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Cleveland Welcomes the 2021 NFL Draft.
April 29th - May 1st, 2021
In Cleveland, we’ve got world-class experiences without the world-class ego. And for that, you’re welcome.
Here in Cleveland, we’ve got beef cheek in our pierogi, truffles on our hot dogs and beer in our donuts. Balance.
Whether you’re into the thread count of your linens or just a place to crash for the night, we’ve got a hotel room with your name all over it.
You know those places only the locals know? Let our experts help you find them with free maps, itineraries and insider tips.
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Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yeeeeeet?
Cleveland is the place to be, but what about for young kids, say, around that preschool to early elementary stage? Is there anything for them to do?
Why, yes. Yes there is. There’s actually a ton of amazing, kid-friendly activities and attractions that are educational, adventurous, energy-burning and (of course) fun for the youngsters. Not to mention, plenty of restaurants conducive to toddlers and fidgety kiddos, with kids’ menus and none of those awkward apologetic situations.
Get ready to pack in that playtime! Here’s your guide to 48 hours in CLE with young kids.
Image courtesy Cleveland Museum of Natural History
Rise and shine with a morning sit-down at Yours Truly in Playhouse Square. They love kids and it shows with a perfect-for-tots kids’ menu, crayons, and booster seats. Got a picky eater on your hands? Make breakfast fun with their Mouse Pancakes (shaped like a well-known cartoon mouse, of course). Bonus: All kids under 10 get a free scoop of vanilla ice cream with their meal (you’re on vacation — it’s totally acceptable for breakfast). Once you’re done eating, peek outside and show them the enormous, sparkly GE Chandelier that spans the intersection in front of Playhouse Square.
Head just east of Downtown to Wade Oval, where you’ll find a treasure trove of places that will fascinate and educate your little one. If you’ve got a nature lover on your hands, Cleveland Botanical Garden and Cleveland Museum of Natural History are full of discoveries and adventure. The Botanical Garden’s Hershey Children's Garden (April-October) is a fantasyland of plants, frogs, turtles and a playhouse geared just for young kids. The year-round Glasshouse is home to hundreds of butterflies flittering about. Meanwhile, the Cleveland Museum of Natural History has incredible hands-on exhibits, plus the outdoor Perkins Wildlife Center, a planetarium with kids-geared shows, and the toddler-friendly Smead Discovery Center.
Pop into the gorgeous Cleveland Museum of Art for lunch in the expansive, visually awesome atrium at Provenance Cafe. There’s plenty of menu options to choose from including mac and cheese, sandwiches, flatbreads and some pretty delectable grown-up food. The kids will love running around the atrium and stopping into Gallery One for some interactive fun. Bonus: entrance to the museum and Gallery One is free!
Children’s Museum of Cleveland will knock your kids’ socks off. It has tons of educational and active ways to explore creative play. Relocated to a historic Cleveland mansion in 2017, CMC has an outdoor, pint-sized obstacle course in the summer and year-round indoor exhibits including a water Wonder Lab, art studio, theater, musical experiences and much more.
Listen, stick with us on this. Hofbrauhaus Cleveland. We know, we know, it’s a beer hall, but it’s actually awesome for little kids thanks to the lively music, wide-open space and ambient noise levels that drown out even the hardiest of meltdowns. Even better, they have a “kinder menu” that comes with crayons. If that doesn’t keep your children occupied, they’ll have a blast laughing and joining in with all the dancing and cheers.
If they’ve still got a little steam left in them, Tabletop Cafe is the place to wind down with a few board games and activities. A small shop on West 25th Street, Tabletop has classics like Chutes & Ladders and Parcheesi as well as newbies like Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza (yep, that’s a game). Just plan to duck out once the sun goes down, as it becomes a bit more adult-oriented later in the evening.
Image © Lexi Hotchkiss
Stuff those bellies with breakfast faves like waffles, bacon and eggs, French toast or oatmeal at Hot Spot Cafe, your friendly neighborhood diner in the heart of Downtown Cleveland. It’s even got the rarely-seen free downtown parking lot just for its customers, so you can fuel up on the cheap before you get on your way to another day in The Land.
Great Lakes Science Center is a jewel on the coast of Lake Erie. With three levels of wall-to-wall scientific discoveries and exhibits ranging from a space-themed NASA Glenn Visitors Center to the massive Cleveland Clinic DOME Theater along with a toddler-friendly playscape, your kids will be having so much fun that they won’t even know they’re learning.
Kids love lively visuals and music, and Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville delivers. Located in the Flats East Bank entertainment district just a short drive from the Science Center, Margaritaville has a great kids’ menu (of course with a Jr. Cheeseburger in Paradise), music, bright colors and you might just catch a balloon artist or stilt walker while you’re there. Walk along the Flats boardwalk after lunch for a great view of the Cuyahoga River.
Over on the west side of Cleveland in nearby Brooklyn is a cute little amusement park made especially for younger kids. Memphis Kiddie Park has mini-golf, concessions and an arcade to go with 10 rides including a train, ferris wheel, merry-go-round, boats and the Little Dipper, the oldest steel kiddie coaster in North America. The park is open from mid-May through mid-October, so if you’re here in the off-season or have extra time, make your way to the nearby Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, which is open year-round with all-weather-friendly attractions like the Rainforest and the Primate, Cat & Aquatics Building.
Big days should be topped off with big meals. Head to the legendary Melt Bar & Grilled in Lakewood for the most epic grilled cheese sandwiches your kids (and you) can handle. These aren’t your run-of-the-mill grilled cheeses we’re talking about here. They’re well known around these parts for their size and creativity. But don’t worry — there’s a kids’ menu with options perfect for tiny hands. Kids’ meals are only $2 on Tuesdays and $4 every other day.
End the trip with a view from one of the most celebrated community parks around. Lakewood Park has an incredible setting with pavilions, a baseball field, water-side walkways and a giant, newly renovated playground. The Solstice Steps – enormous concrete steps leading down to the Lake Erie coast, perfect for sitting and watching the sunset – are a definite family favorite. Walk down the path for a view of the Downtown Cleveland skyline like you’ve never seen before.
Cleveland Botanical Garden, located in Cleveland’s University Circle cultural district, is an ever-changing 10-acre urban oasis where visitors find enrichment and inspiration through fabulous gardens,...
Open for breakfast and lunch M-S 7a-3p. Come enjoy our full-service menu, including gluten free and vegan options, and free Wi-Fi every day. Free parking available, conveniently located right off...
30 Different gourmet grilled cheese, fresh salads, homemade soups. Menu also features a maniacal mac & cheese section, where you can choose from 14 different composed mac & cheese entrees or build...
A 24,000-square-foot German microbrewery and restaurant located in the heart of Cleveland. Complete with live music daily, onsite brewed Hofbräuhaus bier, German delicacies found at any Oktoberfest,...
Featuring 1,000 board games, local food and craft brews. Tabletop is for couples, large or small groups, families & friends. Game night is always here.
A Cleveland tradition since 1981, an ideal choice for a great breakfast, a business or catered lunch meeting or to bring the family for dinner. Nine locations throughout NE Ohio, with a new location...
From dinosaurs to diamonds, the museum is a beautiful blend of traditional and interactive galleries related to history, art and the natural world.
The museum is also one of the most unique venues...
Invent, design, tinker and create! Great Lakes Science Center, home of the NASA Glenn Visitor Center, makes science come alive through hundreds of hands-on exhibits, special temporary exhibitions, the...
Visit animals from around the world and learn how you can help secure a future for wildlife. Create unforgettable memories with unique experiences including the opportunity to feed a giraffe right out...
Considered one of the top art museums in the nation, visit for an hour or explore all day; free of charge to all. Renowned for the quality and breadth of its collection. Home to world-class...
Wade Oval is one of northeast Ohio's premier public spaces, home to events year-round like WOW! Wade Oval Wednesdays, Parade the Circle & Circle Village, and the Rink at Wade Oval.
With everything you need to have a good time: island-inspired food, award winning drinks and live entertainment, Margaritaville is more than a restaurant; it's a state of mind! Located on the East...
Providing families with young children a very special experience for over 65 years with 11 rides, mini-golf and fun amusement park food.
Northeast Ohio's premier destination for young children to learn through play with interactive exhibits in an environment designed to excite, enrich and inspire. Let's Play!
The Flats East Bank is more than Cleveland’s best place to eat, drink, play and live. It’s flat out electric. Rising at the union of the Cuyahoga River and beautiful Lake Erie, the Flats East Bank is...