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9 Family Fun Things to Do


Family Fun

Summer & Fall are great for outdoor and indoor attractions in Northeast Ohio.
Here are some of our favorites.

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

1 - Cleveland Metroparks Zoo (Cleveland Area)
There are so many “paw”ssible ways to have fun here, making this a truly “grrrrreat” attraction any time of year—and it’s only about five minutes from downtown! Feed the giraffes at the African Savanna area, enjoy the inhabitants of Elephant Crossing and Tiger Passage, and take a trip Down Under for an Australian Adventure. Want to explore the tropics? The zoo’s indoor RainForest is teeming with jungle species from around the world. The Circle of Life Carousel, with its 64 carved animals, will appeal to all ages.  (3900 Wildlife Way, Cleveland 44109; 216.661.6500)

CV TIP: Go in the morning to catch the animals during feeding time. They’re more likely to be out and about then; afternoon is usually nap time.

Akron Zoo

2 - Akron Zoo (Akron Area)
Just a mile and a half from downtown Akron, this conservation-minded zoo is home to more than 700 animals and deep sea dwellers. This collection includes endangered Humboldt penguins and snow leopards. The Legends of the Wild exhibit includes jaguars, lemurs, flamingoes and other colorful species from around the world. Pride of Africa features the beauty and wildlife of the savannas of Kenya. Grizzly Ridge is home to North American grizzlies, bald eagles, wolves and otters. Komodo Kingdom lets you get nose-to-nose with the world’s largest lizard species. And, Curious Creatures featuring several animals with strange adaptations and unusual characteristics, including jellyfish.  (505 Euclid Avenue, Akron 44307; 330.375.2550)

CV TIP: The Akron Zoo is sensory-inclusive, opening early on certain days for people who don’t like crowds or loud noises.  Visit for more information.

Christmas Story House

3 - The Christmas Story House and Museum (Cleveland Area)
Fans of the 1983 movie classic A Christmas Story, much of which was filmed in Cleveland, can tour the actual 9th-century Victorian that served as the set of Ralphie’s house. You can even stay overnight for a truly memorable experience. Across the street, the Christmas Story Museum features original props, costumes and memorabilia from the movie, as well as rare behind-the-scenes photos.  (3159 West 11th Street, Cleveland 44109; 216.298.4919)

CV TIP: Tours provide lots of photo opportunities, but you have to be quick because the guides like to keep things moving along and there’s little time for retakes.

Lakeview Cemetery

4 - Lake View Cemetery (Cleveland Area)
A spectacular display of fall foliage, easy walking paths, ample wildlife and the final resting places of such notables as President James A. Garfield, business mogul John D. Rockefeller, philanthropist and opera singer Zelma George, inventor Garret Morgan, and The Untouchables’ Elliot Ness. History buffs and nature lovers alike flock to this spot to take a stroll and enjoy the autumn air.  Dogs are welcome on-leash. The grounds are open daily 7:30am-5:30pm November-March and 7:30am-7:30pm April-October. (12316 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland 44106; 216.421.2665)  PHOTO COURTESY OF ANDREA WEISS

Stan Hywet

5 - Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens (Akron Area)
This National Historic Landmark is the former home of F.A. Seiberling (founder of Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.) and his family and is one of the largest homes in the United States. Tour the historic 65-room Tudor Revival Manor House, the Gate Lodge (the birthplace of AA), or its 70-acres of beautiful gardens. (714 North Portage Path, Akron 44303; 330.836.5533)

West Side Market

6 - West Side Market (Cleveland Area)
Outdoor farmers’ markets may have wrapped up for the season, but this one reigns supreme year-round. Opened in 1912, the historic market features more than 100 vendors selling meats, cheeses, pastries, ethnic foods and fresh produce from the autumn harvest. Catch a bite to eat at the Market Café, an old-fashioned diner using fresh ingredients from the market’s vendors.  For breakfast, try the cornbread waffles with Ohio maple syrup. For lunch, we love the Lake Erie walleye sandwich and a microbrew from Great Lakes Brewing Company. Open Monday and Wednesday 7am-4pm, Friday and Saturday 7am-6pm, and Sunday 12pm-6pm. (1979 W. 25th Street at Lorain Avenue, Cleveland 44113; 216.664.3387)

Brandywine Falls

7 - Brandywine Falls (Akron Area)
One of the most popular attractions in Cuyahoga Valley National Park is Brandywine Falls, just 25 minutes from downtown Akron. The picturesque 65-foot falls was carved by Brandywine Creek and showcases classic geological features, including a layer of hard rock that caps the waterfall, protecting softer layers of shale rock below. A boardwalk and steps bring you into the waterfall’s gorge and let you view the waterfall up close and personal. Open daily, dawn to dusk. (8176 Brandywine Road, Sagamore Hills 44067; 330.657.2752)  PHOTO COURTESY OF ANDREA WEISS

Pro Football Hall of Fame

8 - Pro Football Hall of Fame (Canton Area)
Canton’s crown jewel is an 118,000-square-foot world-class space dedicated to the history and modern era of the uniquely American game of football. Learn about the legends of the game in the historic Bronzed Bust Gallery. Make the call in the interactive replay booth. Take a family photo next to the iconic Lombardi Trophy. See the full collection of all 52 Super Bowl rings and check out the Pro Football Hall of Fame Card Collection— the most valuable football card collection in the world. (2121 George Halas Drive NW, Canton 44708; 330.465.8207)

Great Lakes Science Center

9 - Great Lakes Science Center (Downtown Cleveland)
More than 300,000 visitors come here to experiment, create and enjoy hundreds of hands-on exhibits, daily science demonstrations and traveling exhibitions. Enjoy an unforgettable cinematic experience in the Cleveland Clinic DOME Theater. See what life was like aboard a working Great Lakes Freighter and learn more about the space program at the NASA Glenn Visitors Center. Open Tues.-Sat. 10am-5pm; Sun. Noon-5pm; CLOSED DURING BROWNS’ DAYTIME HOME GAMES. (601 Erieside Ave., Cleveland 44114; 216.694.2000) PHOTO COURTESY OF GREAT LAKES SCIENCE CENTER

CV TIP: Use the Visitor Value Pass found on for discounts on  admission. Parking is available in the attached garage.