Settled around a waterfall in the Chagrin Scenic River, this former mill town in northeast Ohio has a thriving arts scene.

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Chagrin Falls Ohio
Credit: PATRIC FRANSKO @CHAGRIN_FALLS_OHIO

Water runs through the heart of Chagrin Falls, Ohio—and so does a creative spirit. Pull back the curtain on this Mayberry-cute town of 4,000 a half hour east of Cleveland, and you'll find six arts organizations, including Chagrin Valley Little Theatre, one of the oldest operating community theaters in the country. Established in 1930, CVLT has deep community roots. "We have a lot of families whose grandmothers, fathers and other relatives. have done shows here," says CVLT President Julia Wolff (who got married on the stage of the theater). One of her favorite stories: CVLT was the first to show Man of La Mancha beyond Broadway due to a stroke of luck by two inquisitive theater members visiting New York.

Chagrin Valley Little Theatre
Credit: CHAGRIN VALLEY LITTLE THEATRE

Offstage attractions include Art by the Falls, a fest hosted each June by Valley Art Center. (This year it will be summer-long with two consecutive gallery exhibits.) A farmers market pops up on Sundays, and Yoga by the Falls stars in Riverside Park on alternating Saturdays—with a post-stretch encore of locally made organic juices.

Day Planner

Build a trip around art galleries, a glass blowing workshop—or both.

START WITH ART

Valley Art Center
Credit: MICHAEL STEINBERG

10 a.m. Valley Art Center is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Visit the gallery or take a jewelry, pottery or painting class. Don't miss the gift shop selling northeast Ohio products and the 3D-like mural on the side of the building.

LUNCH BELL

Noon Nosh on Southern influenced dishes like Pimento Cheese Deviled Eggs at Bell and Flower. Toast to your change in scenery with The Falls in Fall cocktail (Bacardi, lime, ginger, Drambuie, oleo-saccharum, Prosecco).

TAKE A GLASS CLASS

1:30 p.m. Make a souvenir creation at Glass Asylum. Choose from 18 items and work with a glass blowing artist to design and shape your piece. (Due to COVID-19, you can participate in all steps except blowing the piece.)

SHOP 'TIL YOU POP

Chagrin Falls Popcorn Shop
Credit: PATRIC FRANSKO @CHAGRIN_FALLS_OHIO

2:30 p.m. Stroll along Main Street, which crosses over the namesake waterfall. Check out All Matters Gallery and Gifts for nature-inspired art. Pop into Chagrin Falls Popcorn Shop, in operation since 1949. They sell 22 flavors, including Chagrin Style—kettle corn mixed with cheddar.

DINE WITH RENOIR

6:30 p.m. Well, kind of. Many dishes at Paris Room are named for a French artist. Try the Pierre-Auguste Renoir (French lamb meatloaf) or the Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (escargot with Gruyère).

SHOW TIME

8 p.m. CVLT typically produces several mainstage productions and additional avant-garde shows at its playhouse. Each fall the theater hosts an interactive whodunnit. (Shows in 2021 are pandemic-dependent.)