FX Excursions

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Cleveland Rocks: The Kid Edition

by Susan Finch

Jul 29, 2018

© Asboard90 | Dreamstime.com

Age Specific / Kids

Cleveland seems to be enjoying a renaissance of sorts as more people notice its thriving sports franchises and budding arts scene. As more travelers check-out “C-Town” and the “North Coast,” they find a wealth of attractions and nature-inspired stops along the way. Here’s where to kick-off a kid-friendly weekend in Cleveland.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

You can’t go to Cleveland without paying a stop at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Parents and kids alike appreciate their favorite musical icons memorialized at the museum. Inductees include The Beatles and Elvis Presley while exhibits feature the story of hip-hop, radio personalities and protests against rock and roll. Check with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in advance for live musical performances, and make time to snap a family shot posing with the infamous Rock sign out front.

Cleveland Children’s Museum

Traveling kids need time for imaginative play, and the Children’s Museum of Cleveland is the perfect place for open-ended learning environments. Kids play, connect and experience together to inspire their creativity and love of learning. Exhibits include a market for kids to play shopkeeper, a two-story climber, construction site and urban city wonder. Stop at the “Making Miniatures” exhibit for a collection of dollhouses and their impossibly tiny furniture. There’s also an art studio to design, construct and experiment with unique objects and test out new art techniques.

Lake Erie Nature and Science Center

Nestled in Bay Village just west of Cleveland, the Lake Erie Nature and Science Center offers free admission seven days a week to explore wildlife like turtles, a bald eagle, owls and foxes along with turkeys and bees. For an additional charge, families can see a planetarium show to learn more about the universe. Afterwards, drive up to the beach and throw rocks into the water along Lake Erie.

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

See more wildlife beyond the Lake Erie Nature Center at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo with resident giraffes, elephants and bears, among other classic zoo animals. Additional amenities include a popular rainforest exhibit, free train, carousel and 4D Theater. And if you’re local to Cuyahoga County and Hinckley Township, you can bring a valid driver’s license or state ID for free admissions on Mondays.

Brandywine Falls in Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio

Brandywine Falls in Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio © Sandra Foyt | Dreamstime.com

Cuyahoga Valley National Park

To get away from downtown Cleveland and back into nature, Cuyahoga Valley National Park offers hikes through deep forest, rolling hills and open farmlands. The area is also rich with Ohio history. Check-out Brandywine Falls to see 65-foot waterfalls that once helped power a thriving village and, eventually, an artist’s colony. Visitors can also explore the Canal Exploration Center that served as a tavern, store, residence, boardinghouse and blacksmith. A gristmill, Boston Store Visitor Center, Stanford House and Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail also gives families an education on the history of Ohio and the Erie Canal.

Greater Cleveland Aquarium

Enjoy a close-up look at the creatures of the sea at the Greater Cleveland Aquarium with more than eight galleries and 50 exhibits. The aquarium represents sealife from South America, Africa and the indo-Pacific with aquatic life native to Ohio’s native lakes and rivers. Visitors will also learn more about life native to the Red Sea, Eastern Asia, Indonesia, Fiji and Hawai’i.

Cleveland has even more family-friendly attractions to visit than you’ll have time for in one short visit. Plan ahead around the season to find the best time of year to explore the parks, catch a sporting event or enjoy shelling and kayaking near the many beaches.


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