5 Free Things to Do in Cleveland

Free activities and attractions in Cleveland, Ohio.

By Reader's Digest Editors
5 Free Things to Do in Cleveland© iStockphoto/Thinkstock

Appreciate art
The Cleveland Museum of Art is the last of America’s major art museums to offer free admission to its permanent collection. Take advantage of this to see the museum’s more than 40,000 works of Impressionist paintings, Asian art, and medieval religious and secular art. It’s all free, so no need to rush—you can come back another day.

Cleveland Museum of Art

Listen to classical music
The Cleveland Orchestra offers several free concerts each year. The most popular of these is the July 4th weekend concert, held annually on Public Square. Hundreds of thousands of Clevelanders come out to sit under the stars and hear the Orchestra play Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture,” among other selections, accompanied by fireworks.

Cleveland Orchestra

Watch the sun set over Lake Erie
Take a picnic and a bottle of wine, and head for Cleveland’s Edgewater State Park, on the city’s near west side. It offers perhaps the best view of the sun sinking unobstructed into the horizon. Or, walk along the beach and enjoy the view.

Edgewater State Park

Take a nature walk
The Nature Center at Shaker Lakes, founded in 1966, is a peaceful green space nestled among the gracious houses of Shaker Heights, just east of Cleveland. You’ll find a variety of trails illustrating six natural habitats, as well as a nature center with exhibits about the Northeast Ohio landscape. Best of all, admission is free.

Nature Center at Shaker Lakes

Tour a brewery
The Great Lakes Brewing Company, Ohio’s first microbrewery, offers free tours on Fridays and Saturdays. Established in 1988, the historic six-building complex, located in Cleveland’s Ohio City neighborhood, includes a brewery, a brew pub, banquet facilities, and a gift shop. Great Lakes is best known for its amber beer, Dortmunder Gold. The brewery also produces Burning River Ale, Edmund Fitzgerald Porter, Eliot Ness Amber Lager, and Holy Moses White Ale.

Great Lakes Brewing Company

Sources: About.com, Tripadvisor.com, uptake.com, Cleveland.com

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