Summer is here! With three months off of school and gorgeous warm weather, the possibilities for fun in the Akron and Canton area are endless.
There’s no better way to spend a day than investigating the town with your family. Fortunately, our area is ripe with fun, kid-friendly attractions worth exploring! To help you get started on your seasonal itinerary, we rounded up some of our favorite kid-friendly summer activities in the area.
From refreshing water parks to digging up some fossils, these are some of our favorite kid-approved ways to spend your summer days.
Monkey Around at the Zoo
The Akron Zoo is a wonderful place to spend an afternoon with your family! Featuring 25 acres of exhibits and guest amenities, the kiddos will have a hard time running out of things to do. See animals from all over the world up close, ride the train, spin around on the carousel and marvel at the Wild World Animal Show. Admission is just $12 for adults, $9 for kids ages 2 to 14, and free for kids 2 and under.
Photo courtesy of Avra Photography via the Akron Children’s Museum
This interactive museum for kids offers hands-on exhibits on science, technology, health and culture. Your child will love playing and exploring the museum all while boosting their problem-solving skills. Plus, the bright interior will spur your entire family’s imagination!
Café O’ Play is far from your traditional cafe. While this unique eatery serves delicious sandwiches, pastries, salads, soups, pizza and more, it also functions as a gigantic indoor play area for young kids. Gather with friends and enjoy a meal while you let the little ones run wild on the playground!
Dive Into a New Story at a Local Bookstore
Instill a love of reading in your child by visiting the area’s best local bookshops! Watch your kiddo pick out a book they’ll love and then cozy up or head to a nearby park to read it together. From picture books to full-length novels, there is an infinite number of stories for you to enjoy.
Play Outside at One of Our Area’s Metro Parks
When in doubt, explore the outdoors! The Akron and Canton area just happens to be home to an abundance of picturesque Metro Parks — all of which feature wildlife viewing opportunities, bike paths, wildflowers, soccer fields and hiking trails for your enjoyment.
Visit a Local Festival
There are several fun festivals happening this summer and many of them are kid-friendly! Your children will especially love the National Hamburger Festival, where you can celebrate the place where our country’s iconic sandwich originated. Then follow it up with the Yankee Peddler Festival in early September, where they can step back in time 200 years and visit pioneer America. And if you want to make the short trek up to Cleveland, here are some fun and unique festivals going on in the area this season!
Indulge in Some Ice Cream
Ice cream definitely tastes good year-round, but for some reason, the flavors really stand out when it’s hot outside. Fortunately, Northeast Ohio is home to plenty of top-notch creameries — some of which have been around since the 1930s or earlier! Here are some of our favorites in the area.
The Akron Canton Jellystone Park is a family-oriented camp and resort that features a water park, miniature golf and gem mining! Join Yogi Bear as you swim in the 500,000-gallon pool or eat homemade ice cream from the Pick-a-Nic Basket. Plus, you can make it a weekend affair by staying in one of their adorable cabins or by setting up a tent and enjoying the great outdoors!
Escape from a Local Puzzle Room
Photo courtesy of Escape Room Downtown
Puzzle rooms invite groups to work together, solve puzzles and hopefully escape within 60 minutes! The rooms at Escape Room Downtown are fun (and never scary), so they’re perfect for families. Try your luck at the Missing Detective’s Office, the Moonlight Gallery and the Bootlegger’s Lair.
Trolls are all the rage right now and there’s no better place to be a troll enthusiast than the Troll Hole Museum. This local treasure boasts more than 20,000 troll items (including a Guinness World Record troll collection). Here, you can learn everything about trolls, from ancient mythology to the modern dolls in pop culture that we have grown to know and love.
Try Your Hand at Bowling
Bowling is an activity that people of all ages can enjoy! So why not head over to a local bowling alley and engage in a little friendly family competition? Spins Bowl Akron is a local favorite among families, offering excellent bowling facilities alongside an arcade and delicious food. Or head over to Eastbury Bowling, which offers a summer-long “Kids Bowl Free” program!
Trains might not be the most convenient way to travel anymore, but they are certainly one of the most fun! Kids will love taking a ride on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, which winds through Cuyahoga Valley National Park and features spectacular views. While any route comes with its fair share of adventure, the railroad hosts kid-friendly events throughout the year. You can find their full event schedule here.
Go Ice Skating
If you think ice skating is just a winter sport you’re in for a fantastic surprise! Ice skating year-round is possible at the Center Ice Sports Complex indoor rink in North Canton. Admission for public skating is just $7 and skate rentals are $3. While it might seem a little silly to carry around thick socks on a hot summer day, this cool activity lets you pretend that you’ve stepped into a winter wonderland!
The Akron Fossils and Science Center allows children to explore the treasures of the past through interactive exhibits. Grab a pick and gloves and start digging up some knowledge. After you’ve gotten your hands a little dirty, go on a tour throughout the center and handle real fossils, meet some furry friends and craft some souvenirs.
Try a New Craft
Summer weather can be pretty unpredictable here in Northern Ohio. If the weather outside isn’t cooperating with your family plans, stay home and try a fun new craft or recipe instead! Here are 13 fail-proof ideas from local Ohio bloggers we love.
Have a Great Summer!
Did we miss your favorite kid-friendly summer activity? Let us know in the comments!