By CYNTHIA SCHUSTER EAKIN
Set sail for summer with free family fun, music, dining and more in the Cleveland Metroparks.
The Sounds of Summer, a traveling concert series comes to the Emerald Necklace, featuring local bands at iconic locations. Pack a picnic, bring a chair and enjoy the beauty of the Metroparks during these pop-up events. The Level Up Band plays rhythm and blues and soul music on June 24 at Wildwood Marina in the Euclid Creek Reservation. The Morning Glory Band offers classic rock on July 29 at Stinchcomb Memorial in the Rocky River Reservation. Hear reggae music played by Carlos Jones and the PLUS Band on Aug. 26 at Huntington Beach in the Huntington Reservation. Cleveland’s Breakfast Club plays tunes from the ’80s on Sept. 30 at Squire’s Castle in the North Chagrin Reservation. The concerts run from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Experience one of the best patios along the Cuyahoga River at Merwin’s Wharf , 1785 Merwin Ave., during its new summer happy hour every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Enjoy live music, lawn games and food trucks, along with a full bar and free parking. Full-service concessions are now open at the Edgewater Beach House, The Noshery and Sunset Picnic Plaza at Huntington Park, the Emerald Necklace Marina Cafe and the concession at Wildwood Marina.
The Edgewater Nature Shop offers beach amenities seven days a week, including cabanas and beach umbrellas, as well as Cleveland Metroparks gear, snacks and beverages. The Cleveland Public Library Book Box at Edgewater Beach offers family programming, crafts and books. Watercraft rentals including pontoons, kayaks and stand-up paddleboards which are available at the Hinckley Lake Boathouse and store.The eLCee2 Water Taxi provides free service between the east and west bank of The Flats on Friday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., and on Saturday and Sunday from noon to 7 p.m.
Get your feet wet and learn to sail by registering for one of the Cleveland Metroparks sailing programs or other water-based programs at www.clevelandmetroparks.com/or. Historically, sailing on Lake Erie was a pastime enjoyed mainly by sailboat owners. In recent years, excitement has grown locally with improved access to the waterfront. The Cleveland Metroparks water education programs let you experience a taste of the sport during a sail with certified instructors.
This year to welcome summer, the Cleveland Metroparks is hosting the Longest Day of Play, an all-new event at the Euclid Creek Reservation on June 18 from 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Play all day at Euclid Beach and celebrate one of the longest days of the year by playing outside and exploring nature. Enjoy a day of free, family-friendly fun including hikes, crafts, urban line dancing and a drum circle.
The Cleveland Metroparks and the Greater Cleveland Food Bank are launching the Kids Nature Lunch and Learn Series to connect youth with free summer leaning opportunities across the park district. Throughout the summer, teams of naturalists will host more than a dozen adventures at centrally located park reservations, in close proximity to the City of Cleveland, with its mobile nature center, Nature Tracks. Educational themes will include Urban Birds, Investigating Insects and Wildlife in the City. Each Lunch and Learn will run from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and free lunch will be provided for youngsters ages 18 and under, as part of the Greater Cleveland Food Bank’s Summer Feeding program from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The Kids Nature Lunch and Learn series kicks off June 16 and will be hosted at Euclid Creek Reservation at both Euclid Beach Park and Highland Picnic Area, Bedford Reservation, Garfield Park Reservation, and Lakefront Reservation near Edgewater Beach. Events will be held at each location once a month from June through August. Visit www.clevelandmetroparks.com/community for details.
With the season in full swing, be sure to visit one of the eight golf courses in the Cleveland Metroparks. New this season is fast, fee-free booking through www.clevelandmetroparks.com/golf.
If you are looking for fun for the whole family, get ready to grab your tickets to this year’s Asian Lantern Festival returning to the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo on July 6.
Set sail for some summer fun in the Cleveland Metroparks
By CYNTHIA SCHUSTER EAKIN