Day One of Family Fun in Toledo, Ohio

My family enjoys traveling and exploring new places, near and far. We just discovered a new and exciting destination right on Lake Erie – Toledo, Ohio. Ohio has many fascinating cities and Toledo has it all from stunning views and water fun on Lake Erie to America’s #1 Zoo to top notch restaurants and a luxury Ohio State Resort. Follow along with us on our trip to Toledo, Ohio in our Family Fun Toledo series.

I received press trip to facilitate this post.

Family Fun Toledo Day One:

Maumee Bay State Park Lodge

Toledo, Ohio is less than 2 hours from the Akron, Ohio area but feels like a world away on Lake Erie. We stayed at the Maumee Bay State Park Lodge during our family trip to Toledo. The lodge is luxurious and filled to the max with amenities, entertainment, and family fun opportunities.

Before brunch, we walked the outside grounds of Maumee Bay State Park lodge. My kids loved walking down the steps to Lake Erie.

Family fun in Toledo Ohio Family fun in Toledo OhioThe views of the lake are stunning with most lodge rooms facing the lake. My kids were begging to jump into the outdoor swimming pool or take a paddle boat out on the pond but we had brunch awaiting us at the Water’s Edge Dining Room, so the outdoor fun had to wait.

Both lodge guests and locals were enjoying the Sunday brunch at the Maumee Bay State Park Lodge’s Water’s Edge Dining Room and with good reason! The spread was amazing with a full hot brunch of eggs, bacon, sausage, breakfast potatoes, chicken fettuccine, sliced beef, seafood, veggies, and more.

Maumee Bay Brunch
Maumee Bay Brunch

There was also a ham carving station, fresh malted waffles, and made-to-order omelets. There was also an amazing assortment of fresh fruits, peel-and-eat shrimp, fruit, vegetable crudites with dip, cheese, garden salads, breakfast pastries, rolls, and more. For dessert, there was an enormous table of sweets to temp everyone. We left with full tummies and smiles on our faces.

maumee bay brunchMaumee Bay State Park Lodge is just minutes from all the attractions and family fun of Toledo. It is the perfect place to stay while traveling with your family to the Lake Erie area near Toledo, Ohio.

Toledo Museum of Art and the Playtime Exhibit

We were in for a treat at the Toledo Museum of Art and Playtime Exhibit. This museum is FREE year-round offering an impressive 30,000 works of art by Bearden, Cézanne, Calder, Close, Cole, Degas, van Gogh, El Greco, Holbein, Kiefer, Matisse, Miró, Monet, Picasso, Rembrandt, Rubens, Turner, and more.

Toledo art museumCurrently on exhibit is a special family-focused feature of Play Time now through September 6, 2015. You’ll find amazing works of art year-round at the Toledo Museum of Art with playful works of art scattered throughout the 36 acre campus.

My kids could have spent hours in the room with the helium and oxygen filled ball. It reacts to any variation in atmospheric pressure or temperature. The body heat from people will modify where the ball moves.  My kids were able to experiment with their body heat and movement to get the ball to fly up to the ceiling and to move across the room – all without touching it!

Toledo Art Museum for KidsOther fun features included a stuffed toy wall of 300+ stuffed toys, retro toy collections, and toy art.

The main event of the Playtime Exhibit was an crocheted spider web! Reserve your 10 minute spot ahead of time to get an uninterrupted 10 minutes of climbing time. This is equally fun for kids and adults – in fact, you and your family will have the most fun if you take your shoes off and climb in too.

Toledo Art Museum for kidsBelieve me, it brings out the kid in you! We went in for a couple segments of time and if we lived closer, we’d be there all the time! It was amazing fun!

Toledo Museum of Art
2445 Monroe St
Toledo, OH 43620
(419) 255-8000

National Museum of the Great Lakes

Next on our family fun trip of Toledo, Ohio was the National Museum of the Great Lakes. Here, you’ll learn about all about maritime history from across the entire Great Lakes watershed and just how instrumental the Great Lakes were and are to our nations’ history. We were only given less than 2 hours to explore and barely scratched the surface of the educational and fun to be had at the National Museum of the Great Lakes. Be sure to allow yourself plenty of time.

We started our tour with a quick 10 minute video that wraps up the Great Lakes, specifically Toledo area.

toledo-great-lakes-museumWe also had the pleasure of visiting the SS Col. James M. Schoonmaker ship outside. This is a MUST, especially if you’ve never toured a ship before. We were able to walk the entire length of the ship, exploring all the living quarters including the captain’s quarters  at the front of the ship and the kitchen and staff quarters at the rear.

great-lakes-livingI was able to get a little blogging done in the 1st assistant engineers cabin. 😉

There was a huge difference between everyone else and the captain’s cabin! The captain’s cabin was the most luxurious with beautiful deck views, spacious bathroom, and red velvet curtains and bedding.

great-lakes-museumWe had fun imagining what it would be like to live on the ship on the waters of Lake Erie.

We even stepped down below to witness the massive storage area on the ship for all the cargo. There are 3 cargo spaces that measure 150ft x 64ft x 27 ft. I had no idea it was so huge – a little bit of the fear of heights hit me and I had to go back up above!


National Museum of the Great Lakes
1701 Front St
Toledo, OH 43605
(419) 214-5000

Imagination Station

Our next stop as a hour at Imagination Station, which only gave us a tiny taste of the fun to be had at this Toledo science center!

Imagination StationWe were able to experience 157+ MPH winds in the wind tunnel – another MUST for both kids and adults! It was incredibly fun, my kids got a kick out of mommy’s hair standing on ends!Imagination StationMy son rode the high wire cycle xxx feet above –something he has always wanted to do at other science centers but unable to because of huge lines! He also loved the BOYO in which you use your body weight and strength to life yourself up into the hair. My daughter was bummed that you have to be 54” to do these, however it gives us another reason to return soon!

bikeWe were also able to catch an Extreme Science Theater show and learned all about combustion, sound, motion, and matter with amazing demonstrations. I liked that it was very interactive with audience participation, Q&A time, and the opportunity for several lucky volunteers to participate on stage.

We also watch “Over the Edge” movie in the SIM Theatre where you are part of all the action! This was a great simulator full of action, movement, and excitement – but without the extreme jerking around that some locations offend with.

Imagination StationThe Imagination Station is right across from Fifth/Third Field. We were going to watch the Toledo Mud Hens game but got rained out – another reason to visit Toledo again soon!

Maumee Bay State Park Lodge

We returned for the evening to Maumee Bay State Park Lodge where we explored the lodge! The rain didn’t get us down as there was plenty to do inside! We had fun swimming in the large indoor swimming pool, splashing in the water feature, and relaxing in the hot tubs.

maumee-bay-indoor-poolWe also tried our hand at racket ball and although we hardly hit the ball, we had a great time laughing and having fun! I had a great time just hanging out with my son, trying something new and being silly. There were two courts, one was set up for volleyball with another family with older kids playing together.

Maumee Bay for familiesWhat I noticed at the lodge was that there is a variety of ages and groups of people visiting. There were plenty of families with school-age kids visiting like my family but there were also larger groups of friends and families visiting as well as older couples meeting up with friends, and younger couples as well. The Maumee Bay State Park Lodge is a perfect fit for any stage or age you are in life.

Maumee Bay State Park Lodge
1750 Park Road 2
Oregon, OH 43616

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Founder and Lead Blogger at Akron Ohio Moms
Cindy is the top Akron Blogger with her own take on awesome brands for families, where to vacation for families, a beat on local activities and family fun, a knack for getting moms to share , and a house that is always 2 weeks away from a complete remodel!
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