Guide To Visiting Put-In-Bay With Kids

Last summer we went to Cedar Point and decided to spend an extra day exploring Put-In-Bay, Ohio, before we headed home to the Chicago suburbs. I am so glad we decided to extend our stay because that has been one of my favorite vacations to date. Put-In-Bay provides an atmosphere much like one you’d find in the Caribbean and it was just a nice family getaway spent relaxing and enjoying “island time”. If you need a break from busy sports schedules and the hectic daily grind, this is the place for you!

To get to Put-In-Bay you need to take a ferry. We took a Miller Ferry from Sandusky, Ohio where we were staying. You can take a car along on the ferry but I’d suggest leaving it behind and just renting a golf cart to get around. It was pretty affordable and not only is it convenient, it’s fun to drive around in.

Here are the things you’ll want to do with your family when you visit:

Aquatic Visitor’s Center (Historic Fish Hatchery and Education Center)

We loved this FREE activity! Families can learn more about Lake Erie by exploring its rich history and experiencing science up close at the Aquatic Visitors Center. Afterwards, borrow some fishing poles and bait and go fishing off the pier! Learn more here.

DeRivera Park

Any place with a playground is a “must visit” in my kids’ minds! DeRivera Park is a large shaded park right in the heart of the little downtown area. Children will love the large playground while parents will love the water views. There are also some historic landmarks in the area that are interesting to learn about.

 Eat at The Keys Restaurants

It’s no secret that sitting near the water, eating on an outdoor patio, is one of my favorite things to do so when I saw this adorable, colorful patio area I just knew we had to stop for lunch. Waterfront views, delicious food, and music that makes you feel like you are vacationing in the Florida Keys makes this place top of my list for mealtime.

Perry’s Cave Family Fun Center

Perry’s Cave Family Fun Center has enough activities to keep a family busy for almost a whole day. From exploring a cave to gemstone mining to playing mini-golf to visiting a butterfly house to checking out antique cars, the whole family will find something they love! My boys favorite activity there was Fort aMAZE’n, a giant maze they enjoyed racing the clock to find their way out of. Learn more about all Perry’s Cave Family Fun Center has to offer here.

Walking around town

Walking along the lakefront was a relaxing way to spend the morning and I enjoyed going into shops that were around the middle of the town as well. If it’s hot out make sure to stop by Dairy Isle for a cool treat to enjoy while you walk around town!

Chocolate Museum & Cafe

Those with a sweet tooth will want to visit the Chocolate Museum and enjoy a treat from their cafe which they can enjoy outside in the picnic area. I thought it was interesting to walk around the museum area but the boys just wanted to hurry through to check out the array of chocolatey goodness that they offered in their cafe.

I loved every minute we spent in Put-In-Bay, Ohio and am so glad we made the trip over to the island. Have you ever visited? I’d love to hear what other things your family enjoyed doing if so!


  1. What a great place. I am looking forward to getting out this summer and exploring my state. So much fun to be had.

  2. How fun is that! I’ve been dying to get out to Cedar Point so this would make a great stop as well.

  3. It looks like you went at such a nice time of year. We have only been to Ohio once, and not with kids, but my uncle lives there so we will get there!

  4. Great photos!! Looks like soooo much fun!

  5. I have never been to Ohio but it looks like you picked a great time for a visit. Looks like you all had a great time! I would love to take the kids to Cedar point one day for sure before they get too big.

  6. I love reading about little treasured areas that I would otherwise overlook on trips! Thank you for sharing this one! I love the maze playground specially and how they make it all feel like a vacation some place tropical!

  7. I’ve lived within an hour or so of put-in-bay most of my life but still haven’t visited. I really need to make the trip sometime this year with my kiddos

  8. I have never been there but it looks like a lot of fun. My husband loves fishing and I love chocolate and exploring. This would defonitely worth checking out.

  9. IT sounds like your trip was a lot of fun and I love the tip about the golf cart! Our fmaily loves finding fun little spots when we are away that we can explore and get to know the communities we visit better!

  10. What a great addition to your trip- seems like Put-In-Bay provided some much needed relaxation after a busy time at Cedar Point with the kids! I always love happening upon such unexpected gems. Will definitely have to check the area out when I visit Ohio!

  11. It looks like you found the perfect family destination. I love a place where no driving is required. It is always nice to visit other areas, glad you found this hidden gem.

  12. Wow what a great place for a family trip! I’ve never been to Ohio but I will have to add this to my family vacation list. My daughter would absolutely LOVE that park.

  13. This looks like such a fun family vacation spot! I have yet to visit Ohio and this will definitely be on my list.

  14. Crystal Rapinchuk says

    Put-in-Bay is such a fantastic area! Did you get to go to Perry’s Memorial? I LOVE that the kids get the chance to go fishing there on the island! AND I’m a huge cave nut and was astounded that they have 2 caves there!! Such a cool place!

  15. We visited Put-in-Bay last year and had a blast. We didn’t go to the Aquatic Center or Chocolate Museum. Definitely want to go back!


  1. […] Alicia from Making Time for Mommy instantly felt relaxed the moment they arrived in Put-in-Bay. I totally agree! They visited the Chocolate Museum and the Aquatic Visitor’s Center. Two places we definitely need to check out when we revisit.  Tonya from Raising Your Pets Naturally brought her cute pups to Put-in-Bay. Look at all the dog-friendly things to do!  […]

  2. […] notice from the rocky shore you can see Kelleys Island, South Bass Island, and Cedar Point Amusement Park known as the Roller Coaster Capital of the World, across the […]

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