The city of Lima in Ohio may seem quiet and unassuming at first, but within the streets and parks lie new adventures waiting for the young and old alike.
Located in the heart of Allen County, this Midwest city is a true American community and a home to diverse but welcoming groups of people.
There are beautiful parks, intriguing museums, and a thriving nightlife; there is no shortage of activities to try from sunrise to sunset.
Lima also has a storied past, with marks of its history dotting several places within the city limits.
There is something for everyone, so make sure you include the city on your next trip to Ohio.
Here are the 21 best things to do in Lima, OH:
Tour the Allen County Historical Society and Museum
The Allen County Historical Society and Museum is perhaps one of the most visited locations in the city.
It’s one of the places that preserves and showcases the region's rich history, especially the industries that once thrived years ago.
One of the most significant exhibits is Locomotion in Lima, which highlights the train and railroad industry that defines most of the city’s history.
Some of these train engines are still functioning, so there are regular train rides where children and adults can get a first-hand experience of riding a traditional train.
Another notable exhibit in the museum is the MacDonell House.
It’s a Victorian mansion with exquisitely carved furnishings, stained-glass windows, and other historical artifacts from bygone years.
Aside from these two attractions, there are also many other engaging exhibits and collections within the facility.
It’s half a city block’s worth of historical artifacts and structures!
Even if you spend a whole day exploring the museum, you might never run out of new things to learn.
Stay at Faurot Park
This 89-acre land is a great place for those who want to enjoy the outdoors but don’t want to stray too far from modern amenities.
Faurot Park park has been around since 1935, and today, it has grown into one of the most visited outdoor facilities in Lima by locals and visitors alike.
With the park’s green spaces and recreational structures, you’ll have plenty of things to do while there.
Sit back and relax under the shady trees overlooking the various small lakes dotting the landscape.
You can also try hiking on the paved and unpaved trails and experience a serene time with nature all around you.
There are baseball diamonds, volleyball courts, and a skate park where you can be as active as you want for those who want to try sports.
The park also serves as the venue for the annual Star Spangled Spectacular, where you can celebrate the Fourth of July under colorful fireworks.
If you are an art lover, then the ArtSpace/Lima is a must-add destination to your itinerary.
Occupying an old brick building in the city's northwest quadrant, this facility houses works by artists from the city and beyond.
You’ll find beautiful galleries, a large collection of artworks, and classrooms within its halls.
There are also engaging events, such as film showings, limited exhibits, music nights, and community engagement activities where everyone is invited to participate.
Visitors will gain a new appreciation of various forms of art while browsing the intriguing displays of the facility.
Make sure to drop by during your visit to the city!
Visit the Johnny Appleseed Metropolitan Park District-Office
The Johnny Appleseed Metropolitan Park District-Office is the headquarters of naturalists and rangers who run the various parks dotting Lima and the surrounding areas.
And while that may sound like a place where lots of boring administrative stuff happens, it’s really not the case.
The facility is surrounded by trees, trails, nature exhibits, and other nearby parks.
Whatever your age, you’ll have plenty of fun learning about rescue animals, local flora and fauna, and facts about the parks that are under their supervision.
There are also special events where special topics are discussed and showcased.
The facility also serves as a gateway to all the other outdoor recreational facilities of Lima, so make sure to make a stop and see all the nature-related destinations that the area has in store.
The people there would be glad to show you around.
Learn History at the Lincoln Park Railway Exhibit
Another destination in Lima that celebrates locomotives' history is the Lincoln Park Railway Exhibit.
The facility houses real steam engines, passenger cars, cabooses, and other railroad artifacts manufactured and produced more than a century ago.
Seeing these engineering marvels up close can be intimidating, but it’s a rare experience for history buffs.
Within the grounds, there are shady spots visitors and families can rest or eat.
It’s a quick but informative stopover for those who want to learn more about Lima’s past.
Relax at Schoonover Park
Schoonover Park is a quaint outdoor facility offering many activities for visitors.
Right in the middle is a 25-acre lake where you can catch the aquatic animals swimming in the depths.
If you’re planning to go swimming, there’s a pool within the park—a safer option for those who are bringing kids and those who aren’t comfortable in deeper waters.
Around the lake, there are many scenic picnic grounds surrounded by trees and other local flora.
It’s the perfect place to sit back and have a meal with your family.
At night, you can visit Lima’s only observatory located within the park.
Throughout the year, there are many astronomical events worth watching from this facility.
You can go stargazing or watch out for streaking lights during meteor showers!
Roam the Trails of McLean Teddy Bear Park
Near Johnny Appleseed Metropolitan Park District-Office is the McLean Teddy Bear Park.
Unfortunately, there are no cuddly teddy bears waiting for visitors.
But don’t let that stop you from visiting the park!
The well-maintained facility is peaceful and beautiful, offering many spots where you can relax and have a great time.
There are small ponds where you can catch freshwater fish with your kids.
No fishing license is needed!
There are also numerous winding trails for peaceful walks amidst trees and chittering birds.
An annual Maple Syrup Festival is also an exciting experience in the park, with many locals showcasing the sweetest maple products this side of Ohio.
Stay Awhile at Ottawa Metro Park Campground
If you want to stay in Lima for a longer period, then set up a camp at Ottawa Metro Park Campground.
The spacious facility has 30 sites, each with many amenities for a convenient and comfortable stay.
While there, you can rent a boat and go fishing at the Lima Lake reservoir or swim with your family at Ottawa Metro Park beach.
It’s perfectly safe even for kids, as there are park rangers and lifeguards on duty at all times.
Visit Lauer Historical Farm
For a relaxed time learning the agricultural history and practices of Lima, visit Lauer Historical Farm.
It has been around since the 1830s, and it has been continuously operating since World War II.
With its stoic silos and open farming spaces, this facility is a great example of the Midwest's thriving agricultural heritage.
You can roam around the verdant grounds, take pictures among the landscaped gardens and sunflower patches, and visit the restored structures.
It’s also open for events and celebrations.
Many people have chosen the farm as a wedding venue because of the peaceful and scenic surroundings.
Roam Around Allen County Farm Park
Another favorite family destination is the Allen County Farm Park.
The serene barn and grounds serve as another marker of the farming heritage in Lima, with many activities to try for kids and adults.
Here, you can hop on hayrides and go horseback riding, or you could simply roam the verdant ground and take in the beautiful scenery.
You can also join the biennial Apple Festival, where you can try various apple products created by local artisans.
Allen County Farm Park's barn is an ideal venue for those looking for a great location for their event or special occasion.
With the spacious and beautiful interiors and accommodating staff, you’ll have a hassle-free and memorable experience.
Make a Stopover at the Veterans Freedom Flag Monument
Patriotism is an important aspect of Lima’s culture, and it’s celebrated at the Veterans Freedom Flag Monument.
It consists of five towers arranged in such a way that they create the star-spangled banner.
Each column represents the five branches of the Armed Forces: Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Army.
It is meant to salute, thank, and celebrate the brave American veterans of the past, present, and future.
Also within the monument, there are soils collected from various battlefields and sites of conflict where our brave soldiers triumphed.
It’s truly a noble monument fitting for our heroes.
Shop at Alter Ego Comics
As the largest pop culture destination in West Central Ohio, Alter Ego Comics is a haven for those who love comic books, movies, TV series, and more.
Located at 230 N Main Street, the shop offers toys, collectibles, posters, action figures, games, and so many other products that will please your nerdy self.
You’ll find Star Wars memorabilia, new Marvel and DC comics, and even extremely limited movie collectibles.
They have it all!
With the inviting atmosphere and friendly staff, you’ll have a great time browsing the shelves and collections for the latest editions of your favorites series.
Who knows, you might find a rare item that you’ve been looking for your whole life.
Play at Hidden Creek Golf Club
Hidden Creek Golf Club is an 18-hole golf course that is accessible to the public.
Golfing enthusiasts will have a fun time playing at this well-maintained and scenic destination.
There are also many amenities and facilities that will guarantee a good game for every player.
With the practice area, golfing equipment shops, restaurant and bar, and spacious pavilions, there is no shortage of modern convenience for everyone who stops by to play.
It’s currently owned and maintained by the Young family, and they are dedicated to making sure that the facility is in tiptop shape for all.
Hang Out in Vino Bellissimo
Once the sun sets, a thriving nightlife starts to emerge in the city of Lima.
One of the premier destinations in the city for loud and thrilling evening entertainment is Vino Bellissimo.
This bar and club is also a winery, serving premium alcoholic beverages like cocktails and beer.
It’s the perfect place to meet and hang out with friends and drink the night away after a busy day of touring.
The great ambiance, lively dance floor, delicious drinks, and friendly locals will make you feel like your right at home.
Make sure to include this on your itinerary—it’s one of the hidden gems of Lima!
Dine at Old City Prime
No trip to Lima would be complete without visiting the established restaurants abounding in the city.
One of the most famous food establishments is Old City Prime.
It boasts itself as a modern-day American steakhouse, offering many classics that will satisfy any craving.
Try their USDA prime-aged steaks, fresh oysters, gourmet appetizers, and warm bread baked in an in-house bakery.
There is also a wide choice of premium wines and boutique cocktails to go with your meals.
It’s a fine dining experience that’s truly like no other!
For entertainment, their Upper Lounge features live bands, piano ballads, country music shows, and many other performances by talented local artists.
These shows are the perfect way to cap off a great day of touring Lima.
Try the Food at The Met
For an elevated dining experience, The Met is the place to be.
This thriving Lima institution is visited by many because of its innovative dishes, cozy ambiance, and friendly staff.
Serving pull-porked burgers, shrimp tacos, Korean fries, creamy cheesecakes, the restaurant has a dish from various cuisines worldwide.
There really is something for everyone!
And, of course, the refreshing cocktails are a great way to end a delicious and satisfying meal.
Make sure to add the place to your itinerary for a fantastic dining experience.
Bond with Friends at Beer Barrel Pizza & Grill
For over five decades, Beer Barrel Pizza & Grill has been a popular meeting place for neighbors and relatives in Ohio.
The restaurants proudly define who they are and what they do by having a friendly and giving nature, delicious food, a cozy setting, and a strong feeling of community.
Although their beloved original Beer Barrel-style pizza has been around since 1965, their entire menu is now just as well recognized.
In their distinctive dining rooms and bar areas, they serve homemade family meals, trademark appetizers, seasonal specials, and their blend of hospitality.
As ideal as it is for getting a drink with friends, it is a great place for supper with the family.
Surround Yourself with Nature at Lippincott Bird Sanctuary
In 1998, Bill Lippincott gave the Lippincott Bird Sanctuary to the Park District.
Bill, a former forester for the City of Lima, loved to talk about trees and the outdoors with everyone who would listen.
The diversity of nature, including wildlife and plants in the park, may thrive due to this environment.
The Park District runs several activities in the sanctuary, such as bird excursions, butterfly strolls, the Walking Through Autumn series, and many more.
Relax and take a stroll to see what Northwest Ohio's natural beauty has to offer.
As you travel the route, you will appreciate the wide variety of ecosystems, including grassland, meadow, forest, and wetland regions, which are home to several species of birds, animals, reptiles, and amphibians.
Skate Your Worries Away at Edgewood Roller Skating Arena
Are you prepared for the greatest ride-horse pleasure there is?
Roll on to Edgewood Skate Arena Inc in Lima, Ohio, where they specialize in roller skating.
Due to their unwavering commitment to their motto, this family-run roller rink has been in operation for 37 years.
All types of skaters are invited; some prefer to rent a pair as rental skates are available in every size, while others bring their skates from home.
Never been skating before? Not to worry!
Beginners can learn to skate ahead, reverse, curve, stop, and perhaps even perform a few twirls, thanks to the availability of numerous skilled and qualified roller skating instructors.
Participate in Fun Activities at Westgate Entertainment Center
Since 1958, a family has run and controlled Westgate, allowing guests to enjoy themselves at affordable pricing.
They feature 24 Brunswick artificial lanes, six wood lanes, and bumpers on all of the lanes to prevent bowling balls from falling into the gutters and keep your little children's faces bright.
Ramps are also available to assist in moving the ball down the lane.
They also have their rad Thunder Alley where you can bowl while the lights are off, with loud music blasting and amazing special effects lighting that makes it appear like a nightclub!
Westgate Entertainment Center is the best place to go for family entertainment in Lima.
Browse for Items to Shop at Lima Mall
The Lima Mall is an indoor retail center that serves the Putnam, Allen, and Auglaize counties in Lima, Ohio.
Lima Mall is the ideal location for dining, shopping, entertainment, and more and is conveniently situated at the junction of Cable and Elida Road.
More than 40 retailers, including JCPenney, Old Navy, The Children's Place, Aeropostale, and others, can be found at Lima Mall, making it a one-stop shop for all fashions.
Enjoy dinner at a mall's numerous restaurants, such as Golden Corral or Chopsticks Express.
For any event, Lima Mall provides just what you need!
The charming city of Lima offers many options for a fun and memorable vacation.
Make sure to follow this list when planning for your getaway so you’ll have an idea of the best destinations to be.