16 Best Things to Do in Willoughby, OH

Willoughby, OH
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Willoughby is part of the Cleveland Suburb, the only city in America that once belonged to six counties.

Visitors frequently refer to this city as a hospitable place with Midwestern values.

The city earned its moniker "Courtesy City" by stopping drivers and treating them to lunch or dinner one day every year.

The early history of Willoughby is similar to many towns in northern Ohio.

French trappers initially came across the region during the 1700s, where they encountered Native Americans.

In 1787, Yale alumnus David Abbott traveled west from Rome and gathered a group of settlers to live along the Chagrin River.

They constructed a sawmill and gristmill after Abbott had acquired 200 acres of land, including the now Willoughby area.

Willoughby borders the lovely Lake Erie to the north.

The Chagrin River traverses the entire city and connects several parks: the Chagrin River Park, Todd Field, and Daniel's Park.

Try living on a lakeside, in the city, in the suburbs, or in a home with quiet solitude in Willoughby.

Put your itinerary together by reading this list of the best things to do in Willoughby.

Explore the Historic Downtown Willoughby

Buildings along Downtown Willoughby
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Downtown Willoughby is a historic district on the National Register of Historic Places.

Downtown Willoughby offers activities for the whole family.

Join events like the Last Stop, Annual Downtown Willoughby 5K Run, and Summer Sidewalk Sale.

The road of Downtown Willoughby
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Willoughby also hosts the Saturday Outdoor Market at City Hall, which runs from spring through fall.

Eat dinner with friends and stroll along the Chagrin River.

Then, shop at hip boutiques and antique stores, go to a local event, or unwind in Wes Point Park.

Downtown Willoughby is also a fantastic place to live, work, and even launch your own business.

Go Swimming with Your Kids at Osborne Park

Osborne Park offers activities for the whole family.

The Osborne Park is a haven for athletes, with basketball courts, baseball fields, 9-hole disc golf, and a football field.

You can go swimming with your kids at the Pool, which has a playground and slides for your little ones.

Bond with your kids and learn how to skateboard together at Osborne Park.

Otherwise, you can polish your skills at the corn hole boards.

Osborne Park is also a good place for a family picnic with many pavilions you can use.

Get Spooked at the Willoughby Ghost Walk

The Willoughby Ghost Walk has enthralled tourists with its well-liked tour through the eerie historic district of downtown Willoughby.

You will hear several ghost stories and frightening folklore during your tour.

Follow knowledgeable guides into dimly lit alleyways to learn about haunting apparitions, shocking mysteries, and grave robbery legends.

Visit the graveyard to hear the tragic tale of a lovely young woman killed by a speeding train on a long-ago Christmas eve.

Likewise, listen to accounts of extraordinary and puzzling paranormal occurrences in previous tours.

The Willoughby Ghost Walk usually takes place in the summer, starting in June and running through October.

Moreover, the tour also offers special events, such as private tours and ghost investigations.

Learn to Dive at the Just Add Water

Just Add Water is a five-star Dive Center that provides scuba diving classes for both beginners and experienced divers.

Just Add Water Scuba Dive Shop also offers a wide range of swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving equipment for purchase or rent.

With its training courses, take a scuba diving class to learn to dive and explore the underwater world.

Divers around northeast Ohio and the Cleveland metro region have made Just Add Water their home base.

Whatever equipment you need for swimming, snorkeling, or scuba diving, Just Add Water has everything you need.

You can also turn this dive center into an operations base for solo and group scuba trips.

Practice Teamwork at the Trapped Escape Room -Willoughby

Beyond a place for enjoyment, the Trapped Escape Room offers the chance to exercise your teamwork skills.

Escape rooms can improve communication, teamwork, and problem-solving skills with friends, family, and coworkers.

After all, you must work together to solve the riddles and escape the room.

Try the Gearworks Manor to finish the job and figure out how the cosmos keeps its balance.

Otherwise, get lost at the Edge of the Enchanted Forest and help save it from destruction.

You can also try the packages.

For example, the Club Package locks you inside the Trapped Escape Room for one hour and 30 minutes.

Companies might want to get the Team Package, too.

This package involves a three-hour stay, with team building assessments and catering options.

Build a supportive and communicative team while identifying skills and shortcomings in the Trapped Escape Room.

Stella's Art Gallery gives you access to top-notch artworks and workshops with regional artists.

This place is a working gallery where artists congregate to create, sell, and educate their craft.

Stella's Art Gallery is the perfect place to take an art class and learn from the best.

You can choose from various classes, such as Introduction to Digital Painting, Pottery, and Watercolor 101.

Stella's Art Gallery also features a weekly Kids Art Class for ages five to 12 and a monthly Teen Art Class for ages seven to 14.

The expert instructors at Stella's Art Gallery will help you explore your creativity.

Learn new techniques in a supportive and fun environment.

Spot Wildlife along the Chagrin River Park

The waters of Chagrin River Park
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The Chagrin River Park measures 237 acres and traverses Eastlake and Willoughby, Ohio.

The park's natural regions have lush vegetation, with isolated patches of old-growth forest flanking flood plains.

Keep an eye out for sandpipers, kingfishers, and great blue herons flying around the river.

Frogs and many bird species live in the two wetland regions adjacent to the river.

Mallards and blue-winged teal ducks occupy the seasonal wetland near the public shelter of Chagrin River Park.

A pedestrian bridge connects the land at Chagrin River Park's east and west banks of the river.

Fishing enthusiasts can cast their lines along the Chagrin River's banks.

However, you need a license to fish in the Chagrin River.

Listen to a Live Band At Witz End

At Witz End is a family-friendly restaurant and bar hosting live music almost every night.

The menu at At Witz End includes American comfort food favorites like burgers, wings, and fries.

If you like Mexican food, you can try joining Taco Tuesday to feast on tacos, chicken quesadillas, and chips and salsa.

You can also join Trivia games on Thursday nights or sing a song or two at the karaoke.

At Witz End draws people to enjoy live music with cold drinks during the weekends.

The atmosphere at At Witz End is casual and relaxed, perfect for unwinding after a long day.

Spend a Relaxing Day at the Gully Brook Park

The Gully Brook Park protects a forest, valley, marshland, and river.

These natural features share a deep connection with the area's local history.

You can enjoy over a mile of upgraded pathways where you can get back in touch with nature.

Wander Gully Brook and keep an ear out for singing wintertime wrens or chickadees.

Keep an eye out for raccoon and dragonfly flashes, or take in the beauty of the forested ravines.

Gully Brook Park is also perfect for a picnic, with picnic shelters and areas.

Visitors to Gully Brook Park can enjoy fishing, hiking, and birding.

Pamper Yourself at Renee's Massotherapy

For more than 25 years, Renee's Massotherapy has offered massage treatment services.

The expert therapists at Renee's Massotherapy use various massage techniques to help you relax and rejuvenate your body.

Renee's Massotherapy offers Swedish and deep tissue massages, reflexology, aromatherapy, facials, and Neuromuscular Therapy.

Their therapists have received professional training and hold Ohio state licenses.

They consistently provide excellent service through regular education and training on the latest in massage therapy.

Renee Mesotherapy's packages include Bodywork Classic: a full body massage, foot reflexology, and Japanese facial.

If you want to relax, grab the De-Stressor Package, which focuses on your sinus, neck, shoulders, and back.

Practice Your Swing at the Lost Nation Golf Course

The Lost Nation Golf Course is a 6,500-acre golf course just over a mile from State Route 2 in Willoughby's North neighborhood.

H. S. Colt and Harry Allison created the golf course, which features a challenging design to test golfers' skills.

The 18-hole golf course also has a putting green and a driving range.

If you get hungry, grab refreshments at the snack bar.

Golfers can also visit the Lost Nation Golf Course's pro shop to buy golf equipment and apparel.

If you want to practice putting, pick up ball buckets in the clubhouse.

Volunteer at the Willoughby Senior Center

The Willoughby Senior Center is a non-profit organization that provides services and programs for seniors in the community.

Some of the services at the Willoughby Senior Center include expert information and referral.

They offer social and recreational activities, arts and crafts, and health and wellness services.

Likewise, the center has a library and billiard rooms.

Volunteers can help at the Willoughby Senior Center any time.

The center holds a special presentation every year to thank the volunteers for their efforts.

The Red Hat Society maintains a vibrant group at the Willoughby Senior Center; the Red Foxes have more than 100 members.

Some of their events include pajama parties, tea parties, and outings where everyone dresses in red and purple.

Moreover, the Senior Center offers various day trips, from shopping, to theater, baseball, historical tours, and museums.

Enroll Your Kids at Summer Camp at Willoughby Park and Recreation

The summer camp at Willoughby Park and Recreation offers various kids' activities.

Willoughby Parks & Recreation delivers an exceptional, enjoyable, and safe camp environment and experience.

The Mini Munchkin Camp at Willoughby Parks & Recreation aims to give children four to six years old a fantastic camp experience.

Likewise, the center sets aside two days for the Mini Munchkin Camp.

Its enjoyable camp activities and arts and crafts projects depend on weekly themes.

The Mini Munchkin Camp occurs outdoors at Todd Field.

The camp moves inside the David E. Anderson Willoughby Senior Center during inclement weather.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Discover the Magnificence of Squire's Castle

Exterior of Squire's Castle
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Squire's Castle is a part of the North Chagrin Reservation of the Cleveland Metroparks.

You can find it in Willoughby Hills, Ohio, nine minutes from Willoughby.

The well-preserved old Castle is a fascinating piece of Cleveland history.

Explore the Castle's interior and stroll adjoining wooded paths.

Spend time in the area's wide-open open fields.

Interior of Squire's Castle
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The Squire Castle dates back to the 1890s, fashioned after German and English baronial castles.

It is a distinctive aspect of North Chagrin and a well-liked tourist attraction.

The open spaces in front of the Castle are lovely for picnics and games.

Meanwhile, the actual Castle has become a favorite venue for weddings or historical tours.

You can even attend the Sound of Summer Concert Series.

Enjoy a picnic with your family while watching the pop-up concert.

Details of the Squire's Castle
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Enjoy the Stunning Plants at the Holden Arboretum

Murch canopy walk at Holden Arboretum
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The Holden Arboretum spans over 3,600 acres, with 600 acres devoted to collections and gardens.

You can find this arboretum in Kirtland, Ohio, 16 minutes from Willoughby.

Moreover, this place is one of the country's largest arboretums and botanical gardens.

Holden Arboretum has 12,600 living plants in its collections; many are rare or endangered in their native habitats.

Beautiful flowers at Holden Arboretum
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Holden Arboretum focuses on the woody plants that can flourish in the climate of northern Ohio.

It now has a variety of specimens acquired during expeditions to remote collection sites, particularly China and Korea.

The Arboretum is also home to different gardens, such as the Helen S. Layer Rhododendron Garden, an Insect Garden, and the Myrtle S. Holden Wildflower Garden.

Fairy door near the waters of Holden Arboretum
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Numerous unique activities and exhibitions occur on the property to encourage interaction with and enjoyment of nature.

Special events include a spring Arbor Day gathering with family-friendly activities and the Halloween spectacular Goblins in the Garden.

Observation tower at Holden Arboretum
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Final Thoughts

Whether you want a place to raise a family or just somewhere to have a good time, Willoughby is the perfect city for you.

The city has excellent restaurants, parks, and recreation areas, close to many Cleveland attractions.

Plan your trip today and discover the best things to do in Willoughby!