Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Wadsworth, OH

  • Published 2023/04/14

Home to an impressive selection of attractions, a trip to Wadsworth, Ohio, might be the vacation you’re looking for!

Found in Medina County, this city houses a very intimate community with plenty of family-friendly fun.

Though it’s mainly known as a suburb of the larger Akron area, this city harbors a lot of educational and exciting activities you can participate in.

Whether you’re a history buff, a liquor enthusiast, or simply trying to have fun with your friends and family, Wadsworth has everything you need and more!

Here are the best things to do in Wadsworth, Ohio.

Visit the Historic Wadsworth Griswold House

Wadsworth Griswold House decorated with christmas lights

AProvchy /

Starting in 2013, Wadsworth Griswold House has sustained a tradition that begins the day after Thanksgiving and continues well into the holiday season.

It lights up the whole neighborhood with its Christmas display of 25,000 lights!

It was named after its main inspiration, Clark Griswold’s house from the movie “National Lampoon Christmas Vacation.”

The Wadsworth Griswold House has become a center of holiday spirit for almost a decade.

The Osterland family owns the house.

Throughout the rest of the year, it remains unassuming in the typical suburban landscape of Medina County before completely transforming almost overnight.

The house is a site for Christmas cheer and reminds everyone of the true meaning of the holiday season.

Sip Fine Wine at Filia Cellars

Dubbed by its regulars as the “best-kept secret in the Tri-State area,” Filia Cellars is family owned and operated.

Filia is Latin for “daughter,” which explains why its founder, Lisa Locklear, has made it a point to name her wines after each of her girls.

Despite its small origins, Filia Cellars is anything but humble.

Located in a Victorian House, their dry reds from their family’s California vineyards have won several accolades.

Likewise, visitors can only sing praises about their other locally-grown wines!

With live music constantly playing, it offers a scenic escape during the summer months, with shaded picnic tables.

Charcuterie boards with meats, cheeses, crackers, chocolates, and more are also available for visitors, with drinks rotating year-round.

Grab a Refreshing Beer at Wadsworth Brewing Company

Another family-owned business is Ernie and Ericha’s Wadsworth Brewing Company.

Housing one-of-a-kind beers, their house brews infuse unusual but tremendously delicious flavors from fruits, spices, and even coffees!

Each flavor experience is unique because it has a two-barrel system and twelve taps.

It’s only natural for the company to keep its offerings fresh.

Their space is also intimate, casual, and fun, with local musicians playing and various snacks on hand.

The building is also quite historical, with exposed brick and flooring being sourced and recycled from a bowling alley.

Add the Wadsworth Brewing Company to your itinerary and enjoy a glass of freshly brewed craft beer!

Unwind with Friends at​ Crafted Cocktail Co.

Crafted Cocktail Co. is another drinking establishment set aside by its Speakeasy style and cutting-edge flavors.

All their offerings have complex flavor profiles, no preservatives, and low-calorie content.

Not only are their mixers made from scratch, but even their bitters, tonics, and other essential ingredients are made in-house.

Bartenders curate your experience according to your stated preference.

This cocktail and whiskey bar is excellent because the bartenders perform quite a show when creating the cocktails.

Behind the bar, more than 150 whiskey bottles are displayed amidst the impeccable decor.

Enjoy a relaxing night with your friends by checking out Crafted Cocktail Co.!

Enjoy a Meal while Playing Board Games at Great Oaks Tavern

Another family-owned business is Alex and Jordan Nassos’ Great Oaks Tavern, two miles north of the heart of Wadsworth.

Though relatively new, this restaurant and board game bar was established with much personal history.

Great Oaks Tavern has taken on the former location of a beloved Wadsworthian bowling alley, Great Oaks Lanes.

They keep the latter alive by having an homage to their name.

The restaurant was inspired mainly by the brothers’ penchant for board game nights.

They envision creating togetherness with friends and family through excellent good and friendly competition.

With a collection of 500 board games, there’s no better place to beat your best friend in Monopoly while munching on their menu of salads and sandwiches, washed down by cocktails and draft beer.

Stop by Main Street Wadsworth

Main Street Wadsworth combines the excitement of downtown areas with the historical charm of the site.

Visiting Main Street itself warrants a bucket list of its own.

History buffs might want to visit the Boy with the Leaky Boot war memorial statue, the 1842 St. Mark’s Church, or even the Johnson House Museum.

For those looking for a more relaxed, scenic experience, East Park in downtown Wadsworth features a romantic gazebo while the Verdin clock plays songs every hour.

Artistically-inclined tourists would be delighted to know that there are 11 art murals scattered throughout Main Street, too!

There’s much to explore at Main Street Wadsworth, so visit while on vacation!

Catch a Movie at Blue Sky Drive-In Theater

Outside view of the Blue Sky Drive-In Theater

AProvchy /

Even after nearly 75 years, the Blue Sky Drive-In Theater opened in 1948.

It is now one of the only drive-ins in the United States.

Though demolished in 1989, it was rebuilt and continues serving partners, families, friend groups, and more!

Its movie selections are well-kept and up-to-date, though its screenings are usually capped at two movies.

If you’re coming with kids, it also conveniently houses a small playground near the screens.

Otherwise, they’re also very accommodating toward dogs wanting to tag along.

Patrons can bring their food and drinks.

A small concession stand with a surprisingly wide variety of offerings is still available at the Blue Sky Drive-In Theater.

Roll a Strike at Kolony Bowl

Though relatively humble, Kolony Bowl remains one of Wadsworth’s most beloved recreational establishments.

Its strength lies in its intimate service and famous pizza, which never fails to exceed customer expectations!

If you visit Wadsworth to celebrate a big event, Kolony Bowl’s event center is open for reservation.

Expert and professional bowlers are also welcome to join their bowling league, where they can win incredible prizes!

While the snack bar has excellent craft beer and food, reserving the event center even allows you to hire a bartender for a private bar!

Whether it’s time for family or a time for friends, Kolony Bowl will be more than happy to serve you!

Enjoy the Outdoors at River Styx Park

As one of the best-known getaways for its nature-loving patrons, River Styx Park offers something different every time you come by.

It is conveniently located under ten minutes from the city center.

Though it opened in 1996, the 83-acre parkland remains well-maintained and well-loved, taking as little as 22 minutes to complete.

It offers birdwatchers many opportunities to enjoy, usually around May when neo-tropical songbirds nest in the area and migrate from Central America’s rainforests.

It also offers a great fishing pond with largemouth bass, channel catfish, and bluegill.

If you’re not that big of a fan of fauna, their flora is also impeccable, with a day lily garden open for your admiration!

Enjoy the fresh air and sunlight by visiting River Styx Park!

Explore Oenslager Nature Center

Housed in the Alderfer-Chatfield Wildlife Sanctuary, Oenslager Nature Center is a whopping 103-acre park.

It has served the public since October 2020, just north of Wadsworth’s heart.

Its farmhouse vibes, complete with a back patio and fireplace, make it comfortable and intimate.

Named after Ruth and George Oenslager, the land’s primary donor, the nature center used to be a dairy farm.

It’s most famous for its red farmhouse.

The center caters mainly to students with a curriculum designed just for their experience.

You can visit the center even just as a one-time patron, getting access to its nature displays, rotating exhibits, indoor bird-watching area, and pine forest straight out of a fairytale.

If you’re lucky enough, you can time your visit to the park district’s Nature Art Fest event!

Unlike other parks in the Wadsworth area, because the Oenslager Nature Center is primarily an educational establishment, pets, fishing, biking, and picnicking are not allowed.

Grab a Meal at Spunkmeyers Pub & Grill

Spunkmeyers Pub & Grill is truly spunky!

An extensive menu that grows with each visit provides a clean and casual ambiance perfect for summertime visits.

Its provisions are made all the more enticing by its outdoor dining patio, which the owners lovingly dubbed The Buck Naked Bar, where you can dine in the open air.

Though all food items are to die for, with each menu item consistently hitting the mark, regulars recommend their ½ pound burger specials most often.

Of course, a pub wouldn’t be complete with its drinks, so pair your dinner with a hefty gulp from their commendable draft selection.

Grab a delicious bite at Spunkmeyers Pub & Grill!

Enjoy Japanese Cuisine at Kasai Japanese Restaurant

Are you craving authentic Japanese food?

Check out Kasai Japanese Restaurant!

With the locals having this restaurant as their top choice for sushi and sashimi, it’s no wonder that this cozy space has become increasingly popular as time passes.

Since 2005, Kasai Japanese Restaurant has been pumping out only the best Japanese dishes.

Its staff offers excellent service and always performs a quality check on their offerings before letting anything out of the kitchen.

For those with dietary restrictions, Kasai also offers plenty of vegetarian and gluten-free options.

In the city of Wadsworth, nothing gets more authentic than this!

Enjoy a fresh and delicious serving of your favorite Japanese food at Kasai Japanese Restaurant!

Other Things to Do Nearby

See the Animals at Akron Zoo

Leopard at Arkon Zoo

TheMadClicker /

In the neighboring city of Akron, Ohio, 21 minutes from Wadsworth, the Akron Zoo houses more than 700 animals in its enclosures.

The impressively maintained Akron Zoo is one of 218 accredited conservation zoos worldwide, as determined by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

See endangered Humboldt penguins, which you can observe above and below the water.

Otter at the Arkon Zoo

Anthony Sarvabui /

Then, check out the Komodo dragons and Sumatran tigers.

Locals contend that the zoo is the cleanest and best-laid out in the area.

The zoo trail tends upward, making it a little hike with plenty of benches at the top.

Akron Zoo is perfect for the young and young at heart!

Bears at Arkon Zoo

TheMadClicker /

Unleash Your Inner Scientist at Akron Fossils & Science Center

Akron Fossils & Science Center makes learning much more fun than ever imagined!

For the price of admission, you can experience three guided tours around their facilities and more.

You can find this activity center just 13 minutes from downtown Wadsworth.

This science center is set apart because their fossils aren’t locked up in glass cases; patrons are encouraged to hold and touch them for a more engaging experience.

This becomes more helpful when you enter their Fossil Replica Making Tour, where visitors learn how to make fossil replicas.

They also have a newly added animal room with live creatures and a Creation Education Museum, which showcases and compares different scientific models to highlight the diversity of discovery.

The Akron Fossils & Science Center also has a quaint two-acre outdoor park with a 60-foot slide, helicopter swing, and even a 200ft zipline!

Go Camping at the Lake Campground

The Lake Campground is perfect for a weekend getaway!

Since it allows swimming, the lake has a lifeguard, jumping boards, and sand play areas.

However, it’s mainly known as a camping site.

The Lake Campground has camping amenities such as firewood, firepits, and picnic tables.

You don’t have to unplug on your trip if you miss modern conveniences.

Unlike other camping sites, they also have a market, phone service, electric hookups, pure comfort, and shower rooms.

Pets are welcome to join the fun, too.

Sometimes, little goats might graze close to the area, though they are harmless.

Enjoy the beauty of the outdoors and surrounding nature at the Lake Campground.

Final Thoughts

Wadsworth has plenty of offerings for you, whether traveling alone, with family, or with buddies!

There’s something for everyone in Wadsworth, with various establishments ranging from breweries, nature centers, camping parks, and more.

Make sure to fill your itinerary with all the best things to do in Wadsworth, Ohio!

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