50 free things to do in

Free things to do in Cleveland Today

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Cleveland has a ill-deserved reputation for being a winter wasteland. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The northern Ohio metropolis offers a host of things to see and do during January, February and March-many of which don't cost a cent. Visitors to the North Coast will find free museums, free concerts and free gardens, all conveniently located to downtown.

Cleveland Museum of Art

Housing one of the most important art collections in the United States, the Cleveland Museum of Art is one of the last great museums to still offer free admission to its permanent exhibits. There's something for every taste here: a medieval armor court, a glass-enclosed gallery of Rodin statues, an extensive array of paintings by French impressionist painters and one of the most comprehensive Asian art collections in the United States. The gift shop features a good selection of art tomes; the museum cafe offers hot entrees, salads and sandwiches-and patrons can dine while listening to classical music and admiring art treasures hung on the cafe walls. The Cleveland Museum of Art is located in Cleveland's University Circle neighborhood, east of downtown, and is open Tuesdays through Sundays. Admission is free every day. There is an adjoining parking lot as well as metered parking within walking distance. Cleveland Museum of Art 11150 East Blvd. Cleveland, OH 44106 216-421-7340 clevelandart.org

Rockefeller Park Greenhouse

This small oasis is located just off Martin Luther King Jr. Drive between I-90 and Cleveland's University Circle cultural district. The unassuming brick building is rarely crowded and houses an amazing collection of cacti and succulents, orchids and bromeliads, as well as other assorted tropical flowers. During the Christmas season, the facility is filled with poinsettias of all hues-a festive sight. The Rockefeller Park Greenhouse is open daily, including holidays. Admission is free every day. Rockefeller Park Greenhouse 750 E. 88th St. Cleveland, OH 44108 216-664-3103 rockefellergreenhouse.org

Concerts at the Cleveland Institute of Music

The Cleveland Institute of Music is another University Circle Institution. This four-year music university offers bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in conjunction with neighboring Case Western Reserve University. Graduates of the school are seated in most prominent U.S. symphonies, including the well-regarded Cleveland Orchestra. The Institute hosts more than 500 concerts each year, showcasing its students, faculty and alumnae. Most of these concerts are free. Occasionally, lucky concertgoers are treated to the likes of cellist Yo Yo Ma or pianist Emanuel Ax at one of these events. Cleveland Institute of Music 11021 East Blvd. Cleveland, OH 44106 216-791-5000 cim.edu

Federal Reserve Bank Money Museum

Located inside the Cleveland Federal Reserve Bank in the heart of downtown, the Money Museum takes visitors through the history of money and its role in our lives. Twenty-five exhibits illustrate the life cycle of currency and other monetary topics. Especially eye-catching is the 23-foot-tall money tree, made from real (out-of-circulation) bills. The Money Museum is open Mondays through Thursdays and is free to the public. Federal Reserve Bank Money Museum 1455 East 6th St. Cleveland, OH 216-579-2000 federalreserve.org

International Women's Air & Space Museum

Dedicated to the contributions of women to advancements in air and space travel, this small museum is located in the lobby of Burke Lakefront Airport in downtown Cleveland. Displays include Amelia Earhart's flight suit; several early aircraft owned by women; and information on the Mercury 13 Project, an all-women space corps. The museum includes a research room and a gift shop. It is open seven days a week and is free every day. International Women's Air & Space Museum Burke Lakefront Airport 1501 North Marginal Rd. Cleveland, OH 44114 216-623-1111 iwasm.org

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