13 Wonderful Weekend Activities in Mansfield, Ohio

Make your weekend special by visiting one of these amazing places.

A beautiful day in Mansfield Ohio


Kyle Reyes


Jan 21, 2021

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Image courtesy of Destination Mansfield.

Feeling stuck in a routine, like your weekends are blurring together? Worry no more! There is so much to do around Mansfield to make it a special weekend, and a lot of it is close by, and cheap too! Mansfield is a great area with local history, great places to eat and drink, access to Ohio’s beautiful nature, and more! Mansfield is an amazing city with a lot of culture just waiting to be explored and experienced. Read on to find out about 13 of our favorite things to do in Mansfield, Ohio. 

Ohio State Reformatory

100 Reformatory Road | Mansfield | mrps.org

Once home to young offenders, this beautifully haunting structure, after being abandoned in 1990, became the set for a variety of major motion pictures, including Shawshank Redemption and Air Force One. This is a great weekend activity — you get to see a part of Mansfield’s history, enjoy some spectacular architecture (The reformatory looks more like a castle than a prison!) and, if you subscribe to the paranormal, there are many rumors that the building is haunted. 

It certainly looks like it. Driving up to this building looks like the opening shot of a movie. We absolutely recommend this next time you have an open weekend. Tickets run around $25 and it is well worth it! There is so much to explore, and all the staff there is happy to answer any question you have!

The Shawshank Trail

1234 North Main Street | Mansfield | shawshanktrail.com

Paired up with the reformatory is the Shawshank Trail, which winds through all of the film sites of the film The Shawshank Redemption. If you are a fan of the film this is a spectacular self-guided tour. Every one of these 15 filming locations has something new and exciting to explore, and there are a lot of additional materials, like videos and podcasts that share details and fun facts about their filming process at each place. 

To sweeten the deal — most of the sites are available for free! There is a downloadable brochure to guide you, and the only site you have to pay for is admission into the reformatory!

Richland Carrousel Park

A great big tiger at Richland Carrousel Park
Richland Carrousel Park is a great place to bring the kids! Carousels are few and far between these days, but this one is spectacular. Image courtesy of Destination Mansfield

75 North Main Street | Mansfield | richlandcarrousel.com

Looking for a relaxing trip to a beautiful location? Look no further than Richland Carrousel Park! This attraction has stood for over thirty years, serving as a carousel and a fine place to sit and enjoy the scenery. As the weather improves, this is a great place for a picnic with friends and family. As an added bonus, the titular carousel is absolutely stunning. Hand-carved horses and other animals spin around a structure with scenic paneling that depicts parts of Mansfields’ history. 

Mansfield Memorial Museum

The Mansfield Memorial Museum is full of exciting and interesting exhibits. Which are you most excited to see? Image courtesy of Destination Mansfield

34 Park Avenue West | Mansfield | themansfieldmuseum.com

The Mansfield Memorial Museum boasts an impressive collection of exhibits, focusing on natural history, wars, and the industrial history of Mansfield. Founded by Edward Wilkinson in 1889, the museum has grown and flourished as an important attraction of Richmond County. This museum also houses ELEKTRO — the oldest American robot. 

ELEKTRO was featured in the World's Fair of 1937-37 in New York. If you’ve never been to this museum, we recommend you check it out posthaste! Exploring the Mansfield Memorial Museum is a great way to enjoy a weekend. 

Bible Walk Wax Museum

This is one of many scenes put together by the Mansfield Wax Museum. This will be a trip to remember! Image courtesy of Bible Walk

500 Tingley Avenue | Mansfield | biblewalk.us

Ohio’s only wax museum is located in Mansfield, and it is quite the experience. Named the Bible Walk, this unique museum creates scenes from the Bible with wax figures complimented with murals, authentic costuming, and a guided tour with music and narration. Taking a day to see this museum is a trip you will never forget! Regardless of your religious beliefs, a trip to this wax museum is a fun, unique way to spice up a weekend. 

Inkarceration Music and Tattoo Festival

100 Reformatory Road | Mansfield | inkcarceration.com

From July 15-17, the Ohio State Reformatory is transformed into festival grounds for Inkarceration. Inkarceration brings over 50 bands together for a weekend of great fun, filled with live music, free tours through the Reformatory, and lots and lots of tattoos. Stop by for Mansfield’s famous festival and stay for the music and a weekend of festivities unlike any other in the entire year. This is one of the incredible and unique attractions that Mansfield has to offer. For a medium-sized city, Mansfield has loads of attractions and festivals that people travel from all over to see. You, lucky resident, can visit them whenever you wish! 

Malabar Farm

This idyllic estate is beautiful at all times of the year! Image courtesy of Destination Mansfield

4050 Bromfield Road | Lucas | malabarfarm.org

If a rock and tattoo festival is not your cup of tea, a 900-acre farm might be up your alley! This estate is owned by author Louis Bromfield, and he’s opened his land for the public. There’s a lot to explore at the farm, especially if you’ve got good weather! Now that we are finally moving out of the wintertime, outdoor places like this are an amazing way to get the first few rays of sun in the new year! 

Malabar Farm is a great mixture of tourist attraction and town staple, creating an environment with plenty to do and explore, perhaps even over multiple weekends! There are many green spaces in and around Mansfield that we recommend exploring, but this one is an absolute must! 

Kingwood Center Gardens

50 North Trimble Road | Mansfield | kingwoodcenter.org

Kingwood Center Gardens is an amazing public garden and conservatory, and could be the solution to your what-to-do this weekend dilemma! Walk through Kingswood Gardens and you’ll see beautifully arranged plants in all manner of colors and designs. Kingswood is maintained by a fantastic crew of dedicated helpers who keep Kingswood beautiful every day of the week. 

Recently, Kingswood has added on the Garden Gateway visitor center, expanding its garden and the amenities they provide even further! You will never be disappointed if you book a slot to explore these fantastic gardens. 

Wine and Ale Trail

Want to visit a multitude of breweries and wineries? We thought so! Mansfield’s Wine and Ale Trail takes you all throughout Mansfield and the surrounding counties like Galion, Lexington, and Ashland. There are so many great places to check out, enough to keep you occupied on many a weekend! Many of these locations have tours through their facilities and people are happy to inform you about their history and all the awesome brews and vintages they have for you. Here are two of our favorite places to visit, 1285 Winery at the Blueberry Patch, and Phoenix Brewing! 

1285 Winery at the Blueberry Patch

Don’t worry — they sell blueberries here too! If you are a fan of sweet wines, their Blueberry Bliss will knock your socks off! Image courtesy of 1285 Winery

1285 West Hanley Road | Mansfield | 1285winery.com

1285 Winery is a part of a family owned and operated farm — Ohio’s Premiere Blueberry Plantation. The family started this winery knowing that they would only use the best grapes grown around the world. The owners here are farmers first, and they have a keen eye for finding farms that follow growing practices that they approve of. 

They have a wide selection of wines and craft beers, and they also have a phenomenal selection of wood-fired pizzas, pasta dishes, and snacks! A trip to 1285 Winery should be high on your list of things to do around Mansfield, Ohio!

Phoenix Brewing

131 North Diamond Street | Mansfield | phoenixbrewing.com

Many moons ago, a fine group of Mansfield beer enthusiasts decided to rejuvenate the craft beer scene in a town they all knew and loved. Driven by a love for craft beer and brewing, the Phoenix Brewing Company restored an old funeral home and gave it new life with a beautiful restoration. 

They set out to deliver an authentic pub experience with quality craft beer and live music. Their tap is full of their flagship beers, seasonal rotating beers, and an array of beers from other Ohioan craft breweries. This place is amazing! We highly recommend keeping Phoenix brewing in your list of awesome things to do in Mansfield. 

Ohio Bird Sanctuary

Enjoy birds of all shapes and sizes at the Ohio Bird Sanctuary! A day with the birds is a lot of fun! Image courtesy of Destination Mansfield.

3774 Orweiler Road | Ontario | ohiobirdsanctuary.com

Opened in 1988, the Ohio Bird Sanctuary has served as a place to help recover and condition birds for release into the wild! On top of that, they maintained a large collection of birds for educational purposes. Since its beginning, it has maintained a large following that is all dedicated to its continued growth and success. 

Most recently, the Ohio Bird Sanctuary completed a large octagon flight cage to enable the conditioning of large raptors like eagles and peregrines. The success of this Bird Sanctuary over the last 40 years is indicative of how great it is to explore! Heading over to the sanctuary is a great way to spend your weekend, and it provides an experience unlike any other. 

Little Buckeye Children’s Museum

A trip to the Little Buckeye Children’s Museum is bound to be a special day for you and your whole family! Image courtesy of Little Buckeye

44 West Fourth Street | Mansfield | littlebuckeye.org

A crown jewel in Mansfield, Little Buckeye Children’s Museum is a fantastic play-based museum for children aged between two and ten years old. They keep around 40 interactive exhibits up and have such a variety that it is perfect for every kid who gets to spend time there. They were founded in 2011 and have made great strides to be the best children’s museum they can be. 

If you have children in this age range and struggle with how to make their weekends something special, this could be the perfect place for you! It is close by and provides a fantastic self-directed play experience to help your children develop mentally while having a great day. 

Gorman Nature Center

This is one of their beautiful pavilions accessible to the public. Many spaces to sit in shade or sun await you at the Gorman Nature Center! Image courtesy of Destination Mansfield

2295 Lexington Avenue | Mansfield | destinationmansfield.com/gorman-nature-center

The Gorman Nature Center features around 150 acres of green space and over five miles of public trails to explore! Located in Richard County, the Gorman Nature Center is an amazing place to go hiking when the weather is nice! Or you can bundle up if it is cold — the trials always display nature in all of its beauty. 

This is a great place to go on a lazy weekend, it is free, you can get some exercise as you hike through the forests, and it is a great place to go for some peace and quiet, or with a few friends! There are many such green spaces within driving distance from Mansfield, and we recommend checking them out. 

Where Will You Go First?

You have many options and things to do this weekend in Mansfield, Ohio! Which ones are your favorites? Let us know in the comments! 

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