With Midwestern hospitality and plenty of activities for little ones, Cleveland, Ohio, makes a perfect getaway — one that kids will talk about for months to come. From wild rides to wildlife, here are six can’t-miss kid-friendly activities in this Lake Erie metropolis.
Catch a Ball at the Cleveland Indians Game
When the Cleveland Indians have a home game at Progressive Field, it’s worth getting tickets. Catching a few hits and eating ballpark grub is fun, but this ballpark goes out of its way for kids.
Mosey up to the Kids Clubhouse, where there are loads of baseball-related activities — a perfect respite from the game. Little sluggers can try their hand at third baseman in the hot corner, test their pitching arm at the pitching simulator, and tour an interactive locker room.
In addition to more games and fun, there are family-friendly concessions, a parents lounge and plenty of awesome photo ops! There are plenty of kids fun days and family ticket packages, too, so check the website before you go. Oh, and of course, look for a chance to hang with Slider the mascot!
Travel to Prehistoric Times at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History
There is so much to explore at this natural history museum, from dino bones to outer space. The bottom floor of the museum is perfect for kids, as it features hands-on learning galore — little ones can even dig for their own fossils.
After stepping back in time, take a journey to the planetarium and watch the stars, moon and planets in a show led by an astronomy expert. If the weather permits, finish your afternoon at the Perkins Wildlife Center, right outside the museum, walking around and viewing Ohio’s native wildlife and plants. You may spot a red fox, a peregrine falcon or even a coyote.
Mingle with Wildlife at the Metroparks Zoo
Zoos are the ultimate family-friendly activity, but the Metroparks Zoo is beyond your typical zoo. Watch African Elephants roam across expansive yards and peep through the nose-to-trunk viewing window.
Feed a seven-foot giraffe, hang with koalas inside and out, and set your sights on the giant rainforest area. For a special treat at the end of the day, stop at Pierre’s Ice Cream in Wade Hall, a Victorian-style ice-cream shop that’s open seasonally. There are plenty of other treats, snacks and souvenirs throughout the park.
Get Down on the Farm at Lake Metroparks Farmpark
Sometimes it’s nice for the family to just get out into nature, and the Farmpark is a great way to do that. There are always tons of activities going on, from snowshoeing in the winter to ice-cream making and meeting newborn animals in the spring.
See cows being milked, pet horses and make hand-dipped candles. Wagons and tractor rides are part of the fun, as they’ll take your family around the park. In warmer weather there is a great farm-themed playground for kids to play on.
Ride the Rollercoasters at Cedar Point
Head about an hour outside of Cleveland to Sandusky, Ohio, home to Cedar Point, the so-called rollercoaster capital of the world. You can make it an all-day or overnight excursion (with plenty of places to stay).
Adventure seekers can pick their favorite coasters — wood or steel, loop-the-loop or speedy fast. Kids not into that? No need to worry; there are plenty of kid-friendly amusements, like dune buggy cars and a kite-eating tree, alongside a whole area of Peanuts-themed rides and games.
Or Find Retro Rides at Memphis Kiddie Park
If rides sound fun but your kids just aren’t ready for megacoasters and megacrowds, the Memphis Kiddie Park is the perfect thrill for little kids. It’s filled with a few retro fair rides, like a Ferris wheel and merry-go-round and miniature golf. After the old-fashioned fun, kids will love digging into treats like funnel cakes, cotton candy and popcorn.