Where To Eat In Cleveland
Cleveland has plenty of amazing restaurants to choose from. We were very pleased with all of the places we ate at thats for sure.
- Glass Blowing class at The Bubble Project
- Lunch Gordon Square Neighborhood to get dinner at Happy Dog
- Cuyahoga Valley National Park
- Head to airport / Head home / Head on a road trip
If you have a few more days and want to check of more places on your list while in Cleveland, then check out the rest of our itinerary below:
Cleveland Itinerary Day 5 and 6
- Drive from Cleveland Ohio to Niagara Falls, Canada or Niagara Falls, NY depending on whether you have a passport or not. Spend 2 days here exploring the area.
- On this drive you will go through Pennsylvania and can add a stop here if youd like.
Cleveland Itinerary Day 7
A Cleveland Cavaliers Game
Cleveland takes a lot of pride in its sports, and its basketball team is one of the best. Plus they have LeBron James, and their arena is connected to the Ritz-Carlton. How could we not go? The hotel arranged for two tickets for us in the Cavaliers owners suite and we had a great time. It was my sons first professional sports event of any kind. The Cavs now have a fan for life!
How Far Is It To Cleveland Ohio From Nearby Cities
Cleveland has a fairly central location and can be easily reached by car from several nearby cities.
- From Columbus, Ohio, the drive to Cleveland takes about 2 hours.
- The drive from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Cleveland is closer to 2.5 hours.
- It takes about 2 hours and 45 minutes to travel from Detroit, Michigan to Cleveland.
- Driving from Chicago, Illinois to Cleveland takes about 5.5 hours.
- The driving route from New York City to Cleveland takes about 8 hours.
We talk more about how to get to Cleveland in more detail later.
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Have A Picnic Or A Swim At A Lakeside Park
One of the major perks of Cleveland is its location on Lake Erie! A picnic and a swim is always an affordable option !
Our family enjoyed a picnic lunch at Voinovich Park, which is situated close to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Great Lakes Science Center. If you require a swim, Edgewater Park is popular among visitors and locals you can even bring your fishing pole and try your luck at getting some Lake Erie perch!
Where to stay: The Residence Inn Downtown has plenty of room for the entire family!
Best Roller Coaster/amusement Park: Cedar Point
Cedar Points Pint-Sized Thrillseeker Itinerary, designed for visitors under 4 feet tall, gives kids the chance to try out exciting rides designed just for them. Some of the suggestions include:
- A stop in Kiddy Kingdom, where they can warm up with a loop aboard a muscle car or space ship.
- The Kite-Eating Tree takes kids up in the air and back down to earth with a few bounces and jiggles along the way.
- The bumper cars at Joe Cools Dodgem School allows kids to ride a collision course, albeit a tamer one at slower speeds.
Of course, the park has more thrilling rides for older kids, so if youre looking for something more intense, try one of these:
- One of the parks newest roller coasters, the multiple record-breaking Steel Vengeance looms 200 feet over the park, sending riders on a 90-degree drop and four inversions.
- After getting strapped into the Slingshot, riders are sent 360 feet into the at a speed of up to 62 mph. Much like a bungee jump, the ride bounces visitors up and down and up again, spinning them head over heels until they come to a stop.
- The grown-up version of the Kite-Eating Tree, the Power Tower shoots visitors 240 feet up, then sends them plummeting down, at face-melting speeds of up to 60 mph.
But of course, this is no ordinary amusement park, but an amusement resort. Guests sometimes extend their visit over days, so that they can relax on Cedar Point beach, splash around the water park, or go parasailing on Lake Erie.
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Cleveland Lakefront Nature Preserve
The Cleveland Lakefront Nature Preserve covers over 88 acres of what was once a lake-side dumping ground for solid waste. Amazingly, this unsightly dump site has blossomed to become an urban nature preserve alongside the Port of Cleveland, where you can bring the children to enjoy some outdoor fun in the sun. The preserve is home to three hiking trails which wind through a good mix of wildlife habitats including forests, grasslands, meadows and wetlands which attract a good mix of butterflies, birds, reptiles and small animals. It is a great place for children to enjoy nature, learn about bird-watching and get some outdoor exercise. Entrance is free.
Cleveland Lakefront Nature Preserve, 8701 Lakeshore Blvd, NE, Cleveland, OH 44108, Phone: 216-377-1348
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Are There Things To Do In Cleveland With Kids
Yes, there are many things to do with kids in Cleveland! In fact, its a very kid-friendly place to visit, so you will have no problem finding family things to do in Cleveland.
While our list is not specifically dedicated to things for kids to do in Cleveland, we do include family-friendly activities in our itinerary.
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The Farm At Walnut Creek
Located in the heart of Amish Country, the Farm at Walnut Creek offers the whole family an enjoyable and educational day out. Children can learn about everyday life on an Amish farm, where the pace of live is slower and there are fewer distractions. The farm is home to hundreds of animals, from domesticated farm animals to some really exotic creatures like giraffe, kangaroos and llamas. Instead of just viewing the animals from a distance you can make your way around the farm by horse-drawn carriage and get the chance to feed many of the animals. Since this is a working farm you will also see a various seasonal farming chores such as plowing, thrashing and harvesting underway. Visitors are welcome to bring along a picnic, visit the Amish homestead and take plenty of photos.
The Farm at Walnut Creek, 4147 Country Rd 114, Sugar Creek, OH 44681, Phone: 330-893-4200
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Things To Do In Cleveland With Kids: A Perfect Three
When the Ritz-Carlton Cleveland invited us to fly out for their grand re-opening, following an 18-month renovation, I jumped on it. Ive always wanted to visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and I had heard great things about all the things to do in Cleveland with kids and the citys recent revitalization. Plus I had never been to Ohio at all. Time to change that.
We took advantage of a three-day weekend at school, flying in on a Friday afternoon and heading back to California Monday morning. In those two and a half days we experienced seven distinct kid-friendly things to do in Cleveland, as well as attending the Ritz-Carltons celebrations and had an amazingly fun time. Seriously, Cleveland rocks. And it wasnt just the hotel and all the fun things to do in Cleveland that impressed us. We loved the overall vibe of downtown. Its a fun city.
So what did we do? And what should you do in Cleveland with kids?
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Hinckley Reservation Outdoor Activities For Kids
432 Bellus Rd, Hinckley
While Hinckley Reservation is part of the Cleveland Metroparks system, there is a lot to do here aside from hiking. So, I decided to include it as a separate item.
Aside from exploring Wordens Ledges and Whipps Ledges together , you can also go boating, kayaking, paddleboarding, swimming, etc. on Hinckley Lake, go horseback riding, try your hand at fishing, go cycling, and enjoy the beautiful nature in the area.
There is also the Buzzard Roost where you can celebrate the return of spring and buzzards on March 15 each year, a sledding hill for the winter, plenty of areas to bring a picnic lunch, and a pool to go swimming in during the summer.
Free Things To Do In Cleveland With Kids
Cleveland is a great city for sports aficionados, lovers of watersports, or those that just enjoy a good sunset or a local brew. Cleveland is also a great place for kids there are numerous museums and spacious parks. A day or a weekend with the family doesnt have to cost big bucks though, here are six FREE things to do in Cleveland with kids.
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Cuyahoga Valley National Scenic Railroad
One of the more unique things to do in Cleveland with kids has to be exploring Cuyahoga Valley National Park via the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad. Its one of just a few railroads operating within a national park!
Spot wildlife, enjoy the surrounding nature, and relax as you take in the scenery together on a ride with the CVSR. Scenic rides are available all season, and the they also offer themed rides and events. While there are some events that cater to adults such as Ales on Rails and Trivia on the Train, they offer kid-friendly rides, too, with the most popular being the Polar Express Train Ride during the holidays.
Hours: The train is running Wednesday-Sunday June-October in 2021. Exact times vary you can check the schedule here.
Pricing: Prices range from $15-28 for adults and $10-23 for children.
Parking: Boarding for CVSR ticketed rides happens either at Rockside Station or Akron Northside Station. Both stations have large parking lots, and parking is free.
Accessibility note: The CVSR does have one handicap accessible car with a lift, but youll need to call to make sure its available/being used on your desired trip.
COVID-19 update: The train is back up and running but at 50% capacity now. Tickets must be purchased in advance. Read more here.
Late 20th And Early 21st Centuries
After the war, Cleveland initially experienced an economic boom, and businesses declared the city to be the “best location in the nation”. In 1949, the city was named an All-America City for the first time and, in 1950, its population reached 914,808. In sports, the Indians won the 1948 World Series, the hockey team, the Barons, became champions of the American Hockey League, and the Browns dominated professional football in the 1950s. As a result, along with track and boxing champions produced, Cleveland was declared the “City of Champions” in sports at this time. The 1950s also saw the rising popularity of a new music genre that local WJW disc jockey Alan Freed dubbed “rock and roll“.
However, by the 1960s, Cleveland’s economy began to slow down, and residents increasingly sought new housing in the suburbs, reflecting the national trends of suburban growth following federally subsidized highways. Industrial restructuring, particularly in the railroad and steel industries, resulted in the loss of numerous jobs in Cleveland and the region, and the city suffered economically. The burning of the Cuyahoga River in June 1969 brought national attention to the issue of industrial pollution in Cleveland and served as a catalyst for the American environmental movement.
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Cleveland Museum Of Natural History
The Cleveland Museum of Natural History is sure to please not only the children in your family but all the adults too. The museum offers several engaging educational activities for children of all ages and you should be sure to visit their website ahead of your visit to find out what to expect and how to get the most out of your visit. Besides a wealth of interesting exhibits which you can tour at your own pace, the museum offers a regular series of special immersive programs for toddles, pre-schoolers and older children. One of the highlights of your visit will undoubtedly be the brilliant dinosaur exhibition.
Cleveland Museum of Natural History, 1 Wade Oval Drive, Cleveland, OH 44106, Phone: 216-231-4600
Start Your Week At Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
Address: 3900 Wildlife Way, Cleveland, OH 44109Hours: Open daily, 10 a.m. 5 p.m. | Open until 6 p.m. on weekends & holidays during the summer.Phone: 216-661-6500
Curtail Monday moaning with a day at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, where Cuyahoga County and Hinckley Township residents receive admission at no charge that day. This once-a-week freebie typically draws a crowd, especially in the summertime, so gather a picnic lunch and arrive when the gates open to avoid the herds of parents with their tots in tow. Be strategic to stay on budget: Bring store-bought beverages and goodies to stave off concession stand temptations and use the park map to plan a route that avoids the Rainforest, movie theater, train, and carousel areas, which all cost an additional admission fee.
Locations: Click the link above for details on various locations across the city.Hours: Schedules vary by location. All centers closed Sundays.
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Where To Stay In Cleveland With Kids
We stayed at The Kimpton-Schofield Hotel which is an absolutely beautiful property in downtown Cleveland. We had connecting rooms, one with a king bed and the other with two queen beds which the kids shared.
Both rooms had a beautiful window view of the street which was nice.
Other family friendly hotels in Cleveland:
Lake Metroparks Farm Park
8800 Euclid Chardon Rd, Kirtland
This working farm and education center is such a fun place to take the kids near Cleveland! Children can see dairy cows, pigs, sheep, chickens, horses, alpaca, goats, and more! They also offer horse or tractor drawn wagon rides, as well as various demonstrations and educational programs.
Enjoy fun things like watching a border collie keep the sheep together throughout the warmer months, discover the art of sugaring and making maple syrup in the spring, and see cool farm equipment year-round.
They also have events throughout the year for the family including Maple Sugaring Weekends, Sheep Sheering Weekend, Fall Harvest Weekends, and more!
Hours: Friday-Sundays 9 am- 5 pm
Admission: $8 for adults, $7 for seniors aged 60+, $6 for children ages 2-11, and free for children under 2 as well as active military and their family.
Tip: Lake County residents get free admission on the first Sunday of the month. You just have to show proof of residency.
Accessibility note: All facilities are accessible even the horse- and tractor-drawn wagons are wheelchair accessible. Strollers and wagons are encouraged.
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Kids Activities In Cleveland Ohio
If you’re planning a family vacation to Cleveland, this Northeast Ohio city has plenty of entertainment options for your kidsfrom the Zoo and Children’s Museum to a Cleveland Indians game, you’re sure to find something to do.
Although travel in the summer will yield more activities, there’s plenty to do year-round in the CLE including winter sports in Lake Farmpark and Christmas cheer at the Christmas House blooming flowers in the Cleveland Greenhouses in spring summer swimming at Lake Erie beaches and splashing at the Wildwater Kingdom and plenty of beautiful foliage and apple picking opportunities in the fall.
Explore the following list and plan your itinerary for you and your family on your next vacation to Cleveland, but just make sure to check the linked website for each attraction for hours of operation, admission fees, and holiday closures.
A part of the Great Lakes Science Center, the William G. Mather Museum is an authentic 1925 Great Lakes bulk freighter, permanently moored at North Coast Harbor in downtown Cleveland.
This 618-foot, 14,000-ton vessel is now a museum and visitors can climb aboard and get a glimpse at what life on Lake Erie was like in the early 20th century. The William G. Mather is open from May through October on Saturdays and Sundays.
The Cleveland Museum of Natural History, located in Cleveland’s University Circle area, is a treasure trove of more than four million specimens.
Where To Eat In Cleveland With Kids
Happy Dog at the Euclid Tavern | Photo by Melissa Moore
Cleveland has the most urban feel of all of Ohios cities, and its food scene does not disappoint. There are many local chains that serve up delicious food in a kid-friendly environment.
Visiting the Cleveland Museum of Art or Cleveland Museum of Contemporary Art? Stop in for lunch at the Happy Dog at the Euclid Tavern while youre in the neighborhood. Happy Dog offers 50 different toppings for your burger or hot dog so everyone in the family is sure to leave satisfied. Also, dont miss out on the fries. There are more than 25 dipping sauces available from ketchup to Brazilian chimichurri sauce.
Another must for families is a meal at Melt Bar and Grilled. The grilled cheese options are almost endless. While my son enjoyed the plainest possible Kindergarten grilled cheese, I savored every bite of the Popper. The Popper is stuffed with jalapeno peppers and cream cheese then it is battered and fried. I will certainly order this sandwich every time I return to Cleveland.
For a special breakfast treat, families should consider Jack Flaps Luncheonette. The waffle that my son ordered looked like a dessert and the lemon curd on my pancakes with gram cracker crumbles had just the perfect tang.
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