Fam­i­lies to­day have to in­clude fi­nances in plan­ning a stay­ca­tion in Ohio. Find­ing places that won’t cost an arm and a leg that will en­ter­tain (and ed­ucate) kids from preschool­ers to teenagers can be a chal­lenge.
Here are some ideas for plan­ning that week­end get-away or even just a day trip.
Akron Chil­dren’s Mu­seum — 216 S. Main St. in down­town Akron, next to Lock 3 Park. 330-396-6103. Tues­day - Fri­day 10 a..m.--5 p.m., Satur­day - Sun­day 10 a.m.-6 p.m. (Closed Mon­days). Al­lows kids to ex­plore, imag­ine, cre­ate, con­struct, let loose and learn through fun, ac­tive and in­ter­ac­tive play. www.akro­nkids.org.
North­ern Ohio Rail­way Mu­seum - 5515 Buffham Road, Seville. 330-769-5501. Fea­tures more than 40 street­cars, in­terur­bans, rapid tran­sit cars and other rolling stock have been col­lected. The Mu­seum is open to the pub­lic for walk­ing tours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Satur­days, mid-May through Oc­to­ber. Ad­mis­sion to the Mu­seum is free, do­na­tions are re­quested and stop by on the sec­ond Satur­day of the month and ride a 100-year-old trol­ley car. www.train­web.org/ norm.
MAPS Air Mu­seum — 2260 In­ter­na­tional Parkkway, North Can­ton.  330-896-6332.  Tues­days-Satur­days 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Sun­days 11:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. (Closed Mon­days). MAPS Air Mu­seum is an in­ter­na­tion­ally known mu­seum of avi­a­tion and serves as a cen­ter of avi­a­tion his­tory for North­east Ohio. The mu­seum fea­tures ed­u­ca­tional dis­plays of ac­quired ar­ti­facts, in­ter­ac­tive ex­hibits and his­tor­i­cal ar­chives.  map­sair­mu­seum.org.
Chil­dren’s Mu­seum of Cleve­land —  3813 Eu­clid Ave., Cleve­land. 216-791-7114.  Mon­day-Fri­day: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Satur­day: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sun­day: noon to 5 p.m. (Closed Thurs­days). The Chil­dren’s Mu­seum of Cleve­land (CMC) gives chil­dren a place and the tools to write their own script and dis­cover their own ad­ven­tures through in­ter­ac­tive ex­hibits and pro­grams.  cm­cleve­land.org
In­ter­na­tional Women’s Air and Space Mu­seum — 1501 N Marginal Rd, Cleve­land (Cleve­land Burke Lake­front Air­port).  216-623-1111. Mon­day through Fri­day, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. The In­ter­na­tional Women’s Air & Space Mu­seum Inc. fo­cuses on the preser­va­tion of the his­tory of women in avi­a­tion and space and their con­tin­u­ing con­tri­bu­tions.  http:// iwasm.org
Me­d­ina Toy and Train Mu­seum — 7 Public Square, Me­d­ina. 330-764-4455.  Call for hours.  A sec­ond-floor mu­seum show­cas­ing col­lec­tions of old train cars, rail­road sets, dolls & more. http:// www.or­mandys.com/ mu­seum.htm.
Na­tional Mu­seum of the Air Force — 1100 Spaatz St., Wright-Pat­ter­son AFB, Day­ton. 937-255-3286. Open daily 9 a.m.-5 p.m. The na­tional mu­seum of the United States Air Force.   www.na­tional­mu­seum.af.mil.
Toledo Mu­seum of Art —  2445 Mon­roe St., Toledo. 419-255-8000. Tues­day & Wed­nes­day 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Thurs­day & Fri­day 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Satur­day 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Sun­day noon – 5 p.m. (Closed Mon­days).  The Toledo Mu­seum of Art's col­lec­tion of more than 30000 works of art ranks among the finest in the world. www.tole­do­mu­seum.org.
Franklin Park Con­ser­va­tory —  1777 E Broad St., Colum­bus. 614-715-8000. Open Daily: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Fea­tures in­door and out­door gar­dens, dy­namic ex­hi­bi­tions, art­work, and more. www.fp­con­ser­va­tory.org.
But­ter­fly House - 11455 Obee Road, White­house. 419-877-2733. May - August, Mon­day - Satur­day: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. & Sun­day: noon-4 p.m.; September, Thurs­day - Satur­day: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. & Sun­day, noon-4 p.m.; Oc­to­ber (Week­ends Only) Satur­day, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. & Sun­day, noon-4 p.m.  The But­ter­fly House con­tains over 1,000 but­ter­flies with many dif­fer­ent species from North & South Amer­ica and Asia.  http:// www.wheel­erfarms.com.
Lake Erie Na­ture and Science Cen­ter — 28728 Wolf Road, Bay Vil­lage. 440-871-2900. Daily 10 a.m. -5 p.m. Lake Erie Na­ture & Science Cen­ter pro­vides free ad­mis­sion seven days a week and of­fers qual­ity na­ture, en­vi­ronmen­tal and sci­ence ex­pe­ri­ences through school field trips, preschool, family, scout­ing and plan­e­tar­ium pro­grams, na­ture hikes and a va­ri­ety of wildlife exhibits, along with do­mes­tic and wildlife close en­coun­ters.
Parks & Play­grounds
Pre­ston’s HOPE Play­ground — 26001 S Woodland Road, Beachwood. Open daylight hours during the fair weather months.  Fully wheelchair accessible playground with different zones such as a miniature town & train. www.prestonshope.com.
Carolyn Lud­wig Mu­grage Park - Me­d­ina County Parks — 4985 Windfall Road, Medina. 330-722-9364. The park includes a one-mile paved multi-purpose trail, a one-mile gravel trail, a three-acre fishing pond, an accessible fishing pier, a picnic shelter, picnic tables, a dog park, and an inclusive playground. As you walk along the paved trail, you will see sign posts and platforms through the woods with the pages of a children’s picture book that families can read as they stroll along the trail. www.medinacountyparks.com.
Kidstation Playground and Safety Village — 4200 Fishcreek Road, Stow. This Fire Station-themed playground features unique slide features, adequate parking and diverse play activities for all ages. Adjacent to the playground is Safety Village, which features a miniature village atmosphere, with building replicas of establishments in the community. stowohio.org/playgrounds
Ohio State Parks: parks.ohiodnr.gov. Opportunities are available throughout the state to visit state parks, each with individual features. Some examples are:
• Hock­ing Hills State Parks, 19852 Ohio 664, Logan. Cascading waterfalls, cliffs, deep recess caves and forestland as far as the eye can see are just a few distinctive features of the region. Lodging, fishing, trails for hiking and mountain biking.
• Maume Bay State Park — 1400 State Park Road, Oregon. The lodge, cottages and golf course are nestled among the scenic meadows, wet woods and lush marshes teeming with wildlife. In addition to fishing, boating, swimming, trails, picnicking and a nature center, the parks includes boat and bike rental, Basketball, volleyball, pickleball and gagaball courts and a butterfly gazebo.
• Mal­abar State Farm — Visitors can see the house and farm existing just as they did in Pulitizer Prize winning author Louis Bromfield's time. The outbuildings and pastures still house chickens, goats and beef cattle. The hills are ribboned with strips of corn, wheat, oats and hay while the scenic trails are adorned with nature's bounty. The park features guided tours, a farm market, trails, a restaurant, picnicking and an education center.
Sauder Vil­lage — 22611 OH-2, Archbold. 419-446-2541. Call or visit the website for specific seasonal hours. Sauder Village is a 235-acre complex that brings history to life. Authentic demonstrations and buildings, talented artisans and engaging programs make history relevant for adults and children in a wholesome, fun, and family-friendly environment. Lodging, camping and dining are also available. saudervillage.org.
Mill Creek Metro Parks Farm — 7574 Columbiana-Canfield Road, Canfield. 330-533-7572.  Call or visit the website for specific seasonal hours. A nearly 3,000-acre park offering boating, fishing, tennis, golf, gardens, hiking & a nature center.  www.millcreekmetroparks.org/visit/places/metroparks-farm/
Wegerzyn Gar­dens MetroPark  — 1301 E Siebenthaler Ave., Dayton. 937-275-7275. April 1 – Oct. 31, 8 a.m. – 10 p.m.; Nov. 1 – March 31, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. Kids can enjoy and  interact with the wonders of nature in the Children's Discovery Garden. Venture into the woodlands on the Marie Aull Nature Trail or the Swamp Forest Boardwalk and take in the botanical richness of the Stillwater River Corridor. www.metroparks.org/places-to-go/wegerzyn-gardens.

Events/ Ac­tiv­i­ties
Kid­sBowlFree.com — Select bowling centers and schools in Ohio and around the country are participating in the Kids Bowl Free program. This program is designed by bowling centers to give back to the community and provide a safe, secure, and fun way for kids to spend time this summer. Children whose age does not exceed a limit by a participating bowling center are eligible to register for 2 free games a day, all summer long, courtesy of the participating bowling centers along with the schools and organizations. Visit the website to find a nearby location.
Chippewa Lake Water Ski Show — Emerald Lake,3196 Clark Mill Road, Norton. The Chippewa Lake Water Ski Show Team is Ohio's only competitive water ski show team. The team has approximately 100 active members who perform free hour-long shows to the public throughout the summer at 7 p.m. every Wednesday night at Emerald Lake.
Youth Fishing Events — Visit ohiodnr.gov/youthfishingevents for a listing of fishing events across the state for youth.