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Published: May 28, 2021

man playing clarinet outsideFor many, Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial kickoff of the summer season. It’s usually a feel-good weekend for Ohioans who regularly endure more than their fair share of cold and gray days. But this year’s warm and green days feel supersized after last summer’s shutdown.

Yes, many of our favorite outdoor seasonal spots have reopened and are resuming (somewhat) business as usual.

Like our Cleveland Indians: “Progressive Field will return to full capacity starting June 2; tickets for remaining 2021 home games go on sale May 26 at 10 a.m.”

Cedar Point is open too, but reservations are required and the Sandusky amusement park will be closed on select days in June because of staff shortages.

Start Planning Your Summer Fun

You don’t need to own a boat to enjoy the Great Lake in our backyard. Ferries run daily between the mainland (Port Clinton, Catawba and Sandusky) and the Lake Erie islands (South Bass and Kelleys). Many island hoppers visit to bike, shop and eat. You can spend as little or as much time as you like there, and the journey to and from is just as enjoyable.

Or take a boat to the historic Lorain Lighthouse. The cruise involves a shuttle ride to and from the historic Lorain Lighthouse, as well as a tour of the building's interior. Trips depart every 45 minutes from Oasis Marina at Port Lorain - Dock A (Guest Dock) behind Erie Steak and Seafood restaurant, 301 Lakeside Avenue, in Lorain.. Tickets are $20. (FYI - the Lighthouse is not handicap accessible.)

Lorain Port Authority has not yet updated its calendar for 2021 boat tours, but they are working on it so check back for nature, sunset and other special-themed cruises.

Outdoor concerts are back too. Cain Park in Cleveland Heights is announcing its 2021season on May 28. The popular Cain Park Arts Festival, a juried fine arts and fine crafts event featuring the work of artists across the country, will be held July 9-11.

Concerts resume at Blossom Music Center in Cuyahoga Falls with the Cleveland Orchestra’s “An American Celebration” on July 3 and 4. The orchestra returns to Blossom for several concerts throughout the summer.

Other Blossom concerts include Rod Stewart, James Taylor and Jackson Browne, and the Doobie Brothers.

Many of our favorite smaller venues and parks are resuming concerts too. Riverdog, a not-for-profit venue (with indoor and outdoor stages) five miles west of Oberlin at the edge of the Vermilion River, features roots music by artists from across the country.

Lorain County Metro Parks holds outdoor concerts in a variety of locations; Mill Hollow, Vermilion River Reservation; Miller Nature Preserve, Avon; Lakeview Park, Lorain.

Check the Arrowhead Newsletter or call the main office (440-458-5121) for specific dates, times and locations.

Al Fresco Dining and Ice Cream Too

“There are a LOT of patios in Cleveland these days!” writes Kat Weiss Butler in the Cleveland Traveler. But she adds a caveat: “While patios were traditionally ‘first come, first served’ in the Before Times, patios tables are now a hot commodity at most restaurants. Because of this, some spots ARE taking reservations for patio tables, so our advice is to give restaurants a call if you have your heart set on dining outdoors on a specific day.”

She came up with a list of the 35 best. Here are 5 of them:

  1. Market Ave Wine Bar, Ohio City
  2. Barocco, Lakewood
  3. Boss Dog Brewing Company, Cleveland Heights
  4. Guarino’s Restaurant, Little Italy
  5. All Saints Public House, Battery Park (dog friendly)

Speaking of dog friendly, Lorenzo’s Paws on the Patio in Oberlin begins Monday, June 7 at 5 p.m. and continues every Monday throughout the summer. Fido gets a homemade biscuit (or two) and Partners with Paws of Lorain County gets partial proceeds from the night.

Two of our favorite seasonal soft ice cream stands are swirling it out: Romp’s Dairy Dock in Vermilion and Pied Piper in Huron. And if your preference is hand-dipped frozen treats, Cleveland-based Honey Hut Ice Cream, with 5 locations throughout Cuyahoga County, is another summer-time favorite.

What summer fun are you looking forward to this year?


Plan a Visit to Oberlin This Summer!

Add Oberlin to your list of places to go as the weather gets warmer.

What to do when you visit Oberlin...

And make an appointment to see Kendal at Oberlin while you're in town.

Schedule a Visit


Author Molly Kavanaugh 2020In the past, Molly Kavanaugh frequently wrote about Kendal at Oberlin for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, where she was a reporter for 16 years. Now we are happy to have her writing for the Kendal at Oberlin Community.

About Kendal at Oberlin: Kendal is a nonprofit life plan community serving older adults in northeast Ohio. Located about one mile from Oberlin College and Conservatory, and about a 40 minute drive from downtown Cleveland, Kendal offers a vibrant resident-led lifestyle with access to music, art and lifelong learning.