Founded in 1831, the seat of power in Allen County, Lima in Ohio was named after Peru’s capital city. Ohio’s Lima has a population of less than 40,000, making it one of the state’s smaller cities, however, its history as a locomotive and tank manufacturing hub and proximity to Findlay means that there’s more than meets the eye in this small West-Central Ohio city.
The city was boosted by industry and the nearby Erie Canal, but the discovery of oil put Lima on the proverbial map in 1885. Since then, the city has been steadily rising as a tourist destination thanks to its stunning natural surroundings, small-town charm, historic buildings and budding arts scene, making Lima, Ohio, a fantastic spot to plan your next trip to Ohio. Here are the best things to do in Lima.
- Lima, Ohio
- 20 Things To Do In Lima
- 1- Step Back In History At John H. Keller Memorial Railway Exhibit
- 2- Visit The Allen County Museum
- 3- Wander Around Faurot Park
- 4- Enjoy Nature At Buttonbush Wetland Preserve
- 5- Snap A Photo At The Veterans Memorial Freedom Flag Monument
- 6- Step Back In Time At MacDonell House
- 7- Go On A Nature Walk At Lippincott Bird Sanctuary
- 8- Watch A Performance At Crouse Performance Hall
- 9- The Bicycle Museum of America
- 10- Allen County Fair
- 11- Explore Lauer Historical Farm
- 12- Explore Pop Culture At Alter Ego Comics
- 13- Stretch Your Legs In Brukner Nature Center
- 14- Go For A Walk In McLean Teddy Bear Park
- 15- Relax In Schoonover Park
- 16- Go Bowling At Westgate Entertainment Center
- 17- Take The Kids To The Edgewood Skate Arena
- 18- Play A Round Of Golf At Hidden Creek Golf Club
- 19- Admire Local Art At Artspace/Limbs
- 20- Go On A Hayride At Allen County Farm Park
- 20 Things To Do In Lima
20 Things To Do In Lima
1- Step Back In History At John H. Keller Memorial Railway Exhibit
Situated on the former Lima Locomotive Works site, which built over 7,500 locomotives during its heyday, the John H. Keller Memorial Railway Exhibit celebrates and commemorates the history of Lima’s industry.
The exhibit features several old locomotives and train cars for visitors to see and learn more about, including the 1949 Nickel Plate Road No 779 Berkshire locomotive, the last ever locomotive built at the Lima Locomotive Works.
John H. Keller Memorial Railway Exhibit is at 199 S Shawnee St, Lima, OH 45804.
2- Visit The Allen County Museum
Covering half a city block in downtown Lima, the Allen County Historical Society and Museum is an entire museum campus that includes the historic MacDonell House, the Children’s Center, and the railroad archives.
The museum was established in 1908 and houses exhibits from WWII artefacts to the city’s industrial past as a locomotive manufacturing hub.
It’s a great place to learn more about the region’s past and is one of 800 accredited museums by the American Alliance of Museums.
Allen County Historical Society and Museum is at 620 W Market St, Lima, OH 45801.
3- Wander Around Faurot Park
Faurot Park is a scenic 89-acre (36 ha) urban park near Downtown Lima and named after Benjamin Faurot, who first discovered oil in the region.
The park has a range of attractions and activities and was once the site of a large zoo that housed animals such as coyotes, alligators, eagles, owls and bears.
Even though the zoo at Faurot Park is long gone, the park is still among Lima’s outdoor recreational venues, featuring four lakes, a skate park, a cross-country running area, a splash fountain, baseball diamonds, playgrounds and volleyball courts.
Faurot Park is at S Cole St, Lima, OH, 45805.
4- Enjoy Nature At Buttonbush Wetland Preserve
Nestled along the Central Point Parkway on the south side of Lima, the Buttonbush Wetland Preserve covers five acres (2 ha).
The preserve is a tranquil escape from busy city life and has a large observation deck for bird watching or sitting down with a good book.
Buttonbush Wetland Preserve is at 2319 Central Point Pkwy #2303, Lima, OH 45804.
5- Snap A Photo At The Veterans Memorial Freedom Flag Monument
The Veterans Memorial Freedom Flag Monument is the largest permanent American flag monument in the United States and is situated next to the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center in Lima.
This five-pillar, 20-foot (6 m) monument pays tribute to the veterans of the US Armed Forces’ five branches: the Air Force, the Navy, the Marines, the Army and the Coast Guard.
Opened in 2001, the monument is one of Lima’s most visited landmarks and one of the city’s best free attractions.
Veterans Memorial Freedom Flag Monument is at 1161 Buckeye Rd, Lima, OH 45804.
6- Step Back In Time At MacDonell House
Next to the Allen County Museum and forming part of the main museum campus, the MacDonell House is a beautifully preserved Victorian-era mansion dating back to the 1890s.
Complete with period-correct furnishings, this stately 15-bedroom mansion was once owned by prominent Limans during the industrial age and features hand-carved woodwork, a two-story stained glass window, a grand staircase and many more lavish details.
Open to the public for tours, this historic house is a significant landmark to visit if you’re interested in learning more about Lima’s history and how the rich and famous used to live.
MacDonell House is at 632 W Market St, Lima, OH 45801.
7- Go On A Nature Walk At Lippincott Bird Sanctuary
Donated to the local Park District in 1998 by Bill Lippincott, a former forester for the City of Lima, the Lippincott Bird Sanctuary features a diverse collection of natural habitats and biomes ranging from prairies to wetlands.
The sanctuary is renowned for its wildlife programs such as bird walks, butterfly walks, and the annual Walk Through Autumn series, which places visitors right at the doorstep of some of Northwest Ohio’s Ohio’stunning landscapes.
Lippincott Bird Sanctuary is at 3093 Bellefontaine Rd, Lima, OH 45804.
8- Watch A Performance At Crouse Performance Hall
The Crouse Performance Hall is a state-of-the-art proscenium theatre that accommodates up to 1,700 people for concerts and live theatrical performances.
The venue hosts over 100 live performances annually and is at the Lima Civic Center in Downtown Lima.
The hall is the permanent home of the Lima Symphony Orchestra and the Lima Area Concert Band and hosts the annual Broadway in Lima series, which brings Broadway-quality shows to the city.
Crouse Performance Hall is at 7 Town Square, Lima, OH 45801.
9- The Bicycle Museum of America
Home to well over 1,000 different bicycles and 300 on display at any given time, the Bicycle Museum of America provides visitors with an insight into the history and impact of the bicycle.
The museum has one of the largest private bicycle collections in the world and was founded in 1997 by Jim Dicke II, who started the museum with a collection of Schwinn bicycles acquired from the North Pier in Chicago. T
Rare and unique bicycles on display include the 1892 Victor and a built-for-two bike from 1886.
The Bicycle Museum of America is at 7 W Monroe St, New Bremen, OH 45869.
10- Allen County Fair
First held in 1851, the Allen County Fair attracts well over 200,000 visitors yearly and is the biggest attraction in Lima.
Held at the Allen County Fairgrounds, just outside Lima, the fair is one of the most impressive in Ohio.
It is the biggest agricultural event in West-Central Ohio.
The fair is usually organised during July and August and features great family-friendly attractions such as amusement rides, live music and agricultural shows.
With some of the finest fair facilities in the state, visiting the Allen County Fair is a must-do activity if you can time your visit to go when the fair is taking place.
Allen County Fair is at 2750 Harding Hwy, Lima, OH 45804.
11- Explore Lauer Historical Farm
Dating back to the 1830s, the Lauer Historical Farm is as historically significant as it is scenic.
The farm played a crucial role in providing the funding to build the Miami and Erie Canal during the 19th century and was named after Ann Lauer, the first commissioner of the Park District.
It was acquired by the Park District in 2006 and turned into a public park situated on a working farm outside downtown Lima.
The park hosts events and gatherings throughout the year and is home to many restored farm buildings, complete with period-correct furnishings, which visitors can tour.
Lauer Historical Farm is at 800 Roush Rd, Lima, OH 45801.
12- Explore Pop Culture At Alter Ego Comics
Alter Ego Comics is a comic book store in Lima and the largest destination for all things pop-culture related in West-Central Ohio.
Opened in 2003, the store sells comics, figurines, and other film and TV memorabilia to fans worldwide.
The store stocks some of the rarest Star Wars, Marvel and DC collections of any comic store in the country and is an absolute must-see destination if you’re a fan of superhero films or sci-fi shows.
Alter Ego Comics is at 230 N Main St, Lima, OH 45801.
13- Stretch Your Legs In Brukner Nature Center
Brukner Nature Center is a non-profit organisation dedicated to conserving and upkeep some of the most beautiful landscapes in the West-Central Ohio region.
This award-winning nature centre was opened to the public in 1974 and features over six miles (10 km) of scenic nature trails throughout its 235 acres (95 ha) of pristine wilderness.
Home to one of the oldest historic buildings in the county, a nature shop, an art gallery featuring rotating exhibits, and an education centre, this a delightful outdoor attraction
Brukner Nature Center is at 5995 Horseshoe Bend Rd, Troy, OH 45373.
14- Go For A Walk In McLean Teddy Bear Park
McLean Teddy Bear Park is one of Lima’s public parks, featuring plenty of peaceful hiking trails and ponds for fishing.
Formed in 1972 when the Park District acquired the park’s 42 acres (17 ha) of land, the park has since grown to encompass more than 130 acres (53 ha) of land in total today.
Filled with scenic nature trails that combine to provide visitors with over 3.5 miles (6 km) of total hikeable pathways, the park is an absolute treat for outdoor enthusiasts.
Not only is it a great spot for a relaxing hike or an afternoon picnic, but it also serves as one of the best spots in Lima for bird watching too.
McLean Teddy Bear Park is at 2004 N Dixie Hwy, Lima, OH 45801.
15- Relax In Schoonover Park
The 69-acre (28 ha) Schoonover Park was established in 1937 when Lima resident Thomas R. Schoonover donated the park to the city.
Its centrepiece is a 25-acre (10 ha) freshwater lake in the heart of the park.
Not only is there a sizeable lake to fish, swim, boat or kayak in, but the park’s pool, basketball courts, playgrounds, nature trails and observatory offer plenty of other distractions.
Schoonover Park is at 794 Findlay Rd, Lima, OH 45801.
16- Go Bowling At Westgate Entertainment Center
Westgate Entertainment Center is an entertainment venue and the bowling capital of the region, featuring a state-of-the-art bowling centre with 30 bowling lanes open to visitors of all ages.
Combining lighting and other special effects to create a one-of-a-kind bowling experience, the centre features both synthetic and traditional wooden lanes to pick from, depending on what surface you prefer.
Open from morning till late at night, the centre is one of the most lively places in Lima and one of the most affordable night-time attractions too.
Westgate Entertainment Center is at 721 N Cable Rd, Lima, OH 45805.
17- Take The Kids To The Edgewood Skate Arena
The Edgewood Skate Arena is a family-owned roller skating rink and Lima’s skating hub.
Open to visitors of all ages and experience levels, the rink has trained skating instructors and rentable skates on hand to ensure all visitors have a great time.
Capable of hosting all sorts of events and with snacks available on-site, the skating rink is a family attraction if you’re on a budget.
Edgewood Skate Arena is at 2170 Edgewood Dr, Lima, OH 45805.
18- Play A Round Of Golf At Hidden Creek Golf Club
Designed by James Bassett and opened in 1999, the 18-hole Hidden Creek Golf Club is often described as one of Ohio’s hidden gems.
It has pro golfing amenities and a family-friendly atmosphere.
The golf course has a sister course six miles (10 km) away, though Hidden Creek is the most popular.
Owned and operated by a former PGA golfer, this par-72 course is a fantastic destination to visit if you want to perfect your swing.
Hidden Creek Golf Club is at 6245 Sugar Creek Rd, Lima, OH 45801.
19- Admire Local Art At Artspace/Limbs
Artspace/Limbsis a visual arts gallery situated inside a historic three-story brick building in downtown Lima that is 150 years old.
The venue organises all sorts of exhibitions and events throughout the calendar year and serves as the focal point during the annual Lima ArtWalk.
Not only does the venue provide up-and-coming artists from throughout the region with a space to display their works of art, but it also hosts art classes to get visitors of all ages interested and enthused about art.
Artspace/Limbs is at 65 Town Square, Lima, OH 45801.
20- Go On A Hayride At Allen County Farm Park
The Allen County Farm Park is a sprawling 63-acre (25 ha) public park that was established in 1982 when the Allen County Commissioners and the Johnny Appleseed Metropolitan Park District agreed to a free 90-year lease of the land.
Initially, the park was 45 acres (18 ha), but an additional 18.8 acres (7.6 ha) were added to the existing park in 2003.
The park features a rentable barn for functions and weddings, hayrides during the autumn months, a volleyball court, and cornhole boards, ensuring that all visitors to the park will have something fun and relaxing to do.
Allen County Farm Park is at 1582 Slabtown Rd, Lima, OH 45801.