Don't miss: You'll need all three days to experience the wonders of this sprawling festival, which includes mountains of down-home food, educational demonstrations, live music and dancing, an arts and crafts marketplace, living history reenactments, and more.

Arbor Day Festival

Nature and nurture come together at this festival, which celebrates Arbor Day and gives visitors to the Dawes Arboretum in Newark a chance to connect with animals, learn about our planet, and enjoy a variety of family-friendly activities. You can browse local crafts, learn how to climb a tree, and even take home a tree of your own to plant!

Where to go: Newark

When to visit: On or around Arbor Day

Admission fee: None

Don't miss: The birds of prey educational encounter; the nursery plant sale; tree climbing and plant identification demonstrations.

Cincy Fringe Festival

Weird. Experimental. Insanely fun. These are some of the words that get used every year to describe the Cincy Fringe Festival, a twelve-day celebration of "theatre, art, music, dance, and everything in between." Presented by The Know Theatre, this festival is a dozen days of avant garde art that's a feast for the senses.

Where to go: Cincinnati

When to visit: Late May/Early June

Admission fee: Event pass and individual performance ticket prices vary.

Don't miss: Scattered across dozens of venues and featuring a smorgasbord of eclectic, eccentric, and electric pop-up performances, exploratory presentations, and experimental art, this festival has something for just about every lover of theatre and the arts. Bring an open mind, be on time (latecomers will not be seated!) and be sure to enjoy some craft beer and local food along with the performances.

Troy Strawberry Festival

Despite a population of less than 30,000, this small town in Southwestern Ohio regularly draws close to 200,000 people each year for its Strawberry Festival. For four decades, the town has attracted visitors in droves with its combination of food, fun, and crafts, all of it influenced by the mighty strawberry (a local favorite and a big crop for area farmers).

Where to go: Troy

When to visit: The first weekend of June

Admission fee: None

Don't miss: Expect plenty of live music, special events (including a pie-eating contest), a wide variety of arts and crafts for sale, and-of course-plenty of strawberries and strawberry-infused treats. The festival is especially famous for its strawberry doughnuts, but come be prepared-the line forms early and never seems to shorten.

Yellow Springs Street Fair

Billed as "A day of small-town hoopla," this popular festival attracts visitors from across the state twice a year (the summer festival has a sister celebration in October). Arts, crafts, live music and local micro-brews, as well as plenty of delicious food, are on offer, with a focus on ethically made and locally-sourced products.

Where to go: Yellow Springs

When to visit: The second weekend in June (and October)

Admission fee: None. Parking is free, although some private paid parking is also available.

Don't miss: With roaming street performers of all stripes, two music stages, a beer garden, and hundreds of local and area vendors, you're sure to find something you'll love at this semi-annual celebration.

Rib, White and Blue

You'd be hard pressed to find a more patriotic celebration than this blend of fireworks, barbeque, and live music, held annually on Independence Day weekend. The eponymous ribs are provided by a slate of visiting barbeque experts from several states, while a blend of artists, performers, and vendors provide entertainment and tasty treats. The whole show concludes with a concert from the Akron Symphony Orchestra and a fireworks spectacular.

Where to go: Akron

When to visit: Independence Day Weekend

Admission fee: None. Public parking is free.

Don't miss: You won't want to miss the various tempting barbeque treats (including ribs) on offer by the visiting chefs, all of whom are competing for cash, prizes, and bragging rights. Be sure to catch a concert or two at one of several stages offering a mix of popular music, and definitely stick around for the city's official Independence Day fireworks extravaganza on the fourth.

Hispanic Heritage Festival

This massive, multicultural celebration of Latin food, history, culture and art has been lighting up the Gem City since the turn of the century. Presented by the Dayton chapter of the Puerto Rican, American, and Caribbean Organization (PACO), the festival welcomes visitors with authentic dance, food, and arts from various countries throughout Latin America.

Where to go: Dayton

When to visit: August

Admission fee: None. Public parking is free.

Don't miss: The festival's parade is a must-see, and the sheer variety of musical acts and vendors gives visitors an impromptu trip through multiple cultures and traditions in a single afternoon. Don't forget to enter the raffle for a chance at some interesting local prizes.

Hungarian Scout Festival

Ohio's largest Hungarian festival is also a celebration of the proud tradition of support for scouting shown by the Cleveland-area Hungarian community. In addition to a wide variety of scouting-related activities for local troop members, the festival offers authentic Hungarian cuisine, dancing demonstrations (and instruction, for the brave) and folk art.

Where to go: Parma

When to visit: August/September

Admission fee: General admission: $7. Children under ten are free. Parking is free.

Don't miss: While enjoying the bevy of tempting tasty Hungarian dishes on offer, visitors should be sure to catch the Hungarian folk dancing performances presented throughout the day, as well as the raffle, soccer matches, and kids' activities.

Black Swamp Arts Festival

The Great Black Swamp might be (mostly) a thing of the past, but this arts festival-first held in 1993-is still going strong today. With more than 150 juried art exhibits, live music, world cuisine, and lots of interactive fun, the Black Swamp Arts Festival combines art appreciation with creation, imagination, and fun.

Where to go: Bowling Green

When to visit: September (the first weekend after Labor Day)

Admission fee: None

Don't miss: The BG Rotary Chalk Walk, featuring art created by area high school students and art departments. Also, those with children will love the Kiwanis Youth Arts Village, which gives kids a chance to create their own art while learning more about its fundamentals.

Woolybear Festival

Billed as "Ohio's largest one-day festival," the Woolybear Festival celebrates the mystical prognosticative powers of the humble woolybear, a caterpillar used by some folks to predict the severity of winter weather. Created in 1973 by legendary Cleveland weatherman Dick Goddard, the festival is well-known for its woolybear costume contest for pets and children, as well as a kids' race, one of Ohio's largest festival parades, and plenty of food, crafts, and family fun.

Where to go: Vermillion

When to visit: October (The date varies, depending on the away schedule of the Cleveland Browns)

Admission fee: None

Don't miss: The costume contests are especially popular, with both kids and pets dressed up to compete for top honors as the best "woolybears" in their category. The official Woolybear Caterpillar Race is another huge draw, with fuzzy competitors selected by local celebrities vying for the win. And of course, no one will want to miss Dick Goddard's official prediction about the severity of winter, as determined by careful analysis of the ratio of orange to black in the season's woolybear fur!

Circleville Pumpkin Show

Pumpkins are everywhere in the Buckeye State during autumn, but there's probably nowhere in the Ohio with more of them than Circleville during the third Wednesday through Sunday of October. Since 1903, the town's been feting these holiday gourds with pumpkin growing contests, live music, food, and crafts.

Where to go: Circleville

When to visit: October (Always the third Wednesday through Sunday)

Admission fee: None

Don't miss: There's plenty to see and do, from costume contests to concerts to parades to pumpkin-flavored everything, but the real stars of the show are the pumpkins. The competition for top honors is hot and (literally) heavy, with winners regularly topping three-quarters of a ton. Bring your appetite-that's a lot of pumpkin pie.

Count Krumnow's Tombstone Derby

Spook-tacular! It's spine-tingling fun for the whole family at this unique festival in northern Ohio. Watch competitors race their Halloween-themed creations-including coffins, hearses, and even a few bikes, trikes, and unicycles-grab a scary snack from the "Ghoulish Food" vendors, or enter one of the festival's multiple contests. Don't forget to dress up!

Where to go: Elmore

When to visit: October (On or around Halloween)

Admission fee: None

Don't miss: There's a contest for just about everyone at this festival, from vehicle races to pie baking to carnival games. Tarot readings and appearances by paranormal investigators Spectral Travels round out the festivities.

Jungle Jim's International Wine Festival

Leave the kids at home for, and brace yourself for the holidays with, this celebration of international wines. The Grand Tasting features more than 400 wines, along with food pairings, a commemorative glass and tasting guide, and special access for those who upgrade to "Connoisseur" tickets.

Where to go: Fairfield

When to visit: November

Admission fee: Ticket prices vary from $25 for "Non Drinkers" and "Designated Drivers" to $115 for "Connoisseurs."

Don't miss: Wine lovers will have an embarrassment of riches at their palates' disposal during this exclusive event. Upgrading to "Connoisseur" level enables access to additional wines, as well as special food options and the Oscar Bar. Enrolling in the Buyer's Program will grant participants the option of buying their favorite wines in advance and picking them up in time for the holidays.

Holiday in the City

Want to kick the holiday season off with a sparkly, frosty, blast? Pay a visit to Springfield's Holiday in the City. Decorating gingerbread houses, making festive holiday crafts, visiting with Santa, enjoying delicious treats-this one's got everything you need to get your ho-ho-holiday spirit glowing.

Where to go: Springfield

When to visit: Late November

Admission fee: Ticket prices vary for rides and activities.

Don't miss: Kids will love visiting with Santa, and the whole family can enjoy the thrills and spills of ice skating at the "Chiller" event. Another must-see is the Grand Illumination of the community Christmas tree and holiday lights, topped off with a dazzling fireworks display.

Walleye Madness @ Midnight

Ohioans have a lot of interesting ways to ring in the new year, but one of the wackiest just might be this New Year's Eve event, held annually in Port Clinton. Instead of a ball, the citizens drop an enormous, 600-pound fiberglass walleye (created in tribute to the very popular local game fish) to welcome another trip around the sun. Leading up to the big drop, visitors can enjoy street vendors offering food, keepsakes, and beverages and attend a "Kid's Drop" to ring in the New Year early for tots.

Where to go: Port Clinton

When to visit: New Year's Eve

Admission fee: None

Don't miss: The fun begins at 6 p.m., and ends well after midnight, with live entertainment, fireworks, and more. Kids will definitely want to "Touch a Truck" during a unique event designed to showcase firetrucks and other big machines, and everyone will enjoy a rousing game of "rock, paper, scissors" taken to a whole new level.

Mohican Winterfest

Sub-zero temperatures might not be your favorite thing, but they're always welcome at Mohican Winterfest. The stars of this icy show are meticulously crafted ice sculptures, created by local artisans and lining Main Street.

Where to go: Loudonville

When to visit: January

Admission fee: None

Don't miss: The sculptures are the main attraction, but this frosty festival heats up thanks to fire dancing performances, as well as social media scavenger hunts, a toy train exhibition, and the first official hike of the year, the Winter Hike, on the last day of the celebration. Those looking for a cozier way to wrap up the event can attend a wine tasting and then cut a rug at the Snowball Dance.

Brite Winter

Billed as "Cleveland's Outdoor Art and Music Festival," Brite Winter combines the best of art, music, culture and refreshment to create a heady mix that's the perfect antidote for the winter "blahs." Food trucks, art games, and craft beer add a bit of spice to the rockin' music and art scene.

Where to go: Cleveland

When to visit: Mid-February

Admission fee: Donations encouraged. VIP passes available for $75 (two for $125).

Don't miss: This is definitely the place to be for anyone who's looking for an escape from cabin fever with an artistic twist. Multiple art installations, popular and upcoming musical talent, and plenty of food, drink, and dancing to keep everyone warm are all part of the Brite experience. Don't forget to bundle up-the event's coordinators suggest a hat, coat, and gloves at a minimum, with a strong recommendation for long johns or thermals underneath.

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