Ohio and Michigan Abundant with Activities
By Christine A. Holliday
Summer is a great time for grandparents to spend fun, quality time with their grandchildren. Northwest Ohio puts us close to a variety of places to see and things to do. Grandchildren have varied interests, so grandparents can find fun they to share; www.ohio.org lists offerings across the Buckeye state, and www.michigan.org/attractions provides information about family-friendly activities in Michigan. Many of the activities are reasonably priced, and often include discounts on meals, rooms and admission prices. So plan your trip today – your grandchildren will love it.
Dearborn, Michigan has hotels and B & Bs for families who visit Greenfield Village and the Henry Ford Museum. The Museum has 26 million artifacts covering 300 years of history, including a Beatles Memorabilia Exhibit. The Village has 83 authentic historic structures, model-T rides, horse-drawn carriage rides, and historic baseball games, farm cooking demonstrations, and a gristmill presentation. The Ford Rouge Factory tour includes two movies about the auto business.
Sandusky’s Great Wolf Lodge is a kids’ paradise. The 33,000 square foot indoor water park with thrill rides, water slides and splashin’ fun also boasts 100 arcade games, a Creation Station, a fitness room, and a Scoops Kid Spa. There are early morning activities, including yoga, songs, jokes, face painting, balloon twisting, poolside Kids cabins and Wolf Dens come with bunk beds and their own TVs. Those who book 60 days in advance can take advantage of early saver rates.
For quite a get away, spend a day or two in Frankenmuth, Michigan. Start at the Adventure Park, where children as young as 7 can do zip lining and tree climbing in the aerial forest. It is safety first, with preparation before any climb, and varying degrees of difficulty for adults and seniors. Prices increase as the climber’s age increases, beginning at $29 for kids 7-9, and at $39 for those 12 and older. Shopping at Bronner’s Christmas store (as big as 1 1/2 football fields or touring the Cass River aboard the Bavarian Belle Riverboat are fun options, as is a night at the Bavarian Inn Lodge Family Fun Center with miniature golf, 150 video games and a Bavarian themed children’s play.
Visitors to Cincinnati can take in the Newport Aquarium or EnterTRAINment Junction (with a 25,000 square foot indoor train display), take a cruise on BB Riverboats, watch the Reds play baseball, or get up close with animals at the Cincinnati Zoo.
Cincinnati.usa.com/things-to-do has information about everything the Queen City has to offer.
Attractions in Cleveland will fill several days . Set up a “base camp” for visiting area attractions in a hotel. The Great Lakes Science Center has 90 kid-friendly exhibits, including the NASA Glenn Visitor Center and the Polymer Playhouse, where kids 7 and under can climb, slide, bounce and play with stretchy, squishy, sticky polymers. The Cleveland Zoo shows off 3000 exotic animals (clemetzoo.com). Lolley the Trolley tours of Cleveland last several hours, and kids of all ages will learn about life on the Great Lakes by touring the 618-foot historic steamship William G. Mather. (Recommendation: Stay away from Cleveland between July 18-21, when the Republican National Convention will be in town.)
Sauder Village offers 2-day family packages and a County Get-Away package at the Heritage Inn (with rooms starting at $158/ night, including a one-day pass to the village and a $30 Barn Restaurant gift certificate.), as well as a Campers Special Package. Grandchildren will enjoy the historic homes, shops, farms and gardens, while watching candle making, and men shoeing horses. At the Little Pioneers Homestead, the youngest family members can gather eggs and learn about animal care.
1-800-590-9755 | saudervillage.com
Put-in-Bay visitors this summer can be part of a Pyrate Parade Fest weekend and the visit of the U.S. Brig Niagara (June 17-June 20), Arts on Erie Week boasts arts and crafts activities for kids (June 20-25) and the inaugural Wiffle Ball Classic tournament (June 25-26). Antique car buffs will love the parade showcasing those cars and a fly-in on August 7. putinbay.com has a long list of hotels and other places to stay including campgrounds, cottages, condos, B & Bs and homes for overnights.