Friday, May 31, 2019

Sounds of the Season

Maybe that should be Sounds of the Seasons. It’s still spring, but summer concert season has begun in Northeast Ohio.

You might be thinking of Blossom Music Center or Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse (still getting used to that one. It’s the name of the downtown Cleveland facility most recently known as the Q). But if ticket prices for the acts that perform there are beyond your budget, there are plenty of alternatives. Here is a sampling:

The Cleveland Metroparks summer concerts include locations east and west on Thursday through Sunday evenings. Some series started earlier this month and some start later this summer. Click the link above for the times, dates and places of these free outdoor concerts.

The Lakewood Front Porch Concert Series takes place on the front steps of Lakewood Public Library’s Detroit Avenue branch on Friday nights, beginning June 28. You might be familiar with this series, which is about to begin its ninth year, but other free outdoor concerts could be closer than you realize.

Many cities in Cuyahoga County and beyond have a schedule of shows in the summer. Rocky River has concerts on Sunday nights, Legacy Village in Lyndhurst offers them on Friday and Saturday nights, and Independence has them on Thursday nights. And there are lots more throughout the region.

Not all the free concerts are on the weekends. Wade Oval Wednesdays in University Circle begin June 12 and will happen weekly through Aug. 21, starting at 6 p.m.  

Concerts also pop up in places you wouldn’t necessarily expect. A couple of examples: The Tremont Farmers’ Market on Tuesdays, which opened for the season in May, and the Kamm’s Corners Farmers Market on Sundays, which begins June 9, include musical entertainment each week. These are the two markets I visit most often. Maybe you know of others that offer music along with fresh produce.

Music and nature are a pretty nice combination. Let’s hope that Mother Nature cooperates. The Front Porch concerts in Lakewood move inside to the library in case of bad weather. Those in other cities that don’t have a backup location might be canceled. It’s best to check websites or social media to make sure the show is still going on before you head out.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Final Fridays

Getting back to your normal routine after a long holiday weekend can be tough. One solution: Start making plans for this weekend.

Photo of Coventry by THD3
There’s a new free event in the Coventry neighborhood in Cleveland Heights. Final Fridays debuted in April and returns this Friday. It features an all-night happy hour and other discounts at several businesses.

In addition, visitors can enjoy live music, a teen anthology book release party and open mic and a free movie in the park, “A Burning Man Story.”

Friday night’s event kicks off the Coventry PEACE Campus Community Weekend, which will include a playground cleanup on Saturday and a flea market on Sunday.

Final Fridays takes place from 5 to 9 p.m. on the last Friday of the month through Aug. 30.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Two Markets, Two Markets

Outdoor festival season has begun in Northeast Ohio. This unofficial season usually starts with a few events in May, with the number of events increasing along with our temperatures.

Tuesday I told you about the Get Out Festival, happening tomorrow in in Bay Village. Also tomorrow is Cleveland Bazaar in Market Square Park. The free festival showcasing local artists and makers takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. the first and third Saturdays of the month, May through October. It’s smaller than some other festivals, but it has a fair amount of vendors and a lively atmosphere.

Market Square Park is across West 25th Street from the West Side Market, making it almost mandatory to visit the 107-year-old Cleveland institution before or after the festival. Saturday hours at the market are 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Hint: Saturdays are crowded and somewhat hectic there, but you can get some great deals, especially on produce, near closing time.

Whether you drive and park behind the market — the first 90 minutes are free, then it’s $1 per hour between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. — or take the Rapid to the West 25th Street station, you can easily get to the festival and the market. Bring a reusable shopping tote or two, just in case you buy more than you planned to.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Get Out

Enjoy the outdoors Saturday while you enjoy a wide range of offerings at the Get Out Festival in Bay Village.

The festival on the BAYarts campus will include food, art and music, as you would expect at a festival, but it also will have health and wellness talks and demonstrations and goat yoga. Just to clarify, humans will do yoga; the baby goats are there to be a cute distraction from the exercise. Unfortunately, the goat yoga session is sold out, but you can get your fix in the goat petting area.

I attended the Get Out Festival last year and really enjoyed it. The campus is across Lake Road from Huntington Beach in the Cleveland Metroparks’ Huntington Reservation, a beautiful setting. The event was well attended with a nice selection of vendors, but it wasn’t overly crowded. There also was plenty of free parking. An early forecast says Saturday will be cloudy with a high of 72 degrees. Sounds good to me.

The festival runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., leaving time before or after to enjoy the beach or the nearby Lake Erie Nature & Science Center on Wolf Road, which is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission to the festival, the beach and the nature center is free.

Also happening Saturday on the BAYarts campus is the Bay Village Trike & Bike, a fundraiser for kids ages 3-12 that supports pediatric cancer research at Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital. You can register here as an individual or team.


Tuesday, May 7, 2019


There is one free activity I’m going to recommend today.

A number of Northeast Ohio communities are holding elections. Maybe yours is one of them. If so, please take whatever free time you have today and vote. If not, do as you wish.

The choice is yours.

Friday, May 3, 2019

Family Day

Looking for some free family-friendly fun this weekend? There’s an event Saturday in downtown Cleveland you might want to check out.

Family Day at the International Women’s Air & Space Museum offers activities that will appeal to children and adults. Besides going through the museum inside Burke Lakefront Airport, visitors can meet special guests including Skipper, the Lake County Captains mascot, and the Cleveland Police Mounted Unit. Games, crafts and raffles also are part of the event, which will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Admission to the museum is always free. Family Day is an annual event.