More Free Things to Do in Cleveland

Cleveland Ohio has an amazing array of small museums, art festivals, and concerts, all available for free. Learn more about what to do in Cleveland and the surrounding area, without spending a dime.

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    The Westside Market in Cleveland, Ohio.
    ••• Stu Spivack / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 2.0

    The spectacular produce and meat products aren't free, but watching the bustling stream of people from all of Cleveland's neighborhoods as well as the piles of shiny fruits and vegetables is free. So is admiring the Byzantine architecture of this early 20th-century building. If you haven't been to the "market", make a point of visiting soon. It's truly one of Cleveland's treasures.

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    The outside of Great Lakes Brewing Company's brewery.
    ••• Tim / Flickr / CC BY 2.5

    The Great Lakes Brewing Company, in Cleveland's Ohio City neighborhood, is Cleveland's oldest microbrewery. The brewery/restaurant, opened in 1988, produces the popular Dortmunder Gold amber ale as well as Eliot Ness Porter and Burning River Ale, among others. The Brewery offers free tours of their beer-making facilities every hour, on the hour.

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    Money Museum, Federal Reserve, Cleveland Ohio
    ••• (© Stu Spivack/cc license)

    The new Federal Reserve Bank Museum of Money, opened in January 2005, features 30 exhibits about the history and the power of money. The most striking feature is a 23-foot tall money tree located across from the museum's entrance. This interesting museum is located in the Fed Building on E. Sixth St. in downtown Cleveland. It's open Monday thru Thursday from 10 AM to 2 PM and is free to the public.

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    Cleveland Institute of Music Kulas Hall
    ••• (courtesy of University Circle Inc.)

    The Cleveland Institute of Music hosts over 500 FREE concerts each year, reflecting virtually all genres of music. Most of the concerts feature students and alumni, but some past guest performers have included YoYo Ma and Isaac Stern -- all for free. The concerts are held at the school in ​University Circle and at area churches, museums, and country clubs.

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    A 1963 Pilurs-Smith DSA-1 Miniplan at the International Women's Air and Space Museum.
    ••• Aeroplanepics0112 / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 3.0

    The International Women's Air and Space Museum, located inside the lobby and west wing of downtown Cleveland's Burke Lakefront Airport, celebrates the contribution of women in air and space flight with a rotating schedule of temporary exhibits. The museum is open seven days a week and free to the public. Plans are in the works for a permanent exhibit about the aborted Mercury 13 - all women's space program.

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    ••• (© J. Greenburg; Courtesy of Cleveland CVB)

    The second Friday of every month, the trendy and historic Tremont neighborhood invites the public into its many diverse art galleries. Art, in a variety of media, is displayed and available for purchase, free refreshments are served, and live music gives the event a festive air. This is one of the best art events in the city, if not the state, and it's free.

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    ••• (© Stu Spivack/cc license)

    Long before Rock and Roll reigned in Cleveland, Polka was king, introduced to Cleveland culture by the hundreds of Czech, Polish, and Slovenian immigrants. The National Polka Hall of Fame celebrates this music genre. Located in Euclid, the museum has exhibits on inductees, including hometown favorite Frankie Yankovic, as well as instruments, clothing, and other polka memorabilia.

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    ••• (© sarahnrehm/WikiCommons)

    The Cleveland Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), located on Euclid Avenue at University Circle, offers visitors a changing array of temporary exhibits, featuring local, nationally-known, and international artists. The museum offers free admission to all on the first Saturday of each month.

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    This small, friendly, and colorful museum is located on the second floor of the Galleria, adjacent to the Erieview Tower, on East Ninth St. The museum features changing exhibits about the history, art, and culture of Cleveland's Hungarian community. 

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    The Lake Erie Nature and Science Center (LENSC), located east of Cleveland in Bay Village, is a place where young and "not-so-young" can learn about wildlife and nature. The center, founded in 1945, houses an animal rehabilitation clinic as well as a variety of indoor and outdoor animal exhibits.

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    The Stephen Frazee House in Cleveland
    ••• Tom Bower / Flickr / Public Domain

    The Frazee House sits adjacent to the Ohio-Erie Canal in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. The two-story, brick house, built in 1825, is one of the earliest homes in Northeastern Ohio and a good example of traditional Western Reserve land use.