Swing ride at sunset at Ohio State Fair in Columbus (photo by Randall L. Schieber)

53 Fun Things to Do in Ohio this Summer

Embrace the season with our guide to fun events and destinations across the state during the 102 days and nights of summer.


May 24–27: The Berea National Rib Cook-Off draws visitors from across northeast Ohio to celebrate Memorial Day weekend at the Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds. Sample ribs and sauces from competing regional and national teams and stick around to see who takes home the prize for best ribs, best sauce and other awards. berearib.com

May 26: Ring in summer and celebrate history in patriotic fashion at Heritage Day hosted by Carillon Historical Park, the 65-acre home of Dayton History. Visitors can enjoy a day of historical reenactments and demonstrations, train rides and special activities as well as an evening performance by the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra. daytonhistory.org

History Lesson: In August 1794, the Battle of Fallen Timbers near what is now Maumee served as a pivotal moment in the United States’ quest for westward expansion. Today, the battle is remembered and interpreted across three sites — the 187-acre Fallen Timbers Battlefield, a 9-acre monument site and a park where Fort Miamis was once located. metroparkstoledo.com, nps.gov

Fans at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati (photo courtesy of Ohio: The Heart of It All)

Play Ball! Baseball fans know that the Cincinnati Reds own the distinction of being Major League Baseball’s first professional team. Celebrate that heritage by taking in a game at Great American Ball Park, and visit the museum honoring the greats of this storied franchise. reds.com

June 7–8: Created to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the village of Harrod’s founding, the Pork Rind Heritage Festival has become an annual tradition in this Allen County community. The event features a parade, car show, live music, food vendors and two different scholarship awards presented to prospective university students. porkrindfest.com

June 7–9: The Columbus Arts Festival returns for its 62nd year with over 250 local, national and international artists featuring their works along the riverfront. Enjoy live music and food vendors as you check out their creations or become a work of art yourself with face painting, caricature portraits and more. columbusartsfestival.org

Urban Via Ferrata at Columbus’ Quarry Trails Metro Park (photo by Stefan Bruch)
Climb of Your Life: In 2023, Columbus’ Quarry Trails Metro Park became home to the world’s first Urban Via Ferrata, a climbing route that uses steel cables to assist in navigating it. This route includes 1,040 feet of cabled climbing along the park’s quarry ledges as well as a suspension bridge and aerial walkways. metroparks.net

Island Time: Located 3 miles off the shore of mainland Ohio on Lake Erie, South Bass Island is home to a variety of outdoor recreation destinations, one being South Bass Island State Park. Spanning 33 acres, the park provides scenic views of the lake in a picturesque, natural setting. Visitors to the park can also enjoy opportunities for boating, fishing, swimming, camping and more. ohiodnr.gov

Parade participants holding colorful flags at Parade the Circle in Cleveland (photo courtesy of Cleveland Museum of Art)
June 8: Parade the Circle offers a family-friendly event that embraces arts and culture. The colorful celebration begins just outside the Cleveland Museum of Art on University Circle’s Wade Oval, and all are welcome at this free event that features a vibrant procession of costumed marchers and giant puppets. clevelandart.org

June 9: The Cincinnati Concours d’Elegance is the fourth-longest continuously running show of its kind in the nation. Displaying 200 premier collector vehicles, this event is a must-visit for classic car aficionados. There’s plenty beyond cars to enjoy too, from an automotive art show to a brunch to a craft beer garden. ohioconcours.com

National Treasure: Cuyahoga Valley National Park has many wonders to explore, but one of its most loved is Brandywine Falls. This 60-foot waterfall is viewable from various spots along the 1.5-mile Brandywine Gorge Loop trail, which includes overlooks, a boardwalk and stairs that take hikers down to a lower viewing deck. nps.gov

June 13–15: The Logan Washboard Arts & Music Fest highlights this city’s title as home to the last operational washboard factory in the United States. Always held on Father’s Day weekend, this festival includes music, a variety of craft and food vendors and even opportunities to tour the Columbus Washboard Co. factory. loganwashboardfestival.com

“Tecumseh!” Outdoor Drama at Chillicothe’s Sugarloaf Mountain Amphitheater (photo courtesy of Tecumseh Drama)
Legendary Life: For over 50 years, the outdoor drama “Tecumseh!” has shared the story of the legendary Shawnee leader and his attempts to preserve his people’s lands in what is now Ohio. From June 13 through Sept. 1, the immersive production takes the outdoor stage at Chillicothe’s Sugarloaf Mountain Amphitheatre. tecumsehdrama.com

June 21–22: Berea’s annual Ohio Scottish Games and Celtic Festival allows visitors to take part in Scottish heritage and ancestry by watching feats of strength, bagpipe and drum competitions and performances by Highland dancers. Sample authentic fare like haggis and browse wares from the festival’s vendors. ohioscottishgames.com

Opt Outside: A trip to the 1,125-acre Glen Helen Nature Preserve in Yellow Springs provides opportunities to hike 15 miles of wooded trails, visit the Raptor Center to learn about the 20-plus birds that live there, participate in educational programs and much more. glenhelen.org

Crowd at Buckeye Country Superfest in Columbus (photo courtesy of Buckeye Country Superfest)
June 22–23: Be part of one of Ohio’s biggest country music events by grabbing a ticket to Columbus’ Buckeye Country Superfest. Headlined both nights by Zach Bryan, the lineup during these two performances at Ohio Stadium also includes Billy Strings, the Turnpike Troubadours, Charley Crockett and more. buckeyecountrysuperfest.com

Thrill Seeker: Cedar Point’s Top Thrill 2 is double the fun of the original Top Thrill Dragster, boasting a second 420-foot tower in addition to its original one. The expanded experience includes a guaranteed rollback down the original tower, a trip up the new 90-degree tower in reverse and speeds of up to 120 miles per hour. cedarpoint.com

June 23: During its nine-day, 2,300-mile trek, the National Hemmings Motor News Great Race makes two stops in Ohio — one in Lancaster for lunch and one in Marietta for an overnight stay. With several different racing classes and competing domestic and international teams and vehicles, this racing feat is a sight to see. greatrace.com

Fireworks over skyline at Columbus’ Red White and Boom! (photo by Peter Ahn)

July 3: The largest single-day event in Columbus, Red White and Boom! honors Independence Day during this downtown celebration packed with food vendors, entertainment (including two stages of live music) and other activities. This day of excitement culminates at Genoa Park with an elaborate fireworks show starting at 10 p.m. redwhiteandboom.org

July 7: Take part in this Independence Day event observed in 1800s fashion at Chillicothe’s Adena Mansion and Gardens, the former estate of Thomas Worthington. The 19th Century Independence Day Celebration hosts a reading of the Declaration of Independence and patriotic poems, a formal flag presentation and a toast to George Washington. adenamansion.com

Time for Play: Cincinnati’s Smale Riverfront Park consists of 45 acres of explorable fun for the entire family. Adults can lounge on the large row of covered porch swings while kids discover the imaginative play areas containing a rideable flying pig, a giant foot piano, water pumps, a whisper phone, climbable structures and a splash pad. visitcincy.com

People walking at Cain Park Arts Festival in Cleveland Heights (photo courtesy of Cain Park Arts Festival)
July 12–14: The free-to-attend Cain Park Arts Festival in Cleveland Heights invites visitors from across northeast Ohio to peruse a juried showcase of artwork spanning a variety of mediums and buy some to take home. The three-day event also provides visitors with live entertainment and a selection of food trucks. cainpark.com/arts-festival

July 12–14: Summer is in full bloom at Bishop Educational Gardens’ Lilyfest in Rockbridge. The three-day event features over 60 arts and crafts vendors offering a variety of wares such as pottery, jewelry and glasswork. Set aside time to explore the facility’s 3 acres of gardens, where experts are on-hand to answer questions. lilyfest.com

July 10: Touring in support of her latest album, “Visions,” Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter and pianist Norah Jones plays Rose Music Center in Huber Heights. She is joined by special guest and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee Mavis Staples, the last surviving member of the legendary R&B group The Staples Singers. rosemusiccenter.com

Flowers by Scranton Flats on the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail (photo courtesy of Ohio & Erie Canalway)
Stay Outside: Hike, bike or stroll along the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail. This pathway where mules once pulled canal boats is now a 98-mile trail spanning multiple counties in northeast Ohio, with over 50 trailheads that provide easy access to the well-maintained trail surrounded by nature and history. ohioanderiecanalway.com

July 13: View interesting works of art created from an unlikely source at Vermilion’s All Washed Up Driftwood Art Festival. Entries into this art festival are made from pieces of driftwood and other items found on the Lake Erie shores and are brought to life by artists from across the region. mainstreetvermilion.org/driftwood

July 19–Aug. 18: Celebrate the end of a long summer day during Cedar Point’s Boardwalk Nights. Taking place each night between July 19 and Aug. 18 after the sun has gone down, visitors are welcome to explore this area of the park in a new light, with food, drinks, games, music and more. cedarpoint.com

Kids watching Columbus Duck Race at Riverside Crossing Park (photo courtesy of Nationwide Children’s Hospital)
July 20: Witness thousands of yellow rubber ducks race down a 300-foot Slip N’ Slide during the annual Columbus Duck Race at Riverside Crossing Park. Anyone is welcome to purchase a duck race entry, and proceeds raised go toward supporting pediatric research at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. The event includes a DJ, magician and other entertainers. nationwidechildrens.org

July 21: Hop on over to Medina County for the Valley City Frog Jump Festival. Now in its 63rd year, this free event features food and drinks, games, train rides, a petting zoo, music and more. The highly anticipated main event, the frog jump, kicks off at 11 a.m. and routinely sees 700 frogs entered in competition. valleycity.org

July 24–Aug. 4: A Buckeye State tradition since 1850, the Ohio State Fair is a must for all Ohioans. From live entertainment to rides and games to agricultural and art shows to deep-fried everything and the year’s annual butter sculpture, this event promises fun and great memories for the whole family. ohiostatefair.com

Girls rollerskating at Toledo’s Glass City Metropark (photo courtesy of Glass City Metropark)
River Walk: Spanning 70 acres, Toledo’s Glass City Metropark provides opportunities for a day of recreation and relaxation. Kids will love the variety of play areas on land or along the boardwalk, and adults can head out from the docks on a paddling excursion and return for a meal at one of the nearby restaurants. glasscityriverwalk.com

July 26–28: The annual Nelsonville Music Festival hosts a lineup of more than 50 acts playing music in a variety of genres. This year’s headliners are Killer Mike, Courtney Barnett and Thee Sacred Souls. The three-day, family-friendly event at the Snow Fork Event Center offers opportunities for camping, kids activities, artisans, vendors and more. nelsonvillefest.org

Go Wild: Discover exotic fauna on a safari journey that takes place just outside the village of Cumberland. The Wilds spans a 10,000-plus-acre conservation center dedicated to ecological research of threatened and endangered species and educating visitors about them. Experience The Wilds via open-air safaris, up-close animal encounters, horseback riding excursions, zip lining or fishing safaris. thewilds.org

Cars on the water at Celina Lake Festival (courtesy of Celina Lake Festival)
July 26–28: Make a splash at the Celina Lake Festival along the shore of Grand Lake St. Marys, Ohio’s largest manmade inland lake. Guests can enjoy a variety of rides, food and drink options, art and craft shows, live musical entertainment, a fireworks display, a parade and a classic car show. celinalakefest.com

July 26–28: Celebrate famed Ohioan and one of the most renowned female sharpshooters of all time at Greenville’s Annie Oakley Festival. Watch contestants try to “shoot like Annie” at the Annie’s Memorial Shoot happening on Friday and enjoy the festivities that include a car show, a kiddie tractor pull and more. annieoakleyfestival.org

Jeeps in road at Toledo Jeep Fest (photo courtesy of Toledo Jeep Fest)


Aug. 2–3:The Hocking Hills Bigfoot Festival in downtown Logan promises to delight sasquatch enthusiasts and skeptics alike. Visitors can participate in the Squatch N’ Seek, practice their best Squatch Walk or Squatchy Noises, join author Jannette Quackenbush for a night hike to the Moonville Tunnel and more. hockinghillsbigfoot.com

Aug. 2–4: Created to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Jeep in 2016, Toledo Jeep Fest has since seen 60,000 people flock to the Glass City annually to watch 1,500 Jeeps in a variety of models and colors parade through the streets. Enjoy vendors, exhibit halls, expert speakers, food trucks, a kid zone, live music and more. toledojeepfest.com

Aug. 4: Headlined by Grammy Award-winning country singer Carrie Underwood, Concert for Legends returns to Canton’s Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium. This highly anticipated event marks the finale to the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Enshrinement Week, which runs Aug. 1 through 4 and includes the annual Hall of Fame Game. hofvillage.com

Crowd at Toledo Zoo’s outdoor amphitheater (photo courtesy of the Toledo Zoo)
Aug. 7: The Toledo Zoo’s outdoor amphitheater hosts the Tedeschi Trucks Band as part of the group’s Deuces Wild tour. The Grammy Award-winning 12-piece rock band, led by husband-and-wife duo Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi, is known for its blend of musical influences spanning rock, blues, jazz, soul and country. toledozoo.org/concerts

Aug. 8: Grammy-Award winner and Springfield, Ohio, native John Legend joins the world-famous Cleveland Orchestra for An Evening with John Legend at Blossom Music Center in Cuyahoga Falls. This powerhouse performance features re-imaginings of some of Legend’s greatest hits and songs from his latest, self-titled album. clevelandorchestra.com

Historic Stop: The Ohio Statehouse is a great place to learn about our past. Guided tours are offered for free each day and self-guided audio tours are also available. In addition to touring this iconic piece of Ohio history, visitors can also explore the 10-acre grounds and the Ohio Statehouse Museum. ohiostatehouse.org

Family traveling on Marietta Sternwheeler (photo by Bruce Wunderlich)
All Aboard: Explore the Muskingum and Ohio rivers in classic style. The Valley Gem Sternwheeler has ferried passengers on these waterways near Marietta since its first iteration in 1973. Today, visitors can enjoy short scenic rides, narrated sightseeing tours and other themed events on the Valley Gem or the new Major/Riviera. valleygemsternwheeler.com

Aug. 9–11: A tradition in Findlay since 2000, the Flag City BalloonFest offers visitors the chance to see dozens of hot air balloons in a variety of shapes and colors. The event is free to attend and features a range of family activities, food and drinks, and an evening balloon glow. flagcityballoonfest.com

Aug. 9–11: Experience Dayton’s cultural heritage at the Germanfest Picnic. Partake in authentic German fare, such as schnitzel, bratwurst, mett, sauerkraut, German potato salad and more. Don’t miss the bands playing in the biergarten, a performance by Buck the Magic “German” Cowboy or taking the kids to enjoy the Kinder Korner.

Woman in sunflower field at Coshocton Sunflower Festival (photo courtesy of Coshocton Sunflower Festival)
Aug. 9–11: See 4 acres of sunflowers at the Coshocton Sunflower Festival. This event offers wagon rides that take you out to the field where you can find over 50 varieties of sunflowers as well as live music, food trucks, a wine and beer garden and vendors selling sunflower-themed items. Aug. 17 is also a festival date. coshoctonsunflowerfestival.com

Summer Rocks! The enchanting atmosphere of Springfield’s Hartman Rock Garden draws thousands of visitors each year to explore this one-of-a-kind, folk-art masterpiece. Open daily, the garden can be toured independently, giving visitors the chance to check out Ben Hartman’s quirky stone sculptures and structures at their own pace. hartmanrocks.org

Man and woman dancing at Columbus’ ¡Festival Latino! (photo by Randall L. Schieber)

Aug. 10–11: Since it was first held as a five-hour pilot project in Columbus in 1996, ¡Festival Latino! has grown each year, celebrating and sharing the music, arts and culture of Hispanic heritage in Ohio’s capital city. Enjoy live performing artists, dancing, art workshops, Latin American cuisine and community information tents. festivallatino.net

Aug. 12–15: Celebrate the 125th year of this event in Cleveland’s Little Italy neighborhood. The Feast of the Assumption street fair draws thousands each year as it showcases the city’s rich Italian heritage. Attend a traditional Catholic mass, dig into the local Italian cuisine and enjoy games, live entertainment and more. littleitalyfeast.com

Aug. 15–18: Indulge in authentic German eats at the Bucyrus Bratwurst Festival. First held in 1967, the annual event now welcomes over 100,000 people each year to enjoy delicious fire-roasted bratwurst and to partake in festivities such as the crowning of Bratwurst Royalty, a stein auction, arts and crafts shows, parades and more. bucyrusbratwurstfestival.com

Boy looking at boarding pass at “Titanic” at COSI in Columbus (photo courtesy of COSI)
A Titanic Experience: Through Sept. 2, head to COSI in Columbus to see Titanic brought to life through an immersive exhibition featuring artifacts and replicas, where visitors can follow along with the story of passengers who were present on the ship during that fateful voyage. cosi.org

Aug. 27: Rock ’n’ roll legend Sammy Hagar visits Cincinnati’s Riverbend Music Center for a tour that spans all the hits from his storied career. The former Van Halen vocalist is joined by bandmates Michael Anthony, Jason Bonham and Joe Satriani. Fans can look forward to hearing Hagar-fronted classics from the last four decades. riverbend.org

Aug. 31–Sept. 2: For 60 years, the Cleveland National Air Show has been celebrated on Labor Day weekend. Look to the skies and witness military jet demonstrations, aerial aerobatics, parachuting and more. On the ground, check out the runway race between a plane and a jet truck, or tour exhibits and aircraft displays. clevelandairshow.com

Aug. 31–Sept. 2: Baseball’s roots stretch back to the 19th century, and Ohio Cup Vintage Baseball Festival is a great way to celebrate the game. Head to Columbus’ Ohio History Center for a weekend of classic baseball fun. Over 25 teams participate, playing by 1860s rules and dressed in traditional uniforms. ohiohistory.org