Cuyahoga Valley National Park is full of natural beauty – from its scenic railroads to its several waterfalls to its serene expanses of forest. If you’re planning a trip to the area, CVNP will certainly keep you busy, but what about when you aren’t exploring the park? If you’re looking for ways to fill in your trip with local flavor, high-flying adventures, and a little bit of mystery and magic, congratulations – you’ve come to the right place!
We’ve hand-picked some of the most popular things to do near Cuyahoga Valley National Park in nearby Cleveland, OH. Plus, we’ve picked out all of the restaurants and attractions on this list that currently accept GiftYa cards.
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Caught up? Cool. Let’s get to the good stuff – our list of the top things to do near Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
16200 Valley Pkwy | Strongsville | www.goape.com
Starting to feel like your National Park visit is just a little too… serene? Take the excitement up a notch with pulse-pounding adventures at Go Ape. You’ll love swinging through the trees like Tarzan in a self-guided treetop adventure. Prefer to keep those feet planted firmly on the ground? Don’t worry - Go Ape has plenty in store for visitors who don’t want a view from the trees. With ax throwing and forest escape adventures available, Go Ape is a great way to spend a day near Cuyahoga Valley.
“Loved it! It seems a little pricey but it takes nearly 3 hours to complete the course and that makes it worth it. I'm 51 and in OK shape and I did just fine. That said, I skipped the 2 "extreme" crossings and chose the less challenging alternatives. My 55 y/o husband has a dad bod and he aced the course. My visiting twentyish sons LOVED it. The orientation was great, I felt completely safe at all times and the staff was very encouraging. We will be back!” - Yelp Review
23525 Lorain Rd | North Olmsted | escaperoomclev.com
Visiting Cuyahoga Valley National Park is almost certainly going to be a workout – with plenty of sights to see and incredible hiking trails to venture out on, you may find yourself looking for an activity that puts your mind to the test so you can give those tired legs a rest. If that’s the case, Escape Room Cleveland is a great option.
One of the veterans in Cleveland’s escape room scene, Escape Room Cleveland has been stumping visitors since 2016. As of this writing, guests can try their hand at 5 different puzzles ranging from a Sherlock Holmes mystery to escaping a Mad Scientist, but our personal recommendation is the Bank Heist Room.
Why? The Bank Heist Room has a little bit of North Eastern Ohio flair, making it a fun way to immerse yourself in a little Cleveland history (even if it is imaginary) during your visit to nearby Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
“Wow! This was a great time! My husband and I stopped in for a little something different on date night. We were very impressed by the room, I don't want to spoil anything so I will just say you are in for a surprise! Very tough and the two of us only finished 85% in the hour time. We enjoyed and would try again!” - Yelp Review
811 Prospect Ave East | Gateway District | taprooms.stbcbeer.com
Since 2002, Southern Tier Brewing Company has been concocting world-class brews in Lakewood, NY. Over the last two decades, what started as founder Phin DeMink’s innovative passion project has grown into an industry leader and one of the top craft beer producers in the country. Remaining dedicated to creating a high-quality product, Southern Tier Brewing Company has hung onto its spirit of experimentation by adding bold flavors and formulas to their lineup over the seasons.
Southern Tier is perhaps best known for their Double IPAs, so consider sampling one if you stop by after a hike. The 2XCitrus, 2XHaze, 2Xperimental, and classic 2XIPA are all highly reviewed. If something a little less hoppy makes you happy, you can also try their milk ale or a smooth stout. Or, if you find yourself near Cuyahoga Valley in the fall, the Pumpking Imperial Ale is a seasonal favorite. The downtown Cleveland taproom has 30+ taps, so you’re sure to find something to sip on.
“I can't believe I haven't written a review for this place yet! We always loved Southey tier beers but now that they have a restaurant we love the food too. The place is super fun, the environment is cool and rustic with multiple floors and rooms! The beer flights are where it's at though!” - Yelp Review
15809 Libby Rd | Maple Heights | www.facebook.com/Maple-Heights-Lanes
Even if you find yourself around Cleveland for the area’s natural and outdoor attractions, it can be nice to take a break from the adventure and spend a little time inside relaxing. Maple Heights Lanes has been one of C-Town’s favorite family-owned and operated bowling alleys since its doors swung open in 1991.
Bowling at Maple Heights is fun for all ages. If you’ve got youngsters along, they’ll love seeing the lanes lit up for cosmic bowling. Teens and 20-somethings will love the vintage vibe and have fun with karaoke, and the adults will be happy to find that the bowling alley also has a fully stocked bar. Maple Heights Lanes has something to offer everyone.
“Really like this place, pretty helpful staff. The lanes are not brand new or high tech or anything like that but they seem to function most times and definitely have that vintage feel. Definitely a throwback type of place.” - Yelp Review
300 Park Ave | Beachwood | orangevillage.colormemine.com
Got rained out on the first day of your trip? It’s a bummer, but it happens. If you find yourself in need of an indoor activity towards the start of your trip, be sure to give Color Me Mine a try!
Here’s how it works: once you reserve a table, you can select from a variety of ceramic items to decorate. Cups, plates, sculptures – it’s up to you. Next, you’ll choose a few glaze colors to work with, and then you’re on your way! Paint however you’d like – stay in the lines, or get abstract. There’s no right or wrong here.
Keep in mind that you won’t be able to take your project home the same day. You’ll have to leave it behind so that staff can fire it in the kiln and lock your creation in forever, so you’ll need to pick it up a few days later. If you won’t be in town long, be sure to check with staff to make sure this activity works for your timeline!
“Every employee is a gem here! They were accommodating our requests and very understanding! Our party ended up making different items, such as cups, honey pots, plates and wax melters... There are so many options to choose from! I can't wait for my little one to be a little older to go for his own experience.” - Yelp Review
1050 W 10th St | East Bank | www.trumans216.com
One of the coolest things about Cleveland’s food scene is its strong commitment to supporting the local community. Truman’s 216 might be the best example of that Cleveland community spirit. When the pandemic shut down restaurants all over the country, Truman’s launched a meal program to support those with limited access to food as well as healthcare heroes on the frontlines. At the height of the program, Truman’s was dishing out 500+ meals per week to help their hometown.
But don’t think they stopped there. Meal program? Still going strong. Profits? 100% put toward helping those in need, including donations to charities for homeless community members and pets in need.
So if you need a place to fuel up for your Cuyahoga Valley National Park adventure, consider a trip to Truman’s. Enjoy pancakes, omelets, avocado toast, and all sorts of other breakfast foods at their weekend brunch, or stop in anytime for burgers, ribs, sandwiches, wraps, and more.
“So much fun! Quaint little place, live music, great drinks, even better service. We would be regulars here if we lived in the area, for sure.” - Yelp Review
2155 Broadview Rd | Old Brooklyn | bucklandmuseum.org
Planning a National Park visit during peak leaf-peeping season? Keep the fall vibes going with a spooky trip to the Buckland Museum of Witchcraft and Magick. Sure, when you think witches you probably think of a certain town a couple of states farther into New England, but the Buckland Museum is actually America’s first and only museum dedicated to magick and the occult.
Since 1966, visitors have been able to explore artifacts ranging from ancient Egyptian relics to artifacts from the Salem Witch Trials. The collection includes items previously owned by Aleister Crowley, Rayond Buckland, and other prominent members of the pagan community.
“Neat little shop with a back room of unique items, curios and historical things you can hear about during a tour. Host was great and enjoyed the tour and shop.” - Yelp Review
We hope you found something fun to do today, or at least got some good ideas. Be sure to check back soon – we’re always adding more local and national restaurants, attractions, and activities to the GiftYa catalog. Plus, we’re always putting out new guides on things to do around the country on the GiftYa blog. See ya soon!