Updated March 2022
Looking for something fun to do on your upcoming Spring Break? If you’ve got kids and limited funds, but still want an enjoyable multi-day getaway, consider Shores & Islands Ohio. Without breaking the bank on airfare and mega-resort fees, you can have an affordable family getaway with enough fun packed into three days to last a lifetime. Spend some time together and enjoy laughs and fun while making lasting memories. Here is a sample family itinerary for three days of Spring Break!
First, check in to your exciting home away from home for a few days! The region’s indoor water park resorts are ideal locations for a family getaway. It doesn’t matter what the weather is outside, you’ll be enjoying warm temps and splashing the day away. Each of our resorts, Cedar Point’s Castaway Bay (closed until May 2022 for renovations), Great Wolf Lodge, and Kalahari Resorts & Conventions, features all-under-one-roof entertainment. We suggest taking day one to fully immerse yourself in the property, explore all the fun kids’ activities and attractions, visit the gift shops, dine on-site, and spend as much time as you’d like swimming and sliding.
With different attractions and themes, you might wonder which resort is best for your family. Check out "Picking an Indoor Water Park in Shores & Islands Ohio."
After a filling breakfast, head out and explore the region a bit. Even in chilly weather, Marblehead Lighthouse State Park is a sight to behold. Explore the rocky shoreline around the Great Lakes’ oldest continually operating lighthouse. Let the kids run around a bit on the lawn, and use the view-finders to look across the lake and bay at Kelleys Island and Cedar Point.
Hop back in the car and warm up with a drive through African Safari Wildlife Park. Enjoy viewing all kinds of exotic animals like Scottish highland cattle, bison, and guanaco. You can also feed, from the comfort of your car, a variety of alpaca, llama, and deer. One cup of food is included with admission, which is discounted for the spring season. You haven’t laughed until a bison sticks his giant, black tongue at you!
By now you’ve worked up an appetite, so proceed over to Tin Goose Diner for lunch in an authentic 1950s-style diner. With traditional diner fare and family-friendly options such as burgers and hand-dipped milk shakes, everyone will be pleased. As an added bonus, you can watch planes land and take-off at the adjacent Erie-Ottawa International Airport. After lunch, be sure to visit the onsite Liberty Aviation Museum and enjoy its collection of vintage aircraft and vehicles.
Next, travel to downtown Port Clinton for a little shopping and sightseeing. Stop at the Northern Exposure Gallery & Candle Co. In addition to nautical gifts and home décor, here the kids can create their own souvenir candle with a variety of colors and scents. Before leaving downtown you’ll want to stop by Great Lakes Popcorn for a yummy treat. With over 30 delicious flavors of fresh-popped goodness, you’ll have a hard time choosing what kind to take home. Luckily, they offer taste samples!
As you head out, be sure to make a stop at Waterworks Park. Here, you can view the Port Clinton Lighthouse as well as take a family photo in front of the Lake Erie Love sign! One last stop for the day, and this one is for the grown-ups in your party with a visit to Twin Oast Brewing, located on 60-acres of rolling farmland. This brewery offers many varieties of craft beer, along with a house-made root beer for the kids. The kids will also be happy to play a classic board game, available for use while visiting. A great spot for dinner as well, the kitchen at Twin Oast serves farm-to-table, locally-sourced food including sandwiches, flatbreads, and three kinds of Lake Erie perch (tacos, sandwich, and traditional filet dinner)!
Head back to the resort with full tummies and full hearts after a day of exploring. Be sure to check your resort’s activities calendar for special evening events such as family movies, crafts, and sing-a-longs.
Today it’s all about active fun. Begin with a yummy breakfast from Wake Up and Waffle, located downtown at The Marketplace Downtown. Serving a variety of classie liege waffles and other brunch foods, this stop will start your day out right! Continue through the marketplace, making sure to check out the other specialty shops. Families with young children will love the Sandusky Children’s Museum, located downstairs. This science-based museum is filled with interactive experiences designed to engage children. Older kids will get a kick out of the retro games, such as pinball, Skee-ball, and duckpin bowling at Noble Pins. More fun can be had at the Cedar Corner Entertainment Complex, with bowling, axe throwing, VR games, laser tag, and more.
Next, head over to the Merry-Go-Round Museum of Sandusky where each admission includes a spin on a 1939 Allan Herschell carousel. You can also watch carvers create new carousel animals, create crayon rubbings, listen to the happiest music on earth, and ride “virtual” coasters.
Now it’s time to literally climb the walls at Paddle & Climb. Here you can harness up and tackle a three-story structure at the area’s largest indoor climbing wall. Climbing walls, along with a ninja-warrior-style obstacle course, are also offered nearby at the all-new Cedar Point Sports Center. While you’re there, check out the sports facilities and be sure tell your coaches back home you want to come back for your next volleyball or basketball tournament.
Leaving downtown, it’s time for lunch at The Original Margaritaville. Featuring a dining room next to a lovely waterfall, this family-friendly restaurant specializes in house-smoked barbeque but also offers a variety of salads and sandwiches. No Spring Break meal is complete without a sweet treat, so next pop in to Ohio’s oldest dairy. Toft Dairy serves over 50 flavors of delicious ice cream. Pro-tip - the servings here are huge so order carefully!
Spend the rest of the afternoon playing at Ghostly Manor Thrill Center. This family entertainment mecca features a classic skating rink (rent traditional skates, inline skates, or scooters), redemption arcade, indoor mini-golf, bounce houses, escape room, haunted house, and more!
Finish up your getaway with one more night enjoying the indoor water park or other features of your resort. Your kids will be talking about this Spring Break for years to come!