It’s Finally Time to Get Outside! Spring Activities Near Oberlin

It’s finally that time of year. The sun is out longer, the weather’s warming up — along with the climate — and people can once again be found throwing a frisbee in North Quad or just laying in Wilder Bowl. Although it’s Ohio — where it will be 65 degrees in April and then snowy the next day — it’s still a good idea to start making plans for when the weather is consistently warm, whenever that may be. Here is a list of local attractions you should check out when the time’s right.

Oberlin Arboretum

If you’re looking for an easy walk or hike in the area, the Arb is the place to go. Although it’s currently under construction, it will hopefully reopen this season. On the south end of campus, past Johnson House, the Arb has lots of trails and creeks with a reservoir split into two ponds — and you just can’t beat the fact that it’s free! I haven’t spent much time there, but I’ve heard nothing but good things from the people who walk around there, and I will definitely check it out when the trees start to bud. 


Cuyahoga Valley National Park

If you’re looking for a more serious hike, Cuyahoga Valley National Park is your best bet. You’ll have plenty of trails to try, as the park spans over 32,000 acres of land and has over 125 miles of trails with varying difficulties. The National Park Service recommends the Ledges Trail, which “circles a plateau of striking rock formations and provides stunning views along the way.” There are also over 100 waterfalls to check out while you hike. It’s about a 45-minute drive away, but it’s worth it — it’s the only national park in Ohio, after all. 


Progressive Field, Home to the Cleveland Guardians 

If you’re into professional sports, Cleveland Guardians games are always a fun time to share with friends. Progressive Field is a gem in downtown Cleveland, and it’s the perfect place to sit back and watch baseball on a Sunday afternoon. I really enjoyed the two games I went to last year, and I think the stadium’s a must-see for any sports fan. Even for non-baseball fans, it’s a great opportunity to relax under the sun and watch some of the best athletes in the sport compete. The night games at the beginning of the year are also a phenomenal atmosphere and usually draw big turnouts if you don’t have free time in the afternoon. It’s only 40 minutes away and you can usually get tickets for cheap, too. The home opener is April 15, and after that there are home games consistently for the next six months.


Cedar Point 

The Sunday Funday committee — which is a group of Oberlin men’s lacrosse players that plans out fun Sunday activities for the team (myself included) — would highly recommend Cedar Point, an amusement park in Sandusky. It’s about a 45-minute drive away and tickets typically cost between $50–60. If you have the time, I suggest paying a visit. Cedar Point is widely considered to be one of the best amusement parks in the country; people from all over come to Ohio just to visit. I have never feared for my life more than when I heard the slow clicking noise of the tracks on the way up the Millennium Force roller coaster, awaiting a 310-foot drop. The park has 17 total roller coasters, but my personal favorites are the GateKeeper, Millennium Force, and Steel Vengeance. The park opens May 7, and I would suggest planning to go on an off-day, since the park will be very busy for the first month or so after it opens.


Cleveland Metroparks Zoo 

The Cleveland Zoo is a great place to go with friends on a nice afternoon. In 2019, USA Today ranked it as one of the best zoos in the country: “Known for one of the largest collections of primates in the United States, the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is part of 23,000 acres of parkland that also has 300 miles of trails, eight golf courses, and eight lakefront parks.” It also has a vast rainforest exhibit and over 600 species from across the globe to observe. The Sunday Funday committee will definitely have this on our radar in the coming weeks.