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How to Enjoy University Circle on a Budget

Posted on 09/22/22 by Nicole in The Neighborhood

Discounted museum admission. Live music. Free events. There are many ways to explore University Circle all year long when you’re on a budget.


University Circle Inc. has a way for you to visit three major museums at a discounted price – the CirclePass. Included in the pass is the Cleveland Botanical Garden, Cleveland History Center, and Cleveland Museum of Natural History. Passes are delivered instantly to your phone via text and email and are ready to use immediately with nothing to download!

How to Enjoy University Circle on a Budget

Cozad-Bates House

The Cozad-Bates House is the only pre-Civil War home remaining in University Circle. A new interpretive center, open Saturdays from Noon-4:00 p.m., highlights this area’s history as a center of anti-slavery activism and honors those seeking freedom through indoor exhibits and outdoor installations.

How to Enjoy University Circle on a Budget


Discover stories of innovation in science, the arts, and education via University Circle Inc.'s CircleWalk. Learn about what has made University Circle the urban place it is today and see how our past and present are shaping the future. As you walk through our neighborhoods, parks, campuses, and streetscapes, look for "story poles" that will help you discover what makes this part of Cleveland so special. Looking for a more interactive experience? Use your mobile phone and visit www.CircleWalk.org. Find customized tours, fun facts, and additional historical photos. An audio description is also offered for no or low vision users.

How to Enjoy University Circle on a Budget

The Cleveland Museum of Art

The mission of the Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA) is “for the benefit of all the people forever,” and that is something they stand by, which is why you will find free admission to CMA all year round. The only times you need to pay there are when visiting special exhibits or if you plan on eating at the café or restaurant. CMA also puts on free events throughout the year allow people to experience the museum in a different way.

How to Enjoy University Circle on a Budget

Cleveland Museum of Natural History

On Sundays, Cleveland and East Cleveland residents can gain free admission to the Cleveland Museum of Natural History (CMNH) with proof of residency. On every day of the week, CMNH also offers $1 per ticket for up to four tickets when you present your SNAP EBT card thanks to the Museums for All program. *

Other discounts to CMNH include discounted admission when you present your school ID, as well as 50% off admission if you are a Veteran, Active Military, Teacher, or First Responder.

How to Enjoy University Circle on a Budget

Cleveland Botanical Garden

Discounted tickets to the Cleveland Botanical Garden (CBG) are available to active-duty military members, veterans, as well as those that can partake in the Museums for All program. On Tuesdays, Seniors 60+ can receive $ off their admission.

How to Enjoy University Circle on a Budget

Cleveland History Center

Another Museums for All participant in the Circle, the Cleveland History Center (CHC) offers $3 general admission for eligible participants.

How to Enjoy University Circle on a Budget

Cleveland’s Museum of Contemporary Art

The Cleveland Museum of Contemporary Art (moCa) is another free museum located in Uptown. They bring in new exhibits each season so there’s always something new to see.

The Sculpture Center

The Sculpture Center is a free arts institution dedicated to advancing the careers of Ohio sculptors as well as preserving outdoor sculptures.

The Artists Archives of the Western Reserve

A free and unique archival facility and museum, the Artists Archives of the Western Reserve preserves representative bodies of workk that are created by Ohio artists.

How to Enjoy University Circle on a Budget

Cleveland Cultural Gardens & the Rockefeller Park Greenhouse

The Cleveland Cultural Gardens is one of Northeast Ohio’s treasures. Along Martin Luther King Blvd. and Rockefeller Park, there are dedicated gardens for 33 countries, each with their own cultural representation and art.

At the end of the Cultural Gardens, you’ll find the Rockefeller Park Greenhouse. While it’s about 10 minutes from the Circle, it’s worth the stop after touring the Cultural Gardens. The Greenhouse is free to visit all year round, even including holidays.

Lake View Cemetery

We know, visiting a cemetery as an activity, as if. But Lake View Cemetery isn’t your average graveyard… it’s a scenic landscape that holds lots of history, from the James A. Garfield Memorial to the headstones of famous Clevelanders, such as John D. Rockefeller. In the Springtime, Lake View is easily one of the go-to spots for blooms as they have a “Daffodil Hill” that holds thousands of daffodils. Plus, it’s free to visit.

How to Enjoy University Circle on a Budget

Little Italy

Visiting Cleveland’s Little Italy doesn’t have to cost much, if at anything. Walking the streets of this historic and cultural neighborhood can be a fun activity just on its own. But if you’re looking for shopping or eateries, this is the place to do it. There are tons of local places that won’t break the bank.

* Museums for All is a program that was created to give free or reduced admission to more than 900 museums across the United States if you are receiving food assistance.

* Parking rates apply in certain parking lots or at meters. Parking is free on the weekends and after 6:00 p.m. in most places in University Circle.

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