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Break Winter Blues in Midwest Hotspot – Sandusky, Ohio


Break Winter Blues in Midwest Hotspot - Sandusky, Ohio

When most hear Sandusky, Ohio, their mind immediately conjures up images of 120-mph roller coasters that has 80-degree drops at the Roller Coaster Capital, Cedar Point. I remember riding the Raptor as a child during our yearly pilgrimage to the amusement park. Every summer we’d conquer the ever-growing list of roller coasters.

But, I never realized the adventures the entire city offers, even in the doldrums of winter. This record breaking season has just about everyone yearning for sun, the beach and swimsuit weather. When I discovered the indoor winter blues breaking experiences, I packed my one-piece and headed for Ohio.

Great Wolf Lodge has a string of indoor water parks that let you escape the frigid temps and snow. We arrived at the Sandusky location and my children gasped as they feasted their eyes on the slides that emerged from the side of the building and disappeared back inside. After checking in, we were delighted to find every room was a suite. Our digs boasted two double-beds and a sofa that converted to a pull-out bed. It was cozy and was also equipped with a microwave and mini fridge that was perfect for storing and reheating pizza from the on-site eatery, Hungry As A Wolf.

Pizza isn’t the only dining option, two other eateries were just an elevator ride away. If you have a sweet tooth, I recommend the fudge and popcorn from the Bear Paw Sweets & Eats shop. Several flavors and other options will satisfy the need.

Activities were constantly available. Face painting, crafts, and story time just before bed in the main hall of the lodge were all offered. An arcade called to my son every time we passed it on the way to the water park. You could spend days indulging in the options, but the main attraction was the water…

Break Winter Blues in Midwest Hotspot - Sandusky, Ohio

Six different areas, all suited for different needs, are waiting for you. A toddler section with a zero-entry area surrounding a tree that doubles as two kiddie-sized slides kept my 2 year old busy along several fountains raining down water. I noted several babies enjoying the splashes as my daughter squealed with glee every time she conquered the sides which have a special soft, padded landing to ensure safety.

A lazy river was small, but just the right length for your average child’s attention span. Larger slides were busy, but not packed as tweens and teens made loop after loop riding each one. Separate slides for those in-betweeners (not a little kid, but not a double digit either) immediately had my 6 year old addicted. An area just for swimming even had a giant log and snake for swimmers to sit on or, my 10 year old who made a few friends, used to play some gladiator style “King of the Log” in which they straddled the giant anchored float and attempted to wrestle each other off of it.

Break Winter Blues in Midwest Hotspot - Sandusky, Ohio

The biggest draw was the fort-meets-obstacle-course which had nets, hoses, tunnels and bridges that led to another slide. This was all immensely fun, but the giant bucket that sat on top of the fort had kids abandoning whatever they were doing the second the foretelling chimes began to ring. As the chimes ended, the bucket emptied over the play area and soaked cheering guests.

In need of a break from the water adventure? Just minutes down the street from the lodge and Cedar Point is Ghostly Manor Thrill Center. If you want to venture into the world of haunted fun, you can hit up the castle encased building guarded by a giant dragon. Inside, you will find that a skating rink, small arcade, glow-in-the-dark mini golf and 5 giant bounce houses, slides and obstacle courses accompany the haunted house. The experience was better suited for tweens and teens so our family didn’t indulge in the scary options. It was too bad, as I think that was the strongest offering worth the price of admission.

Break Winter Blues in Midwest Hotspot - Sandusky, Ohio

The Travel Channel featured the horror-filled experience and it was named one of the Top 25 Most See Haunts by Haunted Attraction Magazine. So, if scary adventure is just what you need, then I recommend you see how far you can make it!

All along the road that runs through the heartbeat of the area you will find restaurants, most of which are your typical chains. But, just a few minutes from the lodge, tucked away in Ohio, you will find Berardi’s Family Kitchen. I am a huge fan of quirky dives, unique eats and local gems. I was delighted to find this place. It looks just a little family diner that has survived a few ages, but it is so much more than that. The hostess was a charming lady who brought us drinks to help out our busy, but super sweet waitress.

Break Winter Blues in Midwest Hotspot - Sandusky, Ohio

We arrived for breakfast and I attempted to scarf down an entire order of Mile High Spinach and Bacon quiche, but it was gloriously filling and I was forced to share. The kids loved the Mickey Mouse Pancakes, French Toast and the Cinnamon Swirl Bread that was deliciously dripped with a sugary glaze. However, I saw fellow patrons ordering French Fries. I am such a fan of breakfast staples, I had to ask a fellow diner – French Fries for breakfast? Then I tried one….Go home steak fries. You’re out waffle fries. These were some of the best fries I had ever had and the question for deep fried potato for breakfast was answered.

For nearly 70 years, this place has been around and cranking out these insanely delicious fries you can find at Cedar Point. You wouldn’t look and it and realize that it is currently ranked at #13 of the 158 restaurants in Sandusky. The menu offers family-fare focused on quality. Just about everything is made and hand-dredged right there. The case featuring pies, cookies and puffy concoctions stuffed with cream and goodies is simple, but houses some amazing creations all made in the hidden gem. The menu also offers healthy protein focused dishes and gluten free options.

Oh, Ohio. You have won my heart.

Stay tuned for more of my trip to the midwest! My Cleveland adventures will follow.


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  1. Allie says

    I’ve never even heard of Sandusky, Ohio. Ghostly Manor Thrill Center sounds interesting, but not enough to travel for.

  2. Janelle says

    That water park looks amazing for the little kids.

  3. Lawna says

    My kids would freak out if they saw this. We don’t have any indoor water parks in our area.

  4. Amber Edwards says

    Wow! That place looks absolutely amazing! I would love to spend a day there with my kids! We would have so much fun!

  5. Nikki says

    That waterpark looks amazing. I would love to go there. So much fun!

  6. Robin (Masshole Mommy) says

    That looks like an awesome indoor waterpark. We have an indoor one near us, but it’s a bit smaller than this one. I would love to get my kids here someday.

  7. tina thornton says

    My son has autism and loves looking at all waterparks all over the world. I cant wait to show these pics to him.

  8. Jen says

    The mile-high quiche alone looks worth the trip !

  9. Jen says

    Oh yeah and the indoor water park looks amazeballs!

  10. Pamela says

    This looks like a fun place to beat the boredom at!

  11. Erica says

    What a fun place! This winter seems to be lasting forever! We have an indoor water park about 45 minutes away. We haven’t gone there yet but this really makes me want to!

  12. gingermommy says

    This looks like a great family spot. We are always looking for places to get away and this is actually close enough to drive to. The waterpark looks amazing!

  13. Veronica says

    Is that an indoor water park! That is a great concept! Looks like a load of fun for the kiddos

  14. Ronnie says

    WOW. That looks intense and like so much fun. I would love to try that fort/obstacle course!

  15. Pam says

    I have heard so many good things from friends about the Great Wolfe Lodge. I would love to travel there.

  16. Terry says

    Oh Man!! You are making me so hungry with that Mile High Spinach and Bacon quiche. I haven’t eaten quiche in years and I have a GREAT recipe for one.

  17. Nicole Brady says

    I’ve heard a lot of great things about Sandusky and Greta Wolf but we haven’t been. Would be a great Midwest getaway!

  18. Sarah Bailey says

    That water park looks amazing! I would have loved it as a kid – in fact if I didn’t have the fibro I would probably still love it today lol x

  19. MK says

    Wow! I love thought of an indoor water park, thanks for sharing, the pictures look awesome!

  20. Beth says

    I wanna go! This seriously looks like a great place to hang out and have fun with your family.

  21. Mel Cole says

    Wow! What a fun indoor fountain and pools! I wish to take my kids into something like that someday.

  22. Marielle Altenor says

    What great fun! I would have so much fun at that indoor water park! Thanks for sharing those pictures with us. Makes me wish it would be warmer out! lol

  23. Jennifer Williams says

    I have heard so many great things about the Great Wolf Lodge and when we were moving we wanted to stay at one so the kids could have a fun break from our 3000 mile road trip. Unfortunately we had our cats and dogs and not all places allow animals. Hopefully they have one near us and we will be able to visit.

  24. Melanie says

    Wow that looks so awesome! What a load of fun for the family

  25. Tiffany says

    I need to bring my girls there. I have wanted to for awhile but I keep putting it off. We are only 8 hours or so, so it wouldn’t be much of a drive.Pinning this to my travel board!!

  26. Aisha Kristine Chong says

    This is the type of place – I definitely would want to be either with my friends or family – it just seems so much fun!

  27. Annie says

    That rollercoaster description sounds absolutely terrifying to me! I am never going on that, lol 😛

  28. Pam says

    I haven’t been to this part of Ohio since the late 70s. It sure sounds like their are a lot of fun adventures for the family and good eats!

  29. American Punjaban PI says

    This looks like a great place to take the family. I’ve been to Ohio once or twice for work but never thought of vacationing there. I will have to consider this as a potential vacation for next winter.

  30. Amanda Love says

    I would so love to go to one of these. It is so boring here and the kids would really enjoy this. If I’m ever in Ohio it’ll be great to go.

  31. BusyBee says

    What a cool water park. I cannot imagine how cold it must be outside, though.

  32. DD says

    That quiche looks pretty amazing. And so does the fruit.

  33. Tess says

    What a fun vacation idea! I would love to go to that Ghostly Manor and lovethat breakfast!

  34. Nikki says

    I have always wanted to go to Cedar Point. I’ve heard so many great things about it. We have a Great Wolf Lodge less than 20 minutes for my house, but I haven’t had a chance to visit there yet.

  35. Ashley Gill says

    Oh my! This whole post is like a fun vacation that my family need to go on. Water parks, quiche?? Oh my! I want it all!

  36. becca says

    What a fun place to hang out My son would love this place.

  37. Mommy2jam says

    This looks amazing I am always on the look out for new things to do with the boys. This would involve travel but it would be worth it. Thanks for sharing

  38. Jocelyn says

    OMG that place looks amazing! Anyone could have a good time there!

  39. Pamela says

    This looks so cool, would love to stay there!

  40. BusyBee says

    This looks like so much fun! I would love to go with friends

  41. DD says

    That water park looks amazing. Perfect for the kids!

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