Cleveland July 20, 2022
The Best Things To Do In Cleveland With Kids: 29 Fun Activities For The Whole Family
Here in Cleveland, adventure abounds for explorers of all ages. From hiking in the suburban wilderness to adventuring through the heart of Downtown, there are all sorts of fun things to do with kids in Cleveland. You may not be a kid yourself anymore, but these magical destinations will spark your creative juices and allow your imagination to run wild.
Best Things to Do with Kids in Cleveland
To kick things off, we’re going to introduce you to some of the most iconic family-friendly attractions in Cleveland. Visitors of all ages love these cool local landmarks, and they absolutely inspire little visitors!
1. The Children's Museum of Cleveland
The Children's Museum of Cleveland, 3813 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, OH 44115, USA
Address: 3813 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, OH 44115 | Video Tour Neighborhood: Midtown Website: https://cmcleveland.org/ What to Do: Reservations for your two-hour timeslot are required, but you'll find that there's plenty of time to explore each room. Watch your child's inner scientist bloom at the Wonder Lab, and see them discover new interests in each themed space.
Visitors of all ages love the wondrous world of the
Children's Museum of Cleveland
. Since 1981, this splendidly colorful museum has enchanted little visitors and their adult counterparts alike. Now located in the historic Stager-Beckwith Mansion, it truly feels like you're stepping into another world. From Adventure City to Arts & Parts, each themed space allows creativity to run wild.
5 Minutes Away: Main Gate Restaurant, the most hidden restaurant in all of Cleveland, is awaiting visitors just down the road. 2. Cleveland Museum of Natural History
Cleveland Museum of Natural History, 1 Wade Oval Dr, Cleveland, OH 44106, USA
Address: 1 Wade Oval Dr, Cleveland, OH 44106 | Video Tour Neighborhood: University Circle Website: https://www.cmnh.org/ What to Do: Step back in time by examining fossils, historic artifacts, and informative recreations. Let your little one's imagination run wild as they come face-to-face with dinosaurs and locally-discovered ancient fish.
There's fun for all ages awaiting visitors in University Circle! The
Cleveland Museum of Natural History
has an iconic and beloved stegosaurus right outside to greet visitors, but so much more awaits discovery inside. Explore the universe and our own backyard through their spectacular collections. If you and the kids are feeling adventurous, you might also enjoy the museum's off-campus events in their outdoor laboratories. Keep your eyes peeled for
, a massive armored fish that prowled Ohio's landscape more than 360 million years ago.
10 Minutes Away: Visit Gordon Park, one of the oldest Cleveland parks, just up the road. It opened to the public in 1893 and has recently undergone beautification initiatives. 3. Malley's Chocolates
Malley's Chocolates, 14822 Madison Ave, Lakewood, OH 44107, USA
Treat your sweet tooth at
Malley's Chocolates in Lakewood
! This awesome local landmark was the first-ever Malley's store to open in the Cleveland area, and it is an indulgent experience for kids and adults alike. Stock up on goodies like chocolates, candy-coated almonds, and everything in between, or swing by their old-school ice cream shop in the back of the store. It's
Alice in Wonderland
-themed, and their hot fudge will doubtlessly take your taste buds to a more wondrous world. (Remember to order extra fudge... you'll appreciate it later!) The old-school soda fountain is like a remnant from another time, but to many Clevelanders, it feels like home.
10 Minutes Away: Along the waterways is a lovely little park awaiting visitors. Rocky River Park has sitting areas, a playground, and observation decks to help you soak up the stunning view. Honorable Mentions
We couldn’t introduce you to some of the coolest attractions in Cleveland without calling out some additional places that are bucket-list-worthy!
4. The Western Reserve Fire Museum and Education Center
The Western Reserve Fire Museum and Education Center, 310 Carnegie Ave, Cleveland, OH 44115, USA
This super-cool (hot???)
Fire Museum in Cleveland
is beyond fascinating. It offers visitors a glimpse back in time, showcasing how firefighting has changed over the years with an emphasis on local crews. If your little one is considering a career in firefighting, then this landmark is a
5. Cleveland Botanical Garden
Cleveland Botanical Garden, 11030 East Blvd, Cleveland, OH 44106, USA
Located in University Circle mere steps away from the history museum, the
Cleveland Botanical Garden
is an incredible local landmark. Inside its greenhouse is lush plant life and, amazingly, a wide array of exotic butterflies.
Free Things to Do in Cleveland with Kids
Who doesn’t love a good freebie? Fortunately, there are plenty of free attractions in Cleveland that are family-friendly and worthy of a visit.
6. Rockefeller Park Greenhouse
Rockefeller Park Greenhouse, 750 E 88th St, Cleveland, OH 44108, USA
Surround yourself with lush greenery at
Rockefeller Park Greenhouse
. This always-free, year-round attraction is a real treat for visitors, as it features a wide array of greenery throughout every season. Much of that plantlife will be used in beautification initiatives right here in town, but some of the more unique exhibits are permanently rooted. Explore the greenhouse and the surrounding park grounds if you're up for it... Rockefeller Park covers roughly 200 acres, and it has been open to the public since 1897.
10 Minutes Away: Just around the corner is Forest Hill Park, another quaint and lovely city park that's worth exploring. 7. Squire's Castle
Squire's Castle, 2844 River Rd, Willoughby Hills, OH 44094, USA
When you're walking through the Cleveland Metroparks, you usually wouldn't expect to stumble upon a historic castle that's totally open to the elements. However, that's exactly the case with
. This incredible structure is in North Chagrin Reservation, but it was once situated on private countryside land owned by Standard Oil Company executive Feargus B. Squire. The castle was meant to be a gatekeeper's home, but the intended executive mansion was never started. Instead, Squire and his family vacationed in this very structure to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. Today, the castle is hollowed out, and it is open to the public... and the elements.
10 Minutes Away: Treat yourself to some fresh, locally grown produce, cider, and bakery at Patterson Fruit Farm. 8. Preston's H.O.P.E. Playground Park
Preston's H.O.P.E. Playground Park, 26001 S Woodland Rd, Beachwood, OH 44122, USA
When it comes to playgrounds,
is one of the most vibrant in Northeast Ohio. It is dedicated to the memory of Preston, who was born with spinal muscular atrophy, learned to use a wheelchair at just 18 months of age, and went on to become a competitive athlete. While his life ended far too soon, his legacy is preserved in this fully accessible playground where kids of all ability levels to play unabashedly. From Imagination Village to the sand pits and swings, this awesome playground provides everything your little one needs to embrace their endless pool of creativity.
10 Minutes Away: Soak up some sun and hike around the corner at Horseshoe Lake Park in the Shaker Lakes area. 9. Worden's Ledges
Worden's Ledges, Wordens Ledges Loop Trail, Hinckley, OH 44233, USA
serves up a dose of unparalleled beauty. It's hidden in the southernmost reservation of the Cleveland Metroparks, and it features historic carvings left behind by an aspiring artist named Noble Stuart. He married into the Worden family (who originally settled the site in the 1860s) and eventually inherited the family homestead and cliff-covered yard. Nowadays, the historic homestead is long gone, but Stuart's incredible carvings are still visible along the park's loop trail. His favorite subjects included mythology and religion, but glimpses into American history and other surprising themes are hidden amidst the colorful ledges.
10 Minutes Away: Keep the outdoor fun going at Granger Wetlands Wildlife Sanctuary. Here, you can listen to frogs, observe unique plant life, and learn about Ohio wildlife. Honorable Mentions
There are oodles of freebies to enjoy in the Cleveland area! If you’re looking for even more free things to do with kids in Cleveland, these additional landmarks might strike your fancy.
10. Lakewood Park
Lakewood Park, 14532 Lake Ave, Lakewood, OH 44107, USA
Lakewood Park has something for everyone, from a pool to a museum to a bandshell where live concerts take place in the summer. Love sunsets? Who doesn't! The stunning and incredible
in Lakewood Park are designed to provide an incredible view of sunsets over Lake Erie. As the name implies, they offer a particularly stunning view of the point the sun sets at on the summer solstice.
11. Lakeview Park
Lakeview Park, 1800 W Erie Ave, Lorain, OH 44052, USA
There are all sorts of incredible beaches in Greater Cleveland, but only one has a stunning rose garden!
is a 20-acre slice of paradise right on Lake Erie's shore. Enjoy views of a lighthouse surrounded by the aroma of 2,500 roses.
Things to Do with Kids at Night in Cleveland
In Greater Cleveland, the nightlife isn’t just for grownups. There are all sorts of after-hours events and attractions that will appeal to little ones and adults alike!
12. Night hike or bike at Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio, USA
While many parks close at dusk, portions of
Cuyahoga Valley National Park
are open to the public for night hiking. Go star-gazing, check out the nightlife enjoyed by local wildlife, and listen to the song of crickets and birds. You can even enjoy ranger-led hikes on select occasions, which infuses an extra degree of discovery into the experience. From owls to deer, you never know what awaits you on this magical after-hours experience.
5 Minutes Away: Ready to cool off after your hike? Indulge in a favorite local tradition and dig into ice cream at Country Maid Ice Cream. 13. Melt Bar and Grilled
Melt Bar and Grilled, 14718 Detroit Ave, Lakewood, OH 44107, USA
When it comes to grilled cheese sandwiches, nobody does it quite like the team at
Melt Bar and Grilled
. This local restaurant boasts many locations throughout the area, but their Lakewood eatery is where the magic started. With vegan-friendly options and grilled cheese sandwiches piled high with local favorites (like pierogies, fried mac and cheese, and so much more), there's something on the menu for everyone. Even the pickiest eaters will find delicious options here to satisfy their taste buds! Kids and adults alike are in for a treat at this eatery that's open late.
10 Minutes Away: Walk off that heavy dinner and watch boats head out toward the lake at the Emerald Necklace Marina. 14. Bowling at Mahall's
Mahall's, 13200 Madison Ave, Lakewood, OH 44107, USA
Mahall's is one of the coolest
retro attractions in Cleveland
. Adults will love its 70s-themed basement bar, live concerts and events, and classic bar food. Kids will love the colors of this local landmark and its epic bowling lanes. You never know what's going to be taking place at this cool venue! Improv shows, music performances, and more could be taking place on the stage. It's an intimate venue to catch a show if your kid is a music lover, but it's also a cool place to unleash fun and bowl the night away.
10 Minutes Away: Explore the dining scene around Ohio City's West Side Market, which is surrounded by vibrant restaurants that are open late. Honorable Mentions
The nightlife in Cleveland doesn’t end there! There are all sorts of fun places where kids can be… well, kids, even after hours.
15. Swings-N-Things Fun Park
Swings-N-Things Fun Park, 8501 Stearns Rd, Olmsted Falls, OH 44138, USA
Swings-N-Things Fun Park
in Olmsted Falls is a fun spot that's open late, and it's totally family-friendly. This cool amusement park has bumper boats, batting cages, paintball, and so much more. Don't forget to fuel up on snacks!
16. Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, 3900 Wildlife Way, Cleveland, OH 44109, USA
The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is often open late for special events, like the
Asian Lantern Festival
. During the colder months, holiday lights add a degree of cheerfulness to the snow-covered campus.
Things to Do with Kids Outdoors
Cleveland’s landscape is magnificent, and there is
so much to do here! You’ve already seen a few outdoor attractions on this list, but there are even more to explore with the kids. 17. Hinckley Spillway Swim Area
Hinckley spillway, 1824 Metropolitan Park W, Hinckley, OH 44233, USA
On a hot summer day, one of the best places to cool off is in
. This Medina County portion of the Cleveland Metroparks boasts a charming swim area, which has sandy shores and an on-site refreshment stand. Hike around Hinckley Lake, venture deeper into the reservation for longer treks, or simply sit back and soak up some sun. This fan-favorite destination is a hit with families, and kids might even spot salamanders and crayfish hiding under rocks in the creek.
10 Minutes Away: Ready for more outdoor fun? Plum Creek South in Brunswick is just a short drive away, and it's picture perfect. 18. Mill Creek Falls
Garfield Park Reservation, 11350 Broadway Ave, Garfield Heights, OH 44125, USA
Looking for a waterfall with very little hiking required? You have to check out
Mill Creek Falls
with the kids! This incredible gem is actually the tallest waterfall in the county. Tucked away inside a park from 1894, Mill Creek Falls is just steps away from the parking lot. Amazingly, it's also a man-made feature, as local railroad companies diverted the creek to its current path around the turn of the century. While the waterfall is the crown jewel of the park, you'll also spot historic Depression-era stonework. This fascinating park is nothing short of an urban gem.
10 Minutes Away: If your kids are bigger, then they'll love the vibe at Topgolf. Practice your aim across a massive field that's well-lit and open late. Honorable Mentions
The great outdoors is magical in Northeast Ohio. After all, there’s a reason Cleveland is nicknamed Forest City! These additional must-see destinations will enthrall your kiddos, and absolutely belong on your area bucket list.
19. Towpath Mounds
Towpath Mounds, Cleveland, OH 44113, USA
is a brand new addition to the Towpath Trail, and it is almost alien in its appearance. Here, man-made earthworks add an artistic element to a landscape that's surrounded by industry. Hike the path and climb each hill for an unbelievable view.
20. Fort Hill Loop Trail
Fort Hill Loop Trail, North Olmsted, OH 44070, USA
Speaking of earthworks, there's an incredible archaeological wonder hiding in Rocky River Reservation.
Fort Hill Loop Trail
will get you close to 2,000-year-old structures that are almost undetectable if you're not looking for them. They were built by an Early Woodland culture that lived in the area until circa 1100 CE. Keep your eyes peeled, too, for references to fossils found in the park!
Best Things to Do with Teens in Cleveland
There’s something for everyone in Cleveland! There’s even a wide variety of attractions that will appeal to teenagers, whether your child is a bookworm or an adventure seeker.
21. Cleveland Grays Armory Museum
Cleveland Grays Armory Museum, 1234 Bolivar Rd, Cleveland, OH 44115, USA
When it comes to cool landmarks,
is tragically overlooked. This neat museum preserves the memory of Cleveland's own private militia, a group that protected the early settlement here and even went on to serve during notable wars and battles. It's also purportedly haunted, a fact that has earned it recognition on nationally-airing shows like
on SyFy. Listen for disembodied footsteps, voices, and even piano music... or just soak in the multitude of history at this cool Cleveland site.
5 Minutes Away: Dig deeper into Cleveland's history with a visit to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame! You'll love learning about Cleveland's roots as the birthplace of rock n roll. 22. Great Falls of Tinkers Creek
Great Falls of Tinkers Creek, Willis St, Bedford, OH 44264, USA
Wade deep into history at
, a gorgeous waterfall and a former source of power for early area industrialization. On top of providing gorgeous views of the waterfall, this area also hides surprising ruins. Bricks from the old mills are all about the gorge, and old millrace tunnels are also visible. This hike is a real treat for adventure seekers, and you might even be able to get close to the waterfall via in-creek stones if the waters aren't too high.
10 Minutes Away: Treat yourself to some family fun at Roseland Lanes! If you're swinging by late, you have to check out the awesome cosmic bowling experience. Honorable Mentions
There’s so much to do in Greater Cleveland! These additional landmarks might appeal to your teen but, truth be told, they might appeal to you even more.
23. Buckland Museum of Witchcraft & Magick
Buckland Museum of Witchcraft & Magick, 2155 Broadview Rd, Cleveland, OH 44109, USA
Buckland Museum of Witchcraft & Magick
is a true hidden gem. It is arguably the most unique museum in Cleveland, and it explores the history of all things occult from the Middle Ages through the modern era.
24. Scene75 Entertainment Center | Cleveland
Scene75 Entertainment Center | Cleveland, 3688 Center Rd, Brunswick, OH 44212, USA
is a mere stone's throw from the highway in Brunswick, and it is a place that appeals to kids and adults alike. This teen-friendly family fun center has bumper cars, mini-golf, and arcade games galore.
What to Do with Toddlers in Cleveland
Cleveland is even friendly to parents with young kids! There are plenty of family-friendly attractions in the area that appeal to little ones and adults alike. The following locations are perfect for toddlers in Greater Cleveland.
25. Lake Metroparks Farmpark
Lake Metroparks Farmpark, 8800 Euclid Chardon Rd, Kirtland, OH 44094, USA
Lake Metroparks Farmpark
is truly a family-friendly destination. This cool park has hiking, just like any other park, but it's also a working farm. With 235 acres to explore, there's no shortage of things to do in the area. Pet baby animals, learn how our food is grown, and see massive critters like cows and horses. You'll spot farm equipment like tractors, and you might even find an opportunity to enjoy a hands-on activity... and you might lend a hand to keep the farm running!
10 Minutes Away: Keep the outdoor fun going with a visit to Holden Arboretum, an outdoor laboratory filled with unique plants and artwork. 26. Stearns Homestead
Stearns Farm. Aka Stearns Homestead, 6975 Ridge Rd, Parma, OH 44129, USA
is a working farm... and it's one of the last farms in the Cleveland area. At 48 acres, it's tiny compared to the previous farm on this list, but it's oh so charming. Interact with and feed animals, go shopping, tour a historic farmhouse, and learn about how the City of Parma grew around a farm from 1855. This landscape is one of the last things you'd expect to find in a bustling suburb, but it's also one of the best places to visit during fall festival season.
10 Minutes Away: Now that you've got your steps in, keep the fun going with a trip to West Creek Reservation! If you can manage a hike, there's a stunning view of the Cleveland skyline awaiting you in this park. 27. Memphis Kiddie Park
Memphis Kiddie Park, 10340 Memphis Ave, Cleveland, OH 44144, USA
When it comes to family fun, few places compare to the charm of
Memphis Kiddie Park
. This whimsical wonderland opened its doors in 1952 and, today, it's one of the few places that perfectly caters to even the tiniest of attendees. It has 11 rides, oodles of fair food, mini-golf, and so much more. After seven decades, this charming amusement park is a secret passed on from generation to generation.
10 Minutes Away: Ready for a snack? There's no better place for kids and sweets-loving adults than b.a. Sweetie Candy Company, which is less than 10 minutes away. Honorable Mentions
The fun doesn’t end there! There’s even more for families to do in Cleveland.
28. Wade Oval Wednesdays
Wade Oval, 10820 East Blvd, Cleveland, OH 44106, USA
In the summer months,
Wade Oval Wednesdays
are one of the coolest family-friendly attractions in the city. Listen to music, catch a parade, and dig into delicious Cleveland street food.
29. Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad
Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad Rockside Station, 7900 Old Rockside Rd, Independence, OH 44131, USA
Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad has a variety of kid-friendly rides, including the coveted
holiday train rides
. You'll love riding back in time via a historic caboose, and the kids will love seeing the local landscape and learning about these fascinating trains.
There are so many incredible things to do with kids in Cleveland! Which of these destinations is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below, and feel free to share any photos taken during your most memorable visits!
Looking for more fun in Greater Cleveland? Check out our list of the very
best things to do in Cleveland for more local fun. Address: The Children's Museum of Cleveland, 3813 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, OH 44115, USA Address: Cleveland Museum of Natural History, 1 Wade Oval Dr, Cleveland, OH 44106, USA Address: Malley's Chocolates, 14822 Madison Ave, Lakewood, OH 44107, USA Address: Worden's Ledges, Wordens Ledges Loop Trail, Hinckley, OH 44233, USA