$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 GroupOn.com


Kids Events from Cool Cleveland

Courtesy of this week’s Cool Cleveland email:

Justin Roberts @ Beachwood High
Award-winning kids musician Justin Roberts [pictured] creates songs about everything from a dandelion-watching ballplayer to a girl’s unusual hairstyle in which funky characters of all shapes and sizes take up residence. See him and “The Not Ready for Naptime Players” at a benefit concert on Fri 1/29 at 6:30PM @ Beachwood High School, 25100 Fairmont Blvd. Beachwood. All proceeds benefit families in NEO dealing with autism. (But, beware, his shows are known for inciting kiddie mosh pits.) http://JustinRoberts.org and http://AutismNortheastOhio.org

Rite 2 Xpress Media Youth Camp
Passport Project presents an awesome arts & video youth camp starting on Sat 1/30. Kids 6-18 will gain skills in using a digital video camera, editing footage and interviewing subjects–while learning traditional drumming and dance. The topic is “hair music and identity in society” in celebration of Black History Month. Classes on Mondays through Wednesdays 4-6:30PM; and Saturdays 1-4:30PM. 12803 Buckeye Rd.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat
The Skip Kelley Youth Theater brings this classic musical to life on Sat 1/30 at 8PM and Sun 1/31 at 2PM @ Geauga Lyric Theater, 101 Water St. in Chardon. The performance is in honor of late tech director, Skip Kelley, who was a strong proponent of involving youth in every aspect of theater production. http://GeaugaTheater.org/season.htm#joseph

Groundhog Sun-day
Celebrate all things woodchuck on the eve’s eve of Groundhog’s Day, Sun 1/31. The Cle Museum of Natural History is throwing a party from 1-4PM: gawk at live animals, make crafts and view demos relating to the natural and unnatural history of everyone’s favorite rodent, Marmota monax. Kirtland Hall, Perkins Wildlife Center & Woods Garden and Murch Auditorium @ CMNH, 1 Wade Oval Dr.

Upcoming Events for Kids at Cleveland Museum of Natural History

Cretaceous Critters Camp-In
Friday, November 20, 7 pm through Saturday, November 21, 8 am

Spend the night with the dinosaurs! Visit old friends and make some new ones while learning about the creatures that live at the Museum.

Treat your Tiny Trekkers and Young Explorers to the Gift of Learning
November 20 or 21, “Wild Turkeys”; December 11 or 12 “Getting Ready for Winter”

All children between the ages of 3 and 6 will love these classes. Your little ones can enjoy crafts, games, and activities that feature fun seasonal topics and items from the Museum’s collections.

Winter Holiday Camp
Monday, December 21, Tuesday, December 22, Wednesday, December 23, 8:30 am to 5 pm

Looking for something fun for your kids to do this holiday vacation? Join us for our first-ever Winter Holiday Camp. Each day offers different hands-on activities featuring dinosaurs, health and animals, special planetarium programs, and a make-and-take craft. Sign-up for one, two, or all three days.

Planetarium Programs: Special Holiday Presentations
The Planetarium programs “All Telescopes Great and Small” and “The Grand Year of Astronomy” will offer additional shows over the Thanksgiving and December holidays. Bring your family and take part in the International Year of Astronomy 2009 before the celebration concludes.

New Year’s at Noon
Thursday, December 31, 10 am to 1 pm

Ring in the New Year at our first-ever New Year’s at Noon celebration! Join Museum educators for fun family activities and count down to noon in the Shafran Planetarium with a Big Bang. Apple juice for toasting, a light snack and bubble wrap noise makers will be provided.

Dancin’ with Dinos
Saturday, January 23, 7 to 9 pm

Swing like a sauropod and twist like a therapod among our dinosaurs in Kirtland Hall! This fun, family-friendly event is open to all ages. Pizza, drinks, and snacks, plus special tours of Dinosaurs: Ancient Fossils, New Discoveries and a dino-dance contest, round out this Earth-shaking evening.

Visit http://www.cmnh.org/site/ClassesandPrograms/Family.aspx for more info.

This Week’s Adventures

In the past week the toddler and I have visited a small handful of Cleveland attractions.  Here’s the low-down on each.

Last Friday was rainy and turning cold, so the toddler and I gave the neighbors a call.  The group of us, my neighbor, her nearly two-year old daughter and five year-old son all ventured out to The RainForest at Cleveland Metrtoparks Zoo.   It’s interesting now when these kids get together, as the toddler seems to bridge the gap between the two siblings.  The daughter is now old enough that she can keep up with the toddler, and the toddler is old enough to roughhouse with the son.   So it worked out well and we all had a good time.  The boys particularly enjoyed the spiral staircase up the inside of a tree trunk leading up to a large animal observation room (think Diego’s animal rescue center for those whose children watch Diego).  They also had fun watching the orangutans, snakes, turtles, assorted monkeys and birds.   Total time spent entertained was about 1.5 hours.  Considering me and my neighbor both have family memberships, we didn’t have to pay admission.

Saturday we dragged the hubby out to see “rocket ships” at NASA Glenn Research Center’s Visitor Center.   This is one place I’m looking forward to bringing the toddler when he’s older.   Lots of physics, engines, how things work, etc.   I was particularly fascinated by how much goes on at NASA here in Cleveland.   I knew about the work done on the Mars Rover here, but not much else.   The Visitor Center was interesting, and most of the people utilizing the interactive exhibits were more in the 8-12 year old range.   There was one exhibit in particular that the toddler loved however, that allows you to raise and lower a box mounted with a scale and a brass weight.   There is a small video camera that monitors the weight on the scale as it is being raised and dropped down onto a bed of foam.  Through buttons and a level, you control the raising and dropping.  As the scale free falls, you can see on the video monitor that the weight is demonstrating weightlessness in reference to the scale.  It is a very interesting experiement.  Two amusing points to this.  One, as a 12 year-old boy began to do the experiment, the toddler chimes in, “This is how you do it.  now you push this.”   I already have a know-it-all.  Second, this gravitational experiment was referred to, by the toddler, as the doyng-doyng machine, referring to the bouncing action of the box as it lands on the foam.   In all, the toddler was probably happy for an hour here.  But, if you have older children, or children of varying ages, it might be interesting to stop by.  Especially because it’s free!

Last but not least, on Monday morning we met up with my friend and her 3 year-old daughter at The Cleveland Museum of Natural History.  The kids enjoyed playing downstairs in the Smead Discovery Center, playing in an excavation box, doing puzzles, coloring and observing a gecko using a magnifying glass.  The toddler loves using the magnifying glass, I definitely need to invest in one before the warm weather hits.   Plus, the toddler did a pretty good job sitting and eating his lunch upstairs in the cafe before checking out the dinosaurs.   So all in all, another successful outing.   We spent about 1.5 hours there, plus lunch, and this time around got in free with my friend’s guest pass.

As it relates to the stay-at-home part in SAHM, I had my second trip to Home Depot yesterday.  Fixed the screen on our side door and checked out some outdoor light fixtures to replace the ones currently on our garage.  And I have to figure out how to fix a broken garage door.

Hopefully next week we’ll do the indoor water park while the hubby’s on vacation.  

Until next time,


Smead Discovery Center at Cleveland Museum of Natural History

My friend and I will be starting a weekly playdate, meeting up at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.  I’m pretty excited to know where the toddler and I will be hanging out one day a week.   Apparently she takes my son’s little friend, her daughter, there each week to play in the Smead Discovery Center, an area in the lower-level with hands-on activities for children, then spends some time walking around amongst the dinos before grabbing lunch there and heading home for her nap.  

Sounds good to me, so the toddler and I are going to start joining her.   I can’t wait.

Until next time,


The Cleveland Museum of Natural History’s Dino Day This Weekend

T. rex Makes Debut During Museum’s Dino Day

Cleveland . . . Join The Cleveland Museum of Natural History in welcoming Tyrannosaurus rex to its permanent collection. The Museum will host Dino Day to honor the newest member of its dinosaur family on Saturday Dec. 20 from noon to 4 p.m. The event is free with Museum admission.

The T. rex is a full-size replica of one of the most complete fossil specimens of this dinosaur species in the world. It will face off with the Museum’s Triceratops, the second-largest dinosaur of the Late Cretaceous period, in Kirtland Hall of Prehistoric Life. Attendees can meet the Museum’s killer addition and spend the day doing all things dinosaur.

Ongoing activities will be held from noon to 4 p.m.:

· Create a paleontologist vest craft

· Make a dinosaur doorknob hanger in the Discovery Center

· Complete a Dinosaur Scavenger Hunt/Bingo and receive a dinosaur stencil!

· Bring your camera to take a photo with a dinosaur character

· Hands-on experience with bones and fossils

· Vertebrate Paleontology display of dinosaur fossil casts and Q & A

Other Dino Day Activities:

Meet a Dino Hunter at 1:30 p.m.: Darin Croft, Museum research associate and assistant professor, Department of Anatomy, at Case Western Reserve University
Planetarium shows for $4 at 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 2 p.m., 3 p.m. and 4 p.m.
Live animal shows including “Raptor Show” and “Dinosaur Descendents” at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.
Build-a-Beast at 12:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.
T. rex balloon figures with Swifty the Clown: 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
T. rex roaring contest at 2 p.m., participants must register in advance

Dino Day is free with museum admission. Admission fees are: $9 adults; $7 ages 7-18, college students with ID and seniors; $6 children 3-6 years of age; free for children 2 and under. For more information, call 216-231-4600 or visit http://www.cmnh.org. The Museum is located at 1 Wade Oval Drive in University Circle.