Are you looking for things to do in Cleveland with teens? We’ve got you covered with our list of 40+ things to see in do in The Land.
Things to do in Cleveland with Teens
Cleveland’s proximity to Lake Erie and easily walkable downtown district make this city an ideal place for family getaways. Book a hotel downtown and make a weekend out of it or plan a day trip and pack in the fun.
You’ll find world-class museums, food tours to fill your bellies, and quirky public art to fuel your laughter and create amazing memories.
A Christmas Story House
3159 W 11th St, Cleveland; (216) 298-4919
If you haven’t seen the movie “A Christmas Story” start there. It’s a family classic, best enjoyed on a cold, snowy day before Christmas. After you’ve seen the movie, you can visit the real house from the movie. There’s a museum and a gift shop where you can buy your own pink “deranged Easter bunny” suit or a Red Ryder BB Gun. You can even rent out the house for an overnight stay!
Annie’s Signature Sweets Baking Class
1929 E 61st St, Cleveland; (216) 832- 8087
Baking together is a great way to bond with your teen, and these classes take the hard work out of baking. Located inside Dave’s Market & Eatery, the teaching kitchen offers a variety of baking classes throughout the year. Learn how to make bagels, macarons, and cakes, or sign your kids up for a 3-day summer baking camp.
Cinematheque at Cleveland Institute of Art
11610 Euclid Ave, Cleveland; (216) 421-7000
Check out alternative and indie films at the Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque. Choose from classic, foreign, and independent films running 50 weeks of the year. See an exclusive showing for a very reasonable ticket price at this 75-seat theater. With limited seating, it’s always a good idea to purchase your tickets in advance.
Cleveland Cultural Gardens
10823 Magnolia Dr, Cleveland; (216) 220-3075
This unique collection of gardens is a great place to take a stroll and learn about the different cultures that make up Cleveland’s history. You’ll find gardens honoring some of Cleveland’s sister cities, like Fier, Albania. All told, there are over two dozen gardens to explore, either on a guided tour, or self-guided tour using their app.
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
3900 Wildlife Way, Cleveland;(216) 661-6500
A day at the zoo is always a good idea for kids of all ages. The Cleveland Zoo has nearly 200 acres and a strong dedication to wildlife conservation. Besides their amazing collection of exhibits, there are tons of cool programs that can make your visit extra special. From a golf cart tour of the zoo to a day spent shadowing a zookeeper, make this is a day your teen won’t soon forget!
Cleveland Museum of Art
11150 East Blvd, Cleveland; (216) 421-7350
Some teens love art, while others have to be dragged to an art museum. If you happen to have an art-loving teen, don’t miss the Cleveland Museum of Art! The collection is quite impressive, with over 45,000 works of art that include paintings, sculptures, and other historic artifacts. Best of all, this museum is free!
Cleveland Museum of Natural History
1 Wade Oval Dr, Cleveland; (216) 231-4600
Another great Cleveland museum that science-minded teens will enjoy is the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. Located in University Circle, just five miles east of downtown, this museum has an extensive collection of more than four million specimens. Collections include paleontology, archeology, mineralogy, and more! They also have special STEM programs for teens, as well as summer camps.
Cleveland Police Museum
1300 Ontario St, Cleveland; (216) 623-5055
Have a future law enforcement professional in the family? This free museum is located in the Justice Center in downtown Cleveland. Covering the history of the police force from the mid-1800s through today, the museum has an impressive collection of stories and artifacts including pieces from the Torso murders. If you have a child who loves to watch true crime shows, this is the museum for you! The museum has limited hours, so be sure to call ahead so you don’t miss out!
Cleveland Orchestra at Severance Hall
11001 Euclid Ave, Cleveland; (216) 231-7300
For musically-inclined teenagers, they’ll never forget their first grand performance. A trip to the Cleveland Orchestra packs a double punch, as you’ll be treated to world-class music in a grand, historic concert hall. Severance Hall opened in 1931 and is now on the National Register of Historic Places. The orchestra is regularly rated as one of the top orchestras in the United States. In the summer months, you can catch a live performance outdoors at the nearby Blossom Music Center in Cuyahoga Falls.
Cleveland State University
2121 Euclid Avenue; (216) 687-5411
Is your teen starting to think about college choices? A campus tour at Cleveland State University is a great way to foster those conversations and see what options might be available. Cleveland State has been recognized as the top public university in Ohio for the graduation rates of economically disadvantaged students. There are great programs to study, and campus tours are offered twice a day, Monday through Friday. Show your teen what campus life is like in Cleveland!
Cleveland Script Selfies
There are six Cleveland Script Signs around the city; they are placed in fun locations and are a great place to get those selfies for the ‘gram. Making a scavenger hunt to find all six can be a fun exercise in navigation for your teen.
Check out the Cleveland signs at these locations:
- Tremont – 1502 Abbey Ave.
- Edgewater Park – 6500 Cleveland Memorial Shoreway, Cleveland
- North Coast Harbor – East 9th Street Pier
- Euclid Beach – 16301 Lakeshore Blvd.
- Cleveland Hopkins International Airport – 5300 Riverside Dr.
- The Foundry – 1831 Columbus Rd.
177 Market Street, Westlake; 440-835-9343
For an all-in-one destination, Crocker Park is a great choice. This entertainment complex in the Cleveland suburbs has tons of fun things to do with your teens. Whether you are back-to-school shopping or want to catch the latest movie at a state-of-the-art theater, you can do it all at Crocker Park. There are also tons of restaurants like The Cheesecake Factory, Five Guys, and Texas de Brazil. The newest addition to Crocker Park is the Urban Air Adventure Park, an amazing indoor adventure park, complete with trampolines, go-karts, and climbing walls.
Cuyahoga Valley National Park
15610 Vaughn Road, Brecksville; 440 717-3890
Ohio’s only national park is well worth the short drive from Cleveland. Younger teens may still get a kick out of getting their Parks Passport stamped, and the park caters to all ages of visitors. Hiking and biking are two of the most popular park activities, as well as paddling the river or taking a ride on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad. The park hosts many events like guided hikes and ranger talks as well.
Dittrick Medical History Center at Case Western Reserve University
1000 Euclid Ave, Cleveland; (216) 368-3648
When it comes to quirky museums in Ohio, this one is at the top of the list. The collection began in 1898, while the museum opened as part of a medical library in 1926. Today’s collection includes artifacts, rare books, and images. For teens who are interested in science and medicine, this is a fascinating collection to explore with items like the Hall of Diagnostic Instruments. Admission is free.
Cleveland Lakefront; 216.635.3200
Cleveland Metroparks has an impressive array of parks and preserves, including 18 reservations that circle the Cleveland Metro area. Besides the zoo, Edgewater Park is one of the best parks in the system. Boasting 9000 feet of shoreline, this is the perfect spot for a day of soaking in the sun, paddling on the lake, or combing for sea glass. There’s a swimming beach, a dog beach, a fishing pier, and concessions.
100 Alfred Lerner Way, Cleveland; (440) 891-5001
FirstEnergy Stadium is home to the NFL Cleveland Browns, so if you have a teen that loves football, treating them to an NFL game will be a big hit! When it’s not football season, you’ll still find lots of cool events at the stadium. Everything from huge concerts to monster truck rallies, and they may even offer tours when there are no other events going on.
Glass Bubble Project
2421 Bridge Avenue, Cleveland; 216-696-7043
Sign up for a glass blowing class at the Glass Bubble Project and get hands-on instruction as you create your own masterpiece. The prices at this workshop are quite reasonable, and it’s a fun way to spend some one-on-one time with your teen. They also offer welding, sculpture, and windchime classes.
Greater Cleveland Aquarium
2000 Sycamore St, Cleveland; (216) 862-8803
Another must-see Cleveland attraction for all ages is the aquarium. Set on the banks of the Cuyahoga River, the historic building houses approximately 5,000 creatures spread across several different themed exhibits. Learn about Ohio Lakes & Rivers, Indonesia, the Pacific Ocean, and more. Once a month, they hold high school career day, offering teens a glimpse into career options at the aquarium.
Greater Cleveland Food Bank
Instilling a sense of community service is so important, and volunteering together is a great way to bond as a family. The Greater Cleveland Food Bank offers many volunteer opportunities for teens as young as 14, as long as they are accompanied by a parent. You can register online, watch a quick orientation video and then schedule your volunteer sessions. Show your teens that it feels good to do good!
Great Lakes Science Center
601 Erieside Ave, Cleveland; (216) 694-2000
Another great spot for science-minded teens is the Great Lakes Science Center. With hundreds of hands-on exhibits, visitors can learn about science, energy, space, and gravity. The Center is also home to the NASA Glenn Visitor Center, with tons of cool NASA artifacts. They also have an IMAX Theater, kids’ camps, and special events throughout the year.
Go Ape Adventure Course at Mill Stream Run Reservation
16200 Valley Parkway, Strongsville; 800-971-8271
If you’re looking for creative ways to spend time outdoors as a family, this spot in Southwest Cleveland has tons of adventure. They have ziplines, ropes courses, axe throwing, and an outdoor forest version of an escape room. The minimum age to participate is 10, so it’s perfect for a day out with your teenager.
825 E 9th Street Pier, Cleveland; 216-861-5110
To see Cleveland from a new angle, head out for a cruise on the lake! Cleveland’s largest sightseeing ship offers two-hour cruises along the Cuyahoga River and the Lake Erie shoreline. Cruise options include sightseeing, lunch or dinner cruises, or themed entertainment cruises. The sightseeing tour is a great way to get to know the city. Whether you’re from Cleveland or just visiting, you’ll learn a lot about the city!
Haunted Cleveland Ghost Tours
If you’re visiting Cleveland in the fall, why not take a ghost tour to learn about the darker side of Cleveland? Cleveland Ghost Tours have been scaring visitors since 1999. Visit some of Cleveland’s most macabre sights, including famous murder locations. Multiple tours offer different themes, and some include private tours of spots like Public Square or the Police Museum. This is definitely better suited for older teens, as it’s pretty spooky!
International Women’s Air & Space Museum
1501 N Marginal Rd Ste. 165, Cleveland; (216) 623-1111
This Cleveland museum is an inspiration to women of all ages, with a mission to promote women in aviation and space exploration. The collection features artifacts, photographs, news articles, textiles, and art work from women in aviation and space. The museum often hosts guest speakers and book readings, as well as fundraisers locally. They also offer guided tours, children’s programs, and lunch and learn sessions.
Lake View Cemetery
12316 Euclid Ave, Cleveland; (216) 421-2665
If your teen likes history or spooky destinations, you have to check out Lake View Cemetery. It’s one of my favorite places to go in Cleveland. It’s often referred to as an outdoor art museum, thanks to its intricate statues, memorials, and mausoleums that are like works of art. The James Garfield memorial is probably the most impressive, at 180 feet tall! Read our post about Lake View Cemetery so you don’t miss anything while you’re there.
Little Italy of Cleveland
Among the many cultural enclaves of Cleveland, the Little Italy neighborhood is one of the most fun to visit. Located just east of downtown, this vibrant neighborhood has been home to Italian immigrants since the late 19th century. Of course, this is the best place to find Italian food in Cleveland, and the neighborhood also has a fun calendar of events like art walks and food festivals.
Lolly the Trolley
1101 Winslow Ave, Cleveland; (216) 771-4484
Taking a trolley tour is one of the best ways to get to know a new city. You’ll learn about the city and get the lay of the land so you can decide where to start exploring first. Lolly the Trolley offers one and two-hour tours of Cleveland with a narrated overview of the best Cleveland attractions. Have a group of teens? Rent a private trolley tour!
1867 W 25th St, Cleveland; (216) 861-2799
For a classic Cleveland treat, head to Mitchell’s Homemade for some of the best ice cream in Ohio. The Mitchell brothers opened shop in 1999 and have been perfecting the art of ice cream ever since. They have expanded to nine locations around the greater Cleveland area, but the Ohio City Flagship location in a refurbished theater is the most unique!
Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland
11400 Euclid Ave, Cleveland; (216) 421-8671
Cleveland is blessed with many great museums, including this modern take on art. moCa is a free art museum with a continually rotating collection of modern art. In addition to new collections every season, the moCa also has a great lineup of programs and presentations.
Playhouse Square Chandelier
1501 Euclid Ave., Cleveland; 216-241-6000
The world’s largest outdoor chandelier is a great place to take photos and selfies. Cleveland’s Theater District is home to eight performance venues, many of them in striking historic buildings. It’s only fitting that they are flanked by such an elegant and extravagant chandelier.
2401 Ontario St, Cleveland; (216) 420-4487
Baseball fans won’t want to miss out on a ballgame at Progressive Field, home to the newly minted Cleveland Guardians, formerly known as the Cleveland Indians. When the Guardians are away, Progressive Field has other events like concerts and stadium tours. Along with Rocket Mortgage Field House, Progressive Field is a major part of downtown Cleveland’s Gateway Sports and Entertainment Complex.
Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
1100 E 9th St, Cleveland; (216) 781-7625
Arguably Cleveland’s most famous attraction, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is a must for you and your teen when visiting Cleveland. Even the building is unique; the glass pyramid was built on the lakeshore in 1995. Fans of all music genres will enjoy the extensive collection of exhibits and archives. Live music is often planned at the Rock Hall as well.
Rocket Mortgage Field House
1 Center Court, Cleveland; (216) 420-2000
Another major sports venue in Cleveland is the Rocket Mortgage Field House, home to the Cleveland Cavaliers NBA team and the AHL Cleveland Monsters. Located in the Gateway District alongside Progressive Field, the Field House hosts basketball games, concerts, comedy shows, and performances like Stars on Ice.
Stir Studio Kitchen
4461 Lorain Ave, Cleveland; (440)829-3136
Prefer cooking over baking? Sign up for a cooking class at Stir Studio Kitchen. Cooking and sharing delicious food is a great way to bond as a family, without the stress of deciding on a recipe, shopping for ingredients, and cleaning up after the meal! With locations in Ohio City and Chagrin Falls, you can choose from several different classes, including Indian, Italian, and German cuisine.
Tabletop Board Game Cafe
1810 W 25th St, Cleveland; (216) 512-3053
Looking for a fun rainy day activity with your teen? The Tabletop Board Game Cafe is a great place to spend an afternoon. With over 1,200 board games and spacious tables for playing, this unique cafe is popular with locals and visitors alike. Reservations are recommended during the week, while weekends are walk-in only. In addition to the board games, there’s a great menu of sandwiches, flatbreads, snacks, and desserts.
Taste Cleveland Food Tours
Location varies by tour; 216-395-0132
Not sure which of Cleveland’s restaurants to try? It can be overwhelming as there are so many great places to eat in Cleveland. Why not join a food tour? Whether your teen is a picky eater or garbage disposal, food tours offer a great opportunity to try several different dishes at some of the area’s best restaurants. Taste Cleveland offers tours in Tremont, Little Italy, and the West Side Market.
Terminal Tower Observation Deck
230 W Huron Rd, Cleveland; (216) 623-4750
For a unique view of downtown Cleveland, head to the Observation Deck at Terminal Tower. This Cleveland skyscraper opened in 1928 above the train station. Today, it houses luxury apartments and an observation deck on the 42nd floor. With beautiful views of Cleveland and Lake Erie, it’s a great place to take some photos. The observation deck is open on weekends from mid-April through mid-December, and advance tickets are required.
1201 N Marginal Rd, Cleveland; (440) 832-9722
Is your teen considering a career in the navy, or just interested in WWII history? Don’t miss the chance to go aboard a WWII US Navy submarine. Self-guided tours are available daily beginning in April, and interactive exhibits help visitors understand life aboard a commissioned submarine. Special commemorations are held on holidays in the summer months.
Wade Oval at University Circle
10820 East Blvd, Cleveland; (216) 791-3900
The Wade Oval at University Circle is a great destination any time of year. Winter brings an outdoor ice skating rink, while the summer months have a whole host of fun activities. Choose from several life-size lawn games like bocce and Connect Four, and summer concerts on the lawn.
West Side Market
1979 W 25th St, Cleveland; (216) 664-3387
Have an aspiring chef or foodie in the family? West Side Market is Cleveland’s oldest public market, with more than 100 vendors. The market opened in 1912 and is now on the National Register of Historic Places. Shop for fresh meat, seafood, produce, baked goods, and more. This is a great place to shop for ingredients, or just pick up a sweet treat after a day of exploring Cleveland.
Worden’s Ledges at Hinckley Reservation
Many teens might balk at hiking with their parents, but this hike has hidden art that just might entice them along. The trail is only a mile long, so it’s an easy stop while exploring other parts of the Cuyahoga Valley. The hike itself is a nice meander through the woods, and searching for the nine rock carvings makes it even more fun. If you enjoy time outdoors, a visit to Worden’s Ledges will not disappoint.
Buy My Book for More Ideas
Did you know that I’m the author of several Cleveland-based travel guides? Click on the image below to learn more about each of them.
I hope this list (and my books) inspire you to visit Cleveland and discover what a neat city it can be to explore.
Have you been to Cleveland? What would you suggest I add to this list?