WORTH THE DRIVE: Fun day trips for the entire family around the holidays

Between the colder weather preventing certain outdoor escapades and holiday-related breaks over the next few months, the kids are likely to at least experience a few fits of boredom.

Luckily, we’ve rounded up a diverse set of day trip ideas – from museums to restaurants and glow tubing – sure to impress and entertain the entire family for at least long enough for you to catch your breath.

Dinosaurs of Antarctica at the Cincinnati Museum Center

When: Now

Where: 1301 Western Ave., Cincinnati

Cost: Adult admission is $17.50 and $13.50 for kids ages 3-12

More info: www.cincymuseum.org/dinosaurs-of-antarctica

Travel back 200 million years to ancient Antarctica, a land of lush woodland, teeming with prehistoric beasts. Discover fossils from four Antarctic dinosaur species, including the fierce 25-foot long Cryolophosaurus, and take discovery into your own hands as you use real tools to learn how paleontologists carefully extracted fossils from the now-frozen landscape.

Dinosaurs of Antarctica: The OMNIMAX® Film surrounds you in the forests of ancient Antarctica as dinosaurs thunder across the landscape on the towering OMNIMAX® screen.

Credit: Nate Wolleson

Credit: Nate Wolleson

Glow Tubing in Mansfield

When: No definitive dates have been announced. The season typically ranges from approximately late December to late February.

Where: Snow Trails, 3100 Possum Run Road, Mansfield

Cost: Ticket prices are $30 for two hours of tubing

More info: www.snowtrails.com/go-tubing/glow-tubing

Yes, you heard correctly. Snow glow tubing is within driving distance of Dayton! It’s all at Mansfield’s Snow Trails in scenic Possum Run Valley. An array of colorful LED lights line the park for all to enjoy. After hitting the slopes, guests can enjoy live entertainment or grab a bite to eat or a drink at one of the many eateries in the ski lodge on-premises.

Credit: The Gorge Underground Facebook

Credit: The Gorge Underground Facebook

The Gorge Underground

When: Open daily from approximately 8:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Where: 2478 Glencarin Road, Rogers, Kentucky

Cost: Prices vary per tour.

More info: www.gorgeunderground.com

The Gorge Underground, located in the Red River Gorge in Rogers, Kentucky, is offering guests a chance to paddle through a cavernous former mine. The flooded limestone mine has been abandoned for nearly a century.

The Red River Gorge is located in Daniel Boone National Forest in east-central Kentucky, approximately three hours from Dayton.

To fully grasp the natural beauty of the abandoned mine, the Gorge Underground offers a number of different tours on boats, kayaks and stand-up paddleboards, allowing guests to explore the gorge either on their own or with a guide.

Credit: Chris Stewart

Credit: Chris Stewart

American Sign Museum

When: Wednesday-Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.

Where: 1330 Monmouth Ave., Cincinnati

Cost: Free for members, $15 for adults and $10 for seniors, youth, military and first responders

More info: www.americansignmuseum.org

The American Sign Museum is 20,000-square-feet of more than a century of American signage. From early, pre-electric signs adorned in goldleaf to the earliest electric signs, to beautiful art-deco neon and the modern plastic-faced sign, the museum covers it all. Expect to spend at least an hour exploring the history of this always-seen, but virtually unnoticed, industry.

The museum preserves and protects American history and pays homage to the artistry and craftsmanship of days gone by. The collection honors an often overlooked part of culture that hides in plain sight as part of people’s daily lives.

There is a variety of tours that are offered including public tours, group visits, virtual group tours and themed tours. Prices will vary for these options.

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“A Christmas Story” House and Museum

When: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve; Closed Christmas and New Year’s Day

Where: 3159 W. 11th St., Cleveland

Cost: General Admission is $15; children three to 12 are $11; seniors (60+) are $14, and children two and under can get in for free. Admission includes admittance to both the house and museum.

More info: www.achristmasstoryhouse.com

Even if you’re not a fan of Christmas movies, it’s likely that you have at least watched “A Christmas Story” at least once in your lifetime (to help jog your memory, it contains a very famous scene in which one of the young boys gets his tongue stuck to an icy flagpole).

Though the movie takes place in the fictional town of Hohman, Indiana, many of the scenes involving Ralphie Parker and his family were filmed at a historic home in the Tremont neighborhood of Cleveland.

Fans of “A Christmas Story” can now pay a visit to the home where all of the holiday action took place, still decorated to reflect the 1940s era of the movie. In fact, each room nearly or exactly mirrors the setting laid out in the movie (complete with a leg lamp in the front window).

Directly across the street from the historic house is “A Christmas Story” Museum, featuring original props, costumes, memorabilia and hundreds of never-before-seen photographs from the filming of the movie. While you’re there, be sure to check out the toys from Higbee’s window, Randy’s snowsuit, the chalkboard from Miss Shields’ classroom and the family car.

PNC Festival of Lights

When: Through Jan. 8, 2023 at 4 p.m.

Where: Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, 3400 Vine St., Cincinnati

Cost: Free with zoo admission which costs between $21.50 to $9.50

More info: https://cincinnatizoo.org/

The Cincinnati Zoo will still be shining bright as it is once again transformed into a “Wild Wonderland” for the 40th annual PNC Festival of Lights. Come early for more animals and stay for the lights.

In addition to admiring the beauty of 4 million LED lights, visitors can find the five Fiona fairies in Fairyland, take in a blacklight puppet show, marvel at the spectacular Wild Lights show on Swan Lake, or snack at one of two S’mores-n-More stands.

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

German Village in Columbus

When: Anytime

Where: German Village Society, 588 S. Third St, Columbus

Cost: Free unless you take a guided tour, which range from $10 to $20

More info: www.germanvillage.com

German Village is a vibrant community known for its charming brick streets and sidewalks, beautifully tended gardens and homes, pedestrian-friendly lifestyle, thriving shops, restaurants and businesses, and year-round volunteer and social events.

Some popular stores include Helen Winnemore’s, Tiki Botanicals and The Book Loft, which offers 32 rooms of books to explore. Many restaurants and bars line the streets that include a couple delicatessens, dessert shops and Schmidt’s Restaurant and Sausage Haus, which has been in German Village since 1886.

On the approximately one-hour tour, a guide will take patrons through the brick streets lined with quaint homes, gardens, shops, galleries, and restaurants. You have the option to choose between a walking tour guide or a step-on bus tour guide. There are also golf cart tours and a self-guided scavenger hunt.

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Louisville Mega Cavern

When: Open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Where: 1841 Taylor Ave., Louisville, Kentucky

Cost: Prices vary per activity.

More info: louisvillemegacavern.com

An array of adventures awaits underground such as ziplining, tram tours, 90-minute walking tours and an aerial ropes challenge course.

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