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Free Things to Do in Cleveland - Part 5

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Cleveland Ohio has an amazing array of small museums, art festivals, and concerts, all available for free. Learn more about what to do in Cleveland and the surrounding area, without spending a dime in this fifth installment of FREE things to do in Cleveland.

Allen Memorial Museum - Oberlin

Allen Museum - Oberlin University
(courtesy of Oberlin University)
The Allen Memorial Art Museum, at Oberlin College, was founded in 1917. The museum collection, which consists of over 11,000 objects, is considered to be one of the finest college or university collections in the United States. The Allen Museum is just a 45-minute drive from downtown Cleveland and admission is free.

Allen Memorial Art Museum
Oberlin College
87 N. Main St.
Oberlin, OH 44074
440 775-8665

Sundays at the Kent State University Museum

Kent State University Museum, Kent Ohio
(Courtesy of Kent State University)
The Kent State University Museum was founded in 1983 by fashion entrepreneurs Shannon Rodgers and Jerry Silverman and opened in 1985. Today, the museum houses one of the finest and largest collections of apparel and textiles in the United States. The museum rotates its holdings regularly and hosts a number of interesting special exhibits. Visit on Sundays; it's free.

Kent State University Museum
Rockwell Hall
Kent, OH 44242
330 672-3450

National McKinley Birthplace Memorial

William McKinley Tomb
(public domain photo)
Eight US presidents came from Ohio, including the 25th, William McKinley. McKinley was born in Niles, Ohio; married a prominent Canton socialite, Ida Saxton; and lived a good portion of his life in Canton. The National McKinley Birthplace Memorial honors this president who was assassinated in office. The marble monument and statue was dedicated in 1915 and welcomes visitors throughout the year. Admission to the monument is free.

National McKinley Birthplace Monument
46 N. Main St.
Niles, OH 44446
330 652-1704

Explore the Bridges of Ashtabula County

Netcher Road Bridge
(© istockphoto)
At one time, hundreds of covered bridges dotted the northeast Ohio countryside. A popular construction in 18th century Connecticut, the early settlers of the (Connecticut)Western Reserve brought this unique and charming architecture with them from New England. Today, less than 50 of these bridges exist, with the largest concentration being in Ashtabula County, an hour's drive east of downtown Cleveland.

Butler Institute of American Art

Butler Institute of American Art
(Courtesy of the Butler Institute of American Art)
The Butler Institute of American Art, in Youngstown, was to the museum to feature exclusively American Art. Founded in 1919, the museum's collection includes works by a large number of American masters, including Winslow Homer (and his "Snap the Whip"), Thomas Eakins, Edward Hopper, Mary Cassatt, and John Singer Sargent. The museum is open Thursday - Saturday from 11am to 4pm, Sunday from noon to 4pm, and on Wednesday from 11am to 8pm. Admission is free every day.

Butler Institute of American Art
524 Wick Ave.
Youngstown, OH 44502
330 743-1711

Temple Tifereth Israel Museum of Religious Art

Temple Tifereth Israel Museum of Religious Art - Cleveland Ohio
(© Stu Spivack; cc license)
Located at University Circle, Temple Tifereth Israel Museum of Relious Art houses an extensive -- and spectacular collection of Judaic Art. Although a portion of the collection has been moved to the Maltz Museum of Jewish History in Beachwood, there is still a large number of artifacts, antique Torah hangings, pottery dating from 2000 BCE, and other objects on display. The museum, founded in 1950, is open Monday through Friday by appointment, from 9am to 4pm. (photo © Stu Spivack;cc license)

Temple Tifereth Israel Museum of Religious Art
Silver Park at University Circle
Cleveland, OH 44106
216 831-3233

Medina Toy and Train Museum

Located right on the square in the center of Medina, this small museum features dozens of model train set-ups, interactive children's exhibits, model cars and airplanes dating back to 1900, and lots of dolls and toys. There's even an on-site library with books for loan about toys and trains. The museum is open Saturdays from 10am to 5pm and on Sundays from noon to 5pm. Admission is free.

Medina Toy and Train Museum
7 Public Square
Medina, OH 44256
330 764-4455

Cleveland Accordion Museum

America's first accordion museum is located in the Rocky River home of Jack and Kathy White. The multi-room facility includes over 300 accordions, hundreds of discs and pieces of sheet music, and even a shrine to Grammy-award-winning Cleveland accordion master, Frankie Yankovic. Admission is free, but since its a private home, call them first at 440 895-9223 or contact the Whites via email.

Cuyahoga County Archives

The Cuyahoga County Archives is housed in a 1874 Victorian Italianate mansion -- the Robert Russell Rhodes House -- in Cleveland's Ohio City. The archives houses a wealth of mundane, and historic, documents, including hundreds of Northeast Ohio maps, dating from 1835 to the present, as well as deeds, census information, and other statistics. The archives is also the place to start researching your family tree. The site houses birth, death, and marriage records from 1909 and before. Hours are Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 830am to 3pm.

Cuyahoga County Archives
2905 Franklin Blvd.
Cleveland Ohio 44113
216 443-7250

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