The 9 Best Ohio Family Resorts of 2020

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The Rundown

Best Overall: Breakers Hotel at Cedar Point – See Rates at TripAdvisor

"The resort has a choice of indoor and outdoor pools, unlimited beach access with parasail and jet ski rentals."

Runner-Up, Best Overall: Great Wolf Lodge Mason – See Rates at TripAdvisor

"The resort has its own indoor water park, with access to 13 slides and eight heated pools included in your room rate."

Best Budget: Punderson Manor Lodge and Conference Center – See Rates at TripAdvisor

"There are miles of trails to explore, either on foot in summer or with the aid of skis and snowshoes in winter."

Best Themed: Kalahari Resorts & Conventions Sandusky – See Rates at TripAdvisor

"In summer the Zambezi Outdoor Waterpark takes the fun outside, while the Safari Adventure Park offers climbing walls, ziplining, and a ropes course."

Best in Amish Country: Berlin Resort – See Rates at TripAdvisor

"Enjoy all the modern comforts you might not expect from Amish Country including a flat-screen TV and free WiFi."

Best for Family Reunions: The Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake – See Rates at TripAdvisor

"While the grandparents look after the kids, Mom and Dad can hop aboard the resort’s year-round wine shuttle and explore the award-winning vineyards."

Best Boutique: Kelleys Island Venture Resort – See Rates at TripAdvisor

"With just 31 family-friendly suites, the resort has a boutique feel that ties in well with its nostalgic summer vacation atmosphere."

Best for Nature Lovers: Maumee Bay Lodge and Conference Center – See Rates at TripAdvisor

"Dad can work on his handicap on the 18-hole golf course, while an indoor game room and soft play area mean that you won't dread bad weather."

Best Camping: Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park Camp-Resort at Dogwood Valley – See Rates at TripAdvisor

"Take advantage of the complimentary paddle boats and canoes, or enjoy hours of fun on the water slides and inflatable challenge course."

01 of 09

Best Overall: Breakers Hotel at Cedar Point

Breakers Hotel at Cedar Point

  Breakers Hotel at Cedar Point

As the on-site resort for the famed Cedar Point amusement park, Breakers Hotel is a one-stop-shop for family fun. Located on the shores of Lake Erie, it includes early entry access to the park and unbeatable deals on ticket packages. When you’re not riding the roller coasters or treating the kids to a day out at Cedar Point Shores Waterpark, there’s plenty to do at the resort. It has a choice of indoor and outdoor pools, unlimited beach access with parasail and jet ski rentals, and a lively gaming arcade. 

At mealtimes, there are six restaurants and bars to choose from including family favorites like TGI Friday’s for American food like burgers and chicken wings, and TOMO Hibachi Grill for sushi.

Standard rooms are made for families with two Queen-size beds, a mini-fridge, a microwave, and free Wi-Fi. Alternatively, upgrade to a suite and accommodate two more kids on the Queen-size sleeper sofa in the separate sitting area. Children aged 2 and under stay for free, while parking and shuttle service throughout the Cedar Point peninsula is also included. 

02 of 09

Runner-Up, Best Overall: Great Wolf Lodge Mason

Great Wolf Lodge Mason

Great Wolf Lodge Mason

Located approximately half an hour from the sites of Cincinnati, Great Wolf Lodge Mason is the closest resort to Kings Island, one of Ohio’s largest amusement and water parks. The lodge also has its own indoor water park, with access to 13 slides and eight heated pools all included in your room rate.

The fun continues on dry land, too, with mini-golf, an arcade, bowling lanes, and a Build-a-Bear workshop. Kids can also take part in planned activities, ranging from storytime with real actors to themed pajama parties. 

In between scheduled events, take the time to bond over family meals at one of the resort’s many laid-back dining options in the hotel. Sit down to global buffet spreads at Loose Moose Cottage, or pick up takeaway pizzas and pastas from Hungry As A Wolf.

This is an all-suite resort, with a choice of family suites that can sleep up to six people. Some suites are especially aimed towards younger kids with a tent-themed bunk bed area that your children will love. All floor plans include a microwave, mini-fridge, coffeemaker, and free Wi-Fi. 

03 of 09

Best Budget: Punderson Manor Lodge and Conference Center

Punderson Manor Lodge and Conference Center

Punderson Manor Lodge and Conference Center

This beautiful Tudor-style lodge is an affordable option for families on a budget, conveniently located less than an hour’s drive from Cleveland.

The hotel is surrounded by the stunning scenery of Amish Country on the shores of a 150-acre glacial lake. Go fishing, boating, or sailing on the lake, or tee off on the 18-hole golf course. Later, perfect your aim at the archery range or challenge the kids to a game of tennis. 

There are also miles of trails to explore, either on foot in summer or with the aid of skis and snowshoes in winter. Indoor and outdoor pools and a children’s playground serve to round out the resort’s family-friendly amenities.

For ultimate convenience, it also has its own on-site dining room, open for three meals a day, seven days a week. Tuck into lobster bisque and beef Wellington while your little ones relish tried-and-tested favorites like chicken alfredo pasta.

Standard Rooms have two Double beds, cable TV, and Wi-Fi. Each room is decorated with faux-antique furniture to reproduce Tudor era architecture, and all have individual air conditioning and heating for the utmost comfort.

04 of 09

Best Themed: Kalahari Resorts & Conventions Sandusky

Kalahari Resorts & Conventions Sandusky

Kalahari Resorts & Conventions Sandusky

This Kalahari Resorts property is situated on the outskirts of Sandusky, near Cedar Point and the Lake Erie shoreline. The complex is famous for its African theme and for its indoor waterpark, which is the largest in Ohio.

Kids and adults alike can spend hours exploring the water slides and lazy river, or testing their skills at the artificial surf break. In summer the Zambezi Outdoor Waterpark takes the fun outside, while the Safari Adventure Park offers climbing walls, ziplining, and a ropes course for older kids. 

For many guests, the highlight is the Safari Animal Park, where you can meet live African animals up close. Treat your kids to the Junior Zoo Keeper experience and make their vacation one they’ll never forget.

Other on-site facilities range from jungle-themed mini-golf to spa facilities, and there are nine restaurants. For the most authentic themed experience, take your tribe to the Great Karoo Marketplace for buffet meals of African food like stews and couscous.

The hotel has a wide range of family rooms, suites, and there are even private villas with up to 10 bedrooms. All rooms come with waterpark admission, Wi-Fi, a refrigerator, and complimentary access to the fitness center.

Continue to 5 of 9 below.
05 of 09

Best in Amish Country: Berlin Resort

Berlin Resort

Berlin Resort

Introduce your kids to a more peaceful way of life with a visit to Berlin Resort in the heart of Amish Country. Set in beautifully landscaped grounds, the resort encourages families to get outside with tranquil adventures like a wander around the walking path or with evening conversations around the fire pits on the outdoor patio. There’s even a koi pond where kids can get up close and engage their curiosity by feeding the fish. The highlight for younger guests is undoubtedly the Children’s Village, with miniature houses and vintage storefronts for them to explore at leisure. 

More active leisure facilities at the resort include a pitch-and-putt golfing green and an indoor saltwater pool with a sauna and steam room. In the evening, complimentary family movies are screened at the 26-seater private movie theater.

Choose a room or suite with one King or two Queen beds, and enjoy all the modern comforts you might not expect from Amish Country including a flat-screen TV and free Wi-Fi.

Although the resort doesn’t have its own restaurant, you’re a few minute’s drive from Berlin’s top-rated Amish eateries like the Berlin Farmstead Restaurant, where you can get dishes like fried cod and Amish-style homemade meatloaf.

06 of 09

Best for Family Reunions: The Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake

The Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake

The Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake

Located east of Cleveland on the shores of Lake Erie, The Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake is the ideal pick for family reunions. The resort has a long list of activities to suit all ages, with a children’s playground and family ziplining courses, a choice of indoor and outdoor pools, and a lakefront trail for cycling or cross-country skiing in winter.

While the grandparents look after the kids, Mom and Dad can hop aboard the resort’s year-round wine shuttle and explore the award-winning vineyards of the Grand River Valley. 

At the end of the day, family members can reconvene on the fire terrace to recount their adventures before sitting down to dinner at Horizons Restaurant, which specializes in seasonal American cuisine. The restaurant has a dedicated kids menu and sophisticated options such as sirloin steak or breaded salmon for the adults.

The main resort building offers 109 cozy guest rooms, but for family reunions, choose one of 25 lakeside cottages. Each one sleeps six, with two bedrooms, a spacious living room, and a kitchenette, and a cottage provides access to all of the resort's amenities.  

07 of 09

Best Boutique: Kelleys Island Venture Resort

Kelleys Island Venture Resort

 

Kelleys Island Venture Resort

Accessible by ferry, just the ride to get to Kelleys Island Venture Resort is an exciting adventure for most children. Once you arrive, it’s the ideal base for Lake Erie watersports and fishing, or for hiking trips to Kelleys Island State Park.

With just 31 family-friendly suites, the resort has a boutique feel that ties in well with its nostalgic summer vacation atmosphere. All suites allow for basic self-catering with a mini-fridge, microwave, and coffeemaker, while your lake-view patio is a scenic spot for meals. Pack n’ Plays are available for families with toddlers. 

Kids will love the children’s playground, while the adjacent field provides plenty of space for games of frisbee or soccer with the whole family. Spend summer afternoons in the outdoor swimming pool, or admiring stunning Lake Erie vistas from the resort’s three-story waterfront deck.

Although there’s no on-site restaurant, charcoal grills are provided for memorable al fresco meals. Alternatively, you’re a short walk from downtown restaurants like The Village Pump, where you can get some American classics like burgers and chicken tenders.

This resort closes over the winter period, so be sure to book a stay before the season ends. 

08 of 09

Best for Nature Lovers: Maumee Bay Lodge and Conference Center

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For parents of budding naturalists, there’s no better place to stay than Maumee Bay Lodge and Conference Center. Situated on the shores of Lake Erie in Maumee Bay State Park, the resort offers access to miles of trails for hiking and biking, a nature center, and a wetlands boardwalk for junior birders.

As a guest, you can rent a canoe or paddleboat and go fishing on the 57-acre inland lake, or take a 20-minute drive to Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge where rangers offer excellent just-for-kids nature activities. 

Other on-site amenities range from indoor and outdoor pools to sports courts to a kids’ splash pad and playground. Dad can work on his handicap on the 18-hole golf course, while an indoor game room and soft play area mean that you don’t have to dread bad weather days.

At mealtimes, sit down to hearty meals and wraparound Lake Erie views at Water’s Edge Restaurant. There, boneless chicken wings are perfect for a picky eater, while other guests can have cornmeal-crusted walleye and hearty blackened chicken.

If you want to provide for yourself, two and four-bedroom cabins also give you the option of self-catering in a fully equipped kitchen. Still, all rooms come with Wi-Fi, a full bath, television, and a mini-fridge, so you can be sure you'll be comfortable no matter which accommodation you pick.

Continue to 9 of 9 below.
09 of 09

Best Camping: Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park Camp-Resort at Dogwood Valley

Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park Camp-Resort at Dogwood Valley

 Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park Camp-Resort at Dogwood Valley

Located an hour’s drive north of Columbus on 76 wooded acres near Mt. Gilead State Park, Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park is the ultimate family camping resort. Tented campsites and RV sites all offer hookups for electricity, water, and cable as well as a picnic table and fire ring. You can also rent comfortable self-catering cabins for up to eight people.

At the heart of the resort is a beautiful lake with a white sand beach and a safe swimming area. Take advantage of the complimentary paddle boats and canoes, or enjoy hours of fun on the water slides and inflatable challenge course. The resort also boasts heated outdoor swimming pools, an archery range, sports courts, and scheduled arts and crafts activities.

To get from one location to the next, hop aboard the campground train. The Yogi Bear theme is evident throughout, and kids can expect character visits from Yogi, Cindy, and Boo Boo.

Practical facilities include resort-wide Wi-Fi, a self-service laundromat, and a ranger station with camping supplies and basic groceries so you won't have to worry about packing all your own food.

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