Summer fun is in abundant supply for the next couple of months, and you don’t have to leave Cleveland to enjoy it. Whether you’re doing a staycation this year or just looking for ways to keep the kiddos amused and occupied on these not-so-lazy days of summer, there are many different ways to load up on family fun, Ohio-style.
Here’s a look at 10 things to do in Cleveland with your family this summer.
Free Saturdays the Museum of Contemporary Art
There’s always something to do at the Museum of Contemporary Art, and Saturdays are a perfect time to check it out. That’s because Saturdays are free at moCa, so your entire family can explore the art exhibits, enjoy special activities and learn more about this great museum.
On Aug. 10, moCa will celebrate its 50th anniversary with SaturStravaganzaPalooza, a full day of activities inside the museum as well as on Toby’s Plaza. Start with morning yoga and a free breakfast, then enjoy the hands-on arts activities that include a Bob Ross paint-along party. From 3 to 5 p.m., the John Cage MusicCircus will perform throughout the museum.
Have a Ball at Play Ball Park
There’s quite a buzz about the MLB All-Star Game being held in Cleveland this year, but you don’t need to fork over a fortune to get tickets for it. Instead, head to Play Ball Park, an innovative, interactive baseball festival at the Huntington Convention Center. Baseball fans can meet (and get autographs from) baseball legends, Hall of Fame members and former Olympians; virtual reality cages let you test your batting skills against the best. Baseball-themed exhibits, video games and even a zip line will make this weekend fun and unforgettable (and we’re betting the kids will sleep all the way home). July 5-9.
Board a Big Ship
Ahoy, mates, the big ships are back! The Tall Ships Challenge returns to Cleveland’s waterfront for four days of live entertainment, historical exhibits, food, beverages and more. Kids will love the 40-foot rock climbing wall, the slime-making station and performances from the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo Asian Lantern Festival. Nearly a dozen historical ships from the U.S., Canada and New Zealand will be on display for you to board and explore. July 11-14.
Visit the Farm
Get outside and enjoy FarmFest: Ribs, Brew & Music at Lake Metroparks Farmpark in Kirtland. This free two-day event is designed for the entire family, and includes kids’ activities like fishing, cornhole, barrel train rides and more. For adults, there will be arts and craft vendors and wine and beer, and the whole family can chow down on ribs and BBQ. You can also enjoy all the popular activities that Farmpark has to offer, such as cow milking, wagon rides, ice cream making, Border Collie sheep herding demonstrations and making friends with farm animals. July 12-13.
Celebrate the Moon Landing
It’s been 50 years since Apollo 11 landed on the moon, and that’s as good a reason as any to have a party. For starters, the Great Lakes Science Center will feature two full days of activities including demonstrations, exhibits and the chance for kids to make their own space helmets and test rocket designs. The film, “Apollo 50 — Next Giant Leap” will be screened at the NASA Glenn Visitor Center, and astronaut Douglas H. Wheelock will make a special presentation in the auditorium. July 19-20.
If you want to continue your moon walk celebration, head over to Toby’s Plaza for a sky watching and moon landing talk from astronomers with the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. The evening event, from 7 to 11 p.m., will also include an outdoor showing of the movie, “First Man,” several space-themed games and activities for kids and a moon-walk bounce house. July 20.
Enjoy the Family Days
Make a day trip to Streetsboro for the annual Streetsboro Family Days, where you’ll enjoy four days of family-friendly concerts by acclaimed artists, as well as great festival food, car and bike shows, a dog show, fun games and activities and more. Carnival rides, craft vendors and fireworks are there to ensure there’s something for every member of your family to enjoy! July 25-28.
Watch the Balloons
The Pro Football Hall of Fame Balloon Classic and Fireworks has become a huge crowd-pleaser, with more than 130,000 spectators watching the balloons over the weekend. Beginning with the Night Glow on Friday, there’s a full weekend of breathtaking hot air balloons on display (and in the air) at Kent State University at Stark. Five flights are scheduled throughout the weekend, and of course there are great food vendors on site. Enjoy live musical entertainment on Friday and Saturday nights and fireworks on Saturday night. July 26-28.
Hit the Street
The annual Lakewood Arts Festival returns with street performers, musicians, artists, great food and plenty of arts and crafts vendors. Lots of kid-friendly activities throughout the day will keep little hands busy while you browse the booths. Aug. 3.
Go Back to Woodstock
There was a lot happening in 1969! In addition to the moon landing and the opening of moCa, the “summer of love” culminated with the legendary Woodstock Festival. Celebrate it in Cleveland with the Woodstock 50th Celebration, part of the Uptown Summer Series. Enjoy music from the local Grateful Dead cover band, Into the Blue, as well as yoga, tie-dye T-shirt art projects, a Woodstock photo booth and much more. Aug. 17.
Say Hello to Fall
Ah, summer flies by so quickly, doesn’t it? Before it ends, welcome in fall with the Cleveland Oktoberfest at Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds. Kids under 12 are free and, as usual, this family-friendly event will include live music, fun and educational activities for the little ones, kid-friendly foods like pizza and corn dogs and, naturally, some adult-only beverages. Get out the lederhosen and get ready to do the Chicken Dance! Aug. 30-Sept. 2.
Before you head out to any of these events, you want to make sure your car is in tip-top condition. Summer heat can bring problems like an overheated engine or an air conditioner that’s not keeping its cool. Be prepared for everything that summer sends your way by making sure to get your summer car maintenance performed before you head out in the heat.