If you’re a traveler looking for the ideal location in the state of Ohio with a ton of activities to keep you occupied, Manfield is the best choice. Mansfield, which is located in the center of Ohio, is a beautiful city with a long history and vibrant culture.

Mansfield, which is in Richland County, is located midway between Cleveland and Columbus. Being the biggest city in the Mid-Ohio region has earned it the moniker “The Fun Center of Ohio.”

There is never a dull moment in this fascinating town. Whether you’re a local looking for new experiences or a visitor exploring this charming city for the first time, you’ll find an abundance of activities to keep you entertained.

Here is a list of the best things to do in Mansfield, Ohio, to make your vacation special and guarantee that you have a stay full of memorable experiences.

Fun things to do in Mansfield, Ohio

1. Ohio State Reformatory

Start your Mansfield adventure with a visit to the Ohio State Reformatory, an iconic historic prison with captivating architecture.

The prison is known for its stunning Gothic architecture, with its massive stone walls, turrets, and a central guard tower. It’s often considered one of the most impressive examples of the Gothic Revival style in American architecture.

Today, the Ohio State Reformatory is a popular tourist attraction and historical site. Visitors can take guided tours of the prison, learning about its history, architecture, and the various parts of the facility, including the cell blocks, chapel, and administrative areas. The reformatory also hosts special events, including ghost tours, paranormal investigations, and even the occasional music or arts event.

2. Kingwood Center Gardens

Stroll through the exquisite Kingwood Center Gardens, a 47-acre estate showcasing meticulously maintained gardens, fountains, and charming buildings. The estate includes several greenhouses where visitors can see a diverse range of plants, including tropical and exotic species.

The gardens are known for their seasonal displays, including vibrant spring blooms, colorful summer flowers, and festive holiday decorations during the winter months.

The picturesque gardens make Kingwood Center a popular spot for photographers, especially during the blooming seasons, so be sure to come with your camera.

3. Richland Carrousel Park

Richland Carrousel Park is a family-friendly delight featuring a hand-carved carrousel with 52 whimsical animal figures. The centerpiece of the park is a meticulously crafted carrousel, which was built by Carousel Works, a renowned manufacturer of wooden carousels. This carousel features 52 hand-carved, colorful, and whimsical animal figures, including horses, rabbits, deer, and more. It’s a delightful and nostalgic ride that appeals to visitors of all ages.

The park hosts special events throughout the year, including holiday-themed activities, community gatherings, and educational programs. It’s a popular venue for birthday parties and group outings.

There is an outdoor picnic area adjacent to the park where visitors can enjoy a meal or snacks in a pleasant setting.

4. Mansfield Memorial Museum

Mansfield Memorial Museum is a historical museum dedicated to preserving and showcasing the history and heritage of the local area. It is often referred to as the “Mansfield Memorial Museum of Art.”

The museum was founded in 1889 by Edward Wilkinson, a local industrialist and philanthropist, in memory of his wife, Mary Hanna Wilkinson. It was originally established as a memorial to honor her memory.

While the museum is primarily focused on local history, it also has an art collection that includes paintings and sculptures. These artworks offer insight into the cultural and artistic history of the region.

5. Mohican State Park

One of the best fun things to do in Manfield, Ohio is to visit the Mohican State Park. For nature lovers, this captivating park shouldn’t be missed for anything as it’s a haven for outdoor recreation.

Hike through lush forests, enjoy a scenic drive, or partake in water-based activities along the Clear Fork River. The park is renowned for its picturesque landscapes, which include dense forests, sandstone cliffs, and the scenic Clear Fork Gorge. The Clear Fork River meandering through its park, adds to its natural beauty.

Visitors to the Park have several options for accommodations. There are campsites available for both tent and RV camping, as well as cabins and cottages for those looking for a more comfortable stay.

6. Renaissance Theatre

Experience the vibrant arts scene of Mansfield by attending a performance at the Renaissance Theatre.

The Theatre is renowned for its architectural beauty, including ornate detailing, a grand lobby, and an elegant auditorium with a capacity of around 1,400 seats. The venue’s architecture reflects the opulence and grandeur of the early 20th-century entertainment venues.

The Renaissance Theatre is a hub for the performing arts in Mansfield and the surrounding region. It hosts a wide range of cultural events and performances, including Broadway shows, musicals, plays, concerts, dance performances, and more. The venue serves as a platform for both local and touring artists and productions

7. Mansfield Lahm Air National Guard Base

For aviation enthusiasts, a visit to the Mansfield Lahm Air National Guard Base is a unique opportunity to explore the world of aviation and learn about its significant role in national defense.

The base is named after 1st Lt. Jerry A. Lahm, a Mansfield native who served in World War I and was killed in action in 1918.

Learn about the essential role the Mansfield Lahm Air National Guard Base played in safeguarding the locals during the First World War by capturing some of the noteworthy First World War events that are nearby.

8. Malabar Farm State Park

Malabar Farm was once the home of Louis Bromfield, a famous author and conservationist. He purchased the farm in 1939 and transformed it into a working farm. The farm became a gathering place for celebrities and intellectuals of the time.

The park features the scenic Pleasant Valley area, which includes rolling hills, forests, and picturesque meadows. The park offers camping facilities, including both RV and tent camping. There are campsites available with electric hookups, as well as more primitive camping options.

The park features several ponds where visitors can go fishing. Common species include bass, bluegill, and catfish. A valid Ohio fishing license is required.

9. Oak Hill Cottage

Explore the historic Oak Hill Cottage, a beautifully preserved Gothic Revival house that offers insight into the daily life of 19th-century Mansfield residents.

Oak Hill Cottage was constructed in 1847 in the Gothic Revival architectural style. It was originally built as a private residence for John Robinson, a local businessman.

The cottage is surrounded by beautiful gardens that add to its charm and provide a peaceful setting for visitors to enjoy. The gardens are meticulously maintained and feature a variety of plants and flowers. Your itinerary of the best things to do in Manfield, Ohio is incomplete without adding Oak Hill Cottage to your list.

10. Feed Birds at the Ohio Bird Sanctuary

Ohio Bird Sanctuary is dedicated to the conservation and rehabilitation of birds of prey and other native Ohio bird species. The sanctuary serves as both a haven for injured and orphaned birds as well as an educational center for the public.

Visitors to the sanctuary can explore various aviaries and exhibits showcasing a wide range of native Ohio bird species, including birds of prey like eagles, hawks, and owls. These exhibits offer an up-close look at these magnificent birds and provide information about their natural behaviors and habitats.

Picnic tables are placed throughout the property to ensure that families may fully enjoy their visit. It won’t come as a surprise if a gorgeous bird lands on your arm as you try to feed it.

Visitors can also donate to the refuge, which is well-recognized for caring for sick and injured birds.

11. Snow Trails

Snow Trails is a popular ski resort located in Mansfield, Ohio. It’s one of the few ski resorts in Ohio and has been serving winter sports enthusiasts for many years.

This is another top thing to add to your list of captivating things to do in Mansfield, Ohio. Snow Trails offers skiing and snowboarding opportunities with a variety of slopes and trails suitable for all skill levels, from beginners to more advanced riders. They have a range of terrain, including beginner slopes, intermediate runs, and some challenging terrain for experienced skiers and snowboarders.

In addition to skiing and snowboarding, Snow Trails offers snow tubing, which is a popular activity for visitors of all ages.

The resort typically has a lodge where visitors can warm up, enjoy a meal, or relax by the fire. There may also be a bar and restaurant on-site for après-ski entertainment.

12. Go On a Bible Walk

The BibleWalk is a bible museum that depicts scenes and characters from the Bible in wax form. BibleWalk is a deeply religious, cultural, and artistic place depicting wax figures in reference to Christian events, particularly from the Bible, and was established in 1987.

The significance is such that each year more than 40,000 visitors come to see it, often from Columbus, Cleveland, and other parts of Ohio.

Sometimes, visitors come from as far as South Africa, Asia, and the UK. The museum offers five different tours, with 78 scenes and over 300 life-size figures.

The museum also holds rare versions of the Bible and other religious artifacts.

13 Visit the Blueberry Patch

The Blueberry Patch is a well-known and beloved blueberry farm and pick-your-own berry patch located in Mansfield. It is a family-owned and operated business that has been serving the local community and visitors for many years. The Blueberry Patch can literally be called the “sweetest” destination in Mansfield.

Visitors are invited to come to the farm during the blueberry season, typically in the summer months, to pick their own fresh, ripe blueberries. This is a popular activity for families and individuals who enjoy the experience of harvesting their own fruit.

The farm offers a variety of blueberry bushes, including different cultivars and sizes of berries. This diversity allows visitors to choose the type of blueberries they prefer and pick them to their liking.

In addition to blueberries, The Blueberry Patch may offer other seasonal produce, such as raspberries, blackberries, and peaches. The availability of these fruits can vary depending on the time of year.

14. Charles Mill Lake Park

Charles Mill Lake Park is a popular recreational area located in Richland County. The park is centered around Charles Mill Lake, a reservoir created by the construction of the Charles Mill Dam on the Black Fork of the Mohican River.

Charles Mill Lake is a great destination for boating and fishing enthusiasts. The lake offers opportunities for boating, kayaking, canoeing, and jet skiing. Anglers can fish for a variety of species, including bass, catfish, and crappie.

The park typically has a designated swimming beach area where visitors can cool off during the summer months. Swimming is often supervised, making it a family-friendly activity.

The Park provides options for both tent and RV camping. There are campgrounds with various amenities, including electric hookups, showers, and restrooms. Campers can enjoy the scenic surroundings and proximity to the lake.

15. Little Buckeye Children’s Museum

Families with children will appreciate the Little Buckeye Children’s Museum, a hands-on learning experience that’s both fun and educational.

Children are encouraged to touch, explore, and interact with the exhibits. This hands-on approach allows them to learn about various topics in a fun and engaging way.

Many exhibits at the Little Buckeye Children’s Museum incorporate role-playing and pretend play. Children can dress up in costumes and engage in imaginative play scenarios, which can help develop their creativity and social skills.

The museum offers birthday party packages, making it a popular destination for children’s birthday celebrations. They may also host special events and fundraisers throughout the year.

16. Gorman Nature Center

Explore the Gorman Nature Center and its network of trails, which are perfect for birdwatching and getting in touch with nature.

Gorman Nature Center offers a network of well-maintained nature trails that wind through diverse ecosystems. These trails provide opportunities for hiking, birdwatching, wildlife observation, and exploring the natural beauty of the area.

The diverse habitats found at Gorman Nature Center make it a great spot for birdwatching. Gorman Nature Center provides an excellent setting for nature study and photography. Visitors can explore the area’s natural features and capture the beauty of the local landscapes and wildlife.

17. Deer Ridge Golf Club

Golf enthusiasts can tee off at the Deer Ridge Golf Club, a well-maintained course with picturesque views.

The Deer Ridge Golf Club is a championship golf course, designed by Brian Huntley carved out of the rolling hills of the Mohican Valley with large undulating greens that will challenge any caliber player. Bring your camera to capture the many scenic vistas of Deer Ridge.

With breathtaking views from every hole on the course, Deer Ridge will challenge you to use every club in your bag. Many of the holes are tree-lined, with large elevation changes and challenging pin positions.

The professional staff is dedicated to providing the highest level of customer service and will take pride in satisfying your individual needs.

18. Hidden Hollow Camp

Bring the family to Hidden Hollow Camp, a nature-themed play area and educational facility that’s perfect for kids.

You’ve got to instill a love for the outdoors in your offspring while they’re young, and Hidden Hollow Campground is just the place to do it.

It’s a somewhat petite place to camp and it’s perfectly suited to youngsters with rules against alcohol, stocked ponds from which to fish, tables at which to picnic, and three-mile hiking loops. There’s also a land lab you can visit to learn about the environment. Those who wish can shoot their own paper clay targets at the range.

19. Grab a Drink at The Phoenix Brewing Company

It’s possible that you want to unwind with an ice-cold beer after all the sightseeing and shopping.

The Phoenix Brewing Company is the place to go when you’re in Mansfield. The brewery is housed in a former funeral home that has been refurbished.
People frequently take tours of the building today to visit the basement, where the brewing is currently done.

With red brick walls and golden lights, the architecture is regal and the structure has a historic appearance.

The selection of beers and other beverages is limitless, and the atmosphere is unquestionably hip.
To enhance the mood, music stations are always on.

20. B&O Trail

Connecting Mansfield with the surrounding towns of Bellville, Lexington, and Butler, the 18-mile (29 km) B&O Bike Trail whisk cyclists past some of Northern Ohio’s most scenic forests, farmland, and rivers.

The public can use the pathway all year round for activities including cycling, running, hiking, and, if the weather is right, cross-country skiing.

The bikeway, which was constructed along the historic Baltimore & Ohio Railway rails, connects many of the region’s most popular sites and destinations and is one of the best ways to go through Mansfield and the other communities.

Also, Read 20 Best Interesting Things to Do in Bayfield, WI

Frequently Asked Questions About Manfield, Ohio

Where is Mansfield, Ohio located?

Mansfield is located in north-central Ohio, United States, approximately midway between Cleveland and Columbus.

What is Mansfield, Ohio known for?

Mansfield is known for its rich history, iconic Ohio State Reformatory, beautiful Kingwood Center Gardens, and its connection to the film “The Shawshank Redemption,” which was partially filmed at the reformatory.

What are the top tourist attractions in Mansfield?

Some of the top tourist attractions in Mansfield include the Ohio State Reformatory, Kingwood Center Gardens, Richland Carrousel Park, and Mohican State Park.

Is the Ohio State Reformatory open to the public?

Yes, the Ohio State Reformatory is open to the public for tours. Visitors can explore the historic prison, learn about its history, and even take guided tours that delve into its cinematic connections.

Are there outdoor activities near Mansfield, Ohio?

Yes, there are plenty of outdoor activities near Mansfield, including hiking in Mohican State Park, boating and fishing at Charles Mill Lake Park, and skiing and snowboarding at Snow Trails in the winter.

What is the best time to visit Mansfield?

The best time to visit Mansfield depends on your preferences. Spring and summer are great for outdoor activities, while fall offers beautiful foliage. Winter is ideal for skiing and winter sports enthusiasts.

Are there family-friendly attractions in Mansfield?

Mansfield offers several family-friendly attractions, including the Little Buckeye Children’s Museum, Hidden Hollow Camp, and the Richland Carrousel Park.

What are some local dishes or specialties to try in Mansfield?

Local specialties in Mansfield include buckeye candies (peanut butter and chocolate confections), homemade apple butter, and various comfort foods often found in local diners and restaurants.

Is Mansfield near any major cities?

Yes, Mansfield is approximately equidistant from two major Ohio cities: Cleveland to the north and Columbus to the south. It’s also within driving distance of other Ohio cities and attractions.

Can I explore Mansfield’s history beyond the Ohio State Reformatory?

Yes, you can explore Mansfield’s history by visiting the Mansfield Memorial Museum, Oak Hill Cottage, and Malabar Farm State Park, which offer insights into the city’s heritage.

Are there cultural events and performances in Mansfield?

Yes, the Renaissance Theatre in Mansfield hosts a variety of cultural events, including Broadway shows, concerts, and local theater productions.

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