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Ohio State Parks planning for New Year's getaways

Dec. 28, 2011 @ 06:21 PM

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Considering a last minute Ohio getaway for Christmas or New Years?  Ohio State Park resort lodges are a perfect escapes for the holiday season. Each of the nine lodges is in a unique, secluded locale that provides a peaceful retreat to accommodate both families, friends, and couples. Ohio State Park resort lodges offer heated pools and whirlpools, full-service dining rooms, lounges, game rooms, gift shops and more.

Again this year, most are offering “stay and play” packages that include lodging, meals and other festivities. Reservations for several resort lodges are available online at www.ohiostateparks.org or by calling toll free 1-800-AT-A-PARK.

Shawnee State Park Lodge, Portsmouth
Shawnee State Park Lodge in south central Ohio near Portsmouth is celebrating the 20th annual Festival of Lights. Seven dedicated local garden clubs haul out boxes of holiday decorations and transform the rustic lodge into a winter wonderland. In all, some 30 trees and more than 30,000 lights are on display. The public is welcome to watch the members of the garden clubs as they decorate. The lodge is offering a Festival of Lights package through Jan. 8. Priced at $129.50 per night with a two-night minimum, the package includes one dinner for two, one breakfast for two and lodge rooms.

Kick off the New Year with a refreshing guided hike through Shawnee State Park while learning more about the forest ecology. All interested should meet at the Shawnee Lodge & Conference Center at 1:00 P.M.  Refreshments will be available, and the lodge is offering a special reduced rate for overnight stays for participating hikers. This hike is part of the America's State Parks First Day Hikes Series. For more information, call 740-858-6652.

Maumee Bay State Park Lodge, Oregon
For the third consecutive year, Maumee Bay State Park Lodge in northwestern Ohio near Toledo is staging a Winter Carnival the week between Christmas and New Year’s, December 26 through 30. The ballroom of the lodge is transformed into a large recreation center with carnival games for children of all ages. In addition to the games – such as a cupcake walk, ring toss, hockey challenge and bean bag toss – guests can enjoy the lodge’s indoor swimming pool, splash garden, children’s soft play area, Wallyball courts, game room and fitness center, or they can visit the park’s acclaimed Nature Center, featuring a boardwalk through a wetland area that attracts many species of birds and other wildlife. The Winter Carnival is open only to lodge guests, and the lodge is offering special rates starting at $95 Monday through Thursday, December 26 through 29 and $99 per night on Friday, December 30.

Maumee Bay State Park Lodge is also offering a New Year’s Eve package that includes one night of lodging, dinner for two, DJ in the Ice Breaker Lounge, party favors, champagne toast at midnight and Sunday brunch. Guests must be at least 21 years old. Rates start at $264 based on double occupancy.

Mohican State Park Lodge, Loudonville
Mohican State Park Lodge in North Central Ohio is offering a one- or two-night New Year’s Eve package that includes accommodations, welcome gift, New Year’s Eve dinner for two, New Year’s Day brunch and  admission to the lodge’s New Year’s Eve party. The lodge will also be showing New Year’s Day bowl games on a big-screen television in the upper lobby. Rates for the one-night package start at $259. Rates for the two-night package -- available December 30 and 31, 2011 or December 31, 2011 and January 1, 2012 – start at $144.50 per night. Party guests must be at least 21 years of age.

Salt Fork State Park Lodge, Cambridge
Salt Fork State Park Lodge is offering a family-friendly two-night  New Year’s Eve package including accommodations, New Year’s Eve buffet dinner for two and New Year’s Eve day breakfast for two. The package also includes a choice on Friday, December 30 of adults-only karaoke in the Wildlife Lounge or family movies. On Saturday, December 31, the lodge features organized activities for children during the day, a family version of the game “Minute to Win It” from 7 to 10 p.m. followed by a family party with a DJ from 10 p.m. to midnight. There will also be an adults-only DJ party in the lounge to ring in the Near Year. Rates start at $349 for two nights.

The ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR Web site at www.ohiodnr.com.

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