We want to thank our sponsors/hosts of this trip and for providing us with admissions, overnight stays, etc to facilitate our weekend trip.
We recently got to visit Put-in-Bay, Ohio for the first time ever and we took the kids for our weekend trip. For us, traveling with the kids gives us a great chance to get away from the routine of homelife, away from any stresses, and to see and try new things. I want the kids to love traveling, so taking them on little weekend trips like this is a perfect introduction to longer vacations.
When some think of Put-in-Bay (we’ll shorten it to PIB from here on out), they immediately think of it as a place to party, and they are right, but there’s so much more to the island! Yes, you might encounter a bachelorette party or a guy’s weekend, but during our visit which was all day Saturday, overnight and all day Sunday, I did not see a single thing that was offensive. We DID see a decked out golf cart for a bachelorette party, but it was tasteful and just covered in pink. Plus, the kids wouldn’t have understood if there happened to be some… colorful… decorations haha!
I would absolutely take the kids back to PIB for a weekend. Considering how much fun they had, and how much you can do during the day, you won’t even be out when the sun starts to go down and the nightlife starts to kick up.
During our visit, we had some serious fun, so I wanted to share some of the best options for family fun in Put-in-Bay!
Renting a golf cart as your mode of transportation
It seems totally silly, but the kids absolutely LOVED getting to ride in a golf cart and ended up fighting over who sat where. If they could have just had snacks and gone for a ride all day long, I think they would have! There are many places to rent a golf cart, but for convenience, when taking the Miller Boatline Ferry, you walk just a couple of minutes to E’s Golf Cart Rental. We packed light for the weekend, just two backpacks, which were easy to carry around and didn’t take up room on the golf cart.
Playgrounds and beach glass hunting
At South Bass Island State Park there is both a playground and shoreline to explore for beach glass. The kids started off just wanting to throw rocks into the water, which is certainly fun and you can make some big splashes, but I preferred digging down and finding little gems of broken glass, softened by the waves of the water.
We spent hours doing this and the kids even got involved because it truly is treasure hunting! Pack a lunch or some snacks and enjoy watching boats go by while you find multiple pieces in varying colors.
Another playground awaits you at DeRivera Park, right in the middle of the downtown action. This park is big, and we were lucky with our timing because we got to explore a craft/vendor fair AND a parade! Much of the playground is shaded too, so it’s a great place to relax while the kids play and a great way to just people watch while you decide on where to eat!
Perry’s Cave and Family Fun Center
At Perry’s Cave, you can explore a real cave, find your way through a maze, play a round of mini-golf, climb a rock wall, do some gem mining, and see hundreds and hundreds of butterflies in the butterfly house! The kids really liked the maze, but I thought the butterfly house was beautiful! The gift shop was also pretty neat, with unique gifts and butterfly trinkets.
Chocolates and Candy
We have this sort of family tradition to find a candy store, so I was really excited to learn that PIB has a GREAT candy store right downtown, PIB Candy Bar, and right next to an incredible wooden merry-go-round! For amazing chocolates and a little chocolate museum, visit the Chocolate Cafe on Catawba Ave – you won’t regret it!
For us, this visit was pretty laid back with no set schedule or plan of what we wanted to do. The weather was great the entire weekend, the ferry ride to and from were smooth and a great way to start the trip and a relaxing way to end it. Would I take the kids again? Absolutely! We aren’t the only ones who know PIB is family friendly – the playground at DeRivera Park was PACKED with kids running around and playing! If you’re looking for somewhere new to go, do not skip Put-in-Bay, Ohio!