Northeast Ohio Summer Activities

Looking for something to do this summer?  We always are!  Here’s my list of favorite places and spaces for families with young kids.  I’ve listed prices and hours, as well as my quick review or what I think is important info.  Click on the name of any activity to be taken to its home web page.  Feel free to share or pin but link back to my blog, please!

Tuscora Park

Perfect for young kids.  A few small carnival rides, swimming pool, mini golf, and an enormous free play ground.  The food is good and cheap, too!  BRING CASH-they do not take credit or debit and the nearest ATM is inconveniently far away.

M-TH 4:30-8  F-Sun 12-8

.75 per ride ticket or $6 for 10

McKinley Museum and Discover World

The museum is great and has some awesome interactive exhibits, including a replica of an early 1900’s street complete with shops, and Discovery World is full of fun experiments and just got a remodel this year.  I highly recommend purchasing the family membership for $60-it pays for itself in 2 visits and gets you into lots of other museums at discounted rates or even free.  We’ve had a membership for the past three years and never regretted it once!

M-Sat 9-4  Sun 12-4

$8 adult    $6 child     2 and under FREE

Akron Zoo

I consider this the perfect zoo for young children.  It is not huge, so you can get through it in an hour or two, also known as “just about the time kids get bored.”  The exhibits are designed to allow you to get very close to the animals, and they are often literally inches away, which is great for small kids!  I’m not a fan of trying to point out a single zebra in a five acre field to my 3-year-old.  The food can be a little expensive, but you can bring in a picnic lunch if you want.  Oh, and they are adding a new Grizzly Ridge exhibit July 2013, which looks amazing!

I strongly recommend the membership here, as well.  It’s only about $70, which again pays for itself in 2 visits and gets you discounted or free admission to lots of other zoos, aquariums, and aviaries.

10-5 Daily

$10 adult     $6 child

 

Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

I’m sad to say I’ve never been to this zoo, but I’ve heard really good things.  We plan on going this summer-admission is half off if you have a membership to the Akron Zoo!  There’s an attached waterpark, too, but I don’t think we’ll be visiting as water parks are hard sells for me when my kids are too young to swim or ride the waterslides, etc.  Check it out if you have older kids and let me know how it is!

9-7 Daily

$9 child     $14 adult

Cleveland Zoo

This zoo is fantastic.  Lots of exhibits and a nice mix of indoor and outdoor animals so you can get some relief during hot summer (or rainy) days.  Trams are available, too, for when little (and big) feet get tired.  They also have The Rainforest, which is an amazing indoor replication of a rainforest environment, it even really rains! (On the animals, not you.)  This zoo is also half off if you have an Akron Zoo membership, and you can take a picnic here as well.

M-F 10-5  Sat-Sun 10-7

$11 adult     $8 child     2 and under FREE

COSI

I seriously love COSI.  It is divided into lots of scientific areas-the picture above is from an interactive water exhibit-and literally everything is interactive and up for investigation!  There’s something for everyone-water and Earth exhibits, a reproduction of an historical street, and a gigantic room designed just for kids age 10 and under.  There’s also a piano that makes human body noises like farts and burps-if your children are anything like mine, that’s a day’s entertainment all by itself.

COSI is totally free if you have a McKinley Museum membership as mentioned above…which is pretty sweet considering admission for our family would be $49 and the membership itself only costs $60.  We are thinking of taking a weekend trip to Columbus to visit the zoo and COSI together-it’ll be practically free thanks to our two memberships!

Mon-Sat 10-5  Sun 12-6

$14.75 adult     $9.75 child

Great Lakes Science Center

The Science Center is similar to COSI but different enough that a visit to both is well worth your time.  Again, they have a great kids’ area that you could spend most of the day in!  They also have an Omnimax theatre, but it only shows science movies-although they are always really cool.  This place is also FREE if you have a membership to the McKinley Museum-see how it pays for itself?  AND it is literally right next door to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Tower City, Progressive Field…the list goes on!  It’s easy to make a fun day of with any age, really.

Open Daily 10am-5pm

$14 adult     $12 child

Random Story-We went up last time the Titantic Exhibit was there, and at the beginning they give you a card with a name on it.  At the end, you can look at the passenger roster to see if “you” survived or not.  We got to witness an older man turn around and say to his wife “There!  I’m dead!  Are you happy now?”  and walk away.  Awkward….

Rolling Ridge Ranch

Absolutely one of our favorite places to go every summer.  You climb up in a wagon and trek through the woods, and whenever the wagon stops, tame animals come up asking to be fed!  Everything from deer and zebras to ostriches and pot-bellied pigs!!  The picture opportunities are endless.  They also have a picnic area, a playground, and an extremely nice petting zoo.  Warning-bathrooms are the porta-potty kind in case you are squeamish.

Mon-Sat 9-5

Adult $15.95     Child $10.95     2 and under FREE

*printable $2 coupon on their website

Baylor Beach

The perfect beach for kids.  Nice and sandy bottom, zero-depth walk in, and the perfect mix of little slides for the toddlers and big water slides for adults, teens and tweens.  This is my girls’ favorite place…EVER.  I think it may even beat out grandma’s house.  They seriously ask to go once a week…even in December.  Also important-they keep the changing rooms very very clean.  There’s mini golf and a fairly priced concession stand, too, or you can pack your own picnic as long as it doesn’t feature booze or glass.  You can also camp and extend your stay although I have never been brave enough to do so with small children…

June/July 11am-8pm

August 11am-7pm

$6 per person     3 and under FREE

Sunnyslope Orchard

You can pick your own strawberries here!  Just get a bucket and head out to the field, come in when you’re bucket is full and/or you’re tired.  It’s a really unique experience!  The store has the BEST local homemade candies, cheeses, beef jerkey, ice cream….mmmmmmm (drool)

June-call ahead for availability

$10-20 depending on quantity

Massillon Recreation Center

Great for a rainy day! (Or winter)  The indoor aquatics area features a kiddie play pool, a lap pool, a lazy river, and two water slides!  It’s like Kalahari and all that whatnot…but close and cheap!  Check their website for special events and swim classes, too.  (Also the locker rooms are nice and clean-bonus!!)

Mon-Thurs 6-8   Fri 6-7:30   Sat 8-7:30   Sun 12-5:30

$6 each for the day   3 and under FREE

 

Pump It Up

Make sure your kiddos have socks on and eat AFTER you are done jumping!!  Other than that, it’s an enormous building full of bounciness…need I say more?!

Mon-Fri 10am-3pm

$8 each kid, adults and kiddos too young to jump are FREE

Wilmot Wilderness Center

We’ve never been here, but we are planning on going!  Lots of nature trails and an interactive building, too!  I printed off nature scavenger hunts from pinterest for our future visit.  If you’ve been there, share your reviews in the comments!

Tues-Sat 9-5    Sun  1-5

Admission is FREE

Special Events: http://www.wildernesscenter.org/calendar.html

 

Stark County Library

Go to the library.  Get books.  Read stories.  They’re FREE.  Just do it-it’s the best thing you can do for your kids…and yourself!!  Look online for fun summer activities, but don’t wait for those-just GO!!

The Lynn Drive-In

Added by popular demand from my fans, the Lynn is amazing and I can’t believe I forgot it!  The second oldest drive-in in the world, it is great family fun.  They play double features on two different screens every day during the summer, and their concession stand is super affordable, too…or you can bring your own snacks! (Without having to smuggle them in)  You can stay in the car or sit on the lawn, but bring bug spray!

$6 per adult, ages 5-11 $2, 5 and under are FREE (awesome prices!!)

Hours-first feature usually begins about 9:00 or so, check website for exact times and what movies are showing, get there early if there’s a blockbuster showing!!

 

If anyone has anything to add….PLEASE do so in the comments so we can all share!!

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July Fan-dom

Once again, I have been most regrettably absent.  My apologies.  I gotta tell you though, it’s only going to get worse once the school year starts.  I do adore my little bloglette, but with school and grad school and two kids in school- (School in every flavor, really.) -I just know the blog is going to suffer.

So, things I enjoyed in July.  Sorry it’s August 12th and all.

Idlewild

I mentioned it this post, but it deserves another go ’round.  Clean, family- friendly.  Amazing.  I’d recommend it in a red-hot second to anyone with younger children.  Thrill-seekers?  Not really, since there are only two coasters.  But families? Oh yes!  Please try out this park!  You can tell them I sent you and you’ll…get a funny look probably.  So maybe don’t tell them that. 🙂

thriftbooks.com

This is my new favorite site!  I freaking love to read as I have mentioned before.  But books are expensive.  And yes, I own a Nook, but that doesn’t replace my irrepressible desire to hold an ink and paper book and breathe in lignin fumes. Thriftbooks lets me do that.  Very similar to its cousin half.com, it offers thousands of books at bargain prices, plus they ALL have free shipping!  Heaven on Earth for a bibliophile like me!  Check it out!

How I Met Your Mother

This show.  Legendary!  Fans will get it.  If you liked Friends, you’ll like this show.  And since I still cry myself to sleep at night over the series finale of Friends (not really), I’ve been looking for a substitute light comedy.  This is it.  My husband and I stream it on Netflix and quite frankly laugh our asses off.  We tried to watch one episode while the girls were around, thinking it was a “kid safe” show, but of course that was the one episode that Barney yelled the word PENIS and then Corinne had to run around demanding to know what a penis is.  So we wait until they go to bed to watch now.  Still.  A laugh a minute.  Love it!

Fun.

This band is great.  I fell in love with their song “We Are Young” after I heard it on Glee, and when I heard the new single “Some Nights,” I just gave in and bought the CD.  I think it’s the first CD I’ve purchased in like three years.  Usually I just download a song or two off Itunes, but the whole CD is really, really good.  I’ll attempt to post the video for Some Nights below, but my blog seems to have something against videos.

Hell’s Kitchen and Masterchef

I know that the reality TV ship has long since sailed, but I remain a die-hard fan of these two shows every summer.  (And Survivor and The Amazing Race in the fall.)  There’s just something about cooking competition shows!  I watch them on Food Network all the time, too.  Also, I think Chef Ramsay is a hoot.  Telling someone to piss off might be on my bucket list.  This should be my cue to put a recipe on my July Fan-dom list, but unfortunately I was extremely lazy in July and cooked nothing new.  Sorry!

Thankful in November

At the beginning of November, I noticed many of my friends posting that they were going to put up a status everyday stating something they are thankful for.  There were also people claiming they were not going to shave all month and that they were going to do a blog post everyday.

Well, I think my husband would kind of object to the whole “no shaving thing.”  My legs.  Not my face.  God, people.

And yeah, a blog post a day sounds nice and all, but I’m the first to admit my life just is not that interesting.  I mean, as I type this I’m sitting at home on a Saturday night watching Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire on ABC Family.  Didn’t you just die of the excitement in that sentence?  I know I did.

But something I’m thankful for everyday?  I could probably swing that.  And so I did.  It became a committment, something I made sure I never skipped. 

It also became a really cool time to be introspective, because honestly there were grumpy/tired/rotten days when I was on Facebook at 11:00pm muttering “I’m thankful for friggin’ NUTHIN” under my breath.  But then I always thought of something, and it really helped me focus on the positive, even if it was something teeny-weeny!

So of COURSE I saved all my posts so I could look at the whole month’s worth!  It’s actually pretty cool (well, I think so, anyways).  So, here it is: my month of thankfulness.  With comments, of course!  In parentheses!! because I forgot to mention it in November, but I am so awesomely amazingly thankful for parentheses because HOORAY PARENTHESES!!!

November 1

Today I’m thankful for the sunny weather that let me take the girls outside while I cleaned out the garden.

(Ripping it all up was actually rather gratifying.  Plus I love any reason to utilize hedge clippers.)

 November 2

Thankful today for: being a good resource for my fellow staff members at Watson. I really appreciate that they are comfortable coming to me when they have questions or need some help! 🙂

( I had just run my first staff meeting!)

 November 3

Thankful today for little things today: the joy on my daughters’ faces when they showed everyone their fancy painted fingernails.

 (Took them to the salon since Corinne had stopped biting.  Oh, have I mentioned that I was an EPIC FAIL on the not biting?  Indeed.)

November 4
Today I am thankful for all the family that stopped by to wish my hubby a happy birthday. It was nice to see you all!
(Shhhhh, I’m also thankful he’s thirty and I’m not.  Yet.)

 November 5
Thankful today for layaway. It gives us a much better structured way to finance Christmas for our family! Thanks to Deanne for cluing us in to the fact that Toys’R’Us now has layaway! We got Christmas AND Corinne’s birthday finished!!
 (Also?  Kmart layaway.  It’s the best.)

November 6

Thankful today for Aldi’s! That place knocks some serious money off the grocery bill! 🙂

November 7
Following in the theme of the day, I am so thankful for my friends. Great friends are very rare, but I’m happy there are several on my list. You know who you are!
(Everyone seemed to be thankful for friends on this day.  So I was a copy cat.  This is also when people started disappearing from the “Thankful in November” posts.)

November 8
I am thankful for every.single.person that is or has voted NO on issue 2 today.
(THANK YOU OHIO YOU ROCCCKKKKK!!!!)

November 9
Thankful for my parents. Who’ve been married 32 years and still tease each other and  laugh together.
(I wanna be like them when I grow up.)

 November 10
Today I am thankful for authors whose hard work and creativity produce great books.
(Anne McCaffrey, Brian Jacques, Suzanne Collins, J.K Rowling, Dean Koontz, I could go on and on and on…)

November 11
Thankful for our veterans today and remembering my Grandpa Mauger.
(Miss you Grandpa..I know you’re watching over my girlies from Heaven!)

November 12
Thankful today for my Keurig.

November 13
OMG-Today I am SO thankful for my Bissel Proheat Carpet Scrubber. My living room carpet looks BRAND new…definitely some money well spent!!

(Within two days of this post, the dog chewed a red marker up on the carpet, Ashlynn dumped an entire bowl of chili on it, and at least three drinks were spilled.  Sigh.  It was like an invitation, you guys.  Like it was a challenge or something.  Oh well, I’ll scrub again before Christmas!)

November 14
As shallow as this may seem, today I am totally thankful for my DVR.

 November 15
Today I am thankful for my amazing husband. I could rave on and on, but let’s just say he does anything and everything for our family. If there’s a man lottery, I 100% hit the jackpot. Love you, sweetie!!
(I am posting this on December 3rd, the 12th anniversary of our first date.  Still remember it like yesterday.  And I love that man more than I ever dreamed!)

November 16
Thankful today for laughter and sarcasm (for me, sarcasm  usually=laughter.)
This is where I was down to like, me and two other friends doing these posts.  Everyone else copped out.  Go perseverance!

November 17
Today I am thankful for my job. Not only for just HAVING a job in this economy, but for having one that I love. Seriously-it’s like it’s not even work.
(And I get 16 days off this year for Christmas this year!  The vacations aren’t why I teach…but they’re a rockin’ fringe benefit.)

November 18
Corinne singing
NO clue if this video will post.  Sorry.  But it’s Corinne singing “You Are My Sunshine.”

November 19
I am thankful today for my extended family. I enjoyed seeing Grandma, Jeremy, Kelly, Becky, Cathy, Dan, Brock, Grandma, Sally and Kirk tonight!!
(Yeah, there were a lot more people there.  Apparently Facebook kind of freaks out if your try to tag 15 people in one status.  And I deleted last names for privacy.)

November 20
Thankful today for my organizational skills. Between my parents and teachers, you have taught me well!!
(I have no idea why I posted this.  Maybe I cleaned the house or something?)

November 21
Thankful today for the health of my children. No feeling beats the feeling of the pediatrician telling you they miss your kids since they only see them once a year at well visit time.
(Sorry all you Facebook friends that were talking about sick children…you definitely inspired this one.  Hope your little ones all felt better quickly!)

November 22
Today I am thankful for craftiness, art supplies, and the ability to sit around on a cold rainy day and make “awesome stuff” with my kids.

November 23
Today I am thankful for my home. It may not be the biggest house on the block, but we love it and I’ve never once second thought our choice. Home is where the heart is!!

November 24
Today I am thankful for family and good food.
(I was too full of good food to think of anything better on Thanksgiving, apparently.)

November 25
Today I am thankful for the Christmas spirit that is pervasive in my house. The holidays are always wonderful, but having children makes them truly special and magical!!
( I am pee my pants excited about Christmas.  In case you didn’t notice.)

November 26
I am thankful today for this gorgeous weather. We played outside for two hours AND got all the outdoor stuff stowed away for winter.
(Which means it will be winter here until May.  Sigh. Enjoyed it now, though!)

November 27
Today I am thankful for the sweet laughter of my daughters and their amazing sense of humor.

November 28
Today I’m thankful for Disney Junior and Nick Jr. Most of their shows are fun and educational, and my girls adore them.
(But NOT Yo Gabba Gabba.  God.  Who was tripping on LSD when they made that show?  And that one guy looks like a bumpy orange penis.  Gross.)

November 29
Today I’m thankful for Facebook. It’s a wonderful way to keep in touch with friends and family and I love seeing all the wedding, baby and etc pictures!!
(And to waste hours worth of time.)

 November 30
Today I am thankful that I have so many things to be thankful for! I am truly blessed and taking this “30 Days of Thankful” challenge has made me more aware of that!
Annnndddd…the end.  I hope everyone had as much of a blessed November as I did.  Coming up next…November Fan-Dom.  (I promise by the end of this coming week.)

(I had to end with parentheses!)

((YAY PARENTHESES!))

(((Bye Bye Now!)))