Sauder Village is the perfect place for a family getaway. There are plenty of activities to keep everyone entertained, from exploring Ohio’s largest living-history village and enjoying great food at the Barn Restaurant and Doughbox Bakery to enjoying a relaxing stay at the Heritage Inn or Campground. Whether you’re looking for a weekend getaway or a week-long vacation, Sauder Village in Archbold, OH (Northwest Ohio) is the perfect destination for families.
Disclosure: I was graciously hosted by the folks at Sauder Village to give you the scoop on what to do at Sauder Village with kids. All opinions are my own!
Sauder Village with Kids
I never like giving a bland back story on an attraction, so I’ll have no problem telling you the history of the Village as it’s super cool. worried that kids would not know the labor that went into woodworking, creator Erie Sauder made a small museum at his woodworking factory.
And as he collected items to put in it, they outgrew his museum and eventually he purchased the old Grime Farm just north of Archbold, Ohio (just around an hour from Maumee Bay State Park Lodge or Toledo.)
It took five years to create Sauder Village and had a few small buildings and a bakery. Fast forward to present day where Sauder Village now has both an area dedicated to the 1880’s and the newest addition, a tribute to the 1920’s, complete with a Speakeasy.
Things We Love about Sauder Village
There are several standouts that I have to mention about our visit:
First, I love, and I mean love, the immersion of the property. At each building there’s a person playing a role and they’re all in. They give the back story of the property without making it boring and, depending on the child’s age, ask questions and show objects related to the life of the character.
Second, if you’re feeling hungry, there are places to snack in both the Historic Community & 1920’s Main Street areas. If you like throwback treats, make a pit stop for the soda fountain in the latter for an Egg Cream or Cherry Phosphate drink.
Third, there are plenty of areas for the kiddos to learn through play. If I had to pick two, make sure you check out the Little Pioneers Homestead and Nature Center.
And lastly, depending on how much time you have, you can spend an entire day from open to close learning about American history, watching live demonstrations like goat milking and cow feeding, and immersing yourself in the history while having fun. I always say, learning through play is the best way to remember.
Sauder Village Hours
Historic Sauder Village is open May thru October, with different hours depending on the season. Be sure to check the village’s website for the most up-to-date information on hours of operation. At this time, it officially opens at 10am and closes at 5pm each day. The Restaurant, Bakery, Retail Shops, and Heritage Inn are open year round.
Sauder Heritage Inn
There are plenty of hotels to choose from when you’re visiting. The Sauder Heritage Inn is a great option for families, with plenty of amenities and activities to keep everyone entertained.
Our two queen bed room was in the newer section of the property and it was just lovely. Facing the back of the Inn’s grounds, I truly loved looking out of our windows and seeing corn fields! I also adored the fact that there’s a big indoor pool with waterfall and hot tub on the lower level.
As for amenities in the room, there was a mini fridge, large flatscreen tv, large chair with a pullout bed, and plenty of plugs. The bathroom was spacious and offered both a shower and tub (great for families with smaller kiddos).
Free Breakfast at Sauder Heritage Inn
One of the biggest perks of the Inn is the giant complimentary breakfast buffet. It had everything from cereal to eggs, sausage to homemade bread, and boiled eggs. There’s also plenty of coffee and tea along with juices and milk.
Sauder Village Special Events
No matter what time of year you visit Sauder Village, there’s always something going on. Check out the village’s calendar of events to see what’s happening during your stay.
What we loved was both the free train ride (perfect for getting your whereabouts and seeing the spots you know you want to visit) and a horse-drawn trolley ride for an additional fee. Both are super fun, but I really loved the trolley more.
Kids under 21 will have to sit this one, but the adults will sure have fun! Reservations and tours can be made during regular day hours and after hours as well. I got a quick peek into the fun on the last night of our stay and it was a hoot. We met at Main Street Confections and even had to learn a special password.
Once inside, there’s a bartender serving cool liquor concoctions and light bites. To access the Speakeasy, you’ll have to pay additional fees but it’s totally worth the charge.
Sauder Village Campground
If you’re looking for a more rustic experience, its Campground is the perfect option. Located just outside the village, the campground offers RV and tent sites, as well as cabins for rent.
While we did stay at the Heritage Inn, we had the pleasure of checking out the campground on the last night of our visit. The first thing I noticed was a large playground right near the entrance. And while driving around, I stopped at the gorgeous lake and splash pad area to see just how fun they are.
The Barn Restaurant
No visit to Sauder Village is complete without a stop at the Barn Restaurant. This family-friendly eatery offers a variety of delicious meals, perfect for fueling up after a day of exploring the village.
Having written that, it really is a fine restaurant. I, personally, love the buffet selection and LOVED the fried chicken. My daughter, who’s not a massive eater, had the buffet the first night and ordered off the menu on the second. She really liked them both.
One of the best times to visit Sauder Village is during the Christmas season. The village is decorated with twinkling lights and festive decorations, and there are plenty of holiday-themed events and activities taking place.
Sauder Village Map
Not sure where to start your adventure? Check out the Sauder Village map to see all of the attractions and businesses that it has to offer. My tip is to check it out before you visit so you have a basic lay of the land.
In a Nutshell
Would I visit Sauder Village again? In a hot minute! I adored everything about it from the buildings to the Inn to the restaurants. And even though my daughter is a young adult, she’d happily visit again as well.