14 Best Places and Things To Do in Mansfield, Ohio

Mansfield, Ohio, located in the heart of Richland County, is a vibrant city with a rich history and a range of attractions for visitors to enjoy. Whether you’re interested in exploring the outdoors, learning about local history, or indulging in cultural activities, Mansfield offers a variety of experiences to suit different interests. Here are some of the best places to visit and things to do in Mansfield, Ohio:

1. Ohio State Reformatory

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One of Mansfield’s most iconic landmarks, the Ohio State Reformatory is a former prison that is now open to the public as a museum. Known for its stunning Gothic architecture, the reformatory offers guided tours that provide a fascinating insight into its history and the stories of its inmates. The location has also served as a backdrop for several films, including the famous movie “The Shawshank Redemption.”

2. Kingwood Center Gardens

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If you appreciate beautiful gardens and lush landscapes, Kingwood Center Gardens is a must-visit destination. This 47-acre estate features meticulously manicured gardens, fountains, and walking trails. The estate also hosts various events throughout the year, including plant sales, art shows, and holiday-themed displays.

3. Mansfield Art Center

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Art enthusiasts should explore the Mansfield Art Center, which showcases a diverse range of contemporary art exhibitions. The center hosts rotating exhibits, highlighting local and national artists, and offers educational programs, workshops, and artist talks. It’s a great place to appreciate and support the arts in Mansfield.

4. Oak Hill Cottage

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Step back in time at Oak Hill Cottage, a well-preserved Victorian mansion that provides a glimpse into the past. The cottage is filled with period furniture, decorative arts, and historical artifacts. Guided tours offer an informative and immersive experience, allowing visitors to learn about the lifestyle of the affluent residents who once lived there.

5. Mansfield Memorial Museum

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Located in a historic 1889 Romanesque building, the Mansfield Memorial Museum is a treasure trove of local history. The museum displays an extensive collection of artifacts and exhibits that cover a wide range of subjects, including natural history, Native American artifacts, military memorabilia, and local industry.

6. Richland Carrousel Park

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Fun for the whole family, the Richland Carrousel Park is home to a beautifully restored carousel with hand-carved animals. Children can enjoy a ride on the carousel or play in the adjacent outdoor play area. The park also features a gift shop and hosts special events throughout the year.

7. Shawshank Trail

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For fans of “The Shawshank Redemption,” a self-guided tour along the Shawshank Trail is a must-do activity. The trail takes visitors to various filming locations featured in the movie, such as the Ohio State Reformatory and other notable sites around Mansfield and the surrounding area.

8. Little Buckeye Children’s Museum

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Perfect for families with young children, the Little Buckeye Children’s Museum offers a fun and educational experience. Kids can engage in interactive exhibits and hands-on activities that promote learning and creativity. From pretend play areas to science and technology exhibits, there’s something for every curious young mind.

9. Mansfield Fire Museum

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Step into the history of firefighting at the Mansfield Fire Museum. Housed in a beautifully preserved historic firehouse, the museum displays antique firefighting equipment, vehicles, and artifacts. Visitors can learn about the evolution of firefighting techniques and the brave firefighters who served the community.

10. Ohio Bird Sanctuary

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The Ohio Bird Sanctuary, located in Mansfield, Ohio, is a haven for bird lovers and nature enthusiasts. Situated on over 90 acres of woodlands, wetlands, and meadows, the sanctuary is dedicated to the rehabilitation and conservation of Ohio’s native birds of prey.

11. Mansfield Reformatory

Mansfield Reformatory

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The Mansfield Reformatory, also known as the Ohio State Reformatory, is a historic prison located in Mansfield, Ohio. With its imposing Gothic architecture, the reformatory has become an iconic landmark and a popular destination for visitors from around the world.

12. Biblewalk

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Biblewalk, located in Mansfield, Ohio, is a unique and immersive museum that brings the stories of the Bible to life through a series of life-size dioramas and exhibits. Biblewalk features a collection of over 100 life-size dioramas that depict scenes from the Bible. Each diorama is meticulously crafted and portrays significant events and stories from both the Old and New Testaments. As you walk through the museum, you’ll encounter scenes like Noah’s Ark, the Last Supper, the Nativity, and many others. The dioramas are designed to create an interactive and immersive experience, allowing visitors to step into the biblical narratives.

13. Gorman Nature Center

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Gorman Nature Center is a nature preserve and educational facility located in Mansfield, Ohio. Nestled within 150 acres of woodlands, meadows, and wetlands, the center offers visitors a chance to explore and learn about the natural world.

14. Fowler Woods State Nature Preserve

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Fowler Woods is known for its beautiful old-growth forest, which features mature trees that have been undisturbed for many decades. These trees provide a habitat for a variety of plant and animal species that thrive in this unique and relatively untouched environment.

Mansfield, Ohio, offers something for everyone. Whether you’re a history buff, nature lover, art enthusiast, or simply seeking a memorable getaway, the city’s attractions and activities are sure to leave you with lasting impressions and fond memories.