“Holiday Cookies” Family Cooking Workshop at The Childrens Museum

Holiday Cookies”
Family Cooking Workshop

The Children’s Museum of Cleveland

DATE: Sunday, December 18, 2011

TIME: 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm

WORKSHOP FEE: $5.00 per person. (Non-members must pay additional Museum admission of $7.00/person if they wish to play in the Museum exhibits).

MORE: Participate in a family-friendly cooking workshop created especially for kids. During each workshop kids will learn how to create recipes that are easy, delicious and nutritious. Today we inspire your family’s culinary creativity as we prepare our own “Holiday Cookies” from scratch. Recommended for children ages 3 and older.

REGISTRATION: Required. In person at the Museum, by calling 216-791-7114 or register and pay online NOW by clicking here.


Holiday CircleFest This Sunday

Holiday CircleFest 2011 at University Circle

December 04 – 1:00pm to 5:30pm

Start off the holiday season with a trip to the 18th Annual Holiday CircleFest. It’s the perfect way to experience University Circle, free of charge. Many of University Circle’s renowned museums, gardens, galleries, churches, and schools open their doors and offer an afternoon of activities, food, and shopping.

Perhaps the most highly anticipated activity of Holiday CircleFest is the opening of The Rink at Wade Oval. Admission to The Rink is free, and skate rentals are only $3. After visitors have finished skating, they can warm up with a cup of coffee or hot chocolate… continue reading

Polar Express Tickets Still Available

I was pleasantly surprised to find when looking at the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad’s website this week that there are still tickets available for certain dates of the Polar Express, departing from both Independence and Akron.   You can find the most up-to-date info here:


Here’s my advice based on last-year’s experience, departing from the Akron station:
For those who are looking for answers for 2011, we did end up going on the Polar Express this past Christmastime. We arrived about a 1/2 an hour early and the 8 of us were able to sit together, though we were not on the side of the car that faces “the North Pole” when you arrive. It didn’t really matter anyways, because all of the children go over to that side of the train to look out the windows and no one seems to mind. It didn’t seem like there was any big difference regarding which car you were assigned to, though I did notice we were in the car next to the one where you could purchase souvenirs and popcorn. Not sure if that was planned since we didn’t buy the tickets. They did have souvenir Christmas ornaments you could purchase which was nice. We went on a Sunday evening.

One suggestion that our friends and I hadn’t thought of, if you bring your copy of “The Polar Express” and a Sharpie, you can have your book autographed by Santa!

Also, looked like many of the kids had matching PJ sets, and I was surprised by how many grown ups were wearing pajama pants as well! It’s a great activity for any child or adult who “believes”.

For more comments related to the Polar Express, visit my post from 2009.

Have you taken your kids on the Polar Express?    Do you have any advice to share?

Until next time,


Order Fresh Holiday Hams at Brunty Farms

Sometimes I wish I took more time to take advantage of things like this, maybe I will this year:

Don’t Miss Out!

Brunty Farms Holiday Hams are now available for pre-order.

All hams are HICKORY smoked, NITRATE-FREE, and available FRESH for either Thanksgiving or Christmas.

Hams range from 5-7 lbs each and are $7.00/lb.

To place your order please e-mail melanie@bruntyfarms.com

Apparently they also offer farm tours twice a month to the public, as well as school tours.  Visit http://www.bruntyfarms.com/Brunty_Farms/Home.html for more info.

Take the Train to Pick Out Your Christmas Tree

Each year Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad offers the Christmas Tree Adventure, I’m thinking if we don’t do the Polar Express that this event might be a fun family tradition to start, especially now that we live a bit closer to the area:

Christmas Tree Adventure
10am or 11:35am, November 28th through December 13th

Ride to the Village of Peninsula and visit Heritage Farms to pick your tree for the holiday. During your stay, enjoy a cup of cocoa or cider and watch your tree get bundled and delivered to the train for transport back to your car. Tree cost is not included.

Purchase tickets at http://www.cvsr.com/events.aspx

Holiday Musical Rainbows with The Cleveland Orchestra

PNC Holiday Musical Rainbow programs feature The Music of Chanukah, Christmas Brass Quintet, and All About Kwanzaa.

PNC Holiday Musical Rainbows are festive programs for children through age 9, featuring music of the holiday season. All tickets are $7.

The Music of Chanukah
Friday, December 11 at 10 am
Sunday, December 13 at 12:30 pm

Reinberger Chamber Hall at Severance Hall
Carolyn Warner, violin, piano
Stephen Warner, violin
Kathryn Wolfe Sebo, cantor
Maryann Nagel, host

Christmas Brass Quintet
Thursday, December 17 at 10 am
Saturday, December 19 at 11 am

Severance Hall
Jack Sutte, trumpet
Michael Miller, trumpet
Hans Clebsch, horn
Edward Zadrozny, trombone
Ronald Bishop, tuba
Maryann Nagel, host

All About Kwanzaa
Friday, December 18 at 10 am
Reinberger Chamber Hall in Severance Hall
Barbara Eady, Storyteller, from the Cleveland Association of Black Storytellers
William Clarence Marshall III, bass
Mell Csicsila, percussion
Andrew Pongracz, percussion
Maryann Nagel, host

The PNC Musical Rainbow Series is endowed by the Pysht Fund.

Click on the dates above to order your tickets online or
call (216) 231-1111 or 800-686-1141
Ticket Office hours are Monday – Friday, 9 am to 6 pm
and Saturday 10 am to 6 pm.

Polar Express Tickets Still Available

The Polar Express™ on Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad

Climb aboard for this magical journey to the North Pole. Along the way, elves will read you the story, you will sip on hot cocoa and enjoy a cookie. After reaching the North Pole, Santa will join us for the return trip where he will give out the first bell of Christmas. Tickets are just $35 for ages 1 and up. The trip is 7:00 pm – 9 pm and departs from either Akron Northside Station, Rockside Station in Independence or JUST ADDED: Canton Lincoln Highway Station!!

Polar Express tickets will be sold on-line only this year.
Tickets are on sale NOW! Including for the newly added Canton Lincoln Highway Station departure.

See below for an updated list of dates still available for Akron and Independence departures.
Canton will be departing December 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 12, 17, 18 and 19th!

Dates that tickets are still available*:

Akron Northside Station:

November 18 all cars
November 19 all cars
November 23 all cars
November 24 in car 168 only
November 30 Cars 161 and 168 only
December 1 Cars 161 and 168 only
December 7 Car 161 only
December 8 Cars 161 and 168
December 10 Car 167

Rockside Station

November 18 all cars
November 19 Car 169 only
November 30 all cars except 163
December 1 Cars 165, 166, 167 and 169
December 2 Cars 167, 169
December 3 Car 169 only
December 7 Cars 166, 167 and 169
December 8 Cars 167 and 169
December 10 3 seats in Car 166 only
December 19 4 p.m. departure, Car 165

**Subject to change minute by minute!

Visit http://www.cvsr.com/polarexpress.aspx for the most current information and further details regarding the event.