27 Best Things to do in Canton, Ohio for Families
- Author:by The HOMEiA Team
Category: City Living Guide
Canton, Ohio, a city of 70,000 located about 60 miles south of Cleveland, is often overlooked among the rest of the more significant Ohio locations. As the seat of Stark County, though, there are plenty of aspects of Canton that warrant a closer look. It has a cost of living about 25.7% lower than the national average, and plenty of opportunities for career growth, with many industries thriving in the area.
Additionally, Canton has its rich history and tradition. It’s the city where President William McKinley ran his famous “front porch campaign” from his own home and won the presidency doing it. The wildly popular National Football League was started in Canton, and it still retains those roots today. Finally, the city center has recently undergone a deep urban revival, with a revitalized art scene and desirable housing options.
All of this makes Canton an excellent place for families to visit or settle down; while they do, they will need activities to keep busy. Here are the 27 best things to do in Canton, OH, for families.
Table of Contents:
- 1. Pro Football Hall of Fame
- 2. Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium
- 3. McKinley Presidential Library
- 4. Tour of a Chocolate Factory
- 5. Blue Water Majesty Museum
- 6. Canton Museum of Art
- 7. Glamorgan Castle
- 8. Massillon Museum
- 9. Downtown Arts District
- 10. Belden Village Mall
- 11. Boomdyada Terrarium Shop
- 12. Canton Garden Center
- 13. The Toys Time Forgot
- 14. Indoor Go-Karts
- 15. Rack it up Arcade
- 16. Milestone Board Game Bar
- 17. North Canton Skate
- 18. Miniature Golf
- 19. Sluggers and Putters Amusement Park
- 20. Hot Pots Pottery
- 21. Arboretum-Spiker Disc Golf Park
- 22. Eastbury Bowling
- 23. Laser Zone
- 24. Umbrella Alley
- 25. Petros Lake Park Mindfulness Walk
- 26. Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath Trail
- 27. The Wilderness Center
1. Pro Football Hall of Fame
Among sports fans, this is the attraction that puts Canton on the map. There’s no denying the massive popularity of American football across the country, especially in the midwest. The National Football League was founded in Canton in 1920, and thus the hall of fame is housed there too.
Since 1963, the museum has hosted tens of millions of visitors, hoping to learn more about the history of the game and the great players and coaches who helped to grow it into what it is today.
2. Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium
Tom Benson Stadium has 20,000 seats and is located on the hall of fame’s campus. Each August, it hosts the annual Hall of Fame football game, which commemorates the start of the NFL’s season. The venue is also home to many of Canton’s local high school clubs and stands as a symbolic tribute to the great game of football.
3. McKinley Presidential Library
Children learn best through hands-on experiences, and the McKinley Museum has plenty of them. As presidential libraries go, this one is unique in that it’s a museum, planetarium, research library, and science center all rolled into one. As a result, educational opportunities abound here for both children and adults.
4. Tour of a Chocolate Factory
Formerly known as Harry London Chocolates, Fannie Mae is a chocolate factory offering tours to patrons looking to check out the inner workings of the sweet production – no golden ticket necessary (although you need to make reservations). Kids love the behind-the-scenes peek at how their favorite candies are made. As a bonus, the tours also give samples of the best confectionaries around.
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It boasts a cost of living that’s 20% lower than the U.S. average. While Ohio does have some generally desirable cities, Port Clinton is one of the more attractive places to visit. Along with nearby Sandusky and the easily-accessible Lake Erie Islands, the area is fondly known as “Vacationland.”
5. Blue Water Majesty Museum
At Blue Water Majesty Museum, you can transport your family back to the days of 18th-century adventures on the high seas. The master artist and woodcarver Larry Pulka organized this attraction, a collection of realistic model ships. Each model requires as many as 150,000 pieces of exotic wood, with superior attention to detail. It’s a massively exciting scene.
6. Canton Museum of Art
Ohio’s premiere art museum emphasizes American heritage and culture through its vast collection of visual art. The experience here is the best in the state. Powerful exhibits have been moving spectators for years, and Canton’s local children can take advantage of the many educational opportunities offered through the museum.
7. Glamorgan Castle
Glamorgan Castle is a unique attraction. Part of the building houses the central office for Alliance city schools. Still, the grounds are also available for weddings, sporting events, and community gatherings. Tours are also available for a taste of the old-style architecture and a feel for the early 1900s. It will make you feel like you’re on Downton Abbey!
8. Massillon Museum
Massillon is just west of Canton, and their museum is known as the place where art and history come together. Its mission is to protect the county’s artistic heritage by preserving the visual arts. Of course, they also offer tours and educational experiences for all art lovers.
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9. Downtown Arts District
Sometimes families don’t need a big attraction to enjoy a day of bonding. A walk around a nice city area is perfectly sufficient. The downtown arts district has undergone tremendous change in the last few years and is now one of the nicest in all of Ohio. There’s just so much to see and do around the neighborhood. The arts district has something for everyone: plenty of restaurants, unique public art installations, galleries, and so much more.
10. Belden Village Mall
Shopping can be as much therapy as it is fun! Belden Village will help to satisfy the shopping urge no matter the occasion. It’s a few short miles from the football hall of fame and houses over 100 businesses of all kinds. Whether you need a new wardrobe, jewelry, gifts, toys, or specialty items, they can be found at Belden Village.
11. Boomdyada Terrarium Shop
It isn’t easy to describe this one-of-a-kind business. The talented owners specialize in making tiny, self-contained terrariums. Each is an enclosed space that creates its water cycle and keeps a bit of plant life alive with zero maintenance required.
Boomdyada always has finished products that are take-home ready. Still, customers can also bring in their glass pieces, and the staff will collaborate with them on making custom terrariums that can last for years. K1 Speed
12. Canton Garden Center
One of the most rewarding bonding experiences is making their outdoor space beautiful. The Canton Garden Center can help with that. In addition to selling stunning species of plants and flowers, they offer many workshops assisting others to learn about bringing beauty to their own space. Canton Garden Center is an absolute gift to the community.
13. The Toys Time Forgot
Just a short drive northwest of Canton will bring you to Canal Fulton, OH, the home of this beautiful vintage toy store and comic book shop. The store has collections from the 1930s through today. Kids will love to check out the modern-day collectibles, and parents will feel nostalgic for seeing the toys from their past. Don’t see a specific toy on their website? They will order it for you and track it down.
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14. Indoor Go-Karts
K1 is the best facility in Ohio to satisfy the need for speed! This venue is wholly contained indoors so that it can remain open every day, regardless of weather or season. Guests can show up any day they’re open for their “arrive and drive” pricing. Alternatively, they can plan to set up a birthday celebration, bachelor/bachelorette party, bar mitzvah, or corporate retreat.
15. Rack it up Arcade
Rack It Up is a throwback to the simpler times of the 1980s when video games weren’t programmed on everyone’s devices. The collection of vintage, life-sized machines will trigger nostalgia for those days. From Pac-Man to Pong, to visually stunning pinball machines, to a large area of billiard tables, this venue offers much diverse fun. Just don’t forget the quarters!
16. Milestone Board Game Bar
Milestone Board Game Bar is built for comfort. The floor-to-ceiling bookshelves make guests feel like they’re sitting in a cozy home library, and dozens of board games are available to play with friends or family. While the adults in the room can enjoy a full bar, Milestone fashions itself as family-friendly. They serve hot dogs and ice cream, both popular with the Canton locals.
17. North Canton Skate
More of these vintage skating rinks exist than most would expect! The rink itself has been open since 1960. Still, the modern facility now has state-of-the-art light and sound equipment. It has added other activities like laser tag, a rock-climbing wall, bumper cars, and a large arcade!
18. Miniature Golf
Pro Putt Mini Golf in Canton and Rolling Greens Mini Golf in Uniontown are some of the most popular in the area. Both courses are well-maintained and have been serving the community for generations. It’s perfect for practicing putting on your own or having a fantastic night out with the kids.
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19. Sluggers and Putters Amusement Park
Nearby in Canal Fulton, the Sluggers and Putters Amusement Park is fun for kids and parents alike. The McCully family owned and operated the facility and wanted to recreate the magic of a long-gone local amusement park that closed in the 1970s. The park is impeccably clean and offers many activities such as mini golf, batting cages, go-karts, bumper boats, a Ferris wheel, and a famous roller coaster called the Little Dipper.
20. Hot Pots Pottery
Located in nearby Alliance, Ohio, Hot Pots is a family favorite. No reservations are required to come here and create a personalized piece of art that will surely liven up your indoor space. There are hundreds of extraordinary sculptures ready to choose from and ready to paint with your personal touch. Come and pick a beautiful piece of year-round pottery or opt for seasonal work during the holidays. The family memories will last a lifetime.
21. Arboretum-Spiker Disc Golf Park
Disc golf has risen in popularity during the last few years. While it hasn’t reached the cultural impact of actual golf, more and more courses are springing up. Arboretum-Spiker is designed for all skill levels. It is an excellent place for a family to enjoy fun, sun, and competition. The facility is well-maintained and known as a beautiful place to be.
22. Eastbury Bowling
Everyone likes to experience the fun of a good string of bowling now and again. Eastbury has 36 lanes of affordable, family-friendly fun. Like many bowling alleys, they have a big arcade room, a full bar for watching sports, and leagues that run a few nights per week.
23. Laser Zone
The darkness of the arena. The neon lights. The loud music. It’s the unmistakable scene of a laser tag game. The Laser Zone in Canton fashions itself as the ultimate laser tag experience. If you’ve never played, you’re equipped with a gun and a vest that uses laser technology. You get points for shooting others around the obstacle-filled room. There are also escape rooms and an arcade on-site.
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24. Umbrella Alley
Even though Umbrella Alley is technically located in Louisville, OH, it is worth mentioning here because it’s such a smash hit with kids. The alley is precisely what it sounds like: a narrow passage between two buildings that’s been shaded with an installment of 200 permanent umbrellas. Just walking through provides a sense of wonder. With benches lining the alley, it’s a perfect place to take a selfie or a home video with the family.
25. Petros Lake Park Mindfulness Walk
The park has 127 acres of water and open fields, which is serene enough, but the amenities here are second to none. Multiple shelters have grills, electric hookups, horseshoe pits, and one unique feature. The Mindfulness walk is a mile-long path with ten built-in stops promoting reflection, relaxation, and stress relief. Come here to take a breather from the hustle and bustle of everyday life!
26. Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath Trail
The Towpath is an incredibly popular nature trail spanning 87 miles through the heart of the Ohio and Erie Canalway. The trail follows the historic trade routes used to be traveled by mules pulling small crafts along the river. Walking, hiking or biking on this trail will help people get to know the old Ohio landscape.
27. The Wilderness Center
This natural preservation was founded in 1964 and aimed to educate the public on all matters related to protecting the local environment. Currently, the center comprises 3,380 acres of land featuring forests, wetlands, prairies, meadows, and agricultural areas.
Canton is so much more than just the Pro Football Hall of Fame. It’s an affordable city in a desirable midwest location that attracts families from all over the country. But the reasons for choosing Canton go beyond the basic facts. From the educational experiences to the local culture to fun nights out of the house, there’s something here that all families can enjoy.
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