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.

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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

Are there any hotels offering Thanksgiving packages?

Great Wolf Lodge
4600 Milan Rd. (US 250), Sandusky
800.641.9653
Package Name: Gobble, Gobble Thanksgiving Buffet
Description: Valid on all family suites (two night minimum); includes access to the indoor waterpark and 4 Thanksgiving Buffet meals. Please visit website for details.
Booking Code: GOBBLE
Valid Dates: From 11/24/2010 to 11/26/2010

Kalahari Waterpark Resort
7000 Kalahari Dr. (off US 250), Sandusky
877.525.2427
Package Name: Thanksgiving Buffet Special
Description: Overnight stay in a beautifully-appointed Hut Room for up to 4 guests, admission to America’s Largest Indoor Waterpark for each registered guest, Thanksgiving Buffet for 2 adults and 2 children (additional buffet tickets may be purchased). Reservations are required by calling 419.433.5543. Restrictions may apply.
Booking Code: O1371
Valid Dates: From 11/24/2010 to 11/25/2010

Sawmill Creek Resort and Conference Center
400 Sawmill Creek Dr. (off US 6), Huron
800.729.6455
Package Name: One Night Thanksgiving Package
Description: Reconnect with your family for Thanksgiving at Sawmill Creek Resort. Relax while we do all the preparation for our scrumptious Thanksgiving Buffet. After dinner gather the family for a holiday afternoon hayride, a nature walk or relax at the indoor pool.
Valid Dates: From 11/24/2010 to 11/25/2010

Sawmill Creek Resort and Conference Center
400 Sawmill Creek Dr. (off US 6), Huron
800.729.6455
Package Name: Two Night Thanksgiving Package
Description: Let us do the cooking this Holiday while you enjoy the season with your family at Sawmill Creek Resort. Relax and indulge on our scrumptious Thanksgiving Buffet. Visit Mrs. Claus before enjoying a hayride through the Festival of Lights on Friday evening. Join our Silent Auction Friday evening in the Wilderness Hall.
Valid Dates: From 11/25/2010 to 11/26/2010

Please visit ShoresAndIslands.com for a complete list of lodging packages.

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