There’s no shortage of fun, entertainment and hospitality in Portage County! In fact, there’s something for everyone, especially in Kent and Brimfield. There are many parks in the area and an expanding hike and bike trail system available for sports and recreation lovers. Looking for unique shops for that keepsake souvenir, check out Acorn Alley in downtown Kent. Museums and galleries feature displays of local history and the work of local artists. Entertainment venues host local, regional and nationally recognized performers.
Live music has long been a centerpiece of the area entertainment scene in Portage County. Located in downtown Kent, the Kent State hosts a wide variety of concerts and events along with the Western Reserve Folk Art Association.
Many of the area wineries and taverns have live entertainment in the evening, and especially on weekends. Kent State University’s Schools of Music, Theatre and Dance hold performances that are open to the public. There are also many nearby theatres and concert halls, including the popular summer venues of Blossom Music Center and Porthouse Theatre.
There are also a number of recurring festivals that feature live entertainment. The nationally recognized Kent State Folk Festival has grown to a week-long event every fall, and the Kent Heritage Festival features live entertainment throughout the event.
Central Portage County offers the opportunity to stay in a convenient, relaxed atmosphere while enjoying nationally and locally recognized entertainment, and experiencing quality, affordable dining.
Home Savings Concert Series
The Home Savings Concert Series, a Kent tradition for over 20 years, will take place o various Thursdays of each month, beginning in May and running through September. The concerts are free to the public, at the Home Savings Plaza in Historic Downtown Kent. For more information call Home Savings Bank
Constructed as the Flannigan and Steele Theater in 1927, the Kent Stage is the only remaining downtown theater of its kind in Portage County. The building opened as a movie theater and has entertained audiences in Kent for 80 years. The Kent Stage has hosted the Kent Blues Festival, up from the River Music Festival as well as the Kent State Folk Festival since 2002.
175 E. Main Street– Kent
WKSU Folk Alley
FolkAlley.com went online in September 2003, offering live-streaming music over the Internet 24 hours a day. The hosted stream is produced by WKSU-FM in Kent, Ohio, which also built and maintains the website.
KSU Department of Theatre & Dance
E. Turner Stump Theatre
This 506-seat continental-style theatre has housed major productions since 1960 and was fully renovated in 1989.
Corner of Main Street and Horning Road – Kent
This 225-seat theatre utilizes movable seating, flexible traps, and a catwalk system to provide variety in production.
Corner of Main Street and Horning Road – Kent
Located at the gateway to the Blossom Music Center (near Akron), Porthouse Theatre serves as the home of the Porthouse Theatre Company. This beautiful, covered pavilion arts center includes a 512-seat thrust theatre, concession stand, full catering for shows and a picnic pavilion.
Viking Vineyards & Winery
Visit our cozy, relaxing tasting room, overlooking our lake, where people come to unwind, talk, enjoy the scenery, listen to music, enjoy the art, drink wine an eat (“a loaf of bread, a jug of wine and thee” – is it “thou”?). We also have ample outdoor seating on the deck along the lake when the weather permits.
January thru April 15
Closed Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday
Thursday – 5:00 to 9:00 pm
Friday & Saturday – Noon to 11:00 pm
Sunday – 1:00 to 8:00 pm
Live music Sundays 5:00 – 7:00 pm
Reservations suggested for music
268 Old Forge Road
Kent Plaza Theatres
140 Cherry Street– University Plaza
D.I.C.E. (Downtown Innovative Community Events)
Standing Rock Cultural Arts is a non-profit art and education organization whose mission is the build community through the arts.
257 N. Water Street– Downtown Kent
Thorncreek Winery & Gardens
3:00 – 10:00 pm
Other Nearby Attractions
GeaugaLake’s Wildwater Kingdom
1060 North Aurora Road
Aurora, Ohio 44202
1145 West Steels Corners
Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio 44223
MUSEUMS & GALLERIES
A variety of museums call Central Portage County home.
KelsoHouse Museum– Brimfield
Located just south of I-76 on SR 43, the Kelso House Museum is housed in the Township’s restored stagecoach inn, and features many historic artifacts from the Township’s early days and agrarian heritage. An example of an early inn found along the stagecoach routes in the Connecticut Western Reserve, the Kelso House includes an upstairs ballroom.
The Kent State University Museum houses an outstanding costume and clothing collection associated with the School of Fashion and Design, and features a variety of changing exhibitions.
The Kent Historical Society Museum located in downtown Kent holds displays of the city’s early days, prominently influenced by its location along the Cuyahoga River as a canal town, and then as a center of the railroad industry.
The Portage County Historical Society in nearby Ravenna, also has displays and artifacts from throughout the County.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame (Canton), and the Rock & Hall of Fame (Cleveland) are all within easy driving distance from Central Portage County.
The National Register of Historic Places lists the Kent Industrial District along the Cuyahoga River near downtown Kent and the West Main Street District includes the Marvin Kent Home, and both areas contain structures dating back to the mid-1800s.
Other area sites of interest include “Brady’s Leap”, at the north end of Kent’s Heritage and River Edge Parks, “Standing Rock” which is now easily visible from the Crain Avenue Segment of the Portage Hike & Bike Trail, and an Indian mound located in Towner’s Woods Park, just northeast of the Kent city limits.
In a community with multiple institutions of higher education, it’s no surprise that the area is home to many fine and creative artists whose work is displayed in galleries and shops. The Kent State University School of Art has a downtown (Kent) gallery located on East Main Street with the Black Squirrel Gallery and McKay Bricker Framing. Located nearby on North Water Street is the Standing Rock Cultural Arts Gallery.
Kent State University Museum
Corner of East Main Street (SR 59) and South Lincoln Street
P.O. Box 5190–Rockwell Hall
The Museum’s permanent collection features over 20,000 objects. Among them are the important fashion collection including costumes and textiles from the 18th century to the present and featured works by Channel, Balmain, Balenciaga, Givenchy, Courreges, Valentno, Halston, and Miyake, among others. The fashion collection includes a large selection of 18th and 19th century Chinese costumes, Central European apparel, and a number of outfits that once longed to Marlene Dietrich.
Historical Kelso House
4158 SR 43
The Brimfield Memorial House Association formed in 1963 when a group of locals joined forces to save one of Brimfield’s historical homes from demolition. Today that structure is the home of the Kelso House Museum, a facility that includes collections of photographs, books and other resource materials that indicate what life was like for residents of this rural community dating from its founding in 1816. The bell from the original Brimfield Town Hall is installed near the front of the main house.
Black Squirrel Gallery
141 East Main Street
Kent Historical Society Museum
234 South Water Street
In 2006 the society moved its offices and museum to the downtown location. The society continues its strong tradition of displaying artifacts and maintaining the Kent Historical Resource Center for those researching local and family history.
Marvin Kent Home
409 West Main Street
Standing Rock Cultural Arts
257 North Water Street
The Downtown Gallery
Kent State University – School of Art
141 East Main Street
6549 North Chestnut Street– Ravenna
Home of the Lowrie-Beatty Museum, the Carter House, an early pioneer homestead; the Strickland House, an 1860s brick home; the John Campbell Land Graft Office, 1810-1811; the Mahan Barn, an 1810 New England type barn; the Ford Seed Company Museum, housed in an old photographer’s studio; a restored Case Steam Traction Engine; the unique Proehl-Kline Clock Tower housing the 1882 Portage County Courthouse Seth Thomas clock and courthouse bell; a restored Log Cabin dating back to the 1830s; and various farm buildings. In addition, the Portage County Historical Society owns the site of the 1820s Mantua Glass Factory (Mantua).
Pro Football Hall of Fame
2121 George Halas Drive, NW– Canton
Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum – Cleveland
1100 Rock and Roll Blvd
(East Ninth Street at Lake Erie)
Akron Art Museum
One South High Street
SPORTS & RECREATION
Kent Parks & Recreation Department
497 Middlebury Road
Brimfield Parks and Recreation Department
1333 Tallmadge Road
KSU Student Recreation & Wellness Center
Ted Boyd Drive
KentState UniversityAthletic Tickets
108 MACC, K.S.U.
KSU Ice Arena
Rhodes& Loop Road
Public Golf Courses
Green Hills Golf
1105 Tallmadge Road
KSU Golf Course
2346 State Route59
Maplecrest Golf Club
219 Tallmadge Road
Oak Knolls Golf Club
6700 State Route43
ParadiseLake Golf & Banquet Center
1900 Randolph Road, Mogadore
Raccoon Hill Golf Club
485 Judson Road
Sunny Hill Golf & Recreation
3734 Sunnybrook Road
“Birdie Shack” Putt-r-Golf
2567 State Route59
1524 South Water Street
AMF Twin Star Lanes
2245 State Route59
Located off Middlebury Road, Fred Fuller Park is Kent’s largest park encompassing over 56 acres of land given to the City of Kent in 1934 by Lamson & Sessions Company. The park, which borders and crosses the Cuyahoga River, was developed into a multi-use park over the years, primarily through the involvement of Kent citizens.
Al Lease Park
Al Lease Park has a regulation soccer field, baseball diamond with a grass infield, basketball court, volleyball court, and two playground areas. In 2000 permanent restroom facilities and an underground field irrigation system were installed. In 2002, a one mile looping Hike & Bike trail was installed. In 2003, a 20-car parking lot was developed off of Admore Drive giving the park an additional access point.
Franklin Mills Riveredge Park
Kent’s most predominant physical feature is the Cuyahoga River, which flows gently through the downtown area and is marked by a beautiful cascading waterfall near the heart of the business district. The wooded western bank of the river forms Kent’s Franklin Mills Riveredge Park.
Nelson-KennedyLedges State Park
Although a small park, Nelson-Kennedy Ledges provides a thrilling experience to visitors with its rugged cliffs and diverse plant life typical of a more northern climate. A day-use park, Nelson-Kennedy Ledges is popular for picnicking and hiking.
Hikers will enjoy the several trails that wander through the Nelson Ledges to formations like Devil’s Icebox, Indian Pass and Old Maid’s Kitchen.
11755 Kinsman Rd., Newbury
John Brown Tannery
The park encompasses the former site of a tannery built in 1836 by noted abolitionist John Brown and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In the 1970’s, reclamation of the site by Kent Environmental Council volunteers began, and today a natural amphitheater and a gazebo, constructed from tannery building wood grace the area.
The major uses of this park are picnicking , strolling, sitting, and fishing. These activities are accommodated by the gazebo, several fishing beaches, and miscellaneous benches and tables. In addition, a handicapped accessible fishing dock is available in this park. Along with a twenty-car parking lot that is accessed from Stow Street.
Located at the northern limit of the Riveredge Trail this park area is accessible from Gougler Avenue. This historic site is the location where Captain Samuel Brady reportedly jumped 21 feet across the river to avoid a band of Indians in 1780. Future plans include an extension of the trail north to the Crain Avenue Bridge that will link up with the Towner’s Woods Rail Trail.
Plum Creek Park
PlumCreek Parkis located on 25 acres of land off of Cherry Street. The land was purchased by the City of Kent from Kent Water and Light Company in 1923, and at various times was used as a drinking water reservoir, field for water wells, storage area, a landfill, a gravel pit, and a pistol range. In 1977, the Parks and Recreation Board began an intensive effort to reclaim the land and dredge the reservoir and the park officially opened in 1979.
West Branch State Park
WestBranch State Park in Portage County is situated on the glaciated plateau of northeastern Ohio. Although the land was uplifted as part of the Appalachian Mountain building process, the glaciers were able to override the gentle hills of the plateau. Huge ice blocks broke free from the glaciers and kettle lakes formed as the blocks melted. Eventually, these lakes filled with sediment leaving boggy wetlands with unique assemblages of plants. The West Branch area contains numerous bogs filled with buttonbush, alder, skunk cabbage and swamp white oak.
5708 Esworthy Rd., Ravenna
866.644.6727 for camping reservations
TinkersCreek State Park
The swamps and marshlands of Tinker’s Creek State Park harbor a variety of natural wonders. Herons, ducks, geese and beaver can be found in the spring-fed waters, while cattail, buttonbush and swamp white oak line the shores of this beautiful park.
11755 Kinsman Road, Newbury
The Portage Park District
128 N Prospect Street, Ravenna
Town Square Park
Corner of St. Rt. 43 & Tallmadge Rd.
Lions Community Park
Horner Hills Park
Between Gate Post Lane and Edson Rd.
Brimfield Parks and Recreation Department
1333 Tallmadge Road
Brimfield Township Hall
1333 Tallmadge Rd., Kent
Kent Parks & Recreation Department
497 Middlebury Road, Kent
Comprised of 175 acres of forest, wet-lands, and meadows in Franklin Township, the park is the site of a 2000 year-old Hopewell Indian mound that overlooks Lake Pippen. In addition, Towner’s Woods boasts what many regard as one of the best cross-country skiing trails in Northeast Ohio and is adjacent to the PORTAGE Hike and Bike Trail.
2296 Ravenna Rd. Franklin Township.
From SR 43, turn east onto Ravenna Rd.,
go 2 miles to the park entrance.
Donated to the District in 2000 by the Robert C. Dix family, this 103-acre park in Ravenna Township is a mix of natural areas and farmland featuring hiking trails that course through beautiful natural landscape as well as 25 acres of active farmland.
7318 SR 44, Ravenna Township. From the
Intersection with SR 14 go north on SR 44
About ¾ of a mile to park entrance on
Kent Bog (Tom S. Cooperrider) State Nature Preserve
Located at 1028 Meloy Road, Kent, Ohio, the Kent Bog consists of 42 acres. The bog is a tamarack bog forest with the largest stand of tamarack trees in Ohio. Facilities include a parking area, a .5 mile boardwalk, a bulletin board and interpretive signs. The bog is a living relict from the ice age, and contains many uncommon species of flora.
Tamarack bog forest with the largest stand of tamarack trees in Ohio
Triangle Lake Bog
Located at 3612 Sandy Lake Road, Ravenna, Ohio, the Triangle Lake Bog encompasses 61 acres. Special features are the Spaghnum kettle-hole bog, a Large stand of tamarack trees and other rare and carnivorous plants. Facilities include a parking lot, bulletin board, interpretive signs and .25 mile trail.
The Portage Hike & Bike
Serving as a key east-west link between the major trail systems in Northeast Ohio, The PORTAGE will initially connect the communities between Kent, Kent State University and Ravenna to the 32-mile Metroparks, Serving Summit County’s Bike and Hike Trail, creating a backbone for an extensive network of neighborhood trail links.
Located in southwestern Portage County, Mogadore Reservoir is in Ohio Division of Wildlife District 3. The lake has 1,000 acres of fishing water with 19 miles of shoreline. The reservoir was constructed in 1939 by damming the Little Cuyahoga River, and is owned and operated by the City of Akron. Fishing opportunities include Bluegill, Redear Sunfish, Large-mouth Bass, Crappies, Brown Bullhead, Yellow Perch and an occasional Musket-lunge. The lake has an electronic motors only restriction and there are three boat launches in different areas of the lake. Row boats and canoes are available for rent at the Park Office located on the east side of State Route 43, about 3 miles south of the State Route 43 and Tallmadge Road intersection in Brimfield. For further information, call the Akron Water Department at (330) 628-2672.
The eight-mile limestone-paved trail built on the former Cleveland-Mahoning Railroad line between Mantua and Garrettsville provides a safe and scenic route for hikers, bikers, and horseback riders and features trailhead parking at Garrettsville Village Park, on SR700 in Hiram, and in Mantua Village Park.
This 48-acre property was acquired through a partnership with the Western Reserve Land Conservancy who received it through a donation. It is an oasis of woods, wetlands and wildlife of the Tinker’s Creek watershed nestled among industrial facilities and the turnpike off of Mondial Parkway in Streetsboro. More than a mile of hiking trails have been created for your enjoyment!
515 Mondial Parkway
Brimfield Township Parks
The Brimfield Township Parks System is comprised of 5 community parks spread throughout the Township.
This 2+ acre park is nestled in the town center at the corner of State Route 43 and Tallmadge Road. The park includes the historic town gazebo which is a reconstructed gazebo with the roof from the original Town Hall. Benches offer peaceful respite while reflecting on the gardens throughout the park. Additionally, there are horseshoe pits and picnic tables and available for use in a tree setting on the property.
Lion’s Community Park
This 25 acre park located at 4484 Edson Road is our most developed in the Township. The park has a ball field, a soccer field and a sand volleyball court with the lighting. Additionally, there are two playground areas for children, and a basketball court. The shelter is available for reservation. The park has picnic tables and grills in several areas. Trails wind through the woods and offer nice hiking trips in a picturesque park.
This six acres is located in the King’s Ridge development, located between Gate Post Lane and Edson Road. Mostly wooded, the park is currently being developed with plans for a walking trail and benches. The possibility of playground development for residents with young families will be visited in the future.
Cranberry Creek Park
This 35+ acre park at the corner of Sandy Lake and Lynn Roads is the newest green space in the Township. Location access if off of Lynn Road. Donated by Wojno Construction, adjacent to several developments, formal plans for development are in the works. Winter brings sledding hills and cross country ski trails to this rolling hills park. Passive recreational trails will eventually cross through the woods and along the Brimfield Creek. Future plans also include building several soccer fields for community use. Cross country skiers! After each fresh snowfall our open trails at Cranberry Creek Park are waiting for you. Ski and outskirts of the space west of the parking lot. Adventuresome? There are trails in the woods below the hill. Come on out.
Located on Tallmadge Road at the south end of the Cascades Plaza. This 1.62 acre park has a concrete stage area surrounded by sloping grassy abutments which can be a perfect setting for an outdoor stage event.