Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
A few weeks ago, my family and I had the pleasure of traveling to Springfield, Ohio for a quick family getaway. I’m so happy that our kids are at the age where we can start taking road trips again! One of the things that I’ve missed the most during the baby season of our life is traveling. Now that we’re in the midst of toddler and preschool ages, we’re finding that travel is becoming easier and more enjoyable for everyone.
Springfield, Ohio was a great road trip destination for our family. It’s only a 3 to 3 1/2 hour drive from most of the metro Detroit area and is filled with lots of fun activities and places to explore, especially for families. Springfield is a mid-sized city that is making the moves to bring in lots of fun eateries, shops and activities in the area. We headed down for a 2 night, 3 day stay and it was a laid-back and fun adventure for our little family.
We stayed at the Courtyard Marriott which is conveniently located in the midst of downtown. It was great because it allowed us to walk to almost all of our Springfield destinations. Our son is absolutely obsessed with staying in hotels and couldn’t wait to explore the beautiful hotel (especially the pool!). The large mural to the right of the back entrance is so cool too!
That evening we walked downtown and checked out Champion City Guide & Supply, the cutest little shop with all things Springfield. I loved the handmade wares and eclectic vibe. There are so many beautiful buildings downtown with plenty of architectural features to marvel at. I love seeing old buildings renovated into new businesses and that’s exactly what Springfield has done.
That evening we headed to Seasons Bistro for a yummy dinner. The family owned, locally sourced venue has a menu loaded with so many mouth-watering options. Everyones meals were delicious (my pasta was so rich and the glazed salmon was cooked perfectly)! This would be the perfect place to settle in for some drinks and relaxing with a significant other, but has spacious seating and a menu that accommodates families as well.
We had plans to check out nearby Hartman Rock Garden post dinner, but the kiddos were slowly reaching their point so we opted to just enjoy the rest of the evening at the hotel. I so wish we had visited the gardens because they look so interesting and beautiful (plus it’s free!).
After a great night of sleep (I’m seriously shocked at how well the kids did and this was the quietest hotel ever too…major wins!), we woke and immediately went on search for some coffee! We headed to Winans Coffee & Chocolates to get our fix! Such a fun coffee shop! I’d love to have one of these near us to work on-the-go. The coffee was hot, delicious (so many options) and we all loved noshing on some chocolate covered pretzels (vacation means chocolate is a-ok at all hours and meals).
When we headed back to our hotel, the Farmer’s Market was in full-force! There is nothing I love more than exploring farmer’s markets! Local baked goods, plants, product, soaps, live music and activities for the kids — a little bit of everything!
After a quick bite to eat for breakfast, we headed out for a day of adventure! Our first stop was the Springfield Museum of Art. The Christopher Burk exhibit was amazing. The urban paintings were so real-life that I swore that they were photos. The kids especially loved the Marvelous Journeys exhibit made with mixed materials. They couldn’t get enough of the dollhouse and loved that there was a hands-on area to add their touches to a community piece of art. There was a great pathway outside of the museum with additional art as well as views of whitewater runs.
We headed into nearby Yellow Springs for the rest of the day. Yellow Springs is a funky town with a laid-back vibe. So many shops line the road leading to downtown and there are a ton of things to do in the area. We first headed to Young’s Jersey Dairy Farm! The kids absolutely loved it here and it was the perfect place for them to play, explore and run off some energy after a busy day of travel the day before. There are rides for kids, miniature golf, batting cages, bounce houses, tricycles, farm animals and more! The kids would stay here all day if they could have! They loved feeding the goats and watching the cows. Instead of lunch, we opted for ice cream instead. 😉
One of my favorite things on our trip was definitely Glen Helen Nature Preserve! The nature preserve has so many amazing trails and sights to see. Make sure to wear some good shoes because some of the terrain can be a bit slippery. We decided to do a one mile loop that would bring us to see most of the popular views, including waterfalls, springs, brooks and more. Next time we go, I’m bringing a lunch to pack and spending a day at the preserve! Definitely a can’t miss!
After all the walking, hiking and exploring, we were HUNGRY! We headed to Winds Cafe and had an amazing dinner al fresco on their gorgeous, sun-shaded patio! Anytime we can eat outside in the summer (especially with the kiddos), I’m all for it! We started our meal with some brews from local breweries and an amazing cheese dip appetizer (cheese curds and horseradish with sesame crackers). SO good! I followed up with a fresh asparagus salad that I’m dying to re-create. Our main entrees were delicious and we left feeling so stuffed. Our service was so great! Perfect way to end our busy and fun day!
We crashed early that evening! I woke Sunday morning to catch a yoga classes at Into The Blue! The slow flow was exactly what I needed to start my day after being on the move so much.
We grabbed a quick bite to eat at Mike and Rosy’s deli with their locally famous sandwiches (can’t go wrong with the italian). After lunch, we headed back north, but not before making a pit stop at the Ohio Caverns! I’ve always seen the signs for the caverns on prior road trips but never had the chance to check them out. Such a cool experience! I was nervous that the kids would be freaked out since it’s dark and small spaces but they loved it so much!
We took the Natural Wonder Tour which took us ~130 feet underground to see caves and crystal-white stalactite and stalagmite formations! The caverns are a crisp and comfortable 54 degrees. The winding pathways take you through to see so many natural wonders. If you’re anywhere near the area, definitely check it out!
We had such a fun time on our trip! Springfield, Ohio had a great mix of relaxing and exploring for our little family!
Do you have any fun road trips planned for this summer?