momfabfun transplant picnic

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So this past weekend we headed to Cincinnati! My younger son Sean had a liver transplant at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital 3 years ago. Every year they have a transplant picnic they hold for all the transplant kids. It’s usually at Cooney Island. It’s fun to see all the doctors and the other transplant kids. So because we were headed out to Cincinnati for the annual transplant picnic we wanted to make a little vacation out of it and boy did we!

Coney Island

is located just outside of Cincinnati and it’s a pretty cute place. It is older and most of the rides are geared towards younger kids. There claim to fame is their pool, called the Sunlite Pool. The Sunlight Pool is the largest pool in North America! It holds more than 3 million gallons of water! It was originally built in 1925, but it is still the world’s largest flat-surfaced, recirculating pool. The Pool and slides are monitored by a Platinum Award-winning lifeguard team (and boy could you tell, amazing lifeguards). It has over an acre of shallow water, which is great for little kids. The deep end of the Pool has six diving boards! It was a pretty cool place to visit. They allow floatation devices which is fun, it’s like a big beach with shallow water. The kids loved it and were very impressed with it’s size!

Sunlite Pool the largest pool in North America!

Sunlite Pool the largest pool in North America!

Sunlite Pool Coney Island

Sunlite Pool Cooney Island

The boys by Sunlite Pool

The boys by Sunlite Pool

After a long day at Coney Island we were hungry! We headed over to a great barbeque place called Montgomery Inn. Delicious ribs and great atmosphere! Loved it. Perfect way to cap off a busy day at the park. So we had to get a good night sleep because the next day we were headed to Kings Island.

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I love Kings Island Planet Snoopy area. It is perfect for younger kids. My kids are 4 and 6 and they have a great variety of kids rides. They have the younger rides for the 3 and 4 year olds, they have a lot of rides parents can ride on with the kids, and then they have those daredevil rides that say a 6 year old may want to try with a parent. It’s perfect! It makes sense too because Kings Island’s Planet Snoopy has received the prestigious Golden Ticket Award for “Best Kids’ Area in the World” for 13 years in a row! They have more than 18 PEANUTS-themed rides for kids. If you haven’t been in awhile it’s definitely worth checking out for the kiddos you can spend a whole day in this area.

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Kings Island Planet Snoopy Bumper Cars

Kings Island Planet Snoopy Bumper Cars

Sean, 4, on the Planet Snoopy Bumper Cars.

Sean, 4, on the Planet Snoopy Bumper Cars.

Kings Island Planet Snoopy Kite Eating Tree! By far the boys favorite ride!

Kings Island Planet Snoopy Kite Eating Tree! By far the boys favorite ride!

Ryan Chilling with Snoopy and Woodstock

Ryan Chilling with Snoopy and Woodstock

We had so much fun at Kings Island Planet Snoopy that afterwards this happened!

Ryan and Sean after a long day at Planet Snoopy Kings Island

Ryan and Sean after a long day at Planet Snoopy Kings Island

That was ok because we had about an hour before we reached our next destination…Hueston Woods State Park. Every Summer when I was younger we would head off to an Ohio State Park Lodge with my cousins for a week long vacation. Ohio State Parks consist of: Deer Creek, Hueston Woods, Burr Oak, Shawnee, Mohican, Maumee Bay

, Punderson Manor and Salt Fork. Most of these state park lodges were built in the 1960’s so some are older. I had such great memories of these vacations. They are not fancy places, it’s kind of like glorified camping but your staying in a lodge. It has all the amenities like you were camping, you can go boating, horse back riding, hiking, hang out by the pool, and some of the lodges even have a beach area. However, then there are some more amenities that make it better than camping like lodge rooms, game room areas, indoor pools, restaurants and gift shops.

Hueston Woods Lodge

Hueston Woods Lodge

Hueston Woods Lobby

Hueston Woods Lobby

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So while were were doing our amusement park ride vacation through Cincinnati, I thought it might be nice to check out one of these places and stay there for a few days. I have not been to Hueston Woods in probably 20 years, so this was going to be an experience. I actually loved it. It was still old but unique and interesting. This place was built in the 1960’s so think lots of A frames. Everything is kept up quite well. The rooms were really nice. They have all been renovated recently so they are very big and clean with everything new and updated. Each room has a spacious balcony as well. Some even have lake views which are beautiful!

My favorite memories of my vacations with my cousins were booking down the halls as fast as we could run to spend all of our money in the game room. Hueston Woods still has a game room and it’s awesome. My two boys loved it. It’s a nice place for the adults to relax too because they have seating in the game room so you can grab a glass of wine and relax : )

Hueston Woods Game Room

Hueston Woods Game Room

Most of the Ohio State Park Lodges do have a bar and a dining room restaurant. Hueston Woods had the Trailblazer Restaurant the breakfast was delicious the dinner was ok. The lounge was nice too for two Pina Coladas which were delicious $9.00. That is awesome! I was just in Miami where two Pina Coladas cost $48.00 (yes I said $48) crazy! So everything at the lodge as far as drinks and food is very affordable!

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We took a Pontoon boat out one day too. I love a Pontoon boat, I have to rent one every summer! After the Pontoon boat ride we visited the nature center which was very close to the Marina. They had cougars in there and several snakes in cages that could be found around the area. It was a pretty cool nature center. The snakes were fascinating! I can’t believe there are so many in Ohio! Yikes! Even the cougars, I wouldn’t want to run into one of those in the woods.

The boys on the Pontoon boat in Hueston Woods

The boys on the Pontoon boat in Hueston Woods

The only thing I did not care for at Hueston Woods was the pool area. I am a pool rat in the Summer so I know a good pool and I bad pool when I see one. The pool to me needed a little more TLC. I also did not care for the lifeguards. One day I saw a lifeguard brush her hair for 10 minutes then clean out her brush and throw the hair in the pool. Gross! The next day I saw the only two lifeguards on duty leave the pool area to walk over to the baby pool area to stack a chair? Hello did you both need to go do that. The pool was unattended. The same two lifeguards later shared a plate of motzerella sticks while they were guarding. Later that same day a little boy was running then tripped skinned his knee and the lifeguard never even asked if he was ok. The boy cried for like 10 minutes. I was a lifeguard and I think there were some things wrong here. Things I liked about the pool you could order drinks and food at the little snack hut. That was nice.

The Pool at Hueston Woods

The Pool at Hueston Woods

All in all we loved Hueston Woods. It was just how I remembered it. The kids loved it, and asked several times if we could come back next year. It is extremely affordable and it’s a beautiful area. It’s also a great trip to bond with your family. I would definitely recommend Hueston Woods or maybe even researching some of the other Ohio State Park Lodges and checking out one of those in the Summer.

We fit a lot in our little vacation and it was a really good time!