Things to do in the Ohio, Indiana, Chicago area

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by HookedOnDiz, Feb 12, 2013.

  1. HookedOnDiz

    HookedOnDiz Mouseketeer

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    We are driving to Chicago from New Jersey this summer and will have a few days to take our time traveling on either side of the stay in Chicago.

    Can anyone recommend some interesting things to stop and do along the way? We have four kids... 9, 7, 4, and 1.

    Thanks!
     
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  3. HHSTigerFan

    HHSTigerFan DIS Veteran

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    Although pretty close to Chicago, kids your age might enjoy Fair Oaks Farms.
     
  4. mom of2

    mom of2 Mouseketeer

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    Cedar point in sandusky OH
     
  5. skip323

    skip323 Mouseketeer

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    In Indiana
    Fair oaks farm ....I think they guarantee that you can see a calf being born... If you want to

    Exotic feline rescue center ...may be too intense for small kids, especially at feeding time. This is one of our favorite places. One of the few, I believe, in the U.S.

    Wolf Park - I have not been here but hear that it is neat

    The children's museum in Indy - world famous and something for everyone!

    Children's zoo in Fort Wayne, In

    The Indianapolis Motor Speedway (home of the Indy 500)

    Cincinnati zoo and Newport (KY) Aquarium

    Indianapolis is just a really nice, clean family friendly city. Not huge or overwhelming.
     
  6. cjnix29

    cjnix29 DIS Veteran

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    Cleveland has a nice science center, the rock n roll hall of fame, a cool new aquarium. The Toledo Zoo is a nice zoo. Cedar Point. The Ft. Wayne Zoo is nice. Sauder Village in Archbold Ohio (not far off the turnpike, almost to Indiana) is a nice little living history type museum. In Port Clinton, there is a drive thru safari. There have been some good deals on groupon or living social for tickets to this. Shipshewana in Indiana is Amish Country. They have a huge flea market, Amish farms, bakeries, furniture. There are sand dunes in Northern Indiana. Can't remember the name of it, but it's pretty cool as well. Have fun!!
     
  7. stsomewhere

    stsomewhere DIS Veteran

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    Cedar Point.

    Just south of Detroit- The Henry Ford Musuem and Village.
     
  8. taymaesmom

    taymaesmom DIS Veteran

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    This looks so neat and on our way to visit family in MI, I'm going to push dh to stop and visit! Thanks!
     
  9. aclov

    aclov DIS Veteran

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    Not sure if you will be passing Wisconsin but border to Illinois on Kenosha is the Jelly Belly Factory
     
  10. 5 at disney

    5 at disney Mouseketeer

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    I second the Children's museum in Indianapolis. Very awesome. My kids have gone a lot of times and still love it.
     
  11. geishagirl81

    geishagirl81 Mouseketeer

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    I live in Toledo, which is right off toll 80/90 :) DEFINITELY stop at Cedar Point- to not to shouldn't even be an option. You'll never feel the same about an Orlando roller coaster again :) CP is a world leader as a thrill park. Toledo is a decent midwest city, we have a pretty good zoo- Parent Magazine put it in the top 10 for kid-friendly zoos several years back.

    If you drive further up 80/90 you will hit Shipshewana IN, which is a big Amish tourism spot. They have a HUGE swap meet on the weekends as well as the standard quaint Amish shops, restaurants, and goods.
     
  12. CluelessDisFan

    CluelessDisFan DIS Veteran

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    Ceder Point while it is great. Is not family friendly. We are less then 2 hours away and we don't take our kids there. Toledo zoo is only 10 min off of the turn pike. It's a nice zoo, but it's a zoo. We just got back from Chicago, our family loved Lego land, Shedd aquarium, and Science and Industry.
     
  13. midwestdee

    midwestdee Mouseketeer

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    All of Chicago's museums are first class - with younger kids, I would go with Shedd Aquarium, or the Museum of Science & Industry. Lincoln Park Zoo is another good place for little ones. Also, as mentioned the Children's Museum in Indianpolis is top notch.
     
  14. mrsklamc

    mrsklamc <font color=blue>I apologize in advance, but what

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    The Indy children's museum is great, Conner Prairie is a favorite for many as well.

    Holiday World is wonderful though quite a ways off your route.
     
  15. geishagirl81

    geishagirl81 Mouseketeer

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    No, it's not Disney, but there are plenty of rides for kids and CP has parent ride swap like Disney. We take our 6 and 4 year-old there all the time :) Different Strokes for different folks :)
     
  16. Northernlites

    Northernlites Mouseketeer

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    go to the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield village. We also have a Toledo zoo membership and I think it is one of the best in the country. Also the aquarium in Newport KY is worth a drive. If you go to the Shedd aquarium only buy tickets for the main level, I think they are $8 a piece, you have to ask about this as they are trying to sell you the $35 ticket package. I found my young kids, 3 and 5 and 9 were bored after a hour doing the first level---really how much fish can you look at. Check out the reviews on tripadvisor and you will read the same thing. .
     
  17. mrsklamc

    mrsklamc <font color=blue>I apologize in advance, but what

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    This is another different strokes for different folks thing but I would totally pass on the Newport Aquarium.
     
  18. mistysue

    mistysue DIS Veteran

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    Last summer our kids were 1, 3 and 9- we spent 3 whole days at Cedar Point because they loved it so much.
    They have three different kid areas now, two of which are full of rides you can go on with them. There are also shows all the time. In a way like Disney, if you look for the kid things and plan ahead a bit it can be great, but if you don't it's a
    huge disappointing let down. Plus if you eat at the bbq place at the marina they take $10 off your bill in exchange for your parking receipt.
     
  19. k_reile

    k_reile Slowly converting my son into a Disney lover!

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    Or don't plan to be there the whole day! We took my son (3 at the time) and we thought it was some huge aquarium. It took us a little over an hour to tour. My son loved it though.. We just didn't have much else planned because we thought it would take longer.

    The next day we went to the safari park in Port Clinton. Now this is a good 4hrs apart from the Newport aquarium. We only live about an hour away from Port Clinton. We had so much fun at the safari park. You can also get coupons on their website. Make sure you buy the carrots. They are like candy bars to the animals and it was too funny watching them fight over them. If you have. Sunroof in your car, make sure you open it. The Giraffes will take the carrots from the top of the car. Cedar point and the safari park are really close to each other. So if you do Cedar Point make sure you hit up the Safari Park as well.
     
  20. Order66

    Order66 DIS Veteran

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    If you're coming from Jersey I'd assume you are taking the 76 to 80 to 80/90 (I made that drive many times to visit friends in NJ). OTW, going across the northern part of OH through IN to Chicago. You will be no where near Cincinatti (the southern end of our state) nor near Indy (also the southern end). The cities in OH you will go through will include Cleveland, Sandusky and Toledo. The drive through OH to Chi-town is long, boring and flat. Sorry. ;)

    As other's mentioned Cleveland has some decent museums. The Rock Hall will bore your kids to tears, but the Science Center right next door is fun and good for kids. Cleveland also has a very nice zoo (which is right past downtown off the freeway and not at all hard to find). We are the new home of Willie, an African bull elephant who came to us from Disney. :thumbsup2

    Sandusky has Cedar Point, but that's not really a "driving through" kind of destination. It's quite a large park with 1-2 days worth of attractions. While it's all about the coasters....there are family friendly rides too. And it's not at all budget! But it's worth a trip. There are a lot of other things in Sandusky like the drive through safari park or taking the ferry over to the lake erie islands. My kids get a kick out of riding around the island in the golf carts (the main mode of transportation there), exploring the caves and other assorted "tourist trap" stuff they have up there. It's a fun day. Sandusky also has 3 waterpark resorts. Castaway Bay owned by Cedar Point, a Great Wolf Lodge and the one I'd recommend, Kalahari. An overnight stop at any one of these for some swimming fun would not be budget either...but the kids would probably love it. We live less than an hour from Sandusky and we still take a 2 night trip there yearly.

    Toledo I don't know as much about as my trips there were limited to visiting friends at U of Toledo. I don't think you want to hear about the bar scene there so I'll leave that up to people who know better. :rotfl2:

    regards
     
  21. minnierocks

    minnierocks DIS Veteran

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    For your children's ages...there is nothing that I would recommend in Cleveland, unless you want to take them to a show in the Playhouse Square district. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame would probably not interest them and we tried the aquarium last week and I would not recommend stopping there. It was not worth the price of admission and you will be through it in an hour. I would suggest stopping somewhere along the Great Lakes though for sightseeing. Cedar Point is not Disney, but it is a great park along the way. Definitely not budget friendly, but a fun park. There is also a water park near there if you enjoy water parks. Kelly's Island is near Port Clinton...you have to take a ferry over. My kids loved exploring the island.
    I highly recommend Greenfield Village near the Henry Ford Museum, especially with the ages of your children. It is a really cool living history museum and definitely worth the stop. :goodvibes
     

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