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Cuyahoga County offers many attractions known far and wide. Here are just a few:
• Great Lakes Science Center
Address: 601 Erieside Avenue, Cleveland
The Great Lakes Science Center offers much to entice and entertain both casual and ardent science enthusiasts alike.
Hundreds of hands-on exhibits are offered. Current highlights include the William G. Mather Steamship, where visitors can tour a restored 618-foot historic flagship and see what life was like on board a working Great Lakes freighter, exhibits devoted to nanotechnology and solar power, as well as many features which are geared toward youngsters.
Events and programs include daily science demonstrations, home school workshops, overnight stays and the Great Science Academy, an immersive science program for grades 6 - 9 on Saturdays.
“This is a great time to plan a visit to Cleveland and Great Lakes Science Center," said President and CEO Kirsten Ellenbogen. "We recently opened Build It!, a fantastic hands-on LEGO exhibit which runs through Labor Day, and completed a $1.8 million renovation and digital conversion of our DOME Theater. We inspire guests of all ages to stay curious through exploring all of the opportunities we offer for creative play, tinkering, inventing and making great memories with family and friends.”
-Information from staff reporting and greatscience.com
• A Christmas Story House
Address: 3159 W. 11th St., Cleveland
Phone: (216) 298-4919
For many of us, the December holiday season isn't complete without a viewing of the 1983 classic movie "A Christmas Story." Much of the film was shot in the Cleveland area and visitors to A Christmas Story House can get as close to the film as Red Ryder gets to his targets.
The house has been restored to its movie splendor and is open year round to the public for tours. Directly across the street from the house is the official A Christmas Story House Museum, which features original props, costumes and memorabilia from the film, as well as hundreds of rare behind-the-scenes photos. Among the props and costumes are the toys from the Higbee’s window, Randy’s snowsuit, the chalkboard from Miss Shields’ classroom and the family car. After reliving A Christmas Story at Ralphie’s house don’t forget to visit the museum gift shop for your own Major Award Leg Lamp and other great movie memorabilia. You can even shop through our online gift shop here. Proceeds from the gift shop help support and maintain A Christmas Story House & Museum.
-Information from staff reporting and www.achristmasstoryhouse.com
• Cleveland Museum of Art
Address:11150 East Blvd., Cleveland
The stunning Cleveland Museum of Art, which opened in 1916, houses nearly 45,000 objects and spans 6,000 years of achievement in the arts. The museum recently completed a renovation
In addition to art, the museum is know for performing arts and art education.
Currently on display is “Opulent Fashion in the Church” and “Black in America,” photos by Louis Draper and Leoanrd Freed.
The museum is located on the bustling University Circle, which is home to other museums, parks, libraries, medical centers and historic landmarks.
- Information from www.clevelandart.org
(Photo from Cleveland Museum of Art)
• Cleveland Playhouse Square
Address: 1501 Euclid Ave., Cleveland
Historic Playhouse square is home to 10 theaters where visitors can see everything from Broadway shows and popular musicians to comedians and dance performances.
As the nation's largest performing arts center outside New York City, Playhouse Square attracts 1 million guests annually, more than 120,000 of whom are from outside the region.
Playhouse Square's oldest theaters — State, Ohio, Hanna and Allen — were all built in 1921 while Connor Palace was built in 1922. Those five historic theaters were saved from demolition in 1972 and were painstakingly renovated to their current glory.
Recently, Playhouse Square got a little brighter with the addition of the GE Chandelier, which is the world's largest chandelier. Suspended 44 feet in the air and adorned with more than 4,200 crystals, the chandelier spans the intersection of East 14th Street and Euclid Avenue.
• Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Address: 1100 Rock and Roll Blvd., Cleveland
If you're a music fan, a trip to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland is a must.
The museum has five levels chock full of exhibits that change frequently.
Currently on display are exhibits on John Mellencamp and the 2016 Hall of Fame inductee showcase featuring Steve Miller Band, Deep Purple, Cheap Trick, N.W.A. And Chicago.
Some of the other exhibits visitors can expect to see are The Roots of Rock & Roll, which tells the origins of rock & roll as told through pioneers in gospel, blues R&B and country; Cities and Towns, which tells about the cities and movements that changed music; and British Invasion, featuring a massive collection of Beatles memorabilia.
• Cleveland Botanical Garden
Address: 11030 East Blvd., Cleveland
Open all year, Cleveland Botanical Garden gives visitors a chance to explore 10 acres of outdoor gardens and the 18,000-square-foot Eleanor Armstrong Smith Glasshouse, which features a Costa Rican rainforest and the desert of Madagascar.
The garden is a great place to bring children. The Hershey Children's Garden opened in 1999 and is a model for children's gardens around the world.
The garden also is home to an art gallery, featuring works by local and national artists that take inspiration from the natural world.
- Information from www.cbgarden.org
(photo from www.cbgarden.org)
• Lake View Cemetery
Address: 12316 Euclid Ave., Cleveland
A working cemetery, the 285-acre site is a popular stop for history buffs. It is home to a number of famous people, including John D. Rockefeller, Carl B. Stokes and Eliot Ness, among others.
Perhaps the most famous resident of the cemetery is President James A. Garfield. Garfield's is the only presidential casket on full display. The president and his family are located in a stunning monument that was dedicated in 1890. From a balcony in the monument visitors can see all the way to Lake Erie. The Garfield memorial is only open April 1 through Nov. 19.
The cemetery also is home to Wade Memorial Chapel, which was built in the memory of Jeptha Wade, founder of the Western Union Telegraph Co. and the first president of the cemetery. The chapel is located on the national Register of Historic Places and has an interior designed completely by Louis Comfort Tiffany and his studios.
- Information from https://lakeviewcemetery.com
(photo from https://lakeviewcemetery.com)
• Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum
Address: 10825 East Boulevard University Circle Cleveland
The history of the horseless carriage, or automobile as its known to modern Americans is on display at the Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum in Cleveland.
Automobiles and a variety of artifacts are at the center of two major exhibits at the museum: “Setting the World in Motion” and “REVolution: The Automobile in America.”
Most people may not know Northeast Ohio was a major, and some would say crucial, hub of transportation development in the early years of transportation. The museum asserts Ohio was in the fast lane of automotive development. The collection includes more than 140 antique automobiles and 21 non-car transportation artifacts such as motorcycles, bicycles, boats, aircraft, carriages and sleighs.
The collection also includes the Western Reserve Historical Society Automotive Marque Files, containing several past automobile brochures, owner’s manuals and advertisements.
The collection began in 1963 with a donation of the Thompson Products Auto Album from Frederick C. Crawford and TRW.
Crawford began collecting autos in 1936 after learning a 1910 Duryea was going to be scraped after a car show at the Great Lakes Exposition in Cleveland.
Crawford was aware that the Duryea brothers were instrumental in automotive history and did not want their influence to be forgotten. The car was purchased and displayed in the Thompson Products factory.
More cars followed from a variety of national regions. Crawford even told Thompson Products salesmen to keep their eyes open for antique automobiles as they served their sales regions, and to inform him if they located anything worthy of collecting.
Many of the cars were found in barns and garages and purchased at a very cheap price.
In 1943 Crawford opened a museum at 30th and Chester Avenue in Cleveland and the collection was moved from the main plant of Thompson Products. The new museum, known as the Thompson Products Auto Album opened for business on August 13, 1943, making it one of the earliest car museums in the country. In 1944, the museum was expanded as a 7/8 scale street of shops, set in the 1890s, was added for aesthetics.
Around that same time, Thompson Products began collecting airplanes, guided by the knowledge of Charles Hubbell, noted aviation artist. Over the years the museum has collected 10 planes which are on display.
Information from staff reporting and http://www.wrhs.org/research/crawford
• Cleveland MetroParks Zoo
Address: 3900 Wildlife Way
Safe to say there are few places in Ohio where visitors can experience the up close and real life meanderings of leaf cutter ants in one area and visit with Willy, a one-tusked elephant standing 11-feet tall at the shoulder and weighing 13,000 pounds, in a nearby section.
However, visitors to the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo can see these and many more animal and nature themed exhibits on a tour of the zoo.
A few of the themed exhibits include:
The RainForest; Wolf Wilderness; Australian Adventure and The Sarah Allison Steffee Center for Zoological Medicine.
The newest exhibit, African Elephant Crossing, opened on May 5, 2011 and is spread over five acres of grasslands. African Elephant Crossing features areas for roaming, swimming, sleeping quarters and a heated outdoor range. The naturalistic habitat is being expanded to house up to 10 elephants at a time, including a bull and calves.
But it's not just elephants living at the crossing. Other wild kingdom residents including meerkats, naked mole rats, an African rock python and a collection of colorful birds call that section of the zoo home. The zoo, which has been delighting visitors for more than 130 years, is also home to more than 2,000 exotic animals representing 600 species from six continents.
The animals and exhibits are spread out over 183-acres and divided into several adventure areas.
In addition, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo offers training and research opportunities to students both within and outside of the country.
The Zoo began as Wade Park in 1882 after Jeptha H. Wade donated 73-acres of land and 14 American deer to the city of Cleveland. By 1907, however, Cleveland City Council planned to build the Cleveland Museum of Art and decided to move the Zoo to its current location.
In 1968, the city of Cleveland transferred ownership of the zoo to the Cleveland Metropolitan Park District and the Cleveland Zoological Society transferred management of the zoo to Cleveland Metroparks in 1975.
The zoo is open Weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and weekends from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Information from staff reporting and https://clevelandmetroparks.com/zoo.
• West Side Market
Address: 1979 West 25th Street Cleveland Ohio
Since opening Nov. 2, 1912, the West Side Market has been an making tastebuds water with the of meats, cheeses, dairy products, ethnic specialty foods, spices, seafood, fruits, vegetables, nuts, baked goods, flowers and ready-to-eat foods wafting through the doors in clouds of tantalizing goodness.
The olfactory senses of visitors who walk into the market are awakened as they peer over glass counters and the 100 vendor displays filled with artistic placings of colorful delicacies representing every corner of Cleveland’s ethnic neighborhoods.
Of the three public markets which served the city's growing immigrant population in the early 20th century, the West Side Market is only one that remains.
However, it's not just the food that impresses the throngs that visit the spacious 241-foot-by-124-foot market.
A highlight of the market is the 44-foot high Guastavino tile vaulted ceiling, containing a clock tower, which stands 137 feet tall.
The total construction cost for the market was $734,890.
Limited tours are available daily, however they must've approved by calling the main office. Guided tours are not available.
The best time to tour the Market is Wednesday morning, according to market officials.
Photography is allowed throughout the market, but media events and commercial photography must be arranged through the manager's office.
And while vendors are not city employees they do rent stands from the city. For information on becoming a vendor call the manager's office at 216-664-3387.
The West Side Market is open year-round on Mondays and Wednesdays from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 6 p.m.
Information from staff reporting and http://westsidemarket.org/.