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Thread: Looking for mini family vacation ideas in the NY/PA/OH/MI/IN/Ont area

  1. #1
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    Dec 2005
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    Looking for mini family vacation ideas in the NY/PA/OH/MI/IN/Ont area

    There are a lot of family-oriented folks here, and a lot of great down to earth advice, so...

    I live in Southwestern Ontario, in London. The winter blahs are setting in, and we would dearly love to find a 3-day mini vacation. The downside is that we have four kids, aged 7 - 13, so affordable is key.

    Here is a map, showing the area that's on the table -- anything an easy one day drive.
    oneday.gif
    (ie: the 400-500km distance is the practical max)

    We've been to The Great Wolf Lodge, and Kalahari. Both are great indoor waterpark hotels, but they're also on the pricey side (when you add on the 3rd and 4th child...). I grew up near Niagara Falls, so that is old hat.

    Thoughts?
    "It's Not About You."

  2. #2
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    Feb 2009
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    Art, Along the lines of the Great Wolf and Kalahari is Avalanch Bay in Boyne, MI. Indoor water park at a ski resort. Swimming and Skiing all in one area. Also close to Traverse City and Macinac City. Not to mention you could get in touch with Larry Edgerton and help him keep his sanity. He lives close to that area I believe.

  3. #3
    We're just across the lake from you in Erie and we have an indoor water park, skiing (down hill and cross country) nearby and tax free shopping on clothing. You can stop by the falls and see them with the ice as you come around the end of the lake.
    Lee Schierer - McKean, PA

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  4. #4
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    What about Ann Arbor? There's a number of museum, including the Hands On Museum and a number of museums at UofM. There's plenty of shopping and food downtown as well as in the suburban areas surrounding. As long as there no major UofM event that weekend prices shouldn't be too bad. 45 minutes away in metro Detroit there's The Henry Ford (the museum, IMAX, and Rouge tour are open but the village is closed for the winter.) All-in-all a pretty well rounded place to visit.

    http://www.visitannarbor.org


  5. #5
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    If any of your kids are baseball fans, Cooperstown (MLB HoF) is great. I have only been there in summer, so I don't know how it is in winter. If you spend a day there, you could go on to the VT/NH ski areas which are within pretty easy driving distance. The drive home would be pretty long, though.

  6. #6
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    Way too early for this but:
    http://www.tecumsehdrama.com/

    The show is nothing short of incredible.
    I took my kids to it when they were 5 and 6.
    They sat through the entire show wide eyed and with gaping jaws!
    I did too!!!!!

    You sit in a semi circular amphitheater & the play takes place all around you. There's one particular scence where,,,,,oh heck I'm not going to spoil it for anyone.
    Let's just say that at one point, the whole audience is part of a Shawnee raiding party. The actors & action take place on the stage, in the woods surrounding the theater and even in among the audience itself.

  7. #7
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    Rock and roll hall of fame Cleveland, inventors hall of fame Akron, and football hall of fame Canton all about 1 hour apart. also Hartville kitchen and Hartville Hardware. Keim lumber in Amish country down in Charm, Ohio with a lot of tourist attractions and places to eat down there.

  8. #8
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    I'm a 'summer' guy, and after hunting season I go into hibernation.
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    Every time you make a typo, the errorists win

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  9. #9
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    Art:

    Depending on when you will be travelling you might pass me going in the other direction.

    We are renting a condo on the Canadian side of Niagra Falls in early August.

    I really can't add anything to your itinerary though. Cheers

    Jim

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Mattheiss View Post
    We are renting a condo on the Canadian side of Niagra Falls in early August.
    That's the time to do it!

    When you want to see the falls themselves, I recommend getting up "early" and heading there about 9am. Quietest time of the day, and easiest to wander right up at the brink of the Horseshoe falls. Later on you can browse all the tourist trap stores. I also recommend heading north along the river and go hiking at the Niagara Glen (if you like outdoors + hiking) Most restaurants right at the falls are pricey, but a 10 minute ride on the highway puts you in St.Catharines where things are cheaper. If you're bringing kids along, then a day at Marineland would be fun also - see the dolphin show + great white shark show, and ride some rides as well.

    Have fun!
    "It's Not About You."

  11. #11
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    I'll second Matt's suggestion of Ann Arbor. I lived there for five years, and it is really just a great little city with lots to see and do.
    If you only took one trip to the hardware store, you didn't do it right.

  12. #12
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    Hi Art,

    Ther are a lot of Museums And state parks in the Pittsburgh area. There are a series of Books called Kids Love Travel. http://www.kidslovetravel.com/
    It is written by a guy that travels around with his family and writes up the places that they go and LIKE. So you get kid tested stuff and there is a price guide for each activily. I met them at a home schooling convention. Nice people and a great product if you are traveling with kids. If you will be anywhere near to the intersection of I-79 and I-80 (Western PA) let me know and we can get togeather.
    Chuck

    When all else fails increase hammer size!
    "You can know what other people know. You can do what other people can do."-Dave Gingery

  13. #13
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    If Indianapolis in withing range you will find several things family appropriate. If museums are your thing, check out the Indianapolis Childrens Museum (one of the best anywhere), the Indianapolis Art Museum and the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art. If you follow college sports in the US, the NCAA headquarters features an interactive museum that kids seem to love. There is an interesting museum at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway that is well worth the visit and very inexpensive.

    There is also a Rockler and Woodcraft if you wish to visit. Both are "good people" stores in my opinion.

    A few seconds with Google gave me the Caribbean Cove Indoor Water Park in Indy. I know nothing of it. I can recommend the Indiana Pacers that have relatively inexpensive seats for most NBA home games if that interests you. Any in a few weeks the AAA Indianapolis Indians will begin play at Victory Field, one of the nicest, most family friendly baseball parks anyplace. I don't know if there are tours available for Luca Oil Stadium, home of the NFL's Indianapolis Colts. You might be able to catch a home college basketball game for the Butler Bulldogs in historic Hinkle Field House.
    Last edited by Ron Jones near Indy; 02-19-2011 at 4:42 PM.
    ________
    Ron

    "Individual commitment to a group effort--that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work."
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  14. #14
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    Just thought I'd drop a small note in on this old thread.

    Last weekend I took the family down to Cleveland and we spent some time at the Great Lakes Science Center, which is right on the waterfront beside the Cleveland Browns stadium. Our kids are from 8-14 and it was fun for them (and for both of us parents also). I'm a space buff, so I quite liked the NASA section of the museum. As well on the top floor of the museum practically EVERY single display is an interactive one, with something for you to try out doing.

    Unfortunately, the USS COD was closed for the season. It is located right next door, or I would have gladly toured that WWII submarine as well.
    There is also a Freighter/Steamship museum which you can tour, which stays open a bit later than the sub. I toured half of that, and it is also interesting to see.

    (Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is there also, but no one else in the family was remotely interested in that!)

    There is doubtless other stuff to see in the area, but that is what we visited!

    ...art

    ps: Matt, maybe next time I'll manage a Creeker visit as we cruise by on I75, but i see in another thread that you were away in Florida anyways...
    "It's Not About You."

  15. #15
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    Yep, wouldn't have worked this time but you pass about 8 miles from me on I-75.

    If you ever are in FL, There was some kind of space thing near Port Canveral. .

    We could see the vehicle assembly building from our ship actually. We didn't actually go to the space center this time but did about 5 years ago while a shuttle was sitting on the launch pad. The next night we saw it launch standing outside the front gate of Magic Kingdom. Almost as cool as the one I saw in the mid-90s from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
    Last edited by Matt Meiser; 10-24-2011 at 9:41 PM.


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