Activities & Attractions: Suburbs East

HIDDEN GEMS: Cleveland Area

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

MUSEUMS, THEATER, OPERA, DANCE


Adrenaline Monkey
Photos courtesy of Adrenaline Monkey

Adrenaline Monkey
This indoor adventure center and arcade has endless ways for kids and adults alike to have fun while challenging themselves physically and mentally. Adrenalin Monkey features rock walls, parkour, ninja courses and aerial ropes with options for all ages and fitness levels. Monthly subscriptions are available as well as drop-in tickets and special group rates. (26800 Renaissance Parkway, Orange Village 44128; 216.282.3100;
adrenalinemonkeyfun.com)


Cedar Lee Theatre
For decades, the Cedar Lee Theatre has been synonymous with “artsy,” Cleveland’s premier place for viewing independently produced specialty and foreign films. Over the years, the movie house has grown from one screen to six, reflecting the increasing popularity of indie films produced by Hollywood actors and directors breaking out on their own. The theater’s unique concession stand—the first in the area to offer baked goods, sandwiches, specialty coffee drinks and imported beer and wine—is another big draw for movie goers. (2163 Lee Road, Cleveland Heights 44118; 216.321.5411; clevelandcinemas.com)


Chagrin Valley Little Theatre
One of the nation’s oldest community theaters, the all-volunteer Chagrin Valley Little Theatre (CVLT) has been delighting locals with plays and musicals since 1930. The Main Stage at CVLT is the primary venue for most of the theater's productions and special events. The River Street Playhouse, located just down the street, presents more unusual, “edgier” plays, often containing mature themes. (40 River Street, Chagrin Falls 44022; 440.246.8955; cvlt.org)


Dobama Theatre
For 60 years, Dobama Theatre has delivered professional productions of groundbreaking new plays to the Cleveland area. Each year, the critically acclaimed theater produces six mainstage plays, all either local, regional, Midwest, American or world premieres. In 2014, Dobama became a full-time Equity Theater, one of only three in the region, further enabling it to offer top-notch productions performed and directed by award-winning professionals. (2340 Lee Road, Cleveland Heights 44118; 216.932.3396; dobama.org)


House of Swing
Lonnie Reed & Friends can be heard quite often at The House of Swing. / Photo: Kevin Morley Photography

House of Swing
The bright purple and yellow mural proclaiming “Come Together” on the outside of the building is new, but inside, the House of Swing is still the unassuming neighborhood joint where local jazz and blues aficionados have been hanging out for nearly 45 years. Some of the best bands in Northeast Ohio perform here every weekend in this cozy, no-frills bar, surrounded by vintage jazz and blues posters and stacks of LPs. (4490 Mayfield Road, South Euclid 44121; 216.382.2711)


Jack Thistledown Racino

Jack Thistledown Racino
Awarded a 2019 Best of Racinos designation by Strictly Slots, Jack Thistledown offers all the excitement of live thoroughbred racing May through October, including the Ohio Derby, along with simulcast races from around the country all year long. If gaming is more your thing, the 24/7 racino has over 1,400 state-of-the-art VLT machines for you to test your luck on, plus four restaurants offering both quick bites and fine dining. (21501 Emery Road, North Randall 44128; 216.662.8600; jackentertainment.com/thistledown)


Nature Center at Shaker Lakes
The All People's Trail is a 1/3-mile, wheelchair friendly, boardwalk at the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes. / Photo: Ashley Hall

Nature Center at Shaker Lakes
This nonprofit preserve, a 20-acre marsh and woodland habitat in the heart of the Shaker Parklands, is a small urban oasis with a legendary backstory. The Nature Center was formed in the 1960s as a way to stop a proposed freeway system that would have cut through Shaker Heights and Cleveland Heights, irrevocably changing the character of these suburbs. Residents still celebrate that victory, cherishing the park’s admission-free visitor center and walking trails, including the new All People’s Trail—an artfully designed, wheelchair-friendly boardwalk through the marsh. The Nature Center’s educational programs, summer camps and naturalist-led “B’earthday” parties are also popular among residents and non-residents alike. (2600 South Park Boulevard, Cleveland 44120; 216.321.593; shakerlakes.org)


Pinstripes
If you’re looking for an evening of fun with a casually elegant twist, Pinstripes is a great place to get the ball rolling—literally. Bowling, bocce and a bistro serving fine Italian and American cuisine come together at Pinstripes, offering a sophisticated entertainment alternative to the usual night out. Pinstripes is also open daily for lunch and on Sundays for brunch. (Located in Pinecrest, 111 Park Avenue, Orange Village 44122; 216.415.8010; pinstripes.com/Cleveland)


Indoor rock climbing
Try rock climbing at this gleaming, state-of-the-art facility featuring 14,000 feet of climbing spaces.

Shaker Rocks
The area’s newest climbing gym, located in the popular Van Aken District in Shaker Heights, is a gleaming, state-of-the-art facility featuring 14,000 feet of climbing surfaces, top ropes, auto-belays and bouldering, plus a yoga studio, fitness and training space, gear shop, private party room, outdoor patio and locker rooms with showers. The gym attracts serious climbers, first-timers, families and anyone who’s ready to “rock on”! (3377 Warrensville Center Road, Shaker Heights 44122; 216.848.0460; shakerrocksclimbing.com)


South Chagrin Reservation
Photo: Yu-Hong Yen

South Chagrin Reservation
Hike along hemlock-lined streams and sandstone ridges, explore the banks of a state-designated Scenic River, and picnic at one of seven picnic areas at this Cleveland Metroparks reservation on the eastern rim of the Emerald Necklace. The park’s most well-known feature, Henry Church Rock, was carved by artist and blacksmith Henry Church in 1885 on a boulder jutting into the Chagrin River. The detailed work depicts a woman with a shell behind her, a quiver of arrows, a serpent, an eagle, a dog, a skeleton and a baby in a papoose. Challenge yourself to find them all! Or visit Look About Lodge, a log cabin built in 1938 by the Cleveland Natural Science Club and used today as a year-round outdoor education center. (440.473.3370; clevelandmetroparks.com/parks/visit/parks/south-chagrin-reservation)


 

 

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