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Do this for an unforgettable family holiday in Hocking Hills

Look, we get it — your kids really, really want a PlayStation 4, your spouse wants an Apple Watch, your mom wants a kindle, and OK, yes, you wouldn’t mind a mini iPad.

But let’s face it. The gift that keeps on giving is an experience. And an experience in Hocking Hills? It will be the best gift your family gets this year.

We’ve rounded up some fun family activities in the Hocking Hills that will be memorable for all. Make this holiday season special with a one-of-a-kind winter trip to the Hocking Hills.

Pick a fun cabin

Booking your lodging comes first. There are so many options in the area it will be a cinch to snag a place for your nights away.

For most Hocking Hills cabins you can check availability and book online (or use our handy-dandy availability tracker with options to narrow your search). Also, keep an eye out for winter specials, or check out our how-to-guide to finding cheap winter lodging.

Your family will love chilling out in a cozy cabin (bring some hot cocoa and board games), and if the cabin does have a TV, leave it off.

Winter hike to Ash Cave

Bundle up and take a walk through the woods. This easy half-mile-long hike leads to the largest recess cave in Ohio: Ash Cave. With a horseshoe-shaped rim 700 feet overhead and water flowing off the cliffs, in the winter some serious ice action happens with icicles dripping from above and a mound of frozen snow below.

Photo from Ohio’s Country Winter


Get your bake on

Two cookie-baking classes are offered in December at the beautiful Inn and Spa at Cedar Falls. Innkeepers Ellen and Grandma Joan teach you the tricks of the trade when it comes to making homemade treats (you’ll bake five different cookie recipes!) just in time for the holidays.

You can imagine how nice it feels to warm up by those toasty ovens after a winter hike through the woods.

Inn and Spa at Cedar Falls
11-2 p.m. Dec. 6 and 13
21190 OH-374, Logan

Photo by Instagram user @madebybellab


Choo-choo-choose the Santa Train

For 40 years the Nelsonville Depot has hosted Saturday and Sunday afternoon train rides throughout the holiday season — with Santa as a special guest. This two-hour ride lets imaginations run wild (Polar Express, anyone?) as the train choo-choos through the scenic wonderland of Hocking Hills in the winter. Santa takes the time to visit every child aboard, making this Santa visit one they won’t forget. Tickets sell out fast so grab yours while you can!

Photo from

Nelsonville Depot
2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Dec 19
33 W. Canal St., Nelsonville

You know you want to go-kart

Checking out frozen waterfalls and winter hiking is on the top of our list for Hocking Hills winter activities — but we haven’t met a kid who doesn’t love go-karts, even if they do have to bundle up to ride. At the Hocking Hills Family Fun Center you can race around the figure-eight track and even go mini-golfing afterwards.

Fun Center
26633 Main St., Rockbridge

Dinner at Lake Hope Lodge

Try Lake Hope Lodge for some seriously delicious smoked brisket and smoked Ohio-raised turkey. With wood-fired pizzas and a full kid’s menu, there’s something for everyone here. Oh, and there’s also a beautiful view over looking Lake Hope, and a gift shop for souvenirs afterwards.

Lake Hope Lodge
27331 State Route 278, McArthur

Posted: December 03, 2015
Categorized Under: Winter Outdoor Activity