It’s time to roll out those lazy-hazy-crazy days of summer, and downtown Akron is the perfect place for you to play, relax, eat, explore, and soak up the sun. Here are our recommendations for making summer 2023 one for the books.
2. Get Moving Four Days a Week With Free Outdoor Workout Classes
Workout on the Plaza is back this year with all the yoga, Zumba, Pilates, line dancing, bootcamp, and kickboxing you could possibly ask for. These events are free and open to the public and run Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays. Stick around after workout on Wednesdays for live music on Cascade Plaza. Find the full lineup of events on our website and extensive downtown events calendar.
3. Indulge Your Inner Child With Ice Cream From Chill
Chill & Indulge, located on Main Street across from Lock 3, has all the unique ice cream flavors your heart could possibly desire. Seriously—they have over 30 legendary flavors on their rotating menu at any given time, with names like Honey Cornbread, Mint Truffle Pecan, Lemon Elderflower, Orange Blossom, Chocolate Milk and Cookies, and Vanilla Cloud. Take a scoop with you while you stroll along Main Street and explore the city. You might even consider taking it to Cascade Plaza or Lock 4 for an impromptu ice cream picnic.
4. Cheer on the Ducks
The RubberDucks, that is, because summer just doesn’t feel like summer if you don’t go to a few baseball games. Head to Canal Park Stadium, grab a beer and some nachos, cheer on your favorite minor league team, and enjoy the fireworks display put on by the RubberDucks after quite a few of their weekend home games. It’s the perfect way to have affordable family fun in downtown Akron.
5. Dine Al Fresco on One of Downtown Akron's Many Restaurant Patios
We’re hosting Skate Nights on Cascade Plaza all summer long that are perfect for date nights and family outings alike. Skates are available to rent for $2 per pair. Don’t like to skate? No worries—we always have a DJ and food and beverage options, so you can dance on the grass in the center of the plaza, play lawn games, snack, and be part of the fun unfolding around you.
7. Borrow a Bike From Summit Bike Share and Ride Along the Canal
Summit Bike Share is Summit County’s free bicycle share program with nine rental stations across the county, including at Lock 3, Richard Howe House, and the Courtyard Marriott Hotel in the Northside District. Stop at any of these locations to request a bike (valid driver’s license required), then hop on the Towpath and explore for up to three hours before returning the bike.
8. Sip on Something Summery
What’s summer without a summery drink in your hand? Something a little sparkly, something a little fruity, something with boba, and always with ice sloshing around the cup. Whether your drink of choice is a Vietnamese iced coffee from Evelyn’s, a sparkling strawberry lemonade from Chameleon, a Summer Coconut Energy Drink from the Daily Pressed, a Norka straight from the cooler at the Peanut Shoppe, or something grown-up and tropical from Crave or Cilantro, downtown cafes, bars, shops, and restaurants have you covered.
9. Create Something New at the Library
We love being outside, but when it’s 85+ degrees, a little air conditioning is heaven. If you want to do something fun but need a break from the heat, we highly recommend discovering a new skill at the TechZone on the first floor of the main library. Screen print a T-shirt, make your own magnets and buttons, dabble in laser engraving, record a song, sew some curtains, transfer old home videos to digital files, and more. Or, tuck away with a good book for the afternoon. There’s so much to explore at the library. And yes, there is AC.
Enter the wonderful world of art this summer, with so many downtown galleries and spectacular, unique exhibits to choose from. One of this summer’s highlights is the bold, energetic Keith Haring: Against All Odds exhibition at the Akron Art Museum, which is on display through September 24. Also be sure to visit Summit Artspace’s Summer Exhibitions through September 16, and the Clayton Bailey’s World of Wonders pop-up museum in the Polsky Building on Main Street. World of Wonders is open Thursdays through Saturdays from 4 to 8 pm. Other ideas: Akron Soul Train, Outside the Box, and of course, the many murals and public art pieces throughout the neighborhood.
12. Mark Your Calendar for Akron Pride Festival
A few years ago, Akron Pride Festival moved from its previous location at Hardesty Park to Main Street and drew about 30,000 people downtown. This summer, Pride is happening August 26, headlined by JORDY, with support from Madison Rose, Marcia Marcia Marcia, and Landon Cider. Keep an eye on Akron Pride Festival’s website and our events calendar for more details as the event gets closer.
Make your summer a summer to remember in downtown Akron. There’s so much going on, and these recommendations are just the tip of the iceberg. Keep your eye on our calendar for more information on festivals and events happening downtown!