Ohio Road Trip: Geneva On the Lake

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A visit to family friendly Geneva-on-the-Lake makes for a great family vacation in Ohio this summer!

This post was written in partnership with The Lodge at Geneva on the Lake and Lake Erie Canopy Tours.

I continue to be surprised by the variety of getaways there are to be found in Ohio! {Read 5 of the Best Things About Ohio} Ohio is underrated, as far as I am concerned, and recently we took a trip that proved that point to me yet again!

We were invited to spend the night at The Lodge at Geneva On the Lake, a beautiful resort with great lakeside views, fine dining and it’s own adventurous attraction: Lake Erie Canopy Tours.

boys at The Lodge at Geneva on the Lake

We arrived at the Lodge on a Friday afternoon and the boys enjoyed exploring our hotel rooms.

The Lodge at Geneva on the Lake

We’ve only recently just begun to re-try hotels with kids (after one scarring experience with our then 2 year old)! I’m happy to report that hotel experiences have since improved, so if you’re in that “oh my gosh no one gets any sleep staying in a hotel room with our kids is the worst I’ll never do this again” phase, there’s hope. 😉

The Lodge at Geneva on the Lake

The Lodge generously provided us with adjoining hotel rooms, so that was a huge plus, I’ll admit! But the rooms with a sitting area are a great size on their own!

We had dinner at Horizons Restaurant, located inside The Lodge, which has a kids menu, and a great view. There is a dress code for the restaurant but it doesn’t have to be super fancy. I was relieved to find that were not the only ones eating there with kids, either.

Horizons Restaurant

Horizons Restaurant

The Lodge has an indoor and an outdoor pool, outdoor fire pits and a rec room with board games and a few arcade games. My kids enjoyed playing checkers in the lobby and exploring the gift shop! The grounds are beautiful and provide opportunity for walking along the water or sitting outside to relax.

The Lodge at Geneva on the Lake

In the morning, Horizons Restaurant hosts a really great breakfast buffet.

breakfast buffet at Horizons Restaurant

We had our choice of eggs, bacon, sausage, quiche, potatoes, oatmeal, stuffed pancakes, french toast plus all the usuals of a continental breakfast: cold cereal, pastries, toast and bagels, etc. There was also an omelet station with a designated chef!

breakfast food at Horizons Restaurant

On Saturday morning, the kids took to the trees for the Kids Adventure Course at Lake Erie Canopy Tours, which is owned by The Lodge at Geneva on the Lake and, conveniently, on the same property.

Kids at Lake Erie Canopy Tours

I’ll admit when I was booking this trip I had my doubts. My kids are a little bit on the young end for this course and they can both be pretty cautious at times.

kids course at Lake Erie Canopy Tours

But both of my kids jumped into this, proving me wrong! The kids go through a course of ropes, bridges, balance beams and at the end, a zip line! We had some struggles along the way with our 3 year old but he made it through!

kids course at Lake Erie Canopy Tours

lake erie canopy tours

They were pretty proud of themselves for making it through the course, however we couldn’t get them to conquer the zip line and both had to be rescued at the end!

kid on course at Lake Erie Canopy Tours

The course is geared for ages 4 to 10. I’d say it totally depends on the kid, but I think kids 6 and up would enjoy it the most.

There is an Adventure Course for adults available for older kids and adults. It looked amazing. I’ll admit I would have been scared, but my husband was itching to do it! Also available for adults is the Canopy Tour – a 2.5 hour guided zip line tour!

Lake Erie Canopy Tours

The adult Adventure Course is a two hour course, so it wasn’t possible for us to do it while we had the kids there. If you’d like to do the adult course, this would be an obstacle to consider, so maybe going with another family or having grandpa and grandma along on the trip could be a solution. (And honestly a trip to The Lodge at Geneva would make a great couples getaway!)

the strip in Geneva on the Lake, Ohio

After completing the kids course, we headed down the strip at Geneva on the Lake. We were there before Memorial Day when things really open up for the season, but it was still a fun outing!

The Strip at Geneva-on-the-Lake

The Strip at Geneva on the Lake

I could just imagine how the strip comes alive during the summer!

the Strip at Geneva on the Lake

One stop that was highly recommended to us was Madsen Donuts – we stopped in for a yummy glazed donut. We also hit up Sports Center Arcade.

Madsen Donuts at Geneva on the Lake

Sports Arcade at Geneva on the Lake

Also along the strip is a ferris wheel, restaurants, mini golf, shopping, ice cream and Adventure Zone Family Fun Center!

Geneva on the Lake

Geneva on the Lake Ohio

This would make such a fun Ohio getaway this summer! Geneva on the Lake is a 3 hour drive from Columbus. You could easily spend one or two nights at the Lodge and have a fun family getaway.

Know Before You Go:

The Lodge at Geneva-on-the Lake
4888 North Broadway (State Route 534)
Geneva-on-the-Lake, Ohio 44041
866-806-8066

Lake Erie Canopy Tours
4888 North Broadway (SR 534)
Geneva-on-the-Lake, OH 44041
Open weekends in May and daily May 25 – October 31.
Hours: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
866-601-1973

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Geneva on the Lake, Ohio

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ICYMI: 5 Reasons Why You Should Visit The Dublin Market with Your Kids

 


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The Unofficial West Side Ice Cream Trail

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The West Side of Columbus his home to several unique ice cream shops!

I love ice cream! So of course I have an ongoing list of ice cream shops to try around Columbus! When we moved to Westgate, we discovered that the West Side of Columbus is full of hidden gems when it comes to ice cream! Lucky me! Put these on your summer bucket list ASAP!

1. Cream & Sugar

  • 2185 Sullivant Ave., Columbus, OH 43223

ice cream cone at Cream & Sugar

Any place that has an ice cream flavor called Exhausted Parent earns my business! Cream & Sugar on Sullivant Ave. is open every day from 2:00 PM – 9:00 PM during the spring and summer seasons. This is a walk-up shop with seating outside. You can also catch them at the Westgate Farmer’s Market serving up coffee, ice cream and coffee floats made with Stauf’s Coffee!

Kids Cones are just $1! Cream & Sugar makes a very creamy ice cream. I recommend kids get it in a bowl rather than a cone because its texture is so creamy that it needs more structure to hold up! Choose between soft serve and hand dipped cone options as well as a variety of other treats!

boy and ice cream cone at Cream & Sugar


2. La Plaza Tapatia

  • 4233 Shoppers Ln., Columbus, OH 43228

La Plaza Tapatia ice cream shop

This place is a gem for multiple reasons. The shop, tucked away off of Georgesville Rd., houses a Mexican grocery store, a full-sized restaurant and an ice cream shop! When it comes to ice cream, you can choose between hand dipped flavors, sundaes and Mexican paletas (popsicles). Pictured here is the Tres Marias – three flavors of ice cream with strawberry and chocolate sauce plus whipped cream in a waffle bowl! You can also buy aguas frescas – fresh fruit drinks in the ice cream shop!

Tres Marias at La Plaza Tapatia


3. Dulce Vida Ice Cream Factory

  • 4201 W. Broad St., Columbus, OH 43228

boy eating ice cream at Dulce Vida West

This bright and colorful place is one of our favorites! My whole family loves the paletas here and there are also lots of flavors of hand dipped ice cream to choose from! Dulce Vida West offers a lot of indoor seating and some other food options as well! My kids are always choosing the most brightly colored paleta but I’m a sucker for the Oreo flavor!

Oreo Paleta at Dulce Vida West


4. Hilltop Dairy Twist

  • 2860 Sullivant Ave., Columbus, Ohio 43204

Hilltop Dairy Twist

I love Hilltop Dairy Twist because it’s your classic, no frills dariette. This was the kind of thing I grew up with in Wayne County, Ohio – locally owned dariettes serving soft serve, flurries and sundaes plus a whole menu of food options! I couldn’t find anything like this in Columbus until I drove past Hilltop Dairy Twist one day while working! The sign outside boasted 40 flavors of soft serve and I knew I had to check it out! Just on the edge of Westgate, I am thrilled to be able to make this an affordable go-to ice cream spot! This is a walk up spot with outdoor seating. Cash only!

boy eating ice cream at Hilltop Dairy Twist


5. Tony’s Coneys

  • 5266 W. Broad St., Columbus, OH 43228

ice cream shop at Tony's Coneys

You might not guess that Tony’s Coneys serves ice cream, but inside the restaurant, there is a separate room just for the ice cream shop! Not only does Tony’s serve, well, coneys, they have a pretty extensive menu of food! There is indoor and outdoor seating and a walk up option. Soft serve cones for kids are $1 and I HIGHLY recommend the chocolate malt milkshake! Yum!

boy eating ice cream at Tony's Coneys


You might also want to check out 5 on Friday: Unique Ice Cream Spots to add to your list! 😉

Exploring Columbus with Your Kids

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Top 10 Things to do with Kids in Columbus, Ohio

Top 10 Things to do with Kids in Columbus Ohio

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Columbus has so much to offer families! It’s a great place to live, work, play and visit! Every day it seems I run across something new going on or a special event to check out! My family moved here 10 years ago and we have fallen in love!

If you’re new to Columbus, planning a trip to Columbus or a new parent in Columbus, these are the top 10, can’t miss family-friendly things to do in this amazing city!

1. Center of Science and Industry

One of the top science museums in the country, the Center of Science and Industry (COSI) has something for kids (and adults) of all ages! There are 2 full floors of hands-on science exhibits with different themes from Oceans to Gadgets to Energy, a cafe, a little kidspace that’s perfect for the 6 and under crowd, a permanent American Museum of Natural History Dinosaur Gallery and seasonal, traveling exhibits.

2. Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Another gem in Columbus is the Zoo and Aquarium! Highlights include the Heart of Africa, the Polar Frontier and the new Shores Play Park! The Zoo is open every day of the year except Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Don’t miss the special shows, programs for kids and holiday events like Boo at the Zoo and Wildlights! During the summer you can combine your visit with water play at Zoombezi Bay (additional tickets required)!

3. Columbus Metropolitan Library, Main Library and Topiary Park

The Main Library in downtown Columbus was remodeled in 2016 and offers a large children’s area, reading rooms, a coffee shop and cafe, gift shop with unique items, and outdoor patio and access to the internet. It’s worth stopping here even if just to check out the unique Topiary Park just East of the library. There is access to the park from the library. The park is a sculptural interpretation of Georges Seurat’s A Sunday Afternoon on the Isle of La Grand Jatte. There are 54 people made of plants and bushes as well as boats, dogs and other animals, standing up to 12 feet tall!

4. Columbus Commons

Looking for a green space in the middle of the city to put your feet up and let the kids run around? Look no further than Columbus Commons. Not only is there a huge green space for kids to run around in, during the warmer months there is access to art supplies and books on most days and a carousel! There are two permanent cafes in the park, Tortilla – Mexican street food and Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams – some of the best ice cream in Columbus! Throughout the season the park hosts many events, concerts and festivals including Commons for Kids on Friday mornings during the summer.

5. Columbus Museum of Art

Believe it or not, there is a lot for kids to do at the Columbus Museum of Art! Check out the Wonder Room, a space completely dedicated to kids where they can explore various textiles and activities to inspire the artist inside. Throughout the museum there are rotating activities for kids to make connections to the art on the walls. Each year the museum is home to Think Outside the Brick, a huge LEGO display and opportunities for free building. Look for opportunities to take a Family Adventures Tour or drop in on a Young Child Studio. Bonus: the museum is FREE on Sundays!

6. Inniswood Metro Gardens

Many of the Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks offer amazing play and learning opportunities for kids, indoors and outdoors, but Inniswood Metro Gardens is especially magical for children. The park includes a Sister’s Garden with places for kids to play, look for frogs and hide in the Secret Garden. Kids can walk amongst the trees on suspension bridges and climb into a treehouse. The park also offers programs for children throughout the year.

7. Franklin Park Conservatory

Franklin Park Conservatory offers the opportunity to step into another climate, be it the desert or the rain forest! Amazing botanical displays are a guarantee and exhibits rotate throughout the seasons. In the spring Blooms & Butterflies opens and your family can watch newly emerged butterflies be released into the habitat. There is a small children’s play area, preschool programs and family friendly activities on Saturdays. The conservatory has indoor and outdoor components. The grounds of the park are beautiful in themselves and also include a playground!

8. Scioto Audubon Metro Park

The only Metro Park in downtown Columbus is the Scioto Audubon Metro Park. Within it is the Grange Insurance Audubon Center. The best views of downtown Columbus can be seen from the Center and inside there is a children’s play area, live animals on display and lots of opportunities for bird watching! Walk through the park, over the boardwalk to the climbing wall and playground area for extra exercise! Outside the Audubon Center there is a sand box for kids to play in, a chalk board and overlook decks to spot wildlife! See 9 Things to do with Your Kids at Scioto Audubon for more ideas!

9. Ohio History Center

The Ohio History Center is the hub of the Ohio History Connection, which includes 58 historic sites around Ohio. The Ohio History Center features exhibits highlighting the history of Ohio including a life in the 1950’s, pioneer Ohio, Ohio animals, including a large Mastodon on display, a children’s play area, vehicles and airplanes on display and much more. During the summer months, Ohio Village, an outdoor village that recreates life in the 1800’s is open for exploring and special events.

10. Easton Town Center

Easton Town Center is your one stop destination for shopping, eating, playing and more! This open air mall offers just about any store you can imagine, fountains for splashing, a model train and kid-friendly stores like Build-A-Bear, American Girl, The LEGO Store and coming in the fall of 2018, LEGOLAND® Discovery Center! Beyond shopping, Easton offers tons of stand-alone restaurants to choose from as well as a food court.

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ICYMI: The Complete List of Columbus Play Cafes

Top 10 Things to do with Kids in Columbus, Ohio


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