Cleveland is one of those lucky places that gets to experience all four seasons, and fall is a show-stopper here in the Forest City. It’s sweater-weather time, which means a perfect lake breeze, intense autumn colors, a couple of places that raise some goosebumps with just the right amount of spooky and some indoor attractions for those questionable weather days.
There are a ton of free things to do in CLE, but this list pairs best with the leaf-turning time of year. Put on your boots and grab a pumpkin spice latte -- here’s your list of FREE things to do in Cleveland this fall.
Halloween’s around the corner and cemeteries are spooky, so, naturally, it’s a good time to pay one a visit. Fortunately, Lake View Cemetery (and its many famous inhabitants) also happens to be one of the most picturesque places in town.
At 65 feet high, Brandywine Falls is a picture-perfect waterfall surrounded by a 1.5-mile hiking trail that leads you through the deep gorge cut by Brandywine Creek. Located in Cuyahoga Valley National Park, you've got wildlife, water, family-friendly climbs and the crisp, cool smell of the forest to accompany you on this hike.
There are few things more beautiful or inspirational than Maria’s Field of Hope, an Avon, OH sunflower field planted in 2013 to raise awareness for the lack of funding for childhood cancer. The field is in full bloom in September, so make your way out to Avon, grab one of the most meaningful selfies you’ll ever take and spread awareness for this worthy cause.
The Cleveland Metroparks are worth a look in the fall, regardless, but Nature Centers like the one at Rocky River Reservation program events and activities all season long like nature walks, art and photography exhibits, animal education and more. Head to the upper level for an amazing view.
This Lakewood boutique of the bizarre traffics in obscure antiques and oddities. Think “The Addams Family” meets “Antiques Roadshow.” Looking at this collection of skeletons and preserved animals in jars is free, but you’ll have to buy one to take it home with you.
This working, educational farm in suburban Parma, OH hosts 48 acres of fall landscapes, tons of kid-favorite animals, historic museum houses, a country store and a farmer’s market. The farm is open weekends until mid-October and, of course, admission is free.
Take to the cool autumn air to browse fresh produce, meats, cheeses, baked goods, scented soaps, olive oil and more from close to 30 farmers, artisans and other professionals, not to mention live music and chef demos, Sundays until Oct. 13.
This one’s a two-fer. Not only is this beautiful, 19th Century English castle-style gatehouse situated in the beautiful autumnal environs of North Chagrin Reservation, but some claim to have seen the form of a woman with a lantern in the upstairs window or floating around the building itself.