Make a Splash: Beaches, Pools, Water Parks and Sports

Make a Splash: Beaches, Pools, Water Parks and Sports

Photo by Laura Watilo Blake

When it comes to summer fun, kids can find hours of backyard entertainment playing with sprinklers, squirt guns and kiddie pools. However, if you’re ready to kick your family’s water adventures up a notch, you live in the right place. Northeast Ohio offers wave upon wave of water fun for all ages. Whether you’re seeking an afternoon splash pad for your baby or toddler or a thrilling getaway for your teen, you’ll find an option not too far from home. 

Splash Pads & Pools

There are dozens of pools and splash pads in communities across the region. Most splash pads
and spray grounds are free to visit, while city pools and community recreation centers offer memberships and day passes. Many have baby pools and toddler-friendly options for younger children, and
some offer water slides for older, adventure-seeking kids. Check out the following examples or visit for a complete list.


Lake Erie’s array of beaches offer fun for all ages. Pack sand toys for younger children; kites, buckets and shovels for older kids; and sports gear and sand-free towels for tweens and teens. And of course, everyone will appreciate lots of snacks, drinks, a fun playlist and an umbrella for afternoon shade. From east (Fairport Harbor) to west (Huntington Beach), there are about half a dozen options. If you’re looking for a longer getaway, check out Shores & Islands Ohio (, which includes Put-in-Bay, Kelleys Island, the Marblehead area and more.

Watercraft Rentals

View the shoreline from an entirely different perspective when you rent a boat or personal watercraft in the Cleveland area or to the west in the Shores and Islands Ohio region. Choose your type of watercraft based on speed, comfort and number of seats to suit the needs of your family, then start planning some points of interest or restaurants to anchor for a while.

Great Lakes Boat Charters

Great Lakes Watersports


Shores & Islands Ohio

Water Ski Shows

The Chippewa Lake Water Ski Show Team, the only one of its kind in Ohio, offers free public performances at Emerald Lake in Norton every Wednesday evening during the summer. The team, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, uses the hour-long shows as dress rehearsals for its performances. You’ll watch as skiers of varying ages perform impressive feats including jumps, backward and barefoot skiing, and pyramids. For those who want to learn more, the team offers Learn to Ski sessions for all ages and experience levels. (

Paddle Sports

Whether you prefer to canoe or kayak — and brave the waves of Lake Erie or glide down a serene river — there’s a rental option nearby. Paddle the Cuyahoga River, head south to the Mohican River, or find rentals on the shores of Lake Erie and smaller lakes at area metroparks, some of which also offer paddle boats. For an additional challenge and to test your balance, consider giving stand-up paddleboarding a try.

41 Degrees North Coastal
 Kayak Adventures

Camp Hi Canoe Livery

Crooked River Adventures

Mohican Adventures

Water Parks

Northeast Ohio and the surrounding area offers more than a dozen water parks, whether you prefer the traditional outdoor experience or an indoor water adventure. Each features pools and slides both large and small, making them perfect destinations for families with children.

Cedar Point Shores (

Kalahari Sandusky (

Pioneer Waterland (

Waterfall Hikes

Summer is a great time to explore new hiking trails, and there’s just something majestic about gazing at a waterfall. Luckily, Ohio is home to an abundance of waterfalls that are accessible by trails of varying length and difficulty — making it easy for any family to add one of these treks to
their summer bucket list.

Brandywine Falls (

Paine Falls (

West Falls & East Falls

About the author

Denise Koeth is Digital Content Manager for Northeast Ohio Parent. She oversees content on the website and manages the brand’s social media activity. Denise grew up in Northeast Ohio and she and her husband are currently raising their two boys here, making it a point to take the boys to area events, attractions and kid-friendly destinations.

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