The school year may be heading into full gear, but that doesn’t mean you’re stuck in the classroom. There are plenty of interactive learning adventures in the Toledo area and beyond, and our guide is here to help you find them. So pack up your book bag and find a bus buddy — this school year’s going to be a fun one!
A tour of an Ann Arbor fire station uncovers the intricate details of firefighting. See the equipment close-up and learn how the various parts of the vehicles work and operate. Guides explain the communication and response system. Appointments last from 30 to 60 minutes and must be made in advance.
Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum
220 E. Ann St.
Ignite the imagination of your students by embarking on an adventure at the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum. Enhance your field trip with a ScienceWorks lab class designed to meet Michigan benchmarks, or stay for a camp-in for a night at the museum. Put science in your hands with more than 250 interactive exhibits! Group rates apply to those with 20 or more.
Planet Rock Climbing Gym
82 April Dr.
34 Rapid St.
Kids of all ages and abilities can learn the ropes at one of Planet Rock’s weekly climbing programs. Programs include Climbing Club for kids just learning the ropes, Climbing Team for competition climbers, Summer Camps; and ABC for Kids, a structured class for kids ages 3 to 6 that incorporates climbing skills with yoga, gymnastics, and educational games. Parties, scout troops and groups are welcome to climb during open hours; groups of 15 or more can make it a private event.
22611 St. Rt. 2
Archbold, Ohio 43502
Think history is dull? Then you haven’t experienced Sauder Village. Come chat with costumed guides about how families lived more than 100 years ago. You’ll marvel at craftsmen blending skill and creativity in glass, metals, fabric, wood and clay. Enjoy scrumptious homemade goodies and the warmth of genuine, old-fashioned hospitality.
The Ohio Statehouse Museum
1 Capitol Square
Columbus, Ohio 43215
From the “Great Ohioans” exhibit to the “Seat of Government” gallery, visitors are invited to learn about the different government branches in a hands-on environment. Give a State of the State address at a replica of the Governor’s podium, learn hot to balance the state budget and how a bill becomes law, and discover Ohio’s history with galleries, touch screens and interactive exhibits. Admission is always free.
Rutherford B. Hayes
1 Spiegel Grove
The Hayes Presidential Center includes the home, library, museum, tomb and 25-acre park-like estate (called Spiegel Grove) of 19th U.S. President Rutherford B. Hayes. Entrance to the property is through the original gates from the White House. Groups (15 or more people) planning a visit to the center are asked to fill out an online form, or call to begin the reservation process.
Isaac Ludwig Mill
13827 State Rt. 24 W.
In 1822, Peter Manor, a French Canadian trader, built a sawmill at this site and then a small gristmill. Manor started building the mill but died before its completion. In 1849, Isaac Ludwig, a boat builder from Pennsylvania, bought and completed the construction of the mill. The mill is open from the first of May through the end of October, Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Call for weekend hours and special events. Visitors will be able to see corn, wheat, buckwheat, or rye ground with stones. The sawmill also operates providing a visual lesson. Various types of crafts are also demonstrated on Sunday afternoon. Visitors can purchase stone-ground flours.
Seven Eagles Historical Education & Earth Center
16486 Wapakoneta Rd.
1700-1850 re-enactors demonstrate, conduct workshops, display and sell artifacts from days gone by. On forty acres of Black Swamp woods, with a two-acre lake, a pond and open meadows. Loghouse, wigwam, Scottish Tavern, Trapper’s Hut and a 205-year old Pioneer Cabin. A variety of programs are available, including camping.
Wolcott House Complex
1035 River Rd.
Across the Maumee River from Fort Meigs, you can take a leisurely afternoon tour of the Wolcott House Museum Complex. James Wolcott became a prosperous businessman and community activist during the late 1820s and early 1830s. He was prominent in the development of the city of Maumee, engaging in various businesses. His many business interests included dry goods, grocery and hardware stores, as well as the shipping business along the Maumee River. The complex contains: the Wolcott Home, Log Cabin, Greek Revival Village House and Salt Box Farmhouse. For more information contact the Maumee Valley Historical Society at 419-893-9602.
On Q Dance Center
1550 Reynolds Road
On Q Dance Center offers classes for students ranging in age from 2/12 through young adult. They offer a broad spectrum of styles including tumbling and cheer dance. Wonder what it is like at On Q? Visit their website www.onqdancecenter.com for information
Maumee Valley Historical Center
1035 River Rd.
Costumed guides provide tours of six buildings: the Wolcott House, the Country Church, the train depot and caboose, the Gilbert-Flanigan House, the Log House and the Frederick House/Wolcott Museum Store. These buildings are filled with 19th-century artifacts reflecting life on the Ohio frontier. School tours may be scheduled during morning hours Tuesdays through Fridays from April through December. Admission is $2.50 for students and $5 for adults. Teachers are free with classes.
Country Lane Tree Farm
3525 N. Bolander Rd.
There’s plenty to do and see on this farm: school tours, a craft barn, snack & bake shop, even a corn cannon. Ride the barrel train or a pony; get lost in the straw maze and then head to the playground. Farm tours available – you even get to milk a cow! Follow your adventures up with a meal in the picnic area.
Japan Karate Academy
2219 Laskey Road
Your center for self defense, fun, and physical fitness. Serving the community with real martial arts since 1993. Classes include karate, boxing, kickboxing, and swordsmanship. We teach children about setting goals, self-discipline, focus, respect, and physical fitness.
Toledo Museum of Art
2445 Monroe St. at Scottwood Ave.
TMA houses not only priceless works of art but also work by area artists. Admission to the museum is always free and there is always plenty of activities and events going on daily and nightly. Stop by the Glass Pavilion which holds TMA’s world renowned glass collection. Live glassmaking demonstrations occur weekly by local artists and instructors.
918 Sylvania Ave.
Founded in 1976 in memory of fallen firefighters, the two-story museum is located in a working fire station, “Old Number 18 Fire House,” circa 1920, which was replaced by a new station in 1975. The museum’s million-dollar display includes many large pieces of vintage fire fighting equipment. The centerpiece of the museum is the 1837 “Neptune,” Toledo’s first fire pumper. Lovingly restored by Toledo firefighters, the hand-pulled, hand-operated Neptune required a 20-man crew and could deliver about 300 gallons of water per minute. Located near the second floor library is the safety and learning center that was once the firefighters’ sleeping quarters. “Jed’s Bedroom” and “Fireman Freddy’s Fire Station” were constructed to allow children to role play situations they may encounter in their home. Free admission; public areas handicap accessible.
Lions, tigers and bears are just the beginning. How about polar bear cubs, rhinos and orangutans, too? There’s always something wild and furry going on at the zoo, so bring the kids down and let them unleash their wild animal side. The recent addition of Nature’s Neighborhood offers interactive fun and learning for children of all ages. Visit the zoo’s website for upcoming special events and attractions. And remember: All Lucas County residents admitted free with ID on Mondays (no holidays) from 10 a.m. – Noon.
5001 Monroe St # R20
For over 70 years the Toledo Ballet has been providing the area with the highest quality of dance training and entertainment. They hold multiple performances throughout the year, their most notable is The Nutcracker, held in December. Visit the website to sign up for classes and view upcoming events.
Learn, tour, and travel back in time with the Metroparks — or attend a class at their Victorian one-room schoolhouse located at the Wildwood Preserve. Opportunities for education and fun abound. You just have to check them out. Metroparks: Your clean, safe, natural places to be.
Toledo Botanical Garden
5403 Elmer Dr.
Dozens of programs for preschoolers through sixth grade, including the natural laboratory and pioneer life experiences for groups or classes of 30 or fewer.
Toledo-Lucas County Public Library
325 N. Michigan Ave., Downtown
Come to the million-story building at the corner of Michigan and Madison for an exciting, unique and free field trip. The Library ranks among the Top 10 libraries nationwide. Beautiful art-deco style architecture, knowledgeable and friendly staff and a collection of more than 2.4 million items await. The Children’s Library offers three types of tours, storytime with a puppet show, computer instruction and book selection for children in preschool through sixth grade. Teachers may request a book collection for classroom use to be picked up on the day of their visit. Materials checked out at the Main Library may be returned to any branch. Minimum group size is 10 people. Please call at least two weeks in advance to schedule a visit, 419-259-5231.
Ritter Planetarium & Brooks Observatory
University of Toledo
2801 Bancroft St.
Kids learn about stars and planets with age-appropriate hands-on displays and teaching tours. Call for info and special programs. Evening presentations may be followed by an observation session at Brooks Observatory.
Lucas County Courthouse
700 Adams St.
America’s legal process is a fascinating and complicated world. Learn how the court sytem works from the inside out with a guided tour of the opulent, historical Lucas County Courthouse.
1 Discovery Way
Constructed in the former COSI building, this new reincarnation allows children and adults to enjoy the magic of science. Using hands-on activities and innovative thinking, the Imagination Station teaches about alternative energy, heath, fitness and the world around us. New exhibitions include CIRCUS!, a 23 station exploration through the science of the wonders of the circus. They are always bringing new attractions so stop by often to get a dose of fun and education all in one trip.
7605 Garden Rd.
With 16 different types of apples to choose from, a cider mill, on-premises bakery and plenty of samples to go around, MacQueen Orchard makes a tasty day trip. Come pick your own apples, enjoy freshly made cider (only available from Sept.-May) and learn how a working family farm operates.
Hoen’s Greenhouse & Garden Center
1710 Perrysburg-Holland Rd.
Come pick your own pumpkin this fall! Students from preschool through high school are welcome to come tour the family-owned facility with their classmates. Come play in a straw maze, enjoy a pony ride or a hayride.
29100 West River Road
Built in 1813 to defend the Ohio Country against British invasion, Fort Meigs constitutes the largest wooden walled fortification in North America. Today, the fort stands rebuilt on its original location within a 65-acre wooded park. The 10-acre fort is enclosed by a stockade wall and contains seven blockhouses, five cannon batteries, and numerous interior eight-foot high earthworks, 1,700 square feet including classroom area and gift shop.
Rosenbloom’s Farm provides an educational interactive tour of the farm. Guests can feed the chickens, brush the donkeys, meet the llamas, pet the horses and much more. Tours last approximately an hour and can be individualized to meet your group needs.
Sylvania Tam-O-Shanter Sports
7060 Sylvania Avenue
Visit Sylvania Tam-O-Shanter Sports Today! Join a daily “Drop-In” Hockey Game or skate at one of our Public Open Skating sessions. Meet your friends at Tamo for a sports themed birthday party; soccer, skating, basketball or dodgeball. Learn to ice skate from one of our skating instructors – class times vary, register online at www.sylvaniasec.com.
Lourdes College Theater Vision
6832 Convent Blvd.
The Lourdes College Theater Vision program has been running strong for 25 years. Winner of the one of TAP Family Favorites last year, the program shows no signs of slowing down. The season is full of family friendly productions such as The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere, Stellaluna and The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Ticket prices and show times vary, so check the website for the complete list of shows and recommended age group for each.
African Safari Wildlife Park
267 Lightner Road
Tour the 100 plus-acre reserve and visit hundreds of rare, exotic and some endangered animals from around the world. Animals roam, rest and play while visitors explore the grounds, snap pictures, buy snacks and have fun. At African Safari Wildlife Park, educational information is brought to the public by signs, booklets, naturalistic exhibit displays, interactions with the keepers, and with a fun and exciting educational animal show. The animal keepers are seen throughout the day performing their various jobs, and often talk with visitors about a particular animal and answer visitors’ questions.
Hoen’s Orchard and Market
12540 County Road 7-2
Pick your own apples, blueberries, beans, peppers, pumpkins and more! School tours and self-guided tours available.
The New Detroit Science Center
5020 John R St., Detroit, MI
313-577-8400 (option 5)
Explore Michigan’s largest science center with interactive laboratories, live science stage shows, Michigan’s only IMAX Dome Theatre, space shows in the Dassault Systems Planetarium, the large-scale traveling exhibit SPACE: A Journey to Our Future and more. Handicap accessible. For hours, daily show schedules and group packages, visit their website.
Maumee Bay State Park
1400 State Park Rd
Camping, hiking, boating and picnics…every outdoor activity you can think of can be found at our local state park! With 1,336 acres of land, including 10 miles of hiking trails, you and the kids will definitely find much to explore. Visit the website for a full list of amenities. Get packing!
301 Jackson St
Ride into the past at the museum. Have your smiles ready as you relive your childhood excitement when you climb aboard the working “fully restored” Allen Herschell Carousel with the band organ playing. Watch carvers, see collections of tools, benches and animals from the Dentzel Carving Shop of 1867. Additional programs include a Carousel Puppet Theater for preschool to third grade that entertains and teaches about carousels, their history, and the importance of museums (groups asked to make reservations at least two weeks in advance). The Museum Explorer Program is for children ages 4-14 to explore the museum at their own pace. Guided tours; call ahead for special group discounts for 10 or more visitors with flexible scheduling. To reserve a group tour or for more information, please call the museum or the Erie County Visitor and Convention Bureau at 800-255-3734.