It's that magical time of the year when you can hop in your car and head out to the rural, wintry landscape of Union County. Marysville and the surrounding towns are filled with cold weather fun, so bundle up because winter is a great time to visit! While some may sit at home waiting for spring to arrive, let this be your invitation to come and experience things to do in Union County this winter.

See Two Covered Bridges with Christmas Lights

Merry and bright are two words that best describe the Pottersburg and Bigelow Covered Bridges during the festive holiday season. Grab your hat and mittens, then drive into the country for Instagram-worthy pictures. While you’re at the bridges, read the historical markers telling more about each bridge.

Visit Festive Fun Throughout Union County

Each small town in the area puts on its best Christmas decorations and decks the streets with bright lights

. Plain City creates a city center of delight with a large tree in the center of town all lit up. Don’t miss Plain City’s yearly event of Christmas Under the Clock. Before leaving town, drive through the free Christmas light display in Pastime Park. Richwood and Unionville Center have Christmas lights you can see as you navigate through both small villages. Marysville has a Santa’s Village at Partners Park where you can visit Santa, grab a hot chocolate at one of the coffee shops, take a stroll to admire the decorated storefront windows and do some Christmas shopping.

Take a Spin on the Iceless Skating Rink

Merry on Main returns on December 10 for another season, and what better way to spend the afternoon? Kids of all ages can enjoy this winter fun for free during regular operating hours. Laughter and merriment fill the air as kids race around the iceless skating rink. While the kids play, adults can warm themselves by the heaters and enjoy the decorated Christmas tree, Santa’s house, festive music, and stunning Christmas lights.

Pro-tip: What is an iceless skating rink? Instead of real ice, the rink is constructed of synthetic/fake ice panels. Synthetic ice consists of connected polymer plastic sheets that are treated with a special additive to reduce surface friction. Since its creation in the 1960s, synthetic ice has become a popular training tool for hockey players and figure skaters alike.

Build a Gingerbread Covered Bridge

Make lasting memories throughout the holiday season with a new take on a gingerbread tradition. If you have fallen in love with the covered bridges, make your own with the delightful kits that can be purchased at Union Station 1820, Wicked Treats Boutique and Kitschen Bakery.

Pro-tip: Grab your kit early! Once these gingerbread covered bridge kits are gone, they won’t be back until the next holiday season!

Take a Winter Family Weekend Getaway

One of the best ways to enjoy winter is a getaway in rural America. Stay and play in Union County for a fun family weekend in central Ohio. Just a short drive from Marysville’s well-appointed hotels is the Columbus Zoo Wildlights where you can visit the animals and give Santa your Christmas wish list. If your crew loves the outdoors, go for a winter hike on the 1.2 mile nature trail located at MacIver Woods. A winter horseback ride at Marmon Valley Farm during “Christmas on the Farm” is the perfect family activity.

Enjoy a holiday classic at the newly opened Avalon Theater. Experience an evening of family fun while munching on popcorn and watching one of the movies playing during the month of December.

Pro-tip: Find more information about the hotels here

Stroll and Shop Uptown Marysville

If Norman Rockwell could pick a town to paint, Marysville would make the list. Every corner you turn in historic Uptown Marysville is decked out with holiday lights. Park your car at Partners Park and set off for a charming shopping experience chock full of stylish boutiques and specialty shops offering something for everyone on your holiday shopping list. Betsy’s Boutique Shop is brimming with Midwest blends with uptown unique. Kendall and Blue Boutique offers fabulously comfortable clothing for both adults and children . For truly unique gifts, check out Ravens Cauldron or Plumm House for exclusive one-of-a-kind finds.

Go Skiing or Snow Tubing at Mad River Mountain

Adrenaline junkies unite! Plan a thrilling winter weekend experiencing Mad River Mountain for a day or night of skiing down central Ohio’s slopes. Mad River has been a staple for “snow fun” for years and continues to be one of central Ohio’s go-to places. If skiing is not your thing, check out the tubing park. Tickets are for as much tubing as you can get in during your two-hour time slot.

Pro-tip: Warm up the family in the Mad River Cafe, and if you are 21+, have a few signature cocktails at The Loft while watching the skiers from Mad River’s iconic view.

With so many things to do for everyone in your crew, Union County and its small towns will become a memorable destination that will have you reminiscing for years to come.