Family vacations in Cleveland can be rewarding experiences or absolute disasters — it all depends on pre-trip homework. To make planning easier, we've done all the preparation. As part of a Huffington Post Travel series on traveling with children, here are answers to some frequently asked questions about Cleveland family vacations.
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Cleveland's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is the city's most popular attraction, and rightfully so. The 150,000-square-foot museum, located in the heart of downtown along the shores of Lake Erie, features a comprehensive array of music memorabilia, including stage costumes, handwritten lyrics, instruments, album art and, of course, music. Headphones are scattered throughout the museum so visitors can revisit old favorites and discover new ones.
Address: 1100 Rock and Rock Blvd. (East Ninth Street and Lake Erie), Cleveland, OH 44113
Hours: Daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Extended hours from Memorial Day to Labor Day on Wednesday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.
Price: Adults, $22; Greater Cleveland residents, $18; seniors citizens and military, $17; children ages 9 to 12, $13; children ages 8 and under, free with adult admission
Children's Museum of Cleveland
One of several museums located on University Circle in Cleveland's cultural district, the Children's Museum of Cleveland features hands-on exhibits like Splish Splash, which is all about boats and water transportation, as well as Bridges of the Community, where kids can push a shopping cart, open a pretend bank account and even "pump" their own gas.
Address: 10730 Euclid Ave., Cleveland, OH 44106
Hours: Open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Price: Adults and children, $7; infants 11 months and under, free
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
Located just south of downtown, the 165-acre Cleveland Metroparks Zoo features animals from all over the globe. Highlights include the rainforest, a two-story tropical garden with a 25-foot-tall indoor waterfall, and 6,000 plants and more than 600 animals. The zoo also boasts an Elephant Crossing which consists of two large outdoor ranges where elephants can swim and roam freely along meerkats, mole rats and a variety of birds.
Address: 3900 Wildlife Way, Cleveland, OH 44109
Hours: Open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Extended hours from Memorial Day to Labor Day until 7 p.m. Closed Christmas Day and New Year's Day.
Price: April 1 - Oct. 31: adults, $11; children ages 2 to 11, $8; children under 2 years old, free; Nov. 1 - March 31: adults $8; children ages 2 to 11, $5; Cuyahoga County residents free on non-holiday Mondays
Headlands Beach State Park
Located about 40 minutes east of downtown along Lake Erie in Mentor, Headlands Beach State Park is home to Ohio's largest natural sand beach. In addition to the mile-long beach, the park features hiking trails, a scenic lighthouse, concessions and picnic areas.
Address: 9601 Headlands Road, Mentor, OH 44060
Hours: Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Saturday from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Park is open year-round.
Repeatedly voted America's favorite amusement park by Amusement Today magazine, Cedar Point is located about one hour's drive west of downtown Cleveland and is fun for visitors of all ages. The 364-acre park is known for its variety of roller coasters (there are 17 of them) as well as its mile-long Lake Erie beach and adjacent water park, Soak City.
Address: One Cedar Point Dr., Sandusky, OH 44870
Hours: Mid-May until Nov. 1. Hours vary weekly. Refer to Cedar Point Web site for details.
Price: One day admission: Guests 48" and taller, $47.99; under 48" and ages 62 years and older, $22; military, $37.99
No family vacation to Cleveland is complete without a trip to the lake. The Goodtime III is a three-story sightseeing vessel that departs from the North Coast Harbor (near the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame) and cruises for two hours along the Lake Erie coastline, offering spectacular views of the downtown skyline and other lakefront attractions.
Address: 825 East Ninth Street Pier, Cleveland, OH 44115
Hours: June 15 through Labor Day: Tuesday through Saturday at noon and 3 p.m.; Sunday at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.
Price: Adults, $15; Seniors, $13; Children ages 5-12, $9
Cleveland Museum of Art
The Cleveland Museum of Art is one of the premier art museums in the United States. And the best part — admission to the permanent collection is free. The recently remodeled museum features more than 43,000 art objects, ranging from French Impressionist paintings to modern sculpture. Of particular interest to kids is the armor court, which is filled with tapestries and dozens of suits of armor for men and horses.
Address: 11150 East Boulevard, Cleveland, OH 44106
Hours: Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Wednesday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. (closed Monday)
Price: Admission to the permanent collection is free
Have you been to Cleveland? What's your favorite attraction?
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