Cleveland Rocks for Family Fun as Well!

By Judith Wiener, Host Committee member

Koalas at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo (photo by Yvonne N via Flickr, Creative Commons license)
Koalas at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo (photo by Yvonne N via Flickr, Creative Commons license)

Heading to SAA in Cleveland and bringing the kiddos along? There will be no complaints about boredom in this family-friendly city, which boasts a ton of activities and sites for children of all ages.

Home to a zoo, science center, and aquarium, Cleveland has the ticket to mix summer fun with learning in a way that the kids will be too busy to notice! The area also boasts great local shopping, food venues, and museums for the kid in all of us, including the famous Big Fun Toy Store and the popular A Christmas Story House and Museum.

Christmas Story House & Museum (photo by Julia Frost via Flickr, Creative Commons license)
Christmas Story House & Museum (photo by Julia Frost via Flickr, Creative Commons license)

Theme park lovers will also find a lot to love, with several water parks (Kalahari and Castaway Bay) and Cedar Point, known as the “Roller Coaster Capital of the World,” just a short drive away.

Read more about Midwest Living’s top fun things to do with the family in Cleveland at: http://www.midwestliving.com/travel/ohio/cleveland/top-10-things-to-do-with-kids-cleveland/

Lion fish at the Greater Cleveland Aquarium (photo by George Bannister via Flickr, Creative Commons license)
Lion fish at the Greater Cleveland Aquarium (photo by George Bannister via Flickr, Creative Commons license)

Island Life in the CLE

By Ronald Davidson, Host Committee member

Not far from downtown Cleveland (about an hour drive west) is a region once known as “Ohio’s Lake Erie Vacationland,” now better known as Ohio’s Lake Erie Shores and Islands. You’ll find many spots for recreation, relaxation, and a little history on these shores and islands.

Lake Erie: Vacationland, Ohio
Lake Erie: Vacationland, Ohio

Of course, the most popular attraction is Cedar Point, an amusement park best known for its 17 roller coasters. For additional excitement, there are many other rides, attractions, and adventures at the Point – a park that has drawn visitors since 1870.

Cedar Point (photo courtesy of Jeremy Thompson via Flickr CC license)
Cedar Point (photo courtesy of Jeremy Thompson via Flickr CC license)

For a more leisurely pace, the islands offer getaways for nature lovers, history buffs, fishing enthusiasts, bar-hoppers, and many more. Put-in-Bay, on South Bass Island, is home to the Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial, which commemorates the famous naval battle of the War of 1812. Additionally, Put-in-Bay is widely known for its summer recreation and nightlife. Arrive by ferry from Port Clinton or Catawba, or take your own boat. Kelleys Island offers the island experience at a somewhat slower, more casual pace. Enjoy a bit of nature and small-town life, with a little history (Glacial Grooves, Inscription Rock) thrown in.

Marblehead Lighthouse (photo courtesy of Dave via Flickr CC license)
Marblehead Lighthouse (photo courtesy of Dave via Flickr CC license)
Kelleys Island Lighthouse (photo courtesy of Virginia Hill via Flickr CC license)
Kelleys Island Lighthouse (photo courtesy of Virginia Hill via Flickr CC license)

But don’t forget the mainland! Sandusky and the region host a variety of attractions, including a number of wineries, museums, water parks, and plenty of others. Lakeside, on the Marblehead peninsula, hosts an annual summer Chautauqua, with lectures, concerts, and other activities. And did you know that some of the best fishing and bird watching is right here along the Shores and Islands?

More information on the Lake Erie Shores and Islands will be available at the conference. Continue reading