Put-in-Bay, Ohio is the perfect little getaway for a family! Take the Miller Ferry to this small island and leave your cares behind as you get to explore Island life! Take a look at these 10 Fun Things to Do in Put-in-Bay with Kids!

Why Visit Put-in-Bay with Kids?

Put-in-Bay, Ohio is on our summer fun list every single year. We love taking the Miller Ferry over to the island and spending a day on this fun Island! I often get asked what is there to do on Put-in-Bay with kids?

Most people know of Put-in-Bay as a great place to go for a bachelorette or bachelor or big birthday celebration. But, there is a TON of things to do in Put-in-Bay with kids. We recently spent an entire Sunday checking out the island and I am sharing the 10 Best things to do with kids on Put-in-Bay.

Thank you to the Miller Ferry and Perry’s Cave for sponsoring this post! We have visited Put-in-Bay with our kids for years, so we appreciated the opportunity to promote this fun place!

Getting around Put in Bay with Kids #cleveland #lakeerie #staycation

What to Know about Put-in-Bay

Put-in-Bay (PIB for short) is a village located on South Bass Island on Lake Erie.The island is accessible only by boat or private airplane. It is is often called the “Key West of the North” as this town features a lively entertainment scene, historical sites and great views of the water.

Put-in-Bay offers a something for everyone including state parks, family attractions, wineries, restaurants, shopping, helicopter rides and more!

There are plenty of lodging options on Put-in-Bay including hotels, VRBOs and campsites. You can visit entire weekend on the Island or you can make a day of it!

Some of the most notable historic landmarks on the Island are tied to the Battle of Lake Erie during the War of 1812. Perry’s Victory & International Peace Memorial is a 352 ft tall monument that can be seen for miles on Lake Erie. The monument recognizes Commodore Perrry and his victory during the Battle. He is known for the famous quote, “Don’t Give Up the Ship”.  There is a lot of American history tied to Put-in-Bay!

Put-in-Bay is one of those places that you visit once and you will want to go back again! It is truly fun for kids of all ages.

10 Things to Do on Put-in-Bay with Kids


First things first, you have to get over to Put-in-Bay. You can leave your car at the Miller Ferry Dock (parking is usually $5) and walk or bring your bike on to the Ferry.

Put in Bay with Kids #cleveland #southbassisland #staycation


It is such a thrill for the kids to watch all of the cars get on to the ferry. We always head to the second floor of the boat to get some really great views of Lake Erie.

Put in Bay with Kids #cleveland #southbassisland #staycation

Put in Bay with Kids #cleveland #southbassisland #staycation

The entire Ferry transit time is under 20 minutes–which is the perfect amount of time for the kids!

Miller Ferry Details

  • During the peak summer season (June 14th-August 18th) the Ferry leaves every 30 minutes.
  • The LAST ferry of the day departs PIB at 9:00 p.m.
  • Ticket Prices: Adult $7.50 Child (6-11yrs.)$1.50 Child (under 6yrs.) Free
  • You can bring your car or bike Bicycle $2.00 Car – Vehicle Guidelines$17.00 (There is really no need to bring a car unless perhaps you are staying overnight!)
  • The entire ferry schedule and additional details can be found HERE.


The BEST way to get around PIB is on a golf cart! It is so much FUN! Once you depart the ferry, it is just a short walk up the hill (and to your right) to E’s Golf Cart.

Put in Bay attractions for families

It is recommended that you call ahead to reserve your cart (especially if you need a larger golf cart), as it can be a busy place during peak season.

Getting around Put in Bay with Kids #cleveland #lakeerie #staycation

You can reserve child car seats at no extra charge!


There are a ton of restaurants around the town’s main square and our favorite is The Keys. It feels like a slice of the Key West. They have an extensive menu including a lot of options on the kids menu. We love the music and the atmosphere.

Put in Bay Attractions for families

Be sure to grab an outdoor table to listen to live music, watch the boats come into the harbor and just people watch!

Put in Bay Staycation #thingstodo #lakerie


After lunch, the kids are ready to explore. We usually stop at the huge playground area in the town center. There is so much space and equipment for the kids to run around. You could even pack a lunch and eat at the playground…we have done that too!!


Once you are ready to do a little bit exploring, you do not want to miss Perry’s Victory and Peace Monument. This National Landmark is located right off the square (you can’t miss it) and commemorates the lives that were lost during the Battle of Lake Erie as part of the War of 1812.

Put-in-Bay with kids #perrysmonument #attractions #lakeerie

You just take a flight up stairs up to the admissions desk and then you take an elevator up to the top.

Visiting PIB with kids #lakeerie #ohio #daytrips

The views of the entire Island (and on a good day, Canada!) are spectacular! We lucked out with great views during our visit.

Put in Bay Trip with Kids #lakeerie #ohio #staycation

Additional Perry’s Victory & Peace Monument Details

  • Admission is $10 for those 16 years and older. Kids 15 and younger are FREE!
  • During peak season (May 18th-September 8th), the observation deck is open from 10 am- 6 pm daily.


Next, be sure to head over to Perry’s Cave for a lot of family fun! There are so many attractions to choose from at Perry’s Cave Family Fun Center including gem mining, putt-putt, rock wall, maze and a cave tour.

Our absolute favorite attraction at Perry’s Cove is the Butterfly House. It was our first time this year visiting the Butterfly House and we were in utter awe.

Butterfly House at Perry's Cave #ohio #lakeerie #putinbay

Butterfly House at Perry's Cave

This butterfly house was one of the coolest butterfly live exhibits we have ever seen! There are over 50 different butterfly species to see. We couldn’t believe how many butterflies were all around!

Butterfly House on Put-in-Bay #ohio #lakeerie #cleveland #sandusky

Tickets for the Butterfly House can be purchased individually or you can purchase as part of a combo pack with other Perry’s Cave attractions!

Adults: $8.00

Children – Ages 6 to 12: $5.00

Children age 5 and under: FREE


Another awesome attraction at Perry’s Cave is to take an actual tour of a cave! The tour runs at frequent intervals and lasts about 20 minutes long. This cave is 52 feet below the surface of South Bass Island. The cave has ties to Commodore Perry as he and his troops discovered the cave in 1813.

Visiting Put in Bay with Kids Perry's Cave

You get to catch views of stalactites, stalagmites and cave pearls on the cave’s walls, ceiling and floor created by heavily encrusted calcium carbonate deposits from centuries of water dripping from the ceiling. It does get a bit cool in the cave (although not a problem when you visit during the summer as it is a nice respite from heat!)

Put-in-Bay attractions for families with kids #ohio #lakeerie #staycation #cleveland


Tickets for Perry’s Cave can be purchased individually or you can purchase as part of a combo pack with other Perry’s Cave attractions!

Adults: $8.00

Children – Ages 6 to 12: $5.00

Children age 5 and under: FREE


There are plenty of treats to be had at Put-in-Bay. The best place for ice cream and sweet treats is Dairy Isle. This shop is located right near the town center.

Put-in-Bay attractions for families with kids #ohio #lakeerie #staycation #cleveland

We cooled off with ice cream and smoothies.

Put in Bay attractions for families #lakeerie #sandusky #ohio

My youngest son opted for Donut Fries and I think that the fries were everyone’s FAVORITE! I highly recommend trying the DONUT FRIES!



No vacation is complete without finding the perfect souvenir. There are shops for everyone at Put-in-Bay including home decor, clothing and kids! You could honestly spend a day just hitting all of the shops at Put-in-Bay!

10 Things to Do on Put-in-Bay #lakeerie #southbassisland #ohio

Every year, we visit Del Sol, which has clothing and accessories that all change color when exposed to the SUN!

Shopping on Put in Bay

They offer shirts, balls, sunglasses and even nail polish that changes colors!

Put in Bay kid friendly attractions #family #ohio #staycation

My kids also won’t let a trip go by without a visit to the CANDY BAR at Put-in-Bay. They offer homemade fudge, saltwater taffy and other delicious treats!

What to do with Kids on Put in Bay



Last but not least, if your family still has some energy, you don’t want to miss the iconic Kimberly’s Carousel! Step back in time with this old fashioned carousel ride that was constructed in 1917.

Put-in-Bay Attractions for families

TICKETS are $1.50! What a deal.



These are 10 of our Favorite things to do on Put-in-Bay! We also like just cruising around the Island in our rented golf cart! There is so much to see and do on Put-in-Bay.

We always leave the island tired, happy and full of memories!

Visiting Put in Bay with Kids

Are you going to add Put-in-Bay to your family’s summer bucket list??

You might enjoy these other Family Travel Posts:

Yogi Bear Jellystone with Kids

Rosemary Beach and the 30A Family Trip

The Best Road Trip Activities for Kids

Washington, D.C. with Kids

Niagara Falls, Canada Family Trip


  1. Holly Breton @ Pink Lady on July 18, 2019 at 7:56 am

    Looks like such a cute little island!

  2. Dara on July 18, 2019 at 8:12 am

    I’ve never heard of this but it looks like a great place to visit!

  3. Jeffrey on July 19, 2019 at 9:55 am

    I’ve been to Put-in-Bay twice, but my wife and kids have never had the opportunity. Both times that I went were nearly 20 years ago! I really think its a place we would enjoy as a family on a nice summer day.

  4. Carrie Atkinson on July 19, 2019 at 9:55 am

    One of our favorite place ito go every summer! We go st the end of July and can’t wait!

  5. Trisha on July 19, 2019 at 11:06 am

    It looks like a fun time! I am from Ohio and have never been there.

  6. Brittany Henkel on July 20, 2019 at 10:39 pm

    We have never been to put in bay. I would love to take my daughter.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.