I’m So Lame

Really.   I feel so lame.   I am a stay-at-home mom and can’t consistently write a blog post to save my life.   I am blessed to have my children’s three surviving grandparents live within 15 minutes of me and can barely juggle my 3 children’s schedules, and one of them is only 15 months old!

Anyhow, I wanted to write briefly that I am really looking forward to all that Cleveland has to offer in the summer…assuming summer ever actually shows up here.    I want to take the kids to Blossom for an Orchestra concert.   I am once again stalking the Cuyahoga Valley National Park’s website for their summer schedule so I can once again sign up our almost-8-year-old and now his 4 year-old brother for Jr. Ranger activities so they can add badges and patches to their super-cute Jr. Ranger vests their auntie got them.   I want to take the kids out to Put-In-Bay to drive around on golf carts and maybe to Cedar Point.   I am excited the oldest is now old enough for Classroom Antics’ LEGO Jr. Robotics Camp and will be returning to Camp Invent (put on by the National Inventors Hall of Fame).   And then there’s our usual places to go in the summer, like the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, Akron Zoo,  Cleveland Botanical Gardens, Great Lakes Science Center, Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Cleveland Museum of Art to visit, and places we haven’t visited yet, like Holden Arboretum, the Soap Box Derby or a Cleveland Indians game.   Yes, the boys and I get around in the summer.   I love living somewhere where it is so easy to get out and do things!

Where are you looking forward to going in and around Cleveland this summer?

I miss hearing from my Cleveland mommy friends!

Until next time…whenever that may be.




2013 Summer Camps in Cleveland

Just wanted to post a heads-up that it is summer camp scheduling time again. A quick off the top of my head list includes:

Classroom Antics Tech and LEGO Camps – http://www.ClassroomAntics.com

Bricks 4 Kidz LEGO Classes – http://www.bricks4kidz.com/

Cleveland Museum of Natural History – http://www.cmnh.org/site/classesandprograms/summercamps.aspx

The Children’s Museum of Cleveland – http://www.clevelandchildrensmuseum.org/2012/03/register-now-for-summer-camp/

Great Lakes Science Center – http://www.glsc.org/summercamps2013.php

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo – http://www.clemetzoo.com/education/sdc/

Camp Invent – http://www.campinvention.org

Challenger British Soccer Camp – http://www.challengersports.com/britishsoccercamps.aspx

Cleveland Metroparks Summer Camps – http://www.clevelandmetroparks.com/Main/Summer-Camps.aspx

Old Trail S’Camp – http://www.oldtrail.org/page.aspx?pid=523


If you think of more, please post in the comments!

Half Off LEGO Camps Next Week

Here are a couple of deals on a Parents’ Night Out for tomorrow as well as two LEGO Camps taking place next week at Bricks 4 Kidz in the Brunswick/Medina area:


Friday, June 22, 2012 6:00pm – 9:00pm

HUGE DEAL!!! Kidz ages 4 to 12 years old can join us for our Bricks 4 Kidz Parents’ Night Out Party, and they can do it for 1/2 price.  Just bring a friend and split the cost of this 3 hour event.  Games, LEGO Building Time, Movie, Pizza and Refreshments.  The cost is normally $25 per child, tomorrow night ONLY is buy one get one free night.  Pre-registration is required online at http://www.bricks4kidz.com/ohio-brunswick-medina/ or by calling
(330) 722-2223 before tomorrow at 4pm, or until it sells out.


6-12 Year Olds
Grab your Friends and come hang out with us for a girls-only week of crafting and creating with LEGO bricks.  Introduce your friends to our “Friends” as we get to know LEGO brands newest line of girl themed models.  We’ll do lots of other unique things with bricks from jewelry making to brick art and origami, with take-home projects each day.  And don’t worry…there are “NO BOYS ALLOWED!”  BECAUSE THIS WEEK IS ALL ABOUT THE GIRLS!

6-12 Year Olds
If you are facinated by the weird but true, wild and wacky, gross and yucky, then this is the camp for you! Spend the week discovering the zany biology of our animal friends. Each day we’ll explore fascinating facts about the animal kingdom, focusing on a “creature of the day”. Build a different animal model each day and fill your very own “Animal Grossology” booklet with crazy and cool facts you learn, complete with a picture of each model, to become a cerifified Bricks 4 Kidz Grossologist.

Both camps are BOGO Free next week only.  This means bring a friend and split the cost.  
The cost of camp is $160.  This can not be combined with any other offer and friends must participate in the same camp.
Registration and payments can be done online or by phone.  Mention the Bricks 4 Kidz email for the discount.

Easy Family Activities For the Summer

I am always amazed by my friends’ abilities at scheduling summer camps and activities for their children.   My calendar is a complete mess, I could really use some white out with the activities that are scratched out, rescheduled, cancelled, added, etc.     And I only have two.     But there are two programs I really love because they allow you to commit to a short period of time (only one morning), are ala cart so to speak, are inexpensive, and are family-friendly, meaning I get to participate and spend time with the kiddo and if I need to, the two-year old little brother can join us.

The first program we actually did last year.    It is the Cuyahoga Valley National Park’s Junior Ranger, Jr. program.    I wrote about it here.  Each session is two hours and is $8 per child.

For details on this year’s programs, visit http://www.nps.gov/cuva/forkids/beajuniorranger.htm

The second I just found out about.    It is the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo’s Family Discoveries.  Programs are 90 minutes long and cost $15 per person (Zoo members $10 per person).  Program fee includes admission to Zoo and RainForest.

You can find all of the info on the various programs here:  http://www.clemetzoo.com/education/familydiscoveries/

Are you aware of more programs like this?     If so, please share the info below in the comments section.

Until next time,


New Elephant Crossing at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

As I write I can’t believe how much the the kiddo and I, with toddler in tow, have already done this summer.   Then when I think of how active they both are and what an even bigger mess my house would be if I kept them home everyday, I realize why.   

We often go to the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo several times during the year.  First I feel that I should point out that the zoo has free admission on Mondays to residents of Cuyahoga County and Hinkcley Township with photo ID.   Second I should point out that if you do not need to take advantage of this (you have a zoo membership for instance), I recommend visiting the zoo on another day of the week.   I’ve been told there is often a line to get into the parking lot on Monday mornings during the summer.

And now, onto our latest zoo visit.   Last week we finally got out to the zoo to see the new African Elephant Crossing exhibit.  It’s impressive, beautiful and large and you can’t miss it as you enter the zoo.   Unfortunately, we didn’t spend a lot of time exploring it as the kiddo had been too busy chasing a young girl around in the maze that’s near the Palava Hut Pavilion. 

We did however take part in nearly ever zoo activity that involves spending money.   All were a lot of fun and inexpensive so I can’t complain.   We rode the train and fed the Lorikeets, both of which we do every time we go to the zoo.   But then, we discovered a new activity, and I may have been more excited than the kiddo…feeding the giraffes.   Yes, for $1 you can get a large piece of lettuce and hand-feed the giraffes, provided it is giraffe feeding time.   It’s great that our zoo continues to add more opportunities for interaction, as the kiddo (and mommy) absolutely love feeding any animal.

And lastly, I’m thrilled that the toddler really enjoyed the zoo.    He loved watching the animals and couldn’t stop smiling and giggling.   This was probably the first time he’s been to the zoo and had a concept of what was going on and it was so fun to watch him experience it in this way.  I can’t wait to take him back there!

When the kiddo is officially old enough for day camps, I’m going to have some serious trouble choosing, as the zoo also offers Summer Camp. It’s for ages 5-14 years old with openings still available and special discount pricing for the week of July 4th.

Actually, what I really can’t wait to do is a Family Overnight in the Rising Waters Safari Camp.  Maybe someday, when both boys are old enough to enjoy it.  

Until next time,


Great Lakes Science Center Free Tuesdays for Kids

Once again for summer, Great Lakes Science Center offers free admission to those 18 and under on Tuesdays when accompanied by an adult.

We actually had purchased a Family Plus membership through Groupon earlier this year so we were fortunate to utilize that last week and visit the Facing Mars exhibit.    We brought along our neighbor and her 9 year-old son.   I was lucky to have grandma babysit the toddler so the kiddo and I could have some fun exploring the exhibits.  The boys really loved the hands-on activities, particularly the one where you could build a rocket out of various styrofoam pieces and then test it out in a launch chamber to see how high it would fly.    And for the first time, the kiddo tried out the regular exhibits on the Science Phenomena floor, since usually we spend all of our time in the Polymer Funhouse and playing with the outdoor water tables in Port Polymer.    I think our favorite was the shadow room, though the nearby experiments with bubbles were a hit as well.

When the kiddo is a bit older I’ll probably check out their extensive list of summer camps, classes and overnights.

So if you are looking for a place to get in out of the heat, or the rain for that matter, Great Lakes Science Center has something for most ages, and with free admission on Tuesdays, it really can’t be beat.

Until next time,


Cuyahoga Valley National Park Junior Ranger Programs

I’m really excited to get back to my original purpose for writing a blog, sharing my family’s great experiences in and around Cleveland, Ohio!

This morning I took the kiddo and the former-baby-now-toddler to one of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park’s Junior Ranger, Jr. programs.   This one in particular was called, “A Seed’s Journey.”    The last one we attended, a couple of weeks ago, was titled, “Come Hide With Me.”     Both took place down in Peninsula and were a lot of fun.  It was challenging to have the toddler with us, as the program is geared towards children ages 4-6, however both times my babysitter (grandma) fell through so I brought the toddler along.  Fortunately everyone there was very kind to me and the toddler, and at both programs there was at least one other baby or toddler present. 

Each session lasts two hours and has several stations set-up at picnic tables with hands-on activities.     The children spend a 1/2 hour or so on the different activities, at their own pace.    Then there is a short storytime, a hike plus a game and/or craft.   The kiddo has really enjoyed himself so far, and once he’s completed 3 sessions, he receives a badge, which he is eagerly anticipating.     After 5 sessions he’ll receive a patch.   

The great thing is, it’s an inexpensive organized activity without a significant time commitment.  This may be what I love most.   You sign up for whichever sessions you want or are convenient for you and your children.  Each session is $8 per child.    You don’t have to commit to a full week or a specific day every week of the summer.    You can go to only one session or try to fit in 5 during the summer in order to get the patch.     And apparently these programs are offered year-round.  

We’ve got one planned more for the badge, and maybe we’ll work towards the patch this fall.

There is also a similar program for children ages 7-12 called the Junior Ranger program.   The Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park also offers week-long day camps and overnight camps.   For more info on summer camp programs, visit http://www.cvnpa.org/CVEEC/SummerCamp.aspx.

Until next time,