3 DAYS OF FAMILY FUN ON OHIO’S NORTH COAST
Enjoy Maumee Bay State Park with the whole clan
Planning a getaway with your family does not have to involve a lot of time and money. Maumee Bay State Park Lodge, located on the shores of Lake Erie, is an ideal home base for a vacation with recreational and outdoor activities all in one place including swimming, biking, boating, beaches, and dozens of trails to explore.
Catch the sunrise over Lake Erie or take a bike ride on paved trails without ever leaving the grounds of the lodge. Most families enjoy the indoor/outdoor pools and board games in front of one of the large stone fireplaces during their stay.
The lodge is located close to the highway and just 20 minutes from Toledo, where you can spend a day enjoying family activities like eating hot dogs at the famous Tony Packo’s restaurant and taking in a Mud Hens game.
Here’s a three-day family itinerary for Maumee Bay State Park guaranteed to please everyone in your clan.
This is your day to take advantage of the outdoors in the beautiful Maumee Bay State Park natural setting that surrounds the lodge. Stroll the two-mile boardwalk through restored wetlands and keep an eye out for wildlife, including young owls in the trees. Stop by the Trautman Nature Center to examine and touch the stones and fur of animals that you might see during your visit to the area.
For a little family competition, challenge each other to a scavenger hunt while geocaching on the grounds. GPS units are available at the lodge.
Take a break for lunch at the Water’s Edge Restaurant with a locally sourced perch, hearty made-to-order sandwiches, or house-made French onion soup and salad.
Spend the afternoon enjoying the water near the lodge at the public beach or at the 57-acre inland lake. Both are located just steps from your room and offer a variety of activities. You can just relax at the beach and listen to the waves coming in from Lake Erie or join in a sand volleyball game. At the nearby inland lake you can spend the afternoon fishing or rent a canoe or paddleboat from the lodge and take advantage of the calm water.
Dinner at the Water’s Edge Restaurant gives you a front row seat to the stunning sunset over Lake Erie through large the glass windows that surround the restaurant.
Wind down your evening next to one of the large fireplaces in the lobby with an old-fashioned family board game available from the front desk.
Head out early to explore the city of Toledo with breakfast at Schmucker’s Restaurant, an old-fashioned family-owned diner that serves up hearty homemade meals to kick-start your day.
Then stop at the Toledo Zoo & Aquarium where you can explore the impressive animal exhibits like the Giraffe Experience at Tower Ridge. Watch the lowland gorillas in the Great Apes exhibit and get up close to hippos, bears, rhino, and elephants along the Tembo Trail. Be sure to check out the active penguins in the zoo’s aquarium. For an inside look, kids will love the behind-the-scenes tours and feedings of tortoises, giraffes, and coral reef animals.
Head to the Atomic Café at the Imagination Station science center where you will spend the afternoon. If weather permits, take lunch outside on the terrace for a nice view of the Maumee River that runs through Toledo.
Learn about the science behind electricity, your body, water, and more at the Imagination Station, a family-friendly museum that makes science, technology, engineering, and math fun and accessible. Enjoy a live demonstration and science experiments in the Extreme Science Theater or put your brain to work in the IDEA Lab where art and engineering come to life.
Enjoy dinner with a signature hot dog at the famous Tony Packo’s, a local institution, before you take in a night baseball game of the Toledo Mud Hens.
Head back to the Maumee Bay State Park Lodge where you have earned a good night’s sleep.
After breakfast at the Water’s Edge restaurant, enjoy a morning of recreational activities at Maumee Bay for some old-fashioned family fun before you head home.
The indoor and outdoor pools and splash area are popular for kids. There is a soft play area for young children and racquetball, wallyball, and shuffleboard for older kids and adults.
For more information and reservations, visit maumeebaystateparklodge.com or call 800-282-7275.
For more travel experiences available from Xanterra Parks & Resorts and its affiliated properties, visit xanterra.com/explore.
Written by: Anietra Hamper
Ohio resident Anietra Hamper is an award-winning travel writer who specializes in covering outdoor activities.