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Learning Outdoors at Ohio’s Lake Erie Shores & Islands

December 1, 2020

Students love to tour Ohio’s Lake Erie Shores & Islands because it offers just the right mix of education and fun. We want to make sure your visit is not only a memorable one, but also safe. Additional policies and procedures have been put into place destination-wide to ensure your group’s comfort and safety. It’s especially important now to get youth enjoying the great outdoors and getting fresh air. If you can combine that with a learning experience, everyone is satisfied. Here is a two-day itinerary which does just that!

DAY ONE: Start your day with a guided group tour at Schedel Arboretum & Gardens in Elmore. Breathe in the scents of blooming flowers and appreciate the garden statuary as you stroll these magnificent outdoor flora collections. With more than 10,000 annual plants and flowers, the gardens also offer several themed displays with unique presentations, such as the Japanese, Rose, Tropical, and Iris & Peony gardens. There is also a Bonsai tree collection with 120 plants. Students will learn the history of the gardens, botany and plant science, and an appreciation of nature. The gardens feature a welcome center with indoor restrooms and the ability to arrange catered meals, so lunch can be enjoyed on site.

To carry on an appreciation of the outdoors, make a stop at either the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge or Magee Marsh Wildlife Area for a hike on a trail or leisurely stroll on the boardwalk in search of wildlife and migrating birds. Both facilities offer visitor centers as well.

Continue on to Lakeside Chautauqua, located on the Marblehead peninsula. Lakeside’s historic community offers live entertainment, educational lectures, cultural arts experiences, and recreational activities for all ages. Quaint shopping, unique dining, and overnight accommodations complete the experience. Upon arrival, take in a tour of the Lakeside Historical Museum or arrange to attend a history lecture. Formal dinner can be had at the historic Hotel Lakeside Dining Room or, for more casual fare, take the group to the all-new Slack House Historic Café, featuring fast-casual sandwiches and over-the-top milkshakes.

Group accommodations are plentiful within Lakeside, from cottage and cabin rentals, to room blocks at Hotel Lakeside or The Fountain Inn, and again safety protocols are prevalent with lodging facilities so you can rest easy. But before you do, don’t miss the amazing sunset views at the pier and pavilion.

DAY TWO: Your second day is all about recreation and working together for fun! Divide your participants into smaller groups to enjoy such outdoor recreational activities as basketball, sand volleyball, pickleball, tennis, and shuffleboard – lessons are even available for shuffleboard and pickleball if needed. Then hit the water with watercraft rentals such as sunfish sailboats, kayaks, and stand-up paddleboards. Or, the Grindley Aquatic Center pool can be reserved for a private swim session. Round out your day with some free time in the village to enjoy souvenir shopping or an ice cream treat before heading home.

This is one school trip the kids won’t soon forget! Contact the group accounts team at Ohio’s Lake Erie Shores & Islands to arrange this or a similar itinerary for your youth group in 2021!

Photo courtesy of Ohio’s Lake Erie Shores & Islands.