City guide: Cleveland

Your one-stop city guide, packed with information on family-friendly hotels, restaurants, and local and unique attractions.

Derek Jensen (Tysto)
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To the world, Cleveland is The Rock and Roll Capital, C-Town, home of the Cleveland Cavs, Browns and other sporting greats. To Clevelanders, however, this is just home. But don’t let the quiet reserve fool you. This city is full of great history and culture, enough to make your trip with your grandkids a memorable one.


Renaissance Cleveland Hotel
24 Public Square, Cleveland, OH
(216) 696-5600
Price: Rooms starting at $149/night

The Renaissance is not only a luxury hotel, but a historical landmark as well. Built in 1918, the architecture demonstrates the city’s unique style and history. Located on Public Square, the Renaissance offers convenience and easy access to Tower City Center’s renowned boutiques, restaurants, and other top Cleveland attractions. Guests that are 62 years or older can save at least 15%, simply show proof of identification and date of birth.

Wyndham Cleveland at Playhouse Square
1260 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH
(216) 615-7500
Price: Rooms starting at $113/night

When staying at the Wyndham Cleveland, families can enjoy the comfort of this newly-renovated, boutique-styled hotel located near Cleveland’s theater district on Playhouse Square, and also the great savings. Families can take advantage of the free full breakfast for one night as part of the hotel’s family package. Plus, there’s not charge for kids when they’re in the same room as their parents or guardians. Kids must be 18 years or younger.  

Washington Place Bistro & Inn
2203 Cornell Road, Cleveland, OH
(216) 791.6500
Price: Rooms starting at $159/night

Washington Place Bistro & Inn is located in the Cleveland’s historic Little Italy, which is a part of the city that still retains a 19th Century “Old World” touch. Grandparents can enjoy a nice lunch or dinner at Washington Place Bistro with their families, and follow the delicious meal with a stroll down Mayfield Road to visit other attractions. Washington Place Bistro & Inn offers a great meal, unique ambiance and a locally-renowned service. Don’t believe us? Well, their newly-renovated, Classic American cuisine was featured in the Cooking Channel’s Unique Eats.

DoubleTree by Hilton Cleveland Downtown – Lakeside
1111 Lakeside Avenue, Cleveland, OH
(216) 241-5100
Price: Rooms starting at $159/night

Do you and your grandkids want that warm, homey feeling when staying in a hotel? The DoubleTree in Lakeside knows a thing or two about making their guest feel right at home. Upon arrival, guests are greeted with a delicious warm chocolate chip cookie. What’s more, this hotel’s central location makes them a great selection in Cleveland. The DoubleTree is conveniently located near the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Stadium, 3 Bar & Grille, and hometown favorites Cleveland Browns Stadium and Cleveland Indians’ Progressive Field.

Brownstone Inn Downtown
3649 Prospect Avenue, Cleveland, OH
(216) 426-1753
Price: Rooms starting at $65/night

If something a little cozier, smaller is more of your family’s style, then why not stay at Downtown Cleveland’s only Bed and Breakfast? This designated city landmark was established in 1874, and has all the commodities and services of a modern hotel: comfortable, medium-sized rooms, quiet common areas, central air-conditioning and wireless service in every room.


Malley's Candies, Cleveland OH

Steve Snodgrass


Aladdin’s Eatery (Cleveland Heights)
12447 Cedar Road, Cleveland Heights, OH
(216) 226-2020
Hours: 11am-10pm (daily)
Price: $$
Age Range: Baby, Toddler, Preschooler, Elementary, Tween, Teen

At Aladdin’s Eatery, families shouldn’t just expect good, delicious food, but also strongly-held tradition and philosophy. With their goals to always be environmentally friendly, and provide tasty and healthy meals to customers, it’s no wonder this franchise is a favorite among Clevelanders. Their menu also offers vegetarian and gluten-free options.

Johnny Mango
3120 Bridge Avenue, Cleveland, OH
(216) 575-1919
Monday-Thursday: 11am-10pm
Friday: 11am-11pm
Saturday: 9am-11pm
Sunday: 9am-10pm
Price: $$
Age Range: Baby, Toddler, Preschooler, Elementary, Tween, Teen

Johnny Mango is a unique, eco-friendly restaurant that amazes customers with its “The Johnny Mango Experience” and worldly, delicious menu options. As part of the eating experience, the restaurant provides colorful artwork and island music, with a selection of burritos, quesadillas, and Caribbean French Fries. Most items on the menu have vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options. If you’re visiting with a large group, might as well make it a Tuesday trip, when the restaurant offers “Taco Tuesdays.” All tacos are $1 from 4:00-10:00pm (dine-in only).

Corky and Lenny’s
27091 Chagrin Boulevard, Woodmere Village, OH
(216) 464.3838
Hours: Sunday-Thursday: 7am-9pm, Friday-Saturday: 7am-10:30pm
Price: $
Age Range: Baby, Toddler, Preschooler, Elementary, Tween, Teen

Corky and Lenny’s has been feeding generations of Clevelanders for years, and this fast-paced, Jewish deli shows no sign of slowing down. Located in the eastern Cleveland suburb of Beachwood, Corky and Lenny’s matzo ball soup and potato pancakes, corned beef, French toast and rotini pasta, will provide fun and tons of goodies for all ages. You’ll especially love the free kids-meal with the purchase of an adult entrée per table.

Hard Rock Café and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
230 West Huron Road, Cleveland, OH
(216) 830-7625
Hours: Sunday-Thursday: 11am-11pm, Friday-Saturday: 11am-12am
Price: $$$
Age Range: Baby, Toddler, Preschooler, Elementary, Tween, Teen

Ian Hunter made Cleveland famous with the city’s anthem: “Cleveland Rocks!” What keeps the city rocking, however, is the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame located in the infamous Hard Rock Café in downtown Cleveland. Although there are several Hard Rock Café’s throughout the country, this one specializes in fun, music and the kind of atmosphere that’ll have everyone playing an air guitar. Add the delicious menu of burgers and BBQ ribs, with the museum’s unique collection of Rock and Roll artifacts, including Jimmy Page’s guitar, and you’ll have an eating experience your grandkids will truly enjoy.

Sweet Moses Soda Fountain & Treat Shop
6800 Detroit Avenue, Cleveland, OH
(216) 651-2202
Hours: Sunday-Thursday: 12pm-11pm, Friday-Saturday: 12pm-12am
Price: $
Age Range: Baby, Toddler, Preschooler, Elementary, Tween, Teen

Named after the city’s founder, Moses Cleaveland, Sweet Moses’ delicious homemade ice creams and treats make it the epitome of neighborhood soda fountain and treats shops. This store not only celebrates the classic soda fountains recipes that have filled years of traditions, but serves it up with a dish of delicious, premium confections as well. Your grandkids will thank you!


Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
3900 Wildlife Way, Cleveland, OH
(216) 661-6500
Hours: 10am-5pm (daily)
Price: Children (age 2 & under): Free, Children (ages 2-11): $8.25, Adults (ages 12+): $12.25
Age Range: Baby, Toddler, Preschooler, Elementary, Tween, Teen

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo’s goal is simple: to create compelling experiences that connect people with wildlife. With nearly 3,000 exotic animals representing 600 species from six continents, and one of the largest collections of primates in the U.S., the mission is right on track. As part of the Cleveland Metroparks, it’s also one of Cleveland’s top attractions.

Cleveland Metroparks
4101 Fulton Parkway, Cleveland, OH
(216) 635-3200
Hours: 6am-11pm (daily)
Price: Free
Age Range: Baby, Toddler, Preschooler, Elementary, Tween, Teen

With over 16 reservations, that measures 21,000 acres and includes the popular Metroparks Zoo, Cleveland Metroparks System is one of the most largely visited attractions in the Cleveland area. It is perfect for hikers, fishermen and yes-grandparents-to explore throughout the day. Grandchildren will especially enjoy the 82 miles of trails available for horseback riders in several of the reservations. During the cold season, those same trails and hills are perfect for the sledding and skiing enthusiasts in the family.

Cleveland Museum of Art
11150 East Boulevard, Cleveland, OH
(216) 421-7350
Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday: 10am – 5pm

Wednesday, Friday: 10am – 9pm, Monday: Closed
Price: Free

Age Range: Baby, Toddler, Preschooler, Elementary, Tween, Teen

It’s renowned for its vast collection of Asian and Egyptian art. Yet, what isn’t usually mentioned its the Cleveland Museum of Art’s dedication to its community. Since it was founded in 1913, this cultural institution has advocated and remained a place “for the benefit of all the people forever.” Their children’s programs, such as the “My Very First Art Class” and Family Days, the museum continues to engage generations to come.

Tower City Center
230 West Huron Road, Cleveland, OH
(216) 623-4750
Hours: Monday – Saturday: 11am – 7pm, Sunday: 12 – 5pm
Price: Free
Age Range: Baby, Toddler, Preschooler, Elementary, Tween, Teen

Tower City Center looks like any regular mall, but this city landmark is actually registered in the National Register of Historic Places. With a casino, two hotels, and the main point of Cleveland’s three transit lines, this place is really a hub for everything-Cleveland. Not only that, there are over 100 specialty shops and restaurants. We’re sure you and your grandkids will find lots to do in Tower City Center.

Cedar Point
One Cedar Point Drive, Sandusky, OH
(419) 627-2350
July 1-August 19: Sunday-Friday: 10am-10pm, Saturday: 10am-12am

August 20-August 25: Monday-Friday: 11am-9pm, Saturday: 10am-10pm

August 26-September 1: Sunday-Thursday: 11am-9pm, Friday-Saturday: 10am-10pm

September 2-October 31: Friday-Sunday 10am-10pm
Price: Under 48” tall: $29.99, Over 48” tall: $51.99 (Single day passes)
Age Range: Baby, Toddler, Preschooler, Elementary, Tween, Teen

Known as the roller coaster capital of the world, Cedar Point is a favorite attraction in Cleveland among tourists and locals too. This amusement park has thrill rides and water rides for the entire family, as well as live entertainment and several dining options. Babies and toddlers get to enjoy a preschool-sized roller coaster and have their share of squeals. Although, we’re no sure that’s more exciting than the all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet with the Peanuts Characters.

Cleveland Museum of Natural History
1 Wade Oval Drive University Circle, Cleveland, OH
(216) 231-4600
Hours: Monday – Saturday: 10am – 5pm, Wednesday: 10am – 10pm, Sunday: 12 – 5pm
Price: Children (age 2 and under): Free, Children (ages 3-6): $7, Children (ages 7-18): $8, Adults: $10, Seniors (age 60+): $8
Age Range: Baby, Toddler, Preschooler, Elementary, Tween, Teen

Cleveland Museum of Natural History is home to a 3 million-year-old human ancestor Australopithecus afarensis, known as “Lucy,” a planetarium, observatory and live animal shows. It’s also considered one of the finest institutions of its kind in the country. Not bad for a collection of animal specimens – nicknamed “the Ark” – that was gathered by a passionate group of people in a two room, wooden building on Public Square in the 1830s. You and your grandkids will not only enjoy these exhibits and collections inside the Museum, but also the 4,000 acress of rare habitat that surrounds it.

Great Lakes Science Center
601 Erieside Avenue, Cleveland, OH
(216) 694-2000
Hours: 10am-5pm (daily)
Price: Children (ages 2-18): $14.97, Adult (ages 19-64): $17.09, Student and Seniors (with ID): $16.03
Age Range: Toddler, Preschooler, Elementary, Tween, Teen

Don’t let the science part fool you. This high-tech facility is full of fun and creative things for your grandkids to do. From the Polymer Funhouse, which features more than 90 kid-friendly exhibits, to the NASA Glenn Visitor Center for the budding-astronaut in your family, Great Lakes Science Center has fun down to a science.

Children’s Museum of Cleveland
10730 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH
(216) 791-7114
Hours: 10am-4:45pm (daily)
Price: $7 per person

Children’s Museum of Cleveland is a favorite for energetic and creative eight-year-olds and their families. Located in Cleveland’s cultural point in University Circle, the museum provides kids hours of fun and learning. Families can check out the classic exhibit, Big Red Barn, which is named after the children’s book classic, or check out their “Bridges to Our Community” program.

Lolly the Trolley
1790 Columbus Road, Cleveland, OH
(216) 771-4484
November 1st-April 30th: Friday-Saturday: 12:30pm (1-hr. tour), 2pm (2-hr. tour)

May 1-31: Monday-Saturday: 12:30pm (1-hr. tour), 2pm (2-hr. tour), Sunday: 1pm (2-hr. tour), 3:30pm (1-hr. tour)

June 1-September 30: Monday-Saturday: 9:30pm (2-hr. tour), 12:30pm (1-hr. tour), 2pm (2-hr. tour), Sunday: 1pm (2-hr. tour), 3:30pm (1-hr. tour), Friday-Saturday: 5pm (1-hr. tour)

October 1-31: Monday-Saturday: 12:30pm (1-hr. tour), 2pm (2-hr. tour), Sunday: 1pm (2-hr. tour), 3:30pm (1-hr. tour)

1 Hr. Tour:
Children (age 17 and under): $8.62 , Adults: $11.85, Senior: $10.78
2 Hr. Tour:
Children (age 17 and under): $12.93, Adults: $18.32, Senior: $17.24
Age Range: Baby, Toddler, Preschooler, Elementary, Tween, Teen

Lolly the Trolley has the people, vehicles and personality to show you and your grandkids the real heart of Cleveland. This landmark tour and transportation service travel across northeast Ohio, giving visitors a quick glimpse of The Flats, Great Lakes Science Center, of course, Downtown Cleveland. Reservations required for all tours.

Steamship William G. Mather Tour
601 Erieside Avenue, Cleveland, OH
(216) 694-2000

May, September, October: Saturdays & Sundays: 11am – 5pm
June, July, August: Tuesday – Sunday: 11am – 5pm

Price: $20 per person
Age Range: Baby, Toddler, Preschooler, Elementary, Tween, Teen

Ever wonder what it’s like to experience and explore a real steamboat? This restored, 618-foot historic flagship might just do the trick. Built in 1925, the Steamship William G. Mather Discover was once a working Great Lakes freighter, with huge cargo space, brass and oak pilot house, an elegant guest quarters and four-story engine room. You and your grandkids could take a trip down history decks, at what helped transform Cleveland into the great industrial spot it is today.

Local uniques:

Serpentini Arena
14740 Lakewood Heights Boulevard, Lakewood, OH
Monday-Friday: 11:30am–3:30pm
Friday: 8pm-10pm, Saturday: 1pm-3pm
Price: Lakewood Residents: $4, Non-Residents: $6, Skate Rental: $2
Age Range: Preschooler, Elementary, Tween

As the premier ice skating rink in Cleveland, Serpentini prides itself in the programs and services their facilities offer families and skating-aficionados. It’s a perfect random, family activity, except for the third Friday of the month, when they hosts “Chillin’ at the Rink” with pizza, pop music and a live DJ. Serpentini houses other great programs and activities, including a state of the art game room, dance facility, and the American Hockey League’s (AHL) Lake Erie Monsters.

Kiddie Park (Parma, OH)
10340 Memphis Avenue, Brooklyn, Ohio
(216) 941-5995
Hours: 10am-8pm (daily)
Price: Single Tickets $1.95, Strip of 10 Tickets $15.50, Book of 25 Tickets $25.25
Age Range: Baby, Toddler, Preschooler, Elementary, Tween

Built in 1952, Kiddie Park has been amusing and providing fun for several generations now. This theme park has 11 amusement rides, including the oldest operating steel roller coaster, and miniature golf for everyone in the family.

Huntington Beach
28649 Lake Road, Bay Village, OH
(440) 331-8635

June-Mid-August: 11am-9pm (daily)
Weekends (mid-August-Labor Day): 11am-9pm
Price: Free
Age Range: Baby, Toddler, Preschooler, Elementary, Tween

Awarded a Blue Wave Certification by the Clean Beaches Council, Huntington Beach is pretty much like no other beach in Cleveland. It is the first in Ohio, as well as the first on Lake Erie, to receive such recognition. Although this is truly a highlight, the picnic area and section for all-season fishing on the Huntington Reservation make it a must-see in Cleveland.

Coventry Village
Coventry Road, between Mayfield Road & Euclid Heights Boulevard, Cleveland Heights, OH
(216) 556-0927
Hours: Daily
Price: Free
Age Range: Baby, Toddler, Preschooler, Elementary, Tween

Coventry Village is a community of Cleveland hippies, elderly Russian, students from the neighboring Universities and families. This diversity of residents make up the amazing, eclectic mix of restaurants and shops in this little town, especially the vintage toy store, Big Fun Toy Store (

“A Christmas Story” House
3159 West 11th Street, Cleveland, OH
(216) 298-4919
Monday-Wednesday: Closed
Thursday-Saturday: 10am-5pm
Sundays: 12pm-5pm
Price: Children (ages 6 & under): Free, Children (ages 7-12): $6, Adults (ages 13-64): $10, Seniors (ages 65+): $8
Age Range: Toddler, Preschooler, Elementary, Tween, Teen

Since 1983, families have enjoyed the holidays with their television sets tuned into “A Christmas Story,” with the Parkers, a Red Ryder BB Gun, and of course, Ralphie. That cheeky, determined nine-year old, who defies all odds (including a dysfunctional family), and finally get what he wants on Christmas. Families can visit the home where it all started, which was restored to look just as it did when the Parkers “lived” there.  

5174 East Water Street, Port Clinton, OH
Hours: April 1-Halloween Weekend
Price: Free
Age Range: Baby, Toddler, Preschooler, Elementary, Tween, Teen

Put-in-Bay is, literally, an island and world of its own in Cleveland, Ohio. This small two by four mile island is full of historic homes, the third tallest monument in the country, and several little restaurants and pubs. As if you couldn’t fit more in there, over 2 million people visit this crown jewel to check out the Antique Car Museum, go gemstones and fossils hunting, and enjoy Kimberly’s Carousel, which was built in 1917 and is one of the last merry-go-rounds in operation in the country. We’re sure the highlight for grandkids will be the 40-minute ferry ride full of beautiful Lake Erie views.