Category Archives: University Circle

Fun in the Sun Giveaway: Cleveland Bike Tours

Cleveland Bike Tours Giveaway

Enter to win a Cleveland Bike Tour for you and 11 friends

With my last two “fun in the Cleveland sun” giveaways, we’ve checked out upcoming concerts and gone to the beach. This next one is for the active Clevelander:

I hide indoors during the winter. So once the sun starts shining and temperatures rise, I like to get outside as much as possible: dragging Scott on walks, taking a swim at our pool, and – after last year’s bike tour of downtown CLE – hopping on a bike.

Biking used to make me nervous; I had one too many falls growing up. But when the Ohio Blogging Association went on a bike tour, Anne Smith of Cleveland Bike Tours not just taught us a lot about the city, but was also incredibly patient in getting newbies like me comfortable with biking. (My recap of the downtown Cleveland bike tour)

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Giveaway: Provenance at the Cleveland Museum of Art

Provenance at the Cleveland Museum of Art - Mushroom and Leek Cake

Mushroom and Leek Cake at Cleveland Museum of Art’s Provenance

With the expansion of the East Wing, the renovation of the 1916 galleries, and the addition of the beautiful Ames Atrium, the Cleveland Museum of Art has been elevated in recent years from a revered cultural institution to a work of art itself.

To complement the stunning renovation, the Museum has also rolled out community programming like its interactive, 12,000-square-foot Gallery One and monthly MIX Nights.

It was hard to think of anything that could make the Cleveland Museum of Art even better, until Provenance opened at the end of 2012.

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Cleveland Date-rday: CLE Botanical Garden and Shakespeare

Congrats to entry 6 – Jess(ly) in Cleveland – for winning tickets to Band Aid Bash! Tickets are available for MedWish’s fundraiser at medwish.org/bab2013Come back Friday to win tickets to Tri-C Jazz Fest!

Band Aid Bash

It’s no secret, Scott and I spend a lot of time together. A LOT.

We carpool and work together. We share most of our hobbies like model train and comics collecting. And in what I think may test both our patience, we’re starting to write a comic book together.

Not to say everything’s the same (he has his vintage video game collection and he puts up with my hockey obsession). But for all the fun we have together, Scott married a worrier. And sometimes I worry we’re going to fall into a rut.

Although I know it’s unwarranted. we decided to mix things up last weekend by declaring Saturday ‘Cleveland Date-rday’ with a cross-town date of our favorite things in our favorite city.

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Theater Ninjas’ The Excavation at Cleveland Museum of Art

Theater Ninjas' The Excavation at Cleveland Museum of Art

Theater Ninjas’ The Excavation at Cleveland Museum of Art

From Good People and Much Ado… to next week’s War Horse, Scott and I have been spending a lot of time in theatre seats lately.

And as impressive and enjoyable as all of these shows have been, sometimes you need a palate cleanser. Something that’s a bit off-the-wall, that you’re not really sure what to expect from at any moment.

Enter Theater Ninjas’ The Excavation, currently “on loan” to the Cleveland Museum of Art as part of The Last Days of Pompeii exhibit.

Theater Ninjas' Excavation at Cleveland Museum of Art

The cast of Theater Ninjas’ The Excavation

You don’t really see a Theater Ninjas show, you experience it.

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Ohio Blogging at Whole Foods University Heights

Ohio Blogger Meetup at Whole Foods Cleveland

Valentine’s Day is only a couple days away. If you go out to celebrate, WhyCLE has Cleveland Valentine’s events for every sense and Bite Buff has some delicious dining options for you.

Me? Scott and I keep it quiet on Valentine’s Day because we celebrate our anniversary the following week.

This year, we’ll be checking out the new Die Hard movie and then picking up a dinner for home. After last week’s Ohio Blogging Meetup at Whole Foods Cedar Center, we have some inspiration.

Audree Sinnett and Ines Rehner speak at Ohio Blogging Whole Foods Meetup

Whole Foods Market Wine Buyer Audree Sinnett and Sweet Designs’ Ines Rehner

This was Ohio Blogging’s 3rd annual trip to Whole Foods. And as last year demonstrated with a pizza making contest, they always have something delicious up their sleeve.

This time around the theme was “Chocolate Three-Way” featuring a selection of chocolate-infused tastings.

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Cleveland Botanical Garden’s Holiday Glow

Cleveland’s weather hasn’t been able to make up its mind lately – some days have been beautiful and warm (definitely not December weather). Others draped in fog. And then this weekend’s forecast calls for rain and possibly snow.

I know for me, this can make it difficult when putting together my holiday plans.

Fortunately, you can surround yourself with the natural beauty of the holidays without worrying about the weather at the Cleveland Botanical Garden’s indoor Glow.

This December, take your coat off and stay awhile inside the Garden’s galleries and greenhouse, decked with 100,000 lights and the bright colors of 3,000 holiday plantings from red and white poinsettias to Christmas cactus and winterberry holly.

Last weekend, Scott and I took in the sights, sounds and scents of Glow for ourselves.

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Column and Stripe Illuminates New Way to Get Involved with Cleveland Museum of Art

At MIX Illumination, take a lantern tour of the Art Museum’s collection while learning more about Colum & Stripe, their new YP group

Over the last couple of months, the Cleveland Museum of Art has been — well, literally — mixing things up when it comes to drawing in new audiences to the museum.

The Art Museum’s First Friday MIX events take attendees on a unique trip of the museum every month. Whether it’s your first or nth time at the museum, these monthly happy hours each focus on a different aspect of the museum’s collection.

For instance, at last month’s MIX, guests could go on a scavenger hunt of the museum’s collection and solve a “mystery.” It also showcased the beautiful, brand-new atrium. After exploring the Martin Creed Half the Air exhibit, I was happy to escape the purple sea of balloons into the spacious atrium. Just hand me a gin and tonic to relax.

Bad hair day at the Cleveland Museum of Art! What a room full of balloons does to my hair.

At the Museum’s MIX: Illumination on Dec. 7, 5-9pm, dust off your holiday cardigan (mine’s getting a lot of work this year) and celebrate the season with warming winter drinks, live music and festive art activities.

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12 Days of Cleveland – Thankful for Too Much To Do This Holiday Season

This Thanksgiving, there were many things to be thankful for. I’m lucky to have a pretty swell husband (understatement), fantastic parents and sister, friends and even in-laws (congrats Laura and Max on your engagement!). From work to home and in between, there’s not much to complain about.

And even better, I get to spend my time in Cleveland. Whether it’s Downtown, east, west or the suburbs – there’s always something to do. In fact, if I had one complaint it’s that there’s sometimes too much to choose from.

However, I consider that a very lucky problem to have. Clevelanders are blessed with a city that not just offers us a lot of unique entertainment, food, art and shopping experiences, but more importantly is small enough that most of it is accessible.

As we head into the holiday season, Cleveland is bustling with even more activity. In honor of one of my favorite carols, here are my “12 Days of Cleveland” Picks.

Holiday shopping events make it easier to take the pledge to shop local

Day 1. Shop Local Showcase: On Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, get your holiday shopping done early with Room Service’s Made in the 216 Holiday Shoppe (today-12/31), Bazaar Bizarre Cleveland’s eastside show (today and Saturday) and Downtown Cleveland’s Winterfest (Saturday).

And if you’re a procrastinator like me, Yelp Cleveland’s Shop Local Pledge has a full list of shopping events throughout December like Bazaar Bizarre’s huge westside show (12/8-12/9) and Screw Factory’s Last Minute Market (12/15).

Day 2. Circle in the City: One of the things on my Cleveland to-see list is the inside of the Cleveland Trust Rotunda.  Every time I walk by it, I stare longingly wanting to get a glimpse of the murals and stunning stained-glass dome I’ve only seen in pictures. Thanks to the Downtown Cleveland Alliance and University Circle, my holiday wish has been granted with Circle in the City!

Every Wednesday between now and Dec. 12, the Ameritrust Rotunda will open from 11:30am-1pm for free cultural events sponsored by University Circle institutions. A food truck or two will be outside where you can grab lunch.

On my day off this past Wednesday, I stopped in for the first Circle in the City: a performance by Robert Cassidy, Department of Music faculty member and pianist for the Almeda Trio, The Music Settlement’s professional ensemble in residence. It was a harmonious complement to the Rotunda’s artwork and architecture whose beauty surpassed the photographs.

Circle in the City offers up beautiful sounds for the holiday as well as a rare opportunity to see the inside of the Cleveland Trust Rotunda

Day 3. Tinsel Town: If you have children, gather your family together to celebrate the holidays at PlayhouseSquare’s Tinsel Town Party (12/1). From 12-2 pm, the beautifully decorated Palace Theatre lobby will host holiday crafts, cookie decorating and of course Santa! Snacks and hot chocolate with whipped cream and sprinkles will also be available. All proceeds benefit community engagement and education programs at PlayhouseSquare (Family Four Pack: $40; Adult: $8; Child: $14; half-price discounts for Pals Members).

Day 4. Holiday CircleFest: Ring in December at the Holiday CircleFest (12/2). From 1-5:30pm, spend your day in University Circle experiencing more than a dozen of Cleveland’s cultural treasures free of charge. Meanwhile, enjoy live music, craft making, historic displays of holiday toys, storytelling, a singing Santa, live reindeer, the city’s best gingerbread house competition, and more.

Wade Oval will also be busy with free horse-drawn carriage rides, ice carving demos, and ice-skating at the Oval’s Rink. At 5:30, the celebration concludes with The Cleveland Museum of Art’s Winter Lights Lantern Procession.

A Cleveland holiday tradition returns to PlayhouseSquare with Cleveland Orchestra and Joffrey Ballet’s Nutcracker (11/29-12/2)

Day 5. The Nutcracker on Stage and Screen: The incomparable pairing of the Joffrey Ballet and the Cleveland Orchestra returns to PlayhouseSquare with their annual run of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker (11/29-12/2). Audiences will delight in the breathtaking costumes, magical music and spectacular dancing.

Although nothing compares to a live performance, if you can’t make it to the Cleveland production, Fathom Events will present the Russian Imperial Mariinsky Theatre’s The Nutcracker (12/3) at ten local movie theatres. Performances are at 2 and 7:30pm. Find your closest location here.

Day 6. Warehouse District Holiday Tour: Each December, hundreds of people descend onto Warehouse District for their annual Neighborhood Holiday Tour. Now in its 13th year, the popular tour (12/5) features a behind the scenes look at the Warehouse District’s beautiful residential and office buildings as well as a feast from the neighborhood’s restaurants.

This year’s tour includes stops at the Bridgeview Apartments Atrium, 425 Lakeside, the Bradley Building, the Cloak Factory, Old Stone Church, the offices of Rieth, Antonelli & Raj, plus a construction tour of the Flats East Bank Project.

Guests will then enjoy holiday treats from Barley House, Bar Louie, The Blind Pig, Blue Point Grille, Bob Golic’s Sports Bar & Grille, BRGR 9, Constantino’s Market, Charkha Exotic Indian Cuisine, Gillespie’s Map Room, Johnny’s Downtown, John Q’s Steakhouse and Taza Lebanese Grill. Proceeds from the tour benefit the Historic Warehouse District Development Corporation.

A special Santaland Diaries YP Night on 12/6 features a pre-show reception and tickets to the performance

Day 7. Santaland Diaries: PlayhouseSquare is serving up some not-so-family-friendly holiday fare when David Sedaris’ classic Santaland Diaries comes to the E14th St Theatre (11/28-12/22). Produced by Cleveland Public Theatre, Santaland Diaries recounts the hilarious (and sometimes horrible) stories of an out of work actor who takes a job as Crumpet, the Macy’s Christmas elf.

And on 12/6, join me at a special YP Night at Santaland Diaries. $30 gets you a ticket to the performance and unlimited drinks and light appetizers at a pre-show reception hosted by PlayhouseSquare Partners.

Day 8. Howard Hanna’s Chow Chow: If you’re downtown on 12/7 and  looking for a good deal on lunch, stop by Howard Hanna’s Chow Chow Fundraiser. From 11am-2pm, enjoy food from Blue Point Grill, Brennan’s Catering, John Q’s Steakhouse, Mr. Chicken and Marigold Catering for only $10. Proceeds from the event’s tickets, silent auction, and bake sale will go to the Children’s Free Care Fund which supports local Children’s hospitals including UH Rainbow Babies, Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital, MetroHealth and Akron Children’s Hospital.

Work off those holiday goodies at the Jingle Bell Run (12/8)

Day 9. Jingle Bell Run: Lace up your running shoes, pull on your santa hat or reindeer antlers and help raise money for the Arthritis Foundation with the Cleveland Jingle Bell Run/Walk (12/8). Jingle Bell teams and solo runners are raising money and participating in the 5K which kicks off at 9am in Legacy Village.  Register to run/walk here or make a donation.

Day 10. Christmas Carols Old and New: While one of Northeast Ohio’s favorite holiday traditions returns to the Hanna Theatre with Great Lakes Theater’s A Christmas Carol, the Cleveland Play House is helming a brand new carol at the Allen. Both shows run 11/30-12/23.

Great Lakes’ adaptation of A Christmas Carol takes place in London on Christmas Eve as the Cleaveland family sits down for their annual reading of the story. Children and adults will enjoy a fresh take on Scrooge’s tale as they see it unfold through the imagination of the family’s youngest son.

Down the street at the Allen Theatre, Cleveland Play House presents the world premiere A Carol for Cleveland. Written by local playwright Eric Coble and author Les Roberts, A Carol for Cleveland is a love-letter to the city and the determination and spirit that make it unique. With my love of Les Roberts and after last year’s stunning The Game’s Afoot, you know that A Carol for Cleveland is top of my list for holiday shows.

Have you been naughty or nice this year? Who cares at Emerging Chefs’ Naughty Claus Dinner Party! (12/20)

Day 11. Emerging Chefs’ Naughty Claus: It doesn’t matter if you’ve been naughty or nice this year, Emerging Chefs has a party for every boy and girl (well, man and woman since you should find a babysitter for this holiday dinner).

At Naughty Claus (12/20), Chef Adam Lambert will make the holidays merry, bright and delicious with festive cuisine at Cleveland’s Speakeasy.

From 8pm to midnight, the NY Times-featured prohibition-era-themed lounge will play host to a 5-course meal paired with libations. If you’re not already in a holiday mood, creative courses like Snow Globe Ornaments (with oyster, Douglas fir, juniper and tonic), XXX-Mas Cookies, truffle Snowballs, Who Ham for One and Kosher Khristmas will get you in one. Plus everyone will leave with a bit of “coal” for their stockings. If only for one night, it’ll be good to be bad.

Day 12. Ale, Cookies and Ugly Sweater Party: The Cleveland Foodbank’s YP Pantry hosts its first annual Ale & Cookies party for Cleveland young professionals.  Join them at Bier Markt-Bar Cento on Dec. 17, 6-9pm for some Christmas Ale and holiday cookies while helping the hungry. 15% of the group’s bar bills will go directly to the Cleveland Foodbank and donations of canned goods are always welcome. Best ugly holiday sweater wins a prize!

This list is only the tip of the gingerbread house when it comes to holiday fun in Cleveland. Share your picks in the comments below!

Disclosure: In exchange for previewing and reviewing Emerging Chefs’ Naughty Claus, I was offered one ticket to the event. I am also on the board of PlayhouseSquare Partners and the YP Pantry which are hosting Tinsel Town, the Santaland Diaries YP Night and Ale and Cookies.

MIX: Masquerade Celebrates Museum of Art's New Atrium

Earlier in October Cleveland young professionals got a new monthly event to add to their calendars: Cleveland Museum of Art’s MIX First Fridays.

And after their first party showcased the Half the air balloon exhibit, November’s MIX turns its attention to the opening of the Museum’s stunning new atrium.

The Ames Family Atrium, along with the new Museum Store and Chef Doug Katz’s Provenance Restaurant and Café, are the latest additions to the Cleveland Museum of Art’s building expansion.

Museum guests have gotten a sneak peek at the space since it partially opened to the public in August. And this Sunday, Oct. 28 the whopping 39,000-square-foot piazza officially opens!

It’ll be the largest free public space in Northeast Ohio, bridging the original 1916 and 1971 buildings and new east and west wings with a beautiful curved glass roof.

Over 40 groups will come together on Sunday from 11am to 4pm to showcase Cleveland’s different cultures and celebrate with a day of music, dancing, art-making and other family-friendly activities.

And on Friday, Nov. 2 the Atrium will host its first public evening event at
MIX: Masquerade.

Now, in my opinion, that photo of the Atrium is reason enough to get tickets, but MIX: Masquerade has a few more tricks up its sleeve in case you need convincing.

For those who don’t get their fill of Halloween festivities earlier in the week, the Nov. 2 party will feature mysteries and ghost stories throughout the galleries from 5-7pm.

Then at 7pm, slip on a mask if you’re so inclined to get into the Masquerade spirit, as 2 DJs and an orchestra take over the Atrium.

There’s so much going on, the Museum is extending its hours until 11pm that night.

Tickets are $7 for members, $14 for non-members (yet another reason to join). Call 216.421.7350 or visit clevelandart.org/mix for tickets. Reservations are strongly suggested.

Sip a cocktail, explore the collection, dance the night away and enjoy the view!

Disclosure: I was invited to blog about MIX in exchange for attending. As always though, the choice of which events I share is my own.

A Trio of Cleveland Art Events MIXing It Up

The CMA exhibit ”Half the air…” is one way Cleveland’s art institutions are mixing it up right now (Credit: David A. Brichford)

A bit of blogkeeping: You have until 11:59pm on Thursday, 10/4 to enter my giveaway for two tickets to the CCFA Movie Gala at the Capitol Theatre. Also, check out WhyCLE’s giveaway for a second chance to win. Good luck!

When you think of classical or traditional art, it can be easy to think stuffy and boring. Wrong! Many of Cleveland’s traditional arts institutions are mixing it up with new events designed for younger audiences (or young in spirit).

Here’s a trio of upcoming events, in particular, that I’m looking forward to enlivening my week with:

CMA’s first MIX – this Friday, Oct. 5

MIX at Cleveland Museum of Art

Starting this Friday, Oct. 5, the Cleveland Museum of Art is unveiling a new monthly series for the first Friday of each month.  Like last year’s Buyers’ Remorse party, the MIX First Friday Happy Hours will feature after-work drinks, live music, and a look at a different part of the Cleveland Museum of Art’s collection from 5-9pm.

The first MIX celebrates the re-introduction of CMA’s contemporary art galleries. Toast the end of the work week with a cocktail, music and more (a little bird tweeted me that @ClevelandPoet may be reading some poetry during it).

Plus, meet the artists from the DIY: Photographers & Books exhibit and the museum’s new acquisition Martin Creed’s Half the air in a given space.  

I’ve been excited by Half the air‘s concept since reading about it earlier last month. At the museum now through November 25, Creed’s work is comprised of thousands of purple balloons filling the East Wing’s glass box gallery. You can walk through the space and let your inner kid out as you interact with the balloons in this breathtaking glass bubble.

If you can’t make it this week, save the date for next month’s MIX on November 2 – more details to follow but what I’ve heard so far sounds very cool.

Each MIX event is free or discounted for members and only $12 for non-members. Reservations are recommended at ClevelandArt.org/MIX

After-party at Cleveland Orchestra’s Fridays@7

Cleveland Orchestra’s Fridays@7

The Cleveland Orchestra’s Fridays@7 series is also back with its first performance of the 2012-2013 season this Friday, Oct. 5. I attended my first Fridays@7 concert a couple years ago and it ranks high on my list of favorite events at the Cleveland Orchestra.

Since 2009, the Fridays@7 series has turned the Orchestra’s traditional concert hall experience on its head. Each performance includes a one-hour Cleveland Orchestra concert, followed by world music parties in the lobby of Severance Hall.

It always ends up being an electric evening of music – ideal for first-timers to the Orchestra or frequent guests who want to spice up their concert experience.

This Friday’s concert starts at 7pm – so you could make it a night of art by visiting the Museum at 5, and following it up with the Orchestra after.

The concert will feature a variety of sounds such as a poetic ballet piece by Ravel and some of Mendelssohn’s best-loved orchestral melodies juxtaposed with the Cleveland premiere of a work by Stewart Copeland (drummer and founder of The Police) and a large procession of world percussion.

You can purchase tickets for this Friday’s concert here. A subscription for the full series (December 7, January 18, and May 24) is also available.

Ballet in Cleveland wants to bring this classical art form back to the city – you can help on 10/11

Ballet in Cleveland @ Alex Bistro

While Ballet in Cleveland is an organization fairly new to the Cleveland arts scene, its focus is on returning classical ballet to the city. Founded by Jessica Wallis, a local dancer and teacher of dance, Ballet in Cleveland organizes performances and ballet-centered programming to introduce new audiences to the art.

Their next event is Oct. 11 at Alex Bistro in PlayhouseSquare from 5:30 to 8:30pm. The evening will feature free food, a delicious ballet-themed dessert and a cash bar with bartender Danny Murray creating ballet-inspired cocktails.  A pair of specially designed decorator pointe shoes and other prizes will be raffled off that evening to raise money for Ballet in Cleveland’s mission.

Guests at the event will also get to see the Cleveland premiere of Ballet in Cleveland’s new video “Mah City,” presented by Wallis and featuring choreographer Maria Puglisi and the University of Akron’s Terpsichore Dance Club. Members of  the dance company will be on hand for a meet and greet at the premiere.

You can learn more about Ballet in Cleveland in this recent article on Cool Cleveland and keep up-to-date at facebook.com/BalletInCleveland.

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Just because it’s traditional or classical doesn’t mean art needs to be boring, and this trio of organizations proves it through a range of fun programming designed to inspire. How do you like to “MIX it up”?