The Lake Erie Islands Nature & Wildlife Center has created a unique week of outdoor events on the Lake Erie Islands from Saturday, Aug. 5 through Saturday, Aug. 12, a family-friendly collection of the area’s amazing nature, history, and culture that creates a “A Natural Island Experience.”
It all begins at Put-in-Bay on South Bass Island, Middle Bass Island, Gibraltar Island and Kelleys Island.
Saturday, Aug. 5
Lake Erie Islands Nature & Wildlife Center, Put-in-Bay: 11 a.m.-5 p.m., $4 (children 6-13 and seniors, $3)
Open Monday through Saturday. Check out the exciting displays, indoor turtle pond, and geology exhibit in addition to the over 100 species of North American animals.
Nature Walk with Dr. Rachelle Adams and her team, 1-3 p.m., free.
A fun-filled educational nature walk at one of South Bass Island’s beautiful preserves. Dr. Adams is a leading ant researcher and will also be leading an “ant hunt” after the walk that people are free to join. She will be collecting some ant specimens to take back to her lab to identify the species, so we can get a better sense of what ant species we have on the island.
Science Saturday, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., free, Kelleys Island
A partnership between Kelleys Island State Park, Kelleys Island Audubon Club and the Kelleys Island Field Station. This is a weekly series of events that features interactive exploration centered around a particular topic. Families and learners of all ages are invited to explore firsthand science fun during this free drop-in event.
The event is held on Saturdays through Labor Day.
Sunday, Aug. 6
Hotel Victory Grounds Tour, 7:30 p.m., free, Put-in-Bay.
South Bass Island State Park will host a tour of the infamous Hotel Victory Grounds. This family event will start with a beautiful sunset at South Bass Island State Park and end at the Hotel Victory Swimming Pool Pavilion. The tour highlights various still-existing features of the Hotel Victory. It is hosted by Naturalist and Island Resident Renee Market.
Monday, Aug. 7
Miller Boat Line Stargazing Cruise, Put-in-Bay, 8 p.m., $25, kids $15.
The ferry cruise will leave from the downtown Miller Boat Line dock on Put-in-Bay just before sunset. The stars will light up the sky as an astronomer will engage with the guests, sharing information about the night sky, planets, and stars. Passengers will have an amazing opportunity to enjoy the show from outer space as the ferry boat travels around the Lake Erie Islands. Wine and appetizers are provided. Bring folding chair, beverages.
Tickets are available starting at the Wildlife Center on Meechan Rd., or by credit card at 419-285-3037.
Tuesday, Aug. 8
Wild Tuesday, 1-3 p.m., Lake Erie Islands Nature & Wildlife Center, free.
Nature’s Nursery will have a variety of animals and reptiles on display. Wild Tuesday features live animals, colorful crafts for children and educational opportunities for all ages. See summer schedule of Wild Tuesday events at https://lakeerieislandswildlife.com/wild-tuesdays-2/
Wednesday, Aug. 9
Aquatic Visitor Center Tours, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Put-in-Bay, free.
In a 1-hour tour, people of all ages can explore Lake Erie’s complex ecosystem through experiential activities and tanks of live fish. Children under 16 can borrow fishing gear and fish for free off the pier. The facility is run by Ohio Sea Grant and Ohio State University’s Stone Lab. For more information call 419-285-1800 or visit https://ohioseagrant.osu.edu/visit/avc
11th annual Pig Roast and Raffle, 6-9 p.m., Goat Restaurant, Put-in-Bay, $20, $25 day of event.
Join us at the Goat Beer Garden for a delicious slow-roasted pig along with tasty sides donated by local restaurants while enjoying live music by Lucas Guy. Try your luck at the 50/50 raffle or enter to win one of the amazing raffle baskets. Tickets available at the Nature & Wildlife Center.
Thursday, Aug. 10
Historic Gibraltar Island Tour, 10 a.m.-noon or 1-3 p.m., $10 (kids $5), Put-in-Bay.
Transportation to and from Gibraltar Island is paid separately via the Boardwalk water taxi. This is a wonderful experience for every member of the family. A two-hour tour explores Gibraltar Island, home to Jay Cooke’s Castle, Commodore Perry’s 1812 Lookout, Stone Laboratory’s classrooms and facilities. For more information visit https://ohioseagrant.osu.edu/visit
Lake Erie Awareness Day, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Put-in-Bay, free.
Lake Erie Awareness Day brings you the magic of Lake Erie’s history, culture, and natural resources. Spend the day touring the island while learning about Ohio’s greatest water treasure. Visit education stations to learn about island history, native plants and animals, the dangers of plastic pollution, and boating safety. Fun giveaways and a great day in nature and win a fabulous island themed prize. Visit https://ohioseagrant.osu.edu/news/calendar/2023/08/10/t0iep/lake-erie-awareness-day for station locations and more information.
Friday, Aug. 11
South Bass Island Lighthouse Tour, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., free.
Discover information about the area’s history and the most pressing issues facing Lake Erie before accessing the top of the lighthouse tower to see an expansive view of Put-in-Bay. For more information visit https://ohioseagrant.osu.edu/visit
Lonz Winery Cellar Tour, 4:30 p.m., Middle Bass Island, free.
Tour of the famous Lonz Winery Cellar and Grounds. The family event starts with a guided tour through Lonz Winery Cellar and ends at the Island Grind and Prohibition Bar at the Historic Lonz Press House. Tour provided by Naturalist and Island Resident Renee Market.
Homecoming, Kelleys Island, Friday and Saturday, free.
Homecoming is Friday and Saturday, Aug. 11-12, sponsored by the Kelleys Island Landowners Association. It is a weekend for those who love Kelleys Island to enjoy a fish fry on Friday, aparade on Saturday with marching band, craft and vendor market, food and beverages and fun for the whole family! All Homecoming events take place at the Kelleys Island Pavilion on Addison Street. For information visit https://kelleysisland.com/events/homecoming-kila/
Saturday, Aug. 12
Middle Bass Island Kayak Poker Day, Middle Bass Island, noon, $20, $25 on site.
Kayakers start and finish at the Middle Bass Island State Park west beach (No starts later than 1 p.m). The paddle around the island includes three additional stops at the State Park Marina, the East Point Preserve and the Kuehnle State Wildlife Area/Petersen Woods Preserve).
A welcome packet shows course and information about the stops with volunteers for safety and to distribute poker cards and snacks.
The finish has a cookout. Proceeds benefit the Put-in-Bay Township Park District’s newest preserves on Middle Bass Island. (Rain Date – Sunday, Aug. 13) Registration is available at: https://bit.ly/3tcE7A5 Deadline is Aug. 6.