In the Akron Area

HIDDEN GEMS: Cleveland AreaAkron Area

ACTIVITIES & ATTRACTIONS: Cleveland, Suburbs West, Suburbs East, Suburbs South


Glass Blowing
Akron Glass Works is a studio and gallery that offers the opportunity to experience the exciting art of hot glass firsthand.

Akron Glass Works (Summit County)
Located in a beautiful old church near the University of Akron campus, Akron Glass Works is a studio and gallery that offers the opportunity to experience the exciting art of hot glass firsthand. Here you can watch glassblowing demonstrations, attend glassblowing and glass fusing workshops (for ages 15 and up) and shop for specialty gift items in the retail area. Items include original glass jewelry, ornaments, home decor and other art made on site by local artists. (421 Spicer Street, Akron 44311; 330.253.5888; akronglassworks.com)

Blue Sky Drive-in Theater (Medina County)
Built in 1947, this single-screen outdoor movie theater still offers the nostalgia of watching a classic movie under a star-filled sky. The theater is open mid-spring to mid-fall and also features a concession stand, FM sound system and flea market. (959 Broad Street, Wadsworth 44281; 330.334.1809; blueskydrive-in.com)

Brandywine Falls
Showcasing the geology of the region, Brandywine Falls is a 65-foot waterfall in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. / Photo: Erik Drost

Brandywine Falls (Summit County)
One of the most popular attractions in Cuyahoga Valley National Park is Brandywine Falls, a picturesque 65-foot waterfall showcasing the classic geology of the region. A stairway and observation deck offer spectacular views of layers of the hard sandstone cap at the top and softer shale layers below it. The observation area is accessible via several hiking trails through the gorge, as well from the parking lot on Brandywine Road. The parking lot also serves as a parking area for the Summit Metro Parks Bike & Hike Trail. (8176 Brandywine Road, Sagamore Hills 44067; 330.657.2752; nps.gov/cuva)

Castle Noel
Castle Noel features animated New York City Christmas windows from Sak’s Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale’s, Lord & Taylor and Macy’s.
Photo: Michelle Hushion

Castle Noel (Medina County)
If you just can’t get enough Christmas (and who can?), Castle Noel in downtown Medina is a must-see. America’s largest indoor, year-round Christmas entertainment center features a huge collection of Christmas movie props and costumes, a dazzling display of animated New York City department-store windows, the nostalgia-inducing “I Had That!” toyland experience and much more. You can even slide down a giant red slide like the one featured in the 1980s film classic A Christmas Story. (260 S. Court Street, Medina 44256; 330.331.6635; castlenoel.com)

Hot-air Balloons
Ravenna's Balloon A-Fair fills the skies with colorful hot-air balloons every September.

Ravenna Balloon A-Fair (Portage County)
For 42 years, the city of Ravenna has been celebrating one its first industries, toy balloons manufactured at the Oak Rubber Company, with a festival that fills the skies with colorful hot-air balloons. The festival takes place downtown and at SUNBEAU Valley Farm over four days each September, featuring a parade, live entertainment, amusement rides, craft and food vendors, helicopter rides, children’s activities and, of course, huge hot-air balloons rising overhead. (SUNBEAU Valley Farm, 3229 State Route 59, Ravenna 44266; 330.296.3247; ravennaballoonafair.com)