Five of Ohio’s state park lodges are celebrating the season with more than leaf peeping pleasure. A perfect grade earns a discount. For each A on a report card, the lodges will knock $10 off the published rate of a room. If you’re one of those parents whose child gets one A after another, lucky you. Bring a report card with five of them and you’ll get a $50 discount. Fifty dollars is the maximum, however, so a sixth A doesn’t count.
In order to get this deal, show the star student’s original report card at check-in. In case you’re a family with more than one star student, pat yourselves on the back for well-earned efforts, but only one report card per room may be used. However, there are more perks to be had for one lucky family.
Called Stays 4 A’s, this discount program has pulled in 700 plus families since it first started three years ago. With the 1,000th student likely to show up this school year, that student has a bonanza of prizes waiting. Happily, the kid’s family is part of the deal.
The 1000th student will receive: a gift basket containing a certificate for a future one-night stay at any Ohio State Park lodge, items from the lodge gift shop, a free dinner with dessert for each family member, and a complimentary lodge activity. The family is also included in the activity fun.
Depending upon the park, activities vary. Free use of bicycles, canoes, kayaks or geocaching units, as well as, tokens for game rooms or a round of golf are possibilities.
Here’s a snapshot of each Ohio State Park lodge involved in this deal. Each is unique from the other and worthy of a family vacation.
Deer Creek State Park Lodge south of Columbus. There’s plenty to do at Deer Creek, but if you tire of hiking, biking, boating, golfing, cycling or swimming take advantage of outside the park fun. Kings Island amusement park is only an hour away, Columbus is 45 minutes, and Tanger Outlet Mall is only a 30 minute drive.
Park Fun to Know Fact: President Harding once stayed in a cabin at this park and you can stay in the very same one. The Harding Cabin, built in 1918, is rented through a lottery draw.
Mohican State Park Lodge in north central Ohio near Loudonville- Featured in the leaf peeping post, Mohican State Park is perfect anytime of the year. Mohican is located in one of Ohio’s hot-spots for family fun travel. Its proximity to Amish country and the Mohican River offers opportunities for day trip adventures whether you’re interested in canoe and raft trips or learning how the Amish live.
Park Fun to Know Fact: The Delaware Indians used the area as a hunting ground and Johnny Appleseed came through here often to tend to the apple tree nurseries he planted.
Salt Fork State Park Lodge in central Ohio near Cambridge – This 148 guest room lodge is on the edge of Salt Fork Lake surrounded by rolling hills and forest. If you want to horseback ride as part of your stay, consider Salt Fork. The park has miles of bridal trails and three riding stables nearby that offer horseback rides in the park.
Park Fun to Know Fact: The area was used by Morgan’s Raiders during the Civil War and pioneers settling Ohio’s wilderness came here following Zane’s Trace.
Punderson Manor State Park Lodge in northeastern Ohio near Newbury- If sled riding and cross-country skiing is your family’s idea of a good time, Punderson is perfect. One February weekend we had a blast on the sledding hill following a stay in the Tudor style former mansion, now the lodge. There is a snack bar at the top of the sledding hill.
Park Fun to Know Fact: Punderson Lake is one of the few natural lakes in the state. Created by glacier melt over 10,000 years ago, the lake is Ohio’s deepest and largest glacial lake.
Maumee Bay State Park Lodge in northwestern Ohio near Toledo- Opened in 1991 along the shore of Lake Erie, Maumee Bay is the newest state park lodge. Its 120 guest rooms have private balconies or patios that provide views of the park’s unique scenery.
Park Fun to Know Fact: Once called as the Great Black Swamp because of the color of the soil and dark shade beneath the trees, Maumee Bay and its surroundings are Ohio’s premier bird watching spots.
If you go, take advantage of the lodge’s proximity to three national wildlife refuges. Cedar Point, West Sister and Ottawa National Wildlife Refuges are within a short distance. Also, Crane Creek Wildlife Experiment Station and Magee Marsh State Wildlife Area are located 15 miles east of the park and worth the trip as well.
About the Lodging Discount: Although the Stays 4 A’s program is available throughout the school year, blackout periods do apply. Plus, the offer is subject to room availability.
Rooms can be reserved online or by phone. To reserve online visit www.ohiostateparklodges.com and use the promo code “Stay4A.” For additional information about the Stays for A’s program and other offers at Ohio State Park Resorts, call 1-800-282-7275.
Photos courtesy of Xanterra Parks and Resorts, Inc.