Family Reunions in Cleveland

June 26, 2014
Family Reunions in Cleveland

Cleveland is Affordable and Conveniently Located with Loads of Choices for Family Fun

First and foremost, reunion planners, please, please order the matching T-shirts. It's only right! (The Johnsons Rock Cleveland! The Smiths Flee to the Cleve! The Malloys Invade Ohio!) And don't forget to pick a headquarter hotel for the unlucky relations who don't snag Aunt Suzy's couch or Grandma Gertrude's guest room.

Many planners use a family-friendly checklist:

  • easy highway access
  • free parking
  • a pool for the kiddos, and
  • reservable rooms for meet-and-greets and banquets

Some families prefer to stay downtown, close to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum and other city attractions.

What's a reunion without a cookout? It's the one item on the itinerary that's sure to please everyone from five-year-old nieces and nephews to 92-year-old great grandmothers and everyone in between. It's also an excellent place to sport those new T-shirts.

The Cleveland Metroparks offer a bounty of picnic spots. The 27 reservable facilities throughout Cuyahoga County can accommodate groups of up to 140 people. Decide whether your family is high or low maintenance (Do you want electric, water and a fishing lake? Or will a scattering of tables and a horseshoe pit suffice?), then pick your location. Planners can reserve a space up to a year in advance of the event date.

Introduce out-of-towners to Cleveland with guided tours aboard Lolly the Trolley. Or, book an excursion aboard the Goodtime III, a local ship that motors along Lake Erie and the Cuyahoga River.

Since total togetherness can be torture for even the closest families, suggest a list of side trips by taste. Sports fans can take in an Indians baseball game or a round of golf. Families might want to explore the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo or drive to Cedar Point Amusement Park in Sandusky.

University Circle, with its museums and botanical gardens, includes a little something for everyone. And PlayhouseSquare, Cleveland's strip of live theaters downtown, offers group discounts for most performances.

If the reunion includes a Sunday, check out the House of Blues Gospel Brunch. It doesn't matter if your relatives are Baptist, Lutheran or nothing at all, the live gospel music is fun for all, and who doesn't like mac-and-cheese and biscuits and gravy? (But check first, Gospel Brunch is reserved for special groups and special Sundays throughout the year.)

Lastly, summer visitors might want to plan an afternoon at Huntington Beach in Bay Village. It's a surefire way to squelch any remaining grumbling that so-and-so's side of the family didn't host the reunion in Florida.

Cleveland is an affordable spot conveniently located in reach of 43% percent of the US population (and probably most of your family.) There are plenty of spots in Cleveland for the all-important cookout and loads of choices for family fun.

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