Fun & Unusual Things To Do In Cleveland Ohio
Sitting proudly on the banks of Lake Erie, Cleveland, Ohio is the lakes largest city. Known worldwide as the city that invented the term rock & roll, Cleveland has produced its fair share of famous residents. It is the final resting place of some very influential Americans including John D Rockefeller and President James A. Garfield.
The city has a wealth of great natural parks and reservations to explore as well as historic buildings and early 20th-century architecture. It has thriving arts and cultural scene with vibrant museums, theaters and grass-roots performance venues that you can discover time and again.
Here are just some fun things to do in Cleveland, Ohio.
See Seasonal Displays At Rockefeller Park And Greenhouse
Rockefeller Greenhouse and Park are named after wealthy businessman John. D Rockefeller donated the land to the City of Cleveland. The gardens were founded in 1902 and the Greenhouse was originally used to grow plants for the city parks and not open to the public.
Now visitors can explore the greenhouse along with the numerous gardens, including the Japanese Garden, Talking Garden for the Blind and Latin American Garden. The Park is open every day and admission is free of charge.
Old Woman Creek Natural Reserve
Every year on Martin Luther King Day , Cleveland area museums offer free admission in celebration of the civil rights leader’s birthday. Past participants have included the Cleveland Botanical Garden, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame , and the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. In addition, many venues offer free music and dance performances.
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Cleveland Public Library Louis Stokes Wing
Opened in 1998, the Louis Stokes Wing is a 10-story piece of the main branch of the Cleveland Public Library located in the Civic Center District. As the 15th largest public library in the country, the Cleveland Public Library has an extensive collection, and this newer building features an incredible 30 miles of bookshelves. The Louis Stokes Wing, named after Louis Stokes, the first African American elected to Congress from Ohio, is located at 525 Superior Ave. While youre there, be sure to take the elevator up to the 10th floor and marvel at the Cleveland skyline from the observation deck.
Note: Currently, the library is only available for curbside service, but will be reopening its doors to the public on August 24, 2020.
See A Sports Event At Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse
Home to the NBA basketball team, The Cleveland Cavaliers, and the AHL Hockey team, The Cleveland Monsters, Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse is one of the best venues in the city for sports and entertainment.
The Venue hosts over 200 events each year including basketball and hockey games and live music and comedy. It also has some great bars and restaurants including the Overlook Bar which has stunning views of the city.
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Maps Air Museum: Free To Active Duty Military And Wwii Veterans
What youll make a beeline for when you visit MAPS Air Museum in Canton, Ohio, are is military airplanes. The center of aviation history for Northeast Ohio, there are dozens of planes, helicopters, and ground vehicles, many of which youre able to sit in or walk through.
Theres also a recreated military hospital thats very eye-opening. I mean, I come from generations of military men and I still learned so much when I toured. And while these collection pieces may be the standouts at first, its the volunteers and retired military folks that can give firsthand experience about what its like to serve that youll remember.
- Location: 2260 International Pkwy, North Canton, OH 44720
- Hours: Tuesday Saturday, 9am 4:30-pm, Sunday, 11:30am 4pm. Closed Monday
- Admission: Adults, $10. Adult Veterans and Seniors over 60, $9. Senior Veterans, $8. WWII Veterans and Active Duty Military, Free. Children 6-12, $6. Children under 6, Free.
Take A Beer Tasting And Brewery Tour
It would be a shame to visit Cleveland and not try out some of its best brews! Great Lakes Brewing Company was the citys first craft brewery, opening way back in 1986 well before craft brewing was a super-cool thing to do. Gret Lakes offers brewery tours and tastings for a very reasonable price of only $6.
For the craft beer fanatic, Cleveland has many other great breweries to visit such as Masthead, which also serves fantastic pizzas, Terrestrial Brewing Company and Platform Beer Co.
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Take A Wine Tasting Experience
Cleveland may not be well known for its vineyards but it has a thriving winemaking scene at the moment. Take a wine tasting tour with a local expert and discover for yourself what makes Ohio wine so remarkable.
Learn about the conditions needed to make perfect wine from an industry leader and educator. Sample some of the best local wines and discover new home-grown favorites. These experiences are a must for wine aficionados.
Awesome Free Things To Do In Cleveland
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The International Women’s Air And Space Museum
The International Women’s Air and Space Museum was originally opened in 1986 in Centerville, Ohio, founded by aviator and Mercury 13 project participant Bernice Steadman and intended to celebrate the contributions of women aviators and astronauts throughout history. In 1998, the museum was relocated to the terminal building of Cleveland’s Burke Lakefront Airport. Today, it offers daily free public admission and preserves substantial collections of artifacts related to female air and space pioneers, including the Margot DeCarie Collection of Amelia Earhart Photographs and significant collections of artifacts related to the life and career of aviator Ruby Wine Sheldon. Miniature replicas of historic planes are also showcased, along with interactive exhibits allowing visitors to try on historic aviation gear. The museum is also home to the Fay Gillis Wells Research Center, which is open to the public on weekdays during the morning and afternoon hours.
Burke Lakefront Airport, Rm 165, 1501 N. Marginal Rd, Cleveland, OH 44114, Phone: 216-623-1111
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Wrhs Library At The Cleveland History Center
Housed within the Cleveland History Center, the Library is an amazing resource for the academic, student, author and the family history researcher. Collections spanning national and local history and genealogy are available in person or online. The millions of records, photos and papers held in the collection document the rich history of Cleveland and Northeast Ohio, once known as the Connecticut Western Reserve. Library visits are available upon request.
For information about Library holdings, please review the online catalog.
This catalog contains a full listing of Library holdings, including books, periodicals, maps, atlases, and archival collections of families, businesses, organizations, and industries.
Review Cleveland History Center digital content in :Digital Cleveland Starts Here
Contact Ann Sindelar for information or to schedule and appointment.
Please note, we are closed the following holidays: Easter Sunday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Years Day.
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The Rockefeller Park Greenhouse
The Rockefeller Park Greenhouse is a greenhouse and botanical garden facility that is operated by the City of Cleveland, located near the University Circle neighborhood on East 88th Street. The garden was originally constructed in 1905 on land owned by famed industrialist John D. Rockefeller, planned to care for plants intended for use in the city’s parks. Throughout the 20th century, the greenhouse added public displays of native and exotic plant collections, along with a number of themed gardens and seasonal floral displays. Today, the greenhouse and gardens showcase a formal Japanese garden, a Latin American garden, and an outdoor Peace Garden. Special seasonal displays and events include a holiday festive plant display in December and a spring bulb exhibition.
750 E 88th St, Cleveland, OH 44108, Phone: 216-664-2512
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Hike In Cuyahoga Valley National Park
You may be surprised to find an area of unspoiled natural beauty so close to Clevelands urban center. Cuyahoga Valley has been the focus of a massive restoration project in the last few decades.
The scenic Brandywine Falls are Cuyahogas most popular attraction but there are plenty of other nice sights to see. The Beaver Marsh wetlands are a good place to spot a diverse array of wildlife. Ritchie Ledges and the Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath Trail are both worth exploring.
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See Dinosaur Skeletons At Cleveland Museum Of Natural History
The Cleveland Museum of Natural History has some amazing items in its collection. From complete dinosaur skeletons, including a number of tyrannosauri, to moon rocks, theres so much to discover. Its Perkins Wildlife Center features live animals and plants native to Ohio including key species like otters, coyotes and eagles.
The Museum houses a reproduction of an early hominin known as Lucy, thought to be over 3 million years old as well as one of the largest collections of human skeletal remains.
Meet The Monkeys At Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
Clevelands Metroparks is a humungous 183-acre zoo and park that combines exotic animals, outdoor activities, golf and shopping. The park has been a Clevelandinstitution since 1882 and features replica habitats of the African savannah, Australian bush and rainforest.
The zoo is home to one of the largest collections of primates in the United States which includes gorillas, lemurs and aye-ayes. It also has a unique exhibit of Asian highland creatures such as the red panda, snow leopards and Amur leopards. A trip to Metroparks is, without a doubt, one of the most fun things to do in Cleveland.
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Play Bowling At Punch Bowl Social Cleveland
Games, unique cocktails and adventurous flavors are the order of the day at Punch Bowl Social. The drinks menu consists of signature punch bowls and a good selection of beers and wines. A selection of Classic American comfort foods is on offer too including burgers, carnitas and fries.
What really sets this place apart is the games. What other venues can you play bowling, mini-golf, karaoke and arcade games with your lunch? Punch Bowl Social is great fun.
Get Creative At The Great Lakes Science Center
If you have children theyll love visiting the Great Lakes Science Center. It has hundreds of interactive exhibits to keep you all entertained and enthralled. Inspire curiosity in the Augmented Reality Sandboxes or try your own experiments in the Cleveland Creates Zone.
The GLSC is home to the NASA Glenn Visitor Center which houses the Apollo Command Module as well as spacesuits from the past to the present day. It also has tons of information on space travel including the day-to-day lives of astronauts. This is an absolute must-visit when in Cleveland.
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Tour The Wwii Submarine Uss Cod
Docked in Clevelands harbor is the National Historic Landmark and museum ship, the USS Cod. The submarine was built in Connecticut in 1942 and sailed seven patrols in World War II which included the rescue of allied forces.
Visitors can take self-guided tours of the ship to see what life was like for the crew members on board. Explore the control room and learn how the vessel is steered. See the cramped torpedo rooms which were also bunks for some of the crew members. The USS Cod is a fascinating piece of US naval history.
International Womens Air & Space Museum
Located in the terminal of Burke Lakefront Airport, the International Womens Air and Space Museum works to preserve the history of women in aviation and aerospace and inspire future generations to follow in their footsteps. Stroll through the lobby and west concourse to see exhibits dedicated to the contributions of incredible women and learn about their history. The museum is open daily from 8am 8pm.
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The Best Things In Life Are Free
And that sentiment certainly includes museums. Were so lucky that we have some incredible museums around this state offering free admission to those hoping to explore. If youve already got your fill of free and discounted options here in Columbus, it may be time to expand your horizons to the rest of the Buckeye State.
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Primary And Secondary Education
The Cleveland Metropolitan School District is the second-largest K12 district in the state of Ohio. It is the only district in Ohio under the direct control of the mayor, who appoints a school board. Approximately 1 square mile of Cleveland, adjacent the Shaker Square neighborhood, is part of the Shaker Heights City School District. The area, which has been a part of the Shaker school district since the 1920s, permits these Cleveland residents to pay the same school taxes as the Shaker residents, as well as vote in the Shaker school board elections.
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Sundays Will Go Free At Cleveland Museum Of Natural History For Cleveland East Cleveland Residents Thanks To Mandel Foundation
The Cleveland Museum of Natural History looks at its impact over the past century in its new exhibit “100 Years of Discovery.”
CLEVELAND, Ohio Every Sunday for three years starting Sunday, Jan. 23, residents of Cleveland and East Cleveland will be able to visit the Cleveland Museum of Natural History for free, thanks to a $3 million grant from the Cleveland-based Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation.
The gift will enable the museum to waive adult general admission of $17 and youth admission of $14 for children aged 3 to 18 for residents of the two cities.
The gift will also fund a new community space named for the Mandel brothers that will host community-oriented programming.
Sonia Winner, the museums president and CEO, said the gift is part of the $108 million raised so far to fund a $150 million expansion and renovation, scheduled for completion in 2024.
The Mandel Community Space will be part of the Education Wing, a major component of the expansion.
The $3 million gift is the largest provided to the museum from the Mandel Foundation, established in 1953.
The foundation is named for the late Mandel brothers, Jack, Joseph and Morton. They established the charitable organization after launching a highly successful Cleveland-based auto-parts business in 1946.
The business grew into Premier Industrial Corp., which through a merger later became Premier Farnell PLC.
Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Cuyahoga Valley National Park is a 32,000-acre national park that preserves the natural landscape of the Cuyahoga River, spanning between the cities of Cleveland and Akron. The park was originally preserved in 1974 as a National Recreation Area before being converted into a national park in 2000 and is Ohio’s only national park. The park’s centerpiece is the Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath Trail, which spans more than 80 miles throughout the park’s length along a restored area of the canal’s original towpath, open to hikers and cyclists. Other stunning landmarks include the 65-foot Brandywine Falls and the 2.2-mile Ledges Trail, which offers sweeping panoramic views of the Cuyahoga Valley at its rocky apex. For an additional fee, visitors can ride the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, which offers scenic tours and specialty excursions traveling between Akron and Independence.
15610 Vaughn Road, Brecksville, OH 44141, Phone: 330-657-2752
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Free Admission To The Cleveland Museum Of Natural History On Sundays
CLEVELAND, Ohio – Thanks to a $3 million grant from the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation, there will be free admission every Sunday to the Cleveland Museum of Natural History for Cleveland and East Cleveland residents.
The free admission goes into effect on Jan. 23.
In addition, the grant will fund the creation of the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Community Space, a new center for community-oriented programming.
The Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Community Space is scheduled to open in 2024.
It is imperative that learners of all ages and backgrounds have access to scientific information to help them make informed decisions both about their own lives and as part of the community. Together, the weekly Mandel Community Days and Mandel Community Space help us advance these goals which are central to everything we do, said Sonia Winner, President and CEO of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.