Family Fun Tips for Your Put-in-Bay Getaway
There’s loads of fun at Put-in-Bay for kids of ALL ages! Whether you bring the family for a day-trip, overnight stay or vacation, here are a few tips on travel, discounts, things to do, fares and more. You also will find more information on our Attractions page and Events page. Welcome Aboard Miller Ferry, the FUN starts while you’re getting there! Print our coloring and activity sheet.
Put-in-Bay Schedule & Fares ~ Directions & Parking
Bring Your Own Bicycles
We welcome you to bring your bike aboard to Put-in-Bay or Middle Bass. The roads are flat & many attractions are relatively close to each other. There is a designated bike route that stretches the two miles between the Miller Ferry Lime Kiln Dock to the Perry’s Monument.
Rent Bikes (see our coupons page)
Bicycle rentals, including child bikes, baby seats, safety helmets, and tandem bicycles are available for rent near the top of the Miller Ferry Dock at Put-in-Bay. There is a designated bike path following the two mile road between the dock and Perry’s Monument.
Golf Carts (see our coupons page)
Rent Golf Cart Rental Near the top of the Miller Ferry Lime Kiln Dock. Some carts are capable of carrying up to eight passengers. Follow the regular driving rules and Buckle Up! You must have a valid driver’s license in order to rent or operate a cart. E’s Carts has child seats available, we recommend you reserve your cart and child seat in advance. You can reserve online up to 24 hours ahead of time.
E’s Carts 419-285-5553
Island Bike & Cart Rental 419-285-2016
Buses run between the dock and downtown depot. (two miles)
Taxi vans will take you anywhere on Put-in-Bay and are waiting for you at the Lime Kiln dock when you arrive.
Tour Train (see our coupons page)
Ready to relax? Then it’s time to hop the tour train at the Depot downtown. Leave the driving to a narrator who gives you a detailed history while you are on a leisurely drive around most of the island. Sit back and take it all in, this trip lasts almost an hour. The train also makes stops at Perry’s Monument Visitors Center, Heineman’s Winery/Crystal Cave, Perry’s Cave Family Fun Center, Doller Historic Home/Put-in-Bay Winery, Lake Erie Islands Wildlife Center, and Aquatic Center.
Helpful Rangers can point out where Oliver H. Perry led the American fleet to victory over the British during the Battle of Lake Erie, 1813. The Perry’s Victory Visitor Center is free and open to the public during operating hours. The fee to travel to the top of the memorial column is $10.00 per adult, children 15 yrs & under are Free. Throughout the year, the Memorial has several free family & kids events. Don’t miss the ranger talks, period dress, Junior Ranger Programs and carronade weekends. Call 419-285-2184 for more details.
Perry’s Cave (see our coupons page)
This limestone cave is over 200 feet long and has it’s own pond. A constant temperature of 42º F. will cool you in a hurry on a hot day. You can find this cave at the Perry’s Cave Family Fun Center, Catawba, Avenue. 419-285-2446.
War of 18 Holes
Putt-putt golf at its best, tucked into a shady area and lit up for evening rounds, Catawba Avenue. 419-285-2446.
Butterfly House (see our coupons page)
You will be dazzled by the hundreds of tropical butterflies. A visit is an ideal biology lesson! Through a window, you can closely observe butterfly chrysalises, the emergence stage, and see butterflies “pump up” and gain strength. These butterflies are then released into the House for all to enjoy. The flowers and plants (butterfly food and roosts) make for a serene and colorful setting. Photo Time! Located at Perry’s Cave Family Fun Center. 419-285-2446.
Test your memory and physical skills in the Maze! Located at Perry’s Cave Family Fun Center. 419-285-2283.
At the Perry’s Cave Family Center, wall abilities for all ages and equipped with safety approved harnesses. 419-285-2283.
Located at the Perry’s Cave Fun Center. Purchase a bag, then pan away in the running water. Your own dazzling gems and minerals appear! A very popular family project! 419-285-2283.
Antique Car Museum
The islands are popular for car collectors, check out this car museum at Perry’ Cave Family Fun Center. Free admission.
(See our Coupons Page)
When you explore this compact cave you’ll feel as though you are in the center of a giant geode. Blue-white strontia crystals line the cave – a dazzling sight. Located at Heineman’s Winery, Catawba Avenue. 419-285-2811.
Gibraltar Island Tours
Located in Put-in-Bay’s harbor, Gibraltar is owned by Ohio State University and is home to Stone Laboratory and Cooke’s Castle. The science and history tours of Gibraltar Island and Stone Lab are held from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. and 1-3 p.m. Thursdays June 20 through August 8, 2018. Tour prices are $10.00 for ages 12 years and older, children are $5.00. To get to Gibraltar, meet at the Boardwalk Restaurant harbor taxi on Put-in-Bay at 9:45am or 12:45pm to take the taxi at a cost of $6.00 round trip, payable directly to the boat captain. Call OSU 419-285-1800 for more information.
South Bass Island Lighthouse
Tour the South Bass Island Lighthouse and learn about its history. Tour the South Bass Island Lighthouse from 11 a.m. − 5 p.m. June 8, July 13, August 10, September 7 or October 12, 2019. You can also schedule a tour April through November. For Free, visitors can climb the stairs to take in a great view of Put-in-Bay from the top of the tower, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The grounds are open to the public dawn to dusk free of charge and the lighthouse and grounds are also available for rental for private parties and special events. Call 419-285-1800 for more information and pricing.
Aquatic Visitors Center
Stop by the Aquatic Visitors Center, about one mile west of downtown Put-in-Bay, to experience Lake Erie science up close. AVC tours are free and open to the public from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays June 19 – August 24. Activities include inspecting Lake Erie’s complex ecosystem through hands-on displays, observing and identifying live fish in aquaria, and discovering current research to protect Lake Erie. Admission is free and they offer guided group tours of this historic fish hatchery (May – October) for $5.00 per person. Children under age 16 can fish from the fishing pier for free. Programs every Saturday introduce kids to science. For more information about the Aquatic Visitors Center, contact the Stone Lab Office at 419-285-1800.
Lake Erie Islands Historical Museum (see our coupons page)
Conveniently located downtown don’t miss the displays of ship models, Hotel Victory and island memorabilia. More information on this season exhibit feature coming soon. Be sure to stop in the Resale Shop next door to the Museum. 419-285-2804.
Lake Erie Islands Nature & Wildlife Center (see our coupons page)
Located on Meechen Road, between the airport and the State Park, the Wildlife Center offers tours and exhibits North American wildlife, including fish, birds, and mammals. See a real eagle’s nest (photo ops!), stop by the Frog Pond, pollinator gardens, and visit for “Wild Tuesdays” from 1:00pm-3:00pm where you can see, touch and learn about the nature and wildlife of the Lake Erie Islands. Adult $3, Senior $2, Ages 6-11 $2, under 6 yr. free, special family rate $8. 419-285-3037.
Kayak the Bay
(see our coupons page)
Get close up and personal when you explore the nooks and crannies surrounding Put-in-Bay, Gibraltar Island, Middle Bass and East Point Preserve. Guided tours and packages available. Children under 16 year old must be accompanied by an adult. Located at Oak Point State Park, Bayview Avenue, harbor of Put-in-Bay. 419-967-0796.
(see our coupons page)
Available for hourly or daily rent from Put-in-Bay Water Craft Rentals at the South Bass Island State Park and from Put-in-Bay Jet Ski Rental off Langram Road, near BayShore Resort.
(see our coupons page)
“I did it!” An exciting solo aerial ride over the Bay. Safe and easy take off and landing. Available from the Boardwalk dock. 419-285-3703.
Get in on the SUP movement! Stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) is sweeping the nation, and is now available on South Bass Island on Bayview Ave., across from the Doller House & Put-in-Bay Winery. (419) 341-7775
De Rivera Park
Park the Kids! DeRivera Park is a waterfront park in the center of town. You’ll find a “wishing” fountain, restrooms and showers, and picnic tables. Have the kids work out their energy on the shaded playground, or by climbing on the cannons, also surrounding the park you’ll find plenty of restaurants and snack shops, grocery store, carry-outs and gift shops.
South Bass Island State Park and Camping
Offers a stone beach, playground, shaded camping & picnic area, pier, and coffee shop. The State Park is also the grounds on which once stood the elaborate lakefront Hotel Victory. A few ruins of this 600 room hotel can be seen today, including the natatorium – America’s first swimming pool that allowed co-ed bathing. Stop by the state park office and the Lake Erie Islands Museum for more Hotel Victory photos. Located approximately a mile and a half south of the village.
Oak Point State Park
Oak Point State Park is about a half mile west of the village (downtown), spectacular view of the bay and Gibraltar Island. You’ll find restrooms, picnic area and dockage.
Tales around the campfire, good friends, sky watching, sleeping bags for two, s’mores and more! The South Bass State Park offers 135 campsites, ten with full hook-ups, and primitive sites. The Park is located about one and a half miles south of downtown Put-in-Bay. There is also a launching ramp, fishing pier, playground, pebble beach and jet ski rental. For park site reservations visit www.ohiostateparks.org or call 1-866-OHIOPARKS.
Pack extra shoes or flip flops if you plan to visit the stone swimming beach. With few glaring street lights, the islands are an ideal spot for sky-mapping constellations and planets. Tip: bring a bandana to cover the ambient light of flashlights.
Purchase this Package at the Miller Ferry Catawba Dock ticket booth or at the Depot, downtown Put-in-Bay.
Family Fun Pack includes:
- Round Trip tickets aboard Miller Ferry to Put-in-Bay
- Downtown Bus
- Island tour train
- Perry’s Cave
- The Butterfly House at Put-in-Bay
- War of 18 Holes Miniature Golf
- Antique Car Museum
- Heineman’s Winery & Crystal Cave Tour
- Lake Erie Island’s Nature & Wildlife Center
Adult (12 years & up) $ 55.00
Child (6-11 years) $ 26.00
Family Fun Pack Available May 25 through September 2. Allow 5-6 hours to enjoy this package. Call 419-285-4855 for further details.
See our Attractions Page and Kid’s Page for more Family fun.