Lake Erie’s scenic shoreline, the breath-taking views at Cuyahoga Valley National Park, all paired with several unique Metroparks, provides plenty of Outdoor Things to do in Cleveland with Kids. Situated in the northeastern portion of Ohio, Cleveland is one city that packs a big punch in a short visit that leaves a yearning to return.
Adventure is just around the corner with these fun outdoor things to do in Cleveland with kids. This is only the tip of the iceberg while exploring all that Cleveland has to offer. Please check each place of business regarding their protocol related to the ongoing pandemic. Many businesses will have you purchase your admission in advance.
Ralph Perkins II Wildlife Center& Woods Garden—Presented by KeyBank
The Cleveland Museum of Natural History is home to a variety of fascinating artifacts. Visit the beloved canine hero Balto then step back to a time when dinosaurs roamed. Guests can find engaging exhibits throughout the museum’s inside, but a real gem awaits outside the museum.
The Ralph Perkins II Wildlife Center & Woods Garden—Presented by KeyBankoffers a new world of discovery. The Wildlife Center allows guests to get up close and personal with the animals in Ohio. Each of the animals at the Perkins Wildlife Center has a fascinating story of rescue, making them unable to return to the wild. Learn about the coyote family delivered on the side of the road after the mom was killed or how the majestic bald eagle was blasted out of her nest and now lives with a permanently injured wing. A few animals were born in captivity that solely relies on their caretakers.
Stroll along the elevated walkway that overlooks the habitats of these native Ohio animals. See the River Otters playfully swimming, while Meeko, the albino raccoon, can be seen taking his afternoon nap. The Ralph Perkins II Wildlife Center& Woods Garden—Presented by KeyBank is one spot that is a must-see.
Address: 1 Wade Oval Dr, Cleveland, OH 44106
Cleveland Botanical Gardens
The blossoming gardens found throughout the Cleveland Botanical Gardens make the perfect retreat from the city’s hustle and bustle. The winding paths lead through tranquil tea gardens, aromatic rose gardens, along with a glasshouse full of exotic flora.
The Hershey Children’s Garden offers a creative outdoor outlet for kids. Let their imagination run wild with secret garden passages, a treehouse, and a frog bog to explore. Picnic tables are available as outside food and drink are permitted.
Tip: The Botanical Gardens is within walking distance from popular attractions such as the Museum of Natural History. Park in the Museum of Natural History Garage for the Cleveland Botanical Gardens as well.
Address: 11030 East Blvd, Cleveland, OH 44106
Headlands Beach State Park
A day at the beach is always one of the popular outdoor things to do in Cleveland with kids. The Headlands Beach State Park offers a mile-long sandy beach, the longest in the state of Ohio. Cool off in Lake Erie’s waters during the hot summer months or enjoy a picnic at one of their many picnic areas. To the far east of the park, visitors can enjoy a boardwalk to the beach along with nature trails in the Headlands Dunes State Nature Preserve.
Address: 9601 Headlands Rd, Mentor, OH 44060
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
Encounter animals from around the world with a visit to the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. Hang out with the kangaroos in Australian Adventure, then feed the giraffes over on the African Savanna. The zoo is spread out, so come prepared for a fair amount of walking. Bring or rent strollers for little ones.
The Deckwalk to get to the Primate, Cats, and Aquatics is quite an upward trek. The zoo does offer a tram that will take guests to the top and back down. (Check Zoo site to see if it is operating under Covid). Don’t forget to hop a ride on the Boomerang Line Train for a scenic tour of the zoo.
Address: 3900 Wildlife Way, Cleveland, OH 44109
Cuyahoga Valley National Park
One spot outranks the others on outdoor things to do in Cleveland with Kids, and that is a visit to Cuyahoga Valley National Park. This Ohio National Park offers days of entertainment, hiking, and exploration. Take in the beauty of Brandywine Falls, hop aboard the Cuyahoga Scenic Railroad and hike to one of the many scenic valley overlooks.
There are over 125 miles of trails for hikers of all skill levels. Tackle the Virginia Kendall Ledges, explore Buttermilk Falls, or the famous Bridal Veil Falls. It is easy to spend quite a few days at Ohio’s only National Park. We were guilty of not allowing nearly enough time, but it gives a perfect excuse to return.
Cuyahoga Valley National Park is one spot I wished we stopped at one of our Trip From Cincinnati To Niagara Falls.
Nothing will pique a child’s interest quicker than knowing that there is a castle waiting for them to claim. Squire’s Castle not only allows guests to tour the “castle,” but there are beautifully manicured fields, nature trails, and a picnic area.
In 1860, Feargus Squire came to Cleveland from Exeter, England. In 1890 he purchased 525 acres of land to build two buildings, a gatehouse for the caretaker and the main house for his family to reside. The gatehouse was completed, but the main house was never built. There are entertaining ghost stories that circle Squire’s Castle with rumors of the Squire’s wife haunting the gatehouse.
Squire’s Castle is located in the North Chagrin Reservation is part of the Cleveland Metroparks. There is no fee to enter the park. Visitors will find ample parking near the Castle.
Address: 2844 River Rd, Willoughby Hills, OH 44094
More Outdoor Things to do in Cleveland with Kids
Another great beach to check out in Cleveland is Edgewater Park Beach. This 240-acre park consists of Edgewater Beach, Perkins Beach, the Marina and Yacht Club. The park is easy to access with plenty of parking. Go fishing off the pier, take your bike on the Bikeway, or do yoga on the beach. During the summer months, rent water sports equipment at the Nature Shop or grab a bite to eat at the Edgewater Beach House. Don’t forget to snag a photo by the iconic Cleveland sign!
Take time to pay a visit to one of the US’s largest arboreta and botanical gardens. Children will love Buckeye Bud’s Adventure Woods along with the famous Murch Canopy Walk and Kalberer Emergent Tower. The view from the top of the tower is breathtaking, bring your camera.
Hiking trails are found throughout the Arboretum giving guest glimpses of ponds, lakes, gardens, etc. Discover more about what the Arboretum has to offer over on their website.
Address: 9550 Sperry Rd, Kirtland, OH 44094
Patterson’s Fruit Farm
This six generations family-owned Fruit Farm has been serving the community for years. That is likely why when asking locals, one of their favorite outdoor things to do in Cleveland with kids always involves a trip to Patterson’s.
From apple picking, fresh-baked apple donuts to an extraordinary Farm Activity Area, it is no wonder that Patterson’s Fruit Farm has become a fall staple. Don’t forget to stop in their Farm Market to pick up cold cider and other tempting treats.
Address: 11414 Caves Rd, Chesterland, OH 44026
A Christmas Story House
The warm glow of electric sex gleaming in the window greets visitors to this Christmas icon. The house from the famous movie “The Christmas Story” can be found in Cleveland. The beloved leg lamp stands proud in the window as guests can imagine Ralphie out in the backyard with his Red Ryder BB gun.
Tours of the house are available for purchase, or guests can stroll by with a visit to the gift store across the street. Did you know you can stay overnight in Ralphie’s House or the Bumpus House? Learn more about securing your reservations here!
Find A Giant Rubber Stamp
Cleveland is home to the giant FREE Rubber Stamp. You can see the “world’s largest stamp” for free in Willard Park in downtown Cleveland. While you are in downtown Cleveland, there are plenty of fun activities to do, such as the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame, Great Lakes Science Center, and the USS COD.
We would like to thank our friends at This is Cleveland for providing complimentary admission into a few of these great attractions.