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10 Unique Things To Do In Cleveland

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Ripped from the pages of 100 Things To Do in Cleveland Before You Die, I’m sharing 10 things to do in and around the city for lifelong residents and new visitors alike.

While the book is readily available on Amazon or a local bookshop near you I thought I’d give you a little peek at what you’ll find between the covers.

Colorful Cleveland Mural.

Not to brag, but I feel like this is really THE guide for finding the best food, festivals, museums, outdoor activities, music, and more.

While somethings may have changed the past few years, it’s still stands as a great guide to America’s North Coast.

Add these fun suggestions to your list of not to miss activities and attractions in Cleveland.

10 Unique Things To Do In Cleveland

Crying angel at Cleveland Mural.

Enjoy Lake View Cemetery—Cleveland’s Outdoor Museum

Lake View Cemetery has been compared to an outdoor museum, and for good reason. The elaborate grave markers, monuments, and chapels located on the grounds provide some of the most stunning funerary architecture in Ohio.

Highlights of the cemetery include the impressive James A. Garfield Memorial, which is the final resting place of the twentieth president of the United States; Wade Memorial Chapel, whose interior was designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany of New York; and the eerie Haserot angel, which looks as though it has black tears streaming down its face.

buzzard festival

Catch the Buzz on Buzzard Day

As proof that Clevelanders will celebrate anything, I give you Buzzard Day in Hinckley. The day starts with a scrumptious all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast, followed by a different kind of arts and craft show filled with the interesting and unusual.

After browsing, head out on the city streets for some good old- fashioned games. A guest buzzard makes a special appearance at the park during the spotting event.

wizbang theater

Experience Wizbang! A Circus Like No Other

Locals Danielle and Jason Tilk have taken their oddball sense of humor, placed it on steroids, and created a memorable, one-of-a-kind, knee-slapping fun circus like no other.

Dubbed the Wizbang!, the circus, which started out performing for small audiences, has now grown to include bigger theaters.

Wizbang! is a pop-up theater that entertains guests with outrageous antics, circus acts, dance, music, cabaret, and nonstop fun.

The one thing to expect during a Wizbang! show is the unexpected. From one act to the next, you never know what will happen, but you know you’ll have fun finding out.

Kurentovanje Festival
(c)Kurentovanje Festival

Meet Fuzzy, Giant Monsters at the Cleveland Kurentovanje

Kurentovanje (koo-rahn-toh-VAHN-yay), a Slovenian-style Mardi Gras, is held each winter in the Slovenian neighborhood. During the one-day festival, the streets fill with vendors, activities, food, and music.

The highlight of the festival is the parade, which features the release of Kurent, a seven-foot-tall abominable snowman–looking creature wearing bells, feathers, and streamers, whose job it is to chase away winter and usher in spring.

Seriously, does life get any better than attending a festival that celebrates a Yeti adjunct creature? I think not!

where to eat a polish boy hot dog in cleveland.

Prepare to Get Messy with the Polish Boy

What’s a Polish Boy? Well, it’s unlike anything else—a marriage of kielbasa, French fries, coleslaw, and Barbeque sauce.

This messy creation is available around town, and a few joints even offer their own unique rendition of the Polish Boy.

Head over to Hot Sauce Williams to try their verison topped with their special sauce. Best known for their appearance on Man v. Food in which the Polish Girl (like the Polish Boy but add a helping of pulled pork on top) was featured.

Of course, there are many other locations throughout the area that serve out their own version of the Polish Boy. Tip–Be sure to grab lots of napkins, it’s going to get messy.

woollybear festival in cleveland

Cheer On Your Favorite Caterpillar at the Woollybear Festival

In the science world, the woollybear is a fuzzy little caterpillar. In the Vermilion, Ohio, world, it’s a reason to throw a really big festival.

The Woollybear Festival, which happens every fall, is one of the largest one-day festivals in the entire state.

The huge parade is the star, well besides the Woollybear, of course, of this festival and lasts almost two hours and includes pets, marching bands, radio and TV personalities, vintage cars, floats, a royal court, and so much more.

Unique to this festival is the opportunity to cheer on your favorite woollybear in the Woollybear 500 Race.

The front of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, OH.

Delve into the World of Rock and Roll

Immerse yourself in the world of rock and roll in the nationally renowned Rock and Roll Hall fo Fame museum full of memorabilia that preserves the history of “rock and roll,” a term popularized by Cleveland DJ Alan Freed in 1951.

Stroll through exhibits packed with instruments played by the artists, lyrics hand-scribbled on everything from napkins to notebooks, gold records, and stage outfits.

World's Largest Geode on Putt in Bay, Ohio.

Step Inside The World’s Largest Geode

Rock hounds and gem collectors will be astounded to discover that the world’s largest geode can be found a short drive and ferry trip away from Cleveland.

Located on South Bass Island, Crystal Cave lies beneath the surface of Heineman’s Winery, Ohio’s oldest family-owned and -operated winery.

Tour guides lead visitors on an adventure forty feet below the surface to share how the cave was discovered when digging a well and how that discovery saved the winery during Prohibition.

Planetarium in Ohio.

How to View the Stars Tonight

Located on the campus of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, the Shafran Planetarium and Mueller Observatory take stargazing to a whole new level.

The state-of-the-art planetarium introduces guests to the wonders of the night sky around us and takes visitors on a virtual journey beyond our own small universe.

As a bonus, during the evening hours, guests can use the building’s roof to help find the North Star.

amelia earhart

Soar Through Women’s Aviation History

Tucked away inside the terminal of Burke Lakefront Airport is a little-known museum that honors women who have soared to new heights in the realm of aeronautics.

The International Women’s Air & Space Museum sheds light on the important role women have played in the history of aviation—some of it out of this world!—from the accomplishments of such well-known women as Amelia Earhart and Sally Ride to the lesser-known endeavors of women who hail from Northeast Ohio.

It won’t take long to go through the exhibits that share memorabilia and artifacts, but the inspiration you’ll find will stick with you for a lifetime.

Buy 100 Things to Do in Cleveland Before You Die on Amazon and it’s companion book Secret Cleveland that adds a bit of the strange and bizarre to the Cleveland mix!

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One Comment

  1. I hope you bought Em those glasses; they look fabulous on her! 🙂

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