Kids | Families
Twiggy the Waterskiing Squirrel
Twiggy’s back! A much-loved attraction by both young and old, Twiggy the Waterskiing squirrel is coming out of retirement to unveil an all-new performance at this year’s Progressive Cleveland Boat Show. Marking the 40th anniversary of her first performance, Twiggy is back to not only waterski, but even wakeboard around her lagoon as Roxie the Chiweenie oversees things from her lifeguard stand. The little grey squirrel is scheduled to perform each day of this year’s show, so don’t your miss a chance to catch what is regarded as the most popular boat show entertainment ever created.
Meet a Mermaid!
Never seen a mermaid? Then, this year’s boat show is your chance! Come see our Boat Show Mermaid for a unique photo op for the whole family to be pictured with this beautiful lady—fish tail and all! (Saturday and Sunday Only)
Learn about the Lake
The Ohio Sea Grant offers hands-on activities from the statewide program that supports greater knowledge and stewardship of Lake Erie and the Great Lakes through research, education and research
- Learn how to tie fishing lures
- View, touch and hold live snakes (Saturday thru Monday only)
- Spin the Lake Erie Prize Wheel to earn prizes while learning about Lake Erie
- Dress up in Lake Erie-themed costumes for our special photo booth
- Receive special educational materials
Race a boat…and Master Boating Skills
Take the helm of a racing boat and compete with others on an obstacle course using special simulators that let you race against the clock at The Progressive Boat Club. Extra fun includes docking a radio-controlled cruiser and learning how to properly cleat a line.
Cleveland Metroparks Special Exhibit
Feel like you’re on the water when boarding the Cleveland “eLCee2” Water Taxi! While on board, kids will “fish” for magnetic fish to earn prizes. Those who stop by can also climb into an amphibian patrol vehicle for photo opps, sit in hand-powered watercraft along with hands-on and educational displays.
Giant Berkley 5000-gallon Live Aquarium
Kids will be awed when they stare into the 5,000-gallon live aquarium and see big bass looking back at them. Visitors to the aquarium will also enjoy daily fishing demonstrations and gain inside information on the how and why of using different baits and lures.
Build a Mini Boat
Visit the Cleveland Amateur Boat Builders Society (CABBS) exhibit to assemble, decorate and take home your own mini power or sailboat using a kit created by society members.
Be the Captain!
You’re the captain at the U.S. Power Squadron’s display… take the helm of a power boat simulator and test your skills against sudden wind changes and wild waves.
Get to Know Our Boating Ambassadors
Have questions about boating and the Great Lakes? Our Boating Ambassadors have the answers! Experienced in all boating types and venues throughout Ohio and the Great Lakes, the Boating Ambassadors represent the Power Squadrons, Great Lakes Cruising Club, Coast Guard Auxiliary and other major boating clubs. They’re here to give you the latest about dealers, marinas, restaurants, resorts, clubs, boating techniques and equipment.
The Sandusky Sailing Club brings the fantastic thrill of sailing through the wind up close with one-design sailboats and a hands-on simulator. Trim the sails and tighten the sheets and experience the boat show’s Sailing Center.
Swim into Scuba Diving!
Try scuba diving in the fun and easy environment provided by the Go Dive Now Pool experience. Brought to this year’s boat show by the Diving Equipment & Marketing Association (DEMA), attendees can try diving in a 30-foot, 15,000-gallon pool with the latest scuba gear and the help of trained professionals—all at no additional cost. Bring your swimsuit and towel—we’ll provide the rest. Plan to start your underwater adventure at the boat show today! (Adults and children over age 12; children ages 10 and 11 must have an adult diving with them.)
Thursday, January 17, 2019 | Noon – 9pm
Friday, January 18, 2019 | Noon – 9pm
Saturday, January 19, 2019 | 11am – 9pm
Sunday, January 20, 2019 | 11am – 6pm
Monday, January 21, 2019 | 11am – 5pm
Boating History Comes Alive!
Get up close to boats from the past bearing famous names like Lyman, Penn Yan, Cruisers and Chris Craft in exhibits presented by Lyman Life and Lyman Boat Works, as well as the North Coast Ohio Antique & Classic Boat Society. It’s here you’ll see the oldest boat on display dating back more than 60 years…a 1955 17’ Chris Craft Sportsman—beautiful wood perfection still seaworthy as ever! Visitors can also experience a special Lyman boats historical display.
The Walleye College
Learn how to catch more walleyes and fish like a pro from renowned experts, Jim Stedke and Mark Brumbaugh (Thursday – Monday, various times)
Lake Erie University Stage
From tips on the best boating apps and safety practices, boating the Cuyahoga River, cruising Lake Erie and guidance on where to learn canoeing, kayaking and sailing, the Lake Erie University Stage has a presentation for you. (Thursday – Saturday, various times)
More Special Stage Presentations
Get insider tips on “Power Fishing,” luring a crappie, and casting a fly rod at the boat show’s various stage presentations. Experts include Dan Elko, Dan Armitage and Mike Durkelac
Party like it’s Summertime!
Dance and sing along with infamous Lake Erie entertainers as they perform each day at this year’s boat show. Acts include:
• Ray Fogg – Over 22 years at “the bay” on South Bass Island
• West Side Steve — Put-In-Bay’s Island Ambassador
• Pat Sheppard — Frosty’s Bar famous crooner
Each Day… Just for You
Thursday — Island Day
Kick off this year’s Progressive Cleveland Boat show by experiencing the best of Put-In-Bay with a bowl of the Boardwalk’s famous lobster bisque while enjoying the island’s finest entertainment.
Friday Frolic – Make it Date Night!
End your week by making a night of it with the boat show’s Friday Frolic specials! Enjoy live music while enjoying beer specials—while checking out merchants and their wares at the Lake Erie Market.
Saturday is Your Mid-Winter Rendezvous
Missing those summer nights along the lake? No fear, the boat show’s Mid-Winter Rendezvous is here! Gather friends and family to experience summer fun to come by seeing more than 450 gleaming new boats, feeling the warmth of the Lake Erie Islands and soaking in the sounds of sunshine. An added bonus? The boat show’s Kids’ fishing clinic at the Fish NOW Expo will give away rods to the first 100 kids!
Kelleys Island Sunday Funday
Experience why Kelleys Island is truly “An Island for All Seasons” at this year’s Kelleys Island Sunday Funday! From island specialties, including the Village Pump’s famous Brandy Alexander and Docker’s waterfront bar thirst quenchers, to wares from western basin merchants, Sunday at this year’s boat show is all about what makes the largest fresh water American island on Lake Erie special.
Kids’ Day – Monday, Martin Luther King Day
Make the kids’ day off from school memorable by bringing them to the boat show! An extra day added just for kids, they’ll learn to fish, watch Twiggy the waterskiing squirrel, paint their faces and even meet a mermaid—all while surrounded by their favorite Neverland characters, including Captain Hook and Tinkerbell, in addition to the famous undersea Ariel and a princess or two.