Located on the banks of Lake Erie – one of the Great Lakes – there are many things to do within 100 miles of Toledo, Ohio. For instance, cross over to Michigan and you’ll be in popular destinations like Ann Arbor and Detroit in one hour. Back over the border, things to do in Maumee, Ohio (its next-door neighbor) include fishing at Side Cut Metropark.
As for things to do in Toledo, Ohio, in winter, head inside and visit attractions like the Toledo Museum of Art and Imagination Station, which are just two things to do in Toledo, Ohio when it’s cold. If you’re looking for things to do in Toledo, Ohio at night, see a show at either Huntington Center or Hollywood Casino. Keep reading for more fun and unique things to do in Toledo, Ohio.
1. Hollywood Casino Toledo
For non-stop entertainment, pay a visit to Hollywood Casino. On the casino floor, guests will find over 2000 slot machines, 60 table games, and a 20-table live poker room. Then you have five onsite restaurants to choose from, including Epic Buffet’s all-you-can-eat buffet and Final Cut Steak and Seafood. Hollywood Casino also hosts a variety of weekly events – everything from live music from local acts to touring DJs to tribute bands. Don’t miss out!
2. Toledo Zoo
Toledo Zoo and Aquarium is one of the city’s most popular attractions, with more than one million annual visitors. Home to over 10,000 animals from 720 different species, it’s one of the world’s most complete zoological parks. The zoo is also known for its conservation efforts as it’s a part of 80 species survival programs. Some of the animals you can spot here include the African elephant, polar bear, hippopotamus, and giant pacific octopus.
3. Toledo Museum of Art
With a collection containing over 30,000 fine pieces of art, a visit to the internationally-renowned Toledo Museum of Art is one of the best free things to do in Toledo, Ohio. It’s home to more than 35 galleries, the Sculpture Garden, the Peristyle concert hall, and the Glass Pavilion. With an emphasis on decorative and glass arts, the museum also houses work by renowned artists like Monet, Vincent Van Gogh, Frank Lloyd-Wright, and Rembrandt.
4. Maumee Bay State Park
Located in Maumee Bay on the banks of Lake Erie, Maumee Bay State Park is home to a range of fun activities and attractions. Let’s start with its multiple walking trails and beaches, including Inland Beach on Inland Lake. Then there’s the Trautman Nature Center and Maumee Bay Lodge and Conference Center. Alternatively, the park is home to one of the state’s best campgrounds. One final attraction is the Maumee Bay State Park Golf Course.
5. Toledo Botanical Garden
Toledo Botanical Garden calls itself a “museum for plants.” Its 60 acres are overflowing with display gardens and corresponding plant collections, including the Woodland Garden, Perennial Garden, and Rose Garden. It’s also home to a two-acre urban farm. Meanwhile, the Toledo Botanical Garden Artists Village is host to many local arts organizations, which arrange regular classes that are open to the public. Head here if you’re looking for free things to do in Toledo, Ohio.
6. Imagination Station
Imagination Station is a hands-on museum dedicated to making science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) more fun and accessible to children of all ages. There are over 300 interactive exhibits to check out inside Imagination Station, like the Extreme Science Theater, Grow U to learn about agriculture, the innovative IDEA Lab, and Water Works. Other attractions include the Simulator Theater and High Wire Cycle, where kids can ride a bike 20 feet above the ground!
7. National Museum of the Great Lakes
Located in the Toledo Maritime Center, the National Museum of the Great Lakes showcases the history of the Great Lakes – one of the world’s greatest natural resources – through more than 300 artifacts and 40 interactive exhibits over five galleries. Two of its most important displays are the Col. James M. Schoonmaker Museum Ship, a 617-ft iron ore freighter, and the historic Museum Tug Ohio. No wonder it’s repeatedly named Ohio’s top tourist attraction.
8. Wildwood Park
Wildwood Park (also known as Wildwood Preserve) is the city’s most visited park with over a million annual visitors. Bisected by the Ottawa River and surrounded by forest and walking trails, its main drawcard is the Manor House, which was built in 1938 for the Stranahan family. A historical icon of the city, the Georgian colonial-style mansion is today open to the public for free tours and events, like monthly afternoon teas and holiday festivities.
9. Side Cut Metropark
The city’s first Metropark, today Side Cut and its Blue Grass Island attract fishermen from across the country as it’s home to the largest spring run of its kind in the Great Lakes region. In fishermen speak, walleye swim upriver here to spawn. The riverfront park also has six original and preserved canal locks, picnic shelters, a seasonal sledding hill, a children’s playground, a handy boat launch, and wildlife feeding stations with indoor viewing areas.
10. Fifth Third Field
Opening in 2002, Fifth Third Field is the city’s minor league baseball stadium. With capacity for 10,300 spectators, it’s the home ground of the Toledo Mud Hens, an International League team and the Triple-A affiliate team of the Detroit Tigers. One of the top minor league ballparks in the United States, the award-winning stadium is conveniently located in downtown’s Warehouse District. So head to Fifth Third Field this summer to see entertaining local baseball.
11. Oak Openings Preserve
Another day, another Metropark (well, there are 16 in total after all). Taking its name from the surrounding region, Oak Openings Preserve happens to be the city’s largest Metropark, with 5000 acres of diverse landscape, including oak savanna, wetlands, and vegetated sand dunes. The nature preserve features a variety of rare plant species and 50 miles of walking trails too. If that’s not enough, Oak Openings Preserve has also been described as a birder’s paradise.
12. Glass Pavilion
Fun fact: the city was actually known as the Glass City of United States when the Toledo Museum of Art was established in 1901, which is why it has such a renowned and historic glass collection. Located inside the museum, the state-of-the-art Glass Pavilion opened in 2006 to preserve and display this particular collection. It also hosts glassblowing demonstrations and masterclasses, which is definitely one of the most interesting activities available in the city today.
13. Huntington Center
Replacing the Toledo Sports Arena, which has since been demolished, the Huntington Center was completed in 2009 as the country’s first LEED (green building-certified) sports arena. With a capacity of 8000 people, the multi-purpose arena is the home ground of the Toledo Walleye ECHL ice hockey team. The Huntington Center has also hosted a range of world-renowned artists and events since its inception, including Elton John, Stevie Nicks, Bob Seger, and World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).
14. Historic Old West End
With its first home built in 1818, Old West End is a historic neighborhood covering 25 city blocks. Considered one of the country’s best-kept secrets, Old West End has the largest collection of late Victorian homes remaining in the United States, which stand beside homes built in every other architectural style – from Georgian to Italian Renaissance. Every year on the first weekend in June, the neighborhood hosts the beloved Historic Old West End Festival.
15. Toledo-Lucas County Public Library
If you’re looking for things to do in Toledo, Ohio on a cold or rainy day, why not head inside and visit the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library. The region’s public library system hopes to engage and inspire local residents through information, ideas, and entertainment. Its Main Library building is conveniently situated close to downtown and attractions like the Huntington Center and Fifth Third Field, and you can find the lovely Library Square at its entrance.
16. Franklin Park Mall
Another popular rainy day activity in town is to visit Franklin Park Mall. Its been a part of the city’s landscape since 1971 and houses 157 stores across 1,300,000 square feet of retail space. Franklin Park Mall’s four anchor department stores are Dick’s Sporting Goods, Macy’s, Dillard’s, and JCPenney. It’s also home to a large Cinemark cinema complex and restaurants like Black Rock Bar and Grill, and Don Juan Mexican Bar and Grill.