Nature’s beauty, fun history and more await near Cleveland this summer

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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There??€™s an endless supply of summer activities in Ohio. Here??€™s a sampling of the fun.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

From pro football to the Rock halls of fame, a national park and the Lake Erie shore, a visitor could spend weeks touring northeast Ohio and not experience everything there is to see and do here.

But feel free to try.

Here are a few of our favorite places to play in Cleveland, Akron, Canton and surrounding counties:

BOTANICAL GARDENS/ZOOS

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

3900 Wildlife Way, Cleveland (Cuyahoga County)

Devote a full day to see everything at the zoo, with thousands of animals spread across nearly 200 acres. New this summer: Asian Highlands, with resident snow leopards, red pandas, takins and an Amur leopard. Other favorite areas include African Elephant Crossing, Australian Adventure and the Rainforest.

ADMISSION: $14.95, or $12.95 for those 62 and older, $10.95 for children 2 to 11

INFORMATION: clevelandmetroparks.com/zoo, 216-661-6500

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CHUCK CROW THE PLAIN DEALER Isabelle Virag, 5, left, and Carly Hippich, 4, watch closely as Humboldt penquins are fed at the Akron Zoo. Isabelle Virag, age 5(left) and Carly Hippich, age 4, take in the feeding time at Penguin Point, one of the brand new spots inside the Akron Zoo.The girls were at the Zoo with their moms and they are from Akron.Shot at the Akron Zoo, Akron,Ohio.Shot on June 9, 2005.(Photograph by Chuck Crow/The Plain Dealer) ORG XMIT: CLE2017050912304115

Credit: chuck crow

CHUCK CROW  THE PLAIN DEALER  Isabelle Virag, 5, left, and Carly Hippich, 4, watch closely as Humboldt penquins are fed at the Akron Zoo.     Isabelle Virag, age 5(left) and Carly Hippich, age 4, take in the feeding time at Penguin Point, one of the brand new spots inside the Akron Zoo.The girls were at the Zoo with their moms and they are from Akron.Shot at the Akron Zoo, Akron,Ohio.Shot on June 9, 2005.(Photograph by Chuck Crow/The Plain Dealer) ORG XMIT: CLE2017050912304115

Credit: chuck crow

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CHUCK CROW THE PLAIN DEALER Isabelle Virag, 5, left, and Carly Hippich, 4, watch closely as Humboldt penquins are fed at the Akron Zoo. Isabelle Virag, age 5(left) and Carly Hippich, age 4, take in the feeding time at Penguin Point, one of the brand new spots inside the Akron Zoo.The girls were at the Zoo with their moms and they are from Akron.Shot at the Akron Zoo, Akron,Ohio.Shot on June 9, 2005.(Photograph by Chuck Crow/The Plain Dealer) ORG XMIT: CLE2017050912304115

Credit: chuck crow

Credit: chuck crow

Akron Zoo

505 Euclid Ave., Akron (Summit)

Compact and easy to negotiate, the Akron Zoo is perfect for an afternoon of animal exploration. Among the many highlights here: Tiger Valley, Penguin Point, Farmland and the Conservation Carousel.

ADMISSION: $12, or $10 for those 62 and older, $9 for children 2 to 14

INFORMATION: www.akronzoo.org, 330-375-2550

Cleveland Botanical Garden

11030 East Blvd., Cleveland (Cuyahoga)

Tucked amid the bustle of the big city is this urban oasis, featuring indoor and outdoor spaces designed to calm, promote creativity and more. Highlights include the Madagascar and Costa Rican biomes inside the Eleanor Armstrong Smith Glasshouse, the Japanese Garden and the Hershey Children’s Garden, with plenty of family-friendly activities.

ADMISSION: $12 or $8 for children 3 to 12

INFORMATION: cbgarden.org, 216-721-1600

Holden Arboretum

9550 Sperry Road, Kirtland (Lake)

Spend a day (or more) exploring the lush 3,600 acres of Holden Arboretum, one of the largest botanical gardens in the United States. Don’t miss the new Murch Canopy Walk — a 500-foot-long elevated walkway built 65 feet above the forest floor — and Kalberer Tower, which rises 120 feet for spectacular views.

ADMISSION: $10, or $4 for children 6 to 18 (canopy walk extra)

INFORMATION: holdenarb.org, 440-946-4400

OUTDOOR MUSIC/DRAMA

Blossom Music Center

1145 W. Steels Corners Road, Cuyahoga Falls (Summit)

There might be no lovelier place to enjoy a summer evening than Blossom Music Center with the Cleveland Orchestra on stage. The amphitheater seats 5,700, with room for another 13,500 on the lawn. The orchestra plays weekends from July through early September. For a special treat this summer: Roger Daltrey, along with members of the Who band, will perform “Tommy” with the orchestra on July 8.

During the week, a wide variety of musicians take the stage, including Kenny Chesney on June 6, Imagine Dragons on June 17, the Vans Warped Tour on July 18, plus many others.

ADMISSION: ticket prices vary; children younger than 18 are admitted free to orchestra concerts

INFORMATION: clevelandorchestra.com, livenation.com

‘Trumpet in the Land’

Schoenbrunn Amphitheatre, 1600 Trumpet Drive N.E., New Philadelphia (Tuscarawas)

Paul Green’s “Trumpet in the Land” tells the true story of Moravian missionary David Zeisberger and his Christian Indian followers as they struggle to maintain their settlement in the years leading up to the Revolutionary War. Entering its 49th season, the show is set in the same Ohio hills where the story unfolded more than two centuries ago.

The play runs mid-June through mid-August. Also on stage at the Schoenbrunn Amphitheatre this summer: “Bye Bye Birdie,” “Dorothy Meets Alice,” “Why Do Fools Fall in Love?” and “Life Could Be a Dream.”

ADMISSION: $20, or $18 for those 60 and older and children 13 to 17, $10 for children 3 to 12

INFORMATION: trumpetintheland.com, 330-339-1132

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MUSEUMS

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Visitors make their way in to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame exhibit at the Rock Hall. April 9, 2018 (Gus Chan / The Plain Dealer) ORG XMIT: CLE1804101706224181

Credit: Gus Chan Gus Chan Gus Chan

Visitors make their way in to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame exhibit at the Rock Hall.  April 9, 2018  (Gus Chan / The Plain Dealer) ORG XMIT: CLE1804101706224181

Credit: Gus Chan Gus Chan Gus Chan

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Visitors make their way in to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame exhibit at the Rock Hall. April 9, 2018 (Gus Chan / The Plain Dealer) ORG XMIT: CLE1804101706224181

Credit: Gus Chan Gus Chan Gus Chan

Credit: Gus Chan Gus Chan Gus Chan

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

1100 E. 9th St., Cleveland (Cuyahoga)

Cleveland’s shrine to rock music has a new sheen this year — in the form of several new exhibits and activities designed to update the visitor experience. Among the highlights: an expanded exhibit detailing the 300-plus hall inductees, including the class of 2018: Bon Jovi, the Cars, Dire Straits, the Moody Blues, Nina Simone and Sister Rosetta Tharpe; and the Power of Rock Experience, a multi-sensory film about the induction process.

And, of course, the museum is still loaded with costumes, instruments and other paraphernalia that track the revolution of rock through the decades.

ADMISSION: $26, or $24 for senior citizens 65 and older, $16 for children 6 to 12; online offers available

INFORMATION: rockhall.com, 216-781-7625

Pro Football Hall of Fame

2121 George Halas Drive N.W., Canton (Stark)

Fans of football shouldn’t miss this temple to the sport, located not far from where the National Football League was founded in 1920. Highlights include the Hall of Fame Gallery, where more than 300 bronze busts of inductees are on display. Also: the Lamar Hunt Super Bowl Gallery; and “A Game for Life,” featuring Joe Namath in hologram form.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival runs July 22 through Aug. 6, culminating in the enshrinement ceremony on Aug. 4, featuring class of 2018 inductees Bobby Beathard, Robert Brazile, Brian Dawkins, Jerry Kramer, Ray Lewis, Randy Moss, Terrell Owens and Brian Urlacher.

ADMISSION: $25, or $21 for senior citizens 65 and older, $18 for children 6 to 12

INFORMATION: profootballhof.com, 330-456-8207

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Art students from the Cleveland Institute of Art practice drawing of the “Funerary Monument for the Marquis de Tourny” (for the Chapel of the Chateau de la Falaise), 1878-93, carved in marble by Francois-Nicolas Delaistre, far left, in the east wing glass box at the Cleveland Museum of Art in this 2014 file photo. (Lisa DeJong/The Plain Dealer)

Art students from the Cleveland Institute of Art practice drawing of the “Funerary Monument for the Marquis de Tourny” (for the Chapel of the Chateau de la Falaise), 1878-93, carved in marble by Francois-Nicolas Delaistre, far left, in the east wing glass box at the Cleveland Museum of Art in this 2014 file photo. (Lisa DeJong/The Plain Dealer)

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Art students from the Cleveland Institute of Art practice drawing of the “Funerary Monument for the Marquis de Tourny” (for the Chapel of the Chateau de la Falaise), 1878-93, carved in marble by Francois-Nicolas Delaistre, far left, in the east wing glass box at the Cleveland Museum of Art in this 2014 file photo. (Lisa DeJong/The Plain Dealer)

Cleveland Museum of Art

11150 East Blvd., Cleveland (Cuyahoga)

Cleveland’s art museum is considered among the finest in the world, with renowned collections spanning thousands of years. A major expansion in 2014 made the space, located east of downtown in Cleveland’s University Circle neighborhood, even more impressive. General admission is free, though special exhibits often carry a price tag.

One of the hottest tickets in town this summer: Admission to the blockbuster exhibit “Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors” (July 7-Sept. 30). Tickets cost $30, or $15 for children 6 to 17.

INFORMATION: clevelandart.org, 216-421-7350

Butler Institute of American Art

524 Wick Ave., Youngstown (Mahoning)

Youngstown’s well-regarded art museum was the first in the world to focus exclusively on American art. Popular pieces include “Snap the Whip” by Winslow Homer, “Pennsylvania Coal Town” by Edward Hopper and “Lincoln the Railsplitter” by Norman Rockwell. Special exhibits this summer include the works of Sally Weber and Edith Bergstrom.

ADMISSION: free

INFORMATION: butlerart.com, 330-743-1107

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SPORTING EVENTS

Cleveland Indians

Progressive Field, 2401 Ontario St., Cleveland (Cuyahoga)

Expectations are high again this year for the Tribe, American League Central champions for two years running. Upcoming homestands include series against the Chicago White Sox (May 28-30), the Detroit Tigers (June 22-24) and the Cincinnati Reds (July 9-11).

ADMISSION: beginning at $15

INFORMATION: www.mlb.com/indians, 216-420-4487

More pro baseball in Northeast Ohio

• Akron RubberDucks: The Cleveland Indians’ Class AA affiliate plays at downtown Akron’s Canal Park, 300 S. Main St., Akron (Summit County), with seating for 7,600.

Information: www.akronrubberducks.com, 330-253-5151,

• Lake County Captains: This Class A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians plays in Classic Park, 35300 Vine St., Eastlake (Lake County)

Information: www.captainsbaseball.com, 440-975-8085

• Mahoning Valley Scrappers: The Class A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians plays at Eastwood Field in Niles in Trumbull County (www.mvscrappers.com, 330-505-0000; and the Lake Erie Crushers, part of the independent Frontier League, play at Sprenger Stadium in Avon in Lorain County (www.lakeeriecrushers.com, 440-934-3636)

World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational

Firestone Country Club, 452 E. Warner Road, Akron (Summit)

This is the last year for the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, which is moving to Memphis, Tennessee, in 2019. An Akron tradition for nearly two decades, the tournament typically draws some of the biggest names in golf. A roster of players should be released in late July.

The event runs Aug. 1-5.

ADMISSION: $25 to $125

INFORMATION: www.worldgolfchampionships.com, 330-644-2299

FESTIVALS AND FAIRS

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Gianna and Dera Fasline of Pittburgh, PA. came dressed as Snow Whites for the Twice Upon a Time fairy tale theme in the parade kicking off the annual Twins Festival in Twinsburg on Saturday, August 2, 2013. (Thomas Ondrey/The Plain Dealer)

Credit: Thomas Ondrey Thomas Ondrey

Gianna and Dera Fasline of Pittburgh, PA. came dressed as Snow Whites for the Twice Upon a Time fairy tale theme in the parade kicking off the annual Twins Festival in Twinsburg on Saturday, August 2, 2013. (Thomas Ondrey/The Plain Dealer)

Credit: Thomas Ondrey Thomas Ondrey

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Gianna and Dera Fasline of Pittburgh, PA. came dressed as Snow Whites for the Twice Upon a Time fairy tale theme in the parade kicking off the annual Twins Festival in Twinsburg on Saturday, August 2, 2013. (Thomas Ondrey/The Plain Dealer)

Credit: Thomas Ondrey Thomas Ondrey

Credit: Thomas Ondrey Thomas Ondrey

Twins Day Festival, Aug. 3-5

Glenn Chamberlin Park, 10260 Ravenna Road, Twinsburg (Summit County)

This annual event is the largest gathering of twins (and other multiples) in the world, drawing thousands of twins (plus thousands of non-twins) every year. Popular events include look-alike (and least-alike) contests, talent shows and more.

ADMISSION: $4, or free for children younger than 5

INFORMATION: twinsdays.org, 330-425-3652

Duck Tape Festival, June 14-16

Veterans Memorial Park, 3701 Veterans Memorial Parkway, Avon (Lorain County)

Celebrate the miracle of duct tape in the hometown of Duck Brand. Activities include a duct tape fashion show, duct tape arts and crafts, a parade, entertainment and more.

ADMISSION: free

INFORMATION: ducktapefestival.com

Cy Young Days Festival, June 22-24

Various locations in downtown Newcomerstown (Tuscarawas)

Celebrate baseball — and one of the sport’s all-time best players — in Cy Young’s hometown, just off Interstate 77. This annual festival includes a parade, music, displays, plus an Old Timers Baseball Tournament. Guest of honor is Dwight “Doc” Gooden, Cy Young Award winner in 1985.

ADMISSION: free (fees for various events, food)

INFORMATION: cyyoungdaysfestival.com

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D-Day Conneaut, Aug. 17-18

Conneaut Township Park, 480 Lake Road, Conneaut (Ashtabula)

More than 1,800 re-enactors are expected on the south shore of Lake Erie for this annual event, the largest D-Day re-enactment in the United States. Activities include mock battles, living-history displays, demonstrations, seminars and more.

ADMISSION: free, although donations are encouraged

INFORMATION: ddayohio.us

BREWERIES/WINERIES

Lake Erie wine trail (Lake, Ashtabula counties)

Ohio’s best-known and most prolific wine-making region is east of Cleveland, along the Lake Erie shore. At last count, there were 29 wineries on the Lake Erie Vines & Wines Trail in Ashtabula and Lake counties, all of them worth a stop and a sip (or two). Among them:

• Debonne Vineyards, 7840 Doty Road, Madison, is the largest estate winery in Ohio, with 175 acres of vineyards and three dozen varieties of wine for purchase.

Information: debonne.com, 440-466-3485

• Kosicek Vineyards, 636 Rt. 534, Geneva, is a relative newcomer, founded in 2012. Last year it won “Best of Show” in the Ohio Wine Competition for its 2016 Traminette.

INFORMATION: kosicekvineyards.com, 440-361-4573

Great Lakes Brewing Co. and more (Cuyahoga, Summit)

Craft beer drinkers, too, have plenty of choices in Northeast Ohio, including industry patriarch Great Lakes Brewing Co., 2516 Market Ave. The 30-year veteran in Cleveland’s Ohio City neighborhood is just west of downtown in the city’s burgeoning brewery district.

INFORMATION: greatlakesbrewing.com, 216-771-4404

Also in the neighborhood: Market Garden Brewery (marketgardenbrewery.com), Nano Brew (nanobrewcleveland.com), Hansa Brewery (hansabrewery.com), Platform Brewery (platformbeer.co), with more to come.

Or head south from the city, where Fat Head’s (with locations in North Olmsted, Middleburg Heights and Canton; fatheads.com) earns praise for its Head Hunter IPA and Bumble Berry Ale, among other brews. And in Akron: Thirsty Dog (thirstydog.com) and Hoppin’ Frog Brewery (hoppinfrog.com) are worth the drive for a pint.

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Nelsonville Music Festival – Line dancing at the Boxcar Stage at the 2017 Nelsonville Music Festival (credit WOUB Public Media/Marie Swartz)

Nelsonville Music Festival – Line dancing at the Boxcar Stage at the 2017 Nelsonville Music Festival (credit WOUB Public Media/Marie Swartz)

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Nelsonville Music Festival – Line dancing at the Boxcar Stage at the 2017 Nelsonville Music Festival (credit WOUB Public Media/Marie Swartz)

OUTDOOR ADVENTURES

Cuyahoga Valley National Park

1550 Boston Mills Road, Peninsula (Summit)

Ohio’s only national park encompasses 33,000 acres between Akron and Cleveland, with numerous opportunities for outdoor fun. Among the many popular activities: biking along the Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath Trail, hiking some of the park’s 100-plus miles of trails and hopping aboard the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, which travels straight through the park.

ADMISSION: free

INFORMATION: nps.gov/cuva, 330-657-2752

Mohican State Park

3116 Rt. 3, Loudonville (Ashland, Holmes)

The area around Mohican has become an outdoor adventurer’s dream, with scenic hiking, mountain bike trails, horseback riding and canoeing along the Mohican River and its tributaries.

INFORMATION: parks.ohiodnr.gov/mohican

Tree Frog Canopy Tours

21899 Wally Road, Glenmont (Holmes)

With seven zip lines and two sky bridges that crisscross the forest, adventurers have ample options from which to choose.

ADMISSION: starting at $75 for a three-hour tour

INFORMATION: treefrogcanopytours.com, 740-599-2662

More zip lining opportunities:

• Common Ground Canopy Tours, 14240 Baird Road, Oberlin (Lorain): Soar through the treetops near Oberlin on this canopy tour, which includes seven zip lines and three sky bridges. Prices range from $49 to $79. Information: commongroundcenter.org/canopy-tours, 440-707-2044

• Lake Erie Canopy Tours, part of Geneva State Park, 4888 North Broadway, Geneva-on-the-Lake (Ashtabula): This new tour offers a course with eight zip lines, including several with terrific views of Lake Erie. Also here: Two Adventure Challenge Courses for children and adults. Cost: $89 for zip line, $49 for Adventure Challenge, $19 for kids’ course. Information: lakeeriecanopytours.com, 866-601-1973

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