Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Lakewood, OH

  • Published 2022/11/28

Lakewood is a city on the coast of Lake Erie, just west of Cleveland, Ohio.

This small lakeside city in Cuyahoga County is known for many exciting things.

As a historical suburb of Cleveland, Lakewood has numerous attractions that will fascinate you.

This suburban city is home to gorgeous parks, scenic river views, and historical sites that remain famous attractions to visitors today.

Not many know about this, but Lakewood is an excellent travel destination in Ohio.

It’s a recommended destination for those who want to explore the less-visited suburban areas in Cleveland.

It offers plenty of activities and places to visit, making your stay there much more exciting.

Like most suburban communities, Lakewood is also home to an eclectic collection of shopping and dining options.

Check out the best things to do in Lakewood, Ohio, for travel ideas.

Unwind at Lakewood Park

Binoculars overlooking the waters at Lakewood Park

Erik Drost, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Lakewood Park is an ideal place to visit upon arriving in the city.

You can visit this 31-acre lakefront park along Lake Avenue.

It boasts one of the city’s best lakeside views, making it an ideal place to unwind or enjoy various outdoor activities.

Moreover, this park serves as the crown jewel among Lakewood’s parks.

A gazebo at Lakewood Park

Erik Drost, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This park is also a favorite place for locals of all ages to have fun and relax.

It has a vast playground, a concrete walkway around the lake, and a gorgeous skyline of Downtown Cleveland from a distance.

At the same time, it has a public swimming pool and a vast green space for picnicking.

Drop by Lakewood Park for a relaxing or fun time with your loved ones.

Tickle Your Imagination at Cleveland Curiosities

Cleveland Curiosities is an odd but fascinating antique and novelty shop along Madison Avenue in Lakewood.

This famous tourist attraction has a comprehensive collection of novelty items from various oddities.

It has earned a reputation across Ohio as the best place to find obscure antique items and collectibles.

Since its opening in 2014, it has welcomed thousands of avid collectors of its unique items.

At the Cleveland Curiosities, you will see voodoo dolls, real-life skulls, conjoined calf twins, guillotines, and plenty more odd things.

With all that in mind, don’t forget to drop by this unique Lakewood attraction.

Otherwise, you’ll miss one of the city’s best attractions.

Feel the Solemnity of the Sanctuary Museum

The Sanctuary Museum mixes art, religion, and history into one fascinating place.

It mainly features an old Catholic church that underwent a restoration.

Today, it is a museum housing a vast collection of church artifacts and sacred statues from around the world.

You can visit this museum along Madison Avenue and enjoy guided or self-guided tours through its solemn exhibits.

These exhibits display some new and restored statues of Christian saints and martyrs.

Lou McClung, the museum’s curator, has collected and restored discarded religious statues for many years through his extensive expertise in makeup.

Some statues you’ll see at the Sanctuary Museum are those McClung saved from being discarded by the Diocese of Ohio.

You’ll see over 200 pieces of various religious statues, artworks, and relics at this fascinating museum, making it a must-visit place in Lakewood.

Catch an Entertaining Show at the Beck Center for the Arts

Beck Center for the Arts is a famous performing arts theater along Detroit Avenue.

This non-profit group in Lakewood is renowned for producing top-notch theater shows.

At the same time, it provides the community with educational programs related to the arts.

As the most extensive theater and arts center on the West Shore of Cleveland, it’s one of the recommended places to check out.

Enjoy watching theatrical shows and other performing arts, such as poetry readings, musical performances, and even visual arts, such as painting exhibits.

Beck Center for the Arts has two theaters you can choose to watch their shows.

Each theater features performances featuring the center’s aspiring young artists that guarantee top-notch entertainment.

Knock Down Pins at Mahall’s

Mahall’s is a classic bowling and concert venue along Madison Avenue.

It has operated for many years, building a reputation as one of the top event venues in Lakewood.

It has a vast main stage room where most of its concerts happen.

At the same time, it has a top-notch bowling center with colorful lights and groovy music, transporting you back to the olden days.

Besides being a famous concert venue and a top-notch bowling center, Mahall’s regularly hosts dance party nights.

Capture the Breathtaking View of the Solstice Steps

View of the sunset from Solstice Steps

colind123 /

Solstice Steps is one of Lakewood Park’s landmark projects.

It’s within Lakewood Park.

It was initially constructed to provide parkgoers with the best view of Lake Erie and Cleveland’s picturesque skyline.

This popular attraction is technically a section of steps curving through 480 feet area on Lake Erie’s shoreline.

It resembles a masonry bleacher that overlooks Lake Erie’s north and northwest portions.

Seating at the steps offers you a breathtaking view of this famous lake, especially during the golden hour, making it a perfect place to pass the time.

Whenever you’re planning to visit Lakewood Park, drop by Solstice Steps to capture Lake Erie’s natural beauty.

Bring Your Pup to the Lakewood Dog Park

Lakewood Dog Park is the best place to take your pup for a day filled with fun and adventure.

You can visit this dedicated dog park along Valley Parkway near the Lakewood Water Treatment Plant.

This dog park is open from morning to evening.

You and your pup should enjoy its vast green space, where you can unleash them to join other dogs.

Of course, like most dog parks, Lakewood Dog Park has specific rules to keep every pup safe.

Don’t forget to read the rules to have a fun experience there.

Have a Blast at the Madison Park

Madison Park is one of Lakewood’s top outdoor recreation areas.

It regularly draws locals and visitors to have fun.

You can visit this park along Madison Avenue and bring your family or friends for some exciting outdoor activities.

This park features an outdoor pool, a softball diamond, a soccer field, a tennis court, and a children’s playground.

Since it’s near a neighborhood, the park is usually packed with parkgoers who want to sweat out or perhaps relax after a tiring day at work.

Like most top-notch community parks, Madison Park has all the amenities to make your visit there worthwhile.

Step inside the Oldest Stone House Museum

The Oldest Stone House Museum is a treasure trove of historical artifacts detailing some of Cleveland and Lakewood’s rich history.

The Lakewood Historical Society currently manages the museum along Lake Avenue.

The museum is a fascinating historical site since it was once Lakewood’s ‘oldest stone house,’ completed in 1834.

John Honam, the owner of the stone house, used sandstone he quarried in the area to construct the building.

Today, it houses hundreds of artifacts from heirlooms, photographs, documents, artworks, and original furnishings of the stone house.

You can see these artifacts through the museum’s permanent exhibits.

Don’t forget to browse the Oldest Stone House Museum for an exciting historical side trip.

Stroll through Madison Avenue

Madison Avenue serves as Lakewood’s main street, where you can find and visit most shops, restaurants, and businesses.

Like most central streets in every city, this stretch of road in Lakewood offers you almost everything it has to offer.

It’s home to charming eateries, cafes, and local gems, which are all fascinating.

With that in mind, a morning or afternoon stroll in this part of the city allows you to enjoy visiting places to eat, shop, and play.

Madison Avenue has everything you want, whether looking for a haircut or a nice hanging spot.

Catch a Concert at the Lakewood Civic Auditorium

Lakewood Civic Auditorium is a massive million-dollar mid-1950s theater that is part of Lakewood High School.

You can visit this elegant auditorium along Franklin Boulevard.

The auditorium can host up to 2,000 patrons for various events such as concerts, graduations, theatrical performances, recitals, competitions, and plenty more.

One of the most famous performers of this auditorium was the Cleveland Orchestra.

The group inaugurated the auditorium’s first concert in 1961 and has already performed there countless times until 2020.

It’s also where the Great Lakes Theater Festival regularly happens.

The Lakewood Civic Auditorium is one of the local gems you mustn’t miss in the city.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Once you’re finished roaming Lakewood’s best attractions, check out its neighboring cities, which offer some of Ohio’s best attractions.

Here are some attractions near Lakewood.

Browse the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Exterior of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

f11photo /

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is probably one of the most popular attractions in Cleveland, Ohio.

You can find it 14 minutes from Lakewood.

This attraction doesn’t need a lengthy introduction since it’s on most people’s itineraries whenever they visit Cleveland.

It’s the museum and the hall of fame of the best musicians and singers in history.

Interior of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Nina Alizada /

Visiting this place allows you to see the vast and colorful music history of the United States.

Inside you’ll see some of the famous memorabilia and other items from your favorite singers, bands, and musicians.

Enjoy an hour or two browsing the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame for an unforgettable experience.

Facade of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Robert J Daveant /

Immerse in Nature at the Lake Erie Nature & Science Center

Lake Erie Nature & Science Center is roughly 15 minutes from Lakewood in Bay Village, Ohio.

This attraction is open to all ages, especially those fascinated with nature and science.

It has a wildlife rehabilitation facility, a planetarium, and acres of natural area to explore.

At the same time, it offers visitors various interactive programs such as summer camps, guided tours, nature hikes, and plenty more.

Lake Erie Nature & Science Center is a worthwhile attraction in Bay Village.

Mingle with Locals at West Side Market

Exterior of West Side Market

Illus01 /

West Side Market is Cleveland’s oldest and longest-operating market space.

You can find it ten minutes from Lakewood.

It’s been added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973 to preserve its historical value.

Amazingly, it has provided Cleveland with fresh produce and other products since 1840.

Like most historical places, it underwent numerous restorations and upgrades to preserve its timeless charm and functionality.

Interior of West Side Market

psching /

Like most local markets, West Side Market is where you’ll find the best local produce, baked goods, fruits, meats, and other products.

In addition, it’s also a foodie’s haven as it hosts many vendors selling freshly cooked food ranging from full meals, pastries, and preserves.

Visiting this historical market is an unforgettable experience.

Rub elbows with locals and see how Cleveland locals fare with their regular day.

Fresh produce in West Side Market

Kenneth Sponsler /

See the Animals at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

A grizzly bear cub at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

StonePhotos /

Lastly, spend your day with your family at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo in Cleveland, 12 minutes from Lakewood.

This zoo takes pride as the “Emerald Necklace” of the Cleveland Metroparks system.

It spans over 183 acres of outdoor and indoor facilities that house over 3,000 animals from 600 species.

A cheetah at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

Charles Barilleaux, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

One of the zoo’s main features is the five-acre elephant crossing, the African savannah enclosure, and the eight-acre Australian habitat.

These enclosures are full of fascinating animals you only see on TV.

Don’t miss the chance to see giant beasts and cute animals at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.

A bird at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

Ozan Kilic, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Final Thoughts

Lakewood is an excellent place to spend your weekend on.

It has plenty of places and activities to explore, which is why it’s one of Cleveland’s top suburban communities.

It offers a unique travel experience highlighting Lake Erie’s beauty and one-of-a-kind locality.

Plan your trip today and discover the best things to do in Lakewood, Ohio!

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