Family Fun in Warren County: Ohio’s Biggest Playground

Affectionately known as “Ohio’s Greatest Playground,” Warren County definitely earned that designation. Located between Cincinnati and Dayton, this southwestern Ohio neighborhood is the destination for families looking for entertainment in all its forms. From nationally recognized amusement parks and water parks to outdoor adventures and great food, Warren County should be on your family’s radar for your next vacation.

Warren County CVB

Where to Stay in Warren County

There are many excellent hotel and lodging options in Warren County. Here are two places we visited that are not only places to sleep, but also destinations to have fun!

Great Wolf Lodge

If you have young children, you will definitely want to check Great Wolf Lodgea family place to stay and play – and splash the day away – in Warren County.

Located in Mason, Great Wolf Lodge is an all-in-one place to have fun. The big draw is the indoor water park, which has something for everyone, with the water kept at a pleasant 84 degrees. You’ll find waterslides, swimming pools (including pools with zero-depth entries), interactive water play areas, a family spa pool and more.

You could probably spend all day at the water park at Great Wolf Lodge, but when you’re ready to take a break from the water fun, there’s plenty more to do at this hotel. Kids (and adults!) who love the challenge of treasure hunting can play the interactive Magi-Quest, Shadow Quest and Compass Quest games that will have you scouring the entire hotel for clues and complete adventures.

And the fun doesn’t stop there. Try hitting a strike at Ten Paw Alley, Great Wolf Lodge’s miniature bowling alley; play a round of illuminated indoor mini-golf; win prizes at the Northern Lights Arcade; and take part in more than a dozen different events that take place in the hotel throughout the day. There are story times, dance parties, quizzes, arts and crafts projects, and even a morning yoga session so you can relax and get ready for a day of fun. .

Add to that the variety of restaurants and snack bars located inside the hotel, Great Wolf Lodge is truly a unique place for a family vacation.

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Camp Cedar at Kings Island

The brand new Camp Cedar at Kings Island opened in June 2021, and it’s already proving to be the perfect place to unwind, relax, and make a home when you visit Warren County.

Located minutes from the front doors of Island of Kings, Camp Cedar is a great place for families visiting the famous amusement park. There are trams that will shuttle you to and from the park all day and night. But it’s also a must-see destination in its own right, even if you don’t try the amusement park.

This open-air accommodation and RV resort offers fully connected sites for RVs and RVs, as well as cabins for up to eight people.

Camp Cedar cabins are a treat for people who want the adventure of camping but also the amenities of a hotel. The cottages are equipped with a TV and access to Netflix and cable channels; kitchens equipped with dishes, cups and silverware; comfortable beds; and a patio with a fire pit – a great place to make s’mores at the end of the day.

As nice as the cabins are, you’ll probably want to spend most of your time outside and enjoy all the Camp Cedar grounds have to offer. In this modern complex you will find a heated family swimming pool, with a waterfall and a slide for toddlers. For adults, there’s an adults-only pool with a full-service bar just steps from the pool.

Kids can play all day at Camp Cedar’s central play area, and families can play a game of bocce, cornhole, basketball, or pickle ball together. For adults, there’s also a large fitness room that overlooks the family-friendly pool, with treadmills, stationary bikes, ellipticals, and weight-lifting equipment.

When you’re hungry, take a stroll down Belize Street at Camp Cedar, a food truck-inspired outdoor dining experience that offers something for everyone. Find family favorites like burgers and hot dogs at Route 66; walking tacos and nachos at The Fresh Tortilla; and ice cream and funnel cakes at Urban Cow. Adults can also grab a frozen cocktail at the Beach Box.

Indoor dining options include Ironwood Grill & Tap, where you’ll find a full kids’ menu, as well as pizzas, salads, specialty sandwiches, and made-to-order desserts. Or grab some Dippin’ Dots, a scoop of ice cream, or a hot cup of coffee at Dry Bean Coffee & Gelato, the cafe inside the Camp Cedar General Store.

Whether you’re on the Kings Island roller coaster and need a place to sleep, or you’re looking for a family-friendly resort to relax in that has it all, Camp Cedar is a great place to stay in the Warren County.

Unique family adventures in Warren County

Warren County’s big draw is Island of Kings, of course – it’s home to over 100 rides and attractions, world-class roller coasters Orion and The Beast, and a huge water park. But if you’re looking for more under-the-radar family fun, here are some Warren County gems you’ll want to put on your must-visit list!

Morgan’s Outdoor Adventures

If you really want to see and experience the beauty of southwestern Ohio, there’s no better way to do it than to get out in the middle of it! Morgan’s Outdoor Adventures, located in Oregonia, is the place to visit if you’re looking to rent a kayak, canoe, or raft for a hike on the Little Miami River. From your boat, you’ll see beautiful scenery and wildlife as you float downstream on an hour (or day!) guided or solo excursion.

You can book either a three-mile trip, which will drop you off at Morgan’s Riverside Campground and Cabins, or a six-mile journey, which will take you farther down the river to Morrow. If you have young children or children with short attention spans (like me!), you can opt for the three mile hike which, depending on how fast the river current is flowing that day, takes about 45 minutes.

Whichever trek you choose, be sure to stop at Morgan’s Riverside Campground and Cabins, where you’ll find a snack shack with plenty of options, including shaved ice, to satisfy that hunger you’ve carved up while paddling. If you decide to stay where you play, Morgan’s offers riverside campsites and Amish-built cabins that sleep up to four people.

Fort Ancient Earthworks and Nature Reserve

A short drive from Morgan’s Outdoor Adventures is Fort Ancient Earthworks and Nature Reserve, the largest and best preserved prehistoric enclosure in the United States. This 2,000-year-old monument offers visitors over 4 km of hiking trails, two lookouts, a museum, a seasonal outdoor garden and a picnic area.

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Zipline Adventures in the Ozone

If you have older children and are up for a little adventure, Zipline Adventures in the Ozone in Lebanon is the place to visit in Warren County. Take a soaring tour of the Little Miami River 200 feet above the ground on one of the largest treetop ziplines in the Midwest. Zipline tours take place in all seasons, and there’s even a full moon nighttime zipline tour that takes place once a month, for those who want to fly through the air in the dark!

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Warren County Family Dinner

Two Cities Pizza Co.

It’s hard to say which is better Two Cities Pizza Co.: the incredible food or the incredible toilets. (Yes, restrooms!) This Pizza Place in Mason has not only been voted Best Pizza at the Best of Warren County Awards several years in a row, but Two Cities Pizza has also won CINTAS’ “2021 Best Restroom in America” ​​competition. And when you check the restrooms (and you have to!), you’ll be taking selfies and posing for photos, too.

And let’s not forget the food! You can choose from New York specialty pizzas or Chicago specialty pizzas – they don’t play favorites here. You will also find superb calzones, salads and their legendary parmesan fries, a must-try starter.

Half day coffee

Half day coffee is a popular breakfast and brunch spot in Mason where you’ll find Cincinnati-area favorites like goetta, as well as classics like eggs benedict, cookies and gravy, and waffles on the menu. If you’re craving something sweet, try their famous Mango Butter Rum Pancakes: buttermilk pancakes topped with homemade mango butter rum syrup.

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The golden lamb

If you want a meal with a side of history, check out The golden lamb, the oldest restaurant and hotel in Ohio. Located in the heart of historic downtown Lebanon, the hotel was established in 1803 and now includes a restaurant and tavern, seventeen rooms and a gift shop. Many notable people have visited The Golden Lamb over the years, including 12 US Presidents, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Charles Dickens, Mark Twain and others.

On the menu, you’ll find a “historic meal” section with options like lamb shank, hachis parmentier, prime rib and chateaubriand, as well as a children’s menu with options like fried chicken, cheese grilled and the b&j.

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Tucker’s Whipped Dip

Famous for their animal cones (soft ice cream swirls with a cute candy face), Tucker’s Whipped Dip at Mason is a great place to cool off with a sweet treat. Their large menu includes offerings like Dole Whip, ice cream floats, sundaes, shakes, ice cream parfaits and more. Prepare your desserts to take away or stay and people watch from their huge outdoor terrace.


Find more ideas for fun and entertainment in Warren County at ohioslargestplayground.com.

Harold B. McConnell