10 Easy Summer Escapes Near Chagrin Falls

Now that summer is in full swing, it’s time to get out and have some adventures with your friends and family.

Thankfully, Chagrin Falls and the surrounding region offer plenty. Whether you’re getting out for the day with the little ones or are looking for a Saturday adventure with friends, these places should be on your list:

1. Chagrin Waterfalls

We couldn’t forget the namesake of Chagrin Falls! There are few nicer places to visit in the summer. This time of year you’ll love the gorgeous views of the falls, the mesmerizing sound of the water, and getting your fill at the concessions. Very nice place to bring the family!

2. Chagrin Valley Little Theatre

This quaint little theatre has been serving the community since 1930, offering a wealth of art and culture to the region. Here you’ll enjoy plays, musicals, dance, and more. And don’t forget their youth programs and murder mysteries!

3. Preston's Hope

If you have a family, this park should be high on your list of places to visit. Preston’s Hope features a miniature “town” that kids love, and with tons of room for romping your kids will be exhausted by the time they leave – which is great news for tired parents!

4. South Chagrin Reservation

With a lively river, forest full of places to explore, and the mysterious Squaw Rock carving, this huge park offers a perfect summer outing for adventurous residents. It’s s great place for group and family outings, too, with year-round educational programming year-round events like group bike rides and bird watching.

5. The Greenville Inn

Boasting a history that stretches back to the 1800s, The Greenville Inn is a good place to visit if you love music. They’ve been drawing the area’s best talent for as long as we can remember, and with so many locals making it a part of their Friday and Saturday night, you’ll always feel welcome.

6. Forest Ridge Preserve

This newly expanded preserve is an ideal destination for those who love the outdoors thanks to its wealth of trails, fishing ponds, and endless swaths of green. If you enjoy extended hikes, Forest Ridge connects with the South Chagrin Reservation, allowing you to put some miles on your shoes during the nice weather.

7. River Road Park

Boasting a large playground that is easily visible from anywhere in the park, this is one of the Chagrin Falls region’s most overlooked spots. There are trails for hikers and joggers, sports fields for getting together with the gang, and bathrooms with full plumbing. Great place to spend a spring afternoon!

8. Chagrin Falls Historical Society Museum

Open on Thursdays, the museum’s impressive collection of artifacts, photos, furniture, artwork, newspapers, and more will give you a window into the past that will make you appreciate the region even more than you already do.

9. The West Woods

A quick trip to Novelty will bring you to the West Woods, a park filled with well-maintained and secluded trails perfect for hikers. This is an excellent location for horseback riding, too.

10. Whitesburg Park

It’s not a big, sprawling nature preserve. Located near downtown Chagrin Falls, this is instead a cozy little park with approachable trails and nice water features. Perfect nature escape for the family.

A HUGE List of Kids Meal Deals Around the Chagrin Valley!

You have a busy life with all sorts of kids’ activities. They play sports, they take music lessons, or take part in countless other activities you couldn’t have imagined before having children. That means when it’s time to eat, the last thing you want to do is go home and start cooking.

The good news is, we have plentiful kid-friendly options most nights of the week right here in the Chagrin Valley and surrounding area. They not only want you to come in on week nights with your kids, they have good deals and / or entertainment to make it more pleasant. Many even allow kids to eat for FREE on certain nights. Yes, free!

We have families, too, so we did the legwork for you and put together a list. Take a look (and if any of these deals are no longer in effect, please let us know in the comments on Facebook):

MONDAY

Burntwood Tavern, Chagrin Falls

At this local favorite, kids eat free all day on Mondays with the purchase of an adult meal. Complimentary valet parking is great for loading and unloading the munchkins, and optional outdoor seating is a nice option as well.

Oak and Embers, Chesterland

“Magic Monday” at Oak and Embers may not offer a ‘kids eat free’ deal, but they do have a magician performing from 6-8 pm. While you’re waiting for the magician to get to your table, Oak and Embers has paper “tablecloths” so your kids can be a crayon Picasso to their heart’s content.

Pro Tip: order the burnt ends appetizer and give your kids the plantain chips that come on the side.

Cowboy Food and Drink, Chagrin Falls

This roadhouse specializes in savory BBQ and Tex-Mex, which you can enjoy on Mondays when kids eat free with the purchase of an adult meal. For added fun, they often have a woman on hand making balloon animals – a good way to keep the little ones entertained!

Pro Tip: Bring quarters for the games if you get really desperate.

TUESDAY

Grove Hill, Chagrin Falls

Grove Hill is a popular local spot to grab a meal, and Tuesdays are a good day to do it with the family, since kids eat free with the purchase of an adult meal. It’s always hard for parents to find time to go to great gourmet restaurants and Grove Hill’s food is second-to-none. Do it on a Tuesday when you don’t have to pay for buttered noodles or the phenomenal chicken fingers.

Panini's Bar & Grill, Chagrin Falls

Another local favorite, with outdoor seating and a nice wine list, Panini's features specials for the kids on Tuesdays. Drop in, unwind with some wings and pizza, watch the game, and most of all, get the kids out of the house for the day!

Ruby Tuesday Aurora

You’ve been to Ruby Tuesday before, but did you know that kids eat free all summer long from 5 pm to close on (you guessed it) Tuesday nights? They have American fare at reasonable prices, making this a good choice for a last-minute dinner out. And of course, if you’re trying to eat a little bit healthier, Ruby Tuesday is known for the salad bar and also has many meals that are 700 calories or under.

WEDNESDAY

Buffalo Wild Wings Aurora

Buffalo Wild Wings has kids meals for $1.99 with the purchase of an adult meal every Wednesday. As with most places, “kids” are defined as kids under the age of 12. If wings are your thing, it goes without saying that this is a place you want to check out.

Pro Tip: They have tablet games you can grab and put in your kids hands to keep them occupied while you wait.

Zoup!, Solon, Beachwood

If Wednesday is your night to get out, you can zip over to Zoup!, where kids meals are free after 4 pm when you buy an adult meal. A bowl of hot soup may sound weird during the summer, but don’t worry! Zoup’s menu includes eight different salads and eight different sandwiches at the Solon location.

TUESDAYS AND THURSDAYS

Stir Crazy, Lyndhurst

Tuesdays AND Thursdays at Legacy Village boast kids eat free specials, each time kicking off after 4 pm. If your family likes Asian cuisine, that makes this a no-brainer place to eat this summer!

Melt Bar and Grilled, Independence, Mentor

Another Tuesdays and Thursdays special, kids eat ‘cheap’ here on those days with the purchase of an adult meal. These locations aren't exactly close to the Chagrin Valley, but anyone who finds themselves in the neighborhood has likely felt the draw of the over-sized Melt menu. With a combo of fun grilled cheese sandwiches like you’ve never seen, plus cocktails and craft beers, this is a good spot for a family evening.

SUNDAY

Quaker Steak & Lube Valley View

More wings? More wings. This one features “$1.99 Kids’ Lube Cruiser Meals” on Sundays and affordable wings and beverages for the parents. And if your kids are especially good you can treat them to a phenomenal dessert of the “Amazing Chocolate Chunk Skillet Cookie,” which is exactly as good as it sounds.

Pro Tip: Kids 10 years and younger receive a free meal on their birthday.

Plaza Agave Chagrin Falls

Another Mexican establishment, this place also features family-focused specials on Sunday when kids eat free. Plaza Agave has outdoor dining options and this is just down the street from Dairy Island for post-meal ice cream.

As you can see, there are plentiful options in the region to avoid the kitchen and maybe even save a few bucks with the family.

So get out there and enjoy a night out! You earned it!

How Much Life Insurance Do I Need?

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Like so many insurance questions, the answer depends. How much life insurance do you need? It depends on a lot of factors, but let's try and simplify things a little bit. The principles of life insurance is that you're looking to insure against the financial impact of your family losing your income. As a result, you should look at where you are to figure out what you need to accomplish. The short answer is that you should have 10 to 12 times your annual salary, but you can get as detailed as you want when figuring out requirements. Let's look at an example.

Let's say you're a 35-year-old male with a wife and children aged five and eight. You make $50,000 per year in annual income. You have a $250,000 house and you owe $175,000 on your mortgage.

You could decide you need to leave your wife 10 times your annual income, or $500,000. With that, she could pay off the house and still have $325,000 to pay off cars or cover ongoing living expenses.

That's a good start, but what about college for the kids? Would you like to fund that as well? Let's say that's another $200,000 per child. So, now we're at $900,000 in coverage.

You probably have a little bit of life insurance through your job as well, so that likely brings you really close to $1 million in overall life insurance coverage.

Of course, it all depends on what it costs, right? Let's not wait to find out because you're probably overestimating the cost. 80% of Americans overestimate the cost of life insurance. That's a fact.

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