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Travel Route 80 - Toddler Friendly Attractions?

Madison, Wisconsin
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Travel Route 80 - Toddler Friendly Attractions?

Next month we are traveling to the east coast via Route 80 with a 1 and 3 year old. We are doing this trip in 4 hour increments (hopefully at night and during nap time). However we would like to wear the kids out during the day so they sleep well in the car. Our first stop should put us in mid or east Michigan.

In my past Route 80 travels I can't remember any toddler friendly attractions. Does anyone have any to suggest that is fun and in a safe area? Swimming (water park or beach or lake), Children's musuem? Zoo? etc??

Thanks

Rochester Hills...
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1. Re: Travel Route 80 - Toddler Friendly Attractions?

I think that you mean to post on the Ohio forum as Route 80 does not go through Michigan. Are you detouring through Michigan on a different route?

Detroit, MI
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2. Re: Travel Route 80 - Toddler Friendly Attractions?

I-80 never enters Michigan, and is one of the most boring drives in the US through Indiana and Ohio - unless you like farms. It is also merged with I-90 until you get near Cleveland. It is a turnpike the entire way, so exits are few and far between. You will have an oasis every 30-50 miles with gas and fast food. I don't think you would find any beach type places until you reach Sandusky, OH (home of Cedar Point)

You might want to consider taking the Milwaukee to Muskegon ferry across Lake Michigan. It won't save you any time and can be pricey, but you will get a much better experience - not to mention avoiding Chicago. http://www.lake-express.com/

roadsideamerica.com might have some tourist trap type places that could entertain them no mater what route you take.

Madison, Wisconsin
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3. Re: Travel Route 80 - Toddler Friendly Attractions?

Yea, I remember it being pretty boring too. I posted to the Michigan board incase there was something right across the board that we could take a small detour for. I am thinking at this point of just trying to drive right through it to Sandusky. It would be a 6-7 hour stretch but it may be worth it.

new jersey
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for Charlevoix, Michigan
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4. Re: Travel Route 80 - Toddler Friendly Attractions?

Indeed Route 80 can be boring but I can think of some fun things to do in Toledo. At the Maumee Exit you will find a relatively new Holiday Inn with an excellent water park. Another option is the Toledo Zoo. It is a great zoo! For dinner, the original Tony Paco's is lots of fun and visually very stimulating. In the alternative, there are some great restaurants on the east side of the river that are excellent and will allow your little ones to run around. Hope this helps!

By the way, I drive to and from New Jersey on the PA and Ohio Turnpikes. We have been doing it since our teens were infants. With a good video on the iPad, you should be able to move more than 4 hours at a time. We always have been able to do it. We thank Barney for allowing us to move so fast. Now, we leave home at 5:00 a.m. to beat Philadelphia traffic and our three teens never wake up until we enter Ohio six hours later! It is pretty funny! Moms

new jersey
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5. Re: Travel Route 80 - Toddler Friendly Attractions?

Good thought about Sandusky. Lots of water parks, beaches, family friendly activities. Good luck!

Chicago's North...
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6. Re: Travel Route 80 - Toddler Friendly Attractions?

take a short detour to warren dunes state park. they will definitely get tired going up the dune!! just follow I-94 east of chicago...

also, a little further north of warren dunes, about 20 minutes or so, is st joseph. at the ages of your kids, it's DEFINITELY worth the detour.

stjoetoday.com

Edited: 18 June 2013, 22:24
7. Re: Travel Route 80 - Toddler Friendly Attractions?

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