Cabin-Style Suites Above Massive Indoor Water Park
High above Fort Mackenzie, a four-story, waterlogged treehouse with swinging cargo nets, suspension bridges, and treetop slides, a 1,000-gallon bucket slowly fills with water. Eventually, the bucket topples, drenching those gathered below in a torrent of water. It's just one of the many attractions at Great Wolf Lodge Sandusky’s indoor water park, which is connected to a comfy resort filled with spacious suites. You can spend the day careening down tunnel slides and lounging in jumbo whirlpools before ending the night relaxing by the Grand Lobby’s fireplace.
The temperature-controlled aquatic arena is one of several onsite activities available. At Scooops Kid Spa, staff members offer manicures, pedicures, and free ice cream to pintsize guests sitting on banana-split thrones. The Northern Lights Arcade features more than 100 games catering to kids and adults alike. MagiQuest's live-action adventure takes place in an enchanted kingdom filled with goblins, dragons, and pixies.
A miniature log cabin makes up the sleeping area for kids in KidCabin suites, and parents get their own king-size bed. In Wolf Den suites, kids get their own cave-like sleeping quarters. For dinner, head to one of Great Wolf Lodge’s onsite restaurants, which serve everything from classic American fare at Gitchigoomie Grill to snacks and sodas at the water park’s Klondike Cafe.
Sandusky, Ohio: Family-Friendly Town with Amusement Parks Along Lake Erie
The town of Sandusky lies on the shores of Lake Erie, about midway between Cleveland and Toledo. It's a family-friendly destination with a slew of theme parks and scenic coastal islands. Cedar Point, open May through October, is one of the oldest amusement parks in the United States and a must-do for thrill seekers. The park’s Millennium Force roller coaster set records as the tallest and fastest in the world when it was introduced in 2000. More recently, the GateKeeper scooped up seven world records when it opened in 2013, including the "longest drop on a wing coaster."
If you prefer a slower pace, visit Sandusky’s former post office, which has been transformed into the Merry-Go-Round Museum. The grand building is full of antique carousels of all shapes and sizes, restored to their original splendor; it’s also rumored to house a couple of ghosts. More spooky fun awaits at Ghostly Manor Thrill Center, which features a haunted house, a roller rink, a 4D theater, black-light mini golf, and bounce houses.