Cleveland is home to some really amazing attractions & many of them are absolutely FREE!
To make things easier for you, I’ve rounded up 25+ FREE things to do in our amazing city.
BONUS POINTS: They are all family-friendly!
(click on each location for additional info)
Original Image credit: Aerial Agents
1. The International Women’s Air & Space Museum – tap here for more info
Located in downtown Cleveland, The International Women’s Air & Space Museum is such a fun location hidden in plain site in the middle of downtown CLE. There are some really amazing exhibits here highlighting notable women in the air & space industry. Model airplanes are also a hit with the kids to look at. If you’re really lucky, you’ll see some planes take off & land since this is next door to Burke Lakefront Airport. Parking is free – make sure you don’t go into the lot that is in front of it & just park on the curb in front of the museum!
2. Cleveland Learning Center & Money Museum – tap here for more info
Cleveland’s Learning Center & Money Museum is open again! It’s operated by the Federal Reserve of Cleveland with more than 25 exhibits all about the history & production of currency. They are also offering virtual field trips so you can learn all about it from the comfort of your home.
3. Cleveland Police Museum – tap here for more info
Another great attraction that has reopened with limited days/hours; however, there is a ton of virtual experiences to explore on their website. Though small, it’s a really neat museum. When we went a few years ago, the jail cell replica was a favorite. There’s a lot of other notable/historical things to see here as well.
4. Cleveland Public Library Main Branch – tap here for more info
Cleveland Public Library’s Main Branch is an attraction all in itself. Besides the beautiful architectural structure, there are plenty of exhibits to see here. Our favorite thing to do here? Visit the observation deck on the 10th floor for great views of the city & don’t forget to spend some time in the beautiful reading garden.
5. Downtown Cleveland Trolley Rides – tap here for more info
Trolley rides downtown are absolutely FREE. Days & times vary so be sure to plan ahead with this. This is a super fun way to explore Cleveland with your kiddos.
6. Cleveland Soldiers’ & Sailors’ Monument – tap here for more info
The inside of this iconic Cleveland monument has limited hours but you could still have a great time checking out the incredible detail of this historical piece of Cleveland. Another fun thing to keep in mind for the future when they open up the free tours inside & underneath in the tunnels.
7. Visit The Free Stamp Downtown – tap here for more info
This 35 ton sculpture is a Cleveland favorite. What better free activity is there to do than take a pic at The Free Stamp!
8. Cleveland Museum of Art – tap here for more info
Considered one of the top art museums in the nation, visit for an hour or explore all day; free of charge to all. Renowned for the quality and breadth of its collection. Home to world-class exhibitions, art education, performing arts, and the innovative Gallery One. Be sure to visit the ArtLens Studio for interactive activities for kids & the young at heart!
9. Museum of Contemporary Art – tap here for more info
The Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland is a contemporary art museum in Cleveland & is the only contemporary art venue of its kind in Metropolitan Cleveland. Visit Judy’s Hand Sculpture right outside for a fun photo op!
10. Rockefeller Park Greenhouse – tap here for more info
The Rockefeller Park Greenhouse is a City-owned botanical garden & greenhouse that offers specialty plant collections, seasonal floral displays, & theme gardens. This beautiful, sustainable, & environmentally friendly place provides an inviting experience, especially during the holiday season.
11. Cleveland Museum of Natural History – tap here for more info (Cleveland & East Cleveland Residents free on Sundays)
Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation Community Days: Free admission on Sundays for City of Cleveland & East Cleveland residents with proof of residency. Reserved tickets are required. Ticket holders will be asked to present proof of residency at the ticket desk.
12. Go On A Free Self-Guided Walking Tour – tap here for more info
The Land Studio has created a #TheCityisOurMuseum self-guided walking tour to celebrate the public art & public spaces in Cleveland. Download the tour & go explore!
13. Transformer Station – tap here for more info *temporarily closed*
Transformer Station is a privately owned and operated art museum on Cleveland’s west-side. Located in Hingetown (on the corner of W. 29th St & Church Ave), the Transformer Station has quickly become an anchor destination in Cleveland’s rapidly evolving Ohio City neighborhood. The museum hosts four exhibitions annually.
14. Take A Pic With The Cleveland Signs – tap here for more info
There are 6 Cleveland script signs spread throughout Cleveland. Make a day of it & visit them all. FYI – one of them is in the airport. I’m not sure if it’s accessible from the outside; we usually just always grab a pic when we get back home from a flight.
15. NASA Glenn Research Center – tap here for more info
In normal times, the NASA Glenn Research Center offers guided tours for free with pre-registration. Right now, everything is virtual but another great thing to keep in mind for the future. We toured the center a few years ago when they had it open to the public & it was fantastic. We hope this will happen again soon.
16. Visit A Nature Center – tap here for more info
With over 10 local nature centers around, you’re bound to find one near you! Nature centers are a great place to learn some facts & most offer play areas for the kiddos!
17. Cleveland Metroparks Zoo – tap here for more info
If you are a resident of Cleveland or Hinckley Twp, be sure to take advantage of FREE Mondays! Just be sure to have your driver’s license that proves you’re a resident or bring a current bill (from Memorial Day to Labor Day.)
18. Lake Erie Nature & Science Center – tap here for more info
Located in Bay Village, the Lake Erie Nature & Science Center is a wonderful resource we have to visit for free. It’s home to a number of animal exhibits both indoors & outdoors along with interactive displays for the kiddos. For a small cost you can visit their planetarium.
19. Explore Cleveland Metroparks – tap here for more info
One of my favorite things about living in Cleveland is the amount of beautiful parks we have. Explore all 18 Cleveland Metroparks! Each has something unique & often offer fun programs.
20. Explore Lorain County Metro Parks – tap here for more info
Neighboring Cleveland to the west is Lorain County. Lorain County Metro Parks is home to some of the most beautiful parks in our area. Be sure to keep a look out on the calendar here for all the fun events they have to offer.
21. Avon Lake Public Library DiscoveryWorks – tap here for more info
Inside Avon Lake Public Library is DiscoveryWorks that is an incredible STEM based indoor learning center for kids. There are two spaces divided for younger kids & older kids each with their own unique sets of interactive activities to do. HIGHLY RECOMMEND!
22. Visit A Fun Library Play Space – tap here for more info
I’ve put together a list of 15+ locations that have fun play areas for kiddos!
23. Miller Nature Preserve – tap here for more info
Part of the Lorain County Metro Parks, the Butterfly House at the Miller Nature Preserve is FREE & recently renovated. It is open seasonally from mid-June until Labor Day. If you’d like to visit the conservatory here, there is a small charge of $2 per person.
24. Visit A Playground – tap here for more info
Our area is truly filled with such amazing playgrounds. No matter where you are, you’ll discover something new-to-you. Check out the list of 60+ Best Playgrounds up above or here.
25. Visit A Storybook Trail – tap here for more info
There’s about 19 storybook trails around Cleveland. These are super fun trails with books along the way for your kiddos to read while enjoying a walk in a scenic environment.
26. Visit Lake Erie Beaches – tap here for more info
We are so lucky to have so many beaches on the west side from Edgewater all the way to the gorgeous islands. Soak up the sun & plan a day to explore a new-to-you beach.
27. Visit A Splash Pad in the Summer – tap here for more info
There are seriously so many splash pads in the area. Cool off when it’s warm & have fun at one of the splash pads. Splash pads are typically open from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
28. Schoepfle Garden – tap here for more info
Schoepfle Garden is a gorgeous 77 acre garden in Wakeman & absolutely free. Part of the Lorain County Metro Parks, it features gorgeous blooms all year long as well as a children’s garden with playground, free carousel (see the calendar for days/times), & beautiful trails all throughout.
We checked out the Rocky River nature center today and loved it. We checked out the indoor center and then headed outside for a hike.
The hike was easy enough for me and my almost 4 year old. We even climbed all the stairs to check out the view and trail at the top.
So glad to hear it – those steps are no joke! 🙂