Skydiving – 20 Best Things to Do in Cleveland, OH

Ready to rock and roll in the heart of the Midwest? Well, get ready to pump up the volume and dive into the cool vibes of Cleveland, Ohio! This city isn’t just the home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; it’s a treasure trove of fun, flavor, and fantastic adventures all nestled on the shores of Lake Erie. Tourists can dive into the wonders of the local museums, explore sandy lakeside parks, or eat their way through historic food markets. From sizzling food scenes to rowdy stadiums and live shows, we’ve got the lowdown on the best things to do in Cleveland for all types of travelers. 

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio
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Learn About Rock Legends at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Get ready for your world to be rocked at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame! This museum is easily the most fun thing to do in Cleveland, especially for music enthusiasts, as the iconic museum showcases the legendary journey of rock and roll through its hallowed halls. From Elvis to Bruce Springsteen, The Beatles, and beyond, visitors will encounter some of the coolest memorabilia in rock history, like Elvis’s jumpsuits and Jimi Hendrix’s psychedelic guitars. Visitors can feel the rhythm in the immersive Power of Rock Experience, where concert footage and surround sound will transport you back to some of the most iconic rock concert performances ever recorded. 

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame isn’t just a museum for adults, though. There are several interactive exhibits, including exhibits where kids and adults can jam on virtual instruments and even try their hand at mixing tracks. Of course, there is the Hall of Fame itself, honoring the legends of rock who’ve left their distinguished mark on the music scene. 

There is so much to see at this famous Cleveland attraction that visitors can expect to spend anywhere from three to five hours exploring inside. You can take a break from the overwhelming amount of cool memorabilia for a bite to eat at the on-site café, Eat to the Beat, or shop in the gift shop. The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is open daily and we recommend booking tickets in advance to avoid lines or sold-out time slots. 

Bridalveil falls in Cleveland Metroparks
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Explore the Cleveland Metroparks and Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

Jump into the great outdoors at one of the Cleveland Metroparks, a collection of green oases spanning over 23,000 acres across the city. With 18 diverse reservations, you can hike, bike, or horseback ride on over 300 miles of lush trails, including over 100 hiking trails. The collection of parks forms a vibrant green halo-like shape around the city and has appropriately been nicknamed the Emerald Necklace of Cleveland. From the fishing and boating activities of the Rocky River Reservation to the challenging hiking trails of Bedford Reservation, there’s a Metropark for every mood. The Cleveland Metroparks Mobile App is a great resource to find trails and parks that fit your desired activities in Cleveland or to explore hidden gems within the parks. Alternatively, you and your crew can check out the Cleveland Metroparks’ official website to filter through parks based on desired activities like ice fishing, footgolf, swimming, climbing, tobogganing, and more. We also highly recommend checking out their calendar of events as they offer plenty of guided hikes and family-friendly activities throughout the year. 

If you’re wondering what to do in Cleveland with kids, then you should definitely consider taking them on an excursion to the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. This zoo is not your average walk in the park, it’s a jungle gym for the young and the young at heart. With over 3,000 animals representing 600 species, you’ll encounter everything from majestic elephants to playful penguins and quirky kangaroos. The African Elephant Crossing is a must-see, where these gentle giants roam freely in a lush habitat. Other highlight areas include the Australian Adventure, the African Savannah, and the Rainforest, where you’ll find familiar animals like giraffes, bats, snakes, rhinos, and much more. 

Cleveland West Side Market
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Tempt Your Tastebuds at the West Side Market

Immerse yourself in a foodie paradise at the West Side Market – where your biggest problem is going to be fitting everything in your belly! This historic market, spread across four delicious acres, is a culinary wonderland that has been tantalizing taste buds since 1912. This fantastic market features over 100 vibrant stalls bursting with farm-fresh produce, aromatic spices, and artisanal delights. From kielbasa to cannolis, you’ll find your favorite flavors from around the world under one roof. It’s not just a market, but a food lover’s carnival and a must-see in Cleveland!

The new atrium in the Cleveland Museum of Art
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Explore the Artworks at The Cleveland Museum of Art

Get ready to unleash your inner art enthusiast at The Cleveland Museum of Art, one of the best free things to do in Cleveland. Boasting a treasure trove of over 45,000 artworks spanning 6,000 years, this museum offers visitors a chance to explore hundreds of incredible pieces. Tourists can marvel at classics like Monet’s Water Lilies and Andy Warhol’s familiar Marilyn x 100. The Armor Court is particularly interesting as it’s like a knight’s playground, showcasing medieval suits and weapons that make you question if dragons might be lurking nearby. Don’t forget to dive into the Egyptian mummies exhibit, where ancient mysteries meet modern curiosity. But here’s the twist – the museum is not just about staring at art; it’s about experiencing it. There is a fantastic mobile app that acts as an interactive guide as well as a tapestry of information on all the pieces in the museum. It also pairs with the ArtLens gallery, a tech-savvy wonderland where visitors can interact with the art like never before and even create their own masterpieces!

Tulips at the Botanical Garden in Cleveland, Ohio
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Stroll Amongst the Flowers at the Cleveland Botanical Garden

Step into a floral wonderland at the Cleveland Botanical Garden, where nature throws a party, and you’re invited! Sprawled over 10 acres, this green gem is more than just a garden; it’s a bloomin’ fiesta of color, fragrance, and fun. You and your group can stroll through the Hershey Children’s Garden, where kids can play in the treehouse, search for frogs, or learn about the honeybee hive. The Japanese Garden is a tranquil escape with serene ponds and bonsai wonders, while the Herb Garden spices things up with aromatic herbs that’ll have you dreaming of homemade pizza. In total there are 11 gardens and two glasshouses to explore here, offering hours of fun and beauty for the whole family to enjoy!

Take a Trip Down Nostalgia Lane at the House From a Christmas Story

Enjoy a world of iconic holiday nostalgia at the House from a Christmas Story, one of the best attractions for those sightseeing in Cleveland. This blast from the past is a full-on nostalgia trip where you can tour the actual house featured in the classic holiday film A Christmas Story. Snap a pic with the infamous leg lamp, reenact the “You’ll shoot your eye out!” moment, and take a stroll through the charming neighborhood that served as the backdrop for this timeless tale. You’ll find tons of the original props, costumes, and memorabilia from the movie, and don’t miss the chance to snap a pic at the decked-out Christmas tree! It’s a Christmas dream come true, open year-round, where visitors can soak in the holiday spirit and relive the whimsical world of the Parker family. From the glowing furnace to the Red Ryder BB gun, this house is a haven for fans of the film!

Progressive Field in Cleveland, OH
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Catch a Baseball Game at Progressive Field

Get ready to hit a home run in the heart of Cleveland at Progressive Field – the ultimate playground for baseball fanatics and anyone with a soft spot for peanuts and crackerjacks! This is where the Cleveland Guardians (formerly the Indians) turn the diamond into a dance floor of dingers and strikeouts. When hunger strikes, you won’t need to just settle for peanuts, hit up Dynasty Dogs for gourmet sausages or Melt Bar & Grilled for a gooey grilled cheese masterpiece. Wash it all down with a local craft brew from Great Lakes Brewing Company or head over to The Corner, where you’ll find an open-air firepit on the roof deck, over 40 craft beers, and a climate-controlled interior with giant glass windows for field viewing. Families with little ones should ensure they make a pit stop at the Kids Clubhouse, where they can burn off some energy while parents catch a breather.

Visit the Sharks at the Greater Cleveland Aquarium

The Greater Cleveland Aquarium is an excellent family-friendly attraction for people of all ages. Imagine walking through a tunnel surrounded by sharks and rays, and that’s just the beginning. Tourists can enjoy several exhibits and attractions inside, like the Rainbow Reef, where tropical fish dance through coral formations, and the Ohio Lakes and Rivers exhibit, a local favorite showcasing the diverse aquatic life of the Buckeye State. The Shark SeaTube offers an adrenaline-packed view of these majestic predators up close, while the Touch Pool lets you get hands-on with friendly rays and inquisitive starfish. With interactive displays, educational programs, and a chance to discover the fascinating world beneath the waves, the Greater Cleveland Aquarium is an oceanic adventure that’ll leave you with a smile as wide as a whale’s tail!

Catch a Show With The Cleveland Orchestra

The Cleveland Orchestra showcases a dynamic range of performances perfect for first-time concertgoers or seasoned classical symphony fans. Nestled in the heart of Cleveland, this world-renowned ensemble has been captivating audiences since 1918 with a repertoire that spans from Beethoven’s thunderous crescendos to the smooth jazz rhythms of contemporary compositions. Concerts are regularly held at the magnificent Severance Hall, an architectural gem that enhances the auditory experience with its acoustically brilliant design. 

Visitors should also be on the lookout for special themed programs that infuse a playful twist into the classical experience. The orchestra’s annual Star-Spangled Spectacular is a Fourth of July extravaganza that turns the sky ablaze with fireworks, synchronized to the patriotic tunes. Perhaps you’ll visit on a night when the orchestra collaborates with unexpected artists or bands, or perhaps a performance accompanied by stunning visual projections that elevate the music to new heights. The Cleveland Orchestra has been known to shake things up, collaborating with rock legends like The Who in 2019! So, whether you’re a Bach aficionado or just looking for a night of toe-tapping tunes, The Cleveland Orchestra promises an unforgettable musical experience. 

USS Cod Submarine in Cleveland, Ohio
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Dive Into WWII Submarines at the USS COD Submarine Memorial 

Dive into the depths of naval history at the USS COD Submarine Memorial, one of the most unique places to visit in Cleveland. This fascinating time capsule invites you to step aboard a fully restored World War II submarine, giving you and your group a firsthand glimpse into the daring life of submariners during the Second World War. Hold your breath (figuratively, of course) as you squeeze through tight hatches and explore the torpedo rooms where strategic decisions unfolded. Kids will love the periscope and rotatable deck gun. But the COD experience doesn’t stop there – embrace your inner sailor as you navigate through the historic surroundings and witness the evolution of submarine technology through exhibits. From riveting tales of wartime heroics to the quirky camaraderie forged in close quarters, this memorial doesn’t just recount history; it immerses you in it.

Brandywine Falls in Cuyahoga Valley National Park
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Go Hiking or Biking at Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Strap on your adventure hat and get ready to discover the wonderland that is Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Spanning 33,000 acres along the Cuyahoga River, this park is like Mother Nature’s amusement park, offering a playground for outdoor enthusiasts. Lace up your hiking boots and hit the trails, where waterfalls like Brandywine Falls cascade into picture-perfect pools, and scenic overlooks provide Instagram-worthy views of the stunning landscape. For a unique experience, hop on the Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath Trail and pedal your way through history, following the same route that mules once towed canal boats in the 19th century. For a touch of wildlife, keep an eye out for the park’s resident bald eagles and herons. In the summer, you and your group can cool off with a kayak adventure down the winding river or embark on a scenic train ride through the valley and park with the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad

Great Lakes Science Center in Cleveland, Ohio
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Spark Your Curiosity at the Great Lakes Science Center

Buckle up, science enthusiasts, because the Great Lakes Science Center is about to take your curiosity on a rocket-fueled joyride! You and your group can jump headfirst into the Science Phenomena exhibit, where you can make lightning dance at the tips of your fingers using the plasma ball or watch your hair fly straight up on the Bridge of Fire. If you have ever dreamed of learning more about space travel, now’s your chance, as the NASA Glenn Visitor Center allows you to dawn your own spacesuit and see the real Apollo Command Module that traveled 26.5 million miles into space. Ship enthusiasts shouldn’t miss the Steamship William G. Mather, docked right outside, offering a sneak peek into the maritime history of the Great Lakes. For the little Einsteins in your family, the Polymer Funhouse promises hands-on, colorful adventures that’ll have them giggling and learning simultaneously.

Playhouse Square intersection in Cleveland, Ohio
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See a Show at Playhouse Square 

Brace yourselves for a curtain call of epic proportions at Playhouse Square – Cleveland’s dazzling theater district that’s more than just a stage. Imagine a place where Broadway dreams come to life, and the air is buzzing with the anticipation of a standing ovation. Playhouse Square is home to not one, not two, but nine theaters, each a glittering gem in its own right. From the ornate decor of Connor Place to the intimate Allen Theatre, the stages here host a symphony of performances, from Tony Award-winning musicals like Hamilton to comedy shows that will leave you in stitches. 

But wait, the theater spectacle doesn’t end when the lights dim. Stroll through the dazzling chandelier-lit streets of the Playhouse Square District, where the vibrant nightlife and mouth-watering dining options will tempt you. From pre-show cocktails to post-performance dinners, the district is a feast for the senses. Whether you’re a seasoned theater buff or a first-time attendee, Playhouse Square offers an electric atmosphere that’ll have you tapping your toes and humming show tunes long after the final curtain falls.

Edgewater Park in Cleveland, Ohio
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Enjoy a Beach Day at Edgewater Park

Nestled along the shores of Lake Erie, Edgewater Park is a sunny sanctuary where city and sand meet. Spanning almost 240 acres, this urban lakeside retreat offers a delightful mix of outdoor activities and relaxation. You and your group can stroll along the Edgewater Pier, where anglers cast their lines into Lake Erie, or dig your toes in the sands of Edgewater Beach, a haven for sunbathers and beach enthusiasts. The iconic Cleveland Script Sign offers the perfect spot to snap a family holiday photo with the backdrop of the city’s skyline. For a unique adventure, you can hop aboard the Brewboat Cleveland with your crew, a floating bar where you can pedal your way through the water while enjoying local brews with friends. Alternatively, if you’re craving a refreshing pint, head to The Edgewater Beach House for a delicious meal or drink with stunning lakefront views. Families with little ones can explore the Lindsey Family Play Space and let the youngsters run wild while they enjoy the sunshine. With a variety of activities catering to all interests, Edgewater Park promises an unforgettable lakeside adventure!

Cedar Point Amusement Park in Ohio
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Hit the Coasters at Cedar Point Amusement Park

Established in 1870, Cedar Point Amusement Park holds the title of the second-oldest operating amusement park in the United States, making it a living testament to the timeless allure of heart-pounding rides. With over 65 rides and attractions, including 18 roller coasters, this amusement park is a roller coaster enthusiast’s dream come true. Visitors will need to brace themselves for the adrenaline rush on the brand-new (as of 2024) Top Thrill 2, the world’s tallest, fastest, and wildest triple-launch strata coaster. Oh, and we can’t forget the (brief) incredible views from the top of the Magnum XL-200 coaster… before you plummet towards the ground at 72 mph. 

Beyond the coasters, Cedar Point offers a great family-friendly atmosphere for families with kids of all ages. Little ones can explore the whimsical land of Planet Snoopy, while water lovers can enjoy a splash-tastic day of swimming at Cedar Point Shores Water Park. Alternatively, visitors can escape the screams of the park and head to Cedar Point Beach to relax in the sand. The park also boasts boardwalk cruiser tours, along with live shows and parades. Whether you’re a daredevil seeking the next big thrill or a family in search of wholesome entertainment, Cedar Point is the place to be. 

Take the Kids to the Children’s Museum of Cleveland for Interactive Play

Prepare to enter a world of wonder at the Children’s Museum of Cleveland, where young minds embark on a journey of discovery through playful interactive exhibits. In this vibrant museum, kids can unleash their creativity in the Arts & Parts area, building and crafting to their hearts’ content. The Adventure City exhibit features a miniature city, allowing little ones to explore various professions in a pint-sized-friendly world. Ensure you don’t miss the soaring highlight of the museum – a two-story climbing structure in Adventure City, where little explorers can climb around and explore. The fun continues in the Wonder Lab, where budding young scientists can engage in hands-on experiments. From crawling through tunnels to engaging in pretend play in the toddler’s Meadow exhibit, every corner of the Children’s Museum sparks joy and curiosity no matter what age you are.

Steggy, the popular full-scale stegasaurus model outside the Cleveland Museum of Natural History
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Step Back in Time at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History

Those on the hunt for a more adult-minded museum in Cleveland should definitely consider visiting the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. Founded in 1920, this museum invites you and your group to embark on a captivating exploration of Earth’s history, from the age of dinosaurs to the mysteries of outer space. As you enter into the museum’s Visitor Hall, you and your crew will be greeted by the iconic Balto, the sled dog hero who delivered lifesaving medication in Alaska when a diphtheria outbreak struck Nome in 1925. The Visitor Hall is also where you’ll find plenty of dino bones, along with a 253-gram (half-pound) moon rock on loan from NASA. The museum’s star attractions include the awe-inspiring Perkins Wildlife Center, where you can encounter live animals up close, and the Shafran Planetarium, a star-studded experience with captivating shows. Finish your day off with an informative 3D movie in the theater and a bite to eat at the on-site café! 

Soak in the Artworks at the Cleveland Museum of Contemporary Art

Located in the vibrant Uptown district, the Cleveland Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) is a fantastic attraction for art enthusiasts seeking a contemporary twist. As you explore the museum’s diverse collection, keep an eye out for the gravity-defying installations, mesmerizing sculptures, and thought-provoking paintings from both emerging and established artists that push the boundaries of artistic expression. Beyond the art-filled walls, MOCA offers a spectrum of engaging programs and events, from artist talks to hands-on workshops, ensuring that visitors can immerse themselves in the creative process. Perhaps the best part of the museum is that entrance is free for all visitors! 

James A. Garfield Memorial in the Lake View Cemetery in Cleveland, Ohio
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Find Celebrity Tombs at Lake View Cemetery

If you haven’t heard of Lake View Cemetery, then you may be curious as to why we are sending you to stroll with the unliving. However, this 19th-century cemetery doesn’t just hold the bodies of local Clevelanders, but also the graves of several familiar names. Many captains of industry and members of high society are buried here, including the United States’ first billionaire, John D. Rockefeller, and founder of the Cleveland Orchestra, Adella Prentiss Hughes. You and your group can wander through the serene landscape adorned with ornate mausoleums, towering sculptures, and peaceful ponds. A must-visit is the final resting place of President James A. Garfield, marked by a grand memorial that invites reflection on history and sacrifice. For a touch of whimsy, don’t miss the Haserot Angel, a hauntingly beautiful sculpture with an optical illusion that makes it appear to weep black tears. Pay your respects to Cleveland’s legends and hear their stories come alive as you explore the winding paths of this unique tourist attraction in Cleveland! 

Cleveland Browns Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio
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Catch a Football Game at the Cleveland Browns Stadium

Gear up for an exhilarating day of touchdowns and tackles at the Cleveland Browns Stadium! As you step into this football haven, prepare to be engulfed in a sea of orange and brown with fans chanting a symphony of cheers followed by crisp high-fives. Catch Deshaun Watson’s magic on the field or marvel at the sheer excitement of the Dawg Pound – the ultimate fan zone that’s practically a roaring tailgate on steroids! When hunger strikes, head to Brewski and Brats for a loaded sausage or over to C-Town Eats for bottomless popcorn. For a refreshing beer, check out Great Lakes Brewing Company to try local brew favorites. Whether you’re a die-hard fan or just jumping on the Cleveland hype train, the Browns Stadium promises an unforgettable day of classic American football and rowdiness! 

Now that you’re in the know of all the top things to do in Cleveland, it’s time to jet off to the rock ‘n’ roll capital to soak in the history, savor the local flavors, and embrace the city charm. Whether you’re jamming out at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame or cheering on the Browns, one thing’s for sure – Cleveland’s going to rock you!

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