Exploring the Heights: Cleveland Heights, Shaker Heights and University Heights

Exploring the Heights: Cleveland Heights, Shaker Heights and University Heights

- in 2023 Editions, May 2023

Take your fun to new “heights” in these historic Cleveland neighborhoods. Whether you’re looking for live entertainment and sports, parks and nature to explore, indoor fun or a family-friendly place to dine or grab a treat, the Heights has something for everyone in your family to enjoy.

Cleveland Heights, clevelandheights.gov 

It’s hard to imagine that 200 years ago Superior Road in Cleveland Heights was all dirt with a few farmhouses spread acres apart. More and more residential homes began popping up as immigrants came to Cleveland to search for work, and by the 1920s it became a “streetcar suburb,” with rail lines serving the area. Cleveland Heights officially became its own city in 1921 and is now home to more than 45,000 residents. Today, residents enjoy rich history, entertainment, and modern amenities for family-friendly fun or a parents night out.  

Cain Park, 14591 Superior Rd, Cleveland Heights, cainpark.com

Cain Park is a summer performing art park owned and operated by the City of Cleveland Heights. Every summer, Cain Park turns into a top venue for theatrical productions, concerts, and other live performances. It also hosts an annual arts festival. Check out their free, family-friendly, Sunday afternoon concert series beginning May 21. 

Forest Hill Park, Forest Hills Blvd. & Lee Blvd., Cleveland Heights 

Once part of John D. Rockefeller’s Forest Hill Estate, this community park features a playground, walking trails, picnic shelters, tennis courts and baseball fields.

Heights Libraries (multiple locations), heightslibrary.org

Travel to Coventry Village Branch, Lee Road Branch and the Noble Neighborhood Branch. The Heights libraries began serving the community in 1916, according to their website and has a mission to “provide free access to services and facilities for all ages, maintain safe, welcoming spaces and digital environment, offer expert information and research assistance, maintain and lend outstanding and balanced collections and materials, focus on programs and services that transform people’s lives and deliver high quality outreach services where they are needed.” 

The Haunted House Restaurant, 13463 Cedar Rd, Cleveland Heights, thehauntedhouserestaurant.com

Get a thrilling fix anytime of the year at this themed restaurant that pays homage to classic horror movies. The menu includes things like “The Texas Chainsaw Burger,” “Jaws” pizza, and “Children of the Street Corn.” It also has a drink menu featuring specialty “potions” as well as a kid’s menu. 

The Wine Spot, 2271 Lee Road, Cleveland Heights, thewinespotonline.com

This converted hardware store on Lee Road boasts an expansive selection of worldly wine and beer. The beverage store also features “The Art Spot,” a student-run gallery of the Cleveland Institute of Art and hosts events such as wine tastings, pop-up shops, drink and draw nights and entrepreneur meetups. 

Shaker Heights, shakeronline.com

More than 29,000 people call Shaker Heights home and it’s not hard to see why. A few features include its historic homes and architecture, plenty of parks and green space, a vibrant shopping and dining district and a close proximity to downtown Cleveland. 

 Nature Center at Shaker Lakes, 2600 S Park Blvd, Cleveland, shakerlakes.org

According to its website, The Nature Center at Shaker Lakes “was founded in 1966 as the result of a grassroots community effort to preserve the Shaker Parklands from becoming the route for a new freeway connecting Cleveland’s Eastside to downtown.” The Nature Center is free and open to the public to visit and features nature trails, exhibits, and educational events and programs. 

Shaker Library, 16500 Van Aken Blvd., Shaker Heights, shakerlibrary.org

The Shaker Library provides free access to a wide variety of services and resources to the community including books, movies, media, classes, events, activities, a creation lab, art gallery and much more. 

The Van Aken District, thevanakendistrict.com

The hub of downtown Shaker Heights is the Van Aken District, featuring a mix of shopping, dining, entertainment and residential homes. Kids can participate in their Bookworm Adventure: The Great Children’s Book Scavenger Hunt.  Every month, the Shaker Library will curate a children’s book to theme a district-wide scavenger hunt. 

 A few kid-friendly favorite places:  

Shaker Rocks — Featuring 14,000 square feet of indoor rock climbing for all ages.

Double Rainbow — spirited lifestyle + clothing boutique for girls.

Mitchell’s Ice Cream — classic and seasonal flavors of ice cream hand- crafted in Northeast Ohio. 

University Heights, universityheights.com

This urban suburb with just under 14,000 residents features a college campus and provides residents and visitors with walkable neighborhoods, local shopping and dining, and higher education opportunities.  

Walter Stinson Community Park, 2313 Fenwick Rd, University Heights 

Known as “The Walt” to locals, this park opened in 2016 and features a toddler playground, ADA-accessible children’s playground, picnic tables, pollinator garden, gazebo and walking track. 

Bialy’s Bagels, 2267 Warrensville Center Rd., University Heights, bialysbagels.com

This bagel shop has been a staple in University Heights since it was opened in 1966. Get there early to get your pick of freshly made bagels. 

Ben & Jerry’s, 20650 John Carroll Boulevard, University Heights, benjerry.com/universityheights

Who doesn’t love ice cream? This shop with the iconic flavors, brings homegrown fun to this locally-owned shop. Look for the ice cream cakes.

John Carroll University, 1 John Carroll Boulevard, University Heights, jcu.edu

The “University” in University Heights, John Carroll offers more than 70 academic programs including nursing, business and finance. Families can cheer on the Blue Streaks in 24 Division III varsity sports including baseball, basketball and football. 

University Heights Library Branch, 133866 Cedar Road, University Heights, heightslibrary.org 

According to its website, “The newly, extensively renovated University Heights branch offers a diverse popular collection as well as separate areas for adults, children, and teens. The branch receives books and magazines from the foreign language collection of the Cleveland Public Library. There is a Kulas Foundation Steinway piano available for program and community use as well.”

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