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Things to Do in Cleveland

Cleveland is a city that offers plenty of activities and things to do. But not all of them are cheap – especially when you have kids.

Fortunately, there are some things that don’t cost anything at all and are just as enjoyable! Here are some of the best free things to do in Cleveland.

1. Edgewater Park

Edgewater Park is one of the most gorgeous of Cleveland Metroparks’ many Lakefront parks. With 6,000 feet of shoreline, two beaches, playgrounds, reservable pavilions and one of the best views of downtown Cleveland, this is a place to unwind, fish, play volleyball or just soak in the scenery.

In addition to the 900-foot swimming beach (one of the largest in Cleveland), there is a fishing pier, boat ramps and picnic areas. A renovated pavilion is available for public use.

2. Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail

The 81+ mile Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail is a wildly popular attraction that traces the path mules followed as they pulled barges along the historic route of the Ohio & Erie Canal. It stretches from Canal Basin Park in Cleveland south through Cuyahoga, Summit, Stark and Tuscarawas counties.

The northern end of the trail is in Cleveland’s industrial valley and offers scenic views of the city and the Cuyahoga River. The recently completed section between Scranton Flats and Quigley Road is especially spectacular.

3. Playhouse Square

Whether you’re looking to attend a show or simply soak in the sights, there is something for everyone at Playhouse Square. You’ll find a remarkable collection of 1920s theaters that were saved from demolition and redeveloped over the past four decades into a vibrant arts and entertainment district.

Staying at one of the best hotels in Playhouse Square is an excellent way to experience everything this area has to offer. Crowne Plaza Cleveland at Playhouse Square is a popular option among travelers visiting the area for its proximity to the city’s top attractions and excellent amenities.

4. Museum of Contemporary Art

MOCA Cleveland is the region’s only non-collecting contemporary art museum. The institution has been a vital part of the city’s cultural landscape for over 45 years, exhibiting works by renowned artists such as Andy Warhol, Claes Oldenburg and Christo.

Founded in 1968, the museum has a unique mission to showcase innovative modern art through evolving exhibitions. Visitors can find a variety of thought-provoking and entertaining exhibits inside this striking black cube building, designed by Farshid Moussavi Architecture in 2012.

5. International Women’s Air & Space Museum

The International Women’s Air & Space Museum is a great place to learn about the important role women have played in aviation and space. It’s located inside Burke Lakefront Airport and is free to visit.

Established in 1976, IWASM is the world’s only museum dedicated to collecting, preserving, and displaying the history and culture of women in all areas of aviation and aerospace; education people worldwide about their contributions; and inspiring future generations by bringing their stories to life. The museum also hosts special events and community programs.

6. Frozen Cleveland Lighthouse

The Frozen Cleveland Lighthouse is one of the most unique things to do in Cleveland. It’s a 50-foot tall conical steel plate tower that guides ships into Lake Erie and the Cuyahoga River.

This lighthouse was built in 1911, but it’s now covered in ice. The ice is caused by an overnight fog that coats everything with a layer of snow and ice.

Another winter wonder in Cleveland is the Slovenian National Home, a museum that’s filled with historical artifacts. It’s a must-see for anyone with a passion for the culture of Northeast Ohio.

7. Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

Located within Cleveland’s award-winning Metroparks system, the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is one of the city’s most popular family attractions. With indoor and outdoor facilities, educational and conservation programs, and live animal experiences, this zoo is perfect for kids of all ages.

The zoo features seven main exhibits, including the African Elephant Crossing and an Australian habitat. The zoo also offers giraffe and lorikeet feedings, camel rides, and overnight programs where guests spend the night in safari tents.

8. Rock ’n’ Roll Hall of Fame

One of Cleveland’s most iconic attractions, the Rock ’n’ Roll Hall of Fame is home to a massive collection of memorabilia and exhibits that trace the history of rock music. Set on the shores of Lake Erie, this museum’s striking 150,000-square-foot building was designed by internationally renowned architect I.M. Pei and opened to the public in 1995.

The museum is broken down into six floors, with the first floor being home to the Ahmet Ertegun Main Exhibit Hall and the Audio Stage. From there you can work your way up, using escalators, to the rest of the museum. There are exhibits, films and moments in time to enjoy along the way!