Explore underwater remains from ancient glaciers, hop on a horse or check out the living room where Ralphie opened the ultimate Christmas gift. Here are some of the best activities you wouldn’t think to do in Cleveland. – Tonya Vinas

Aqua Specialists

3359 Edgecliff Terrace
Cleveland, OH 44111
(216) 252-4855

You don’t need to be near an ocean to scuba dive. Lake Erie and other natural and human-made bodies of water make scuba diving a popular — though unexpected — activity in Cleveland. Divers explore the remains of shipwrecks, freshwater fish and plants, footprints from prehistoric glacial activities and industrial mining, and other aquatic interests and oddities. Businesses such as Aqua Specialists cater to the scuba-diving crowd by providing lessons, tours, equipment, maps, etc. Aqua Specialists is both a PADI Sanctioned Dive Center and a NAUI Professional Facility and has been teaching since 1968. Hours vary. Call toll-free (866) 359-5709 for more information.

Rocky River Cleveland Metroparks Stables

19901 Puritas Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44135
(216) 267-2525

Horseback riding is one activity people would be surprised to find in Cleveland, but city dwellers are used to seeing riders on horses when they visit the Rocky River area of the Cleveland Metroparks. Part of the vast “valley” park system, the Rocky River Stables employ professional and certified riding instructors to provide English riding lessons, therapeutic riding lessons, and pony and horse camps. Other services include horse boarding, educational tours, and riding opportunities through the public schools and urban community youth programs. Numerous volunteer opportunities are available as well. The stable is directly connected to miles of bridle trails within the park system. Just watch where you step. Hours vary by season and class schedule.

A Christmas Story House & Museum

3159 W. 11th Street
Cleveland, OH 44109
(216) 298-4919

Most fans of the holiday classic “A Christmas Story” don’t know that Ralphie’s house is located in a near-west-side Cleveland neighborhood. Visiting the modest home, which has been restored to look as it did in the movie and now operates as a museum, is a must-do activity for Cleveland visitors. (The owner bought the house on eBay in 2004.) Visitors can see the infamous leg lamp shining in all of its glory in the front window, as well as the back yard where Ralphie tries out his Ranger-Model Air Rifle. And if you must take a home a memory, a gift shop sells collectibles, including leg lamps, ornaments and even bunny costumes. The museum is open Thursday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.

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