Toledo is a major bustling port city in Lucas County, Ohio, known for its flourishing art community and entertainment industry.
It’s the county seat of Lucas County and has the fourth-largest city population in the state.
It’s also the central trading area in the region, making it an important city in the Toledo metropolitan area.
Toledo was founded in 1833, initially included in Michigan Territory’s Monroe County.
However, it was re-founded in 1837 and included in Ohio based on references to the Toledo War.
The construction of the Miami and Erie Canal and the New York-Chicago railway line helped the city develop into a modern metropolis.
The city was also nicknamed “The Glass City” due to the growth of glass manufacturers in the area during the 1880s.
Nowadays, this vibrant city offers lots of activities your family can enjoy, especially your little ones.
Here are the best things to do with kids in Toledo, Ohio!
See the Magnificent Animals at Toledo Zoo
A trip to Toledo Zoo in Hippo Way will surely be a memorable experience for your kids.
Kids of all ages will be excited to see over 720 animal species, from creatures of the desert to colorful birds and big rainforest animals.
They can also enjoy the experience of feeding the zoo’s Masai giraffe herd.
Have fun with zoo rides like the African Carousel and Safari Railway, open all year, and the Aquarium Adventure Trail, open from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
Explore the two-level museum, let them discover Ohio’s prehistoric era on After the Ice, and see the various plant species at the Tropics.
Then, bring them to multiple ecosystem exhibits like the Wetlands & Lakes, Oak Forest, Rivers & Streams, and Native Prairies.
Your kids will be ecstatic to see the Komodo dragons, arthropods, and venomous snakes.
They will also love the Nature in Hand exhibit, with unique fossil and bone collections.
Take a peek at the Hall of Venom and the Mazza Gallery to see zoo-themed artworks.
Another exciting stop at the zoo is the Aquarium, where kids can view thousands of marine animals, from fishes of the Pacific to sea nettles.
Drop by the Touch Tank for close encounters with live aquatic creatures like sting rays, sharks, and horseshoe crabs, and meet other species at the Ocean Lab.
Little tots will giggle at indoor activities like learning about animals at the Workshop, playing with puppets, and dressing up at Jumpin’ Junction.
They will also meet live animals and learn how to care for them at Home Sweet Home and many more.
For outdoor experiences, they can watch the Children’s Reptile Show, get their hands and feet wet at Stream & Beach, and check out the Treehouse & Climbing Wall.
Toledo Zoo also has concessions to satisfy your kids’ hungry tummies after strolling around the zoo.
Get tasty snacks, drinks, pizzas, burgers, and frozen sweet treats at Birdfeeder, Northern Ice, Polar Chill, and Southside Grill.
Tour the National Museum of the Great Lakes
Kids will have a unique learning experience at the National Museum of the Great Lakes.
This museum on Front Street features the thousand-year history and importance of the Great Lakes.
These lakes are North America’s natural water resource, with great significance to the region’s economic, social and political developments.
Discover the 1600s era of fur traders, the exploits of Underground Railroad operators during the 1800s, and the role of rum runners from the start of the 1900s.
Kids will learn about different watercraft and vessels, from canoes to schooners to vast and powerful steamers and freighters.
Browse fantastic photography displays, hundreds of remarkable artifacts, entertaining audiovisual presentations, and impressive interactive exhibits for your kids.
Climb aboard the 617-foot Col. James M. Schoonmaker Museum Ship and the historic Museum Tug Ohio.
The National Museum of the Great Lakes also has a Museum Store where you can buy souvenirs for your visit.
Enjoy Fun Leisure Activities at Urban Air
Enjoy hours of indoor family fun at Urban Air, located on Airport Highway.
Go for a friendly Battle Beam balance tournament and see who can become a balance expert.
Try wall climbing with your kids and help them strategize to reach the top.
Bounce around dodgeball with family members or friends and get your team to hit your opponents and win.
Zoom around with Go-Karts, let your kids try the Rope Course, brace the heights on Sky Rider, or enjoy the Tubes Playground.
Other attractions they can enjoy here include the Performance and APEX Trampolines, the Runway, Slam Dunk Zone, Warrior Course, and Wipe Out.
When your kids get hungry after all the fun, they can recharge at the Urban Air Café with hot pizzas, cold soda, and more.
You can also make your kid’s birthday memorable with party packages offered by Urban Air.
Catch an Action-Packed Ballgame at Fifth Third Field
Nothing beats watching a live ballgame with your kids at Fifth Third Field.
This excellent facility is on Washington Street and is also home to the world-famous Toledo Mud Hens.
Since 2002, it has hosted 70 regular-season ball games yearly.
Newsweek has also recognized it as a top Minor League Baseball park.
You can book fun Fan Experiences for your kids, like throwing the traditional first pitch or letting them be the “Play Ball” kid.
Make a birthday or a welcome extra special with a video board message during a Mud Hens game.
You can also sign up your kids for Muddy’s Buddies Kids Club, see exclusive events and special prizes, and have lots of fun during the summer.
Of course, ballgames aren’t complete without munching some ballpark food.
You can buy these at Gilhooley’s, Suds & Wieners, Mudzarella’s, Farr Out Funnels, Hen & Hound, and Frozhen.
Have fun watching ballgames at Fifth Third Field!
Unleash Your Child’s Creativity at Toledo Museum of Art
Toledo Museum of Art on Monroe Street is an exciting museum you can take your kids to.
They have collections of over 25,000 of the country’s finest works of art.
Teach your child to appreciate the arts early and view exhibits from classic to contemporary.
Tell them about legendary artists like Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, and Claude Monet, among others.
You’ll also see European masterpieces by Artemisia Gentileschi, Frans Hals, and Peter Paul Rubens and modern works by Nam June Paik, Julian Schnabel, and others.
Take a peek at Asian arts and the ancient Mediterranean art collections of the Americas.
Stroll the Georgia and David K. Welles Sculpture Garden and admire the glassworks at the Glass Pavilion.
Sign up your kids aged three to 13 for Children’s Classes to let your budding artist learn the basics of art and try different mediums like drawing, mixed media, and sculpture.
Toledo Museum of Art also has Youth Classes for teens 14 and up to help hone their creativity and art skills.
Stop by the Toledo Firefighters Museum
Toledo Firefighters Museum is a specialized museum highlighting local firefighters and all about firefighting.
Visit the Sylvania Avenue museum and see exciting artifacts, from photos to items owned by honored firefighters who gave their lives to serving the community.
Check out the items from Henry S. Plowman, a DC fireman who served during 9/11.
You’ll also see the medallion and light apparatus on display taken from Old Station 15 at South Fearing, Airline.
Kids will stare wide-eyed at the antique 1929 Pirsch pumper which served Old Station 19; it was a reliable old fire truck back then.
See other items displayed and learn about the life of Captain James Fraser through music, books, and other objects featured on the east wall.
Pay an Enriching Visit to the Toledo Botanical Garden
Take your kids to Toledo Botanical Garden for a worthwhile educational trip.
The public garden on Elmer Drive is open daily throughout the year with free admission.
The garden is the region’s only botanical garden and horticulture center, featuring more than six acres of lovely display gardens, significant plant collections, and two acres of an urban farm.
Little green thumbs can learn about different flowers like perennials and annuals; walk around and see original sculptures dotting the gardens.
They’ll marvel at the natural world with activities like pioneer living and hands-on plant exploration.
Go for a family picnic, spot some birds, take pictures, or enjoy a relaxing day surrounded by nature.
You can also teach your kids to identify and remember some plant life in the garden by looking at the plaques or tags on the branches.
Enjoy your visit to Toledo Botanical Garden.
Discover the Wonders of Science at Imagination Station
Located downtown Toledo’s Discovery Way, Imagination Station is a place to get your children to experience the wonders of science.
This attraction is the city’s Science Center and the region’s Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math resource.
Kids will love the fun things to do and learn there, like interactive exhibits, demonstrations, and hands-on activities to teach different scientific concepts.
Build and design race cars, propelling them with pressurized air, or let your kids experience being a giant at Ames Room.
Let them use their imagination to create stories at the Animation Station.
Children can explore how a crude oil refinery works or become an electrician for a day.
Kids dreaming of becoming a pilot can learn from the Flight exhibit to test their aviation skills or learn about aerodynamics at the Flying Things exhibit.
Try the Simulator Theater, a virtual roller coaster that generates excitement.
There’s also the Energy Transfer, Farm 101, Food Smasher, and plenty of other exhibits at Imagination Station to cater to your child’s curious mind.
Browse the Books at Toledo Lucas County Public Library
The Toledo Lucas County Public Library offers learning and fun to anyone wishing to visit.
The library has served the neighborhood for the past 184 years.
Today, it offers free books, music, movies, and various programs for kids, youth, and adults.
It provides a warm and friendly atmosphere that encourages people, especially kids and teens, to love reading.
Browse the library’s book collections with your kids and see if they find something interesting.
Sign up your kids for a weekly program packed with activities, books, and rhymes.
They also offer Storytime for various age groups like Babytime, Toddler, Preschool, and Family Storytimes.
Toledo Lucas County Public Library is on Michigan Street.
Catch Amazing Shows at Huntington Center
Watch fantastic family-oriented shows together at Huntington Center.
This venue is one of the county’s local attractions featuring state-of-the-art facilities and equipment that would give you the best viewing experience.
It’s also one of the country’s first professional sports arenas with LEED certification.
Enjoy kid-friendly shows like Harlem Globetrotters, Paw Patrol Live, or Disney on Ice.
You can also catch some hockey games open for the season.
Check the show and game schedules and book your tickets through their website.
Huntington Center is managed by ASM Global and is located at Jefferson Avenue.
Go Shopping at Franklin Park Mall
For shopping, head out to Franklin Park Mall, just off I-475.
This shopping hub is the city’s premier shopping, dining, and entertainment location.
Anchored with brands like JCPenney, Dillard’s, and Macy’s, you’ll find a wide variety of children’s clothes and accessories.
You can also find more stores on the outdoor promenade.
Enjoy meals with the family with choices of restaurants like Bravo! Italian Kitchen, Black Rock, or BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse.
Then, treat your kids to a movie at Cinemark Franklin Park 16.
Enjoy a family day at Franklin Park Mall.
Spend a Family Day at Playzone Toledo
Spend hours of amusement games with the family at Playzone Toledo.
This amusement center lies in New Towne Square and has plenty of enjoyable activities for everyone.
Team up to play Laser Tag in the arena and find out whose team gets to win first.
Bump and spin around on a Spin Zone bumper car.
Make sure they don’t get to bump into your spin zone target, or else you’ll go for a three-second spin.
Who doesn’t enjoy arcade games?
Your kids will love going from one game to another, from Rock The Rim Basketball 1 and 2, Space Invaders, Deal Or No Deal, and many others.
Other games include Pacman Smash, a mad air hockey game; Blast Player 1 with action-packed racing cars; and Typhoon Rollercoaster, which lets kids feel the wind and vibration on their seats with 3-D technology.
Otherwise, they can catch and win prizes, plush, and candies from crane and coin pusher machines.
You can also celebrate your child’s birthday and choose from different party packages by Playzone Toledo.
Explore the Outdoors at Wildwood Preserve Metropark
Your kids will enjoy buzzing around at Wildwood Preserve Metropark.
This park on Central Avenue has forest and field themes designed with elements like bees, turtles, frogs, and butterflies in the play area.
Children can spin on the merry-go-round, enjoy the multi-user disk swing, and go round and about at the large play structure.
Other playground equipment includes slides, a rope bridge, toddler swings, monkey bars, and many more.
Don't worry about your little ones slipping or injuring themselves because the playground’s surface comprises wood mulch, rubber spray, and matting.
Set a picnic at the tables while your little tots enjoy playing.
Other amenities at Wildwood Preserve Metropark include restrooms, a picnic shelter, bike racks, a recreation field, and a drinking fountain.
Other Things To Do Nearby
Visit the Fort Meigs Historic Site
Fort Meigs Historic Site is in Perrysburg, Ohio, about 15 minutes from Toledo.
Visiting the fort will be a great learning experience for your kids as they hear about the efforts of Fort Meigs during the War of 1812.
They’ll discover the life of soldiers stationed at the fort, their early ways of life, and the industries of early Ohio.
Your children can watch the re-enactments and historical events like the 1812 War and American Revolution.
Take them to the museum to see original artifacts discovered on the site.
Drop by the Fort Meigs Museum Store for unique gifts, apparel, and exclusive items; kids will love the toys, children’s books, and candy at the store.
You’ll enjoy a historic trip to Fort Meigs Historic Site.
Enjoy the Outdoors at Oak Openings Preserve
If you want to let your kids experience the outdoors, head to Oak Openings Preserve in Swanton, Ohio, 28 minutes from Toledo.
It’s the largest Metropark in the area, with over 5,000 acres of widely-spaced oaks and vast prairies.
Your family can enjoy camping on the grounds or renting a cabin and connecting with nature.
Let your kids explore different flora or spot wildlife like Lark sparrows, bluebirds, whippoorwills, and many other migrating birds.
Plus, they’ll have hours of fun at the play area at Mallard Lake.
They can go on the kiddie zipline, climb the hill, zoom down the slides, play hide-and-seek at the tunnels, and enjoy the tot swing.
Toledo is a thriving port and business location that offers many family-friendly activities.
It also has plenty of attractions and amusement spots your kids will enjoy.
The city offers both pure kiddie fun and a meaningful learning experience.
Discover the best things to do with kids in Toledo, Ohio!