Reopening Plans for Northeast Ohio’s Zoos, Museums, Gardens, Theme Parks & More

Reopening Plans for Northeast Ohio’s Zoos, Museums, Gardens, Theme Parks & More

There’s a good chance that both you and your family are eager to get out and do things, especially now that things are open again.

But a lot has changed, so here’s a roundup on how some of your family’s favorite zoos, museums, amusement parks and more are handling reopening.

(Editor’s note: click here for a list of additional attractions, their opening dates, and health & safety procedures.)

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

Is it open? Yes.

What’s different? First of all, you’re going to need to get your tickets online for the specific day you want to visit before you show up — yes, even members. (Get used to that, because it’s a pretty common practice.)

Capacity is 75 percent less than it was in a pre-pandemic world. So, yes, some days do sell out — especially Mondays, which are still free for Cuyahoga County residents.

The Rainforest is closed for renovations. The playgrounds, camel rides and petting zoo are closed, too. But most of the zoo is open. However, some exhibits (like the Tiger passage and Asian Highlands) are one-way only. Also, no Tram service is available, so be ready for that hill if you want to visit the gorillas.

Anything else I should know? The train and carousel are both open at reduced capacity, so don’t be surprised if you have to wait to ride.

Guests are encouraged to wear masks but most didn’t during our recent trip.


Akron Zoo

Is it open? Yes

What’s different? Once again, you’ll need to get your tickets ahead of time. Akron Zoo requires that you schedule both the date and time of your visit. You’re not allowed to come in before or after the 30-minute window that you scheduled, so make sure that you’re on time.

The zoo has special hours set aside for vulnerable populations: 9:30-11 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

The carousel, all indoor buildings, and the zoo’s many playgrounds are closed. Yes, that includes the awesome slide through the otter exhibit.

Anything else I should know? Masks are not required but strongly encouraged.


Holden Arboretum

Is it open? Yes.

What’s different? Once more, timed tickets must be bought beforehand.

The Arboretum is gradually reopening its sections. Often, areas are reopened to members first. The popular emergent tower and canopy walk recently reopened. As of publication, Buckeye Bud’s Adventure Woods play area is still closed.

Also, trams and guided tours are not presently available.

Anything else I should know? Bring your own snacks, because food and beverages can’t be purchased at the arboretum. And buildings (including the visitors center) are closed, but restrooms are available.


Cleveland Botanical Garden

Is it open? Yes.

What’s different? Say it with me now: Timed tickets must be purchased ahead of time.

The outdoor trails, indoor biomes, and Garden Store are open. At time of publication, the Hershey’s Children Garden was closed but they expect to reopen it soon.

Anything else I should know? Masks are required while inside and encouraged outside.


Cleveland Aquarium

Is it open? Not yet. A passholder reopening is scheduled for June 29 and a public reopening following on July 6.

What’s different? As you probably expected, you’ll have to buy timed tickets ahead of time before you visit.

Anything else I should know? The path through the aquarium is one-way. Also, some animal encounters and play areas are temporarily closed.


The Children’s Museum of Cleveland

Is it open? No, but they are offering story times, craft ideas and more daily on their Facebook page.


Cleveland Museum of Natural History

Is it open? Not yet. They reopen to the public on July 1.

What’s different? Sing along now: Timed tickets must be purchased in advance.

Traffic will be one way through the museum. Also, the planetarium and the Smead Discovery Center in the basement are closed until further notice.

Anything else I should know? The restaurant will only offer snacks and beverages, not meals, and masks are required for all visitors older than two.


The Cleveland Museum of Art

Is it open? The museum reopens June 30.

What’s different? Timed tickets must be reserved in advance.

The museum is not presently offering tours. Also, coat check, both its restaurant and cafe, museum store, ARTLENS Gallery, and Ingalls Library are closed. However, almost all permanent collections galleries will be open.

Anything else I should know? Masks are required for all visitors.


Great Lakes Science Center

Is it open? The special Body Worlds Rx exhibit is presently open. The rest of the Science Center is slated to open July 1.

What’s different? Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. Timed tickets will need to be purchased in advance.

One-way traffic through the Science Center. Some exhibits have been modified to no longer require touch. Others with reusable parts (like the Lite Brite wall) will have bins nearby so those parts can easily be collected and sanitized. And a few exhibits (about six percent of the museum’s total offerings) will be closed for now.

Anything else I should know? Masks are required for all visitors three and older.


Lake Metroparks Farmpark

Is it open? Yes.

What’s different? The Farmpark is only open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays right now.

All indoor exhibits are closed (but restrooms are available.) But you can still see the dairy cows behind the parlor, and staff will still offer equine and herding demonstrations.

Also, traffic through the Farmpark will be one way.

Anything else I should know? Masks are encouraged but not required. The Farmpark posts a daily schedule of demonstrations and guided tours online.

Memphis Kiddie Park

Is it open? The park has announced that it will remain closed this summer.


Cedar Point

Is it open? Staggered reopening begins July 9.

What’s different? As you inevitably suspected, reservations will be required.

Also, you’ll need to complete a Health Screening declaration on Cedar Point’s mobile app 24 hours before visiting.

Anything else I should know? Face masks will be required.

About the author

Jason Lea has a son, daughter, and a full-time job at the Mentor Public Library. He uses his nonexistent free time writing about parenting for Northeast Ohio Parent magazine. You can tweet him @jasonmarklea. Or not. You're grown and can make your own choices.


  1. The Cuyahoga County Public Library announced it’s reopening in an email and it has been published on the CCPL website. You will want to read the Director’s safety message:

    1. Thank you for mentioning that, Rene. I think all local libraries are available for, at least, curbside service now. And many are reopening their buildings in a limited capacity — though several have additional safety measures in place.

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