35 Fun Things to Do in Akron, Ohio

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A view over Akron, Ohio, with buildings and trees under a blue sky with clouds
There are numerous fun things to do in and around Akron, Ohio!

Akron is a vibrant city in the state of Ohio that features an array of indoor and outdoor attractions. Fun things to do in Akron, Ohio, range from wandering around the Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens to seeing a college football game at InfoCision Stadium or listening to jazz at BLU Jazz+.

You can also plan some fun day or overnight trips from Akron, with cities like Cleveland and Columbus within driving distance. Want to discover all the great things to do in and around Akron? Keep reading for 35 activity ideas!

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35 Fun Things to Do in Akron, OH

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Fun Things to Do in Akron, Ohio

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One of the fun things to do in Akron, Ohio, is visiting Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens
Visiting Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens is one of the many fun things to do in Akron, Ohio

Explore Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens

Opened in 1915, the 70-acre Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens are a National Historic Landmark and one of the most famous landmarks in Ohio. The hall alone is notable as it's one of the largest houses in the United States!

Visitors to the gardens can wander around, admiring the pretty flower and plant displays. You can then tour the Tudor Revival house. Many events are held here as well, from photography walks in the gardens to murder mystery dinners in the manor house.

🏨 Accommodation nearby Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens

Sip handcrafted cocktails at Northside Speakeasy

Northside Speakeasy is a trendy place to relax with some fantastic drinks. The 1920s prohibition-style bar has an array of specialty cocktails and more classic beverages, like a Moscow mule or whiskey sour. All drinks are served beautifully and are very Instagrammable!

🏨 Accommodations close to the Northside Speakeasy

Watch the Akron Zips at InfoCision Stadium–Summa Field

The Akron Zips are the University of Akron's college football team, and you can watch the team play at InfoCision Stadium–Summa Field. The stadium is conveniently located just a five-minute drive or 20-minute walk from downtown. You can watch the team between the end of August and the end of January.

🏨 Place to stay close to InfoCision Stadium - Summa Field

Take your kids to Akron Children's Museum

One of the fun Akron, OH, things to do with kids is taking them to Akron Children's Museum. Activities at the museum include picking fruit and veg in a pretend farm, playing in a veterinarian's office, and building jumbo block models. There's also an outdoor garden and an area just for children under two, among many other interactive exhibits.

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The exterior of an old theater with brick buildings next to it
Akron Civic Theatre is a local landmark that hosts plays and musicals

Watch a concert at the Akron Civic Theatre

The Akron Civic Theatre is another excellent performing arts venue in the city. The Italian Renaissance-style theater opened in 1929 and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.

Performances to watch include various concerts, from tribute bands to country music acts. Musicals, plays, and ballets can also be seen, and events are often held at the Akron Civic Theatre, like a winter festival.

The Summit Artspace Gallery is a popular cultural attraction in Downtown Akron that has to be on your must-visit list. Visitors can see a range of art forms across rotating exhibits, from paintings to textiles and woodcut prints. The gallery showcases many local artists as well, allowing you to see pieces that aren't on display at most galleries.

Tour the Simon Perkins Stone Mansion

The Simon Perkins Stone Mansion was constructed in 1837 in a Greek Revival style and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. Today, the mansion is a house museum operated by the Summit County Historical Society of Akron, Ohio. Visitors can tour the home and learn more about its original owner, Colonel Simon Perkins.

Find a new book at the Akron-Summit County Public Library

Visiting the Akron-Summit County Public Library downtown is one of the fun yet laid-back activities in Akron, Ohio. You can explore the library for free and will find many fiction and non-fiction books to browse, including a special collection.

If you have kids, they'll be able to discover some new books too, with options for small children through teenagers. Lots of events are held at the library as well, like storytime and art sessions for kids and classes for adults. Many other branches are located around the city if you aren't in the downtown core.

Attend a concert at Goodyear Theater

Goodyear Theater is a popular concert venue that opened in 1920. Performances to watch include rock concerts, tribute acts, and blues shows, among many other genres. No matter what you see, you'll have a fun night singing and dancing to well-known and local acts.

Two flamingos standing on the grass next to a small river
You can see many animals at Akron Zoo, like flamingos

Say hi to animals at the Akron Zoo

If you have kids, one of the best attractions in Akron, Ohio to visit is the Akron Zoo. Opened in 1953, the zoo covers 50 acres and is home to around 700 animals.

Creatures to see as you walk around the zoo include tigers, red pandas, flamingos, and lemurs. The zoo also hosts fun events, these range from a holiday market to a Halloween night with trick or treating.

Visit Hower House

Hower House is another famous home to visit in Akron. The Italianate-style house was constructed in 1871 and is located on the campus of the University of Akron. This home belonged to John Henry Hower, an Akron industrialist. During a visit, you can tour the 28-room mansion and see an array of antiques and other beautiful furnishings.

Hang out at one of the Summit Metro Parks

The Summit Metro Parks comprise 16 parks and 15,000 acres. Parks to check out include Sand Run Metro Park and Cascade Valley Metro Park. No matter which of the 16 parks you go to, you'll find trails, scenic views, and lots of wildlife. Other amenities include lakes for boating, playgrounds for kids, and sports facilities like disc golf courses and volleyball courts.

Dine at Crave

Crave is a great spot to visit for dinner if you're unsure of where to get something to eat. The stylish restaurant serves contemporary dishes inspired by American and global cuisine.

Along with an array of appetizers and mains to choose from, you can indulge in desserts, like maple bacon bread pudding or a flourless chocolate torte. Craft cocktails, including many types of martini, wine, and beer, can be ordered to accompany your dinner.

Climb at Rock Mill Climbing

Rock Mill Climbing is a fun indoor rock climbing venue that's suitable for all ability levels, from beginners to those who climb frequently. The venue also hosts yoga classes. After your class or bouldering session, you can pick up a coffee or beer from the onsite cafe.

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A modern glass building and a sign that says "Akron Art Museum"
Akron Art Museum opened in 1922 and houses artworks from the 19th century to present

Go to Akron Art Museum

The Akron Art Museum has been in the city for over 100 years, having opened in February 1922 as the Akron Art Institute. This much-loved local attraction showcases works from the 1850s onwards. Many of the gallery's exhibits are temporary, allowing you to see new artworks each time you visit.

Listen to jazz at BLU Jazz+

If you're wondering what to do in Akron, OH, in the evening, going to BLU Jazz+ is a fantastic idea. The live music venue and bar is open Thursday through Saturday evening and hosts a range of amazing jazz acts. As you enjoy the performances, you can order drinks like signature cocktails and wine.

Relax with a coffee at Nervous Dog Coffee Bar

Nervous Dog Coffee Bar is a trendy local coffee shop serving beverages like nitro cold brew, caffe lattes, and cappuccinos. You can also get more unique drinks, like hazelnut Irish latte, snickers mocha latte, or white chocolate and raspberry frappuccino.

Whether you want coffee to-go or are looking for a place to hang out and catch up with friends, Nervous Dog Coffee Bar is a must-visit cafe!

Look around Dr. Bob's Home

Dr. Bob's Home is the house of Alcoholics Anonymous co-founder Dr. Robert Smith. The residence was constructed in 1914 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1985.

Today, the building is a house museum that's open to the public. Visitors can tour the home and learn more about Dr. Bob and his life and career.

Green grass patches with a pathway in the middle, leading to buildings and a blue sky
Attending events at Lock 3 Park is a fun activity to do

Enjoy events at Lock 3 Park

Lock 3 Park is an urban park that hosts many different events. In the winter, you can enjoy an ice skating rink, and concerts, color runs, pet festivals, and more can also be attended throughout the year. Seasonal events, like those for Halloween and Christmas, occur at Lock 3 Park as well; simply check the online schedule to see what's on during your visit.

See the Indian Signal Tree

The Indian Signal Tree is one of the many attractions in Akron, OH, to visit. Located in Cascade Valley Metro Park, the tree is thought to have been used by Native Americans as a trail marker. Others believe that a strange accident resulted in the tree's unique three-pronged shape.

Many also note that bur oak trees are not usually found in this area of the United States, adding to the mystery! No matter what you believe about the tree, stopping to see it before exploring the rest of Cascade Valley Metro Park has to be on your to-do list.

Spend the day at Portage Lakes State Park

Outdoor activity enthusiasts won't want to miss Portage Lakes State Park! At the 411-acre park, you can follow trails, play sports like disc golf, or go boating on the park's tranquil lakes.

There are also lots of picnic areas surrounded by beautiful scenery, making it the ideal place to plan a picnic with friends or family. If you have a dog, they can enjoy a fun off-leash dog park as well.

Grab a beer at Akronym Brewing

Akronym Brewing is a top-rated local brewery. Getting a beer here is one of the Akron, Ohio, things to do that you can't miss if you enjoy craft brews. Numerous beers for all tastes are on tap at the brewery's taproom. You can also order cocktails that use local spirits, and bar snacks like nachos are available.

Eat sweets for breakfast at Wally Waffle

Enjoying treats for breakfast at Wally Waffle is definitely one of the best things to do in Akron, OH, if you have a sweet tooth! The spot serves an array of waffles, including pecan, chocolate chip, and funnel cake waffles.

Pancakes and French toast with decadent toppings are also on the menu. If you want something more savory, dishes like chicken and waffles are available.

Fun Things to Do Near Akron, Ohio

A lake next to lots of green trees, a house, and a small white church
Cuyahoga Valley National Park is a stunning park with lakes, waterfalls, and more

Hike through Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Cuyahoga Valley National Park is one of the most beautiful outdoor attractions in the Akron area. It's also one of the best National Parks around the East Coast of the US, making it a must-visit attraction.

At the park, you'll find many trails to hike or bike along. As you explore, you'll see an array of wildlife and plant life, and can view the magnificent Brandywine Falls. You'll also get to see many landscapes, from farmland to rolling hills and forests.

Learn new things at the Akron Fossils & Science Center

Akron Fossils & Science Center is a fascinating tourist attraction to check out, especially if you have kids. At the museum, you'll discover an array of interactive exhibits covering paleontology and some other science topics. Kids can even make their own fossil replicas to take home!

The Columbus city skyline next to a park with grass, trees, and a river
Columbus, Ohio, is an interesting city to visit for an overnight or weekend trip

Plan a trip to Columbus

Columbus is one of the most well-known cities in Ohio. If you're looking to plan a day or overnight trip, Columbus is a great location to consider, as it's only two to two and a half hours from Akron, depending on traffic.

Once you arrive, you can explore many attractions, such as the Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, and see famous Columbus landmarks, like the Ohio Statehouse.

🏨 Stay in close proximity to Columbus

See a show at Blossom Music Center

Blossom Music Center is a unique attraction next to Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Cuyahoga Falls, about 30 minutes from Akron. At this outdoor amphitheater, you can see numerous music performances, including those by the Cleveland Orchestra.

At a show, you can relax on the lawn, and guests are welcome to bring blankets or lawn chairs. Picnics with wine are permitted as well. You can also buy food from concessions or dine at the on-site Blossom Grille.

Ski or snowboard at Boston Mills and Brandywine Ski Resorts

If you enjoy snowsports, one of the most fun things to do near Akron, Ohio, is going to Boston Mills and Brandywine Ski Resorts. Depending on weather conditions, the mountain is generally open for skiing and snowboarding between December and mid-March. Some fun events, like snowboarding competitions, are held throughout the season too.

While you can visit for the day, you can also book accommodation at the resort. Don't forget to explore the ski village, too, which has apres-ski bars, dining options, and shops.

The Cleveland city skyline with green trees in front of it under a blue sky
Cleveland is just an hour from Akron and is a fun place for a day trip

Spend the day in Cleveland

Cleveland is another Ohio city that's worth visiting, and as it's only an hour from Akron, it makes a great destination for a day trip. There's a Cleveland activity for all types of visitors, from those who enjoy visiting museums to people who want to check out unique shops, bars, and restaurants.

During your day in the city, you'll also get to see many Cleveland landmarks, such as the Cleveland Museum of Art or the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

🏨 Stay near Cleveland

Look around the Kent State University Museum

Situated about 25 minutes from Akron, the Kent State University Museum is a fascinating attraction to explore. The museum features eight galleries and showcases an array of costumes and fashion pieces from past eras to the present. You can also see other textiles, decorative arts pieces, and furniture, with items coming from across the globe.

🏨 Accommodation near the Kent State University Museum

Camp at Delaware State Park

Want to do something a little outside of Akron? Why not camp at Delaware State Park? Located about two hours from Akron, the campground offers tenting and has RV hookup. During the day, you can explore the 1,686-acre park, which has trails and lakes for boating. You can then head back to your campsite to make s'mores and enjoy an evening in nature!

A steam train on a track under a bridge and surrounded by autumn trees
A train ride along the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad is a highly memorable activity

Ride the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad

While hiking or biking around Cuyahoga Valley National Park is a fun thing to do, taking a ride on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad can't be missed either. You can choose from a range of train rides, including a dinner ride with a four-course meal and drinks or a family-friendly ride where kids can make their own stuffed animals.

Seasonal train rides are offered too, like a ghost ride at Halloween or the top-rated Christmas series, including a Christmas cocktails ride for adults and North Pole Adventure for kids. Of course, all journeys allow you to admire the beauty of Cuyahoga Valley National Park while enjoying the onboard events.

Go to Hale Farm & Village

Hale Farm & Village is located in Bath, Ohio, about 30 minutes from Akron. This charming farm and living history museum offers visitors many things to do.

Activities include exploring 19th-century-style buildings and businesses with exhibits and period actors and seeing farm animals, like sheep and horses. There are also some fun activities for kids, like hay bale rides.

Spend evening at Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course

Hollywood Gaming is an entertainment complex located next to the Mahoning Valley Race Course, which has frequent horse racing events. At Hollywood Gaming, you can play casino games, and there are many entertainment events, like live music. The venue also has multiple restaurants, including a sports bar.

A view of Pittsburgh with a red incline car, yellow bridges over water, and buildings
Pittsburgh is a fun city with an array of attractions located two hours from Akron

Check out Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh, in Pennsylvania, is another cool city near Akron to check out. You can reach the city in about two hours when driving, making it an excellent place for a day or overnight trip.

Activities in Pittsburgh include visiting the Andy Warhol Museum, riding the famous Duquesne Incline, and attending a sporting event, like a Pittsburgh Penguins hockey game. You can also discover an array of fun things to do outdoors in Pittsburgh, from walking around the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens to kayaking on the river downtown.

🏨 Places to stay near Pittsburgh

In Conclusion

If you've been wondering what to do in Akron, Ohio, this article should have given you an array of ideas. Whether you enjoy exploring the outdoors, visiting unique attractions, or checking out top bars, restaurants, and coffee shops, you'll find no shortage of things to do in Akron!

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Written by Alli Sewell

allisewell FORMER WRITER Currently based in Canada, Alli has also lived and worked in the UK and Brazil and traveled in North and South America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. She loves finding the best photo-ops and food and drink locations wherever she goes.

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