Celebrate International Museum Day at Ohio’s Lake Erie Shores & Islands!

International Museum Day is Saturday, May 16, 2015 and eight local museums are working together to mark the occasion.  The Edison Birthplace, Cooke-Dorn House Historic Site, Follett House Museum, Kelleys Island Historical Society, Maritime Museum of Sandusky, Merry-Go-Round Museum, Milan Museum, and the Ohio Veterans Home Museum will celebrate from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and offer free or reduced admission*, along with arts, crafts, and activities at each museum. Merry-Go-Round Museum kids craft on International Museum Day in Sandusky, Ohio.

The Edison Birthplace* will offer tours by costumed interpreters and vintage children’s games outside.  The Cooke-Dorn House will stage a Hula Hoop Contest at 2:30 p.m. with a prize for first place, tours available.  At the Follett House Museum, guests are invited to pose for a reproduction photograph and make a craft. Along with permanent displays telling the history of the island, the Kelleys Island Museum will feature displays about sport fishing on Lake Erie along with some of its history. The historic stone church will be open for tours. There will be a family friendly activity.

Visitors to the Maritime Museum of Sandusky can make a model boat and take a free boat ride aboard the Goodtime I at 1:00 p.m., 2:00 p.m., 3:00 p.m., and 4:00 p.m.  The rides depart from the Meigs Street Pier at Battery Park Marina.  The Sandusky Power Squadron’s safe boating mascot COASTIE will be at the Maritime Museum from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  The Merry-Go-Round Museum will have a coloring activity, Carousel Counting Game, a Creating a Carousel Card Craft, Story Time, and Carousel Puppet Theater shows and will offer $1.00 carousel rides.  At the Milan Museum, build-a-boat kits will be on hand along with the Folk Art Frenzy – paint your own version of a folk art masterpiece and see it hung in the Galpin Mini-Masters Gallery!  The Ohio Veterans Home Museum will screen vintage war movies and offer games for children.  All activities are free along with free admission to the Museums (*The Edison Birthplace is offering reduced admission).  You may visit any or all of the museums in any order.

For further information, contact:
Maggie Marconi, Museum Administrator, Sandusky Library
419-625-3834, ext. 6081


Twelve Shore #LakeErieLove-d Eats: Locals Share Hometown Favorites

Let’s be honest. One of the best things about traveling is all the delicious cuisine you get to enjoy. New atmospheres, local flavors, and fun experiences are what you’ll find when you experience the region like those that live here year-round. When visiting Ohio’s Lake Erie Shores & Islands, we encourage you to eat like a local. We surveyed locals about their favorite joints, and following are a few options we think you will enjoy!

Lake Erie perch sandwich from The Village Pump on Kelleys Island.

Lake Erie perch sandwich from The Village Pump on Kelleys Island.

1812 Food & Spirits, Port Clinton – Named for a bit of local history (The War of 1812’s Battle of Lake Erie took place in nearby waters), this fine dining restaurant is located within the beautiful, historic Island House Hotel. Locals rave about their culinary treats, especially on “Walleye Wednesdays,” when they offer such delicacies as walleye meatballs.

Berardi’s Family Kitchen, Sandusky – Originally famous for their fresh cut french fries served at Cedar Point Amusement Park until the late 1970’s, Berardi’s Family Kitchen is now a full service restaurant. Popular for every type of meal, including a delicious breakfast, you can still get those famous fries!

Crush Winebar, Sandusky – Known by locals for their small plates and fabulous wine selection, Crush specializes in food, wine, and spirits in a casual atmosphere. Culinary superstar, Chef Cesare Avallone offers gourmet entrees, pastas, and pizzas at Crush, and also operates four additional dining options: the adjacent Kitchenbar, upscale Zinc Brasserie, casual Hearth Tavern, and waterfront Dockside Café – all favorites among local diners.

The Goat, Soup & Whiskey, Put-in-Bay – This island staple features one of the area’s nicest patios along with made-from-scratch, cooked-to-order casual food. Daily soup and drink specials feature veggies and herbs from one of three on-site gardens. The Goat also offers the original perch taco, made with local Lake Erie perch, caught daily and served up fresh.

Martino’s International Café, Vermilion – Known for generous portions at reasonable prices, Martino’s features a wide array of delicious international dishes, as well as American-style home cooking favorites. In addition to breakfast served all day and an eclectic menu, international favorites include beers, wines, martinis, and frozen drinks.

Marconi’s Italian, Huron – This second generation, Italian/Sicilian restaurant features original recipes, fresh seafood, Certified Angus Beef, fresh Lake Erie perch, and homemade desserts in an intimate, Italian-designed setting.

Mariner’s Dockside Restaurant, Huron – This local gem is hidden behind the Sawmill Creek Resort at the Mariner Village Marina. It’s a seasonal, lakeside favorite that is only open May through September and only serves on Friday and Saturday nights. Specialty entrees include rack of lamb and lemon-glazed walleye.

Nagoya Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi, Port Clinton – Enjoy a front row seat to a culinary performance at Nagoya Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi. Hibachi chefs entertain with dazzling knife and spatula tricks while cooking meals to perfection. Locals claim Nagoya offers some of the best sushi around. Reservations are recommended as there often is a several-hour wait.

Small City Taphouse, Sandusky – Small City Taphouse is a downtown Sandusky establishment for both craft beer lovers and raw fish fanatics. Try the Small City Taphouse roll: layered spicy tuna topped with tuna, salmon, mango, and apple finished with spicy mayonnaise, eel sauce, and caviar. Small City has a ton of accolades as well, recently voted Best Craft Beer Bar in Ohio by Cool Material and Best Asian Restaurant and Best Beer Selection in the local Funcoast.com Readers’ Choice Awards.

The Orchard Restaurant & Bar, Marblehead – The Orchard invites patrons to eat, drink, and gather while enjoying casual American cuisine and an extensive wine list. Natural ingredients, locally grown if possible, give every meal a unique appeal. Appetizers include sloppy duck sliders or angry mussels and entrees include Lake Erie perch, salmon, and Ohio pork.

Thirsty Pony, Sandusky – Billed as “awesome eats with an attitude” this family-friendly sports bar features the excitement of off-track betting along with delicious food and drinks. The Thirsty Pony features juicy hand-packed burgers and Frickers’ famous frickin’ chicken wings. Dinner specialties include steaks, perch, and walleye as well as specialty drinks served in souvenir cups.

The Village Pump, Kelleys Island – The Village Pump has been the destination watering hole for boaters and visitors alike since 1983. Specialties include the ‘famous’ Brandy Alexander made with French vanilla ice cream, and Lake Erie perch deliciously prepared by Pump chefs.

There are many, many other options out there to try, from casual picnic-style to white-tablecloth waterview dining. We’ve even got a few “hole-in-the-walls” where everybody knows your name. Do you have a local favorite?

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

Check out a few upcoming Lake Erie Shores & Islands events and plan a visit soon.

Round House Bar at Put-in-Bay, OhioApr 4, 2015
Hayes Easter Egg Roll
2-3:30 pm
Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center, Hayes and Buckland aves., Fremont

Apr 9-12, 2015
“Love and Whiskey”
Thurs-Sat 7:30 pm, Sat-Sun 2 pm
BGSU Firelands – McBride Arboretum, 1 University Dr., Huron
$14/adult, $12/senior, $10/child

Apr 11, 2015
Early Bird Party
11 am
The Village Pump, 103 W. Lakeshore Dr., Kelleys Island

Apr 11, 2015
Firelands Symphony “The Butterfly Lovers’ Concerto”
7:30 pm
Sandusky State Theatre, 107 Columbus Ave., Sandusky

Apr 12, 2015
The Whiskey Light is “On”
2 pm
The Roundhouse Bar, Delaware Ave., Put-in-Bay

Apr 16, 2015
Kingston’s Taste of Vermilion
5:30-7:30 pm
Kingston of Vermilion, 4210 Telegraph Ln., Vermilion
$15/ticket (pre-sale), $20/ticket (at the door)

Apr 18, 2015
34th Annual Spring Warmup
9 am-8 pm
Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park, 1300 SR 18, Norwalk
$12/adult; children 12 and under are free

Apr 19, 2015
Jonathan Edwards
7:30 pm
The Listening Room in OurGuest Inn & Suites, 220 E. Perry St. (SR 163), Port Clinton
$25/person (plus 2-drink minimum)

Apr 23, 2015
Spring Fling Wine Dinner
6 pm
Zinc Brasserie, 215 E. Water St., Sandusky

Apr 24-26, 2015
Dr. Dolittle Jr.
Fri-Sat 7:30 pm, Sun 2:30 pm
The Hirt Theatre at Bellevue Society for the Arts, 205 Maple St., Bellevue
$12/adult (18+), $8/senior (60+), $8/student (under 18)

Apr 25, 2015
Family Fishing Day
10 am-2 pm (kids only)
East Harbor State Park Lockwood Shelter Pond, 1169 N. Buck Rd., Marblehead
419.734.4424 ext. 2

Apr 25, 2015
Go Green Arbor Day Celebration
9 am-1 pm
City of Sandusky Greenhouse, 620 Elm St., Sandusky

Apr 26, 2015
Earth Day Extravaganza
11 am-4 pm
Osborn MetroPark, 3910 Perkins Ave., Huron

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

Top Ten Lake Erie Shores & Islands Attractions for Kids

It’s getting close to Spring Break time for schools and families across the Midwest, which has us thinking about family travel to Ohio’s Lake Erie Shores & Islands and the best attractions for kids of all ages. Parents and grandparents appreciate the variety of attractions to entertain the little ones. While not all of these activities are available this early in the year, they’re definitely worth a return visit this summer. When the youngsters wear out, you can relax in comfort at one of many hotels, resorts, vacation rentals, or campgrounds. In no particular order (Spring Break options are *):

1. African Safari Wildlife Park* – This drive-through safari allows you to get up-close-and-personal with a number of exotic animals from the comfort of your vehicle. After the drive-through, experience educational and entertaining animal shows as well as pig races. KID PERK: Kids under 100 lbs enjoy free camel rides.

African Safari Wildlife Park in Port Clinton, Ohio.

African Safari Wildlife Park in Port Clinton, Ohio.

2. Aquatic Visitors Center – Part of The Ohio State University’s Stone Lab campus summer program, the Aquatic Visitors Center offers the opportunity to experience Lake Erie science up close through hands-on ecosystem displays and live native fish as well as information on current research helping to protect our Great Lake. KID PERK: All kids under age 16 can fish for free from the fishing pier with poles and bait supplied.

3. Indoor Waterparks* – 85° temperatures year-round? Yes, please! Also, nothing saves a rainy day like waterslides and lazy rivers. There are options to suit all tastes and budgets including Castaway Bay, Great Wolf Lodge, Kalahari Resort, Maui Sands Resort, and Rain Waterpark. KID PERK: No water wings needed; zero-depth entry pools and special shallow pools for toddlers make it fun for all ages. Plus, complimentary life vests are offered at most parks for extra safety.

4. Ghostly Manor Thrill Center* – Don’t let the name fool you, there’s very little that’s scary about this family-fun place. Beyond the popular haunted house, families enjoy a roller-skating rink, indoor play area, black light miniature golf, XD-3D movies, and arcade games. KID PERK: Kids got a lot of pent up energy? Let them jump, slide, and bounce it out in one of Ghostly Manor’s giant inflatable obstacle courses and slides.

5. Island Tour Train/Fun Pack – A great way for families to experience Put-in-Bay. The tour train offers a narrated island tour with on/off privileges at the popular sites and attractions. The Island Fun Pack is a packaged-deal that includes the tour train along with tickets to Perry’s Cave, War of 18 Holes Miniature Golf, The Butterfly House, Heineman Winery & Crystal Cave, and the Lake Erie Islands Nature & Wildlife Center. Fun packs can also include ferry transportation. KID PERK: All kids under six are free for the train and all Fun Pack attractions. Bonus perk: All tour-train riders get stickers to wear that show they are a paid passenger; what kid doesn’t love a sticker?

6. M3 Museum Pass* – Merry-Go-Round Museum, Maritime Museum of Sandusky, Milan Museum – Visit three great attractions for one, low family price. Sandusky’s Merry-Go-Round Museum offers trips to childhood no matter your age. Then, get your sea legs over to the Maritime Museum to learn about Lake Erie shipwrecks, pirates, and boats. The Milan Museum features a multi-building campus featuring a blacksmith shop, general store and carriage shed along with a toy house and glass collection. KID PERK: At the Merry-Go-Round Museum a carousel ride is included with admission; at the Maritime Museum kids can build a model boat; and at the Milan Museum kids can complete a scavenger hunt and play a game of chess with giant chess pieces in the courtyard.

7. Cedar Point Amusement Park – No Shores & Islands kid attractions list would be complete without one of the world’s greatest amusement parks. Known for amazing thrills Cedar Point wows the whole brood with three kids’ areas, including Planet Snoopy. The PEANUTS™ gang entertains, greeting their young fans with special appearances. There are also a number of rides, games, and shows throughout the park that kids and parents can enjoy together. KID PERK: There are many, including the handy Parent Swap and Kid Track programs along with stroller rentals, family care centers, and special kids’ meals. Learn more here.

8. Air1 Airboats – A one-of-a-kind adventure, Air1 Airboats takes your family on a 30-40 minute fast and thrilling ride that includes views of beautiful scenery, wildlife, and Cedar Point. Best suited for kids over the age of six due to the noise, an airboat ride is a great way to cool off on a hot day. KID PERK: Due to the proximity to the nature preserves along the shore, many riders have enjoyed bald eagle sightings on the trip.

9. Seneca Caverns – This Registered National Landmark delights explorers with a fascinating underground tour through seven levels as low as 110 feet below the surface. At the bottom voyagers can see the crystal clear stream dubbed “Ole Mist’ry River.” Preserved close to its original natural state, Seneca Caverns is a geological wonder. KID PERK: The child’s Caveman Package includes mining for gemstones in an authentic mining sluice – kids may discover gemstones, minerals, crystals, arrowheads, or fossils from around the world.

10. Lakeside Chautauqua – Lakeside’s historic community is an ideal getaway destination for families. Lakeside is a safe place where kids can ride bikes through neighborhoods, take sailing lessons, learn tennis and shuffleboard, see family-friendly shows and movies, and play at a splash park and beach with lifeguards. KID PERK: During the summer programming season, take advantage of organized games and activities as well as an enclosed, supervised playground where kids can play safely. Another perk is that all activities, classes, and shows are included with a gate pass.

If you vacation in Lake Erie Shores & Islands with kids, what are some of your favorite activities?

Get Fit 2015: Ohio’s Lake Erie Shores & Islands Run/Walk Events

The Santa Hustle through Cedar Point Amusement Park in Sandusky, Ohio.

28 – Tim Dorsey 5K Run/Walk
Margaretta High School, 209 Lowell St., Castalia

11 – Humane Society 5K Run/Walk
Shoreline Park, 411 E. Water St., Sandusky


2 – Draft Day 5K
DeRivera Park, Put-in-Bay

2 – Lighthouse 5K Run/Walk & Kalahari Kids Fun Run
Huron High School Stadium, 710 Cleveland Rd. W, Huron

9 – Marblehead Bank 5K Daisy Walk/Run
Marblehead VFW, 421 Main St. (SR 163), Marblehead

17 – Young Life Family 5K, 1 Mile & Ice Cream Social
Perkins High School Stadium, 3714 Campbell St., Sandusky

21 – Port Clinton Middle School 5K Run/Walk
PC Middle School to True Lay Stadium, Port Clinton
419.734.3931 or 419.734.4448

23 – Memorial 5K and 10K Open Run and Military Race
Bellevue Rec Center, 800 Monroe St., Bellevue

23 – Walleye Walk & 5K Run for Ruth Ann’s House
Downtown Port Clinton

30 – 2nd Annual Sandusky Lions Club 5K
Battery Park Marina, Downtown Sandusky

30 – Kaleidoscope Color Run/Walk
Lakeside Chautauqua

30 – Genoa Homecoming 5K & ½ Mile Kids Race
Veteran’s Memorial Park, Washington and 6th sts., Genoa

6 – 5K Run/Walk in the Park
East Harbor State Park, Marblehead
419.734.4424 ext. 2

6 – Team Mary 5K Run/Walk for Autism
Gem Beach Marina, 3000 N. Carolina St., Port Clinton

7 – Kelleys Island 5K & 10K Walk/Run
Memorial Park, corner of Division St. and Lakeshore Dr., Kelleys Island

13 – Run the Rock 5K Run/Walk
Castalia Quarry MetroPark, Castalia

13 – Run & Ride 5K & One-Mile
Cedar Point Amusement Park, 1 Cedar Point Dr., Sandusky

14 – Run & Ride Half Marathon & 10K
Cedar Point Amusement Park, 1 Cedar Point Dr., Sandusky

20 – Fish Festival 5K

20-21 Black Swamp Dash 5K Obstacle/Mud Run
Ottawa County Fairgrounds, 8180 W. SR 163, Oak Harbor

21 – Stein Hospice Pyrate 5K Run

27 – Stein Hospice Memorial 5K Run
Sandusky Bay Pavilion, 650 E. Water St., Sandusky

28 – Perry’s Victory Triathlon & Family Races
Peace Garden at Perry’s Victory & International Peace Memorial, Put-in-Bay

4 – Squirt Gun Star Spangled Banner 5K Run/Walk
Downtown Port Clinton

11 – Huron River Fest 5K
Williams St. & Cleveland Rd., Huron

11 – Bay Bridge 5K Run/Walk
Bodi N Balance, 3936 Harbor Light Landing Dr., Port Clinton

12 – Kelleys Island Triathlon & Family Races
Kelleys Island Seaway Marina

18 – Cold Creek 5K
Main & Water sts., Castalia

25 – Beulah Beach 5K
Beulah Beach, Vermilion

26 – J.F. Walleye’s 33rd Annual 5K Run/Walk
J.F. Walleye’s, 1810 Fox Rd., Middle Bass Island

26 – 5K Raccoon Run

8 – Basket Festival 5K
Berlin Heights

15 – Jail Break 5K
Erie County Jail, Sandusky

15-16 Vermilion Harbour Triathlon
Linwood Park, 4920 Liberty Ave., Vermilion

16 – Put-in-Bay Charity 5K/10K & Kids FUN Run
DeRivera Park, Downtown Put-in-Bay

22 – Panther “Fun to Run” XC Invitational
Mills Creek Golf Course, 1933 Mills St., Sandusky

22 – Moonlight Mud Run 5K Obstacle/Mud Run
Ottawa County Fairgrounds, 8180 W. SR 163, Oak Harbor


12-13 Challenge Cedar Point Triathlon
Cedar Point, 1 Cedar Point Dr., Sandusky

13 – Soar Like An Eagle 5K
Edison Woods MetroPark, SR 61, Berlin Heights

19 – Miller Boat Line 5K Race and 1 Mile Family Fun Walk
The Boathouse Restaurant, Put-in-Bay

26 – Boy With Das Boot 5K
Downtown Sandusky

26 – Lake Eerie Zombie Mud Run 5K
East Sandusky Bay MetroPark, 3401 Cleveland Rd., Sandusky

3 – 2nd Annual The Night of the Dead 5K Obstacle/Mud Run
Ottawa County Fairgrounds, 8180 W. SR 163, Oak Harbor

Bras for a Cause 5K Run/Walk
N. Jefferson St., Downtown Port Clinton

11 – Apple Festival 5K Run/Walk
Oak Harbor

11 – 2nd Annual Stein Hospice PK5K
Lakeside Chautauqua, 236 Walnut Ave., Lakeside

31 – Cops & Robbers Road Chase 5K Run/Walk
N. Jefferson St., Downtown Port Clinton

8 – Hike and Bike
Castalia Quarry, Castalia

26 – Turkey Trot 5K
Perkins High School Stadium, 3714 Campbell St., Sandusky

28 – Jessie Schenk Memorial Turkey Chase 5k Run/Walk
Catawba Island Club Fitness Center, 3026 N.W. Catawba Rd., Port Clinton

20- Santa Hustle 5K & Half Marathon
Cedar Point, 1 Cedar Point Dr., Sandusky

Experience Valentine’s Day with the Five Senses

Valentine’s Day is approaching! Treat your sweetie to a sensational experience in Ohio’s Lake Erie Shores & Islands with these events that will please the five senses – taste, sight, smell, touch, and sound. National Tour: Jekyll & Hyde


The Culinary Vegetable Institute and Chef Jamie Simpson know the way to your heart. Enjoy a romantic evening complete with three hors d’oeuvres, seven courses, live music, and chocolate on February 14. This romantic, gourmet dinner is $115/ticket and begins at 6:30 pm. A more casual event is offered on February 13, which features hors d’oeuvres, wine tastings from Vintage Wine and Grand Cru Wine Company, and live music beside a cozy fire. The casual event is $30/ticket and begins at 6:30 pm. Please make reservations online or by phone at 419.499.7500.


Watch as blocks of ice are transformed into masterpieces right before your eyes at two ice festivals: An Ice-A-Fair to Remember in Vermilion and Sandusky’s Arctic Ice Fest.


The nose can sometimes beat the eyes in the race for setting up tasting expectations. Put your sense of smell to the test at the annual Chocolate and Wine Open House at Firelands Winery, February 7. Tickets are $20/person (includes souvenir glass). Please call 800.548.9463 for details.


Touch the paintbrush and learn to paint watercolors following step-by-step directions and demonstrations by instructor Clela Stelnicki. Register by calling Clela at 440.371.5637 or send an email to clelasart@oh.rr.com. A supply list will be provided by the instructor. $15/session


The NATIONAL TOUR of the enthralling musical Jekyll & Hyde is coming to the Sandusky State Theatre on Valentine’s Day. This musical features a thrilling pop rock score including the unforgettable hit, “This Is the Moment” from multi Grammy and Tony nominated Frank Wildhom & double Oscar and Grammy winning Leslie Bricusse. Tickets are $25-40 and are available now! Order and print your tickets online, call the box office at 877.626.1950, or stop by the State Theatre Mon-Fri 10 am-5 pm.

Sweep your sweetie off their feet this Valentine’s Day and reserve the Valentine’s Day package at Sawmill Creek Resort! The package includes a buffet breakfast for two, romantic amenities (awaiting you in your room), two drink tickets, and a $10 gift voucher (good towards the Sawmill Shops and/or a wine tour). Package available February 13-15. Please call 800.729.6455 for details.

Winter at Ohio’s Lake Erie Shores & Islands: #LakeErieLove – Frozen Edition


Snowshoeing at Sawmill Creek Resort in Huron, Ohio.

Do you want to build a snowman? Good – because this time of year we embrace the frigid winter weather. After all, before you know it we’ll all be cruising to the islands, riding roller coasters, and splashing in the lake. For now, we are in the midst of winter and we have two choices. When the lake freezes and the chilly Ohio temperatures hit, you can stay at an indoor waterpark resort and pretend you’re on a tropical getaway, or immerse yourself in all things winter. Traditional winter activities include ice fishing, ice skating, and sledding. The area even honors the season with two ice festivals the first weekend in February.

One way to enjoy the frozen tundra is at Sawmill Creek Resort’s Snow Fest. The resort, located on frozen Lake Erie, offers daily ice skating, snowshoeing, and cross country skiing. Skating takes place on a frozen pond adjacent to Mulligan’s Pub, which is convenient for when you’re ready to warm up with a steamy hot chocolate. Skate and snowshoe rental is available, with trails throughout the expansive property and golf course. Cross country trails are available but you must provide your own skis. Follow Sawmill Creek on Facebook for info on daily activities, as they are weather permitting.

Fishing enthusiasts know that the best walleye catches come from a hole cut through several feet of ice on a frozen Lake Erie. Experienced fishing guides are available to teach you the ropes and assist with on-ice safety measures. Contact our office for a list of qualified guides.

And if you decide you’d rather escape to a tropical climate? Five indoor waterpark resorts boast 80° temperatures, making it feel like summer all year long. Castaway Bay, Great Wolf Lodge, Kalahari, Maui Sands Resort, and Rain offer amazing indoor water park fun along with welcoming accommodations, restaurants, shops, arcades and more.