Fun things to do in Delaware, Ohio

This post may contain affiliate links. Click here to see what that means.

Small towns don’t get touted much as travel destinations. But some, like Delaware, Ohio, deserve a visit. Besides its charming disposition, a weekend getaway to Delaware is affordable with activities sure to create great family memories.

Or maybe you’re headed to Delaware for the Little Brown Jug and want to know what else there is to do here. There are lots of things to do in Delaware, Ohio, making it a great place to live or to visit!

Words "Get away to Delaware, Ohio" with the downtown streetscape behind.

Why get away to Delaware?

It might surprise you to learn there are so many things to do in Delaware Ohio.

First, Delaware is the birthplace of our 19th President, Rutherford B. Hayes. The city high school is named in his honor, and the town has maintained its sense of Americana so prevalent at the time he lived here.

Delaware is home to Ohio Wesleyan University. And, it sits just 25 miles north of Columbus, Ohio’s capital city. Like in real estate, where it’s all about location-location-location, Delaware’s proximity to the capital city has provided it some economic stability. But all this talk about economics won’t convince you to visit! So, read on!

Downtown Delaware is a hub of activity. With a variety of shops and restaurants to please most every interest, the town’s streets are bustling. Some, like Endangered Species, have been a town staple for decades.

Other shops are newer, like Whit’s Frozen Custard, which opened its Delaware location more recently. I enjoyed a single scoop while I was there, and I think Whit’s is here to stay! Wow! Creamy, cold and delicious!

Families enjoying a weekend getaway to Delaware might also enjoy an afternoon painting ceramics at Delaware Pottery Studios, a Delaware staple since 2002. Once pottery is glazed and fired, they’ll ship your souvenir creation home to you!

Beer brewing hobbyists might enjoy Barley Hopsters, located in the center of town. Besides offering micro-brewing supplies, Barley Hopsters offers 500 micro-brewed beers and ciders and more than 50 micro-brewed root beers! See root beer! It’s family friendly.

Dining options in Delaware include old-time favorites like Hamburger Inn, a Delaware staple since 1932!

Things to do in Delaware Ohio outdoors

Delaware’s commitment to community is evident in its parks and recreation department. Families enjoying a weekend getaway to Delaware can enjoy the parks too! There are lots of outdoor things to do in Delaware Ohio.

Mingo Park, which has been around for decades, continues to grow and expand to meet the needs of the community. It was hugely popular when I lived there and is even more popular now.

The park offers a zero entry swimming pool with water slides, a skate park, running trails, ball fields and playgrounds.

Just south of town, the YMCA Community Center of Delaware is a state of the art facility completed in 2012. It reflects the community’s dedication to health and recreation. Besides the Olympic pool and other indoor facilities, the YMCA offers walking and hiking trails on the grounds.

Photo Credit YMCA Community Center of Delaware
Photo Credit YMCA Community Center of Delaware

Besides these major parks and neighborhood pools, community members are dedicated to recreation in the region. Gallant Woods Preserve, located just northwest of the town was made available by generous donations from Charlotte Gallant, for whom the park is named, and an anonymous benefactor. The park preserves restored wetlands and prairies and includes informative displays along the trails. Popular in the wintertime, Buttermilk Hill provides a great place to go sledding. The park also has a playground, restrooms and geocaching activities. Admission is free and the park is open year-round.

Delaware Ohio Getaway Gallant Woods

Delaware, Ohio is budget friendly

Besides local shops, restaurants and parks, Delaware County is home to two of Ohio’s State Parks, Delaware State Park and Alum Creek State Park. Both parks offer a variety of recreational activities, including hiking, boating and camping.

Delaware’s hotels have accommodations for every budget. There’s even a Wyndham with a large indoor pool and good ratings for families for less than $100/night.

The Delaware County Convention and Visitors Bureau is another great resource to help you plan a family getaway you’ll cherish!

What is Delaware, Ohio famous for?

Delaware was the birthplace of President Rutherford B. Hayes. It is home to Ohio Wesleyan University. Every year, The Little Brown Jug, an international harness race considered part of harness racing’s triple crown, is held here.

How far is Delaware, Ohio from Columbus?

Delaware is 30 miles, about 30 minutes drive time, north of Columbus, Ohio. It’s close proximity to Columbus makes it a great place to stay if looking for lower priced hotel lodging and a family friendly environment.

Are there any state parks in Delaware, Ohio?

Delaware County Ohio has two state parks, with hiking, biking and boating. Alum Creek State Park and Delaware State Park are both located here.

Can you see the eclipse in Delaware, Ohio?

Delaware County Ohio is close to the trajectory for the total eclipse on April 8, 2024.