There’s lots of summer fun you can have without breaking the bank! Put these “penny pinching” activities on your summer bucket list.
Take a hike
There’s no shortage of hiking and biking trails in Hancock County. Fresh air, nature, exercise—all for free! Van Buren State Park, on close to 300 acres of woods and pond, has an extensive network of trails. Litzenberg Memorial Woods has 225 acres of wood ravines, wetlands, prairie and sky with trails, a picnic area and playground. (Free)
Go to the movies
AMC Classic in Findlay offers Summer Movie Camp every Wednesday. For just $4 plus tax, children can view a kid-friendly movie on the big screen complete with a kid’s pack of popcorn, drink and snack.
906 Interstate Drive, Findlay
Explore a cave
Caves are cool—literally! Seneca Caverns in Bellevue is one of Ohio’s largest underground caverns. Walk the natural stone steps and view Ole’ Mist’ry River, a crystal-clear stream that runs underground. Tours depart every 30 minutes, but strollers and back carriers are not permitted, so this activity is better suited for older children. ($18 adults 13-61; $9 children 5-12; free children 5 and under).
15248 E Township Rd. 178, Bellevue
419-483-6711 | www.senecacavernsohio.com
Join a reading club
Sign up for the summer reading program, “A Universe of Stories,” at the Findlay-Hancock County Public Library. Make weekly trips to the library to check out new books and stop for ice cream afterwards. The library’s summer reading program includes reading incentives and weekly raffle drawings. It starts May 24 (June 3 kickoff celebration) and runs through August 17. (Free)
206 Broadway St.
If the season results in a bumper crop of strawberries, Suter’s Produce in Pandora offers u-pick strawberries. Head to the fields with a bucket and pick juicy red berries, then take them home and make strawberry shortcake, strawberry pie or strawberry jam.
Public gardens are enchanting places for children and adults. Meander down the garden paths, encounter beautiful plantings, feed fish in ponds and see nature in new ways. Four amazing gardens are less than an hour drive from Findlay with reasonable admission costs. The Schedel Arboretum and Gardens along the bank of the Portage River in Elmore includes a Japenese garden and waterfall ($12 adults; $6 children 6-13; free for children 5 and under), the Toledo Botanical Gardens boasts 60 acres of public display gardens (free), Spiegel Grove, the beautiful 25-acre estate that’s part of the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library & Museum in Fremont and includes rose gardens, Indian trails, and the President and First Lady’s tombs (free to walk the grounds); and Kingwood Center Gardens in Mansfield, a 47-acre former estate garden with a mansion, greenhouse, herb garden, woodland garden and more ($5 per person; free for children 12 and under).
Schedel Garden: 19255 W. Portage River South Drive, Elmore. www.schedel-gardens.org.
Toledo Botanical Gardens: 5403 Elmer Drive, Toledo. www.metroparkstoledo.com.
Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library and Museum, Spiegel Grove, Fremont: www.rbhayes.org.
Kingwood Center Gardens: 50 N. Trimble Rd., Mansfield. www.kingwoodcenter.com.