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Best Things to Do with Kids in Cleveland

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From the Cleveland zoo to the Cleveland Children's Museum to attending a Cleveland Indians game, Northeast Ohio has a wealth of fun things to do for kids -- and their parents. Learn more about what to do with kids in Cleveland.

Cleveland Children's Museum

Cleveland Children's Museum, Cleveland Ohio
(courtesy of the Cleveland Children's Museum)
Also located at University Circle, the Children's Museum gives kids the opportunity to learn by doing fun things. Permanent exhibits include Splish! Splash!, which is all about water transportation; Bridges to the Community, where kids can push their own grocery carts, go through the check-out line, "bank" with play money, and pump their own "gas," among other activities; and The Big Red Barn, based on the book by Margaret Wise Brown and designed for the youngest kids (ages 0-4) and their caregivers, featuring a working silo, a barn slide, and an apple orchard.

Remember: admission is free the first Monday of every month in 2013.

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

Rain Forest Pavilion at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, Cleveland Ohio
(courtesy of travelcleveland.com)
The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is set amidst 165 wood acres, off of Fulton Avenue, just four miles south of downtown. It's a fascinating collection of animals from all over the world, many residing in natural-like, open-air settings. Favorite exhibits include the African elephants, the "Wolf Wilderness" exhibit, and the latest addition, the "Australian Adventure." A two-acre, enclosed Rain Forest features some of the myriad of wildlife found in the tropical jungle.

Great Lakes Science Center

(© 2006 S. Mitchell; Licensed to About. Inc.)
The ten-year-old Great Lakes Science Center, at Cleveland's Northcoast Harbor, just down the road from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, invites visitors of all ages to "learn by doing" with their 400 hands-on exhibits. You'll find features on technology, the environment, the body, and the Great Lakes. There are also interesting temporary shows and an adjacent OMNI-MAX theater.

Cleveland Museum of Natural History

Cleveland Museum of Natural History
(Gnu free license)
The Cleveland Museum of Natural History, located in Cleveland's University Circle area, is a treasure trove of over 4 million specimens. Exhibits include Dinosaur bones, natural gemstones and fossils, and a huge section on Ohio birds, plant life, insects, and archeology. A planetarium teaches kids and adults all about the moon, the stars, and the galaxy.

Lake Farmpark

Lake Farmpark, Kirtland Ohio
(© pixielauren/cc license)
Lake Farmpark is a delightful working farm and learning center, just 25 miles east of downtown Cleveland. See 50 different breeds of livestock, marvel at honey and maple syrup being made, and enjoy one of the many special events, such as the annual Holiday lights display at the park. It's fun for the whole family.

Greater Cleveland Aquarium

(courtesy of Do Toledo)
The Greater Cleveland Aquarium, located in the Powerhouse on the west bank of the Flats, opened on January 21, 2012. This Cleveland attraction features more than one million gallons of water and marine life than ranges from local Lake Erie fishes to exotic fish from around the globe.

Memphis Kiddie Park

(© Simply Jake/cc license)
Memphis Kiddie Park has been delighting young children -- and their parents -- since 1952. The park boasts miniature rides, old-style concessions, and an arcade -- all geared towards children 1-8 years old. An adjacent 18-hole miniature golf course is rated one of the best in the state.

Climb aboard the USS Cod

USS Cod
(© S. Mitchell; Licensed to About. Inc.)
The USS Cod is a retired World War II SS-224 submarine, moored at Cleveland's North Coast Harbor, near the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The USS Cod, a National Historic Site, is the only such vessel to be kept intact and visitors can climb the vertical ladders through its hatches, just as the sailors did during active duty.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

(Courtesy of the Cleveland CVB)
Cleveland's most popular attraction is fun for visitors of all ages. The museum's massive permanent collection features profiles of all of the Rock Hall inductees, with headphones that give you the chance to listen to the artist's music. There's also hand-written lyrics, stage costumes, and thousands of pieces of memorabilia, donated by the artists and their families. Make sure to visit the frequent temporary exhibits in the top floor gallery. Recent shows have featured The Doors, Bob Dylan, and the Beach Boys.

The Hershey Children's Garden at Cleveland Botanical Garden

(© 2006 S. Mitchell; Licensed to About, Inc.)
The Botanical Garden's Children's Garden is a magical place. Located at University Circle, nestled behind the Rose Garden and down from the Woodland Garden, it is a variety of flower and vegetable gardens with kid-size signs, gates, and fences. Fun features include a wheelchair accessible tree house, a cave, worm bins, a watery bog, and a scrounger's garden. It's one of the few Children's Gardens in the United States.
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