How many indoor waterpark options are there in Ohio’s Lake Erie Shores & Islands?

When the lake freezes and frosty Midwest temperatures hit, there’s a tropical getaway waiting close by. The indoor waterpark resorts in Ohio’s Lake Erie Shores & Islands boast 80 degree temperatures to warm up even the chilliest of winters.

CurrentlCastaway Bay in Sandusky, Ohio.y, there are five indoor waterparks in the area: Castaway Bay, Great Wolf Lodge, Kalahari Resort, Maui Sands Resort & Indoor Waterpark, and Rain.

Cedar Point’s Castaway Bay indoor waterpark resort features liquid fun for the whole family in a tropical island setting. Adventures include a wave pool, water coaster, slides, kiddie water play areas, and children’s activities, including a visit from Snoopy and his PEANUTS friends. The resort also has a state-of-the-art arcade, restaurants, and retail shops. Overnight guests Great Wolf Lodge in Sandusky, Ohioalso enjoy early entry and ticket discounts for Cedar Point, in-season.

Great Wolf Lodge is an all-suites, indoor waterpark resort designed with family fun in mind. With rides and slides for kids of all ages, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Great Wolf Lodge also features a spacious outdoor pool, arcade, MagiQuest live-action adventure, preforming Great Clock Tower, and Scooops Kid Spa.

Experience the time of your life with everything under one roof at Kalahari Resort. Indoor body boarding 365 days a year in 86 degree temperatures, or take on the Zip Coaster uphill water roller coaster inKalahari Resort in Sandusky, Ohio. America’s Largest Indoor Waterpark. Pamper yourself at Spa Kalahari or dine at one of 11 dining and bar choices including The Reserve, Ivory Coast Lounge, Pizza Pub at Café Mirage, Great Karoo Marketplace Restaurant, and in the summer months, ZanziBar. For shopping and fun, there’s Zakanaka Kids; Madagascar Indoor Glow Golf; and Safari Outdoor Adventure Park with zip line; rope course; climbing wall; and an animal park. Catch some rays at the outdoor pools from Memorial Day-Labor DMaui Sands Resort in Sandusky, Ohio.ay (weather permitting). Once you cross over the bridge, you’ll feel “A World Away ®.”

Maui Sands Resort & Indoor Waterpark offers a variety of activities for family fun; including body and tube slides, bucket dump, lazy river, activity area, family whirlpool spa, and kiddie pool.

Rain indoor waterpark offers a smaller setting with thrill slides and water play – featuring a 50-foot tower with two giant slides (275 and 251 feet long), a play structure with additiRain Indoor Waterpark in Sandusky, Ohio.onal water activities and an outdoor pool. As the name indicates, waterpark guests are frequently showered with rain. The complex also includes a 32-lane state-of-the-art bowling center, arcade, great eats, and off-track betting in the exciting atmosphere of horse racing. In all, Rain features more than 3,500 sq. ft. of affordable family fun, all under one roof.

What’s new this year in Ohio’s Lake Erie Shores & Islands?

Spring is a time of reawakening and rebirth, making it the perfect season to rediscover Ohio’s Lake Erie Shores & Islands and fall in love. The region located between Toledo and Cleveland boasts stunning scenery, a burgeoning culinary scene, some of the world’s best amusements, and a rich history.

When spring is in the air, ferries begin regular trips to the fabulous Lake Erie islands – Kelleys Island, Middle Bass Island, and South Bass Island’s village of Put-in-Bay.  Charter captains start their search for Lake Erie’s sweet spots, where catches of perch, bass, and walleye are abundant. Pleasure boaters return their boats to the crisp water to tour shoreline communities. Visitors tour lighthouses, monuments, and museums. Birdwatchers ascend on the many natural areas that lay claim to one of the most spectacular spring songbird migrations in the country.

 

A number of exciting new amusements, exhibits, and dining options are popping up with fresh reasons to visit or re-visit this coastal destination. See what you won’t want to miss this spring and summer.

Lake Erie Love 

So much to Love!

Ohio’s Lake Erie Shores & Islands offers so much to love; we just can’t stop singing about it. Either can up-and-coming Nashville country artist Walker Hayes. Hayes visited the region last summer to film an all new advertising campaign for the destination including a television commercial and full-length music video. Walker’s single, “Lake Erie Love,” is a feel good tune about having the time of your life right here on Ohio’s north coast. Since 2010 Walker Hayes has had two hit singles on the US Country Top 100 charts; we’re hoping this is his third. The “Lake Erie Love” single is available for download on iTunes and the video can be viewed at SHORESandISLANDS.com.

 

Pipe Scream, Lake Erie Eagles, and SlingShot bring more family fun to Cedar Point!

The best amusement park in the world, 16 years running, plans new family rides, changes to the park’s Camp Snoopy area, and a two-year renovation project for Hotel Breakers. New for the 2014 season are Pipe Scream – combining the best of a roller coaster and a flat ride in one, and Lake Erie Eagles – a classic flying scooters ride where riders can alter their flight experience by raising and lowering their own carriages. Both rides will be located on the Gemini Midway. Another new, separately priced attraction will also debut near the Gemini coaster. SlingShot is billed as one of the most exciting vertical thrill rides around, launching riders in an open-air two-person capsule nearly 360 feet into the sky at speeds of up to 62 mph. SlingShot will open later in the season. Other new additions to the park include Starbucks, Auntie Anne’s, Cinnabon, a Coca-Cola Freestyle station, Yogurt Plus, and the new sports bar Chickie’s and Pete’s. The beginning of a two-year Hotel Breakers renovation project is already underway, featuring upgrades to both the exterior and interior of the historic hotel.

 

Stay Where you Play!

Cedar Point recently announced an expansion to its popular Lighthouse Point resort which will feature 52 new deluxe cabins which can accommodate up to 10 people. Each of these new cabins features two full bathrooms, four flat panel televisions, a dorm-size refrigerator, microwave, coffeemaker, outdoor charcoal grill, and picnic table, along with free wireless internet access. A new registration building will help guests get to their cabins and RV sites even faster. Lighthouse Point is conveniently located along the west bank of the Cedar Point Peninsula and consists of 64 cozy cottages, 40 quaint cabins and 97 luxury RV campsites in addition to the 52 new cabins. Guests who stay at any Cedar Point resort enjoy perks such as discounted park tickets and early entry. 

 

New Hampton Inn & Suites at Ohio Turnpike

The Leonard Longer family is opening their fourth area hotel in 2014, a Hampton Inn & Suites located next to the current Hampton Inn in Milan, Ohio near the Ohio Turnpike. Longer has no plans to close the existing Hampton Inn, but may reflag the property under another brand. The $8 million dollar, 4-story, 52,000 square foot inn will feature 70 rooms – a third of those rooms will be twice the size of a standard hotel room. The brand-new hotel will also feature a meeting room, indoor pool, Jacuzzi, and fitness room, as well as an outdoor grilling deck accessible from the pool area.

 

Magnuson Hotel Coming to Sandusky

The former Best Budget Inn, part of the SanduskyHotels.com family, has undergone extensive renovations inside and out and will open this spring as a Magnuson Hotel. The economical, family-friendly hotel is just minutes from Cedar Point and island ferries, and features an outdoor swimming pool.

 

More Good Times on Lake Erie

Goodtime Island Cruises offers new ways to get on the water in 2014. In addition to their popular island-hopping cruises and Friday night party cruise, Goodtime I is offering Monday lunch cruises on Sandusky Bay as well as Tuesday and Thursday evening sunset cruises. A number of special event cruises round out the offerings. 

 

Paper Moon Vineyards producing “Honeymoon” Mead with Local Honey

Vermilion’s Paper Moon Vineyards is now bottling and selling mead, made with honey from local producer, Stein’s Honey in Collins, Ohio. It is called Honeymoon, acknowledging both the honey in the product and the name of the winery. Mead is traditionally an alcoholic beverage made by fermenting a solution of honey and water. This new offering was recently awarded a bronze medal at the Florida State Fair Wine Competition!

 

Liberty Aviation Museum Continues Expansion

This young museum (just over a year old) has big plans for 2014, including an additional hanger and the launch of its very own PT boat. The hanger is being added for protecting visiting aircraft, additional storage, and where work can be completed on the Ford Tri Motor plane being constructed by the Tri Motor Heritage Foundation. When this group of volunteers finishes their work, plans are for the plane to be available for public rides. If all goes as planned, also available for public rides will be PT 728. This “Patrol Torpedo” boat, same type of boat John F. Kennedy captained in WW II, has been in the process of restoration for the past year. Once launched, the PT 728 will be available for public rides, an opportunity that exists nowhere else in the country. The vintage B-17 bomber “Yankee Lady” will make several visits to the museum this season as well, offering public rides. The military history theme of the museum is kept intact with the Tin Goose Diner, a restored 50’s era diner where a cook dressed in period attire sometimes offers up large breakfast portions on tin trays like were used in the military of the past. 

 

Sandusky, Ohio is the New Race City, USA

Sandusky’s ThorSport Racing team accomplished a unique feat in 2013 – the first non-North Carolina race team to win a racing championship. ThorSport has been racing since 1996 with its headquarters in Sandusky. This past season ThorSport won not one, but two championships – driver Matt Crafton won the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and driver Frank Kimmel won the ARCA championship. The team’s third driver, Johnny Sauter (NASCAR Trucks) finished fourth in the series but won the team’s first Daytona 500 race at the beginning of the season. Groups can tour the state-of-the-art, 100,000 square-foot facility and a team shop is open to the public. The team’s goal for 2014 is back-to-back championships. It’s never been done.

 

Avallone’s Dining Empire

Chef Cesare Avallone and his wife, Andrea, continue to expand on their downtown Sandusky dining empire. Already owners of four successful restaurants, Zinc Brasserie, Crush Wine Bar, KitchenBar, and Dockside Café, the Avallone’s have relocated and expanded their flagship restaurant and opened a new dining option. Zinc’s new location at 215 E. Water St. is significantly larger than the original restaurant which allows for more seating. The new location also allowed for the introduction of their fifth culinary venture, Hearth Tavern. Hearth Tavern features hand-crafted wood-fired pizzas and an extensive craft beer list.

 

Kudos to Ghostly Manor

Congratulations to the Criscione family and Ghostly Manor Thrill Center for two recent designations. Ghostly Manor was included on Forbes.com’s list of “10 Great Haunted Attractions” and their Lake Eerie Fearfest was rated #3 on Haunted Attraction Magazine’s “Must See Haunts of 2013.” Now that’s something to scream about!

 

The Blind Perch

The Blind Perch Speakeasy Pump & Grill is a newly opened (October 2013) fine-dining, casual, gastro-pub, grounded in fresh locally farm-grown meats, Lake Erie fish, and Ohio produce. The restaurant serves a variety of specialty cocktails along with the chef’s award-winning Pork Cheek Confit and its namesake Perch.

 

Ups and Downs

The Merry-Go-Round Museum debuts a new exhibit in 2014. “Ups and Downs” is an exhibition to connect carousels and family recreation from the early 1900s to present. Featuring antique merry-go-round animals, this display examines how carving factories would create different animals like several menagerie elk, created by various carousel manufacturers. A jumping giraffe will take the stage during the exhibit, as will a wolf, lion, and tiger. The Toast of Ohio Wine Heritage Festival, a major museum fundraiser, will take place in July this year and, for the first time, on the museum grounds. In addition to several Ohio wineries offering tastings and glasses, music, food, and art will be available at the event.

 

The Boys are Back in Town!

Danny Boy’s, a well-liked Cleveland-area Italian Eatery, has returned to Sandusky after a short absence. Popular for its pizza, large portions, and Rat Pack theme, the restaurant returned at the close of 2013. There are four other Danny Boy’s locations around Cleveland.

 

Vermilion one of Ohio’s Best Hometowns

Congratulations to the entire community of Vermilion, featured in Ohio Magazine as one of Ohio’s Best Hometowns. The annual issues (five different towns are featured on regional covers) select the state’s best hometowns. Vermilion was selected by the magazine’s editors because it “embodies lakeshore living and a thriving sense of community.” Vermilion is noted as a great hometown because of its excellent schools, natural beauty and charm, the Vermilion in Bloom program, and its resident’s dedication to volunteerism, among other reasons. We couldn’t agree more!

 

Additional Growth at Erie-Ottawa International Airport

“International” is the key word in this Port Clinton-based airport’s name as it has now officially welcomed its first international flight.  The origination of the flight was Pelee Island, Canada, and although this is a relatively short distance, it still marks a new era for the airport and its ability to offer customs entry and other services associated with flights across the U.S. border.  The airport is now the home to Griffing Flying Service. This airline formerly based in Sandusky will provide charter air services, flight instruction and other offerings to the public. The airport is increasing its capacity with the addition of seven private hangers. It also will be increasing the number of special events such as fly-in socials available to pilots as well as local residents.

 

Milan Museum’s Renowned Glass Exhibit

The Milan Museum (formerly Milan Historical Museum) is excited to promote the renovation of its acclaimed art glass collection, completed in 2013.  The renovation includes pieces from Tiffany, Lalique, Steuben and Dominic Labino.  See the new multimedia display of how art glass is created and experience a collection unparalleled in our area. The Milan Museum also introduces a new $20 family admission, good for two adults and two children 17 and under.

 

More Upscale Dining in Vermilion

41 North will soon open in the former Martino’s International Café building – Martino’s recently relocated three doors to the east. 41 North is an upscale steak and seafood house, featuring locally sourced and sustainable ingredients by Chef William Skinner. 41 North provides a large dining room as well as private bar area and outdoor patio.

 

Sandusky Dining Scene is Exploding

Another dining option has come to downtown Sandusky for 2014. Amarone Italian Restaurant relocated from its Huron, Ohio location to the former Markley’s restaurant building at 160 Wayne St. Amarone’s popular authentic Italian menu is available at the new location along with an expanded menu of appetizer options. The new restaurant is also open for lunch and includes a full bar. 

 

New Cocktail Joint in Sandusky

Locally owned and operated, Volstead Bar takes patrons back to the fascinating days of the Roaring Twenties by artfully crafting classic cocktails in a pleasant, laid back atmosphere.  Housed in what was once the old Dorn Winery and later the Green Door brothel, the Green Door Building is shrouded in Sandusky lore and has seen an array of tenants throughout the years.  Combining these intriguing historical remnants with the speakeasy practices of the aforementioned years, Volstead Bar harkens back to the days of Old Sandusky amidst the New Sandusky renaissance.

 

The Olive Scene

A new specialty shop for foodies has arrived in downtown Vermilion. The Olive Scene is an extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar tasting emporium, which offers over 40 different types of olive oils and balsamic vinegars, all ready for tasting. The olive oils are pressed to enhance both flavor and nutrition. The white and dark balsamic vinegars come directly from Modena, Italy, the birthplace of balsamic vinegar.  Rounding out the experience is a selection of specialty foods, cruets, handmade pottery, and other items that compliment an olive oil lifestyle. Stop in and see just how good healthy can taste.

 

Put-in-Bay’s Newest Old Bar

Reel Bar, which is located in the historical Put-in-Bay building formerly known as Tony’s, features great burgers, unique sandwiches, Lake Erie fish, fresh salads, 16 draft beers and fresh squeezed cocktails. The bar is under new management and has been completely remodeled to offer a comfortable setting which honors its island roots. The intimacy of the stage makes performers accessible to the audience, creating a great entertainment experience. Reel Food, Reel Music, Reel Bar.

 

Chill Out at Snow Fest

Sawmill Creek Resort introduced a new way to embrace the winter chill. The resort, located on frozen Lake Erie, is offering Snow Fest – daily ice skating, snowshoeing, and cross country skiing. Skating takes place on a frozen pond adjacent to Mulligan’s Pub, which is convenient for when you’re ready to warm up with a hot bowl of chili or steamy hot chocolate. Skate and snowshoe rental is available, with trails throughout the expansive property and golf course.  Cross country trails are available but you must provide your own skis. Follow Sawmill Creek on Facebook for info on daily activities, as they are weather permitting.

Top 5 Haunts in the Lake Erie Shores & Islands Region

Sandusky, Ohio.

Lake Eerie Fearfest  Sandusky, Ohio.

Ghosts and goblins. Spooks among the corn stalks. Attacking zombie cheerleaders. Are you ready to get scared??? Halloween is just around the corner. If you celebrate the holiday by getting scared silly, we have the top five spots to visit in the Shores & Islands:

Sept 13 – Oct 27, 2013 (weekends only)
HalloWeekends
at Cedar Point
1 Cedar Point Dr., Sandusky
Thrillseekers challenge ten haunted houses and fright zones.

Sept 27 – Oct 27 (weekends only) & Oct 31, 2013
Lake Eerie Fearfest
at Ghostly Manor
3319 Milan Rd. (US 250), Sandusky
Lake Eerie Fearfest bands the mysterious legends of Lake Erie together under one roof to create the area’s newest, most unique, most feared haunted destination in all of Ohio.

Oct 4-5, 11-12, 18-20, 25-27, 2013
Terror in the Field
inside Novotny’s Farm
SR 2 & 60
A scary haunted corn maze. Watch every eerie step you take in the field.

Oct 4-5, 11-13, 18-20, 25-27, 31 & Nov 1-2, 2013
The Haunted Hydro
1333 Tiffin St., Fremont
Take a walk into the 2013 theme of “Blood, Sweat, & Fear” featuring 3 monstrous attractions.

Oct 12, 19, 26, 2013
Bronson’s Haunted Cornfield
295 Townline Rd. 151, Norwalk
This journey through the cornfield is filled with terror at every turn.

7 Questions to Ask When Planning a Trip to Cedar Point’s HalloWeekends

Scares from mild to wild; families love daytime fun for the little ones and the Monster Midway Invasion Celebration Parade Saturdays and Sundays. Come sundown, thrillseekers challenge haunted houses and fright zones. Monster Midway Celebration


1. What is the best day to visit?
HalloWeekends is very popular. However, Friday nights and Sundays are great times to visit. Although not all rides are open on Friday nights, all haunted attractions are, so you can take advantage of the special additions to the midways.

2. What are the ticket prices?
Ticket prices vary depending on what day and time you visit the amusement park. Click here for current prices.

3. Do I have to pay extra admission for HalloWeekends?
No. A regular admission ticket or 2014 Season Pass/Platinum Pass is valid for entry. There are no extra fees for the haunted attractions.

4. What are the hours?
HalloWeekends at Cedar Point is held every Friday night, Saturday and Sunday beginning September 12 – November 1. The hours of operation are: Friday 6 pm – midnight, Saturday 11 am – midnight and Sunday 11 am–8 pm. Please note that Cedar Point is closed during the week.

5. Can small children attend?
Of course! There are special attractions just for small children, like the Magical House on Boo Hill, the Kid’s Costume Contest, Monster Midway Invasion Celebration Parade, live shows, a hay bale maze, and not to mention the famous PEANUTS characters.

6. What is new for 2014 season?
The children can enjoy the expanded Howl-O-Palooza, with kid-friendly entertainment, activities, and attractions while adults can experience the thrills and chills of the new haunted house Hexed, where they’ll put a spell on you; a new musical show: Midnight Syndicate LIVE!; and Tombstone Terror-tory, a fright zone in Frontiertown.

7. Are there any attractions that require extra fees?
Boeckling’s Banquet: Take a seat in the grand dining hall of the Eerie Estate as creepy inhabitants of the old mansion welcome you, serve you and entertain you. Meals are served Fridays at 5:30 pm and Saturdays & Sundays at 12:30 pm. Cost starts at $74.95/person and includes tax & gratuity. Advanced reservations are required. Please visit Cedar Point’s website for more details.

Click here for more information on HalloWeekends at Cedar Point. Click here for more information on Ohio’s Lake Erie Shores & Islands.

Where can I enjoy fireworks during the Fourth of July in Ohio’s Lake Erie Shores & Islands?

Fireworks display at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio.

Fireworks display at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio

July 3-4, 2015
4th of July Celebration
Cedar Point, Sandusky
419.627.2350
10:30 pm

July 3, 2015
Independence Day Celebration
Along the Riverbank, Downtown Oak Harbor
419.898.0479
A spectacular fireworks display at dusk.

July 4, 2015
Various locations, Port Clinton
Fireworks begin at dusk. Best viewing area is Waterworks Park.
419.707.9492

July 4, 2015
4th of July Fireworks
Lakeside Dock, Lakeside
866.952.5374
At approximately 9:45 pm or dusk, fireworks will offer a spectacular finale to the day (gate fees apply).

July 4, 2015
Fourth of July Fireworks!
Put-in-Bay
419.285.2832
Spectacular fireworks at dark (10 pm). Fireworks display over the downtown harbor; great views from Perry’s Monument and downtown.

July 4, 2015
Fireworks Cruise
Goodtime I, Sandusky
800.446.3140
Enjoy fireworks from the peaceful waters of Lake Erie. Call to make your reservation today.

July 4, 2015
Red, White & Blues Bang
Huron Boat Basin, Huron
10:30 pm

What are the Admission Prices for Cedar Point’s 2014 Operating Season?

Full of fun and excitement for the whole family, Cedar Point’s been voted the “Best Amusement Park in the World” by Amusement Today readers for 16 years running. New in 2014 are Pipe Scream and Lake Erie Eagles, two great family rides! CP - Pipe Scream

Cedar Point’s 2014 operating season is just around the corner so NOW is the time to start planning your visits.

Here’s a rundown of Cedar Point’s 2013 pricing:

One Day Adult Ticket
Online:  $49.99 – Gate:  $59.99

Single Day Junior/Senior Ticket
$34.99

Adult Two Day Ride & Slide Ticket (visit both Cedar Point and Soak City for two full days)
$87.99

Junior/Senior Two Day Ride & Slide Ticket
$52.99

Early Season Starlight-Evening Admission
$26.99 (valid May 10-June 15)

Regular Season Starlight-Evening Admission
$36.99 (valid June 16-September 7)

Opening day is May 10; purchase your tickets and start planning your trip today! Prices are subject to change. Please visit cedarpoint.com to verify admission prior to your visit.

A number of Cedar Point ticket discounts are available throughout the season. Contact us at 800.255.3743 for details.

Looking for a hotel? A list of attractions? Area discounts? Check out SHORESandISLANDS.com.

What’s New in 2013 in Ohio’s Lake Erie Shores & Islands?

This new addition to Cedar Point will be the longest wing roller coaster and boast the longest drop of any wing roller coaster on the planet.

This new addition to Cedar Point will be the longest wing roller coaster and boast the longest drop of any wing roller coaster on the planet.

GateKeeper Flies over Cedar Point! Cedar Point will introduce a winged roller coaster, GateKeeper, forever changing the landscape of the Cedar Point Peninsula. When it opens in May, GateKeeper will be the longest winged roller coaster and boast the longest drop of any winged coaster in the world. The track will dramatically fly above the main entrance of the park, passing over arriving guests with rolling flyover maneuvers. The $30 million investment will surely help Cedar Point maintain its status as “roller coaster capital of the world!” Cedar Point has also announced an investment of $45-$60 million over the next three years for upgrades to the resort’s hotel properties.

Don’t Give Up the Ship! Events are well underway, building up to the Battle of Lake Erie Bicentennial Celebration. The 200th Anniversary Commemoration takes place Labor Day Weekend, August 30 – September 10, 2013 and will include such highlights as more than a dozen tall ships, Navy ships (both American and Canadian), a celebration parade featuring The Ohio State University Marching Band, and a re-enactment of the battle. Considered by historians as the turning point in the War of 1812, the Battle of Lake Erie saw Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry and his crew defeat the British Royal Navy to secure U.S. control of the Great Lakes. His victory message to the general inspired our young nation: “We have met the enemy and they are ours.”  Visitors will be able to tour tall ships, enlist as crew members in the re-enactment, or be part of the Bicentennial fleet or militia.

Commemorations of the Bicentennial also include the issuing of the Perry’s Victory Ohio quarter dollar by the U.S. Mint in April and the Battle of Lake Erie U.S. postage Forever® stamp in September.

BRIG NIAGARA IN HARBOR FULL SAIL - COPYWRITE JOHN E. REES.

Brig Niagara in Harbor Full Sail – Copyright John E. Rees.

Ohio’s vital role in the War of 1812 is also commemorated in a new exhibit at the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center. ‘The War of 1812 on the Ohio Frontier’ runs from February 13 – October 7, 2013 and includes artifacts and manuscripts from both public and private collections to offer insights into the war’s battles on the Ohio frontier.

More Indoor Waterpark Fun! Maui Sands Resort, which reopened its hotel rooms in 2012 under new ownership, will reopen its indoor waterpark in the spring. The Hawaiian-themed property boasts a 45,000 square foot waterpark amongst a tropical garden setting with state-of-the-art water attractions, slides, and activity pools. Attractions include Liquid Lava, MakaMaka Treehouse, Kai River, Coconut Cove, and Pineapple Bay. A variety of rooms and suites are available within the hotel, and group packages are offered.

Embark on a Magical Quest! A new live-action game attraction has arrived at Great Wolf Lodge. MagiQuest blends video game technology with a three-dimensional adventure. With magic wand in-hand, families can explore an enchanted kingdom and join in the ultimate adventure as they enchant objects, befriend a pixie, learn from an ancient wizard, and outwit a dragon. The experience takes place on all four stories of the resort as players follow clues to unlock mysteries – their magic wands creating music, activating animatronics, and opening treasure chests. The resort’s new MagiQuest store features magic wands for game play along with medieval-themed costumes and accessories to enhance the experience.

Bounce & Play! Ghostly Manor Thrill Center has expanded its family-friendly fun attractions for 2013. A new edition to the complex has allowed for a large selection of bounce houses and an extensive play area. The additions are designed for guests age 12 and under, and join the already popular Skateworld, Wizard’s Journey 3D Blacklight Mini Golf, XD-3D Theatre, and Ghostly Manor haunted house. There is no charge for the play area and a combo pass for the bounce houses will be available with other on-site attractions.

The Jet Express is the only catamaran ferry on Lake Erie.

The Jet Express is the only catamaran ferry on Lake Erie.

Island Anniversaries! Jet Express passenger ferries to Put-in-Bay and Kelleys Island celebrates 25 seasons of fun. Jet Express has been providing the fastest way to the islands since 1989, providing exhilarating rides from Port Clinton and Sandusky. Jet Express also offers special excursion cruises and is available for private parties. Heineman’s Winery, Ohio’s oldest family-owned winery and Put-in-Bay’s oldest business is celebrating 125 years in business. The sixth generation of the Heineman family is excited to welcome visitors to taste their island wines and tour the neighboring Crystal Cave, the worlds’ largest geode. The Booga Shack at Caddy Shack Square on Kelleys Island is celebrating 20 years of the “Booga Invasion.” An island original since 1993, Booga Wear helps wearers uncover their inner “Booga” with the theme “Relax, it is your Right as a Human Being!”

Lakesiders to Splash! For the 2013 summer season, Lakeside Chautauqua plans to transform the east waterfront area into a recreational water play destination where children can experience a broader aquatic adventure using their imagination. The play area will feature a newly constructed, zero depth entry, children’s pool, and a state-of-the-art splash pad. Water-erupting turtles, frogs, and numerous other spray features will be staged throughout the 75-foot children’s splash pad. In addition, a patio area will be added east of the splash pad for parents to watch the children enjoy their water adventure.

Art Glass Redefined at the Milan Museum! The Milan Museum will unveil the year-long renovation of its acclaimed art glass collection.  Opening this June, the renovation includes pieces from Tiffany, Lalique, Steuben and Dominic Labino.  See the new multimedia display of how art glass is created and experience a collection unparalleled in our area.

Grab the Brass Ring! The Merry-Go-Round Museum celebrates the grand re-opening of “Grab the Brass Ring” for the 2013 season. The exhibit will feature new carousel animals as well the 1988 stamp horse and the fabulous Muller military stander (also known as the Ghost Horse) on loan from Cedar Point amusement park through early May.

Kalahari Resort Upgrades! Kalahari Resort has committed to a multi-million dollar renovation and development of various on-site amenities in 2013. The resort, home to America’s largest indoor waterpark and the Midwest’s largest resort convention center, has already delivered with the opening of Longneck’s bar and grill inside the convention center. Waterpark eatery Café Mirage has also recently expanded and new guest room amenities and improvements are expected.

Fall Bird Migration Celebrated with “World’s Friendliest Birding Event!The Midwest Birding Symposium is returning to Lakeside, Ohio September 19-22, 2013. This event which will attract more than 1,000 birders to the Lake Erie shore, is held every other year in the Midwest and includes programs by North America’s leading bird watchers and naturalists, an opportunity for birders to network with fellow enthusiasts, a vendor area, and guided bird walks at the area’s best birding spots.

Great Group Entertainment at the State! The Sandusky State Theatre has several new and a few returning “dinner and a show” options in 2013, perfect for motorcoach groups or date night. Plan on seeing Finnegan’s Farewell, Easter Celebration of Life and Resurrection, Always…Patsy Cline, Bob Goss and his Silver Sizzles Revue, Zombie Prom, Miracle on 34th Street, and more!

Catch Some Air! Take a thrilling ride on east Sandusky Bay with Air1 Airboats. Captain Tony Muscioni takes passengers on a 30-40 minute tour of the east bay, between the Cedar Point causeway and chaussee. View beautiful scenery, wildlife, Cedar Point, and the backside of many beautiful homes.

Scheele Preserve Grows! The Cleveland Museum of Natural History is adding an additional 10 acres of land to its Scheele Preserve on the north east side of Kelleys Island, including 330-feet of Lake Erie shoreline. The newly acquired property contains a mix of habitats including coastal forest, forested swamp, dunes, and shoreline. The preserve is now open to the public seven days a week, allowing for spectacular views of rare wildlife and migratory birds.

Biking Opportunities! Erie County’s only recognized off-road bike path, the Lake Shore Electric Railway Trail, will get some sprucing up in 2013. The existing path through the woods in Huron will be paved and expanded to allow ample room for bikers and pedestrians. The path, which runs parallel to U.S. 6 stretches 1.5 miles. A half-mile looping path is also planned for Sandusky’s Lion’s Park. The new trail will eventually link to the Sandusky Bay Pathway and is an added enhancement to the park that added a splash pad, basketball courts, new playground equipment, and restrooms in 2012.

Other Openings! Kitchenbar has joined the restaurant family of Chef Cesare Avallone (he already operates Zinc Brasserie, Crush Winebar, and Dockside Café). Kitchenbar features an Asian-fusion menu along with the same award-winning wine list as the adjacent Crush. Chef Avallone also plans a pizza oven restaurant in downtown Sandusky for later in 2013.  Ciao Bella Ristorante Italiano is slated to open in spring in Port Clinton’s Harbor Light Landing. Great Lakes Fibers sells hand-painted alpaca yarn, artisan scarves, shawls, socks, rugs, and much more. Watch the alpacas and llamas graze and see the studio where their fiber is transformed into wearable art. Classes will be offered soon.

For more information contact:

Jill L. Bauer, Public Relations Coordinator
jill@shoresandislands.com, @JillBauerLESI

Joan Van Offeren, Executive Director LES&I-East
joan@shoresandislands.com

Larry Fletcher, Executive Director LES&I-West
larry@shoresandislands.com