It’s wild fun at the zoo, wildlife safari and other attractions
Toledo Museum of Art & Glass Pavilion
Venture to the Toledo Museum of Art to experience one of the finest and most diverse collections of artwork in the country. Discover treasures ranging from ancient Egypt to contemporary art, including glass, sculpture, European and American painting, African and Asian art, graphic arts and decorative arts.
Other highlights include the Sculpture Garden outside and the architecturally renowned Glass Pavilion just across Monroe Street. The museum offers a number of temporary exhibitions each year, along many free programs including glass demonstrations, guided tours, weekly "It's Friday" after-hours programming, hands-on children's activities in the Family Center, and much more. While you’re there, dine in the Museum Café and shop in the Museum Store and Collector's Corner.
Hours are Tuesday through Thursday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Friday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Closed Mondays, New Year’s Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.
Admission to the museum and most exhibits is free, though special exhibitions or events may require purchase of a ticket.
2445 Monroe St., Toledo
Toledo, OH 43620
419-255-8000 or 800-644-6862, www.toledomuseum.org
The Toledo Zoo is one of the world’s most complete zoos, and one of the region's top family destinations. It boasts over 6,000 mammals, fish, reptiles, amphibians, birds and invertebrates representing over 750 species, and innovative exhibits also get you up close to many of your favorites.
Each year, nearly one million people visit the zoo to experience the wonders of the natural world, stroll the scenic grounds and explore the historic WPA-era buildings. Zoo highlights include the Arctic Encounter, the Africa! exhibit, Nature’s Neighborhood children’s area and more.
The Toledo Zoo is known for being at the forefront of many conservation efforts, working to preserve endangered and threatened species--from butterflies and birds to crocodiles and elephants. The zoo participates in dozens of important breeding programs that are helping to ensure a future for some truly amazing species.
2 Hippo Way, Toledo
Ready to experience the unexpected? Explore the exciting? The Imagination Station – Toledo’s hands-on science museum – promises to immerse visitors of every age in a multi-sensory experience that’s as fun as it is educational.
Step inside the Hurricane Chamber, defy gravity as you ride the High Wire Cycle 20 feet above the atrium or bounce on the BOYO – the human yo-yo. Feel your stomach flip as you take a ride on the Zing2000! Simulator or be awed by the power of the 600-gallon Water Vortex. Challenge your friends to a game of tug-o-war (you against all of them), and win!
One Discovery Way, Toledo
The 100-passenger canal boat replica cruises upriver past elegant estates and yacht clubs or down river toward Lake Erie.
Lunch and dinner cruises, ecological and historical tours and educational field trips are available. Special cruises include Discover the River Cruises, Fall Color Cruises, Sunset and City Lights Cruises and Halloween Boat Rides for Kids.
Jefferson Ave. and North Summit Street, (Promenade Park), Toledo
Toledo Botanical Garden
Originally consisting of 20 acres donated by George P. Crosby to the City of Toledo, Toledo Botanical Garden now encompasses more than 60 acres of beauty, tranquility and opportunities for exploration and reflection. It is currently a public/private partnership between Metroparks and the non-profit Toledo Botanical Garden Board, Inc. in collaboration with the City of Toledo.
A museum for plants, Toledo Botanical Garden’s notable plants include Susan H. LeCron Shade Garden, (including a noteworthy hosta collection), Pioneer Garden, Herb Garden, Rose Garden, Perennial Garden and a Green Garden.
Special events include the Crosby Festival of the Arts (June 25-27), summertime jazz concerts, and Heralding the Holidays (Nov. 3-5), a seasonal celebration showcasing the numerous resident artistic guilds.
5403 Elmer Dr. Toledo
Tony Packo's Café
Tony Packo’s is famous for its Hungarian-style hot dogs. for its hot dog buns signed by movie stars, other celebrities and U .S. Presidents and for it’s frequent mention by Toledo’s Jamie Farr on the TV series M*A*S*H*.
In addition to the flagship eatery, Packo’s has a location across from Fifth Third Field, home of the Toledo Mud Hens, and at some of The Andersons general stores in the Toledo area.
1902 Front St., Toledo
The Docks at International Park
Whether you have a taste for seafood, steak, Mexican cuisine or Italian, The Docks restaurants offer a dining experience guaranteed to suit the most scrupulous of tastes.
Located on the waterfront in Downtown Toledo, The Docks is comprised of several restaurants and a wine and martini bar, each featuring original fare, including Cousino’s Navy Bistro, The Real Seafood Company, Tango’s Mexican Cantina, Zia’s Italian and Eileen’s Wine & Martini Bar.
All offer a spectacular view of the water and the downtown skyline, Just outside, a riverwalk extends to the a boat basin near the entrance to International Park and along the water to the S.S. Willis B. Boyer Museum Ship, a restored Great Lakes freighter and museum open for public tours.
26 Main St., Toledo
The Butterfly House
Hundreds of live butterflies from North America, Central America and Asia in a beautiful indoor garden setting. Open May 1 through Sept. 30 and weekends in October.
11455 Obee Rd., Whitehouse
Sundance Kid Drive-In
Step back in time and enjoy a movie under the stars at the Sundance Kid Drive-In. Two screens show newly released double features with sound that is broadcast into your vehicle over FM stereo radio.
What’s a movie without snacks? Concessions include hot dogs, hamburgers, pizza, popcorn, drinks, ice cream, cotton candy, funnel cakes and other treats.
Admission prices are $8 per adult and $3 each for children 6-12. (Children ages 5 and under are free.)
4500 Navarre Ave., Oregon
Metroparks of the Toledo Area
Metroparks of the Toledo Area preserves many of Lucas County’s most unique natural and historical features, from Ohio's only "moving" sand dunes to the 35-room Georgian colonial home of an auto baron.
• Locally, Pearson Metropark, located at 761 Lallendorf Rd., Oregon, is one of the last remaining stands of the Great Black Swamp, a notorious forest that once blanketed much of northwest Ohio. The thick woods and location close to Lake Erie make Pearson a favorite stopover for a wide variety of migrating birds.
Buildings, shelters, bridges, ponds and a garden with a waterfall were built by workers enrolled in Depression-era work programs, such as the Works Progress Administration and Civilian Conservation Corps.
Park attractions include a pedal boat concession, sledding hill, a “Window on Wildlife,” playground, ball diamonds, tennis courts, fishing and an 1800s Black Swamp cabin.
Open 7 a.m. until dark every day; extended hours for winter recreation.
Metroparks of the Toledo Area
• Maumee Bay State Park at Cedar Point and North Curtice roads along the Oregon-Jerusalem Township border offers a two-mile elevated boardwalk plus an observation tower amidst swamplands, marsh, scenic meadows and woods that are teeming with wildlife and birds. The park features lakeshore and inland beaches, a marina and a conference center and resort hotel that also has a golf course and rental cabins.
• Magee Marsh State Wildlife Area offers thousands of acres of parklands along the Lake Erie shoreline for viewing birds and other wildlife. A handicap-accessible boardwalk, the Magee Marsh Bird Trail, winds through marshlands reminiscent of what was once the Great Black Swamp. Birders gather and compare sightings at the Sportsmen’s Migratory Bird Center and an observation tower.
13531 W. SR 2, Oak Harbor Magee Marsh, 419-898-0960, www.friendsofmageemarsh.org.
• Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, located at 14000 W. SR 2, offers a new visitors center and hiking trails across nearly 5,000 acres along with scheduled auto tours.
• The Wood County Park District oversees several park facilities in the county, including Cedar Creeks Preserve, a 42-acre tract located east of Walbridge where Woodville Road (SR 51) crosses Walbridge Road. The park is an excellent example of the former Black Swamp that once covered a large portion of Northwest Ohio and includes hiking trails, a footbridge, picnic tables, restrooms and an information kiosk.
419-353-1897, visit woodcountyparkdistrict.org
• The Sandusky County Park District operates 10 facilities, including the 93-acre Wolf Creek Park, 160-acre Blue Huron Reserve, the Mull Covered Bridge, the 310-acre Creek Ben Farm and others. White Star Park, located south of Gibsonburg on SR 300, has a quarry up to 40 feet deep that is used by scuba divers throughout the region as well as for non-power boating and fishing; a beach with changing rooms and a concession stand, and a campground located across from the park’s main entrance that has electrraneic and water hookups and primitive campsites on a reservation basis.
In addition, the park offers picnic tables, grills, well water, restrooms, volleyball courts, horseshoe pits, playfield, nature trails, mountain bike trails, shelters, day camp area and more.
419-334-4495, 1-888-200-5577, www.scd-parks.org
• Kelleys Island State Park , a 660-acre park located on Kelleys Island in Lake Erie just north of Sandusky, offers six miles of trails, 8,000 acres of varied landscape including rocky shorelines, 100 feet of swimming beaches, a picnic shelter, family campground, launch ramps, fishing access areas and the 30-acre North Pond State Nature Preserve and the North Shore Alvar State Nature Preserve. In addition, grooves caused by glaciers moving across the face of limestone on the island and marine invertebrate fossils can easily be found.
www.kelleysislandnature.com or the Kelleys Island Chamber of Commerce, 419-746-2360
• East Harbor State Park, 1169 N. Buck Rd off SR 269 in Marblehead offers the largest campground in the Ohio park system, full-service marina, seven miles of beaches, hiking trails, picnic shelters, fishing access and a full-service marina.
• Marblehead Lighthouse State Park, 110 Lighthouse Dr., Marblehead features picnic facilities, fishing, walking trails and the oldest lighthouse in continuous operation on the Great Lakes. On-site Keeper's House Museum and guided lighthouse tours May 26-Sept. 4, Monday through Friday 1-4:45 p.m. and the second Saturday of the month, May-October, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Schedel Arboretum & Gardens
A hidden treasure with unparalleled beauty and tranquility. Enjoy a unique Japanese garden, a kitchen garden with more than 100 varieties of ornamental peppers, a bonsai exhibit, water gardens, perennial gardens, sculptures, painting exhibits and flower gardens featuring 20,000 annuals, as well as unusual trees and shrubs.
Hours through October, Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Sunday 12-4 p.m. Closed Mondays.
19255 W. Portage River South Rd., Elmore
Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto
The grotto at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Genoa is constructed of “tufa,” fossilized vegetation found in the “blue hole” at Castilia, O. A ground-level statue of a praying Saint Bernadette Souberious looks up admiringly at Our Lady. The grounds include a small altar, an adjoining bell tower of tufa, arches and outdoor Stations of the Cross in hand-carved Italian bronze.
204 S. Main St., Genoa, 419-855-8501
Our Lady of Toledo Shrine
Our Lady of Toledo Shrine is a place of prayer, quiet reflection and healing. All faiths are welcome. The garden and well are open during daylight hours. Chapel is open 1 to 4 p.m. Gifts of Love Gift shop open 1-4 p.m.
655 S. Coy Rd., Oregon
419-697-7742 or 1-888-791-0990, visit www.protect-life.org.
Queen of the Most Holy Rosary Cathedral
Visitors will be moved by the beauty of the cathedral’s Old World style, and by the visual strength of its symbol as the primary church of Roman Catholic Diocese of Toledo. The cathedral is Spanish Plateresque in design – the only one of its kind in North America. Thousands have been inspired by the graceful beauty of its piers and arches; by the richly decorated nave ceiling with scenes from Old Testament, the half-domed apse embellished by frescoes in the Keim process, and by one of its most striking gems, the Rose Window, which sparkles and radiates in the changing light of the eastern sun.
2535 Collingwood Blvd., Toledo
Sorrowful Mother Shrine
The Sorrowful Mother Shrine features 120 acres of wooded splendor, plus 40 points of interest including grottos, Sorrowful Mother Chapel, Pieta Outdoor Chapel, plus the 14 Stations of the Cross. Founded in 1850, the original shrine is the oldest place of pilgrimage dedicated to Mary in the Midwest.
Public and private pilgrimages are made year round. Cafeteria, picnic area and gift shop available. Handicap accessible. There is no cost, however freewill offerings are accepted.
4106 SR 269, Bellevue
African Safari Wildlife Park
Come for a day of fun, education and entertainment at African Safari drive-through safari, home of more than 400 of the world’s most beautiful and exotic animals.
Safari fun also includes camel and pony rides, entertaining and educational animal shows, pig races, a gift shop, picnic facilities, a snack bar and café and grill.
Open now through Nov. 28 (subject to change). Open daily rain or shine.
267 Lightner Rd., Port Clinton
With its tropical theme, Castaway Bay guests feel like they have landed on an island paradise. There are 237 hotel rooms and suites, including family-oriented units, an indoor waterpark with water activities for all ages, a day spa, fitness center, arcade, restaurants, retail shops and adjacent marina.
The 38,000-square-foot indoor waterpark features Rendezvous Run water coaster, a 100,000-gallon wave pool, three 35-foot-tall body slides, Lookout Lagoon Family Funhouse, Toddler’s Tide Pool and an 80,000-gallon activity pool.
2001 Cleveland Rd. (US 6), Sandusky
Cedar Point, Soak City & Challenge Park
Voted “The World’s Best Amusement Park” for 12 years running, Cedar Point has more than 150 rides, shows and attractions on 364 acres. The park features the world’s largest collection of roller coasters – 17 in all, along with 58 other rides.
New for 2010 is Shoot the Rapids, a thrilling water adventure for the whole family. Families with young children will find plenty to enjoy at Cedar Point, with four areas designed for little ones, including Planet Snoopy, with seven rides and special live appearances by Peanuts characters.
Park visitors also thrill to “All Wheels Extreme” performances by stunt bikers, skateboarders and rollerbladers; high-energy live musical shows; and “Starlight Experience,” which transforms the Frontier Trail into a sparkling wonderland of lights and music.
In September and October, HalloWeekends are another reason to scream at Cedar Point. Coaster thrills combine with spooky chills and monstrous fun for little ones in a family-friendly atmosphere.
Open daily through Sept. 6 and weekends Sept. 17-Oct. 31 for HalloWeekends.
Splish splash till your heart’s content at Soak City, an 18-acre waterpark next to Cedar Point. The park includes Splash Zone, a huge bucket and multi-story play area; Breakers Bay half-million gallon wave pool; rafting fun on Zoom Flume; body slides, tube slides, and inner tube rivers. Choo-Choo Lagoon and Tadpole Town offer big fun for little ones. For adults, there’s Bubbles Swim-Up Bar a special area with a hot tub. Soak City guests can also enjoy the sandy Cedar Point Beach on Lake Erie.
Located between Cedar Point and Soak City, Challenge Park activity complex features the RipCord Skycoaster, two high-speed go-kart tracks, two challenging 18-hole miniature golf courses and Skyscraper, a thrilling ride that spins riders in a circular motion 16 stories above the ground at speeds of 55 mph.
Guests can take a break in the arcade with state-of-the-art games and refuel at a food stand with hot dogs, popcorn and soft drinks. Admission to Cedar Point or Soak City not required. Each attraction has a separate fee.
Open daily through Sept. 6 and weekends through Oct. 31.
1 Cedar Point Dr., (off US 6), Sandusky
Ghostly Manor Thrill Center
Four attractions – one location.
Feel the chills and thrills of the top-10 rated Ghostly Manor Haunted House along with Ohio’s first and only XD 3D theater featuring three exhilarating motion rides, or just relax and enjoy roller skating, games and food while visiting Ghostly Gifts Halloween store. Open all year. Call for hours.
3319 Milan Rd. (US 250), Sandusky
The largest accessible glacial grooves in the world, these scars in the limestone bedrock were carved 18,000 years ago by the ice sheet that covered part of North America. Open year-round during daylight hours.
Division Street, Kelleys Island
Great Wolf Lodge
Great Wolf Lodge is an all-suites, full-service, family destination indoor waterpark resort featuring a Northwoods atmosphere and family-friendly amenities including a 41,000-square-foot indoor entertainment area featuring a grand-scale waterpark, spacious outdoor pool, arcade, fitness room, dedicated arts and crafts center for kids, family restaurants, confectionary, gift shop and performing Great Clock Towers.
600 Milan Rd. (US 250), Sandusky
800-641-WOLF (9653), greatwolf.com
Surf indoors 365 days a year or take on the Master Blaster uphill water roller coaster at America’s largest indoor waterpark.
Spa Kalahari and Salon, an African-themed restaurant and bar, Pottery Pizzazz, Candy Hut, Ivory Coast Lounge, Great Karoo Marketplace Restaurant, Zakanaka Kids, Madagascar Indoor Mini Golf, Safari Adventures and much more await. Catch some rays at Kalahari’s outdoor pool complex open through Labor Day (weather permitting). Call for day pass information.
7000 Kalahari Dr. (off US 250), Sandusky
877-KALAHARI (525.2427), KalahariResorts.com
Monsoon Lagoon Waterpark & Resort
Monsoon Lagoon waterpark and family entertainment complex features aquatic adventures including six waterslides, a lazy river, an adult pool with swim-up Tiki bar, and Adventure Island Tree House with 17 levels.
An 18-hole miniature golf course, bumper boats, grand prix cars and a gaming arcade round out a day of family fun.
Routes 2 & 269 (1530 N Danbury Rd), Marblehead
Prehistoric Forest and Mystery Hill
A walk-through dinosaur park and funhouse with mini-golf, water war games, picnic area, gift shop and daily or weekly cabin rentals. Open through Labor Day. This will be the last year to catch the dinosaurs, as the park will be closing after this season.
8232 East Harbor Rd. (SR 163 E), Marblehead
419-798-5230, mysteryhill.com or prehistoricforest.com
Seneca Caverns - Registered Natural Landmark
Go caving at “The Caviest Cave” where you can walk natural stone steps and pathways through “The Earth Crack,” be amazed by Ole Mist’ry River, and pan for gemstones at Seneca Mining Company.
Open through Labor Day, daily 9 a.m.–7 p.m.; May and September through mid-October, Saturday–Sunday 10 a.m.–5 p.m. or by appointment.
15248 E. Twp. Rd. 178 (off SR 269 S), Bellevue