by Katie Jackson
“There’s nothing cool to do, Dad.”
We’ve heard it before. We know the trill sound that comes out of your kid’s mouth, especially on those cold winter afternoons when cabin fever is kicking in. Here’s a list of some things to get you out of the house during the cooler spring weather, and a few more to look ahead to this summer.
Akron Art Museum
1 South High Street,
Akron, OH 44308
Oh, it only looks like a place for grown-ups. Truth is, the Akron Art Museum is a boon for children and their parents. They host regular Creative Playdates with yoga, hands-on learning experiences and storytelling events. They even have cool stuff for babies. Don’t forget the free admission on Thursdays either!
Akron Children’s Museum
Pop-Up Site at Lock 3
200 South Main St.
While the fully-established children’s museum is still in the works, and the pop-up site is closed for the season, families can still enjoy special programming at the pop-up site at Lock 3 throughout the spring. Programs include Art Program Fridays, STEM Saturdays, a FREE Science Program, PLAY! Theater Games, and Music & Movement activities. For schedules, prices and registration, click this link: squareup.com/store/akron-kids
500 Edgewood Ave
Get wild in your own backyard at the Akron Zoo! Explore family favorites like the penguin encounter and aquarium touch tank, visit with the snow leopard cubs, take flight in the Grizzly Ridge Aviary, ride the carousel and more for a fun-filled day with furry friends. The Akron Zoo is open year-round. Winter admission rates are only $7 through April.
911 Graham Road #27
Stow, OH 44221
What do you do when it’s freezing outside and your kids are going stir crazy? Take a ride over to Stow for Cafe O’Play, which is one-half kids indoor playground and one-half calm, casual coffeeshop. It can be a 100 percent sanity saver, especially for working parents with kids out of school on a snow day. Order a hot beverage, open up your laptop and watch as your little one burns off all that excess energy.
Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad
1630 West Mill St.
All aboard! Ride a historic steam train in the heart of our National Park aboard the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad. Day trips between the Northside Depot in Akron and Peninsula are a great way to spend the afternoon and explore the natural scenery that surrounds us. During the summer, CVSR offers a Bike Aboard program to encourage riders to bike the towpath trails one-way and take the train back to their starting point. CVSR also offers special programs for adults including wine and beer tasting excursions and mystery theater. Round-trip day excursion tickets are $18 per adult and $13 per child ages 3-12.
Hale Farm and Village
2686 Oak Hill Rd.
Step back in time to experience life as it was on the Western Reserve nearly 200 years ago through the legacy of the Hale family. Visitors experience the hand-crafted way of life by visiting historic buildings and tradesmen, including a blacksmith, glass blower, and candle maker among others. This living history museum offers workshops and educational programming and many seasonal events including a Maple Sugar Festival and Civil War Reenactment. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for children ages 3-12, and children 2 and under are free.
565 W. Tuscarawas Ave.
The Magical Theater Company located in Barberton is the only professional resident and touring theater for young audiences in Northeast Ohio. Providing both entertainment as well as educational shows, The Magical Theater Company encourages creativity and the cultural experience of live theater. Seasonal programs are held at their resident stage at the Park Theater in Barberton. The troupe also performs touring productions at local schools and hosts summer camps and workshops. Upcoming public performances include Quoth the Raven and Lyle the Crocodile. Ticket prices range from $10 to $16.
2260 International Parkway
North Canton, OH
Ever wanted to sit in the gondola of The Goodyear Blimp? What about the cockpit of a F-14 Tomcat? For a one of a kind experience, slip out of Summit on a road trip south and step into the hangar of the MAPS Air Museum. Here you will get up close and personal with historical aircraft and other artifacts, and learn about local folks who were a part of aviation history. In the gift shop you can even have your own set of personalized dog tags made. Admission is $8 for adults, $5 children ages 6-12, and children under 6 are free.
4111 Hudson Dr.
When you’re a kid, nothing says fun like an inflatable bounce house. Now imagine an inflatable bounce house-filled warehouse, complete with an obstacle course and 3 slides. A kid’s dream come true is happening at Pump It Up in Stow. Open Jump, Glow Jump, and private parties are available. Admission is $8 per child and parents are always free.
6217 Chittenden Rd.
Boston Hts., OH
A few miles north on Route 8 you can experience one of the best forms of healthy fun while bouncing around in an enormous indoor trampoline park. Experience weightlessness while bouncing into a pit filled with 10,000 foam cubes. Play ultimate dodgeball with your friends. Challenge your inner Air Jordan while attempting the SkySlam. Attend a workout class that feels more like fun than exercise. Or host your kids very best birthday party ever. If you’re looking to release some cabin fever this winter, this is where it’s at. Jump sessions are priced from $11 for 30 minutes to $23 for 2 hours of fun.
678 Payne Ave
Educator Jennifer Davis creates magic for artists of all ages at smART Studio in Akron. Classes emphasize discovery, problem solving, creativity and experimentation in a mix of mediums. In addition to her in-studio workshops and classes, Jennifer hosts pop-up events at local museums and other locations around town. Private classes and pARTies are also available.
Water Works Aquatic Center
2025 Munroe Falls Ave
Cuyahoga Falls, OH
Have a splashing good time with your friends and family at Water Works in Cuyahoga Falls. Whether you like to swim laps, speed down a flume slide, relax on a lazy river, or sit poolside in a cabana, your summer days will be well spent here. The zero depth pool is welcoming to children of all ages. Bring a picnic lunch or enjoy the treats at the snack bar, and spend a day in the sun. Admission is $15 for non-resident adults, $10 for non-resident children, and season passes start at $100.