The Cleveland Covid Redemption Summer Bucket List

Even before Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced that almost all Covid-related health orders would be rescinded come June 2, there were still plenty of reasons to look forward to a summer that would, hopefully, bear little resemblance to the socially distanced summer of 2020 as the pandemic raged.

But the good news from the Governor’s office, along with widely available vaccines and plummeting coronavirus stats, was a welcome boost that made the sun feel just a bit warmer, the air just a bit sweeter.

While everything won’t return quite to absolute normal yet, and while precautions – namely, getting your jab – are still advised, the summer of 2021 is poised to be a months-long redemption opportunity for Clevelanders who spent last year in camping chairs in driveways or backyards instead of at the ballpark or their favorite restaurant or really anywhere at all.

Which is all to say there is understandable pent-up energy and an open calendar and it’d be a shame to let either go to waste. 

In the interest of making sure you don’t miss out on any essential outings, we’re here for you with a handy bucketlist of activities you should conquer in the coming months, because if the last year has taught us anything, it’s not to take a summer for granted.

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 Take a Tour of Cleveland  
City tours might be reserved in your mind for out-of-town travels but don’t sleep on getting to know your hometown better than you already do. The Funny Bus just launched as the newest option to get a guided tour of Cleveland, this one with a wrinkle that should be obvious from its name: Tours are led by local comedians. Interested in food? Taste Cleveland and AsiaTown food tours will show you parts of the culinary scene you might not know. Into history? The Cleveland Historical Society has 34 unique tours ready and waiting. Take a Hike tours will give you a walking trip through downtown Cleveland. Never been to the Federal Reserve Bank? There’s a tour there too. Oh, and don’t forget Lolly the Trolley.
Photo via Scene Archives

Take a Tour of Cleveland


City tours might be reserved in your mind for out-of-town travels but don’t sleep on getting to know your hometown better than you already do. The Funny Bus just launched as the newest option to get a guided tour of Cleveland, this one with a wrinkle that should be obvious from its name: Tours are led by local comedians. Interested in food? Taste Cleveland and AsiaTown food tours will show you parts of the culinary scene you might not know. Into history? The Cleveland Historical Society has 34 unique tours ready and waiting. Take a Hike tours will give you a walking trip through downtown Cleveland. Never been to the Federal Reserve Bank? There’s a tour there too. Oh, and don’t forget Lolly the Trolley.

Photo via Scene Archives
 Check Out the New Animals at the Zoo  
While the zoo’s annual special events – the winter lights display, the Asian lanterns – have packed them in, chances are it’s been awhile since you went simply to take in the wonder of our animal pals. The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo has some new ones this year, including a bearcat and Malayan tiger cub. Cute animals aren’t just for the kiddos.
Photo via Scene Archives

Check Out the New Animals at the Zoo


While the zoo’s annual special events – the winter lights display, the Asian lanterns – have packed them in, chances are it’s been awhile since you went simply to take in the wonder of our animal pals. The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo has some new ones this year, including a bearcat and Malayan tiger cub. Cute animals aren’t just for the kiddos.

Photo via Scene Archives
 Go Watch The Cleveland Baseball Team 
The corner of Carnegie and Ontario was eerily quiet last year as the abbreviated
MLB season went on without fans packing the Corner with Char Dogs and beer-can
pyramids. You might have heard that Lindor fella moved on to New York but rest
assured he’s still not hitting and your mighty Cleveland baseball team has
assembled a competitive roster with some spare nickels and dimes. Plus, that Jose
guy is still pretty damn good.
Photo via Scene Archives

Go Watch The Cleveland Baseball Team


The corner of Carnegie and Ontario was eerily quiet last year as the abbreviated MLB season went on without fans packing the Corner with Char Dogs and beer-can pyramids. You might have heard that Lindor fella moved on to New York but rest assured he’s still not hitting and your mighty Cleveland baseball team has assembled a competitive roster with some spare nickels and dimes. Plus, that Jose guy is still pretty damn good.

Photo via Scene Archives
 Zip on a Zip Line  
For Clevelanders who like their thrills a bit more tame than a roller coaster, zip lining offers not only some action adventure but tree-top views to boot and options abound. Try the Metroparks’ Go Ape zip lines in the Mill Stream Run Reservation, Lake Erie Canopy Tours in Geneva-on-the-Lake, Mohican Adventures, Tree Frog Canopy Adventures in Glenmont or Common Ground in Oberlin with views of the Vermillion River Valley.
Photo via Scene Archives

Zip on a Zip Line


For Clevelanders who like their thrills a bit more tame than a roller coaster, zip lining offers not only some action adventure but tree-top views to boot and options abound. Try the Metroparks’ Go Ape zip lines in the Mill Stream Run Reservation, Lake Erie Canopy Tours in Geneva-on-the-Lake, Mohican Adventures, Tree Frog Canopy Adventures in Glenmont or Common Ground in Oberlin with views of the Vermillion River Valley.

Photo via Scene Archives
 Lace Up Those Sneakers for a 5K 
There’s precious little joy in a virtual race, but that’s all the last year afforded Cleveland’s runners, amateur and otherwise. No undie run. No pierogi dash. No marathon. No Christmas Story 5k. No post-run brunches and no post-race beverages. Thankfully, those days of virtual races are mostly over. Just in the coming month runners can look forward to the Towpath Twilight race and the Saucy Beer Mile, with more dotting the summer calendar at points north, east, south and west. It’s all in good fun, which is the point, but you probably have some pandemic pounds to burn off as well, if we’re being honest.
Photo via Scene Archives

Lace Up Those Sneakers for a 5K


There’s precious little joy in a virtual race, but that’s all the last year afforded Cleveland’s runners, amateur and otherwise. No undie run. No pierogi dash. No marathon. No Christmas Story 5k. No post-run brunches and no post-race beverages. Thankfully, those days of virtual races are mostly over. Just in the coming month runners can look forward to the Towpath Twilight race and the Saucy Beer Mile, with more dotting the summer calendar at points north, east, south and west. It’s all in good fun, which is the point, but you probably have some pandemic pounds to burn off as well, if we’re being honest.

Photo via Scene Archives
 Make It an Island Weekend 
Mentioning Put-in-Bay may bring on fever dreams of sweaty bachelor parties and raucous pool parties but there’s plenty more to the islands than budget tall boys and sunburns. Whether you make it a one-day excursion or rent a cottage, the Lake Erie scenery and historic sites offer plenty for the casual weekend including winery tours, the Perry memorial, Perry’s Cave, fishing charters and more.
Photo via Scene Archives
Mentioning Put-in-Bay may bring on fever dreams of sweaty bachelor parties and
raucous pool parties but there’s plenty more to the islands than budget tall boys and
sunburns. Whether you make it a one-day excursion or rent a cottage, the Lake Erie
scenery and historic sites offer plenty for the casual weekend including winery
tours, the Perry memorial, Perry’s Cave, fishing charters and more.
Photo via Scene Archives

Make It an Island Weekend


Mentioning Put-in-Bay may bring on fever dreams of sweaty bachelor parties and raucous pool parties but there’s plenty more to the islands than budget tall boys and sunburns. Whether you make it a one-day excursion or rent a cottage, the Lake Erie scenery and historic sites offer plenty for the casual weekend including winery tours, the Perry memorial, Perry’s Cave, fishing charters and more.

Photo via Scene Archives

Mentioning Put-in-Bay may bring on fever dreams of sweaty bachelor parties and raucous pool parties but there’s plenty more to the islands than budget tall boys and sunburns. Whether you make it a one-day excursion or rent a cottage, the Lake Erie scenery and historic sites offer plenty for the casual weekend including winery tours, the Perry memorial, Perry’s Cave, fishing charters and more.

Photo via Scene Archives
 Hit the Drive-In Movie Theater 
Last year’s drive-in resurgence was driven by the simple fact that other movie theaters were closed and drive-ins offered one of the few safe entertainment options around. Ticket sales hit records and, thankfully, a whole new generation experienced the joy of rolling down the windows and taking in a flick under the stars. But just because regular cinemas are open doesn’t mean it’s time to sink into a luxury chair bathed in air conditioning.  The drive-in is still where it’s at. Aut-O-Rama this year will offer not only new releases but also fan favorites and cult classics from years past. Discover, or rediscover, what the magic is all about.
Photo via Scene Archives
Last year’s drive-in resurgence was driven by the simple fact that other movie theaters were closed and drive-ins offered one of the few safe entertainment options around. Ticket sales hit records and, thankfully, a whole new generation experienced the joy of rolling down the windows and taking in a flick under the stars. But just because regular cinemas are open doesn’t mean it’s time to sink into a luxury chair bathed in air conditioning.  The drive-in is still where it’s at. Aut-O-Rama this year will offer not only new releases but also fan favorites and cult classics from years past. Discover, or rediscover, what the magic is all about.
Photo via Scene Archives

Hit the Drive-In Movie Theater


Last year’s drive-in resurgence was driven by the simple fact that other movie theaters were closed and drive-ins offered one of the few safe entertainment options around. Ticket sales hit records and, thankfully, a whole new generation experienced the joy of rolling down the windows and taking in a flick under the stars. But just because regular cinemas are open doesn’t mean it’s time to sink into a luxury chair bathed in air conditioning. The drive-in is still where it’s at. Aut-O-Rama this year will offer not only new releases but also fan favorites and cult classics from years past. Discover, or rediscover, what the magic is all about.

Photo via Scene Archives

Last year’s drive-in resurgence was driven by the simple fact that other movie theaters were closed and drive-ins offered one of the few safe entertainment options around. Ticket sales hit records and, thankfully, a whole new generation experienced the joy of rolling down the windows and taking in a flick under the stars. But just because regular cinemas are open doesn’t mean it’s time to sink into a luxury chair bathed in air conditioning. The drive-in is still where it’s at. Aut-O-Rama this year will offer not only new releases but also fan favorites and cult classics from years past. Discover, or rediscover, what the magic is all about.

Photo via Scene Archives
 Go To The Show 
As health orders are rescinded and bands start hitting the road, the doors to beloved local venues like the Grog Shop, Beachland and Mahall’s are opening once again for fans who were starved of live music for more than a year. Among the industries that were hit hardest during the pandemic, the music scene is also among the last to get gears rolling again and boy would they love to see your smiling face. So take stock of the calendars and be sure to take the sage advice that you should always go to the show.
Photo via Scene Archives

Go To The Show


As health orders are rescinded and bands start hitting the road, the doors to beloved local venues like the Grog Shop, Beachland and Mahall’s are opening once again for fans who were starved of live music for more than a year. Among the industries that were hit hardest during the pandemic, the music scene is also among the last to get gears rolling again and boy would they love to see your smiling face. So take stock of the calendars and be sure to take the sage advice that you should always go to the show.

Photo via Scene Archives
 Visit an Ohio Winery 
Ohio’s largest wine region straddles the Grand River just south of Lake Erie, and there’s been a pleasant string of progress and growth in recent years. Recently, anchor destinations like Ferrante, Debonné and Harpersfield have been joined by forward-looking wineries like M Cellars, Laurentia and Kosicek, where the focus continues to shift away from sweet native grapes to classic European varietals. But it isn't just the grape scene that is enjoying steady change as more and more new dining, drinking, lodging and even eco-friendly recreational activities all continue to come online. If your familiarity with the region starts and stops with Geneva-on-the-Lake or South River Vineyard, there's plenty for you to discover on your next road trip.
Photo via Scene Archives

Visit an Ohio Winery


Ohio’s largest wine region straddles the Grand River just south of Lake Erie, and there’s been a pleasant string of progress and growth in recent years. Recently, anchor destinations like Ferrante, Debonné and Harpersfield have been joined by forward-looking wineries like M Cellars, Laurentia and Kosicek, where the focus continues to shift away from sweet native grapes to classic European varietals. But it isn't just the grape scene that is enjoying steady change as more and more new dining, drinking, lodging and even eco-friendly recreational activities all continue to come online. If your familiarity with the region starts and stops with Geneva-on-the-Lake or South River Vineyard, there's plenty for you to discover on your next road trip.

Photo via Scene Archives
 Check out the Redline Greenway 
Cleveland’s newest gem just opened and the two-mile trail connecting the Zone Recreation Center and the West bank of the Cuyahoga is already one of the most popular routes in the Metroparks. The westernportion of the trail abuts I-90, but once you get past the exchanges at W. 44th and W. 41st, you descend into a scenic, shaded ride along the train tracks. The whole thing is safe, clean and beautifully landscaped and with Ohio City at one
end and Detroit-Shoreway on the other, there’s no shortage of places to stop for a
bite or a brew as you enjoy your afternoon.
Photo via Scene Archives

Check out the Redline Greenway


Cleveland’s newest gem just opened and the two-mile trail connecting the Zone Recreation Center and the West bank of the Cuyahoga is already one of the most popular routes in the Metroparks. The westernportion of the trail abuts I-90, but once you get past the exchanges at W. 44th and W. 41st, you descend into a scenic, shaded ride along the train tracks. The whole thing is safe, clean and beautifully landscaped and with Ohio City at one end and Detroit-Shoreway on the other, there’s no shortage of places to stop for a bite or a brew as you enjoy your afternoon.

Photo via Scene Archives