MUSEUMS: Cleveland Area

HIDDEN GEMS: Cleveland Area

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

MUSEUMS, THEATERS, OPERA, DANCE


Baseball Heritage Museum

Baseball Heritage Museum (East Side)
Experience players’ stories, photographs, letters, programs, uniforms and other memorabilia detailing the contributions from the Latin and Caribbean leagues, the Industrial and Barnstormer leagues and the Negro and Women’s leagues. Open Fri., Sat., Sun. 9am-3pm. Free ($10 suggested donation). (6601 Lexington Avenue, Cleveland 44103; 216-789-1083, baseballheritagemuseum.org)


Children's Museum Cleveland
Children's Museum of Cleveland / Photo: CMCleveland

Children's Museum of Cleveland (East Side)
Seven unique exhibits keep kids active and engaged as they play, learn and explore a variety of spaces. Here they can climb a two-story construction site, play with water in the Wonder Lab, design a theater set and express themselves with musical instruments. There’s even a “Meadow,” a bright, sensory-rich environment designed specifically for infants, crawlers and early walkers. The museum is currently reservation-only. (3813 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland 44115; 216.791.7114; cmcleveland.org)


A Christmas Story House
A Christmas Story House

A Christmas Story House and Museum (West Side)
Tour the 19th-century Victorian depicted as Ralphie’s house in the 1983 film, “A Christmas Story.” Open Sun. through Sat. 10am-5pm. (3159 West 11th Street, Cleveland 44109; 216-298-4919, achristmasstoryhouse.com)

 

The Cleveland Institute Of Art (University Circle)
Here at the Cleveland Institute of Art (CIA), visitors will find unusual exhibits that change often and serve to encourage artistic growth and experimentation. The CIA was founded in 1882 as the Western Reserve School of Design for Women. Today, it is a private college of art and design, but the exhibits are free and open to the public. Mon.-Thurs. 10am-5pm; Fri. 10am-9pm; Sat. & Sun. 12pm-5pm. (11610 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland 44106; 216.421.7000, cia.edu)

 

Cleveland Grays Armory
Cleveland Grays Armory is one of Clevalnd's oldest standing buildings.

Cleveland Grays Armory Museum  (Downtown)
The Cleveland Grays was founded in 1837 as an independent company of volunteer militia. When President-elect Abraham Lincoln passed through Cleveland en route to his inauguration in 1861, the Grays provided the official honor guard; they were also among the first to serve in the Civil War. Grays Armory, which was built in 1893 after the group’s previous headquarters was destroyed by fire, is on the National Register of Cleveland’s oldest standing buildings. Public tours are the first Wednesday of every month from 12am-4pm. Call to set up private tours. (1234 Bolivar Road, Cleveland 44115; 216-621-5938, graysarmory.com)


Cleveland History Center
Cleveland History Center

Cleveland History Center (University Circle)
Experience a plethora of unusual finds celebrating the area’s past. This is the home to the Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum. Other must-sees here include the Euclid Beach Park Grand Carousel (over 100 years old) and the gondola from the “Spirit of Goodyear” blimp. Open Tues.-Sat. 10am-5pm; Sun. 12pm-5pm. (10825 East Boulevard, Cleveland 44106; 216.721.5722, wrhs.org)


Cleveland Museum of Art
Cleveland Museum of Art / Photo: Erik Drost

Cleveland Museum of Art (University Circle)
One of the country’s most acclaimed museums! Check out the museum’s C-Curve (2007) stainless steel outdoor sculpture by Anish Kappor and Wade Lagoon, a perfect setting for a stroll or picnic. A 39,000-square-foot atrium serves as the museum’s light-filled centerpiece. Open Tues., Thurs., Sat., Sun. 10am-5pm; Wed., Fri. 10am-9pm. FREE. (11150 East Boulevard, Cleveland 44106; 216-421-7350, clevelandart.org)


Cleveland Museum of Natural History
Kirtland Hall of Prehistoric Life at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History

Cleveland Museum of Natural History (University Circle)
The permanent and traveling exhibits here effectively illustrate science and the natural world, enabling visitors to experience the past, see the formation of the universe and explore the lives of dinosaurs and early humans. (1 Wade Oval, Cleveland 44106; 216-231-4600, cmnh.org)


Cleveland Police Museum (Downtown)
The Cleveland Police Museum covers the complete history of the Cleveland Police Department. Here, visitors will find an unusual collection of weapons, as well as a real jail cell, a still from the Prohibition era and more. Open Wed. & Thurs. 10am- 2pm. FREE. (1300 Ontario Street, Cleveland 44143; 216.623.5055, clevelandpolicemuseum.org)


Dittrick Museum of Medical History

Dittrick Museum of Medical History (University Circle)
The Dittrick Medical History Center explores the history of medicine through museum artifacts, archives, collections of rare books and images. The Dittrick is an interdisciplinary study center in the College of Arts and Sciences at Case Western Reserve University, but is also open to the public. Free. (11000 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland 44106; 216-368-5938, artsci.case.edu/Dittrick/)


Great Lakes Science Center

Great Lakes Science Center (Downtown)
The Great Lakes Science Center is located right next door to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. More than 300,000 visitors come here to experiment, create and enjoy hundreds of hands-on exhibits, daily science demonstrations and traveling exhibitions. Tinker and build in the Cleveland Creates Zone. Enjoy an unforgettable cinematic experience in the six-story-high OMNIMAX Theater. See what life was like aboard a working Great Lakes Freighter, and learn more about the space program at the NASA Glenn Visitors Center. Open Mon.-Sat. 10am-5pm; Sun. Noon-5pm. Closed on Mondays during winter. (601 Erieside Avenue, Cleveland 44114; 216-694-2000, greatscience.com)


Hungarian Heritage Museum

Hungarian Heritage Museum (Downtown)
Visit the museum July through October and discover Hungary right here in Cleveland. Browse exhibits showcasing Hungarian art, history, folk costumes and traditions, including historical and contemporary themes. Learn about the legacy of Hungarian immigrants and their contributions to the area. A large gift shop includes everything from folk art to fine art, embroidery, pottery, clothing, books, music and more. Open Tues.-Fri. 11am-3pm. (1301 East 9th Street, Cleveland 44114; 216.523.3900,
clevelandhungarianmuseum.org)

 

International Women's Air & Space Museum (Downtown)
Located near the Rock Hall and Great Lakes Science Center, this museum celebrates the history of women in aviation with memorabilia and historical artifacts. Open Mon.-Thurs. 10am-4pm. FREE. (Burke Lakefront Airport, 1501 North Marginal Road, #165, Cleveland 44114; 216.623.1111, iwasm.org)


Maltz Museum

Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage (East Side)
The stories of individuals and families — past and present — come to life through state-of-the art exhibitions, interactives and films, oral histories, photographs and artifacts. The museum includes the Temple-Tifereth Israel Gallery collection of Judaica and a gallery featuring exhibitions of national and international acclaim. (2929 Richmond Road, Beachwood 44122; 216-593-0575, maltzmuseum.org)


Cleveland Money Museum
Cleveland Money Museum / Photo: Craig Hatfield

The Money Museum at Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland (Downtown)
More than 25 hands-on exhibits focus on the history of money, its effects on the way people live and its central role in peoples’ lives. Mon.-Thurs. 9:30am-2:30pm. FREE. Only visitors ages 16 and up are allowed in the museum, so be sure to plan accordingly. (1455 East Sixth Street, Cleveland 44114; 216-579-3188, clevelandfed.org/learningcenter)

 

Museum of Contemporary Art
MOCA's exterior itself is a modern work of art. / Photo:Dean Kaufman

Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) (University Circle)
The dynamic architecture of MOCA Cleveland provides intimate spaces and opportunities to connect with the works of contemporary artists from around the world. Free admission for all visitors on the first Saturday of the month (sponsored by Medical Mutual. (11400 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland 44106; 216-261-3263, mocacleveland.org)


NASA Glenn Visitor Center

NASA Glenn Visitor Center (Downtown)
Located in the Great Lakes Science Center, the NASA Glenn Visitor Center provides opportunities to explore the past, present and future of human space exploration. Open Mon.-Sat. 10am-5pm; Sun. Noon-5pm. Closed on Mondays during winter. (601 Erieside Avenue, Cleveland 44114; 216-694-2000, greatscience.com)


National Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame (Downtown)
The history of Cleveland’s homegrown sound—from its roots in the old Slovenian neighborhoods to nationwide popularity—comes alive here with audio exhibits, photographs and original instruments. The archive preserves 6,000 vintage recordings dating back to 1913. (605 E. 22nd Street, Cleveland 44123; 216.261.3263; clevelandstyle.com)


 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame - Garage Exhibit
The Garage at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame allows you to choose an instrument and make your own music!

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (Downtown)
This architectural gem includes a pyramid-shaped entrance/lobby area similar to that of the Louvre museum in Paris, with both by the same architect—world-renowned I.M. Pei. Featured displays are dedicated to the roots of rock and roll, hip-hop and superstars such as The Beatles, David Bowie, Elvis Presley, Jimi Hendrix, Lady Gaga, Madonna, Michael Jackson and the Rolling Stones, just to name a few. Be sure to check out exhibits honoring new inductees. Open daily 10am-5:30pm; extended hours on Wednesdays until 9pm. (1100 Rock and Roll Boulevard, Cleveland 44114; 216-781-7625, rockhall.com)


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