Cinema at the Square Returns to Playhouse Square

Along with several classic favorites of adults, take the kids to enjoy this unique movie-going experience with these family-friendly flicks:

The Muppet Movie – Aug. 5th at 2pm

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory – Aug. 12 at 2pm

Mary Poppins – Aug. 19 at 2pm

Tickets are $5.  For a full list of Cinema at the Square movies, visit


Free-Range Kids

I just came across this blog as I was looking for safety info regarding church nurseries (I’m responsible for the nursery at our church).     From the few posts I’ve read on here already, I love it!    I’m probably behind on the times, and maybe you’re already reading this blog, but if not, check it out here:

Let me know what you think.    Are you too overprotective, or not enough?   How do you find a balance?

Until next time,


Cleveland Browns Family Zone Tickets for Oct. 23rd

I received this via an email from JumpStart Sports, a program that offers various sports activities to preschool-aged children in communities throughout Northeast Ohio.   It’s a really great program, we’ve participated in soccer with them the past two years, so I happen to be on their email list.

I wanted to share this mostly because, I didn’t realize there was a Family Zone at Cleveland Browns stadium.   And, this sounds like a great opportunity for any families who are interested in taking their kids to a game!

You could not find a less expensive way to enjoy the Browns game with your children! The Cleveland Browns will be hosting us on Sunday, October 23rd for their game against the Seattle Seahawks. We will receive tickets at a discounted rate and all purchasers will be entered to win a spot to participate in the Browns pre-game flag holding ceremony!!!

We will have tickets in the Family Zone (normally $35) and in the Upper Level reserved seats (normally $40) for just $28 a seat! In the Family Zone, drinking and bad language are prohibited, so it is appropriate for young children.

Several people will be selected randomly to participate in the on field flag presentation prior to the game. Coaches in our flag football program will also be able to earn a spot on the field before the game. Ask us for details on these opportunities.

For more information on the Browns game and to order tickets, please follow this link: Order Tickets to Jump Start Sports Day at the Browns Game

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,


KidsGO Expo

I just found out about this event through the Cleveland Moms Like Me website, and am looking forward to going to check it out.    From the site:

This great event will be April 30th, 10a-6p at the Great Lakes Expo Center.

KidsGO will feature all of the things you need to get your kids “going” (schools, daycare, sports, enrichment activities, social groups, etc) all in one place!  (Like a bridal fair for moms)  But there will also be alot of family fun and activities!

The official site for the event is

The post on the Moms Like Me website asked for feedback on companies and exhibits one would like to see at the show.   It got me thinking about all of the neat things there are in Cleveland for our kids.   Here was my response:

“What a great concept!   I’m hoping to make it out there for the Expo.   There are so many great businesses and places in and around Cleveland that can offer hands-on exhibits for the kids, and give parents an idea of all the area has to offer for their children.    Great Lakes Science Center, Cleveland Museum of Natural History, the Children’s Museum, the Metroparks and Zoo, Lake Erie Nature and Science Center, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, etc.    The Natural History Museum, Zoo and LENSC all have animals I believe they can bring for hands-on activities too.   

There are also kids cooking classes in the area that could maybe do demonstrations?   Loretta Paganini, Young Chefs Academy and the Viking Cooking School all offer classes for kids.

In addition to Step2, Little Tikes and Build a Dream Playhouses are also based in the area.”

What would you want to see at an event like this? Will you be attending?

Until next time,


Build a Dream Playhouse Party at The Children’s Museum of Cleveland

Local Company Invites Children to Think and Play INSIDE the Box at The Children’s Museum of Cleveland!

University Circle – You are invited to join hundreds of other kids for an exciting party at The Children’s Museum of Cleveland from 1:00 pm to 4:30 pm on Saturday, November 20, 2010 to launch a new, innovative and unique kid-driven product created by two young entrepreneurs right here in Cleveland.

Activities taking place at this family-friendly fun event include the chance to meet and talk with the creators of Build a Dream Playhouses. In addition, you will have the opportunity to color your own Build A Dream Playhouse. Snacks, drinks, awesome door prizes and FREE goody bags (while supplies last) will also be provided – ALL INCLUDED FREE with your paid Museum admission or membership!

Countless childhood memories flow from the simple act of playing in a box; a shared outlet for children’s creativity since the creation of cardboard. From traveling through time, to flying through space, to sailing the open seas, a child’s imagination allows a cardboard box to transcend all that is material. With that in mind, Build a Dream Playhouses is launching the most innovative, fresh, and fun playhouses on the market, right in our own backyard.

In collaboration with world famous local company Nottingham-Spirk Design Associates, the Smurfit Stone Container Corporation’s Ravenna plant, and a group of 3 to 9 year old children, Build a Dream Playhouses was created with the belief that imaginative play is absolutely critical to the developing minds of children. This line of products is centered on creativity and imagination, and is completely kid-driven. Build a Dream Playhouses supplies the palate for children to paint their dreams, and ideas for the playhouses can be generated from children all over the world. It is truly amazing to continuously see the products transform into unique, one-of-a-kind playhouses.

Build a Dream Playhouses was founded by Cleveland father and entrepreneur Mike Welsh, a man dedicated to Cleveland, the State of Ohio, and the creativity of all children. Welsh was inspired to launch Build a Dream Playhouses by the creativity and imagination of his own son and his son’s many friends.

To achieve that, and reflecting on his city’s hard times, he recruited two bright, ambitious, and innovative college students, Andy Carcioppolo and Sam Cahill, who had been lifelong friends. Andy graduated from Ohio State’s Fisher College of Business, while Sam recently finished his degree from The Cleveland Institute of Art’s industrial design program. After working on the project for a few months, they realized that they had a unique and promising opportunity to stay in the city that they love.

“We believe that creating jobs in Cleveland, in the State of Ohio, and ultimately across the globe is an important part of Build a Dream Playhouses”, says COO Andy Carcioppolo. “We’re thrilled to have an opportunity to do that in our hometown and to be a part of helping our region grow and thrive, while bringing smiles to the faces of children at the same time”.

Cardboard allows their products to be colored, painted, decorated, and customized to please every child’s dreams. Corrugated cardboard is also extremely durable and safe for children. Each and every product is tested to conform to the standards of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA). Build a Dream Playhouses has also gone the extra mile to do further testing not mandated by law, to ensure the safety of their products that we bring to market.

As a company, Build a Dream Playhouses also has a commitment to the environment. Their products are manufactured from 80% recycled materials, resulting in an end product that is 100% recyclable. Their distribution center is located only 38 miles away from the manufacturer, which drastically reduces the fuel consumption required to ship their products.

Visit for purchasing information.       I’m so excited that another manufacturer of children’s toys has opened up in the Cleveland area!    I already love Step2 and Little Tikes!

Until next time,


$35 One-Year Family Membership to the Cleveland Museum of Natural History ($75 Value)

Offer Expires Oct 31, 2010
Must activate by 10/31, membership valid for 1 year after activation. Limit 1 per person, may buy multiple as gifts. New members only or inactive members from 2 years or more.

The family membership also gets you four one-time-use guest passes, access to preview parties and behind-the-scenes tours, discounts on lectures, classes, and Museum store products, and more. You’ll receive complimentary issues of the museum’s Tracks newsletter and enrollment in the ASTC program granting free admission to participating science museums outside a 90-mile radius.

Buy now at