I’ve been 100% terrible about writing things down lately so I thought I’d start with a summer bucket list. I made one a couple years ago, to great success, but with a long vacation smack in the middle of July and then moving at the beginning of August last summer seemed to disappear before it started. This summer I am determined to do as many of the summer things I can possibly do. Here’s my list:
Take a Walk at the Cleveland Cultural Gardens
In Rockefeller Park, along Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, are the Cultural Gardens. Roughly thirty gardens designed and maintained by the many different ethnic groups that are living here in Cleveland, Ohio. I have driven past them many many times but I have never really explored the gardens, even though it’s been on my list for quite some time.
Ride the Water Taxi
I have long had a thing for boats. I will take riding on boats to pretty much anything else. It’s my life long malaise that I don’t have the money to own a boat. So I was pretty excited when the Cleveland Metroparks opened a water taxi in the flats to take people from one bank to the other. Ideally, I’ll have a reason for crossing the Cuyahoga but I’m not opposed to joy riding either.
Go the Alley Cat Oyster Bar
I don’t know what it is about this place that really appeals to me, but I think that 90% of it is its location right down on the river. I’ve been wanting to go since it opened at the end of last summer and now that the weather has turned hot it’s the perfect opportunity.
Kent State Museum
Another thing that has been on my list for awhile that hasn’t happened yet is going to the Kent State museum. I wanted to go when they had a display of clothing from the early twentieth century but it never ended up happening. But there’s no time like the present.
Summer is undoubtedly festival season. There are festivals every five feet. Festivals for streets. Festivals for cultures. Festivals for areas. Festivals every which way. Festivals are always fun so they’re definitely on the list.
Wade Oval Wednesday
This is always on my summer list. Wade Oval is near the Cleveland Museum of Art, which is near me, and Wade Oval Wednesday (or, WOW) is always a nice midweek break.
Not to be outdone by Wade Oval, Edgewater Park, a nice park and beach on the shores of Lake Erie, holds Edgewater Live on Thursday nights. It’s always very popular and always very fun.
Flat Out Fridays
When I was little I remember my parents going to a mythical place called The Flats. When I got older I went to a few concerts at venues there. But right at about the age I would have been going to the Flats myself they died. They died hard. Nothing was open, it was a ghost town. Now the Flats is trying hard to become something again and part of this campaign is Flat Out Fridays. Much like the aforementioned Wade Oval Wednesday or Edgewater Live, Flat out Fridays combines live music with food, drinks, and the hope that lots of people will come down. I’d like to check it out one of these days.
When I was 20 my best friend and I drive across the country and cut down on costs by camping. After that I didn’t go camping for years and years. But then a couple of years ago my friends and I decided to invest in a tent and some camping gear. This year we plan on going down to Hocking Hills in Southern Ohio. It’s beautiful there.
Take My Yearly Pilgrimage to Put-In-Bay, South Bass Island
What’s summer without a trip to the Lake Erie Shores and Islands? Put-In-Bay is a fun town with too many bars, often called the Key West of Lake Erie. Not that there’s much competition, and I’d probably take Key West any day, but Put-In-Bay is a fun time. And if you’re really lucky you get to be there with the War of 1812 reinactors are shooting off a carronade at the Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial.
Go to Martha’s Vineyard
I always go on a vacation in the summer. It’s just what I do. This year I get to go to Martha’s Vineyard for the third year in a row. This time with my best friends and for a whole week. Can’t wait for the beach, lobster rolls, clams, and beach plum jelly.
There are multiple places to go paddleboarding on Lake Erie, but I’ve got my eye on Edgewater Park. I’ve never been paddleboarding before, and I’ll probably end up in the water more often than not, but I want to try.
I’ve discovered that they do kayaking on the Cuyahoga river and I am all in.
Rent a boat at Hinkley Reservation
One of the Metroparks, Hinkley Reservation has a nice lake with multiple options for boat rental. I haven’t quite decided on a canoe or a pontoon.
Go Hiking in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park
This is something I do often enough that my BFF bought me a shirt that says “Find me in the Cuyahoga National Park” but it still belongs on the list. I tend to favor the Ledges, but I need to do a little branching out and try some different trails this year.
Go to a Soccer Match
I’m not a big sports fan. I like to know scores, but I get bored quickly watching sports. However, I do like soccer a lot. I don’t know if it’s the actual sport or the novelty of favoring a sport that so many Americans ignore but I always have a good time at a soccer game. We used to go see the Columbus Crew a lot, but that hasn’t happened in the past few years. I don’t mind if it’s major league of the minor one we have here in Cleveland, but I want to see a match.
There are a couple drive-ins around me, not very close but not so far as to be absurd, but I have never gone. This year, it’s happening.
MYOPIA at MOCA
MYOPIA is a retrospective of the art of Mark Mothersbaugh (yes, that Mark Mothersbaugh). I honestly don’t know too much about it but I am always up for some art so it’s on the list.
Branch Out at the Botanical Gardens
This is at the gorgeous Cleveland Botanical Gardens and it involves tree houses. So… enough said.
Free Outdoor Shakespeare with the Cleveland Shakespeare Festival
Every year this company does free Shakespeare in parks throughout Cleveland. This year they are doing Richard II and The Tempest. I saw Richard II already, and it was a good production. I am actually not a fan of The Tempest at all (I saw it in the Globe Theatre starring Vanessa Redgrave and I still didn’t like it) but I’ll probably go see it anyway. If only to support this wonderful company. Shakespeare is for everyone.
Opera in the Italian Garden
Opera is being performed for free at the Italian garden in the Cleveland Cultural Gardens. So, naturally, I will be there.
Parade the Circle
Full disclosure; I made this list a long time ago but didn’t finish it until now and Parade the Circle has already past by a few weeks. But it was on the list so I am writing it down so I can cross it off right away. Parade the Circle is a fantastic parade around Wade Oval. It’s very arty and the participants take it very seriously. You won’t see another more spectacular parade in Cleveland.
The Color Run
Again, this has passed. It was the same day as Parade the Circle, actually. Last year was the first year I did the run (which I walked cause I am fat and running makes me want to commit suicide) and I was up for it again this year. I like walking quite a lot and I certainly like walking while paint powder is being tossed at me.