Staycations are one of my family’s favorite ways to save money on our summer vacation plans. And with this list of fun and frugal things to do in Cleveland, I know my family will be kept very busy this summer!
Not from Northeast Ohio? Whether you’re heading east — or west, Cleveland is a great stopping point on your road trip. Spend a day or three and enjoy some of these wonderful indoor and outdoor attractions.
Cleveland Area Museums
**FREE** The Cleveland Museum of Art – The ultimate frugal attraction, since admission to all the collections is FREE, the Cleveland Museum of Art has a wonderful interactive exhibit called Gallery One (above), right inside the front doors. Even if your family doesn’t have the patience for a full day at the art museum, this fun exhibit is sure to capture your children’s interest. The museum is open Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, Sundays from 10 am – 5 pm, and Wednesdays and Fridays from 10 am – 9 pm.
**FREE** Cleveland Federal Reserve Bank — On a hot Cleveland summer day, spend an educational hour or two inside at the Money Museum at the Cleveland Federal Reserve Bank. The Bank is open Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (closed bank holidays).Groups of 10 or more must make advance reservations. Admission is Free!
Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame – No list of Cleveland attractions would be complete without the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame, home to the greatest stories and biggest names in rock and roll history. The experience features 7 floors of exhibits, including a brand new one dedicated to Paul Simon. Adult tickets cost $22, or $18 for residents of Greater Cleveland (with an ID). There are also discounts for college students and active duty military.
Outdoor Activities & Adventures
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo — Monkey Island is a real highlight of the Cleveland Zoo, as it features one of the largest collections of primates in North America. Other popular attractions including the African Savanna, the RainForest, the Australian Adventure and the Northern Trek. Adult admission is $13.25, children (2-11) cost $9.25. Save $1 by ordering your tickets online. Cuyahoga County residents get free admission to the zoo on Mondays. Family memberships start from $85/year and provide reciprocal entrance to dozens of zoos around America, including the nearby Akron Zoo.
Lake Metroparks Farm Park — This Kirtland, Ohio science and cultural center is the ultimate in family-friendly fun, with hands-on experiences in agriculture, farming & country life. Open Tuesday thru Sunday, 9 am – 5 pm. Admission is $6 for adults (12 and up), $4 for kids (2-11). Active duty military gets in for FREE, as do Lake County residents (with ID) the first Sunday and Tuesday of each month.
PHOTO CREDIT: Wikipedia
**FREE** Cleveland Metroparks — Known as the “Emerald Necklace”, the Cleveland Metroparks are Greater Cleveland’s extensive network of nature preserves, spanning over 21,000 acres of walking, biking, and horseback riding trails. With endless hours of outdoor fun for the family, admission to all Metropark reservations is FREE; some recreation activities (such as horseback riding) are fee-based.
Bike Aboard! — From April thru October, you can bike the Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath Trail in one direction and ride the train in the other. Just flag down the train and bring your bike aboard. The train ride costs just $3; the biking trail is free. Weekends only in April, Friday – Sunday in May and Wednesday thru Sunday from June until October.
Professional Sporting Events — Home to the Cavs (NBA), Indians (MLB), and Browns (NFL), Cleveland is most definitely a sports town. Tickets at the Cleveland Indians’ Progressive Field start from $10 for bleacher seats. For discounted tickets, check out my family’s favorite sources: StubHub and ScoreBig. And don’t forget to sign your kids up for the High Achiever Club, so they can turn their good grades into free Indians tickets. Parking at Progressive Field will run you $10 – $20 for the night.
Minor League Baseball – The Lake County Captains are the Division A Team for the Indians. Tickets throughout the summer will run you just $9 – $10 for box seats!
Pro Football Hall of Fame — Hop in your car and take a quick 45-minute drive south to Canton to visit the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Tickets are $24 for adults and $17 for children (little ones under age 5 get in for free). Residents in zip codes beginning with 442, 443, 446, or 447 save $5.00 off the regular adult, child and senior admission rates when they present this coupon (not valid from August 1 – August 10).
Cedar Point — Roller coaster capital of the world, Cedar Point in Sandusky (one hour west of downtown Cleveland) boasts four 200 feet-high roller coasters. There are also 75 other rides, plus a mile-long beach, outdoor and indoor water parks, go-karts, mini golf and more. Open from 10 am – 10 pm most of the summer, with extended hours during July weekends. Tickets start from $44.99 for adults and $24.99 for children.
Music & Movie Attractions
**FREE** Wade Oval Wednesdays – “WOW” — Wade Oval, in University Circle, hosts FREE concerts every Wednesday from 6-9 pm, June 17th – August 26th, 2015. There are also FREE movies starting at 9 pm on select nights. Get the entire schedule for “WOW” events HERE. Free WOW parking is available at the VA Hospital Patient Parking garage on Magnolia Drive.
**FREE** Movies in the Park at Crocker Park — Every Thursday from May 28 through September 3, Crocker Park will screen family-friendly FREE movies starting at dusk (usually ending around 10:45). Located in the West Park behind GameStop. Make sure to come early to get a good seat! Get the complete movie schedule HERE.
** FREE** Music in the Park at Crocker Park — Every Friday and Saturday night (6-8:30 pm) from May 22 through September 5, the Roche Wealth Management of Raymond James stage (next to the Cheesecake Factory) at Crocker Park will host a variety of musical talents — anything from Motown to Rock to Jazz! Get the complete concert schedule HERE.
I couldn’t have written this post without the recommendations of my seasoned Cleveland friends. I’m sure I have just skimmed the surface of Fun & Frugal Things to Do in Cleveland, so now I’d like to turn it over to you: What are your favorite “staycation spots”? Please drop your ideas in the comments!
Looking for more great fun & frugal staycation ideas? Check out this comprehensive list of North American cities prepared by fellow bloggers. (The list is alphabetized by state.)
Phoenix, Arizona — Saving For Someday
Fresno, California — Living A Frugal Life
Orange County, California — More With Less Today
San Diego, California — Southern Cali Saver
Denver, Colorado — Bargain Blessings
Washington, District of Columbia — Kidventurous
F – I
Disney World, Florida — The Happy Housewife
Jacksonville, Florida — Saving The Family Money
Orlando, Florida — Coupon Mamacita
St Augustine, Florida — Simply St. Augustine
Tallahasse, Florida — SwagGrabber
Tampa Bay, Florida — LaToyaEdwards.net
Atlanta, Georgia — Pretty Frugal Diva
Dahlonega, Georgia — Kathys Cluttered Mind
Savannah, Georgia — This Mommy Saves Money
Aurora/Chicago, Illinois — A Savings WOW!
Chicago, Illinois — Entertaining Chicago
Indianapolis, Indiana — Chaos Is Bliss
K – P
Lexington, Kentucky — Homeschool Village
Louisville, Kentucky — The Kennedy Adventures
Northern Kentucky, Kentucky — Simply Sherryl
Carroll County, Maryland — Looking at life CreativLEI
Boston, Massachusetts — Maven of Savin
Battle Creek, Michigan — Pichea Place
Grand Rapids, Michigan — Give Me Neither
Metro Detroit, Michigan — Saving Dollars and Sense
Kansas City Area, Missouri/Kansas — Redefined Mom
Omaha, Nebraska — Family Fun in Omaha
Central, New Jersey — Our Good Life
Cincinnati, Ohio — Adventure Mom
Cleveland, Ohio — Kosher on a Budget
Columbus, Ohio — Cleverly Simple
Dayton, Ohio — Savings Lifestyle
Mansfield & Richland County, Ohio — The Traveling Praters
Miami County, Ohio — Something 2 Offer
Northeast, Ohio — Sisters Shopping on a Shoestring
Portland, Oregon — Frugal Living NW
Harrisburg/Central, PA — Family Balance Sheet
Erie, Pennsylvania — Growing Kids Ministry
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania — Moms Need To Know
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania — The Coupon High
R – W
Arlington, Texas — Grocery Shop For FREE
Fort Worth, Texas — Coupons and Freebies Mom
Houston, Texas — Melissa’s Bargains
Katy, Texas — Moms Confession
San Antonio, Texas — How to Homeschool My Child
Tyler, Texas — iLoveMy5Kids
Charlottesville, Virgina — How to Have it All
Norfolk, Virgina — The Talking Suitcase
Richmond, Virgina — Vacation Maybe
Seattle, Washington — Thrifty NW Mom
Tacoma/South Puget Sound, Washington — Queen Bee Coupons
Oshkosh, Wisconsin — A Little Bit of This and That