Summer is my favorite season – warm days for Ohioans to luxuriate in, cocktails on patios with friends, Akron City FC games, lush forests and parks. However, when an Everyday Akron follower reached out for ideas related to kids’ activities for the summer, I drew a blank. So, I turned to my greatest source of inspiration – the @everydayakron Instagram community.
Everyone had amazing ideas to enjoy the summer break with your family. From outdoor activities and programs to get the kiddos moving, to educational outings and creative camps, there’s something on this list for everyone to enjoy.
Free options are denoted with a “FREE” emoji. However be sure to check on possible pricing for special events and such.
And, if you’re still not convinced by the end of all the fun to be had in Akron, follow the local bloggers, content creators, and resources listed in this post for even more ideas.
Happy Summer, Akron!
Outdoor Activities, Parks & Zoos
Akron City FC Games
Have a budding soccer superstar in your family? Watch an Akron City FC game at Green Street Stadium at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School. Be sure to buy tickets using the Everyday Akron affiliate link.
Summit Metro Parks — 🆓
This beloved park system spreads throughout Akron and the Greater Akron area. They host a variety of events and activities geared towards kids and the entire family. If you’re not up for a park or trail, visit Summit Lake Nature Center or FA Seiberling Nature Realm. (Be sure to pop into the latter and ask how you can hand-feed birds!)
Each year, SMP hosts the Fall Hiking Spree and Spree for All. After hiking a specific number of designated trails, you’ll earn fun prizes. And, did you know that some of the parks offer fishing? Take the kids out for a reel-y fun day!
Bike or Hike the Towpath — 🆓
Akron Recreation and Parks — 🆓
Full of wild animals, a carousel, a train, the Learning Lab, Wild World Animal Show, and so much more, you can spend a whole day at the Akron Zoo. Check out the Akron Zoo’s events calendar for even more fun!
Splash Pads & Wading Pools — 🆓
Cuyahoga Falls is home to a few fun watering holes, like their Downtown Splash Pad.
Float the River
Round up the whole family, rent some tubes from Float the River and enjoy a relaxing trip down the Cuyahoga River.
Water Works Family Aquatic Center
Water Works in Cuyahoga Falls features a lazy river, slides, poolside cabanas and more.
Lock 3 — 🆓
Lock 3 in Downtown Akron has a full slate of summer events that will entertain the whole family. Most Lock 3 events are free, including concerts, Sunday Cinema, and the popular Rib, White and Blue Festival.
Camps & Classes
Camp JCC by Shaw JCC of Akron allows kids to explore their favorite interests and discover new hobbies with a camp model that can fit even the busiest family’s schedule.
Summer Theatre Academy
Each year, Weathervane Playhouse hosts the Summer Theatre Academy with a variety of camps that allow kids to explore acting, storytelling, dance, and more.
eSports Summer Camp
The University of Akron hosts the eSports Summer Camp for kids interested in learning about professions in the eSports and gaining practical IT-related skills.
Sheena’s Platinum Movements, a non-competitive dance studio in Wadsworth, offers a variety of dance classes, including tap, ballet, modern dance, and musical theater for kids of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds.
Jazzercise Wadsworth Fitness Center hosts Jr. Jazzercise every Thursday for K-8 kids.
Mural Scavenger Hunt — 🆓
Create your own scavenger hunt by visiting a few murals painted by Art Bomb Brigade throughout the city.
Public Art Critic — 🆓
Show your kids some of the colorful, intriguing, thought-provoking public art around Akron. Ask them what they think the pieces are, what they could mean, and how the art makes them feel.
Akron Art Museum
The Akron Art Museum is free every Thursday. They host a variety of kid-friendly events and programs, such as Family Days and Open Studio, which gives artists of all ages a space to expand their creativity and play.
Akron Summit County Public Library — 🆓
Akron’s library branches host a wide variety of kid-friendly and teen programs, such as Movies@Main and Paws for Reading, in which kids can read aloud to a certified therapy dog. Be sure to sign up the whole family for ASCPL’s Mind, Body & Sole summer reading program.
Akron Children’s Museum
Located in Downtown Akron next to Lock 3, Akron Children’s Museum features a variety of exhibits with names like “Healthy Little Monsters” and “Quake, Rattle & Roll” that inspire exploration, discovery, and problem solving through play.
Kids Workshops — 🆓
Family Game Night
NoHi Restaurant & Cafe hosts a family game night every second Saturday. And be sure to keep your eyes peeled for board games and lawn games at restaurants and breweries around town. For example, Akronym Brewing has a giant Connect Four game and cornhole boards on their patio.
Stan Hywet Hall & Garden
Events & Festivals
Akron’s summer is filled with unique events that are fun for the whole family. (These are just a few!) Which one will you be going to?
- PorchRokr Music Festival
- Akron Pride Festival
- Rubber City Jazz & Blues Festival
- Cascade Locks Park Association’s Duck Derby
- Soap Box Derby World Championships
- Akron Art Expo
- Akron Pizza Fest
Bonus Fun (A Short Drive out of Akron)
Cuyahoga Valley National Park — 🆓
Liberty Park — 🆓
Part of Summit Metro Parks, Liberty Park in Twinsburg features trails throughout the Twinsburg Ledges Area and an interactive Nature Center.
Tuscora Park in New Philadelphia features family fun and entertainment like swimming, amusement rides, concerts, and mini golf.
Discovery Park in Seville was deemed “pretty awesome” by an Everyday Akron follower. Considered an unstructured playground, it has age-related areas that feature “water/mud fun, musical play, quiet spots, a maker-space and more.”
Similar to Akron Zoo, Cleveland Zoo is filled with wildlife and hosts family-friendly events throughout the year.
Bloggers to Follow & Resources to Check Out
This is just a handful of bloggers and content creators in the Akron area that you should be following to keep up with family fun opportunities.
- @akronmomandkids — Even if you don’t have kids, Nat is great resource for some amazing local tips and businesses to explore.
- @itsahero — Check out Rachel’s blog post on Akron Area Kid-Friendly Water Attractions
- @welcomehometeam_maryjo — MaryJo has been posting weekly Instagram Reels of “Hometown Happenings” to check out.
Similarly, here are a few local resources and calendars to keep an eye on for even more ways to quality spend time with your kiddos.
- Downtown Akron Partnership events calendar
- Akron/Summit Convention & Visitors Bureau events calendar
- Kids + Family Events listed on Summit Live 365
- “Best Free Things to Do in Northeast Ohio Year Round” blog post by Northeast Ohio Family Fun
- Summit County Calendar