Put-in-Bay has the fun and educational attractions that are great for families to discover with their children. Kids will be enriched by the activities on Put-in-Bay that range from immersion in the natural beauty of the Lake Erie Islands to hands-on action mining for gems. Put-in-Bay is a perfect place for families to plan a summer getaway.
Children will love the preferred and best form of travel on Put-in-Bay, a golf cart! Golf carts are permitted on the streets of Put-in-Bay and are subjected to the same rules and regulations of automobiles. Safely strapped in seat belts aboard the cart, kids will surely revel in the Lake Erie breezes on the thrilling ride. There is ample parking for golf carts downtown and at other places of interest on Put-in-Bay. Delaware Cart Rentals is the largest provider of golf carts on Put-in-Bay and fleet is all gas-powered. There are sizes available to accommodate any group with 4, 6 and 8 person golf carts. A golf cart is helpful in traveling to points of interest on Put-in-Bay in a unique way that children will truly enjoy. Golf Cart Reservations should be made in advance online by visiting the Put-in-bay Golf Carts website.
Across from Delaware Cart Rentals is DeRivera Park. Jose de Rivera St Jurgio is often known as the father Of Put-in-Bay. He was born in Barcelona, Spain and immigrated to NYC in approximately 1826. DeRivera prospered and eventually had a rather successful import business. In 1854 he purchased South Bass Island (Put-in-Bay), Middle Bass, Gibraltar, Sugar, Starve, and Ballast. DeRivera sold most of his interests in other islands but retained his ownership of Put-in-Bay. He plotted the land in 10-acre parcels, a setting for a school church and cemetery and a portion of land on the lakefront for a park. DeRivera’s desire to have a waterfront park is still enjoyed today. Here children will love the playground that is complete with a fireman’s pole and 3 slides. The lovely gazebo and fountain, along with the spectacular views of Lake Erie, make DeRivera Park a great stop for you and your family while visiting Put-in-Bay. There are also restroom facilities located in the center of the park.
A short golf cart ride away from DeRivera Park down Bayview Avenue families can explore the Put-in-Bay Aquatic Center. This facility is operated by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and strives to provide an educational and fun attraction about Ohio’s fisheries. There are live fish displays that feature such Ohio fish species as the Walleye and Yellow Perch. Hands-on activities enrich this favored Put-in-Bay destination. Also, there is a playroom area that has coloring, puzzles and other educational games. Families can even cast a line into Lake Erie for their own chance. Rods and reels complete with bait are available for children to experience Put-in-Bay Fishing. The Put-in-Bay Aquatic Visitors Center is FREE and open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m seasonally. They are closed on Mondays. Find this Put-in-Bay kid favorite at 1 Peach Point Road, just a mile from downtown Put-in-Bay.
Heading down Bayview Avenue on the Westshore of Put-in-Bay you and your family can take in beautiful views of Lake Erie and browse the beautiful waterfront homes. At the intersection of Trenton and Bayview is a unique home that will delight kids of all ages. The Benson Ford, a former Great Lakes Shipping Boat, was hoisted above upon a cliff on the Westshore of Put-in-Bay in 1986. This ship was owned by Henry Ford and named after his grandson. The Owner’s and Captain’s quarters of the ship were ornately designed with hand-carved exotic woods. A view of this unique home can be viewed at this intersection where there is parking specifically for golf carts. Sunsets here are often times very spectacular with the sun glistening on Lake Erie.
South Bass Island State Park also has great views of Lake Erie sunsets earlier in the season. This park has lovely picnic facilities, a rocky beach and watercraft rentals available. Children will love skipping stones in Lake Erie and frolicking on the waterfront. There is also a public boat launch at South Bass Island State Park. Temporary docking is available at the fishing pier and is a great way to explore Put-in-Bay. This is the former site of The Hotel Victory, which burned in 1919. Put-in-Bay was home to this massive resort, which at the time was the largest in the World. Many companies had retreats at Put-in-Bay and stayed at the magnificent Hotel Victory.
Guiding the way for these earlier travelers to Put-in-Bay was the South Bass Island Lighthouse. Between 1897 and 1962 this station assisted vessels traversing Lake Erie. Along with light towers on Green Island and Marble Head, the South Bass Island Lighthouse provided guidance through the South passage of the lake. In 1967, the lighthouse had new owners, The Ohio State University. The U.S. government bestowed this to OSU for educational purposes. Today the lighthouse stands prominently as a symbol of the rich history of Put-in-Bay. The South Bass Lighthouse was honored as a National Historic Place in 1990. Facts about this great Put-in-Bay activity can be found at the National Park Service Inventory of Historic Light Stations. There are tours available of the lighthouse and grounds throughout the summer. Bring the kids and enjoy the history and splendor of the South Bass Island Lighthouse.
Flying to Put-in-Bay is also a popular mode of travel, and during the winter oftentimes the only way to the mainland. Food, mail and the like come to Put-in-Bay via airplane during the winter months. The gorgeous scenery from above gives a bird’s eye view of the Lake Erie Islands and Put-in-Bay. Kids will be thrilled to watch the planes coming in and taking off from the airport. The Put-in-Bay Airport is situated along Langram Road, with Lake Erie within eyeshot from the landing strip. Griffing Island airlines, based out of Sandusky, offers air transportation to and from Put-in-Bay. There are also bi-plane and helicopter rides available at the airport. This is a unique way for you and your family to take in views of Put-in-Bay and Lake Erie.
Just a short ride from the Put-in-Bay Airport is Adventure Bay. This family fun center has a wide selection of activities for all ages and desires. There is a nice arcade, bumper boats, batting cages and a go-cart race track. Kids will have a blast taking part in these hands-on activities. The arcade is proud to offer Brunswick Virtual Bowling. This mimics a classic trip to the bowling alley complete with bowling shoes. Food is also available at Adventure Bay. Pizzas and Italian Style Subs will satisfy your hunger. This park is one of Put-in-Bay’s newest attractions and ideal for families.
Perry’s Cave and Family Fun Center has great attractions and hands-on activities that keep Put-in-Bay kids in mind. Watch the excitement on their faces as they dig in the Gem Mining Sluice or as they make their way through Fort aMAZE’n, a large walk-through maze. Also on site is the Butterfly House where a family can learn about butterfly habitats and be surrounded by many species in a tranquil environment. Step back in time with a browse of the vehicles in the Antique Car Museum, and reflect on the golden days of past. Children will also love the tour of Perry’s Cave. This cave was discovered by Oliver Hazard Perry, who assisted the U.S. in securing Lake Erie during the War of 1812. Perry’s Cave and Family Fun Center is one of two caves available for tour. Across the street, Heineman’s Winery is home to Crystal Cave. Crystal Cave is the Worlds largest geode and is a geological wonder that beckons to be discovered while vacationing on Put-in-Bay.
Put-in-Bay is primarily composed of limestone. Consequently, there aren’t any sandy beaches like one would imagine when thinking of going to the beach. However, there are many pools that families can enjoy. The Put-in-Bay Resort is primely located just behind the downtown area and has a large swimming pool and jacuzzi. This resort is open to the public and a favored spot for families and locals. Kids will love playing in the water feature that spills water into the pool. There is ample area to catch a few rays, and the Blue Marlin Tiki Bar complete with food and drinks. Those traveling to Put-in-Bay for the day will find a cooling stop at the Put-in-Bay Resort.