Thanksgiving 2016 at the Ohio State Park Lodges - Ohio State Park Lodges

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Gobble, Gobble! Enjoy Thanksgiving at the Ohio State Park Lodges

With their lavish buffets and bucolic settings, they offer a tranquil respite for holiday getaways.

Thanksgiving is a time for families to connect and enjoy time together while sharing great food and conversation.

The Ohio State Park Lodges have become retreats, and even reunion locations, for families at Thanksgiving. With buffet options at the lodges, you can leave the hassle of cooking and cleanup to someone else while you focus on spending time as a  family.

The lodges are located in various geographic regions in Ohio, but all within lovely state parks. So you can walk off Thanksgiving dinner by spending time outdoors enjoying the wildlife or by just enjoying quiet moments surrounded by nature.

MAUMEE BAY

Create a new Thanksgiving family tradition at Maumee Bay State Park Lodge as the seasons transition in northwestern Ohio. The sprawling grounds and lodge accommodations cater to family reunions and get-togethers. The lodge features plenty of space for families to spread out, yet still be together. Private two- and four-bedroom cabins — some with jacuzzi tubs — offer the ultimate retreat, while loft rooms in the lodge comfortably accommodate families with children. Maumee Bay even has pet-friendly accommodations.    

On Thanksgiving Day, convene your family in the lodge dining room from 10:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. to enjoy a buffet with all of the holiday favorites including a carving station. Reservations are required.

After dinner, take a walk along the two-mile interpretive boardwalk next to the lodge to look for wildlife that is settling in for winter or hike one of the many trails at the state park. You can spend time catching up with family members while sitting by the Lake Erie shore or from indoors on the comfortable couches in front of multiple fireplaces.

PUNDERSON MANOR

When your family visits Punderson Manor for Thanksgiving, it feels like coming home. The boutique-style accommodations and the stunning English Tudor style mansion provide the kind of warmth and comfort that makes family get-togethers so memorable.

Create your perfect kind of getaway with a choice of lodging options from Estate House rooms, traditional-style rooms in the lodge, or cabins that accommodate up to six people in a comfortable private space.

On Thanksgiving Day, bring the family together for the large buffet in the decorated dining room with the 150-acre glacial Punderson Lake in the background. The buffet is available from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Reservations are required.

After dinner, your family will enjoy taking a stroll down the hill to the boardwalk or hike one of the many trails as you take in the peacefulness of the property. You can also stay indoors with an in-room movie rental (available on-site) as you bond with family and make new Thanksgiving memories together.  

MOHICAN

Tucked away on 1,000 acres of Mohican State Park in central Ohio,  Mohican Lodge is a secluded way to put tranquility back into family bonding time. Enjoy the deer and other wildlife in the woods from your private patio or balcony during the morning sunrise. Then, gather with the rest of the family around the lodge fireplace as you play board games and share stories.

The Thanksgiving Day buffet with all of the holiday trimmings is a meal to remember. The buffet operates from 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  Reservations are required.

Fill the time after dinner with walks on one of the many hiking trails on the grounds or take a stroll to the gazebo overlooking Pleasant Hill Lake. For time indoors, challenge family members to ping-pong in the game room or relax at the indoor pool and sauna.

DEER CREEK

Creating new family memories during Thanksgiving is easy at Deer Creek Lodge with a spacious lodge and more than 3,100 acres of outdoors space to enjoy. Families of all sizes are accommodated with lodge rooms, private cabins, and pet-friendly accommodations.

Come together on Thanksgiving in the large dining room for a full buffet from 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Reservations are required.

Hiking trails on-site range from a ¼-mile loop suitable for a gentle stroll to a 2.5-mile trail through hills and ravines for more aggressive exercise. For indoor bonding, your family can enjoy the indoor pool or friendly competition in the game room. Some of your most memorable time will likely be spent curled up with a good book or conversation inside the lodge in a comfortable corner or near the fireplace.

SALT FORK

Start your Thanksgiving memories in Ohio’s largest state park, Salt Fork, with an abundance of natural scenery and areas in the lodge that cater to both a need for solitude and communal time with relatives.

Lodging options range from spacious king rooms and standard double rooms to bunk rooms, which are ideal for families. Lakeside and hillside cabins are popular for families looking for a little more privacy. There are also pet-friendly accommodations so Fido can join in the holiday gatherings as well.

The Thanksgiving Day buffet, from 11:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., is a full spread of all of your holiday favorites. Reservations are required.

Salt Fork Lodge hosts an after Thanksgiving Craft Show on-site, Nov. 25–26, featuring crafts for sale made by Ohio artists.

For more information on Ohio State Park Lodges, visit ohiostateparklodges.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.