Cleveland attractions for the college budget

Eddie Dilworth

As you walk around inside, a cool mist hits the skin, tropical plants are all around and exotic birds can be heard.

This is the scene inside the rainforest at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and Rainforest.

The zoo and rainforest is just one of the attractions in Cleveland that students can visit for less than $20.

The 170-acre zoo and rainforest displays more than 3,000 animals from around the world, said Marketing Specialist Tom Robatin.

Animal exhibits include bears, crocodiles, monkeys, lions and tigers, Robatin said.

Robatin said new attractions would be coming to the zoo and rainforest.

These include an improved elephant exhibit and a veterinary hospital with a public and private sector. The private sector will be used for zoological medicine.

“We built the hospital to better take care of our animals,” Robatin said.

Robatin said the facilities also offer a food court that features hot dogs and hamburgers. In addition, there is the Crocodile Cafe where hot and cold meals are served.


Another educational entertainment venue is the Great Lakes Science Center, which features the six-story high Cleveland Clinic Omnimax Theater, said Marketing Director Trish Rooney.

Rooney said the center offers more than 400 exhibits on three floors.

The 165,000-square-foot center is used to promote learning through fun, Rooney said.

“We try to expose people to science with hands-on experiences instead of reading about it in a book,” Rooney said.

Rooney said the domed Omnimax Theater shows space, wildlife and adventure films with the benefit of surround sound.

The center includes Bytes Restaurant and The Science Store.

The Circle

Also located in Cleveland is University Circle, which offers many different places that students can attend for less than $20.

The park-like setting includes the Cleveland Orchestra at Severance Hall, Cleveland Museum of Art and the Cleveland Institute of Music.

The circle also offers venues that cross many cultural boundaries.

Dining establishments include the Barking Spider Tavern, Sergio’s in University Circle and Uptowne Grill.

According to the University Circle’s Web site, the tavern offers week-long live entertainment with sounds of reggae, jazz, folk, blues and gospel while Sergio’s offers Brazilian seafood dishes and live Brazilian jazz. Uptowne Grill provides American, French, Spanish, Italian and Moroccan foods with live jazz Wednesday through Sunday.

The Beachland Ballroom and Tavern offers more well-known musical performances that students can attend.

“The concert club books national level bands that are touring the area,” said Mark Leddy, co-owner of the club.

Musical acts that have been performed at the club include Guided By Voices, The White Stripes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and The Hives, Leddy said.

Rockefeller Park

When done rocking out, Rockefeller Park offers sights of lavish gardens and a greenhouse.

While the park displays 24 different gardens, the greenhouse has different sections made up of tropical plants, a fern house and a cactus house, said greenhouse manager Perrin Carpenter.

Students can attend other venues for less than $20 in Cleveland.

For students looking to shop, Tower City Center has stores including Abercrombie & Fitch, Champs Sports, Lids, Nine West, Rave and Ann Taylor, said the city center Web site.

Still want more? The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is another site that is $20 and under

Although not in Cleveland, tickets for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton can be purchased for under $20.

Contact off-campus entertainment reporter Eddie Dilworth [email protected].