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Put-in-Bay Day Trip Itinerary: Fun for the Whole Family

Put in Bay Family Friendly Itinerary

Getting To Put-in-Bay

Start the day bright and early to ensure the family is making most of the day at Put-in-Bay. Jet Express has a wide variety of departure times during the week in the summer with the earliest leaving the dock at 8:30 a.m. Make sure to wake the kids up early to arrive at Jet Express’ Port Clinton dock in time to park and board the boat. 

Tickets for the ferry can be purchased online or in person. Round trip for adults is $34. Kids six to eleven ride round trip for $11 and children under the age of five ride for free. Jet Express provides convenient parking for travelers, and the parking lot is conveniently located across the street from the dock allowing for easy boarding for the family. Parking is only $12 for the whole day so passengers can spend as much time on the island without worrying about the parking fees they may incur throughout the day. 

The journey to Put-in-Bay amounts to thirty minutes dock to dock, and with restrooms on board this makes for an easy journey with the kids! If your family is not a morning family you can pack breakfast and eat on board before you arrive to the island. With direct service to Downtown Put-in-Bay, you do not need to worry about how you will be getting to all the downtown attractions when riding the Jet Express. Once the boat arrives in Put-in-Bay, passengers will disembark right in the heart of downtown, meaning no unnecessary extra travel with the kids. 

Island Activities

Once you arrive downtown it’s time to start the day of fun. The first stop on the itinerary is to take a trip on the tour train. At $12 for adults and $5 for kids aged six to eleven, it is a relatively inexpensive way to start off the day. The tour train stops at various points around the island every 30 minutes so you can ride the train for a narrated tour or you can hop on and off and explore some of the island. We recommend that you grab the tour train and make a pit stop at Perry’s Cave Family Fun Center. Perry’s Cave has attractions for the whole family ranging from free museum to paid activities like a historic cave and a rock wall. For those looking for a cost-free attraction make sure to visit the Antique Car Museum. For nature lovers be sure to visit the Butterfly House and for families looking for a more hands-on activity take a swing at some gemstone mining. 

By this point in the day, the family is probably ready for lunch. A favorite spot is Frosty’s Bar & Family Pizza right in the heart of downtown Put-in-Bay. Frosty’s is an island staple and has something that both kids and adults can enjoy. After lunch head on over to The Candy Bar. From fudge to taffy to novelty items, The Candy Bar has a wide variety of treats and novelties for sale along with a full-service ice cream bar. Stop in and grab a scoop of ice cream or grab some homemade fudge to take home as a souvenir from the trip. (Let’s be honest, it won’t make it through the day!)

What is better than pizza and ice cream? A trip to the Aquatic Visitor Center. Just a short walk from downtown, the Aquatic Visitor Center is fun for the whole family. Admission to the visitor center is free. Kids and adults can learn about Lake Erie’s history and the animals that live in and around the lake. After taking a free guided tour of the visitor center, children under 16 can borrow fishing gear and bait for free at the back dock. This is a great opportunity for the kids to try their hand at fishing and see if they can reel in a catch. 

Once done with exploring the Aquatic Visitors Center. Head over to DeRivera park to cool down in the shade and relax with some drinks and snacks. The park has multiple play structures for the kids to get their energy out on and plenty of seating for parents to relax and recharge before heading out for the rest of the day. Make sure to keep the park clean and dispose of any snacks or drinks that may be enjoyed at the park. 

As the day is coming to an end, take the family and head back towards downtown PIB. End the day on a high note by taking the kids for a spin on the historic Kimberly’s Herschel carousel. Tickets can be purchased inside Carriage House and the kids have a wide variety of animals to choose from to take their spin on. After taking a turn on the carousel it is time to head back to the dock for the boat ride back to the car. Once back aboard the Jet Express make sure to grab a seat on the top deck to take in the views and reminisce on the wonderful day the family just had at Put-in-Bay.

Ride with Jet Express

A quick day trip is an easy way to have a fun outing with the family for an adventure everyone will enjoy. Once you have decided to take the family on a day trip to Put-in-Bay, visit Jet Express to purchase your ferry tickets. You won’t regret it!