5 activities to do in Cleveland during the NBA Finals

5 activities to do in Cleveland during the NBA Finals


Cleveland is filled with fun things for Cavs fans to do during the NBA Finals. (via Flickr Creative Commons user FirstEnergy Corp.)


Cleveland is ready to be filled with magic again.

The Cavaliers are in the NBA Finals for a third straight season, and they will play the Golden State Warriors.

After winning the franchise’s first NBA title last season, in which they overcame a 3-1 deficit against the Warriors, the Cavs look poised to repeat as champions.

With the Cavs returning to the NBA Finals, Cavs fans from Cleveland and beyond will travel to the city’s downtown area, ready to cheer, eat and explore. Cleveland offers plenty of entertainment and fun, and with the Cavs in the Finals again, activities won’t be hard to find.

Tip: If you go downtown to watch the Finals — even if it’s an away game — make sure to have at least $30 in cash for parking; parking prices spike when the Cavs are in the Finals.

For Games 1 and 2, go to the Watch Party at the Q

The Cavs don’t have home-court advantage in the Finals, so they will play at the Warriors’ Oracle Arena for the Finals’ first two games.

But that doesn’t mean you have to stay in your house to watch the game. If you want to leave the house, go downtown to watch the game on the jumbotron at Quicken Loans Arena.

For Games 1 and 2, you can buy watch party tickets online, the Q’s box office and at Discount Drug Mart locations in northeast Ohio. Tickets are currently $10, and they will be sold on a first come, first serve basis.

If you can’t get in the arena for the Watch Party or home games, go to Fan Fest

What Bobcat doesn’t enjoy events that have the word “fest” attached to them? Fan Fest is a big party outside the Q, and the Finals are streamed on multiple TV screens. Before the game, you can listen to live music from various northeast Ohio bands. Food and drink vendors from around the city also set up.

And when the game comes on, you can bring out the OU in you and yell and cheer as loud as you want — because everyone else is too in this lively, fun atmosphere.

Go eat on E. 4th St. or W. 6th St. before the game

Cleveland is abundant with restaurants that produce good food, and most of those premier eating destinations are on E. 4th St. and W. 6th St.

The former is composed of places such as The Corner Alley, 402 Euclid Ave., which serves as a bowling alley, bar and grill. The street also houses Flannery’s Pub, 323 Prospect Ave, which is a bar and grill.

W. 6th St. is composed of places such as Bar Louie and the Barley House. Solid bar food and burgers can be consumed on both streets, but if you order enough, a solid amount of money can be dropped too.

If you’re looking for less expensive options, there is a Jimmy John’s on Euclid Ave. as well as a Chipotle.

Go watch Stephen A. Smith and Max Kellerman argue in person

I know ESPN’s “First Take” is perhaps the most polarizing studio show on sports television; some people love the show, and some people hate it.

For Games 3 and 4 of the Finals, “First Take’s” Stephen A. Smith, Max Kellerman and Molly Qerim will be downtown at Hofbräuhaus Cleveland, 550 Chester Ave. They will do three live shows, and the event will be free.

Though the event is free, make sure to arrive early to increase your chances of earning a seat. The first show will be June 6. Seating for the show will begin an hour and a half before the show begins, and the show starts at 10 a.m. EST.

I went to watch Stephen A. Smith jaw with Skip Bayless during the 2015 NBA Finals. Despite the loudness, it was cool to see the duo’s hot takes in person.

Go to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

If you’re looking for something to do when the Finals aren’t on, go visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, 1100 E 9th St.

The museum houses various memorabilia as well as exhibits that feature legendary artists such as Elvis Presley and the Rolling Stones.

The Rolling Stones started in November 1967, and the exhibit celebrates the group’s 50-year anniversary. The Legends of Rock and Roll exhibit displays artifacts from musicians such as Michael Jackson and Jimi Hendrix.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is enjoyable, even if you’re not a huge rock fan. If you’re looking for something to do that doesn’t involve watching basketball, going to the museum is a solid option.


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