Put-in-Bay is not just about parties and weekend entertainment. Families enjoy the island all midweek so make sure to check out the Top 5 Put-in-Bay Attractions for Kids, to keep the little ones entertained!
WAR OF 18 HOLES
Miniature Golf has never been so historical! Along the way learn historical facts about the War of 1812 and Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry’s role in the victory of the Battle of Lake Erie. A great course for all ages. The course is under a canopy of shade trees, surrounded by a garden of azaleas, rhododendrons, hostas and many other flowers. Kids of all ages will love exploring the covered bridge, waterfall cave and winding paths. Test your putting skills and see who is victorious in your War of 18 Holes. This is a fun mini golf course where the holes aren’t too challenging but aren’t too easy either. Very well kept with nice water features. Open late during the summer season until dark!
Children ages 6 to 12: $4.50
Children age 5 and under: FREE
Open May thru September: Monday – Sunday, 10:00 am. to 8:00 pm
Open October: Weekends only, 11:00 am to 6:00 pm (Weather permitting)
AQUATIC VISITORS CENTER
Learn more about Lake Erie by exploring its rich history and experiencing science up close at the Aquatic Visitors Center (AVC) on Lake Erie’s South Bass Island near Put-in-Bay, Ohio. Investigate Lake Erie’s complex ecosystem through hands-on science activities, such as peering through microscopes and identifying the lake’s tiniest inhabitants. Kids can observe live Lake Erie fish species, discover current research being done to protect Lake Erie, examine how the fish hatchery operated and see some of the original equipment, and ask Aquatic Visitors Center experts their Lake Erie questions.
Children under age 16 can fish for free! Children can borrow fishing gear and snag some bait, provided by the ODNR Division of Wildlife. They often reel in bluegill, pumpkinseed, bass, or yellow perch, but you never know what might bite! Kids can even learn about the food web as their freshly caught round gobies, an invasive species, are fed to the hungry fish in the Aquatic Visitors Center’s aquaria. The Aquatic Visitors Center also hosts a program for children at 2 pm on the dock. Topics vary from week to week, but previous programs have included: Animals of the Lake Erie Watershed, Birds of the Lake Erie Islands, Bugs in the Water, Fun with Fish, Live Snake Show, Our Friend the Spider, Taking Care of Lake Erie’s Fish, Underwater Exploration, and What is Plankton.
AVC tours are free and open to the public from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays June 21 – September 9. Group tour reservations are available in mid-May through October at a cost of $4 per person.
This Chocolate Cafe and Museum indulges in chocolate and coffee. While it is more of a chocolate shop than a museum, families can learn the history of the making of chocolate at the museum while enjoying the sweet treat of course. The Chocolate Museum is a must for any chocoholic visiting Put in Bay! Stop by to learn about the history of chocolate, including where it grows and how it is made. More than 100 kinds of fine chocolate are on sale, as are coffees that are roasted right on the island. View the sweet exhibits, watch a short movie about chocolate and indulge. Enjoy the collection of antique chocolate collectibles. Willy Wonka is played on a non-stop recording so you can watch the whole movie over and over again if you have time to spare.
Coffee Roasting – We may be roasting coffee at any time. We are happy to answer any questions you may have. Try our exceptional house blend: Island Roast.
Ice Cream – Choose from 32 flavors of locally produced Toft’s Ice Cream. May we suggest a Buckeye Sundae?
Breakfast & Pastries – Choose from our fresh baked muffins and bagels or have one of our Jumbo Breakfast Sandwiches made fresh while you wait
Open daily from May through September and weekends through October. Hours vary. Admission is free.
Workers in 1897 stumbled upon this marvel as they were preparing a well for the winery some 40 feet above. Put-in-Bay’s Crystal Cave has the world’s largest geode inside. The inner lining of this Ohio treasure is covered in strontium sulfate, a bluish mineral classified as celestite. These crystals range from 8 to 18 inches long. Crystals have been harvested previously for firework production, so the cave has grown considerably since its discovery. Discovered by winery operator Gustav Heineman, Heineman found that the cave was in actuality a “vug” or large cavity within a single rock.
Owned and operated by Heineman Winery, Crystal Cave helped save the family-run winery from demise during Prohibition. Tours of the cave helped pay the bills, while other wineries on the island closed.
Children ages 6 to 11: $4
Children age 5 and under: FREE
Open daily May thru September: Monday – Saturday, 11 am to 5 pm
Open daily May thru September: Sunday, 12pm to 5pm
You can hear the carnival-esque music from this 1917 Herschel carousel from down the street. Kimberly’s Carousel is one of the last merry-go-rounds in operation in the country, and South Bass Island is proud to be its home! Take a ride on a chicken, pig, rooster, cow or the island favorite – Pete the Perch.
Kimberly’s Carousel is one of the country’s oldest, original carousels, built in 1917 with original wooden horses and “Petey the Perch.” Kids of all ages love the island’s carousel. Kimberly’s Carousel is an original Allen Herschell Carousel built in 1917. It’s one of only 100 carousels in the USA with all wooden carved horses. It is located right as you enter Put-in-Bay’s downtown area. It’s like candy for kids, they are attracted to it. The bright colors and carnival music draw kids to it.
Tickets can be purchased inside The Carriage House for $3.00 (prices may vary). Hours vary according to season and weather.