Staycation - Enjoying Northeast Ohio on a Budget

Staycation–Enjoying Northeast Ohio on a Budget



Staycation - Enjoying Northeast Ohio on a Budget


Funds are a bit tight right now for us. We’re working really hard toward becoming debt-free and eventually realizing our goal of purchasing a house on enough land where the kids can run {and run and run and run}. Plus, we just want more options – do you know the feeling?

It seemed that for so long we were tied in to the big house mentality that made us house-rich, but everything else poor.

To help us further down the road to financial freedom, we’re planning on staycationing this summer – finding experiences for free or for low prices, right in our own backyard. Northeast Ohio is loaded with fabulous options.

Most of the things on the lists below are inexpensive, though some do require entrance fees. I’ve tried to include tips for saving money on the trips that are a little pricier. Please take time to let me know your tips or other ideas for great outings in Northeast Ohio I might have missed. I’ll come back and add to the post as you do.

And…if you don’t live in Ohio, come back tomorrow for a list of staycation ideas from bloggers in over 40 other cities across the nation! Onto my list for the summer…


Free Family Fun



I love the sweet town of Hudson. Along Main Street are fun toy shops, a bookstore, ice cream, gourmet cupcakes, and a quaint village green with a gazebo. Throughout the summer, they offer free concerts on the green. Just bring a picnic blanket or lawn chair and enjoy the show. The lineup, dates, and times can be found on their website.



The Cleveland Museum of Art has been a family-friendly {and free} destination since 1913. We love the armor and weapons collection. Throughout the year, they offer special programs and classes, but we’re especially looking forward to taking advantage of some of the free Second Sunday Family Days. From 11-4, on the second Sunday of the month, the museum offers free art projects, music, dance, and other activities for families to participate in.


Visit the Cleveland Fed's Learning Center and Money Museum!

At The Federal Bank of Cleveland, families can visit the Learning Center and Money Museum for free. There, kids will learn about bartering, how money is made, and explore the history of money.


Lake Erie Nature & Science Center

The Lake Erie Nature & Science Center in Bay Village is a hidden gem. I didn’t know about it for years, and am so glad I finally discovered it. The center’s founder, Dr. Elberta Fleming believed that children learned best through experiences and wanted to connect them with nature to motivate their curiosity and sense of stewardship. Admission is always free, though there is a small fee to attend planetarium or class programs.



Inexpensive Family Fun







Like many other movie theaters across the country, Regal Cinemas offers inexpensive summer movie clubs for kids. Check out the listings for this summer on their website. And, at only $1 per person, we can actually afford to go to the movies with the whole crew!


Memphis Kiddie Park has been around since 1952. With 11 rides for little ones, miniature golf, a train, and fun concessions, it’s been a family tradition since Trevor was little. I can’t wait to take the girls this year!

The Lake County Captains Minor League Baseball team is a great way for families to experience the fun of a summer evening baseball game. It’s affordable and all the seats are great. I love their Lil’ Skippers Club program. For $25 kids get a ticket to ALL 70 home games, a special gift, fie vouchers to the PNC Kids’ Zone, an ID card, and a 10% discount to the team shop.


Rolling Ridge Ranch Animal Park Logo

Rolling Ridge Ranch is a drive-through animal park located in Millersburg. Animals from all over the world live on this 500-acre ranch where visitors can either safari on a horse-drawn wagon or drive through in their own car. Discount admission can be arranged with groups of 15 or more, and you can save even more money by packing your own lunch and snacks.


One of my favorite places in the area is the Lake Metroparks Farmpark. Farmpark’s mission is to help urban society see how farmers raise food, fiber, and other products. When you visit you might be able to check out baby animals, milk a cow, make ice cream, watch a sheepherding demonstration or sheep-shearing, plant or harvest a potato, see the inside of a beehive or more. If you live in Lake County, watch for monthly free days. Otherwise, bring your lunch to save a little money.


Lake Erie Crushers

The Lake Erie Crushers are a Frontier League baseball team in Avon. Reasonably priced, family-friendly events, and a small intimate stadium make this a great family evening. Even better? Kids can join the Kids Club and receive 8 tickets to Sunday afternoon games for free.









Hastings Dairy is a working dairy farm in Burton. Run by third generation dairy farmers, the farm is open to visitors from May through September. Prices are around $6 per person and include tours of the dairy, playgrounds, giant sandboxes, pedal tractors, games, and more.


Other Ideas for Local Family Fun


Whatever you choose to do, remember that summer is a great time to make memories. Light a fire in the backyard, roast some hot dogs, make some s’mores, and just hang out with your kids. They’re only little once, and they won’t remember how much money you spent on your summer, whether it’s a staycation or a vacation. They’ll remember that you were there, and that you got dirty and had fun with them.

Enjoy your kids, enjoy your summer, and don’t forget to come back tomorrow and check out links from across the country.

In the meantime, tell me… What is YOUR favorite summertime childhood memory?


I’m linking up with some of the fantastic iHomeschool Network bloggers today. Check out their Staycation posts: