Everything You Should Definitely Do in Cleveland This Summer

Despite what our moody weather might suggest, Cleveland’s summer is finally here. So grab your sunnies and sun block (or umbrella and light jacket) and take advantage of absolutely everything our city has to offer this season. Whether you want to rock out, pig out, work out, or go ALL out, here’s a list of every activity around our fair city you should definitely partake in this 2017 summer.

Star-Spangled Spectacular
Flickr/Erik Drost

Dine al fresco at Walnut Wednesday

Dig into the lunch you’ve been desk/day dreaming of at downtown Cleveland’s biggest food truck event, held every Wednesday from May through September.

Listen to local bands at Larchmere PorchFest

Check out this free music festival featuring 30 bands playing on 30 porches in the hip Larchmere District.

Pucker up at a sour beer tasting

Urban Artifact makes some seriously outstanding sour brews, and Lilly will be featuring four of them paired with four different white chocolate-themed desserts for one heavenly evening.

Take in the lake view at the Lakewood Summer Solstice Celebration

The new(ish) Solstice Steps at Lakewood Park offers one of the loveliest views in Cleveland. Live music, food trucks, and a variety of activities are planned for the evening event.

Learn to cook like a pro at Gourmets in the Garden

Each Wednesday from June 7 through August 30, participants can watch live demonstrations and sample cuisine on Geis Terrace from a different local chef each week; June 21 will feature Chef Simon Elaban of Jack Flaps.

Get up close and personal with a brewery owner

Meet and drink with Shorts Brewing Company owner, Joe Short, at the industrial chic Wine Spot in Cleveland Heights. Servers will be pouring a variety of Shorts beers, including the occasional rare brew.

Join the LGBT community to Celebrate Cleveland Pride

Hit up this colorful parade, rally, and festival that celebrates each individual’s history, diversity, and equality.

Mingle with thousands of your closest friends at the Star Spangled Spectacular

The Cleveland Orchestra's free, Fourth-of-July-style concert brings together thousands of spectators for a musical evening celebrating Cleveland and Northeast Ohio. This concert features American favorites alongside a remarkable fireworks show.
The Cleveland Flea
The Cleveland Flea | The Cleveland Flea

Enjoy a beautiful day (we hope) at the U2 Tour

Sometimes, there’s nothing like a massively popular band playing in a massive venue with all the lights and sounds that make for a truly spectacular concert experience.

Catch some baseball at an Indians Game

Sure, The Tribe is playing all summer long, but the addition of a glittering July 4th fireworks show makes this particular game a can’t-miss event.

Get cultured at Cain Park Arts Festival

Over 150 local and national artisans will gather for the 40th anniversary of this long-running fine arts and crafts event.

Shop local at The Cleveland Flea

The love for Cleveland is palpable at this buzzing event, held outdoors in Tyler Village during the warmer months. Shoppers can browse secondhand and handmade goods while enjoying a variety of dishes and drinks from local vendors. Don’t miss August’s event on the 12th.

Support the local food movement at The Food Flea

Sample a variety of top notch dishes from vendors such as The Vegan Doughnut Company and Cleveland Kraut at The Food Flea, hosted by the dynamic team behind everyone’s favorite summer shopping event. Don’t miss August’s event on the 13th, either.  

Stroll through the Arboretum during a Sounds of Summer Concert

Check out this garden concert series each Tuesday from June 20-August 15, and enjoy the music of talented local bands surrounded by the majesty of Holden Arboretum. Guest seating is on the lawn, where you can enjoy a gorgeous view of the lake. July 11 features The Boogie Woogie Kid.

Catch a musical idol at the Billy Joel concert

Take advantage of this opportunity to see a musical legend perform on a grand stage in Cleveland.

Shake up your after work routine at Summers @ Severance

Enjoy the world-renowned Cleveland Orchestra with a cool cocktail in a unique setting, with three summer concerts (July 14, July 28 and August 18) outdoors on the beautiful Front Terrace of Severance Hall. The theme for July 28 is Beethoven’s Fateful Fifth.

Support local farmers at North Union Farmers’ Market

With locations and dates at Shaker Square, Crocker Park, Chagrin Falls, Cleveland Clinic, Legacy Village Market, Playhouse Square, and University Hospitals, it's easier than ever to support our local farms and enjoy their delicious bounty.  

Catch a flick at Bring Your Dog to the Drive-in!

Don’t worry about leaving Fido on his own for yet another night; bring your dog to the drive-in for a $5 per dog donation to Multiple Breed Rescue. The featured movie is TBD.

Saddle up for VeloSano Bike to Cure

The annual VeloSano event raises money for cancer research through the sport of cycling.100 percent of the dollars raised by participants advances cancer research at Cleveland Clinic. Ride, volunteer or donate to get involved in this worthy cause.

Dine under the stars at a Plated Landscape Dinner

Spice Kitchen + Bar’s Plated Landscapes are dining experiences held throughout the summer and fall, taking place where the ingredients are sourced from. Diners are led on a tour of the farm and then seated at one long table for a five-course, wine-paired dinner incorporating food from that farm. The July 28 dinner will feature Yellow House Cheese.
Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga | Sky Cinema/Shutterstock

Indulge your love for British music

Dance the night away while listening to the indie rock music of alt-J at one of the most beautiful concert venues in Cleveland.

Imbibe at the Vintage Ohio Festival

Sip and sample a variety of wines from several Ohio wineries, including Gervasi Vineyard and Vermilion Valley Vineyards.

Spread a picnic blanket out at Cleveland Orchestra @ Blossom

If you haven’t packed a picnic full of wine and headed to Blossom yet, be sure to get there this month to enjoy the magic of the Cleveland Orchestra playing at this beautiful outdoor venue. The theme for August 5 is Tchaikovsky Favorites.

Run for your beer at the Hofbrauhaus Half Marathon

If your idea of exercise involves a beer and a brat, check out the Hofbrauhalf this August. Participants will enjoy Bavarian music and a lively after-party where they can drink the pain away with a couple of giant steins of beer. Prost!

Shake your booty on the beach at Edgewater LIVE

This is your last chance to catch Edgewater LIVE before the June 8 - August 10 season comes to a close. Enjoy food, booze, and live music along Cleveland’s glittering lakefront each Thursday. The band for August 10 is The Spazmatics.

Enjoy the artsy side of CLE during Walkabout Tremont

Walkabout Tremont showcases its creative community on the second Friday of every month. Enjoy extended hours at galleries and shops, restaurant and bar specials, street performers, pop-up art, and neighborhood walking tours.

Indulge in Italian fare at Feast of the Assumption

Pray, eat and enjoy live music and rides at the annual Feast of the Assumption, a Catholic Holy Day that commemorates Mary being taken into Heaven.

Show your uptown funk at a Bruno Mars concert

You’ve gotta admit you can’t help but find Bruno Mars’ tunes catchy. Sing and dance along in-person at this end of summer concert event.  

Mingle with your creative counterparts

Check out the eighth annual Weapons of Mass Creation Fest, which celebrates art, design, and music with creative professionals, entrepreneurs, and fans from all over the world.

Get romantic with Date Night at the ZOOvies

Walk hand-in-hand with your date through Australian Adventure and the African Savanna while enjoying complimentary beer, wine and light appetizers. Next, grab some snacks and watch the 1987 classic Spaceballs in the Zoo's Savanna Theater.

Fill your head with dreams at a Coldplay Concert

Check out Coldplay, alongside special guests AlunaGeorge and Izzy Bizu, for a seriously musical evening.

Put on your poker face at a Lady Gaga Concert

Prepare to be fully entertained during Lady Gaga’s Cleveland stop on her 2017 world tour.

Shop in the moonlight at Night Market Cleveland

The Night Market series, held the last Friday of each month from June through September, is a combined farmer’s market, maker’s market, food festival, and live entertainment event.

Support our local refugees at REAP the Benefit

Enjoy a summer evening at the Ohio City Farm, overlooking the lakefront city skyline. The event will feature culinary experiences from Cleveland chefs using produce from the farm, as well as traditional music, story sharing, and dance. All proceeds benefit Cleveland’s refugee community.

Enjoy Cleveland’s cultural hub at Wade Oval Wednesdays

The summer is winding down (noooo) but you still have one last chance to catch WOW!, a free outdoor concert series that runs each Wednesday from June 14 - August 30. The musical act for August 30 is The Ohio Weather Band.

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Beth Phillips Synk is a Cleveland area writer who also recommends napping as something you should definitely do this summer. You can follow her on Twitter @CraveableCLE.