40 WAYS TO “ROCK” THE SUMMER FUN IN OHIO

Not only is Ohio a great place to explore, it is also home to the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame.   Located in Downtown Cleveland, the Hall of Fame has massed quite a collection of rock history.  Three floors of concert memorabilia, artists performance outfits,  instruments, and more.  Rock history that shaped a movement called “Rock and Roll”.

“Rock & Roll was born in Cleveland when Ohio native and
radio disc jockey Alan Freed coined the phrase in 1951.”

To celebrate Ohio’s place in “Rock” history,  MyOhioFun wants to add a little “Rock” to this year’s summer fun challenge. Below you will find our list of 40 things to do this summer, as well as a song by an artist/and or artists that has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. We hope you will enjoy listening to many of these classics as you explore our favorite state Ohio.

Let’s get started! Time to start downloading the tunes.


Since summer is almost here, our first song is by
The Beatles (1988) – Here Comes the Sun

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Exhibit
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Beatles Exhibit | photo: RNRHOF
#1
Catch up on your Rock history at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.
Song: Rock and Roll Music – Chuck Berry (1986)

The groundbreaking for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame took place in 1995. Ever since that first shovel, the museum has been making Rock history come alive.

To learn more about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum visit their website.


Akron German Family Oktoberfest
Akron German Family Society Oktoberfest | Photo credit: D. Rock, MyOhioFun
#2
Enjoy an Ohio small town festival.
Song: Small Town – John Mellencamp (2008)

If you enjoy festivals, Ohio is your stop.  Every year thousands make their way to small towns, parks, church parking lots and fair grounds to enjoy one of the many Ohio festivals. Some of our favorite festivals include rib cook-offs, the hot air balloon festivals, the Duct Tape and Beach Glass Festival, the pumpkin festivals, Pierogi and Potato Festival, and how can you not enjoy an ice cream festival?

This year we are continuing to update our Ohio festival page as festival dates are published. For more information about upcoming events click here.


Marblehead Lighthouse
Marblehead Lighthouse | Photo credit: D. Rock, MyOhioFun
#3
Visit and/or find all of our Ohio Lighthouses.
Song: I Can See For Miles – The Who (1990)

Shores & Island Lighthouse Tour

We love our Ohio lighthouses! Not every state can boast having lighthouses. Each of our lighthouses has a unique history as well as interesting architecture. Take a day and visit one of our beautiful Lake Erie lighthouses. 

Click here for Ohio lighthouse information.

Make sure to also check out:

Maritime Museum of Sandusky
125 Meigs St., Sandusky, OHY 44870 | sanduskymaritime.org

Ashtabula Maritime and Surface Transportation Museum
1071 Walnut Blvd., Ashtabula, OH | ashtabulamaritime.org


 

#4
Take in a musical, play or comedy act.Rabbit Run Theater
Song: Dancing Queen – ABBA (1976)

Suggestions:
Opera Western Reserve – Youngstown (NE OH)
Play House Square – Cleveland (NE OH)
Rabbit Run Theater – Madison (NE OH)
The Ohio Light Opera – Wooster (NE OH)
The Youngstown Playhouse – Youngstown (NW OH)
Trumpet in the Land – New Philadelphia (NE OH)
Weathervane Community Playhouse – Akron (NE OH)

 

 


Miller Ferry to Put-in-Bay
Miller Ferry/Put-in-Bay | Photo credit: D. Rock-MyOhioFun
#5
Visit one of our Lake Erie Islands.
Songs: The Tide is High – Blondie (2006)

Click here to learn more about things to do Put-in-Bay as well as transportation information.

Before you go you may want to download your Lake Erie Shores & Islands Travel Guide. You will also want to print off your Lake Erie Shores and Islands Shore Savings Card for even more area discounts.


South River Vineyard Geneva Ohio
South River Vineyard | Photo credit: D. Rock MyOhioFun
#6
Explore one of our Ohio wineries or breweries.
Song: I Heard It Through the Grapevine” – Marvin Gaye (1987)

“Did you know the Grand River Valley, located in northeast Ohio grows 50% of Ohio’s grapes and is home to over 2 dozen wineries? ” And did you know every year many of those same wineries harvest their grapes after they freeze to create a special ice wine?

To learn more about the Grand River Valley wineries visit Ohio’s Wine Country.

For  more Ohio winery information click here.

 


Cleveland Metroparks Zoo Tiger
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo | Photo credit: D. Rock MyOhioFun
#7
Get your wild side on. Take a trip to one of our local zoos.
Song: Walk on the Wild Side – Lou Reed

Suggestions:
Akron Zoo – Akron (NE OH)
Cincinnati Zoo – Cincinnati (SW OH)
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and Rainforest – Cleveland (NE OH)
Columbus Zoo and Aquarium – Columbus (Central OH)


Wayne County Fair Ohio
Wayne County Fair | Photo credit: Wayne County CVB
#8
Enjoy a day at an Ohio County Fair.
Song: Let The Good Times Roll – Ray Charles (1986)

Elephant ears. Cheese-on-a-stick. Cotton candy. Fresh squeezed lemonade. Fireworks. Horses. Concerts. Rides. Pie eating contests. What is not to love about a fair?

Click here for a list of Ohio fairs.


 

Japanese Garden Cleveland Botanical Gardens
Japanese Garden, Cleveland Botanical Gardens | photo credit: D. Rock, MyOhioFun
#9
Take in the beauty of one of our local Botanical Gardens.
Song: Garden Party – Ricky Nelson (1987)

“MyOhioFun.com wants to help you find your “zen” this year.  Nothing can help relax you more than a walk through nature.  Whether you like to stroll through lush gardens or a simple trail, Ohio is full of amazing gardens to explore.”

Click here to view our list of beautiful Ohio gardens.

Suggestions:
Cleveland Botanical Gardens -Cuyahoga County (NE OH)
Fellowship Riverside Gardens – Mahoning County (NE OH)
Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens (Central OH)
The Holden Arboretum – Lake County (NE OH)
Secrest Arboretum -Wayne County (NE OH)
Schedel Arboretum & Gardens – Ottawa County (NW OH)

Fellows Riverside Gardens

 


Nelson-Kennedy Ledges
Nelson Kennedy Ledges | Photo credit: Andrew Gacom Photography
#10
Enjoy a morning hike in one of Ohio’s State or local Parks.
Song: Morning Has Broken – Cat Stevens (2014)

If you love exploring the outdoors, Ohio can keep you busy. There are 75 state parks located around the state.  They are open every day and they are always free.  Hiking, fishing, camping, boating, swimming and more can be found available at the parks.  Cabins, campsites, and even lodge accommodations are available at many of the parks.

Click here for a list of Ohio State Parks.

 


 

Ohio State Parks Wingfoot Lake
Wingfoot Lake State Park | Photo courtesy of ODNR
#11
Go fishing on Lake Erie.
Song: The Dock at the Bay – Otis Redding (1989)

Not sure how to fish? Many of our local county parks offer fishing programs, as well as the State of Ohio Division of Wildlife. Make sure you purchase a fishing license. Click here for more information.

 


Ohio Amish Country - Wayne County
Amish Country – Wayne County | Photo credit: D. Rock, MyOhioFun
#12
Make a run to Ohio Amish Country.
Song: If I Were A Carpenter – Bobby Darin (1990)

Fill up the gas tank, pack your cooler and go enjoy a day or more exploring the Amish backroads of Ohio.

Click here for additional information about Ohio Amish Country.

 

 


 

James A. Garfield Memorial
James A. Garfield Memorial Lakeview Cemetery | Photo credit: Andrew Gacom Photography
#13
Visit one of Ohio’s Presidential sites.
Song: America – Neil Diamond (2011)

Did you know Ohio is considered the “Mother of Presidents”? Eight US Presidents were from Ohio.

Click here for a list of Ohio Presidential sites.

 


Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens
Photo courtesy of Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens (ASCVB)
#14
Visit one of Ohio’s castles.
Song – Castles in the Sand – Stevie Wonder (1989)

Suggestions:

Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens – Akron (NE OHO)
Piatt Castles – West Liberty (NW OH)
The Historic Loveland Castle and Museum – Loveland (SW OH)


 

MAPS Air Museum
Photo courtesy of MAPS Air Museum (ASCVB)
#15
Visit one of Ohio’s air museums.
Song: Learning to Fly – Pink Floyd (1996)

Suggestions:
Historical Aircraft Squadron – Carroll (Central OH)
International Women’s Air and Space Museum  (NE OH)
Liberty Aviation Museum – Port Clinton (NW OH)
MAPS Air Museum – Canton (NE OH)
National Museum of the US Air Force – Dayton (SW OH)


Arms Family Museum Youngstown
Arms Family Museum Youngstown Ohio | Photo courtesy: Mahoning Historical Society
#16
Visit an Ohio historical home.
Song: Sweet Home Alabama – Lynyrd Skynrd (2006)

Suggestions:

Arms Family Museum
648 Wick Avenue, Youngstown, OH 44502
mahoninghistory.org

Hower House Victorian Mansion
The University of Akron
60 Fir Hill, Akron, OH
330.972.6909 | howerhouse.org

Malabar Farm State Park
4050 Bromfield Rd., Lucas, OH 44843
419.892.2784 | malabarfarm.org

Reeves Victorian Mansion 
325 E. Iron Ave., Dover, OH 44622
330.343.7040 | doverhistory.org

Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens
714 N. Portage Path, Akron, OH 44303
stanhywet.org

For a list of more historical places click here.


Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad
Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad | Photo credit: Andrew Gacom Photography
#17
Take a train ride.
Song: Downtown Train – Rod Stewart (1994)

Click here for train information.

Suggestions:

Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, Independence, OH-  website
AC&J Scenic Line, Jefferson, OH – website or (Ashtabule County)
The Orrville Railroad, Orrville, OH  – website (Wayne County)

(For the train lover their is The Ohio Railway Museum located in historic Worthington, OH. For more info website and Mad River & NKP Railroad Museum located in Bellevue, OH. For more info website.

 


The Wilds Ohio
The Wilds | Photo credit: D. Rock, MyOhioFun
#18
Visit an area animal refuge like The Wilds.
Song: Wild One – Jerry Lee Lewis (1986)

Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge (encompasses more than 9000 acres along the shore of western Lake Erie) website
Noah’s Lost Ark, Berlin Center website (Mahoning County)
The Wilds, Cumberland website (Muskingum County)


Hale Farm & Village Civil War Reenactment
Hale Farm & Village Civil War Reenactment | Photo credit: D. Rock- MyOhioFun
#19
Take a step back in time and learn about the Civil War and the Underground Railroad in Ohio.
Song: Brothers in Arms – Joan Baez (2017)

Suggestions:

James A. Garfield National Historic Site– Mentor – (NE OH)

Hubbard House Underground Railroad Museum, Ashtabula (NE OH)

Hale Farm & Village Civil War Reenactment & Encampment – Bath – (NE OH)

The American Civil War Museum of Ohio, Tiffin (NW OH)

Johnson’s Island Confererate Officers Prison Cemetery
, Marblehead, OH (NW OH)

Maritime Museum of Sandusky – Underground Railroad Exhibit
125 Meigs St., Sandusky, OHY 44870 | sanduskymaritime.org

Take a self-guided Underground Railroad Tour. A brochure that offers a narrative as you take the self-guided tour throughout Erie County. Brochures and maps can be obtained from the Lake Erie Shores & Islands Welcome Center -East. For more information click here.


 

Observatory Park Geauga Parks Andrew Gacom Photography
Milky Way over Observatory Park | Photo credit: Andrew Gacom Photography
#20
Find the Milky Way.
Song: Rocket Man – Elton John (1994)

Observatory Park – Geauga Park District
10610 Clay Street, Montville Twp., OH 
geaugaparkdistrict.org/park/observatory-park

John Glenn Astronomy Park
20531 OH-664 Scenic, Logan, OH 43138
jgap.info

Or check out these Planetariums:

Hoover Price Planetarium
800 McKinley Monument, Canton, OH 44708
330-455-7043 | mckinleymuseum.org (Stark County)

Shafran Planetarium and Mueller Observatory at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History
1 Wade Oval Dr., Cleveland, OH 44106
216.231.4600 | cmnh.org (Cuyahoga County)

Lake Erie Nature & Science Center
28728 Wolf Rd., Bay Village, OH 44140
440.871.2900 | lensc.org (Cuyahoga County)

Ward Beecher Planetarium-Youngstown State University
100 Lincoln Ave., Youngstown, OH
330-941-3616 |  wbplanetarium.org (Mahoning County)


 

Brandywine Falls
Brandywine Falls, CVNP | Photo credit: D. Rock – MyOhioFun
#21
Visit one of Ohio’s waterfalls.
Song: Teardrops Fall Like Rain – The Crickets (2012)

Suggested locations:
Big and Little Lyons Falls – (Mohican State Park) (NE OH)
Blue Hen Falls – Cuyahoga Valley National Park (NE OH)
Brandywine Falls – Cuyahoga Valley National Park (NE OH)
Great Falls of Tinkers Creek – Bedford (Cleveland Metroparks) (NE OH)
Hayden Falls and Indian Run Falls- Dublin (Central OH)

Lanterman’s Falls – Youngstown (Mill Creek Metroparks) (NE OH)Upper Falls, Lower Falls and Cedar Falls – Hocking Hills State Park (SW OH)

 


#22
Enjoy a Cleveland Orchestra Concert at Blossom Music Center.
Song: Firth of Fifth – Genesis (2010)

Plan a summer evening under the stars at Blossom Music Center. Every summer the Cleveland Orchestra moves to it’s summer home. Pavilion and lawn tickets are available.  Leave a little early and enjoy a picnic on the lawn. You are allowed to bring in a picnic to enjoy for Cleveland Orchestra concerts. Support your favorite restaurant before heading out.  Bring your cooler, blanket and your favorite beverage.  Refreshments are also available during the concert.

Click here for concert information.

 


State Road Bridge Ashtabula
State Road Bridge Ashtabula County | Photo credit: D. Rock MyOhioFun
#23
Visit and snap a picture of all 19 covered bridges in Ashtabula County or visit one of the other covered bridges in Ohio.
Song: Seven Bridges Road – Eagles (1998)

Suggestions:
Ashtabula County Bridge information click here.(NE OH)
Covered Bridge at Lanterman’s Mill – Mill Creek Metroparks (NE OH)
Everett Covered Bridge – Cuyahoga Valley National Park (NE OH)
Fairfield County Covered Bridge information click here. (Central OH)

 


Cleveland Museum of Art
Cleveland Museum of Art | Photo credit: D. Rock, MyOhioFun
#24
Experience the “Art” side of Ohio.
Song: Colour My World – Chicago (2016)

If you enjoy art, then plan a day or more exploring Ohio’s art side. Many famous paintings and pieces of art can be found on the walls in Ohio museums. Artisist like Salvador Dali, Andy Warhol, Picasso, Norman Rockwell, Robert Vonnoh, Winslow Homer, Degas, and more.

Suggestions:
Akron Art Museum – Akron (NE OH)
Butler Institute of American Art – Youngstown (NE OH) – Free
Canton Museum of Art – Canton (NE OH)
Cincinnati Art Museum – Cincinnati (SW OH)
Cleveland Museum of Art – Cleveland (NE OH) – Free
Columbus Art Museum – Columbus (Central OH)
Massillon Museum of Art – Massillon (NE OH)
MOCA – Museum of Contemporary Art – Cleveland (NE OH)
Toledo Art Museum – Toledo (NW OH)


#25
Take a ride on a paddle or canal boat.
Song: Cruisin’ – Smokey Robinson (1987)

Suggestions:

Lorena Sternwheeler
West End of Market St., Zanesville, OH 43701
740.455.8282 | website

St. Helena III Canal Boat
Canal Fulton Canalway Center
125 Tuscarawas Street, Canal Fulton, OH 44614
330-854-6835 | click here.

Valley Gem Sternwheeler
601 Front Street, Marietta, OH 45750
740-373-7862 | valleygemsternwheeler.com

 


Rubber Ducks
Photo courtesy of Rubber Ducks. (ASCVB)
#26
Take yourself out to the ballpark.
Song: Start Me Up – The Rolling Stones (1989)

Suggestions:
Cleveland Indians, Cleveland
Akron Rubber Ducks, Akron
Cincinnati Reds – Cincinnati
Lake County Captains, Eastlake
Toledo Mud Hens, Toledo


Kayaking on the Cuyahoga River

#27
Learn to paddle board, kayak or sail a boat.
Song: I Will Go Sailing No More – Randy Newman (2013)

Suggestions:

Ohio State Parks – Paddle Ohio – click here.
Breakaway Excursionswebsite
Burning River Adventureswebsite 

If your not quite ready to take on the river in a kayak, may we suggest a ride on the Nautica  Queen? You can not beat a dinner cruise with a sunset.


Lincoln Highway Buy Way Garage Sale
#28
Shop till you drop on Lincoln Highway Buy-Way Yard Sale
Song: Key to the Highway – Eric Clapton (2000)

The 2021 BUY-WAY Yard Sale is being held August 12, 13 & 14.

Gas up the car.
Clean out the trunk.
Put on your favorite walking shoes.
Make sure you have cash in your wallet.
Pack a water bottle.
Grab a friend.

For additional information website

Want to spend more than a day on the road? Reach out to our travel partners at the Wayne County Convention & Visitor Bureau.  They can assist with a list of accommodations.

 


#29
Go on a ghost hunt.
Song – Welcome to My Nightmare – Alice Cooper (2011)

Click here for ghostly things to do in Ohio.

 


 

#30
Fly through tree tops on a Zip-Line.
Song: Fly Like an Eagle – Steve Miller (2017)

Suggestions:
Go Ape Zip Line & Treetop Adventure – Strongsville (NE OH)
Lake Erie Canopy Tours – Geneva (NE OH)
Tree Frog Canopy Tours – Glenmont (NE OH)
Hocking Hills Canopy Tours – Rockbridge (SW OH)


#31
Visit the Christmas Story House and Museum or Castle Noel
Song: Wonderful Christmastime – Paul McCartney (1999)

Visit Castle Noel in Medina County where it is always a holiday. Take a picture next to Cousin Eddie’s trailer. Slide down the “Christmas Story” slide. Visit “Whoville.”
260 S. Court St., Medina, OH 44256 | castlenoel.com

If you really like Christmas why not spend a night in the Christmas Story House? For further details and for tour information visit website.

A Christmas Story House
3159 W. 11th St., Cleveland, OH 44109 | achristmasstoryhouse.com


Swenson's GalleyBoy

#32
Challenge yourself to eat three local foods.
Song: Burger Man – ZZ Top (2004)

Suggestions:

  • Eat a pierogi. For places to sample a pierogi click here.
  • Enjoy a piece of Amish pie. For places serving the best pie click here.
  • Have a piece of Lake Erie fish. Walleye or Perch.
  • Master a “Slymans” corned beef sandwich.
  • Enjoy a famous Barberton Chicken Dinner.
  • Lobster Bisque from Boardwalk on Put-in-Bay.
  • Hot dog from Tony Packos
  • Eat one of Swenson’s famous Galley Boy Burger.
  • Enjoy a cannoli in Little Italy.
  • Try a pazcki.

#33
Be a kid again, take an old fashioned Carousel ride.
Song: Forever Young – Bob Dylan (1988)

Suggestions:
Cleveland History Center – Euclid Beach Park Grand Carousel – WRHS (NE OH)
Merry Go Round Museum – (NW OH)
Richland Carrousel Park – (NE OH)


 

Buckin' Ohio
Buckin’ Ohio | Photo credit: Andrew Gacom Photography
#34
Attend a rodeo at Buckin’ Ohio or other Ohio rodeo event.
Song: Ghost Riders In The Sky – Johnny Cash (1992)

Suggestions:
Buckin’ Ohio – Medina (NE OH)
Fox Hollow Rodeo – Waynesville (SW OH)


#35
See how many roller coasters you can ride in Ohio.
Song: Thriller – Michael Jackson (2001)

Suggestions:
Cedar Point – (NE OH)
Kings Island – (SW OH)


Headlands Beach State Park

Headlands Beach State Park | Photo credit: D. Rock, MyOhioFun

#36
Head to one of Ohio’s beaches and enjoy the day.
Song: Hot Fun In The Summertime – Sly and the Family Stone (1993)

Make sure you stay for the sunsets!
Suggestions:
Edgewater Beach – Cleveland Metroparks (NE OH)
Headlands Beach State Park
 – (NE OH)
Huntington Reservation – Bay Village (NE OH)
Lake Erie Bluffs – Perry Township (NE OH)
Lake Metroparks Fairport Harbor Lake Front (NE OH)
Shores & Island Beaches – click here
Muskingum Watershed Beaches – click here


Ohio Caverns
Ohio Caverns | Photo courtesy of ODNR
#37
Explore one of Ohio’s many caves.
Song: Sixteen Tons – The Platters (1990)

Click here for a listing of Ohio caves.






Midway Twin Drive In Ravenna
Midway Twin Drive-in Ravenna
#38
See a movie the old fashioned way at a Drive-In Theater.
Song: Saturday Night at the Movies – The Drifters (1988)

Suggestions:
Here are just a few Northern Ohio drive-in theaters.
Blue Sky Drive-In, Wadsworth, OH website (Medina County)
Aut-O-Rama Twin Drive-In, North Ridgeville, OH website (Lorain County)
Midway Twin Drive-In, Ravenna, OH website (Portage County)
Mayfield Road Drive-In, Chardon, OH website (Geauga County)


Main Street Medina
Main Street Medina | Photo credit: D, Rock, MyOhioFun
#39
Go shopping in small town or “Main Street”.
Song: Material World – Madonna (2008)

Suggestions:

Main Street Medina, Ohio
Main Street Painesville, Ohio
Main Street Wadsworth, Ohio
Main Street Wellington, Ohio
Main Street Wooster, Ohio

 


Alan Freed Gravesite
Alan Freed “Rock & Roll”, Lakeview Cemetery
#40
Pay respect to the ‘father of rock’, Alan Freed, by visiting his final resting place at Lake View Cemetery.
Song: Faithfully – Journey (2017)

Alan Freed’s Monument is in the shape of a jukebox with his image on one side and a jukebox on the other.
Song: Rock Around The Clock – Bill Haley (1987)

Click here for information about Lake View Cemetery.

 


I hope you have the opportunity this summer to complete one or all forty of the items on this year’s Rockin’ Ohio list.

PLEASE FEEL FREE TO SHARE YOUR ADVENTURES.
FACEBOOK @MYOHIOFUN

MyOhioFun.com asks that if you share our list, to please give credit. All travel is at own risk. Please contact the venue for further information regarding the hours of operation, admission fees and age limits.


Article and photos by: D. Rock, MyOhioFun.com

Editor’s note:   Any use of the above article or images without prior permission, will be in violation of copyright laws.