Top 5 Things to Do with Kids in the Greater Sandusky Area

Photo by Ken Winters, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Sandusky is the county seat of Erie County, Ohio and is located midway between Toledo and Cleveland on the shores of Lake Erie.

Founded in 1817, Sandusky quickly became an important economic center in the north, exporting things like lime, railroad locomotives and cars, carriages, wheels, crayons, chalk, beer, paper, baskets, and tools to locations throughout the United States.

Although Sandusky’s importance as a shipping center declined, the population remains strong and industries such as fishing and tourism have skyrocketed since the turn of the century.

Today, Sandusky, Ohio is known for its wide offering of activities suitable for the whole family. From theme parks to beaches to good eats, Sandusky truly has something for all ages.

1. Cedar Point

Cedar Point is one of the largest and most famous theme parks in America. Opened in 1870, Cedar Point is the second-oldest operating amusement park in the United States. The park sprawls across a 364-acre piece of land on the Lake Erie peninsula and is located just 10 minutes from downtown Sandusky.

Featured in the park are a variety of activities, from one of the 72 rides (including 17 roller coasters), to live shows and great restaurants, every member of the family is sure to find something they like.

Nearby attractions include a 1.6 km white-sand beach, Cedar Point’s outdoor waterpark, Cedar Point Shores, multiple marinas, an outdoor sports complex, and several different resorts.

To learn more about Cedar Point or to plan your trip, visit their website at www.cedarpoint.com.

2. Lagoon Deer Park

Lagoon Deer Park offers the chance to interact with over 200 different animals in their petting zoo. Animals you could see at Lagoon Deer Park include deer, llamas, goats, sheep, elk, peacocks, emus, miniature donkeys, and more!

If petting zoos aren’t your thing, don’t worry! Lagoon Deer Park also offers four fishing ponds full of rainbows, bullheads, white bass, carp, bluegill, perch, muskies, and more. Flat bottom boats are welcome and no fishing license is required!

Petting zoo prices range from $5-9 and the price for fishing ranges from $5-8.

To learn more, visit www.lagoondeerparkohio.com.

3. Toft’s Ice Cream

Established in 1900, Toft’s Dairy is Ohio’s oldest dairy. Chris and Matilda Toft began their journey by selling raw milk to the citizens of Sandusky by horse-drawn wagon. Since then, the reputation of Toft’s spread throughout Northeast Ohio and remains one of the most well-known dairy companies in the region.

Toft’s Dairy & Ice Cream Parlour is located on the grounds of their headquarters and serves more than 70 flavors of ice cream and frozen yogurt. Although remodeled since the 1985 opening, the original soda fountain and parlor seating are still utilized in the shop, preserving the classic charm of the Toft’s that many grew up with.

No doubt about it, Toft’s Dairy & Ice Cream Parlour is an essential stop for warm, summer days in Sandusky. Try the “Lake Erie Islands Cherry Amaretto Fudge” or the “Maple Fudge Waffle Cone” next time you’re craving something sweet!

Visit Toft’s Dairy & Ice Cream Parlour at 3717 Venice Rd, Sandusky, OH 44870.

4. Nickel Plate Beach

Nickel Plate Beach is home to Erie County’s largest public swimming beach. Sprawling across 12.3 acres, Nickel Plate Beach is full of natural, foot-friendly sand, plenty of sand bars, and activities for the whole family. You can find picnic shelters, portable restrooms, sand volleyball courts, and playground equipment throughout the park.

A wide variety of events are held in the area throughout the year, including Huron River Fest in July, one of the area’s most popular festivals featuring live entertainment, rides, a parade, fireworks and more. Also located near Nickel Plate Beach is the First Federal Farmers Market where locals gather to purchase fresh produce, baked goods, and other specialty items throughout the summer.

Lodging is offered nearby at places such as Captain Montague’s and Comfort Inn-River’s Edge.

5. African Safari Wildlife Park

At the African Safari Wildlife Park in Port Clinton, visitors have multiple opportunities to feed and interact with animals. In the Drive-Thru Safari, guests can get up close and personal with giraffes, camels, alpacas, zebras, and more from the comfort of their own cars!

The price of admission also includes the Walk-Thru Safari, where visitors can marvel and interact with over 400 animals in a zoo-like setting. Additional activities are available for purchase including kangaroo feeding, porcupine feeding, gem mining, and even camel rides!

Tittle & Perlmuter Sandusky, Ohio

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