Explore Mansfield: Top 7 Picks for Memorable Things to Do in Mansfield Ohio

Embark on an unforgettable journey with our Top 7 Picks for Memorable Things to Do in Mansfield Ohio. Uncover the rich history at the Ohio State Reformatory, embrace nature at Gorman Nature Center, and delight in family fun at the Richland Carrousel Park. Our guide offers a diverse array of cultural experiences, outdoor escapades, and local flavors that ensure your visit to Mansfield is filled with enchantment and adventure. Don’t miss out on the vibrant arts at the Renaissance Theatre and the shopping spree in downtown Mansfield. Make your trip memorable with these must-see attractions!

Table of Contents

  1. Discover Mansfield’s Rich History
  2. Outdoor Adventures in Mansfield
  3. Family Fun in Mansfield
  4. Arts and Culture in Mansfield
  5. Savor the Flavors of Mansfield
  6. Shop Till You Drop in Downtown Mansfield
  7. Unwind in Mansfield’s Parks and Green Spaces
  8. Summary
  9. Frequently Asked Questions

Discover Mansfield’s Rich History

Embark on a historical adventure as we delve into Mansfield’s intriguing past. Central to Mansfield’s story are notable landmarks such as the Ohio State Reformatory, the scenic Oak Hill Cottage, and the captivating Mansfield Memorial Museum. Each location unfolds a distinctive tale of Mansfield’s past, beckoning you to immerse yourself in the town’s heritage firsthand.

Ohio State Reformatory

The Ohio State Reformatory, brimming with history and a dash of Hollywood allure, is an essential stop. This reformatory, built in the late 1800s, housed some of the country’s most violent criminals until 1990. Today, it stands as a significant historical site and a popular tourist attraction. However, film buffs may recognize it as the setting for the iconic film ‘The Shawshank Redemption.’

The reformatory’s history, coupled with its cinematic significance, makes it a fascinating stop on your Mansfield tour. You can explore the site through guided tours, immersing yourself in its history at the Shawshank Museum, or embark on a self-guided Shawshank Trail to explore other film locations around Mansfield.

Oak Hill Cottage

Then, immerse yourself in the Victorian grandeur of Oak Hill Cottage. Constructed in 1847, this Gothic Revival-style house museum, designed by architect Ralph Adams Cram, serves as a window into the past. The museum showcases the original furnishings and artifacts of the Jones family, who resided there from 1864 until 1965. As you wander through the rooms, you’ll discover period clothing, photographs, and furniture, each item a testament to mid-nineteenth-century life.

Located at 310 Springmill St, Mansfield, Oak Hill Cottage is a historical treasure worth exploring.

Mansfield Memorial Museum

For history enthusiasts seeking a touch of the unusual, a visit to the Mansfield Memorial Museum is recommended. The museum is home to unique exhibits like Elektro, a robot built by Westinghouse for the 1939/1940 World’s Fair, capable of tasks such as smoking cigarettes and blowing balloons! Also on display is Herbert Televox, the first human form robot created by Westinghouse in 1928.

The Mansfield Fire Museum opens its doors on Saturdays and Sundays, offering a glimpse into Mansfield’s intriguing past.

Outdoor Adventures in Mansfield

From the peaceful tranquility of nature preserves to the exhilarating hiking trails, Mansfield offers a plethora of outdoor adventures. Here are some options for outdoor activities in Mansfield:

  • Get up close and personal with nature at the Gorman Nature Center
  • Marvel at the feathered residents of the Ohio Bird Sanctuary
  • Explore the charming Malabar Farm State Park

Be it a seasoned explorer or someone yearning for a serene getaway, Mansfield’s splendid outdoors are ready to welcome you!

Gorman Nature Center

Set amidst over 150 acres of untouched prairies, forests, and waterways, the Gorman Nature Center stands as a haven of natural splendor. The center offers weekly public programs, inviting visitors to explore the local natural history and immerse themselves in the enchanting environment.

Whether you’re a budding botanist or an avid birdwatcher, Kingwood Center Gardens’ diverse educational programs, focusing on topics ranging from astronomy to wildlife and plant identification, will surely enrich your understanding of nature.

Ohio Bird Sanctuary

For avid birdwatchers, the Ohio Bird Sanctuary serves as a refuge brimming with a variety of bird species. Nestled within varying habitats, the sanctuary is home to birds like Eastern Bluebirds and Red-tailed Hawks, offering visitors the chance to observe these beautiful creatures in their natural environment.

Beyond birdwatching, the sanctuary also conducts educational programs on bird ecology, conservation, and rehabilitation practices, making it an enlightening experience for all.

Malabar Farm State Park

Experience the charm of rural Ohio at Malabar Farm State Park. Here, you can:

  • Embark on guided tours of the famous Big House and farmland
  • Hike through miles of trails
  • Try your hand at fishing in the park’s ponds
  • Between May and October, the park offers Farm Wagon Tours, offering a deeper insight into the scenic landscape and workings of the farm.

From quiet walks to engaging tours, Malabar Farm State Park offers a slice of country life that’s hard to resist.

Family Fun in Mansfield

Mansfield OH, also known as Mansfield Ohio, is not just steeped in history and nature, but also serves as a bustling center of family-friendly activities in North Central Ohio. Some of the attractions in Mansfield include:

  • Richland Carrousel Park, which offers whimsical rides for children
  • Little Buckeye Children’s Museum, which has engaging exhibits for kids
  • Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, where you can experience an adrenaline rush

These attractions promise to keep the whole family entertained and are so much fun.

Richland Carrousel Park

Delve into the enchantment of a bygone era at Richland Carrousel Park, located in Richland County. This park, which opened in 1991, is notable for being home to the first new, hand-carved carousel built and operated in the United States since the 1930s. With 52 meticulously hand-carved and painted figures, including horses and various menagerie figures, the carrousel promises to be a delightful ride for both children and adults alike.

If you’re planning a celebration, the park offers a birthday party package, making it the perfect destination for a memorable event.

Little Buckeye Children’s Museum

Formerly known as the Little Buckeye Children’s Museum, the Buckeye Imagination Museum offers a realm of joy and educational activities for young children. This museum provides a safe and interactive environment where kids can play and learn, fostering their creativity and curiosity.

As part of the Imagination District, the museum is committed to offering rich arts and educational experiences while driving economic growth in Mansfield.

Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course

For speed enthusiasts, the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course stands as the ultimate destination. This premier racing facility located in Lexington, Ohio, attracts motorsports enthusiasts from around the world. The course hosts a variety of racing events, including the IndyCar Series and the NASCAR Xfinity Series, and offers driving and riding instruction for individuals wishing to improve their racing skills.

Whether you’re a seasoned racer or a novice, the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course promises an exhilarating experience.

Arts and Culture in Mansfield

Mansfield also thrives as a dynamic center for arts and culture. Lose yourself in the captivating performances at the Renaissance Theatre, marvel at the exhibits at the Mansfield Art Center, or enjoy a live show at the Mansfield Playhouse. Each venue offers unique cultural experiences that will enrich your visit to Mansfield.

Renaissance Theatre

The Renaissance Theatre, with its historic charm and cultural importance, symbolizes Mansfield’s lively arts scene. This theatre, originally built in 1928 as the Ohio Theatre, has undergone extensive restoration to return to its former glory, and today, it stands as a cornerstone of Mansfield’s cultural landscape.

Throughout the year, the theatre hosts a diverse range of events such as concerts, plays, and musicals, ensuring there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Mansfield Art Center

For those passionate about visual arts, a visit to the Mansfield Art Center is highly recommended. The center showcases rotating exhibits that offer diverse art experiences to visitors. Moreover, it also hosts various art classes and workshops, providing an opportunity for you to tap into your creative side.

Whether you’re an aspiring artist or an art enthusiast, the Mansfield Art Center promises a memorable experience.

Mansfield Playhouse

For aficionados of live theatre, the Mansfield Playhouse is an absolute delight. This community theater is renowned for its high-quality live performances and is open to local talent through open auditions.

Whether you’re an aspiring actor or a theatre lover, the Mansfield Playhouse offers an enriching experience that brings the magic of the stage to life.

Savor the Flavors of Mansfield

Embark on a culinary adventure through Mansfield’s local delicacies. With establishments like the Phoenix Brewing Company, Blueberry Patch, and Der Dutchman Bellville, Mansfield offers a gastronomic adventure you won’t soon forget.

Phoenix Brewing Company

Satisfy your thirst with the distinctive brews at Phoenix Brewing Company. This local brewery prides itself on creating handcrafted beers with distinct flavor profiles. Whether you’re a fan of IPAs, stouts, or ales, Phoenix Brewing Company offers a multitude of choices, each promising a unique tasting experience.

Blueberry Patch

For a taste of something sweeter, venture to the Blueberry Patch. This delightful destination offers homemade treats like blueberry donuts and gives visitors the chance to pick their own berries. Whether you’re a fan of blueberries or just love a good farm-to-table experience, the Blueberry Patch is a must-visit.

Der Dutchman Bellville

Experience the warmth of Amish hospitality at Der Dutchman Bellville. This restaurant is celebrated for its family-style dining, featuring made-from-scratch meats and warm side dishes. And don’t forget to visit the on-site bakery, where you can indulge in an assortment of baked goods, including Amish classics and no-sugar-added desserts.

Shop Till You Drop in Downtown Mansfield

For those yearning for a retail indulgence, downtown Mansfield is the ideal locale. With a diverse array of shopping options, you can find everything from local treasures and handcrafted items to unique fashions and special blueberry products from local patches.

So, grab your shopping bags and get ready to discover the charming boutiques and gift shop of downtown Mansfield.

Unwind in Mansfield’s Parks and Green Spaces

After a day filled with exploration, relax in the serenity of Mansfield’s parks and green areas. Mansfield’s parks offer opportunities for relaxation, recreation, and outdoor activities, providing the perfect setting for a picnic, a leisurely walk, or even a game of frisbee.

From the historical South Park to the biodiversity-rich Liberty Park and the under-construction Sterkel Park, Mansfield’s parks offer a breath of fresh air amid the hustle and bustle of modern life.


In the heart of Ohio, Mansfield emerges as a treasure trove of experiences. With its rich history, vibrant arts scene, exciting outdoor adventures, family-friendly attractions, flavorsome local delights, and serene parks, Mansfield truly offers something for everyone. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, a foodie, or a shopaholic, Mansfield promises a memorable visit filled with discovery, enjoyment, and relaxation. So, why wait? Make Mansfield your next destination and experience the charm of this Ohio gem for yourself!

Frequently Asked Questions

What major city is Mansfield Ohio close to?

Mansfield, Ohio is close to major cities like Cleveland, Akron, and Columbus, with Cleveland being approximately 65 miles away. Enjoy exploring these nearby cities from Mansfield!

Is Mansfield Ohio considered Central Ohio?

Yes, Mansfield Ohio is considered to be part of the Central Ohio region, specifically in the north-central area of the state. So, it falls under the category of central Ohio.

What historical sites can I visit in Mansfield?

You can visit historical attractions like the Ohio State Reformatory, Oak Hill Cottage, and the Mansfield Memorial Museum to explore the rich history of Mansfield.

What outdoor activities are available in Mansfield?

Mansfield provides a range of outdoor adventures, including hiking at Gorman Nature Center, birdwatching at Ohio Bird Sanctuary, and exploring Malabar Farm State Park. Enjoy the outdoors!

Are there family-friendly attractions in Mansfield?

Yes, Mansfield offers family-friendly attractions such as the Richland Carrousel Park, Little Buckeye Children’s Museum, and Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for a fun and exciting family day out.