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Things To Do With Kids in Cleveland

Whether your family is visiting or just looking for something to do together, we’ve got some inspiration for things to do in Cleveland with kids. In Cleveland, kids’ activities can be found in every corner, so it’s easy for parents to refresh their repertoire. Cleveland has a lot up its sleeve—as do we, when it comes to deals that will help you do all the things with kids.

Best Museum Exhibit for Kids in Cleveland: Rock N Roll Museum

Get a lesson in music history at The Rock N Roll Hall of Fame Museum. According to the museum’s website, it has “the most comprehensive repository of materials relating to the history of rock and roll.” What this means is that to put even half of it out for display is impossible. Just about all of the museum’s exhibits are temporary, rotating in and out, so no two exhibits can be exactly the same. Families can expect an in-depth exploration of the history of modern music, through artifacts such as performance costumes, instruments used by superstars, and long-lost recordings of best-loved songs.

Best Kid-Friendly Restaurant in Cleveland:  Tabletop Board Game Cafe

The best restaurants are just like home but better. Here, kids and parents both will enjoy a menu of comfort food that includes grilled sandwiches on fresh baked bread and, for brunch, mini donuts and housemade waffles. But the real reason to stay is the board games—the restaurant’s collection of more than 1,000 games is ever-growing as staff are constantly adding new ones to their roster. So gather around a classic game of Battleship or Chutes and Ladders for a little family competition.

Best Roller Coaster/Amusement Park: Cedar Point | Sandusky, OH

Cedar Point’s “Pint-Sized Thrillseeker Itinerary,” designed for visitors under 4 feet tall, gives kids the chance to try out exciting rides designed just for them. Some of the suggestions include:

  • A stop in Kiddy Kingdom, where they can warm up with a loop aboard a muscle car or space ship.
  • The Kite-Eating Tree takes kids up in the air and back down to earth with a few bounces and jiggles along the way.
  • The bumper cars at Joe Cool’s Dodgem School allows kids to ride a collision course, albeit a tamer one at slower speeds.

Of course, the park has more thrilling rides for older kids, so if you’re looking for something more intense, try one of these:

  • One of the park’s newest roller coasters, the multiple record-breaking Steel Vengeance looms 200 feet over the park, sending riders on a 90-degree drop and four inversions.
  • After getting strapped into the Slingshot, riders are sent 360 feet into the at a speed of up to 62 mph. Much like a bungee jump, the ride bounces visitors up and down and up again, spinning them head over heels until they come to a stop.
  • The grown-up version of the Kite-Eating Tree, the Power Tower shoots visitors 240 feet up, then sends them plummeting down, at face-melting speeds of up to 60 mph.

But of course, this is no ordinary amusement park, but an amusement resort. Guests sometimes extend their visit over days, so that they can relax on Cedar Point beach, splash around the water park, or go parasailing on Lake Erie.

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Best Ice Cream in Cleveland: Honey Hut in Parma, OH

In 1974, when Frank and Marianne Page converted an old shoe repair an ice cream shop, they only served two flavors: vanilla and chocolate. But it wasn’t until they created their signature flavor, Honey Pecan, that they knew they were on to something. To this day, they still create flavors together—all sweetened with honey and based on local, seasonal ingredients. Here are some of the flavors you might find on their rotating menu:

  • Honey Pecan: an iteration of the classic butter pecan, made with roasted nuts, and also available in chocolate.
  • Orange Blossom: crafted with orange zest and orange blossom honey/
  • Honey Cinnamon: with a honey ice cream base and sweet Vietnamese cinnamon.
  • Lemon Meringue: house-made graham cracker crust crumbled into lemon ice cream.
  • Pumpkin Pie: with or without roasted pecans.

 

Best Indoor Activity in Cleveland: A Christmas Story House and Museum

Since 1983, part of the Christmas season has included families gathering to watch A Christmas Story to revel in the triumphs and failures of 9-year-old Ralphie as he endeavors to procure his holy grail: a Red Ryder BB gun. While the movie itself takes place in Indiana, the house that was filmed is located in Cleveland—and was turned into a museum by longtime fan and owner Brian Jones.

Jones has since restored the rooms to appear exactly as they do in the film, so visitors can gaze at the tinsel-strewn tree with its star falling off and explore the bathroom where Ralphie’s mom washed his mouth out with soap—a time-tested method for cavity prevention. Visitors also can see if you fit in the cabinet under the sink like little Randy did, and check out the backyard and shed where Ralphie defended his family against Black Bart. Across the street stands the museum, where fans can see the toys from the Higbee’s department-store window, Randy’s snowsuit, and Miss Shields’s classroom chalkboard, along with hundreds of behind-the-scenes photos. And if they’re so inclined, guests can drop into the gift shop to pick up their very own leg lamp.