Toledo Museum of Art
Experience one of the finest and most diverse collections of artwork in the country at the Toledo Museum of Art. 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, located 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 more. While you’re there, dine in the Museum Café and shop in the Museum Store and Collector’s Corner.
2445 Monroe St., Toledo
419-255-8000 or 800-644-6862, www.toledomuseum.org
The Toledo Zoo is recognized as 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 the new Tembo Trail, which opened in May.
For the holidays, the Toledo Zoo is transformed into a winter wonderland with The Lights Before Christmas! –featuring over one million lights, hundreds of lighted animal images, ice carving and all sorts of Yuletide fun.
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. Defy gravity as you ride the High Wire Cycle 20 feet above the atrium; or visit the Learning Worlds designed to focus on a specific science genre – Energy Factory, Mind Zone, Water Works, Little Kidspace and more.
The newest exhibit, the highly active Eat It Up!, combines technology, nutrition information and human physiology to tell the story of how daily choices can affect the body. Also, check out “Grow U” – an interactive exhibition that celebrates the world of agriculture and farming.
A number of special exhibits and events are planned throughout the year.
One Discovery Way, Toledo
Enjoy a cruise on the waters of the Maumee on the Sandpiper, a 100-passenger canal boat replica that takes passengers 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 Picnic Lunch Cruises, Discover the River Cruises, Friday Night Family Cruises, Cigar Cruises, Fall Color Cruises, Sunset and City Lights Cruises and Halloween Boo Cruises for Kids. Open May through October.
Jefferson Ave. & N. Summit Street, (Promenade Park), Toledo
Toledo Botanical Garden
Originally comprised 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 living museum for plants, Toledo Botanical Garden’s notable gardens include shade, perennial, English border, aquatic, herb, rose, dahlia and grass, among others. Visitors are invited to enjoy walking, birdwatching, picnicking, reading, photography, drawing, or simple relaxation amidst the beauty of nature.
Special events include the Crosby Festival of the Arts, summertime jazz concerts on Thursday evenings and Heralding the Holidays (Dec. 7-9), a seasonal celebration showcasing the numerous resident artistic guilds.
5403 Elmer Dr. Toledo
Tony Packo’s Café
Known for its one-of-a-kind Hungarian hot dogs, Tony Packo’s has been serving authentic “Old Country” food since 1932. Packo’s – a Toledo tradition – is also famous for its hot dog buns signed by movie stars, other celebrities and U .S. Presidents and for its 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.
1902 Front St., Toledo
The Butterfly House
Hundreds of live butterflies from North America, Central America and Asia can be seen in a beautiful indoor garden setting. Open May 1 through Sept. 30 and weekends in October.
11455 Obee Rd., Whitehouse
Hollywood Casino Toledo
Penn National Gaming extends the red carpet to Hollywood Casino Toledo, located just off I-75 on the banks of the Maumee River.
The casino, which opened in May, offers 2,000 slot machine and table game positions, a sports bar, restaurants and an entertainment lounge.
777 Hollywood Blvd., Toledo
Sundance Kid Drive-In
The drive-in, located across from Pearson Park, features four first-run films on two screens April through October. The 50’s-style drive-in has all the nostalgia and the best in FM stereo sound. The concession stand will make your mouth water with all your favorites and the Butch Cassidy Canteen, an outside concession wagon, serves up carnival favorites.
Admission prices are $8.50 per adult and $3.50 each for children 6-12. (Children ages 5 and under are free.)
4500 Navarre, 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.
Pearson includes picnic areas, a playground, ball diamonds, a soccer field, tennis courts, walking trails, historical WPA buildings and bridges and more. Pioneers of all ages are invited to visit the Johlin Black Swamp Cabin, and get a glimpse into life in 1867.
Metroparks of the Toledo Area
• Maumee Bay State Park, 1400 State Park Rd., in Oregon and Maumee Bay Lodge and Conference Center, 1750 State Park Rd., offer not only the finest of recreational facilities but also a unique natural environment created by the convergence of the land and Lake Erie.
The balance of recreational facilities with the natural world gives visitors a diverse experience in a coastal environment.
The lodge, cottages and golf course are nestled among scenic meadows, wet woods and lush marshes teeming with wildlife. Visitors can enjoy a two-mile elevated boardwalk plus an observation tower, lakeshore and inland beaches, a marina, a golf course, campground sites, a sledding hill and more.
1-800-282-7275 (Lodge reservations)
419-836-7758 (Park office)
• 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.
William Henry Harrison Park, located in Pemberville along the Portage River, offers picnic areas, an open-air shelter, playground, hiking trails, and a large open field for a variety of uses.
• 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 electric 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.
• East Harbor State Park, 1169 N. Buck Rd off SR 269 in Marblehead, on the shores of Lake Erie. The park has unlimited opportunities for outdoor recreation. Boating, fishing, swimming, picnicking and camping are popular while nature enthusiasts will enjoy the abundance of waterfowl, shorebirds and other species of wildlife found in the park’s scenic wetlands.
• Marblehead Lighthouse State Park, 110 Lighthouse Dr., Marblehead. One of Lake Erie’s best-known and most-photographed landmarks, the lighthouse is one of Ohio’s newest state parks. The grounds surrounding the lighthouse offer excellent picnicking and views of Lake Erie, Sandusky Bay, Kelleys Island and South Bass Island. A museum, located in the Keeper’s House and operated by the Marblehead Lighthouse Historical Society, is open whenever the tower is open.
Lighthouse tours are offered on summer weekdays May 29 through Aug. 31 from noon to 3:45 p.m.; Sundays 4 to 5:45 p.m. June 3 through Aug. 26 and the second Saturday of the month June through October from 11 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.
419-734-4424 or www.dnr.state.oh.us/parks
A hidden treasure located in Elmore, the Schedel Arboretum has more than 17 scenic acres that border along the Portage River. See gardens of nearly 20,000 annuals, roses, perennials, irises and lilies, including a Japanese garden complete with Torii, waterfall, pools, lanterns, bridges and a pagoda. A number of special exhibits and events are planned throughout the year, including exhibits in the Trellis Gallery, which has become a showcase for local artists.
Group tours of the grounds and mansion are available by appointment.
Regular hours May-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, at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Genoa is constructed of “tufa,” fossilized vegetation found in the “blue hole” at Castalia, 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 is a place of prayer, quiet reflection and healing. All faiths are welcome. The garden and well are open during daylight hours.
655 S. Coy Rd., Oregon, 419-697-7742
Queen of the Most Holy Rosary Cathedral, the primary church of Roman Catholic Diocese of Toledo, is Spanish Plateresque in design. Visitors will be inspired by the graceful beauty of its piers and arches; by the richly decorated nave ceiling with scenes from the 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 features 120 acres of wooded splendor, plus 40 points of interest including grottos, Sorrowful Mother Chapel, Pieta Outdoor Chapel, plus the Stations of the Cross. Founded in 1850, the original shrine is the oldest place of pilgrimage dedicated to Mary in the Midwest.
Cafeteria and Churchill’s gift shop available. Handicap accessible.
4106 SR 269, Bellevue
African Safari Park
Come for a day of fun, education and entertainment at African Safari drive-through safari, a 100-acre preserve that’s home to more than 400 of the world’s most beautiful and exotic animals.
Safari fun also includes educational and entertaining animal shows and pig races, a gift shop, picnic facilities, a snack bar and café and grill.
Open daily, rain or shine through Dec. 2 (subject to change).
267 S. Lightner Rd., Port Clinton
Voted the “World’s Best Amusement Park” for 14 years running, Cedar Point features more than 150 rides, shows, and attractions.
New for 2012 is “Dinosaurs Alive! on Adventure Island,” an incredible display of 50 moving and roaring life-size animatronic dinosaurs (additional fee required).
For the younger crowd, there are four delightful kids’ areas with rides and live appearances by PEANUTS™ characters and kid-sized coasters.
Award-winning entertainment includes three high-energy live musical shows, an ice-skating extravaganza starring Snoopy, “All Wheels Extreme” exhilarating stunt bikers, and the enchanting “Starlight Experience,” which transforms the Frontier Trail into a sparkling wonderland of lights and music at night.
In September and October, HalloWeekends offer plenty of reasons to scream.
1 Cedar Point Dr., Sandusky
Experience a taste of the tropics at Cedar Point’s Castaway Bay. Guests will feel like they have just landed on an island paradise upon entering this lush indoor waterpark resort that features 237 hotel rooms and suites including family-oriented units, a 38,000-square-foot indoor waterpark with water activities for all ages, a day spa, fitness center, arcade, a craft and child activity center, restaurants, retail shops and adjacent marina.
2001 Cleveland Rd. (US 6), Sandusky
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. Open through-Sept. 3.
Located between Cedar Point and Soak City, Challenge Park activity complex features the RipCord Skycoaster, two high-speed go-kart tracks, two 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.
Admission to Cedar Point or Soak City not required. Each attraction has a separate fee.
Open daily through Sept. 3 and weekends through Oct. 28.
1 Cedar Point Dr., (off US 6), Sandusky
Ghostly Manor Thrill Center
Ghostly Manor Thrill Center is a year-round, multi-attraction amusement center that offers thrills and expanded holiday entertainment.
Experience the scariest haunted house you will ever encounter, ride the fastest virtual roller coaster in Ohio, try your hand at a one-of-a-kind interactive 3-D blacklight mini-golf journey, or get your heart pumping even more with a whirl around the skating rink. Visit the Winter Wonderland Walk Thru in December. Open year-round. Call for hours.
3319 Milan Rd. (US 250), Sandusky
The world’s largest accessible glacial grooves, 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.
920 Division St., 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, kids’ arts and crafts center, family restaurants, gift shop and performing Great Clock Tower.
4600 Milan Rd. (US 250), Sandusky
800-641-WOLF (9653), www.greatwolf.com
Once you cross over the bridge, you’ll feel a world away at Kalahari resort.
Surf indoors 365 days a year or take on the Zip Coaster uphill water roller coaster at America’s largest indoor waterpark.
Spa Kalahari and Salon, 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 from Memorial Day through Labor Day (weather permitting). Call for day pass information.
7000 Kalahari Dr. (off US 250), Sandusky
Monsoon Lagoon Waterpark
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.
Miniature golf, bumper boats, grand prix cars and a gaming arcade round out a day of family fun. Open May 26-Sept. 3.
Routes 2 & 269 (1530 N Danbury Rd), Marblehead.
Go caving at “The Caviest Cave” where you can walk natural stone steps and pathways through “the earth crack” and past the Ole Mist’ry River. Pan for gemstones at Seneca Mining Company.
Open Memorial Day through Labor Day, daily 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and September through mid-October, Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. or by appointment.
15248 E. Twp. Rd. 178 (off SR 269 S), Bellevue
Johnson’s Island Confederate Officers Prison Cemetery
The historic cemetery is the final resting place of more than 200 of the 9,000 Confederate soldiers once imprisoned here. Open year-round, daily dawn-dusk.
Gaydos Drive, Marblehead
Lakeside, the Chautauqua on Lake Erie, is a family destination that has pioneered the act of nurturing mind, body, and spirit for more than 135 years. Lakeside offers spiritual, educational, cultural, and recreational opportunities. Groups welcome year-round. ADA accessible.
236 Walnut Ave., Lakeside
Lake Erie Islands
• Put-in-Bay/South Bass Island – The Victorian-era village of Put-in-Bay on South Bass Island has been attracting visitors for nearly 150 years. Hundreds of thousands travel here annually to enjoy family fun activities, outdoor recreation and a large variety of special events.
Many start out with a narrated tour on the Island Tour Train. For those wishing to go at their own pace there are golf carts, scooters and bicycles to rent. Families will find plenty to keep the kids entertained including a butterfly house, miniature golf, gem mining, cave tours, arcades, a carousel and go-kart racing. History enthusiasts won’t want to miss Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial.
• Middle Bass Island – One of the three Bass Islands, named for the abundance of smallmouth bass in Lake Erie’s Western Basin, this 750-acre island is home to about 30 year-round residents, although that number tops 1,000 between May and October.
Originally named “Island of Flowers” by the French, Middle Bass Island is a naturalist’s paradise with outstanding birdwatching opportunities, especially at the Kuehnle Wildlife Area.
Middle Bas Island State Park includes a 180-slip marina, new harbor master facility and visitors center and primitive campground.
There are a small number of shops and restaurants available.
• Kelleys Island – The largest American freshwater island on Lake Erie, Kelleys Island is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream, with 600 acres of Ohio State Park land, 17 miles of beautiful coastline, miles of nature and hiking trails, a fossil-filled quarry, wetlands, and wildflowers. Located in the western basin of Lake Erie, the island’s scenery can be discovered by foot, bike, golf cart or kayak.
Abundant waterfowl can be seen (making this a popular spot for birding enthusiasts) and each year in September, thousands of monarch butterflies pass through.
The Jet-Express offers high-speed passenger ferry service from Port Clinton to downtown Kelleys Island and Put-in-Bay. Ride in the comfortable passenger cabin or on the open-air sundeck. Late-night service, evening discounts, family-friendly-child rates and group tour rates available.
3 N. Monroe St., Port Clinton
Passenger/vehicle ferries operate round-trip between the northern tip of the Catawba Peninsula and Put-in-Bay or Middle Bass Island.
Summer trips to Put-in-Bay run every half hour with limited free parking and value/group fares available. ADA accessible.
5174 E. Water St. (SR 53 North), Port Clinton