Family Fun Tips for Your Put-in-Bay Getaway
Welcome Aboard Miller Ferry, the FUN starts while you’re getting here! There are many attractions, kid friendly events, and ways to save on your family’s island vacation. Check out Coupons, Day Trip & Lodging Packages, Events, and the Kids’ Brochure with map.
Print our coloring and activity sheet.
Golf Carts (coupon)
Golf Cart Rentals are available when exiting the Miller Ferry Lime Kiln (Put-in-Bay) Dock. A valid driver license is required to rent or operate a cart. Please follow all motor vehicle driving laws and don’t forget to buckle up! E’s Carts has two, four, six and eight passenger carts available, along with car seats. We recommend you reserve your cart and child seat online. Reservations are available up to 24 hours in advance.
- E’s Carts Reservations
Bicycles, Bring Your Own or Rent (coupon)
Bring your bicycle aboard the ferry to Put-in-Bay or Middle Bass Island or rent a bicycle when you arrive at Put-in-Bay. Adult bikes, child bikes, baby seats, safety helmets, and tandem bicycles are available for rent near the top of the Miller Ferry Put-in-Bay Dock. The roads are flat and many attractions are relatively close together. You can take the designated bike route that stretches the two miles between Miller Ferry Put-in-Bay Dock and Perry’s Monument or explore your own path.
- Island Bike & Cart Rental
Buses run the two miles between the dock and downtown Depot.
Taxi vans will take you anywhere on Put-in-Bay and are waiting at the Miller Ferry Put-in-Bay (Lime Kiln) Dock upon your arrival.
Tour Train (coupon)
Ready to relax? Hop on 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 the island. This tour lasts close to an hour and includes Lake Erie views, history and fun facts. The train 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 the 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 in 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 summer, the Memorial has several free family friendly events. Don’t miss the ranger talks, period dress, Junior Ranger Programs and carronade weekends. Due to COVID-19 the Observation Deck is closed. The Visitor’s Center and Memorial Grounds are open May through October. Call 419-285-2184 for more details.
Perry’s Cave (coupon)
Go spelunking! This limestone cave is over 200 feet long and has its 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
Mini golf at its best, tucked into a shady area and lit up for evening rounds, Catawba Avenue. 419-285-2446.
Butterfly House (coupon)
You will be dazzled by the hundreds of tropical butterflies. 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. The experience is an ideal biology lesson and an island favorite photo opp! Located at Perry’s Cave Family Fun Center. 419-285-2446.
Test your memory and physical skills in the giant maze, located at Perry’s Cave Family Fun Center. 419-285-2283.
Located at the Perry’s Cave Family Center, wall abilities for all ages and equipped with safety approved harnesses. 419-285-2283.
Purchase a bag, then pan away in the running water as dazzling gems and minerals appear! A very popular family activity, located at the Perry’s Cave Fun Center. 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.
Crystal Cave (coupon)
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 Island is owned by Ohio State University and is home to Stone Laboratory and Cooke’s Castle. Dates and times for the science and history tours of Gibraltar Island and Stone Lab can be found by calling OSU at 419-285-1800.
South Bass Island Lighthouse
Tour the South Bass Island Lighthouse and learn about its history. These free tours are available on select dates. 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. For Lighthouse tour information or for private party or special event details, call 419-285-2341.
Aquatic Visitors Center
Due to COVID-19 the AVC is Closed at this time.
Stop by the Aquatic Visitors Center, about one mile west of downtown Put-in-Bay, to experience Lake Erie science up close. 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 419-285-2341.
Lake Erie Islands Historical Museum (coupon)
Conveniently located downtown, don’t miss the displays of ship models, Hotel Victory and island memorabilia. Be sure to stop in the Resale Shop next door to the Museum. For information on the seasonal exhibit feature or details on the Museum, call 419-285-2804.
Lake Erie Islands Nature & Wildlife Center (coupon)
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. They focus on educating visitors about the nature, wildlife and conservation of the Lake Erie Islands. Check out the new displays including a wildlife viewing window, a geology display and live animal exhibits. See a real eagle’s nest (photo ops!) and stop by the Frog Pond and pollinator gardens. Adult $3, Senior $2, Ages 6-11 $2, under 6 yr. free, special family rate $8. Visit the Nature Center in the summer for “Wild Tuesdays,” a free family friendly program. Visitors can see, touch and learn about the nature and wildlife of the Lake Erie Islands. 419-285-3037
Get up close and personal exploring the nooks and crannies surrounding Put-in-Bay, Gibraltar Island, Middle Bass, East Point Preserve, the State Park Cliffs and West Shore. Guided tours and packages available. Children under 16 years old must be accompanied by an adult.
- Kayak the Bay – Located at Oak Point State Park, Bayview Avenue, harbor of Put-in-Bay, 419-967-0796.
- Put-in-Bay Watercraft Rental – Located at the South Bass Island State Park, 419-285-2628
Jet Skis (coupon)
Available for rent hourly or daily 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.
Put-in-Bay Parasail (coupon)
“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.
De Rivera Park
Park the family! DeRivera Park is a waterfront park in the center of town that is perfect to gather, relax and take in the Lake Erie views. You’ll find a “wishing” fountain, restrooms with showers, picnic tables and grills. Have the kids work out their energy on the shaded playgrounds, or by climbing on the cannons for a great photo opp! Surrounding the park you’ll find restaurants with outdoor seating, patios, snack shops, a grocery store, a carry-out and many eclectic gift shops.
Oak Point State Park
Oak Point State Park is about a half mile west of downtown Put-in-Bay. You’ll find spectacular views of the bay, Gibraltar Island, Perry’s Monument and Lake Erie. It is also equipped with restrooms, a picnic area and dockage.
South Bass Island State Park and Camping
A stone beach, playground, shaded and cliffside camping, a picnic area, pier and coffee shop make up this serene Ohio Park. The State Park is also the grounds on which once stood the elaborate lakefront Hotel Victory. 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 Hotel Victory photos. Located approximately a mile and a half south of the village. Insider Tip: South Bass Island State Park is our favorite place to watch the sunset.
Camping – 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. 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.
- Round Trip tickets aboard Miller Ferry to Put-in-Bay
- Downtown Bus
- Narrated 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 Tour
- Crystal Cave
- Lake Erie Island’s Nature & Wildlife Center
Adult (12 years & up) $62
Child (6-11 years) $33