Nostalgia kicked into full gear as I took my kids to places I used to visit as a child living in Cleveland, Ohio. Check out my list of family outings, recommended restaurants and shopping areas by clicking Cleveland Fun.pptx. You will also find spots to stop along the way from your trip from Columbus to Cleveland. Here’s an example of the first of three pages.
A not to miss spot is The Rainforest because it is unique. Make sure to check out the tree house staircase to get to the second floor. My kids thought it was super cool to climb!
Memphis Kiddie Park
Memphis Kiddie Park is a great spot for little ones. So often kids are denied entry onto rides because they are too short. Not here!!! It is the opposite. Kids must be less than 50 inches to ride majority of the rides.
This park truly caters to the younger crowd. There are about 10 carnival type rides to keep your kids entertained.
Each ride requires one ticket. You can buy individual tickets or a book of tickets for a better price. I bought the book of 25 ride tickets and coupons for $31. Can you believe that Memphis Kiddie Park has the oldest standing steel roller coaster in North America? Pretty cool!
Lake Farm Park
Want to experience farm life? If so, visit Lake Farm Park in Kirtland to see a working farm. During our outing my kids got to pet a 6-day-old baby calf, 3-week-old piglets, 3-month-old kids (goats) and other animals such as sheep and horses. They were thrilled to milk a cow and ride a pony. There were interactive displays, indoor play areas, playground and greenhouse.
Close to Lake Farm Park is Penitentiary Glen Reservation which is another Lake Metropark. Stop here for a free experience. The Kevin P. Clinton Wildlife Center houses 25 different animals (mainly birds). This is a rehabilitation center with the hope to release these animals back into the wild.
On the same property is a nature center. Here you can sit outside and observe wildlife in a tranquil environment. Learning opportunities inside include a touchscreen computer where you can read facts about different Ohio animals, bees that come in and out of a tube to make a beehive, stuffed animal area for pretend play and many signs to read.
Great Lakes Science Center
What a great way to spend a rainy day! The Beyond Rubik’s Cube Exhibit was super neat. It is a temporary exhibit and will only be on display until September 7, 2015. So get there soon if you want to experience the fun!
There were numerous interactive exhibits to keep kids of all ages and adults entertained. The Polymer Funhouse is geared towards kids under 7. My kids spent a long time in the ball pit and filling up the scooper.
Since I am a COSI member my visit was free and I only had to pay for parking. Big thumbs up for that!
Cruise the main street in Little Italy for some authentic Italian food. A popular stop is Mama Santa’s for pizza and Corbo’s Bakery for some mouth-watering desserts. There is a playground on the street too if your kids need to burn off some energy.
My personal favorite pizza in Cleveland is Geraci’s. The pepperoni is one of a kind and so delicious!
Cleveland sits right on Lake Erie so why not stop at one of the beaches on the Great Lakes? As a kid we used to visit Huntington Beach. Digging in the sand, taking in the views, walking the beach and checking out the nice homes as you cruise down the road are great way to spend a warm summer day or evening. If you are brave enough to get in the cold water make sure you check the water quality to ensure that it is safe.
I have fond memories of visiting Malley’s ice cream shop and sitting on the moving carousel that slowly spins in a circle. Seriously, how cool is it to rotate around to your original location? The charm of Malley’s is what you expect when you think of an ice cream shop. The hot fudge sundaes are to die for good! Just typing this I wish I had some of the warm, yummy goodness right now to eat. I visit the North Olmstead shop but there are 3 other ice cream shop locations and several locations that serve candy only.
Cleveland may be nick named “mistake by the lake” but I think there is so much to explore. Do you have a favorite spot?