The Spring Breaks of your youth are likely hazy memories at best. You head out to some vacation spot crawling with college-aged, like-minded revelers for a few days away from the realities of everyday life. There are more adult beverages – and more ways to drink them – than there is anything of real nutritional value. The music blasts all around you as you dance shoulder to shoulder in a club, on a beach or in a motel courtyard just outside of Niagara Falls. (Don’t ask.)
Then, it happens before you even know it. You grow up, get a real job, get married and start a family – against all advice from that one friend (we all have one) – and you start to realize your Spring Break days are behind you, right? WRONG.
Just because you’ve got some little partiers in tow now doesn’t mean the party has to stop, especially in The Land. Get ready to bring the Spring Break vibes back with your new crew, because in Cleveland, Spring Break hits different.
The Flats are legendary among locals and visitors alike as the once and future party hotspot in The Land. Bars, dance clubs, concert venues and restaurants line the mighty Cuyahoga River, offering plenty of options for spring breaking into the night. Both East and West banks are full of options for traditional Spring Break partying, including Collison Bend Brewery, Good Night John Boy, FWD Day + Nightclub, and Shooters on the Water, just for starters.
But if you’re partying with the kids, you’re going to want to spend your time on the West Bank at the Greater Cleveland Aquarium, where nearly 5,000 species of fresh and saltwater creatures are housed within the 19th-century historic Powerhouse building. Be sure to walk through the 230,000-gallon SeaTube before heading outside to catch a daytime cruise on the Goodtime III or grab a kayak or paddle board to catch some different views of the city.
View from the Top
Sure, you’ve taken the party to the water in The Flats, now it’s time to set your sights a little higher. Nothing says living your best life than having a couple cocktails and seeing the city from The Garden of Eden, Bar 32 or one of the many other rooftop bars throughout The Land.
Or you could get a different perspective by taking the kids to the Holden Arboretum. Check out all the amazing spring flowers and curated walking paths at ground level, but then get elevated by climbing the Kalberer Emergent Tower to look out at spring beauty for miles or wander among the treetops on the Murch Canopy Walk. If your clan still has a little too much energy, head on over to Play:CLE for even more high-up climbing, swinging and other little ninja activities.
Play for Days
Why lose your shirt heading to Vegas to, well, lose your shirt, when you can try your luck right here in The Land? JACK Cleveland Casino has multiple floors of table games and poker tables open 24 hours a day for the self-anointed rounders among your fellow Spring Breakers. Fancy playing the ponies? JACK Thistledown Racino and MGM Northfield Park offer live racing, live betting and VLT gaming.
This is your chance to finally earn your family’s respect by showing them how truly sick you are at NBA JAM. Seriously, assert a little parental dominance at Pins Mechanical Company, where they’ve got duck pin bowling, yard games and the beloved 16-Bit Bar & Arcade, where you can play arcade and classic console games for free as long as you’re holding a drink. Looking for a bit of a slower place in a quieter atmosphere after some significant family Spring Breaking? Head down the street to Tabletop Board Game Café and choose from almost 1,000 new and classic board games.
No Spring Break is complete without cutting loose with at least a couple – or a few, or several – adult beverages. Into craft brews? Log on to the Cleveland Brewery Passport to make your way through more than 40 local breweries throughout The Land, hit up a cool, creative cocktail bar or make your way to Cleveland’s only urban vineyard and tasting room at The Vineyards at Chateau Hough. I mean, you really can’t go wrong with any option, but please be sure to Spring Break responsibly.
Sure, indulgence is a little different with the family around, but it doesn’t make it any less enjoyable. Blow their little minds with a couple – or a few, or several – scoops of delicious hometown ice cream from the likes of Mitchell’s, Mason’s and other local confectioners. Head to AsiaTown for some sweet treats from across the globe at Koko Bakery or Ball Ball Waffle. Or, make your way up to Little Italy and eat pieces of cassata cake the size of your head. Listen, no one knows your kids’ sugar tolerances as much as you do, so we’ll leave it at that.
Do you believe us now? Cleveland is an amazing place to Spring Break in the first place, but it offers even more opportunity to have a week of partying you’ll never forget with your forever crew of littles. So, when you’re planning that next Spring Break getaway, plan it in The Land of never the same old thing.
We’ve barely even scratched the surface, check out our Planning Tools and Things to Do page to find more ideas for your next trip to Cleveland.