» Eastman Reading Garden
Come here for bird-watching or people watching, to read a book or to let your mind wander. This reflective, peaceful space wedged between the two main Cleveland Public Library buildings is sprinkled with sculptural art, shaded by trees and brimming with lush plantings. "It's a real oasis in the middle of the city," Jones says.
» Perk Park
Walnut Wednesdays make this green patch a popular summer spot with a lineup of food trucks and live music. The 2011 reopening of the park, located at Chester and East 12th, now gives residents a place to hang out on its cool swivel chairs or just run around on its small hill (a draw for toddlers). "It's open year-round and a great space for people to walk their dogs," Jones adds.
» Malls B and C
Go fly a kite. Toss a Frisbee, kick a soccer ball or bring a picnic lunch to the newly opened T-shaped Mall B and Mall C, and take in views of Lake Erie. "This is one of the only places you can sit and hang out, or have active play space right in the middle of the city," Jones says of downtown's swath of green above the new Cleveland Convention Center.
» Star Plaza
A fire pit in this PlayhouseSquare neighborhood space, at East 14th and Euclid, will keep patrons toasty all year. "The plaza is very inviting — a place you might want to hang out in or have lunch," Jones says. The North Union Farmers Market sets up shop there weekly on Thursdays, and its Summer Excitement series includes concerts, lectures — even tai chi.