I know you’re just as eager as I am to have a fantastic, fun-filled summer with your kiddos. As much as we cherish our routine, I think we can all agree that summertime offers a much-needed break from our usual schedules. It gives us the chance to get out there and explore our beautiful hometown of Akron, Ohio!
This season, we have an amazing array of activities on our doorstep – all perfect for creating lifelong memories with your family. Here’s how you can make the most of this summer in our charming city.
1. Celebrate the 20th Annual Spree for All What better way to bond with your children than to head out into nature? The award-winning hiking series, Spree for All, which runs until the end of June, offers a fun, family-friendly opportunity to explore Akron’s incredible natural beauty. Best of all, the hikes are designed to accommodate all ages and abilities – making it a genuinely inclusive experience. More info can be found on the Summit Metro Parks website. Remember to grab your Spree forms either online or at your local nature center!
2. Enjoy Music by the Lake Summit Metro Parks is bringing back its summer concert series, Music by the Lake. This year, the series will feature performances from the all-volunteer Metro Parks Ensemble, who will be playing a variety of music to suit all tastes. It’s the perfect chance for a family picnic under the stars while enjoying some great tunes. Check out the Programs & Events page for more information.
3. Get involved in the Grow a Wild Back Yard Program Are your kids nature lovers? The Grow a Wild Back Yard program might just be the thing for you. This initiative encourages Akron residents to enhance their backyards or green spaces to make them more welcoming for wildlife. Plus, your family will earn rewards for your efforts! Visit their page for more details.
4. Embrace Water Fun in Summit Metro Parks Boating, swimming, fishing – Summit Metro Parks has it all! From now through Labor Day, boat rentals are available at Silver Creek Metro Park, or you can bring your own. With stocked fishing locations and dog swim days, there’s an aquatic adventure for every family member.
5. Attend the Blue Heron Homecoming For a blend of education and entertainment, mark your calendars for the Blue Heron Homecoming on June 17. With hands-on activities, environmental tours, free food, and fun giveaways, it’s an excellent opportunity to learn about Akron’s waterways and what we can do to protect them. More information is available on the Akron Waterways Renewed! website.
6. Gorge Dam and Cascade Valley Metro Park. I know many of us have been following the progress of the Gorge Dam removal. It’s a significant project that impacts our local environment, and it’s been exciting to see the project evolve. For those interested, the design work for dam removal is currently underway following a busy spring of tree clearing for the sediment disposal site.
In the meantime, while the Gorge Dam area undergoes transformation, a piece of it lives on in Sand Run Metro Park. Trees removed from Cascade Valley Metro Park for the project have been reutilized in an important stream stabilization effort. The lower portions of these trees, known as “root wads,” are now helping to channel water, prevent erosion, and provide vital habitat for fish at Sand Run Metro Park. If you have any questions or you want to learn more about the Gorge Dam project, I encourage you to visit bit.ly/freethefalls.
7. Valley View Area of Cascade Valley Metro Park. Construction will begin this month at the Valley View Area of Cascade Valley Metro Park, with plans to build a new river house and river access along the Cuyahoga River. Imagine the picnic possibilities! By next spring, we’ll have access to restrooms, a protected gathering space, a canoe/kayak put-in, walking trail, bike trail, and an outdoor gathering space. Stay tuned for updates on the Summit Metro Parks’ project updates webpage.
The possibilities for summer fun in Akron are endless. So, let’s put down the tablets, step away from the TV, and venture into the beautiful summer sun. After all, our kids won’t remember their best day of television, but they will remember that time they spent catching fish with mom, or that hilarious moment when the family dog jumped into the lake during