The city of Mansfield is also known as the "Fun Center of Ohio" for all the right reasons.
Mansfield is the county seat of Richland County.
This beautiful city falls between Columbus and Cleveland through Interstate 71 and is also a part of the western Allegheny plateau.
The entire city can be called an offbeat beauty, owing to its broad highways with thick vegetation on both sides.
Mansfield, named after Jared Mansfield, is surrounded by fertile and dense farmlands and lies on the edge of the Mohican River.
This city is also called the "danger city," "carousel capital of Ohio," the "racing capital," and the "Heart of Ohio."
Mansfield is filled with parks and bears witness to the historical Renaissance theater.
This city was even used for the filming of numerous movies, including the legendary film The Shawshank Redemption.
Are you interested in discovering what else this city has in store for you?
Here are the best things to do in Mansfield, Ohio:
Soak in the Beauty of Kingwood Center Gardens
Are you a lover of aestheticism or gardens?
Are you an orchardist or a photographer?
Whatever your preference and whoever you may be, this place is a must-visit for everyone.
Kingwood Center Gardens is a botanical garden on Trimble Road, filled with all the green lush wonder one can imagine.
This property used to be the estate of Charles Kelly King and was turned into a garden in 1953.
Spread over an area of 47 acres, this garden includes everything from succulent houses, herb gardens, historic gardens, perennial gardens, and rose gardens to tropical houses, terraces with tulip beds, parterre, daylily, iris collections, and woodland.
Kingwood Center Gardens was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.
Feed Birds at the Ohio Bird Sanctuary
This tourist attraction is located on Orweiler Road.
Open on most days of the week, this sanctuary is a favorite among travelers of all age groups.
The sanctuary ensures a perfect family environment for tourists, who can go bird watching, attend presentations to learn about different resident birds like owls, walk through the hiking trails, stroll through the bird displays, and even feed the birds at the aviary.
For families to enjoy their stay to the fullest, picnic tables are arranged on the grounds.
It will not be a shock if a beautiful bird ends up landing on your arm while you try to feed it!
Tourists can even make donations to help the sanctuary, which is also known for taking care of injured birds.
Go Snowboarding and Skiing in Snow Trails
Mansfield does not only offer lush greenery; it is also famous for its fresh snow, making skiing or snowboarding a must if you're visiting during the winter.
The very landscape is bound to blow your mind, with long valleys covered with fresh snow for as far as the eyes go.
Mansfield allows you to enjoy tons of snow activities that must not be missed.
Snow Field is a popular ski resort in Mansfield, located on Possum Run Road.
The ropeway is truly gorgeous and will ensure that you get a wide aerial view of this snowy landscape.
In the evenings, the entire area is decorated with colored lights, giving it a relaxed, mystic feel.
Soak in the Mystery of the Mansfield Reformatory
Apart from being a place of deep historical significance, the Mansfield Reformatory has been a filming location for numerous movies.
Channel your inner adventure enthusiast, delve deep into the building, and match with the vibe.
The famous Hollywood classic The Shawshank Redemption was filmed here, and since then, the spot has gained significant interest from tourists all over the world.
It provides visitors with information about how the prison was used in the making of the film.
You can either go on a self-guided or regular guided tour of the place.
Due to the mysterious environment, the haunted tours are all the more bone-chilling and adventurous.
Along with the thrilling atmosphere, the Mansfield Reformatory's historical significance and jam-packed architecture make it a must-visit spot.
Let BibleWalk Astound You
Formerly known as the Living Bible Museum, BibleWalk is a wax museum in Mansfield.
Denominational in nature, it is related to the Diamond Hill Cathedral.
BibleWalk is a deeply religious, cultural, and artistic place depicting wax figures in reference to Christian events, particularly from the Bible.
It was established in 1987.
This museum alone boosts the economy of Mansfield and Ohio in general.
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.
Enjoy the Delicious Flavors of the Blueberry Patch
The Blueberry Patch can literally be called the "sweetest" destination in Mansfield.
Located on West Hanley Road, it is a winery and blueberry vineyard with restaurants and a gift shop.
Prepare to be pleasantly surprised by the cultivation cuisines and merchandise present here.
Who doesn't love a good bunch of fresh blueberries?
The gift shop has numerous gifts, takeaways, and even blueberry printed fabric for you.
There is a restaurant and cafe providing desserts and muffins and all sorts of delicious food items.
The food is gluten-free, too.
The Blueberry Patch comprises a beautiful vineyard with purple blueberries in full bloom and a winery with the best kind of wines.
Live music is also played in the area to lift your spirits.
Take the Kids to Buckeye Children's Museum
Whether or not you have a child, visit the Little Buckeye Children's Museum to soak in this fun little world of the tiny.
Located on W 4th Street, the museum is spread over two floors with two dozens of exhibits.
There are miniature train sets, cities, miniature rooms for children to showcase their creativity, and even things to buy for your child.
It is an ideal location for families and their children and is extremely tourist-friendly in nature.
There are water connectors, dance shows, Lego, and a dentist's office.
There is an area for kids to perform onstage, a police station, a farm, a water table, a dinosaur dig area, beauty shops, grocery stores, construction areas, and more.
It is a perfect place for both your kids and your inner child.
Relish Nature at Gorman Nature Center
Being in the lap of nature is bound to find its true meaning at Gorman Nature Center.
Located on Lexington Avenue, this nature and wildlife area is immensely popular with the people of Ohio.
There are numerous water bodies where you can do all sorts of activities.
Gorman Nature Center has ponds and lakes with short yet conventionally beautiful bridges.
There are also long stretches of greenery and old plants and trees that make the area double as an educational site.
It is often a preferred location for nature photographers, nature lovers, naturalists, and hikers.
Tour the Mansfield Fire Museum and Educational Center
The historical significance of the Mansfield Fire Museum and Educational Center is supreme.
It should be a prime area of interest for travelers.
This museum is located on W 4th Street.
Oftentimes, Mansfield's firefighters lead the museum tours while sharing lots of valuable information.
The entire museum is filled with red glossy and complex engines of all times as memorabilia.
There are fire trucks and other equipment, too.
Almost every engine or old fire truck has a story of its own, which the guide will tell you about.
Demonstrations are given by the guides as well.
All in all, the entire place is packed with beautiful machinery, memorabilia, and history that will surely leave you awestruck.
Admire the Art at the Mansfield Art Center
Comprising an entire building with multiple stories, the Mansfield Art Center is located on Marion Avenue.
Whether or not you are an artist or art enthusiast, your senses are sure to be touched by the thoroughly beautiful and rich collection of artworks present in this museum.
The center has art pieces available for purchase and has a massive range of sales going on throughout the year, most of which the tourists carry out.
Many fetes, fairs, and shows are held often in this center.
The architecture is sleek, modern, and well-decorated to create the perfect ambiance for an art gallery.
There are also gift shops where you can purchase handmade items as souvenirs.
Step into the Historic Renaissance Theatre
Be ready to get your breath taken away because this is one of the most beautiful heritage spots in Mansfield, Ohio.
It is located on Park Avenue and was previously known as the Ohio Theatre.
The Renaissance Theatre is by far the largest theater in the north-central area of Ohio, with enough seating for 1,402 people.
The architectural style is bound to set forth piano classics in your heart with its neoclassical nature.
This theater was established in the year 1928 and runs beautifully to date.
Until today, it receives audiences from all over the world.
An average of 40 productions are produced in a year in Broadway style.
Most state-level pageant shows are also held here.
This beautiful attraction marks the mix of history and entertainment.
Spend a Relaxing Day at South Park
Located on Brinkerhoff Avenue, this place has significant historical importance in the locality.
This park is a pleasant amalgamation of history and playgrounds in the lay of nature.
South Park holds various events during the different seasons, like Fun in the Park for youngsters in the summer and historic enactment events in the fall.
There is something for everyone at South Park: a playground for children, picnic spots for families, and cabins and treehouses amid lush greenery for nature lovers.
Go for a Ride at Richland Carrousel Park
Richland Carrousel Park is Mansfield's entertainment and gaming center.
Who wouldn't enjoy visiting a gorgeously lit amusement center with beautiful merry-go-rounds and golden lights?
All the rides are well-decorated and maintained properly, with the addition of melodious music playing at all times.
The park's architecture is very warm and happiness-inducing, and there are restaurants and gift shops as well.
Richland Carrousel Park is a fun-filled area to go with your family for a jolly time.
Shop for Vintage Items at the Antique Mall of Mansfield
True art pieces can be found at the Antique Mall of Mansfield.
Located on Main Street, the antique shops will blow your mind with their detailed collection of products.
The shopkeepers sure know their things well and are sure to guide you through your visit.
From body products to cups to vases of different materials, crockery, decor, plant shelves and homeware, all sorts of materials are available, and all of them look regal and classic.
This place is an art lover's dream center for shopping.
Grab a Drink at The Phoenix Brewing Company
After all that touring and shopping, you may be looking to relax with an ice-cold beer.
When in Mansfield, The Phoenix Brewing Company is your best bet.
The brewery is located in a restored building that was once a funeral home.
Today, people often tour the place to see the basement, which is now where all the brewing happens.
The architecture is regal with a heritage-looking building, and the ambiance is beautiful with red brick walls and golden lights.
There are endless varieties of beers and other drinks to choose from, and the vibe is definitely cool.
Music channels are on all the time to add to the vibe.
Have a Satisfying Meal at Oak Park Tavern
Oak Park Tavern, located near the Charles Mills Reservoir, has been serving delectable dishes since the 1940s, and they have no plans of stopping soon.
You can make a reservation ahead of time; but if you aren't able to do so, this restaurant is always ready to welcome patrons who just happen to pass by.
One of the most famous dishes from this place is their Lake Erie Perch, which is always served fresh, no matter when you order it.
They have quite an extensive menu, so there are many other dishes you can sample as well.
Try the Greek Delicacies of Athena Greek Restaurant
Located in downtown Mansfield, Athena Greek Restaurant was established in 1977 and sold to its current owner, George Axiopoulos, in 2019.
If you want to sample some Greek dishes or are looking to try the cuisine, then you're in luck: this is the perfect place to visit for just that.
Try out their gyros; whether you decide to have lamb or chicken, they taste amazing, and you'll fall in love with just one bite.
You can order some of their specialty plates and get a glimpse of what a full Greek meal really tastes like.
Enjoy an Italian Food Journey at Leaning Tower of Pizza
Judging by the restaurant's name and the quality of its dishes, a visit to the Leaning Tower of Pizza at 180 Lexington Avenue will make you feel like you've suddenly found yourself in Italy.
Their pizzas, made with fresh ingredients and a lot of love and passion, are some of the best in Mansfield, and you can't miss out on the opportunity to try them out while you're in the area.
The pizzeria also has its own bakery, and they make their own dough using the best ingredients available to them.
So, check out the flavors they offer and pick the ones that appeal to you the most.
Relax with a Cup of Coffee
Coffee is a great treat wherever you are, and specialty coffee can make anyone's day even more special.
At Relax, It's Just Coffee, you'll find a genuine coffee shop that welcomes people from all walks of life, whether you're a local or just visiting for a while.
They just don't serve coffee, tea, and other fine drinks here; they also strive to give their patrons a warm and cozy atmosphere where they can relax and have a good time.
It's a great place to mingle with other people and chat with your traveling companions.
Get Farm-Fresh Produce at Apple Hill Orchards
Over 80 years of legacy, Apple Hill Orchards is still delivers fresh, homegrown produce to its customers.
The Joudrey family’s orchard on Lexington Ontario Road has also grown to become a family entertainment attraction with food and activities you’ll surely enjoy.
Aside from assorted apple varieties, they also have seasonal produce like Barlett Pears, German Prune Plums, Tart Cherries, and peaches, along with vegetables like tomatoes, carrots, and lettuce available all year round.
Feeling hungry? Drop by the bakery and café and have some apple cider or espresso drinks paired with rows of delicious baked goods like pies, apple walnut bread, muffins, cookies, brownies, or fritters on Fridays.
And of course, you have to try their signature apple donuts which are always a crowd favorite.
When your family visits during the fall months, you can go apple picking, and get on fun hayrides and barrel rides.
Likewise, your kids will enjoy the pony rides and playtimes at the Playground Tractor and tipi.
You’ll also get to meet the resident chickens and ducks along with Pixie the Goat and Crunch the sheep, and observe the bees at the hives, too.
For something to bring home on your trip, the Apple Hill Orchards store also has gift items, jewelry, jams, and jelly preserves you can purchase.
Learn Historical Facts at Mansfield Memorial Museum
Come and visit Mansfield Memorial Museum, Richland County’s oldest museum.
You’ll find this attraction on Park Avenue West opening seasonally from April to mid-November, on Saturdays and Sundays.
The institution was founded in 1889 by Edward Wilkinson, a dedicated specimen and artifact collector for the Carnegie Natural History Museum, Smithsonian Institute, and Peabody Field Museum.
The museum aims to preserve and promote the city’s rich history.
Take a look at various collections on major wars and natural history, and discover some historical facts from Richland County and Mansfield’s public documents.
More so, you’ll learn about the industrial history of the city, Westinghouse’s home of the future, and ELEKTRO, the oldest American robot.
View other enriching exhibits featuring Martha Mansfield, the Black History, the Soldiers and Sailors Exhibit, displays on Aviation, and the Mansfield Newspaper.
Enjoy learning local history at the Mansfield Memorial Museum.
View Historic Artifacts at Oak Hill Cottage
If you’re looking for more local historic sights, take a tour of the Oak Hill Cottage on Springmill Street.
This mid-nineteenth-century structure was built in 1847 by capitalist and railroad builder John Riley Robinson as a family residence and was bought by Dr. Johannes Jones.
It was later acquired from Dr. Jones in 1965 by the Richland County Historical Society.
Since then, the house museum has opened its doors to the public for regular tour hours and group tours.
Take time to appreciate the Gothic Revival-style cottage that was a popular architectural design during the Romantic Revival Movement era.
After admiring the detailed exteriors, step inside and take a look at the classic Victorian furnishings and artifacts like photographs, clothing, and personal belongings from the Jones family.
You’ll also find the 1905 National Automobile built by the Richland Buggy Company and the only surviving National car model on display at the Oak Hill Cottage.
Catch Theatre Productions at The Mansfield Playhouse
For some great theatre shows you can watch with family and friends, head out to The Mansfield Playhouse on East 3rd Street.
The theatre production started in 1929 and is the second-oldest and the largest producing theater community in the state.
The institution aims to provide entertainment, education, and enrichment in the field of theatre art.
Catch a full season of shows with six mainstage shows and productions by Second Stage.
You can also check their website for current and upcoming stage shows, and book your seats online.
The Mansfield Playhouse also has an active Youth Theatre program.
Meet the Gentle Alpacas at Alpaca Meadows
Get to meet the alpacas and know more about these gentle creatures at Alpaca Meadows.
This alpaca farm, owned by Matt and Julie Petty, is located at Rock Road and has been running since 2002.
You can go for a free Self-Guided Tour on Saturdays, Group Farm Tours, and Alpaca Walks; they also host several Farm Events you can join, too.
You’ll have a fun and relaxing visit to the farm as you watch the alpacas pronk and hum around the pasture, and enjoy the natural scenery at the farm, too.
Likewise, get to meet other animals like Angora rabbits, Angora goats, and farm chickens.
Visit the Farm Store and choose from an array of alpaca clothing like sweaters and socks, plus get unique alpaca gift items made from Peru, Guatemala, and Africa.
They also have assorted alpaca fibers and supplies like roving for spinning and batts for felting, along with fiber art kits, and Art Yarns.
Alpaca Meadows also offers custom classes like crochet, knitting, spinning and needle felting classes, and wet felting classes.
Going to Mansfield is all about having fun, making it the best place to go for a vacation.
Its parks and theatrical plays alone are enough to charm even the weariest visitor, but it has so much more going for it apart from that.
So, why not give it a shot and book your trip today?