HOLIDAY GUSTO & GARLAND at Five Ohio State Parks

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This article appeared in a past edition of OhioTraveler.com.

Five Ohio State Park Lodges are celebrating the December holidays with fun and festive events.

“When I see the exquisite decorations enhancing every lobby and the natural beauty of our parks in a blanket of snow along with the lights and traditions of nearby towns, I am reminded of why I always spend the holidays in Ohio,” said Hinch Knece, marketing manager for Ohio State Park Lodges and Conference Centers. “Simply put, we do holidays right around here.”

Here are some of the festivities planned at Ohio State Park Lodges.

Punderson Manor Lodge and Conference Center in Northeast Ohio

The elegant Punderson Manor Lodge and Conference Center will offer an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast each Sunday in December leading up to Christmas. From 7:30 until 11 a.m. on select dates in December, parents will treat their children to brunch surrounded by festive decorations which serve as the ideal backdrop for the opportunity share a wish list and have a photo taken with the big man himself, Santa Claus. Reservations are recommended and available by calling 1-440-564-9144.

Maumee Bay Lodge and Conference Center in Northwest Ohio

Answering the age-old question “What do we do with the kids now that Christmas is done?” will be the popular Maumee Bay Lodge and Conference Center Winter Carnival in December.

During those days, the ballroom of the lodge is transformed into a large recreation center with carnival games for children of all ages. In addition to the games – such as Jacob’s Ladder, jousting, inflatables and other carnival games – guests can enjoy the lodge’s indoor swimming pool, splash garden, children’s soft play area, Wallyball courts, game room and fitness center. Or they can visit the park’s acclaimed Nature Center, featuring a boardwalk through a wetland area that attracts many species of birds and other wildlife. The Winter Carnival is open only to lodge guests.

Salt Fork Lodge and Conference Center in Cambridge, Ohio

Salt Fork Lodge and Conference Center makes a great home base when visiting one of the area’s celebrated holiday traditions – Dickens Victorian Village in nearby Cambridge. For the ninth year, this incredible seasonal public art display features close to 200 mannequins depicting 80 scenes throughout the town. The displays are available through December. Salt Fork State Park Lodge is one of the closest lodges to the Cambridge event, and the lodge offers an array of lodging options and special rates.

Mohican Lodge and Conference Center in Loudonville, Ohio

Mohican Lodge and Conference Center in north central Ohio is a convenient and comfortable base for nearby events followed by a New Year’s Eve party at the lodge. In early December, guests can enjoy the “Holiday Hop Shop” in downtown Loudonville featuring a holiday atmosphere and old-fashion hospitality from the store owners and their employees.  Many businesses will be offering sales, refreshments and more. Malabar Farm will host Candlelight Holidays Tours. Guests will enjoy fresh baked cookies and hot cider. A small fee will be charged. Pre-registration is not required.  Call 419-892-2784 for details.

Mohican will host a New Year’s Eve party with a package that includes one night of accommodations, buffet dinner for two on New Year’s Eve, admission to Grand Ballroom party with live DJ, champagne toast at midnight and breakfast for two on New Year’s Day. The package also features a welcome gift upon arrival, including sparkling wine, two Mohican champagne glasses and Amish country chocolates.

Deer Creek Lodge and Conference Center near Akron, Ohio

Deer Creek Lodge and Conference Center creates a home-away-from-home feel as it partners with local area garden clubs to decorate the lodge in festive holiday lights and ornaments. This year there are 13 trees and 20,000 lights with most of the ornaments constructed of natural materials. In addition to maintaining a “lodge” appeal, this approach offers guests the opportunity to see how they could make similar ornaments at home.

For more information about Ohio State Park Lodges visit www.ohiostateparklodges.com or call 1-800-ATAPARK (1-800-282-7275).