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Things to Do With Family & Kids in Cleveland, OH

by Erica Loop

Cleveland, Ohio is much more than just a mid-sized city in the Midwest. As the 30th largest city in the United States, Cleveland has an abundant array of things to do with your family. From outdoors adventures to visiting indoor cultural attractions, parents will find activities to fit almost any child's interests.

Beaches and Lake Activities

A fun-filled family day at the beach doesn't always require an ocean view. Bordering Lake Erie, Cleveland has beach activities for those little swimmers that enjoy the water. The Cleveland Lakefront State Park offers swimming and other water activities at its smaller park and marina areas. Additionally, families can fish, boat, hike or check out one of the park's playgrounds. Another nearby option is the Headlands Beach State Park. As one of the largest beaches in the state of Ohio, Headlands Beach is perfect for a day of swimming, relaxing on the sand or playing beach volleyball.

Museums

If you are looking for indoor activities, Cleveland's many museums provide plenty of opportunities for families with children to learn about art, science and more. The Cleveland Museum of Art has a themed Stroller Tour program the third Wednesday of each month for parents and children 18-months and younger. On select Sundays, the museum offers a hands-on art making Art Cart for kids to explore and experiment with the artistic process while in the museum's galleries. During Second Sunday Family Days, kids of all ages can make art and take in a special dance or music program. The Great Lakes Science Center has hundreds of interactive exhibits that feature themes such as biotech, energy, outer space and more. If you're at the center from May to October, take a tour through the William G. Mather steamship. Another Cleveland museum option is the Museum of Natural History. Visit Megalodon, a 15 million-year-old mega-shark, check out the dinosaurs or head over to the Smead Discovery Center for some hands-on learning.

Music

Cleveland's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is one of the most notable attractions in Ohio. Your mini-musician can see exhibits on rock icons such as the Rolling Stones and the Beatles, visit the Inductee Gallery or learn the city's musical history at the Cleveland Rocks exhibit. If you are looking for a live performance venue, the Cleveland Orchestra specially designs Family Concerts for children 7 years old and up. The Family Concerts series includes 1-hour themed and narrated concerts. Children 3 to 6 years old may enjoy the PNC Musical Rainbows program. This program features an interactive 30-minute performance in which kids can sing along while learning about the instruments. Additionally, the Cleveland Pops Orchestra provides seasonal family performance events such as their annual holiday Christmas concert event.

Indoor Play and Activities

When the weather outside simply won't cooperate, take the kids out for a day of family fun at one of Cleveland's indoor play and activity spots. The Jump Yard features open play times, where your kids can bounce and explore while you watch from the Parent's Patio area. Kids in preschool and under can enjoy playing in the pint-sized Jump Yard Jr. If your little one would rather glide than jump, Cleveland's Halloran Recreation Center and Ice Skating Rink has free skate sessions to try out year round.

About the Author

Based in Pittsburgh, Erica Loop has been writing education, child development and parenting articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared in "Pittsburgh Parent Magazine" and the website PBS Parents. She has a Master of Science in applied developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education.

Photo Credits

  • Thomas Northcut/Digital Vision/Getty Images