Blake Walsh

15 Free Things to Do in Youngstown, OH

  • Published 2022/11/13

Youngstown is a breath of fresh air from the traditional cityscape scene and luxury.

This city is the seat of Mahoning County, Ohio.

It is also a vibrant travel destination that exceeds every tourist’s expectations.

Known primarily for its entertainment centers and recreational spots, this city is a central hub for solo travelers, couples, and families.

Its museums are also one-of-a-kind, and a trip to any of them is enough to keep you craving to learn more about this boisterous city.

Its industrial and agricultural past reflects itself into the growing attractions in every corner.

Not to mention, its festivals and seasonal events bring the community together through extensive fanfare.

Youngstown had come a long way from its early village environment in 1797 when John Young founded it.

Here are the free things to do in Youngstown, Ohio, to help you plan a budget-friendly adventure:

Smell the Flowers at Fellows Riverside Gardens

Vibrant flowers at Fellows Riverside Gardens

PhotosByLarissaB /

Commune with nature as you explore the grounds of Youngstown with a trip to Fellows Riverside Gardens.

Situated on McKinley Avenue, this free public garden spans 12 acres of alluring flowers, perennials, and other plants.

This park, operated by Mill Creek MetroParks, resulted from one woman’s dream.

Elizabeth Fellow, who died in 1958, dreamed of providing public spaces for everyone to enjoy and lounge around.

This garden was realized through generous donations and volunteers to commemorate her dream.

Perhaps what makes this site a great place to spend your time is its colorful displays amidst a rolling landscape.

Bring your sketchbook or camera with you and marvel at the collection of hollies, shade plants, and European beeches.

Moreover, the nearby Garden Cafe helps you start your day or take a break.

You don’t want to miss the Fellows Riverside Gardens!

Listen to Live Music at Federal Frenzy Music and Arts Festival

Join the Federal Frenzy Music and Arts Festival if you need a break from historical establishments and art galleries.

This annual festival is an outdoor event that brings live music and entertainment together in one place.

Established in 2015, this famous arts and music festival takes place in Downtown Youngstown, specifically on Federal Street.

It’s hosted by Penguin Productions, a student-formed organization from the YSU.

In 2020, the Federal Frenzy Music and Arts Festival took its celebrations indoors.

Then, in 2022, it finally returned to its roots.

Taste comfort food and fast food by visiting the local food trucks and vendors at the site.

Tune in to live music from local and world-renowned artists and bands.

Most importantly, mingle with the crowd as the festivities happen!

This festival is just one of Youngstown’s most remarkable treasures, and you should at least try it once in your life.

View the Products at Four Seasons Flea & Farm Market

It’s always fun to shop around at Youngstown.

You’ll see a massive surprise at Four Seasons Flea & Farm Market on McCartney Road.

This flea market was once the largest airport between Pittsburgh and Cleveland.

If that isn’t reason enough to visit this, then the variety of fresh produce sold there might be.

With 88,000 square feet of indoor space and about 600 vendors, you can be confident that browsing the products there would be a delight.

Get fresh fruits and vegetables for your next hand-cooked meal with the family.

Bring home a fresh set of flowers to give a loved one or decorate the living room table.

No matter what you are looking for, Four Seasons Flea & Farm Market has delectable delights in store for you!

Learn Astronomy at Ward Beecher Planetarium

There’s much to explore at Youngstown for free, and this exploration is not only limited to artificial attractions.

You can explore space if you want.

At Ward Beecher Planetarium, you can watch public astronomy shows.

As part of the facilities at Youngstown State University, it has served as a space learning center for several decades.

The best part is that it is open to the general public, and reservation is unnecessary.

Some of its immersive programs include Skywatch, a talk on the current sky and constellation information, and fun character-titled programs like The Little Star That Could.

There are also talks on buying telescopes and even a look at the first images captured by these instruments through a lecture.

Bring your family to Ward Beecher Planetarium on One University Plaza.

Watch a Sports Game at YSU Softball Complex

Youngstown’s art and culture scene makes the city stand out in Ohio.

When it comes to sports, it’s also second to none.

YSU Softball Complex is proof of this.

This stadium on Ford Avenue is a great venue to brush up on your baseball knowledge.

With over 500 seats and centerfield bleachers, it’s a splendid avenue to watch a sports game and relive your school days.

Go with a loved one and share popcorn while cheering for your favorite team.

Wear jerseys and baseball caps to embrace the sports season fully.

Admission is free for seasonal YSU events; come by with your cheer spirit.

Keep an eye out for non-YSU events at YSU Softball Complex because they may charge for admission.

Take a Picture of the Indian Scout Statue

On Wick Avenue, right in front of The Butler Institute of American Art, there’s a historic statue you should not forget to visit.

The Indian Scout Statue is a remarkable outdoor sculpture of a Native American scout.

The man, wearing the traditional war bonnet, crouches with one hand on his forehead, covering his eye as if spotting someone in the distance.

It stands right on top of a stone pedestal and has turned a faded blue with age.

The Indian Scout Statue represents America’s roots.

If you want to learn more about this heritage, you can visit the nearby museum.

It’s also free to the public, so check it out!

Play Golf at Wick Park Disc Golf Course

Is sport your favored sport or hobby?

Go to Wick Park Disc Golf Course and play to your heart’s content within a flat, mixed foliage environment.

Established in 2017, this public park golf course has at least nine holes, but that’s not all it can be proud of.

Situated at the heart of the north side of Youngstown, it’s a historic park, too!

Tee up at Wick Park Disc Golf Course on Park Avenue!

Find Inspiration at the Butler Institute of American Art

Exterior of The Butler Institute of American Art

Lorinda Dixon, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

You can always drop by the Butler Institute of American Art if you need more ways to gain art inspiration.

This art museum specializes in a trip along American history through the fantastic paintings and art pieces around its halls.

The Butler Institute of American Art has an art variety unlike any other gallery, from pastel paintings on canvas to photography and video.

The themes are also diverse, so you should find an artwork that resonates with you.

Welcome sign of The Butler Institute of American Art

Lorinda Dixon, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If you are going with a senior loved one, you can enroll them in the Senior Arts and Learn program.

There are art classes and day camps for children as well.

Admission is free, so you can spend time exploring the halls without worrying about ticket hour limitations.

The Butler Institute of American Art is on Wick Avenue.

Have Fun at the Splash Pad at Wick Park

On Park Avenue, Wick Park is a neighborhood park that welcomes you for an afternoon of recreation and fun.

This historic park is one of Youngstown’s well-kept secrets, and you’ll understand why.

Its family-friendly amenities and facilities make it a must-visit for those traveling with their loved ones and large groups.

There are outdoor and indoor pavilions where you can spend your lunch or break time.

Remember to register before going there!

Other amenities you can expect include a splash fountain and two tennis courts.

Take your kids to the splash pad and stay refreshed with them as you play with the water.

Don’t stay behind on your fitness regimen with a jog around the trails.

Visit Wick Park whenever you can!

Let Your Kids Play at John White Park

If you’re looking for a safe and stimulating park for your little one, you should look for John White Park.

This park on Kimmel Street gives you the correct dose of family fun with its large lawn and fun activities.

Various sports courts are at this park so you can fit in a round of friendly matches with your family.

At the soccer and practice football field, show off your kicking prowess while playing with your loved ones.

You can also shoot some hoops on the basketball court.

There is innovative playground equipment for your excited kids to climb, crawl, and have fun around.

Overall, John White Park fits what you’re looking for in a family park!

Exercise at Homestead Park

You can never go wrong with a drive to Homestead Park for solitude and seclusion.

This city park, located on East Dewey Avenue, has the atmosphere of a countryside park with its serene lawn.

The playground equipment within its vicinity also has that old-school feel from a few decades ago.

Host a mini get-together with old friends and relatives at the open-air picnic pavilion.

Bring your picnic basket with you as you and your group feast on snacks in this peaceful park.

Homestead Park is also ideal for meditating or self-reflect.

Youngstown is a city with never-ending outdoor recreational gifts, after all.

See the Trees Change at Crandall Park

Crandall Park prides itself on aesthetically pleasing landscapes and Instagram-worthy shots.

Your group’s comfort is always a priority with the usual indoor and outdoor pavilions onsite.

Pair that with scenic skyline views and the occasional wildlife, and you’ll see a place worth at least half your day.

Watch as ducks flock around certain corners and swim in the water.

Your kids may find delight in their presence too!

There is also a playground set and a sledding area for maximum enjoyment.

Visit Crandall Park on Redondo Road.

Chill by the Swings at Lynn Park

Smack dab between dense trees and greenery everywhere is Lynn Park.

This fenced park on Lynn Avenue is an excellent stop for a quick break with the family after a few hours of exploring Youngstown.

Some of the amenities you can look forward to are the tennis and basketball courts.

Challenge your loved ones with a fast tennis game or even practice shooting hoops.

Take your kids to the slide and guide them onsite on the swings at the playground set.

Lynn Park also offers a pavilion that requires you to register.

Join the Brier Hill Italian Festival

Celebrate Italy while in Youngstown when you attend the Brier Hill Italian Festival.

As the name suggests, this annual festival is a celebration of Italian food and culture.

Likewise, it’s a remembrance of the old suburban Youngstown, especially Brier Hill.

The festival hosts live music every August and provides good food to entertain you and your companions.

It’s also ideal for showcasing your competitiveness when you sign up for wine-tasting and hot pepper contests.

Brier Hill Italian Festival usually takes place in the Brier Hill neighborhood, on Calvin & Victoria Streets.

Get Lost in a Book at the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County

Exterior of The Public Library of Youngstown & Mahoning County

Lorinda Dixon, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Do you need quiet time with books?

Then, add The Public Library of Youngstown & Mahoning County to your Youngstown itinerary.

Despite not being as extravagant as other places on this list, it still holds a spot because of its vast collection of books.

Its origins go way back to the 1840s.

Bring your kids to learn outside the four walls of their home or school.

The Public Library of Youngstown & Mahoning County is open to those who need a cozy space to sit quietly with a book.

Drive by Wick Avenue to visit this public library.

Final Thoughts

With action and excitement on every corner, Youngstown is a must-add to your list of travel destinations.

Most importantly, you don’t have to pay a penny to relax or have fun.

You have many things to look forward to in this lovely city, from public parks to unique tourist statues and yearly festivals.

Have you decided where to go first on this list of free things to do in Youngstown, Ohio?

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