Warm up winter nights with hot drinks in Ohio’s Lake Erie Shores & Islands #HotDrinks

What’s better on a cool Ohio evening than warming up with a toasty beverage? Warm your soul with a selection of sizzling drinks.

Drink: Gingerbread Man

Gingerbread Man drink from Crosswinds in Port Clinton, Ohio.

Gingerbread Man drink from Crosswinds in Port Clinton, Ohio.

Can’t catch me, I’m the Gingerbread Man! Enjoy this sweet mix of Fireball, buttershots, Frangelico hazelnut liqueur, and coffee topped with whipped cream and ground nutmeg at Crosswinds in Port Clinton.

Drink: Mayan Hot Chocolate

The first chocolate beverage is believed to have been created by the Mayans more than 2,000 years ago. Celebrate the now-popular American drink’s roots with the Mayan Hot Chocolate which includes a spicy cayenne pepper kick at Common Grounds Coffee in Port Clinton.

Drink: Holiday Blend Coffee

Celebrate the holiday season with a festive blend of toasted chestnuts and warm cinnamon, one of two new brews available at Mr. Smith’s Coffeehouse in Sandusky. (The other is Cranberry Crème.)

Drink: The Duck

Not technically a warm drink, The Duck is one of Catawba Island’s specialty crafted beers. It is a smoked black lager brewed with a generous amount of beach wood smoked malt. Enjoy The Duck, the Cookie Cutter Christmas Ale, or a number of other fine quality brews at the Catawba Island Brewing Co.

Drink: Vanilla Chai Tea & Tuaca

Try this exotic and sweet vanilla Chai tea with Tuaca, an Italian liqueur, and whipped cream at Touché/Chez Francois in Vermilion.

Drink: Italian Coffee

For another warm drink with Italian flair, try the Italian Coffee at Ciao Bella Ristorante Italiano in Port Clinton. Ciao Bella’s Italian Coffee includes Tia Maria, Baileys, Grand Marnier, Frangelico, Dark Crème de Cacao, and coffee, all topped with whipped cream. Enjoy with a cannoli!

Drink: Bloody Mary

Bloody Mary from Volstead Bar in Sandusky, Ohio.

Bloody Mary from Volstead Bar in Sandusky, Ohio.

Also, not a hot beverage, but a spicy Bloody Mary certainly will heat things up! Get this tasty concoction of tomato juice, vodka, and spices at Volstead Bar in Sandusky, known for their “Bloody Sundays.”

Drink: Irish Coffee

The December drink of the month at Cleats Club Seat Grille in Marblehead features Irish coffee, St. Brendan’s Irish Cream and Jameson Irish Whiskey topped with whipped cream. The Nutty Irishman at Bay Harbor Inn in Sandusky includes Baileys, Frangelico, coffee, and whipped cream.

Drink: The Milky Way

For those who prefer their after-dinner-drinks on the sweeter side, try the Milky Way at Huron’s Black Bear Saloon at Sawmill Creek Resort. The Milky Way offers caramel, chocolate syrup, espresso, and steamed milk. Or, tackle the Black Forest with cherry syrup, chocolate syrup, and espresso.

Drink: Mulled Wine 

While we can’t find anyone serving this traditional warmed up wine locally, pick up a bottle of your favorite fruity red from one of the many wineries on the Lake Erie Shores & Islands Wine Trail and try making it at home; or, just warm up with a glass by the fireplace.

So, what will you be drinking to keep warm this winter?

Ohio’s Lake Erie Shores & Islands Winter Checklist

Start out with a plan and try to get as many Lake Erie Shores & Islands winter must-do’s checked off your list before it’s too late.

The Great Outdoors Lake Erie Ice Fishing

  • Cut a hole, catch a fish
  • Go sledding
  • Take a hike
  • Go ice skating
  • Ski, cross country-style
  • Visit a snow-covered lighthouse
  • Go snowshoeing

The Great Indoors Fireplace in Ohio's Lake Erie Shores & Islands

  • Splish splash at an indoor waterpark
  • Visit a museum
  • Cozy up in front of the fireplace
  • Warm up with a hot drink
  • Enjoy a theatre performance
  • Visit a family fun center

Need some guidance on how and where to get these activities done? The Lake Erie Shores & Islands Welcome Centers are here to help. Give one of our friendly, local travel counselors a call (800.255.3743 or 800.441.1271) and we’ll point you in the right direction.

Merry-Go-Round Museum Carousel Animals Visit the White House

The Merry-Go-Round Museum in conjunction with Carousel World LP and the Charlotte Dinger Collection is proud to announce participation in the famous White House Christmas Tour.

carousel, merry-go-round museum, white house christmas display

Four carousel deer from the Merry-Go-Round Museum in Sandusky, Ohio are on display in the East Room of the White House for their 2014 Christmas Display.

As cornerstones in the East Room of the White House, the four carousel figures are prominently displayed within the delightful winter wonderland created by volunteers and designed with the First Lady, Michelle Obama.  More than 65,000 visitors are expected to tour the White House during this season.

Originally from Marianne Stevens’ collection, the E. Joy Morris elk stander is the largest of the carousel animals to be on display through the holiday season. Two of the deer are from the Charlotte Dinger collection, one is the Gustav Dentzel deer featured on the first set of carousel stamps issued in 1988. Rounding out the display as a Gustav Denztel deer from 1905.

Watch as the carousel animals are prepared for their visit to the White House.

December Holiday Event Highlights in Ohio’s Lake Erie Shores & Islands

Firelands Festival of LightsNow – January 4, 2015
Hayes Train Special Exhibit
Tues-Sat 9 am-5 pm, Sun 12-5 pm (closed Christmas & New Year’s Day)
Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center, Hayes and Buckland aves., Fremont

Now – January 3, 2015
Northern Lights & Winter Brights
5-10 pm
Sandusky Bay Pavilion, 605 E. Water St., Sandusky

Now – December 31, 2014
Christmas Light Show Spectacular
6 pm-12 am
Ghostly Manor Thrill Center, 3319 Milan Rd. (US 250), Sandusky

Now – December 31, 2014
Firelands Festival of Lights
5-10 pm
Sawmill Creek Resort, 400 Sawmill Creek Dr., Huron

Now – December 24, 2014
Photos with Santa
Sandusky Mall, 4314 Milan Rd. (US 250), Sandusky

December 5-7, 12-14, 16, and 19-22, 2014
Visit Santa in the Cookie House
5-8 pm
Santa’s Cookie House, Washington St., Sandusky

December 5, 2014
Holiday Open House
10 am-12 pm
Follett House Museum, 404 Wayne St. (off US 6), Sandusky

December 6-7, 13-14, and 20-21, 2014
Arts Guild of Vermilion Winter Holiday Art Show & Sale
12-4 pm
Main Street Vermilion, 685 Main St. (SR 60), Vermilion

December 6, 13, and 20, 2014
Visit with Santa
11 am-3 pm
Exchange Park, Vermilion

December 6, 2014
Gingerbread House Workshop
10 am-4 pm
Milan Museum, 10 Edison Dr. (off SR 113), Milan
$10/entry

December 6, 2014
Gingerbread Lighthouse Workshop
10 am-1 pm
Maritime Museum of Sandusky, 125 Meigs St., Sandusky
$20/person (lighthouse kit), $6/child

December 6, 2014
Holiday Homecoming: “If You Just Believe!”
8 pm
Sandusky State Theatre, 107 Columbus Ave., Sandusky
$10/person

December 6, 2014
Main Street Port Clinton Community Christmas
Downtown, Port Clinton

December 6, 2014
Olde Fashion Christmas
4:15 pm
Adolphus Kraemer Park, Downtown Oak Harbor

December 7-8, 2014
Christmas Candlelight Tour of Homes
6-9 pm
Various locations, Sandusky
$10/person

December 7, 2014
Annual Holiday Open House
12-4 pm
Black Swamp Bird Observatory, 13551 W. SR 2, Oak Harbor

December 7, 2014
Holiday Open House
12-4 pm
Sportsmans Migratory Bird Center at Magee Marsh, 13229 W. SR 2, Oak Harbor

December 7, 2014
Holiday Open House
12-4 pm
Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, 14000 W. SR 2, Oak Harbor

December 12, 2014
Holiday Hullabaloo with Mike Willis
8 pm
The Listening Room at OurGuest Inn & Suites, 220 E. Perry St. (SR 163), Port Clinton
$10 plus 2-drink minimum

December 13 & 20, 2014
Christmas Winterfest
9 am-2 pm
Erie Islands Resort & Marina, 4495 W. Darr-Hopfinger Rd., Port Clinton

December 14, 2014
A Broadway Christmas
4 pm
Sandusky State Theatre, 107 Columbus Ave., Sandusky
$29-32/adult, $13/student

December 16, 2014
Santa’s Reindeer Night
5-8 pm
Washington Park Cookie House, 200 Washington St., Sandusky

December 19-21, 2014
Scrooge: The Musical
Fri-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm
Sandusky State Theatre, 107 Columbus Ave., Sandusky

December 21, 2014
Santa’s Arrival
11 am-2 pm
Liberty Aviation Museum, 3515 E. State Rd., Port Clinton

December 27-28, 2014
Christmas in the Village
Sat 1-9 pm, Sun 1-5 pm
Historic Lyme Village, 5001 SR 4, Bellevue

For a complete list of events, please visit SHORESandISLANDS.com.

 

What We’re Thankful For… Top Seven #LakeErieLove Edition

In this season of thankfulness, we at Lake Erie Shores & Islands wish to share the top seven things for which we are thankful this year. Cedar Point

Indoor Waterparks – Polar vortex? We’re too busy splashing around in 80° temperatures year-round at five indoor waterparks to notice.

Skylines – Big cities may brag on their skyline views, but our skylines are pretty amazing. Heck, we’ve got the third-tallest national monument and the “Roller Coaster Capital of America” right in our backyard!

Migration – Thank you nature, for giving us the spring and fall migrations so we can enjoy so many different species of birds. Our marshes are prime spots for watching migratory birds, and warblers and shorebirds are particular favorites. Our birding is so spectacular in fact that Magee Marsh Wildlife Area was recently chosen as “Best Birdwatching” spot in a USA Today reader’s poll!

Islands – Trust me, we know how lucky we are to be able to “head to the islands” whenever we get a whim. Yep, we live in the Midwest and we know how to celebrate island-style.

Festivals – In the Lake Erie Shores & Islands we are never at a loss for reasons to enjoy festival food. We celebrate walleye and perch, melons, rivers and creeks, baskets, and woollybears.

Reminders of our Past – Native son and prolific inventor Thomas A. Edison once said, “It’s obvious that we don’t know one millionth of one percent about anything.” We can all afford to learn from our past and Lake Erie Shores & Islands is home to a number of historical sites and museums where we can do just that..

Lake Erie Deep Freezes – When we are affected by the deep freeze of winter, we are thankful because that means abundant ice fishing and a fantastic frozen-on-the-vine harvest for local ice wines!

Let the Holiday Shopping Begin! #KeepItLocal

A great way to buy local this holiday season is by participating in Small Business Saturday on November 29. Held between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday encourages shoppers to do a little holiday shopping at local hometown businesses. You get high-quality items with a personal touch while supporting locally family-owned businesses such as these distinctive shops below.

BrummersBrummer’s Chocolates – Candy makers since 1904, this store features homemade chocolates, candies, a large selection of sugar-free treats, many gift items, and a large selection of Polish pottery.

Christi’s Just for Ewe – Seven shops in one stop! Try on wonderful jewelry, apparel, and shoes; taste gourmet goodies, including homemade fudge, soups, teas, and coffees. Try your hand at knitting, crocheting, spinning, or weaving in the beautiful yarn shop.

Decidedly Different - This cozy coffee, tea, and gift emporium offers Vera Bradley handbags and accessories, beach glass jewelry, unique gifts, and baby items.

Frosty Bar - Put a little island in your life! Shop the online gift shop for Frosty Bar souvenirs, gift certificates, apparel, and more.

Liberty Aviation Museum Gift Shop – This museum store offers one-of-a-kind items and artwork including plane models, books, clothing, and memorabilia of both vintage aircraft and Ford Tri-Motor aviation.

Merry-Go-Round Museum Gift Shop – At this gift shop you can find many unique and interesting gifts including a carousel leg lamp, similar to the leg lamp made famous in the movie “A Christmas Story.”

Sawmill Creek Shops – This restored 1800’s barn offers a variety of upscale fashions for men and women, home accessories, gifts, and gourmet food items.

Shirt Shack – Shirt Shack offers the area’s largest selection of souvenir t-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, and collectibles. Lake Erie Love t-shirts are also available for purchase.

The Olive SceneThe Olive Scene – Offering over 50 different types of olive oils and balsamic vinegars; the olive oils are pressed to enhance both flavor and nutrition. Rounding out the experience is a selection of specialty foods, cruets, handmade pottery, and other items.

Tre Sorelle Cioccolato – Enjoy premium chocolates made by hand in an on-site professional kitchen. Ingredients are sourced locally when possible, with no added preservatives. One local ingredient source is Firelands Winery – Tre Sorelle is known for its wine-infused chocolates and truffles.

Vine & Olive – Vine & Olive is a specialty Mediterranean store featuring a selection of baked goods, imported market items, wines, and prepared foods.

November Event Highlights in Ohio’s Lake Erie Shores & Islands

Horse-drawn Trolley

Nov 4, 2014
Critters of the Night Hike
6 pm
Osborn MetroPark – Frost Center, 3910 Perkins Ave., Huron
419.625.7783

Nov 5, 2014; Nov 12, 2014; Nov 19, 2014; Nov 26, 2014
Family Fun Night
4-8 pm
Ghostly Manor Thrill Center, 3319 Milan Rd. (US 250), Sandusky
$5/person
419.626.4467

Nov 6 – 9, 2014; Nov 13 – 16, 2014
“Fiddler on the Roof”
Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm
Playmaker’s Civic Theatre, 604 W. 6th St., Port Clinton
419.734.5044

Nov 7, 2014
“Toast the Season” Walk Around Wine Tasting
6 pm
1812 Food & Spirits, 102 Madison St., Port Clinton
$30/person
419.960.7588

Nov 7 – 9, 2014
Annual Candelight Open House
Fri-Sat 10 am-8 pm, Sun 10 am-6 pm
Christi’s Just For Ewe, 9529 E. Harbor Rd. (SR 163), Marblehead
Free
419.798.5151

Nov 7, 2014
The Ohio State University Marching Band Concert
8 pm
Hoover Auditorium, 115 Third St., Lakeside
$10/person
419.707.9492

Nov 8, 2014
1st Milan Holly Run
8:30 am
Milan Town Hall, 24 Park St., Milan
$25-35/person

Nov 8, 2014
Annual Ohio State V. Michigan Earth to Table Dinner
7 pm
Culinary Vegetable Institute, 12304 SR 13, Milan
$105/person (plus tax and gratuity)
419.499.7500

Nov 8 – 9, 2014; Nov 15 – 16, 2014; Nov 22 – 23, 2014; Nov 29 – 30, 2014
Arts Guild of Vermilion Winter Holiday Art Show & Sale
12-4 pm
Main Street Vermilion, 685 Main St. (SR 60), Vermilion
440.963.0772

Nov 8, 2014; Nov 15, 2014; Nov 22, 2014; Nov 29, 2014
Live Entertainment
6:30-9:30 pm
Quarry Hill Winery & Orchard, 8403 Mason Rd., Berlin Heights
419.588.3179

Nov 8, 2014
Shipwrecks & Scuba Conference
Daytime programs: 9:30 am-4:30 pm
Sawmill Creek Resort, 400 Sawmill Creek Dr., Huron
$30-65/person
440.930.2477

 Nov 9, 2014
“The Stage Door Canteen Show”
3 pm
Norwalk High School Performing Arts Center, 350 Shady Lane Dr., Norwalk
$15/person
419.668.1641

Nov 9, 2014
2nd Annual Kelleys Island Half Marathon
11 am
Kelleys Island Venture Resort, 441 W. Lakeshore Dr., Kelleys Island
419.746.2900

Nov 9, 2014
Fall Food Challenge 2014
2 pm
Cleats Club Seat Grill, 6801 E. Harbor Rd. (SR 163), Marblehead
$8/adult, $5/child (9 and under)
419.734.9464

Nov 9, 2014
Stars and Stripes
7 pm
Sandusky State Theatre, 107 Columbus Ave., Sandusky
$29-32/adult, $13/student
877.626.1950

Nov 10, 2014
Anna Nalick
8 pm
The Listening Room at OurGuest Inn & Suites, 220 E. Perry St. (SR 163), Port Clinton
$20 plus two-drink minimum
419.734.7050

Nov 13, 2014
California Wine Dinner
6:30 pm
Ciao Bella, 3880 Harbor Light Landing Dr., Port Clinton
$65/person (plus tax & gratuity)
419.734.2426

Nov 14 – 16, 2014; Nov 21 – 22, 2014
Four Tickets to Christmas
Fri-Sat 7:30 pm, Sun 2:30 pm
Hirt Theatre at Bellevue Society for the Arts, 205 Maple St., Bellevue
419.484.2787

Nov 15, 2014 – Dec 24, 2014
Photos with Santa
Hours vary
Sandusky Mall, 4314 Milan Rd. (US 250), Sandusky
419.626.8574 ext. 121

Nov 15, 2014
Tastes, Tapas, and Tunes
7 pm
Miller Nature Preserve, 2739 Center Rd., Avon
$35/person, $60/couple
800.227.6972

Nov 16, 2014
Auto Tour
8 am-4 pm
Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, 14000 W. SR 2, Oak Harbor
Free
419.898.0014

Nov 21, 2014
Jazz @ Eight Concert Series
8 pm
Sandusky State Theatre, 107 Columbus Ave., Sandusky
$10/person
877.626.1950

Nov 22, 2014
Historical Program: ‘The Underground Railroad & Abolitionists in Northern Ohio/Oberlin’
1 pm
Maritime Museum of Sandusky, 125 Meigs St., Sandusky
Free with admission to the museum
419.624.0274

 Nov 22 – 23, 2014
Mulberry Creek Holiday Open House
Sat 10 am-5 pm, Sun 10 am-4 pm
Mulberry Creek Herb Farm, 3312 Bogart Rd., Huron
Free
419.433.6126

Nov 26, 2014
Twelve Beers of Christmas
6-8 pm
Chez François/Touché Wine Bar, 555 Main St., Vermilion
$50/person
440.967.0630

Nov 27, 2014
Bountiful Thanksgiving Feast
11 am-3 pm
Sawmill Creek Resort – Wilderness Hall, 400 Sawmill Creek Dr. (off US 6), Huron
800.729.6455

Nov 27, 2014
Thanksgiving Day Buffet
Kalahari Resort and Convention Center, 7000 Kalahari Dr. (off US 250), Sandusky
419.433.5543

Nov 27, 2014
Thanksgiving Day Buffet
11:30 am-5 pm
Quaker Steak & Lube, 5150 Liberty Ave. (US 6), Vermilion
$19.99/adult, $16.99/senior (ages 65+), $12.99/tweener (ages 9-12), $6.99/child (8 and under)
440.967.3724

Nov 27, 2014
Thanksgiving Day Feast
11:30 am-4:30 pm
1812 Spirits and Food, 102 Madison St., Port Clinton
$25.95/adult, $12.95/child (10 & under)
419.960.7588

Nov 28, 2014
Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony
6 pm
Downtown, Sandusky
Free
419.627.5886

Nov 28 – 30, 2014
Christmas Trolley Rides
Fri & Sun 1-4 pm, Sat 12-5 pm
Downtown, Vermilion
440.654.8847

Nov 28, 2014
Holiday Open House
6-8 pm
Follett House Museum, 404 Wayne St. (off US 6), Sandusky
419.625.3834

Nov 28, 2014
Ringing Swinging Silent Auction
6-10 pm
Sawmill Creek Resort, 400 Sawmill Creek Dr. (off US 6), Huron
$5/person
419.433.3800

Nov 29, 2014
Jessie Schenk Memorial Turkey Chase 5K Run/Walk
10 am
Catawba Islands Club Fitness Center, 3026 N.W. Catawba Rd., Port Clinton
Pre-registered: $20/adult, $10 youth; Event day: $25/adult, $15/youth
419.797.4959

Nov 30, 2014
“Christmas Wonderful”
3:30 pm
St. Mary Church, 38 W. League St., Norwalk
$10/person
419.668.1641

For a complete list of events, please visit SHORESandISLANDS.com.