Cheap Things to do in Cleveland: Summer Edition
So, we’re into day 11 (yes, I’m counting) of my children’s summer vacation from school. I wanted to get back to basics and have a schedule free summer, what I like to call “old fashioned summer”. You know the kind, waking up late (although my kids don’t understand the concept of sleep), spending hours upon hours at the pool, taking leisurely walks in nature and riding our bikes all over. The problem with having an old fashioned summer is that kids today don’t understand the still and quiet. They need to be busy, constantly stimulated with something new or exciting. They want to go to the park or have races in the pool or eat snacks all day instead of meals. I’m trying to allow my children the freedom of down time. To understand that not every second of the day needs to be planned out. If we want to drive to Pittsburgh to see our family on Wednesday morning, we can do that. Or go fishing on a Friday evening. It’s all up to us and we need that and frankly, we love it.
While we don’t have every second planned out for us (and it’s totally cool if you like to do that), we also like to find things to do that we can plan in short order. You know the times, it’s raining and you just can’t stand to go see another movie again! Don’t fear. We’ve compiled a nice list for you. Because, I am a planner at heart. Perhaps I’m doing this more for me than my kids, who knows. But this list is pretty dandy and whether you’re a fly by the seat of your pants kind of gal or a planner, I know you will find this helpful. It’s for everyone! Oh, and did I mention it’s easy on the pocketbook? Because most of these events are free or almost free to go do!!
Free (and Cheap) Things to Do in Cleveland this Summer
Kids Bowl Free all Summer
Sign your kids up for free bowling all summer long! Each child receives 2 games free of charge at participating alley’s. Please note: shoe rental fee’s apply.
Kids Skate Free all Summer
Sign your kids up for free roller skating for the summer. Again, please note, you may be required to pay a skate rental fee.
Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad
For the entire month of August, kids get a free coach ticket with every adult coach ticket purchased. (An adult ticket costs $15.) The offer is available Wednesdays through Fridays, and is only eligible on coach tickets.
A coach ticket on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad gives riders an all-day pass to hop on and off the train at various locations. Travelers can board at Independence, Peninsula, Akron and a handful of other locations.
Tickets are first-come, first-served, but can be purchased in advance online. You can find more information at cvsr.org.
Movies in the Park
Check out your local cities. Many of them offer movies in the park for free! Here are some that are coming up:
Coventry Village @ P.E.A.C.E. Campus (free movies every Thursday night starting at 9pm (June 6-August 8)
University Heights Walter Stinson Community Park: July 2 & 30th.
Pinecrest every Wednesday until August 28th at 8-10pm.
Euclid: June 28, August 23 & September 21. For more information click here.
Wade Oval: July 17 and August 7 from 6-9pm. For more information, click here.
Dollar Movies at Theaters
If your to get out of the heat or rain, look no further than $1 movies at participating local theaters. To find a theater near you, check out here or call your local theater to see if they offer this. Just make sure you go early to get tickets, they tend to sell out!
AMC Classic Solon ($4 movie and snack pack)
Atlas Cinemas ($5 Mondays)
Concerts in the Park
Just like movies in the park, local communities are offering free concerts in the park!
University Heights Thursdays at 7pm. Various locations.
Shaker Square Saturdays from 6-9PM
Eton Boulevard Beats every Saturday from 6-8PM
Legacy Village Friday & Saturday Nights from 6:30-9:30pm
Pinecrest Sundays from 3-5pm
Chagrin Falls Tuesdays from 7-9. Various locations.
Euclid Beach LIVE Fridays from 6-9PM.
Cleveland Opera Theatre Various times and locations.
Free ballet in the park, yoga in the park, $5 movies and lots more! You can go here for their full calendar of events!
June 25: Free Chamber Music Series: 88Bit @ 7pm
June 26: Movies in the Park: Singin’ in the Rain @ 1pm ($5 per ticket)
June 28: Verb Ballets: Mowgli’s Jungle Adventures @ 8pm
June 30: Yoga in the Park @ 12pm
June 30: Yiddish Concert starring Dudu Fisher @7pm
July 12: Cain Park Arts Festival (Friday is free for everyone) @ 3-8pm
July 16: Free Chamber Music: Athena String Quartet @ 7pm
July 21: Free Sundays in the Park: The Jack Fords @ 1-4pm
July 25 & 26: Inlet Dance Theatre (Thursday matinee @1-2pm and Friday 8pm)
July 26-August 17: Art Exhibition: Pushing the limits….Open 1 hour prior to events
July 27: Yoga in the Park @ 5:30-6:30pm
July 30: Free Chamber Music Series: Black Squirrel Winds @ 7pm
August 1: Movies in the Park: Goonies @ 7pm ($5 per ticket)
August 2: Movies in the Park: Get Out @ 7pm ($5 per ticket)
August 4: Free Sundays in the Park: Barbara Knight @ 1-4pm & The Singing Angels @ 4pm
August 6: Free Weeknight Jazz: Wind Machine @ 7pm
August 9: Movies in the Park: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone @ 7pm ($5 per ticket)
August 11: Free Sundays in the Park: Octo-Jazz @ 1-4pm
August 13: Free Chamber Series: Olympic Brass @ 7pm
August 14: Movies in the Park: Sing @ 1pm ($5 per ticket)
August 17: Movies in the Park: A Star is Born @ 7pm ($5 per ticket)
August 19: Yoga in the Park @ 5:30-6:30pm
Cleveland Museum of Art
My kids love to go here. They love to check out all of the armor and have lunch in the atrium. They find it peaceful and relaxing! And I like it for those reasons and because it’s FREE. Everyday, all day!
Wade Oval Wednesday
Bring a picnic and some lawn chairs and blankets and your Wednesday nights are set! Or bring money for the food trucks! There’s a variety of music to listen to each week and they are also showing free movies on certain Wednesdays! For more information, check it out here!
Free Mondays at the Cleveland Zoo
If your a Cuyahoga resident, you will want to take advantage of this great offer from the zoo. It does tend to get a little crowded on nicer days, so go early. Also, if it’s a holiday or special event, the zoo is not free. So make sure to check out their website before you go!
Tuesdays at Lake County Captains
Bring a non-perishable item to the game and receive a free ticket to that game. How cool is that? We just went and we had so much fun! Click here for the schedule!
Heinz Poll Summer Dance Festival
This one is outside of Cleveland, but we have heard it’s not to miss if you have dance kids! And we do, so we will be going! They offer beginner dance classes, master classes for more experienced dancers and free performances on July 26, 27 and August 2, 3, 9 & 10. Check it out here!
Free Touch a Truck
University Heights on June 21 from 10-12pm @ Purvis Park
Euclid on June 29 from 11-1pm @ Euclid Ice Arena
Legacy Village on August 11 from 12-4pm
City of Beachwood on September 15 from 12-3pm @ Manciple Service Center
We are seriously lucky to have the library systems we have in our area. Not only are they an awesome place for play dates and to have story time, but they also open a world to children by exploring different books and checking them out to take home. All libraries also have a plentiful children’s calendar with lots of different activities and for different age groups! So pick a few libraries that are close to you and try a different activity each week! Cleveland Public Libraries & Heights Library are just 2 outstanding ones in our area!
Like the libraries in our area, we are also really lucky to have the Metroparks. They offer endless opportunities to have fun and learn. They have free fishing derbies, hiking/walking/bike trails, playgrounds, picnic areas, and the list goes on. For more information, check out the Metroparks event website here.
Fish for Free
Children 16 and younger never need a fishing license, so take the kids fishing and sit back and relax with a nice cold drink…just make sure to take pictures for Mom!
Free Opera in the Italian Garden
Expose the kids to new music!! As a former opera singer, I love going to this event every year!! And now my kiddos ask Alexa to play opera all the time! Sunday, July 29 at 6:00pm in the Italian Cultural Garden
International Women’s Air & Space Museum
Located in the terminal of the Burke Lakefront Airport, this museum has a lot of interesting history about Amelia Earhart and the Wright Brothers sister, Katharine. This museum is free 7 days a week!
Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland Learning Center and Money Museum
Show your kids the power of money! With over 30 exhibits about all about money and it’s completely free!!
Shaker Lakes Nature Center
Spend some time outside at the Nature Center and enjoy the nature trails and exhibits that are free to enjoy. And coming soon, they are building an ADA accessible “All Peoples Trail”!
Museum of Contemporary Art
Another gem in our backyard is this museum. It’s free everyday and they switch exhibits regularly, so it’s always a cultural and interesting place to go!
Get into the Holiday Spirit with The Cleveland Botanical Garden’s A Garden Holiday now open!
Find the perfect Christmas Tree this Holiday Season and make memories that last a lifetime!
Community Baby Show helping over 30,000 families scheduled for November 21, 2021