Activities & Attractions in Akron

HIDDEN GEMS:  Akron Area  / Cleveland Area

ACTIVITIES & ATTRACTIONS:  Akron  /  Summit County  /  Portage County  /  Medina County

MUSEUMS / THEATER / OPERA / DANCE


Akron Police Museum
Fans of police memorabilia—and pop-cultural artifacts in general—will enjoy the Akron Police Museum, located within the Harold K. Stubbs Justice Center. Here you can view photographs and uniforms spanning the department’s history, along with eclectic exhibits including a pair of poker machines and other gambling paraphernalia seized in a raid, photos and newspaper clippings chronicling the capture of bank robber Charles “Pretty Boy” Floyd in Akron in 1930, old-fashioned lie-detector machines and a vintage Harley Davidson patrol vehicle from the 1970s. (217 S. High Street, Mezzanine Level, Akron 44308; 330.375.2390; visitakron-summit.org)


F.A. Seiberling Nature Realm
The Rock & Herb Garden is part of the F.A. Seiberling Nature Realm, a 104-acre oasis in Summit County featuring hiking trails, ponds, gardens, a prairie and 300 species of shrubs and trees. / Photo: Anastasia Brachna

F.A. Seiberling Nature Realm
Stroll along peaceful trails, explore exhibits at the Visitor Center, chat with a naturalist and meet native wild animals at this 400-acre Summit Metro Parks property. You can even experience the joy of hand-feeding a chickadee! The grounds include a suspension bridge over a 45-foot-deep ravine, several gardens, observation decks, two ponds, wetlands and a tall-grass prairie. Dogs are not permitted. (1828 Smith Road, Akron 44313; 330-865-8065; summitmetroparks.org/fa-seiberling-nature-realm.aspx)


Dr. Shirla R. McClain Gallery of Akron’s Black History & Culture
Get an in-depth look at the history and experiences of Africans Americans in the greater Akron area and the important role the African-American community played in developing and shaping the region. The gallery, inspired by the work of acclaimed Akron educator and historian Dr. Shirla R. McClain, serves as a showplace for the research activities of The University of Akron Pan African Center for Community Studies. (University of Akron, 22 N. Wolf Ledges Parkway, Akron 44325; 330-972-7030; facebook.com/pages/category/Community/The-Dr-Shirla-R-McClain-Gallery-of-Akrons-Black-History-and-Culture)


The Great Escape Room
An escape room is the perfect activity for group bonding. Locked in a room, searching for clues and piecing together the puzzle provides an opportunity for challenge, thrill, camaraderie and teamwork. Various themes include The President’s Bunker, Sherlock Holmes’ Library and more. (323 S. Main Street, Akron 44308; 234.281.2877; thegreatescaperoom.com/akron)


Highland Square Theatre
This historic art-deco movie house is the centerpiece of Akron’s eclectic Highland Square neighborhood. Built in 1938, the renovated theater features a single oversized screen, a seating capacity of around 600 and showings of first-run movies for just $5. The concession stand is a favorite among locals for offering reasonably priced snacks as well as beer, wine and mixed drinks. (826 W. Market Street, Akron 44303; 330.253.0100; highlandsquaretheatre.com)


Hower House
Hower House is one of the best-preserved examples of Second Empire Italianate style in the country. / Photo: K. Ardner

Hower House Museum
Located on the University of Akron campus, this Second Empire Italianate structure is on the National Historic Landmark registry and is one of the best-preserved examples of its style in the country. The elegant 28-room Victorian mansion features three floors, including a ballroom, and was built in 1871 by Akron industrialist John Henry Hower and his wife, Susan. The home, which is open for public, private and group tours, is filled with unique treasures and furnishings collected by the Hower family during their travels around the world. (60 Fir Hill, Akron 44325; 330-972-6909; howerhouse.org)


Nightlight Cinema
This independent, nonprofit movie theater was formed in 2014 with the goal of advancing cinema and community together. Open nightly, the cinema provides a classy nightspot to enjoy art-house films, sip a delectable drink and socialize with friends new and old. Films are often introduced by theater employees and may include a discussion before or after the showing. The box office, bar and concessions open 30 minutes prior to the first show. (30 N. High Street, Akron 44308; 330.252.5782; nightlightcinema.com)


Shaw Jewish Community Center
The “J,” as it’s called, is much more than a fitness facility. It’s a community resource open to people of all backgrounds and walks of life, offering a full aquatics program in its indoor and outdoor pools; early childhood and K-12 classes and camps; basketball, racquetball and tennis courts; Jewish programming and adult education; and social outings. Workplace membership discounts are available. (750 White Pond Drive, Akron 44320; 330.867.7850; shawjcc.org)


Summit Metro Parks Freedom Trail
This paved multipurpose trail follows an unused railroad corridor extending from Eastwood Avenue in Akron to the beginning of the Portage Hike and Bike Trail in Kent. The corridor not only provides a six-mile hiking, biking and cross-country skiing trail, but a linear connection between green spaces for wildlife such as bald eagles, coyote and white-tailed deer. (Middlebury Trailhead: 1765 Northeast Avenue, Tallmadge 44278; Lion’s Park Trailhead: 245 Northeast Avenue, Tallmadge 44278; summitmetroparks.org/freedom-trail.aspx)


Summit County Historical Society
The Summit County Historical Society owns and manages two buildings open for tours: the Perkins Stone Mansion, home of Akron's founding family, and the John Brown House, home of the internationally recognized abolitionist. Tour tickets are sold in the Mutton Hill Gift Shop and include entry to both the Perkins Stone Mansion and the John Brown House. Guests may choose between a guided or self-guided tour. (550 Copley Road Akron Ohio 44320; 330.535.1120; summithistory.org)


Urban Air Trampoline & Adventure Park
Want more than just a trampoline park? Urban Air is the ultimate indoor family playground! / Photo: Urban Air Trampoline & Adventure Park

Urban Air Trampoline & Adventure Park
For year-round amusement, bounce on over to Urban Air Trampoline and Adventure Park, the ultimate indoor playground for your entire family. In addition to trampolining, you can test your ninja skills on the Warrior Obstacle Course, ride bumper cars, tackle ropes courses and climbing walls, explore the Tubes Playground, fly through the air on the Sky Rider coaster and so much more. There’s even a special area for kids under 7. (160 Rothrock Loop, Akron 44321; 330.532.7116; urbanairtrampolinepark.com)


Weathervane Playhouse
Weathervane Playouse is a community-based theater presenting live performances. / Photo: Anastasia Brachna

Weathervane Playhouse
For over 85 years, Weathervane Playhouse has been providing audiences with high-quality, often sold-out productions in an intimate setting. Volunteer performers, designers and technicians have worked under professional direction to produce more than 800 shows during Weathervane’s history. The theater also offers spring and summer Theatre Academies and other educational programming for youth and adults. (1301 Weathervane Lane, Akron 44313; 330.836.2626; weathervaneplayhouse.com)

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