Fall into a Weekend Getaway Close to Home
Destination Cleveland encourages residents to indulge in leisure festivities to refresh the mind
By Jennifer Kramer
CLEVELAND (October 5, 2016) - With the routine of a new school year in full swing, the start of fall is the perfect time to indulge in some R&R before the busy holiday season begins. Now is the time to soak in the last warmer days of the year by planning the perfect "backyard" getaway. From discovering some of Northeast Ohio's finest wineries and rustic country sides to exploring the world-class attractions that exist right around the corner, there are many options in Cleveland to help refresh the mind this fall.
GET YOUR HARVEST ON: Dive into fall by visiting one of the area's local farms or fruit orchards. Pick apples from more than 4,000 trees at Mapleside Farms, collect berries from Rosby Berry Farm or learn how to make apple butter at the Hale Farm & Village Harvest Festival.
- Rosby Berry Farm offers raspberry picking until late October or the first frost. Visitors can spend the afternoon picking a pints of delicious red raspberries, and after, they can stop by the Rosby Garden Center for other goodies.
- For a quintessential fall activity, families can explore the 122-acre Mapleside Farms for apple picking and hayrides. Groups can even rent one of Mapleside's private campfire sites and prepare hot dogs and s'mores in the crisp fall evening air.
- During the first two weekends in October, Hale Farm & Village hosts its annual Harvest Festival. Guests can see farmyard animals, navigate a corn maze, enjoy wagon rides and watch American craft and trade demonstrations including glassblowing and blacksmithing.
ARTS ACTIVITIES: Many of Cleveland's cultural institutions kick-off their annual performance seasons with the return of fall, including the world-renowned Cleveland Orchestra and Playhouse Square's KeyBank Broadway Series. Patrons can make a day of it by touring the performance facilities (select days and times) or surrounding attractions during the day and enjoying a meal at nearby restaurants before taking their seat. Check out Destination Cleveland's Dining Guide for options.
- The Cleveland Orchestra opens its 99th season at Severance Hall with Sibelius Second Symphony, and its list of fall concerts include Daphnis and Chloe, Romeo and Juliet and a special performance of Superman at the Symphony.
- The Playhouse Square performance calendar is full with musicals like "Fun Home" and "Finding Neverland" in the KeyBank Broadway Series - which now includes a third week of performances for each show, the Cleveland Play House performance of the presidential drama "All The Way" and the Great Lakes Theater's production of the Broadway classic "My Fair Lady."
DELIGHTFUL DAY TRIPS: For those seeking a romantic getaway or a family friendly destination, Geneva-on-the-Lake and Amish Country are within a short drive of Downtown Cleveland with activities that will interest the whole group.
- Book a night's stay about an hour outside of Cleveland in the extraordinary lakefront cottages of Geneva-on-the-Lake. Spend the day exploring Northeast Ohio's wine country and tasting locally produced wine at Laurello Vineyards, Ferrante Winery or Harpersfield Vineyard.
- Plan a day full of kid-friendly fun at Adventure Zone in Geneva-on-the-Lake, where families can compete in games at the arcade, race around the go-kart track or ascend to new heights on the rock climbing wall.
- Looking for a day jam-packed with bakeries, cheese, antiques and history? The Northeast Ohio region is home to one of the largest Amish settlements in the world. Start an Amish Country excursion by visiting Heini's Cheese Chalet to sample more than 70 different types of cheese, then explore Historic Downtown Millersburg, the heart of Amish Country, which is located approximately 90 minutes from Downtown Cleveland.
TRICKS AND TREATS: To get into the Halloween spirit, Cleveland's major attractions offer some spook-tacular events for all ages, from fright-free fun to hair-raising haunts.
- The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo "Boo at the Zoo" event offers scare-free family festivities with animals on exhibit each evening, treat stations, magic shows and a Monster Mash Dance Party during select weekends in October.
- For an evening under the big top, residents can check out the circus-themed "Hauntaquarium" at the Greater Cleveland Aquarium. Kids (and the young at heart) can see costumed SCUBA divers in the shark exhibit, play carnival games and see live entertainment including magicians and clowns.
- Take a drive out to Sandusky for Cedar Point's HalloWeekends, which offers two experiences - kid-friendly activities at "The Great Pumpkin Fest" and the terrifying "Halloween Haunt." Make it a weekend trip by spending the night at Cedar Point's recently renovated Hotel Breakers on the park premises.