I’ve been experiencing the winter blues lately. I’m tired, I have no energy, and my brain is generally mush. I love snow, but this year it came at the worst possible time. After being in a boot for six weeks to rest my injured foot, I finally was released to run again right about the time we got enough snow and ice to make running nearly impossible outdoors. And it then stayed cold enough to keep that small amount of snow and ice from melting for weeks. With my first 10k getting closer, I didn’t want to try to run on the ice and risk a new injury. Finally being given permission to run, but then being forced inside on the treadmill was enough to push me over the edge into a full-on winter slump.
I needed a break. We all needed a break, honestly. The kids were tired of being stuck in the house, Aaron also couldn’t run as easily outdoors. Even with my fondness for snow, we were all wishing for a warm getaway, even for a couple of days. Our solution: we packed everyone up in the car and made the short drive to Castaway Bay in Sandusky, OH for a warm mini-vacation in an indoor waterpark.
Castaway Bay is a part of the Cedar Point amusement park property. We love Cedar Point in the summer, and Castaway Bay is a close-to-home getaway for the colder months. (Although it’s open year-round.) It’s a cozy 82 degrees in the resort, and there are lots of activities to keep the kids entertained.
The main attraction, of course, is the waterpark. There are pools and waterslides for all ages and heights, a wave pool for the whole family, play areas featuring cargo-net crossings, an indoor-outdoor hot tub, a water roller coaster, and the multi-story Lookout Lagoon Family Funhouse with its 1,000 gallon bucket to drench everyone underneath.
This waterpark is slightly smaller than some of the other indoor waterparks we’ve been to, but it’s still a favorite. Why? Because none of the pool areas are deeper than four feet, making it safer for my novice swimmers to play without me watching their every move. (Mira still wears a life jacket by choice in the wave pool, but that’s because she’s only 4″ taller than four feet. Cordy is five feet tall, so she’s tall enough to just stand up in any pool.) Lifeguards are everywhere, too. There’s also a tightly controlled single entrance/exit to help make sure your kids don’t wander off. Since all of the waterpark attractions are arranged closely together, it’s fairly easy to keep an eye on kids without sticking right next to them.
Cordy and Mira were brave enough to ride the water roller coaster this year, and they loved it. Yes, a water roller coaster – you’re propelled up hills in your two-person raft by powerful water jets, with a couple of pitch black tunnels to make it even more exciting.
My favorite part would have to be the indoor-outdoor hot tub. It’s so relaxing to sit in the warm water in the outdoor section as the snow falls around you. Sorry, no photos since I was too worried about dropping my phone to take it into the hot tub. Cordy and Mira spent most of their time in the wave pool, when they weren’t shooting down water slides.
The rooms at Castaway Bay are very comfortable and quiet, with two queen beds, a mini-fridge, balcony (which didn’t get used in 10 degree weather), and a large bathroom with plenty of room to hang up wet bathing suits.
Beyond the waterpark, there’s also an arcade filled with video games and ticket games, a fitness center, a craft and child activity center, shops, and visits from the Peanuts characters.
For food, there are two restaurants currently open, with a new restaurant coming soon. We enjoyed Mango Mike’s breakfast buffet and ate until we were stuffed. Eggs, sausage gravy and biscuits, pancakes, bacon, fresh fruit, cereal, yogurt – it was a huge feast! Then we relaxed by the ginormous fire in the lobby before another swim session in the waterpark.
Our trip to Castaway Bay was a much-needed break from winter, and we had so much fun swimming and relaxing together. The resort is small enough that we never worried about getting lost or letting the kids out of sight for a few minutes, and the service from staff was warm and friendly. It was the perfect way to recharge my spirit and get me back on track – especially when the outside looked like this:
A special offer for you!
The package we enjoyed from Castaway Bay is now available for you, too, with the special “Room, Waterpark, and Breakfast Buffet” package. If you use the special promo code BLOG when booking your stay, you’ll have access to the special rate starting at $149/night. That includes a standard room, waterpark passes for everyone in your room (which are good for the day you arrive and the next day), and the breakfast buffet for everyone the next morning. You won’t find a better value anywhere else!
Reservations can be made online at CastawayBay.com or by calling (419)627-2106.
Whether it’s summer or winter, I love going up to Lake Erie for a weekend getaway. I also can’t wait until warmer days arrive, and Cedar Point opens with the newly renovated Hotel Breakers and their new roller coaster, Rougarou!
Disclosure: We were invited to Castaway Bay to write about our experiences. Room, waterpark and breakfast were provided, but all other expenses, including travel, dinner, and late-night ice cream, were paid for by us.