Cleveland, Ohio has a lot to offer for families looking for a winter getaway in the Midwest.
I’m sharing more about the top things to do during a visit to Cleveland, Ohio in the winter that are fun for all ages.
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1. Introduce Your Kids to Legendary Musicians at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
1100 E 9th St, Cleveland, OH
Kids and adults will enjoy experiencing the evolution of music at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
Learn more about the past, present, and future of rock and roll with interactive experiences, memorabilia, and film.
It’s seriously like walking through a time capsule of your life. Music brings up so many memories and it’s great to share memories of your favorite artists with your family.Purchase Discount Ticket to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Here
Tips for Visiting the Rock & Rock Hall of Fame:
Allow several hours to go through this museum, especially if you plan on watching any of the films. (my kids enjoyed watching them)
Start on the lower floor. The largest exhibits are on the lower floor and they are designed to be seen in order.
The lower level will take up the majority of your time. After you finish the lower level, you can speed through the upper levels if you need to.
Take Advantage of the complimentary coat check because no one wants to carry around a coat for hours
Have a plan for lunch – we chose to eat onsite at the cafe for time purposes.
There are three different styles of food to choose from and they EXCEEDED my expectations.
Each member of my family found something that they liked and the price wasn’t bad given its location. Nueva is another nearby option within walking distance.
Only bottled water is allowed to leave the cafe area, so keep that in mind with your drink selection.
2. Hands-On Learning at Great Lakes Science Center
601 Erieside Ave, Cleveland, OH
Located next to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Great Lakes Science Center provides guests with opportunities to connect with science through play and curiosity.
There are more than 400 hands-on exhibits to discover at the Great Lakes Science Center.
The top level was definitely a family favorite with so many exhibits to explore at your own pace and interest.
The NASA Glenn Visitor Center is another highlight with artifacts from John Glenn’s Friendship 7 mission.
Tips for Visiting Great Lakes Science Center:
Purchase your tickets for the Cleveland Clinic Dome Center (6 stories high) when you arrive and plan your exhibits around your movie time
Check the schedule for daily activities and demos
There is a cafe on the lower level if you need to grab a bite to eat during your visit.
3. Eat and Play at Forest City Shuffleboard
4506 Lorain Ave, Cleveland, OH
With tabletop, outdoor, and indoor shuffleboard courts, Forest City Shuffleboard is bridging the generational gap and introducing a new love of shuffleboard to all ages.
My family enjoyed playing a few games of pool together and then my husband and I enjoyed resting by the fireplace while the boys finished up a few more games. There are plenty of options for a snack in the grab-and-go.
Tips for Visiting Forest City Shuffleboard:
Make court reservations before you go up to several weeks in advance. This is a popular place and slots fill up quickly. They do take walk-ins but you might be disappointed if the courts are already full. (Just make a reservation)
After 7pm it’s 21+ and up only so get there early with kids
The food changes each month partnering with chefs from local food trucks. For the best value choose items that you can share. We liked the eggplant fries but the sandwiches were a little small for the price.
There are plenty of craft beer options and non-alcoholic drinks available.
4. Go Tobogganing at Cleveland Metroparks
16200 Valley Parkway Strongsville, OH
The Chalet in Mill Stream Run Reservation, Cleveland Metroparks takes guests on the tallest, fastest ice chutes in Ohio.
This toboggan ride can hold up to 4 people and reach speeds up to 50 mph!
With double lanes, you can race other riders and check your speed on the display at the bottom.
Tips for Tobogganning at Cleveland Metroparks:
Check the line before you order your tickets. You can purchase a single-ride ticket or an all-day pass. There are markers on the stairs for the 2 and 3-hour marks. You won’t need an all-day pass if the lines are super long.
Try to arrive as soon as it opens so that you can get in line as quickly as possible. We visited on a Sunday when it opened and were able to ride several times before the lines grew.
You are required to wear gloves. I would suggest wearing an older pair because they can get snagged by the rope.
Listen to the workers and hold the ropes up as high as possible on your way down.
We wore snow pants and snow boots and felt comfortable.
There are MANY stairs to climb to get to the top.
No GoPros allowed on the toboggans.
If you get cold you can warm up inside the chalet that also sells food and beverages.
The 700-foot refrigerated ice chutes can operate with or without snow weather permitting through early March.
5. Create Your Own Culinary Hot Dog Creation at The Happy Dog
5801 Detroit Ave, Cleveland, OH
This dive bar is such a gem!
The Happy Dog is a great place to try a new twist on an all-beef hot dog or hamburger. Each patron selects their perfect combination on a menu that is reminiscent of a grocery list your grandmother might have used.
Tips for visiting the Happy Dog:
Be creative but remember that you still want it to be edible
You are not charged per topping for the hot dogs or burgers so have fun with it (There are 50+) to choose from
Don’t forget to try the tater tots and fries- their sauces are amazing!
Check out some of the suggested combos if you need some ideas and then modify them to your taste
There is a parking lot for customers at the Detroit Ave location along with street parking.
6. Visit a Holiday Classic at A Christmas Story House
3159 W 11th St, Cleveland, OH
Relive some of your favorite holiday movie scenes with a visit to the A Christmas Story House.
The guided tour gives you access inside the house where you can take pictures with many of the props. Playing with the props is actually encouraged so have fun with it!
You also get to go inside the museum where you will see lots of memorabilia from the movie and hear stories that will make you want to watch the movie again.
Tips for Visting A Christmas Story House:
Go to the gift shop first to find out when the next tour is available
You will have lots of photo ops inside the house where you can touch the props.
Parking in their lot is free but there are only 6 spaces and there is free on-street parking
Some residents charge a fee to park in their lot but it’s really not necessary
To make the most out of your visit you really need to take the tour.
7. Explore the Cleveland Museum of Art
11150 East Boulevard, Cleveland, OH
The Cleveland Museum of Art is always FREE for the public to visit.
*Special exhibits may be an additional fee.
It’s recommended to allow around 2 hours for a visit to the 592,000 square foot art museum with over 61,000 pieces of art from around the world.
Where to Stay in Cleveland
5550 Great Northern Blvd, North Olmsted, OH
During our visit, we stayed at the Aloft Cleveland Airport Hotel.
The rooms and lobby are contemporary with FUN pops of color throughout. The open concept in the lobby creates a welcoming environment to socialize with other guests.
Tips for Staying at the Aloft Cleveland Airport Hotel:
Allow some extra downtime in your schedule for the kids to burn off energy in the pool.
There is a bar and seating area with a fireplace in the lobby area
You can grab and go light snacks and meals at the Re:Fuel area
The hotel is pet-friendly and dogs under 40 pounds are free of charge.
We had a great visit to Cleveland! There is so much to discover and each visit makes me want to go back to discover more!
Next time I’m definitely checking out more of the street art and great restaurants.