What's New in 2013 in Ohio's Lake Erie Shores & Islands?
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.
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.
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
Joan Van Offeren, Executive Director LES&I-East
Larry Fletcher, Executive Director LES&I-West
Posted in: Amusements, Attractions, Birding, Dining & Spirits, Events, Islands, Shopping, Travel, Waterparks and tagged air1 airboats, battle of lake erie bicentennial, biking, birding, Cedar Point, ciao bella, gatekeeper, ghostly manor, great lakes fibers, great wolf lodge, Indoor Waterpark, kalahari resort, lake erie, lakeside, magiquest, maui sands resort, new in 2013, ohio, sandusky state theatre, Travel.