The Great Outdoors

Celebrate the natural wonder and outdoor spirit of America by reconnecting with nature in or near where you work, live or choose to play.

We have compiled a brief list of outdoor events taking place in your local parks and communities that surround our Kent State University campuses. We hope this might be of use as you seek to connect with nature, refuel yourself, and just relax. While this is not an all-inclusive list of events or resources, it may be a starting point to refer to. We hope you enjoy!


Activities in Kent

Crooked River Adventures

Crooked River Adventures offers trips along the Cuyahoga River to three destinations, all with easy-to-navigate routes and beautiful views. Grab your family and friends and rent canoes, kayaks, stand-up paddleboards (SUPs), inflatable tubes or bikes for group trips on the Cuyahoga River. All trips begin at Tannery Park in Kent. Reservations are not required but are recommended. You can reserve trips in person or on the Crooked River Adventures website. Crooked River Adventures is a collaboration between the City of Kent and the Department of Recreational Services at Kent State University. 

Visit the Crooked River Adventures Website

Hours: Open Friday – Sunday until 6:00 p.m.
Phone: (330) 541-7467

Beckwith Orchards

Opening for the season August 1. Visit Beckwith Orchards for seasonal fresh fruit, delicious bakery treats and unique gift shop items. While you are there, take a stroll through the beautiful orchards or schedule a group orchard tour. Beckwith Orchards is also adjacent to the Portage Hike and Bike Trail, so bring your bike along if you wish. The 2017 Kent Lions Sweet Corn Festival will be held at Beckwith Orchards on August 5 and 6. This free and fun event for the whole family includes live entertainment, great food, games for children, craft vendors, trolley rides and more, with proceeds benefitting the community. 
Hours: (starting August 1) 10:00 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Phone: (330) 673-6433

Events in Downtown Kent

Discover various outdoor events taking place in downtown Kent by visiting Notable upcoming events this summer include the Kent Heritage Festival, Blues Fest, Wizardly World of Kent, and the Dog Days of Summer Festival. Individuals and families are welcome, including the furry members. 

Activities in Akron

Canal Park

Enjoy an Akron Rubber Ducks baseball game or attend a family-friendly movie night once a month at the Canal Park stadium. Other special events are held periodically throughout the summer as well.  

Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens

Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens is the former American Country Estate of F.A. Seiberling, co-founder of the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company. The estate features a historic 65-room Tudor Revival Manor House, Gothic Revival Conservatory and approximately 70 acres of artistically landscaped grounds and formal gardens. Take one of the several guided tours of the Estate or partake in a number of outdoor activities offered, from butterfly walks to geocaching. Get outside and learn some history at the same time. 
Hours: Open Tuesday – Sunday, 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Events near Akron

The Akron/Summit Convention & Visitors Bureau offers a listing of events in Akron and the surrounding area on their website. Discover live music, Lock 3 events, special events at the Akron Zoo, and more!

Activities in Cuyahoga Falls

Water Works Family Aquatic Center

Water Works Park has something for all ages. Keep cool in the lazy river, workout in the deep end, or find fun on the exhilarating slides. Water Works Family Aquatic Center could become a regular summer stop for you and your family.
Hours: Daily from 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. (Closes for the season August 15)

Events in Cuyahoga Falls

View the events calendar for the City of Cuyahoga Falls to find the dates for various events, including Festa Italiana (the Italian fest), the Keyser Park Food Truck Frenzy & Concert Series, Flicks on the Falls family movie nights, Riverfront Cruise-Ins, and more!

Locate a Race

Are you training for a 5K or a half-marathon? Or would you just like to get active with friends, family or even your dog? If you would like to find a race to participate in, whether competitively or for leisure, you can use the link below to search for upcoming races in your area. The second website listed below provides information about Muddy Paws, a race that allows runners to bring their dogs. 
Runners World
Muddy Paws

Events at Parks

Portage Park District

The website for the Portage Park District has information about upcoming events and hikes taking place at parks in Portage County. Notable events this summer include the Headwaters Adventure Race and the Butterfly Hike at Towner’s Woods. Click on the link below to learn more. 

Cuyahoga Valley National Park

The Cuyahoga Valley National Park (CVNP) hosts various hikes, nature walks, yoga sessions, dinners, concerts, and much more. You can also visit Hale Farm or take a picturesque ride on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad. There are several ways you can explore activities and events offered at CVNP:
List of upcoming events
Events calendar

Summit Metro Parks

The Summit Metro Parks offer activities and events such as archery lessons, trivia hikes, free concerts, yoga session and scavenger hunts. The opportunities for family fun are countless. Find the perfect activity for you and yours on their programs and events website below.

Cleveland Metro Parks

If you live closer to Cleveland or are willing to make the trip, there are always exciting events happening in the city. Highlighted on the website below are events specific to the Cleveland Metro Parks. An abundance of activities and events are available, including but not limited to biking, paddle sports, classes and workshops, concerts and movies, dining, fishing, and even horseback riding. 

Visiting parks and trails is always a great way to get moving outdoors. The above list is not comprehensive by any means but rather is intended to provide ideas for ways to get outdoors throughout the year. Whether you live in Portage, Summit, Trumbull, or Ashtabula County, Google is a powerful tool. Simply search events and activities in your area, and you will be amazed by what you can find nearby in your community.