by Megan Breehl-Pitorak
Summer is the season to live outdoors, especially for local Clevelanders who need quality vitamin D time to recover from long, brutal winters. But even in the summer rainy days happen and we don’t think you should let a little rain drain the fun out of summer! We’re sharing 15 indoor places in and around Cleveland to explore when you need to escape the weather.
We know there’s plenty more too, so after you’ve read through, leave a comment with your favorite indoor activity or place to help our readers get even more ideas!
Photo via @oh_sograceful
It’s important to understand the history of your city, so why not start with a trip to the Cleveland History Center? It covers everything from WWI and women in politics, to the automotive industry and the city’s historic mansions, to the Euclid Beach Park Grand Carousel, which may look familiar as you can see it from the sidewalk outside (And yes, you can ride it!).
Photo via FreshWater Cleveland
2. Grog Shop
The Grog Shop has a show lined up 365 days of the year, so whether you’re looking to enjoy music with friends on the weekend, or you’re in need of an impromptu date night to liven up a mundane Monday, be sure to check out the Grog Shop’s calendar. We love the variety of entertainment they offer – from comedy acts and hip-hop artists, to ‘80s dance nights.
Photo via BRICK Ceramic + Design Studio
Get your hands dirty during an art class at BRICK Ceramic + Design Studio in the Waterloo Arts District. The studio, tucked behind Six Shooter Coffee, offers two-hour wheel classes for $60. You’ll get to learn how to make a cup, bowl, and plate. The price includes not only the experience, but you’ll also get to take home the pieces you make, so you can feel proud as you sip your morning coffee from your handmade mug. Click here to see the studio’s upcoming class dates.
Photo via Sacred Hour
#Selfcare is not a trend; it’s a lifestyle. Why not turn a rainy day in CLE into an opportunity to zen-out at the beautiful Sacred Hour Spa, located in nearby Lakewood. The Korean Scrub sounds like pure bliss, or you could go for the glow with a facial treatment. See all the spa services here.
Photo by Dean Kaufman via MoCa
If you haven’t been yet to MoCA in Uptown Cleveland, now is the time to go, as it’s celebrated its 50th anniversary with FREE admission. What we love about MoCA: it’s a smaller museum so you can get your art fix even if you only have a half hour or so to spare. Also, the MoCA gift shop is a hidden gem of unique gifts and treasures you’ll want to snag for yourself and others.
Photo via Cleveland Scene
You didn’t think we’d recommend MoCA and not mention the Cleveland Museum of Art, did you? Cleveland is lucky to have accessible art at our fingertips, and the Cleveland Museum of Art — which is also free — is at the epicenter of that community.
Photo via Skyzone
Remember the days when nothing could be more fun than going to your friend-with-the-trampoline’s house? (If you were that house, we’re jealous.) Skyzone is the ultimate playground for adults — kids welcome too — where you can jump around a giant building filled with trampolines, foam pits, and…need we say more? We know you were sold at “trampoline.” Learn more here.
Photo via Tabletop Cafe
Tabletop Cafe, Cleveland’s first and largest board game cafe, has over 1,000 games to choose from. WHAT?! Grab a friend and go play a game that will bring on major childhood nostalgia. They have a yummy menu of sandwiches, flatbreads, and other snack foods to keep you fueled to win, as well as a brunch menu for a Sunday Funday tradition waiting to happen.
Photo via Playhouse Square
We don’t mean to be predictable, but there’s a reason Playhouse Square is on every Cleveland to-do list. We’re fortunate to have such a strong performing arts hub (second largest in the country to NYC, guys!) with a stacked calendar of shows and events nearly every day of the week.
Photo via Van Aken District
While new to town, the Van Aken District is quickly becoming the East Side’s coolest gathering spot. The new food + shopping hub offers a small street with trendy boutiques, but we recommend heading to the food hall on the days you’re looking to hide from the weather. From On The Rise pastries, to the best veggie sandwich and bowls in town at Brassica, your taste buds will forever thank you.
Photo via Rockefeller Park Greenhouse
11. Botanical Gardens
Sometimes we just need to be around nature, and rain or shine, there are two great indoor gardens to explore in the city of Cleveland. The impressive Cleveland Botanical Garden in University Circle is set up on one side as a Costa Rican rainforest and on the other as the desert of Madagascar. If you’re on a budget, head to the Rockefeller Park Greenhouse in the Cultural Gardens, which offers free admission, but is just as beautiful and calming to stroll through.
Photo via Limelight
Having one of those weekends where you need to get some work done? Mix it up and get a day pass to one of Cleveland’s co-working spaces. Limelight offers a $20 day pass to its vibrant space, which includes access to computers, printers, scanners, coffee and tea, and meeting rooms.
Photo via West Side Market
13. West Side Market
The West Side Market is a point of pride for the city of Cleveland. The rich history of the building and the community of vendors and shoppers that have come through its doors since 1912 is remarkable and a city tradition we hope lives on forever. Support the great businesses that make up the market by grabbing a bite to eat and fresh ingredients for your next authentic Cleveland home-cooked meal. PS: The market is now open on Sundays, too!
Photo via AffoGATO Cat Cafe
Cleveland’s first cat café opened earlier this year, and we are here for it. Not just because it’s a place to go to snuggle the little furballs when you need a mood lift, but because it houses adoptable cats and creates a safe space for them to interact with people and other cats. The café is in a separate area than the cat lounge, so if you immediately thought, “Ew, cat hair and food,” don’t worry; you can have your cake — and cats too.
Photo via Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad
Hop aboard the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad for a change of scenery. This is a great option for parents who want to get the kids out of the house, but also don’t have the energy to chase them around. The train goes through the CVNP and has a few different boarding stations. Learn more here.