At 33-years-old and living in Ohio nearly my entire life, it felt like a TRAVESTY that I hadn’t been to Put-in-Bay. Put-in-Bay is a small city on South Bass Island, Lake Erie, that’s probably most well-known by the locals for it’s flourishing nightlife. However, visiting with our children showed me that it can be kid-friendly!
Today, I’m sharing how you can have a family-fun day at Put-in-Bay (I’m a poet and I know it).
#1 Take Miller Ferry to Put-in Bay
Miller Ferry is an easy and affordable option to get to Put-in-Bay. As a cost-conscious family, a quick Google search revealed that Miller Ferry is less than HALF the cost of their competitor. It’s hard to justify paying more for a boat trip that only takes 20 minutes! We found the ferry terminal to be convenient and all day parking was plentiful and only $5. Also, there are clean restrooms at both terminals.
#2 Rent a golf cart from E’s rental
Located just steps from the Ferry Terminal- E’s Put-in-Bay Golf Carts was a convenient option for our daytrip to Put-in-Bay. We arrived at a very busy time (noon) and yet it only took about 5 minutes for me to check-in for my pre-reserved golf cart. E’s has a large inventory of 2, 4 and 6-person golf carts.
Each golf cart is named, and our oldest child enjoyed reading all of the names to us! Next time I go, I’d like this one. 😉
#3 Check out downtown Put-in-Bay
I recommend doing this FIRST thing when you arrive. I’m not a prude, but there are some things I’m not ready to explain! We noticed that the crowd changed quickly around 3 pm. So head here for an early lunch, let the kids play on the pristine playground with water views, and take a spin on Kimberly’s Carousel.
#4 Visit Perry’s Victory & International Peace Monument
Families visiting Put-in-Bay should not miss the Perry Victory & International Peace Monument. The 352-foot monument and Visitor Center commemorates the Battle of Lake Erie, which took place during the War of 1812. We were lucky enough to arrive just as a Ranger-led educational session was beginning, but the Visitor Center alone is a wealth of information on Put-in-Bay’s role in the war.
The International Peace Monument is the only Peace Memorial in the USA’s National Park Service. It commemorates the long-lasting peace between Canada, the USA, and the United Kingdom. These three flags still fly outside the memorial.
#5 Enjoy the views from a State Park
South Bass Island offers two family-friendly State Parks- South Bass State Park and Oak Point State Park. Oak Point State Park is the state’s smallest state park at only an acre and a half, but it does pack some gorgeous views of Put-in-Bay and Perry’s Monument (even on a cloudy day). This would be a perfect spot for a family picnic.
South Bass State Park is more of full-service park that offers camping and a public boat launch. They also have four cabents, which look like a cross between a yurt and a cabin. We’d like to go back and rent one for weekend of family-fun!
Have you been to Put-in-Bay or South Bass Island? What do you recommend for families to do?
** Miller Ferry provided me with ferry transportation and a golf cart rental. However, all opinions are my own.**