Got kids? Cleveland is a great place to raise children and below is a list of destinations that will create memories you and your kids will never forget.
Cleveland welcomes families and has a plethora of fun and educational attractions for children and their parents. Children will enjoy the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, the Children’s Museum, and the Cleveland Museum of Art, all of which offer special children’s workshops and events.
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
3900 Wildlife Way, Cleveland, OH 44109, Phone: 216-661-6500
Sure the Zoo is a fun place to visit in the summer but also still popular during the winter months. With its tropical temperatures the Rain forest is a big hit for kids and the monkeys, apes, fish, cats, anteater, snakes, frogs, and bats can keep them captivated for a few hours at least.
For an enjoyable family adventure, the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is tough to beat. The fantastic Elephant Crossing attraction is one of the first things you’ll notice as you enter the zoo, and it flawlessly sets the tone for the rest of your enjoyable day. When the kids’ legs get exhausted from walking around, they can watch a movie at the 4-D Theater or ride the Boomerang Line train through the zoo’s Australia Adventure exhibit. You also can take the free tram, which is suitable for strollers, around the whole zoo.
Cleveland Museum of Art
11150 East Blvd, Cleveland, OH 44106, Phone: 216-421-7350
Every second Sunday of every month is Family Day at the Cleveland Art Museum where several art centered crafts will keep children of all ages occupied for the entire day. Also come discover the new high-tech children’s area stock full of beautiful picture books and interactive digital displays which are bound to interest even the littlest crawler.
The Cleveland Museum of Art is not just for adults; families will discover that the museum has a lot to offer kids of all ages. Starting with the very young, the museum welcomes toddlers (under 18 months) and their parents to a Stroller Tour on the second and third Wednesdays of each month. Saturday morning Art Story workshops welcome a little older children to come read, look, and play, and there are regular studio art classes for various age groups. On Sundays, you can take your kids to the Make Space to engage in some hands-on creativity.
Cleveland Botanical Gardens
11030 East Blvd, Cleveland, OH 44106, Phone: 216-721-1600
The children’s garden is a required summer destination with a magical pond stocked with goldfish, a treehouse where your little one can spend some time reading in the sun or hunting for frogs amongst the garden rocks.
Kids can have hours of outdoor fun while learning about all stuff botanical at the outstanding Cleveland Botanical Garden. The Eleanor Armstrong Smith Glasshouse, which demonstrates some of the strangest-looking plants that thrive in desert and rainforest habitats, as well as dozens and dozens of butterflies, birds, and reptiles, has to be one of the most intriguing exhibits for families. The Hershey Children’s Garden is an excellent place for younger children to engage in nature play by making mud pies, listening to stories, searching for frogs and lizards in the pond, or admiring the hardworking honey bees in their hive.
Greater Cleveland Aquarium
2000 Sycamore St, Cleveland, OH 44113, Phone: 216-862-8803
For $5 you can take the trolley all the way to the flats with your child (who rides for free under 6) to visit the Greater Cleveland Aquarium. One of the favorite attractions here is a large circular tank filled with Manta Rays. Dip your hand in the tank and touch the wings of the Manta rays as they playfully glide by. Newly opened on the second floor of the Powerhouse is an interactive play room where your toddlers and preschoolers can touch the livestock.
Kids of all ages will enjoy a trip to the Greater Cleveland Aquarium, in which they can immerse themselves in the vibrant underwater world displayed in over fifty exhibits spread across eight galleries. The Touch Pool in the Coastal Boardwalk gallery, where they can come make eye contact with and even touch the sting rays, is the most popular exhibit among the younger children. The underwater Sea Tube, where older children can be surrounded by sharks and are plenty of other sea creatures, is often regarded as the standout of their visit by older children. Children will learn about crucial environmental issues such as pollution and climate change as they move through the aquarium.
Children’s Museum of Cleveland
3813 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, OH 44115, Phone: 216-791-7114
Check out their website for daily activities and sometimes fun messy crafts. Favorite playrooms include the water table stocked with splash toys and the grocery store where your child can take control of the money and the shopping cart.
Visiting the Cleveland Children’s Museum is a surefire way to energize and entertain children of all ages, including those with special needs. The museum has recently relocated to larger quarters and can now provide several additional play and learning areas, as well as an outdoor space where you are urged to stop and enjoy a BYO picnic. Adventure City (where children can climb, construct, work, and discover while learning about daily life) and the captivating Wonder Lab (where children can have hours of fun at two water tables) are two of the museum’s highlights. At the Arts and Parts laboratory and the Making Miniatures exhibit, children are free to explore their artistic talents.
Cleveland Museum of Natural History
1 Wade Oval Drive, Cleveland, OH 44106, Phone: 216-231-4600
Sure there are dinosaur skeletons and other prehistoric animals but did you know that there is a little nature preserve of live wild animals on the grounds surrounding the museum which your little one can explore on a protected path? Don’t forget to visit the basement playroom which features multiple learning stations that will engage your child for hours.
The Cleveland Museum of Natural History will delight not only the children in your family, but also the adults. The museum provides a variety of engaging educational activities for children of all ages, and you should visit their website ahead of time to learn more about what to expect and how to get the most out of your visit. Aside from a plethora of intriguing exhibits that you can tour at your leisure, the museum hosts a regular series of special interactive programs for toddles, pre-schoolers, and older children. The fantastic dinosaur exhibition will unquestionably be one of the high points of your visit.
Cleveland Public Library and Cuyahoga Public Library
various locations around the city
Don’t forget about the two large library systems feeding Cleveland. Local libraries in every neighborhood also provide kid and teen-centered activities that will keep you coming back every week not just to return books.
You can infuse a lifelong love of books and reading in your young kids by introducing them to the Cleveland Public Library to take advantage of the excellent facilities on offer. Younger children can enjoy themselves at the ArtLab, which offers regular Story Time sessions as well as fun workshops and events for young children and their caregivers – try Bouncing Babies (for baby to 18 months), Wee Read and Play (18mths to 3 years), and Super Sleuth Readers (for pre-schoolers up to 5 years of age). Older children will find and print information to assist them with homework or projects, and the library also provides a children’s online e-book lending service.
Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame
1100 Rock and Roll Blvd, Cleveland, OH 44144, Phone: 216-781-7625
Cleveland’s remarkable Rock Hall provides excellent entertainment for music-loving families and is well worth including on your Cleveland itinerary. The Rock Hall has six exciting levels with lively exhibits to keep the whole family entertained. At the Backstage exhibit, you can go behind the scenes and see thousands of pieces of rock ‘n roll memorabilia, such as musical instruments used by your favorite musicians, stage props, costumes, and much more. Make sure to see the Power of Rock Theater Experience before relocating on to the British Invasion exhibit, which honors the Beatles and other rocking 60’s artists.
For the final say on what to do every day and on the weekends with children, check out the websites Macaroni Kid East or Macaroni Kid West (depending on where you live relative to the Flats) and have fun exploring all of Cleveland with your kids.