Category Archives: Baseball

#SummerinCLE: A Trip to Tribetown for Fireworks and Dollar Dogs

#SummerinCLE: Dollar Dogs, Fireworks and a Cleveland Indians Win - couldn't ask for anything more!

#summerinCLE: Dollar Dogs, Fireworks and an Indians Win – couldn’t ask for anything more!

UPDATE: This contest ends on Sept. 2, not August 2 as had been originally noted. After confirming conflicting information on the Contest Instructions and Rules and Regulations pages with Positively Cleveland, the date has been corrected below.

An Indians win, dollar dogs and fireworks. In my books, that’s a perfect #summerinCLE night!

Friday night, Scott and I walked down to Progressive to watch the Indians take on the Texas Rangers.

Texas Rangers take on the Cleveland Indians

Texas Rangers take on the Cleveland Indians

Scott and I had seats in the relocated Social Suite where we enjoyed an amazing view over the first base line.  It was an exciting back and forth matchup with Raburn pulling out a 3-run homer in the 11th inning to win the game.

It may have been a long night, but I wasn’t complaining while I chowed down on a few dollar dogs, a bottle of Indigo Imp and funnel cake for dessert. I’m glad we stuck around for the spectacular Jimi Hendrix-themed fireworks afterwards – the Indians put on my favorite fireworks show in Cleveland.

My contribution to the Dollar Dogs total

My contribution to the Dollar Dogs total

We had such a nice time that I couldn’t think of anything more perfect for my #SummerinCLE Tackk.

Positively Cleveland has teamed with local startup Tackk to celebrate all that is great about Cleveland in the summer. And this week, they’re giving away some great prizes in exchange for you sharing your summer favorites.

Seventh Inning Stretch

Seventh Inning Stretch

All you have to do is snap a photo and create a Summer in Cleveland tackk page that will then be shared with potential visitors to the city.

In return for the “tackk,” you’ll be entered to win the prize of the week as well as the grand prize at the end of the campaign (September 2). Each post earns you an additional entry with up to 3 entries per week.

The grand prize includes four tickets to the Cleveland Browns home-opener, a one-night stay at the Holiday Inn Express Downtown Cleveland for Saturday, September 7, four tickets to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, dinner at a downtown restaurant and attire from CLE Clothing Company.

You can learn more at http://tackk.com/44znu7 and check out my Tackk at http://tackk.com/4lpknp. But hurry – the contest ends this Friday!

Disclosure: I received two tickets as part of the Cleveland Indians Social Suite program. Anyone can apply to attend a game at the Social Suite at http://cleveland.indians.mlb.com/cle/fan_forum/social_suite.jsp.

Our Lady of the Wayside’s Grapes and Ale: BBQ, Brews and Blues

Our Lady of the Wayside's Grapes and Ale

BBQ, brews and blues at the ballpark – besides being a fun tongue-twister, it’s my favorite way to chill out in the summer.

And on June 28, this triple-play of summer fun comes to downtown Cleveland at Our Lady of the Wayside’s Grapes and Ale fundraiser.

From 7-10pm, Progressive Field will be taken over by some of the area’s best BBQ restaurants and beer and wine providers.

Continue reading

7th Annual Continental Cup Comes to Cleveland This Week

Although we have to wait a few more weeks for Olympics fever to hit its peak, Cleveland is hosting its own international sports competition this week.

The Continental Cup International Youth Sports Festival kicks off this Thursday, July 5th and continues through the weekend with a showcase of global athletic competition and cultural exchange.

Now in its 7th year, the Continental Cup is presented by the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission and Cleveland Clinic Sports Health with a mission of creating a large, vibrant, annual civic event in Cleveland that celebrates internationalism, youth diversity and sportsmanship.

And they’ve done a great job so far towards achieving this goal — in 2010 and 2011, the National Association of Sports Commissions honored the Continental Cup as its Outstanding Locally Created Event. At this year’s event, the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission expects 3500 athletes from 13 different countries to participate in the games.

With the international teams growing by almost 20% this year, athletes from Aruba, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Curacao, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Sri Lanka, Australia, Philippines, Guam, Kenya, Rwanda and Nigeria are slated to attend, including some of the most elite teams in their sport like Colombia’s Club America de Cali soccer team.

The Continental Cup starts things off with its first day of competition and Opening Ceremonies on Thursday.  From 6:30-9pm at Cleveland Browns Stadium, players, their families and the Cleveland public are invited to a free party with a parade of nations, live entertainment, food, soccer freestylers, games and inflatables. And in case you don’t get your fill on the Fourth of July, the evening culminates with a fireworks show.

These Opening Ceremonies celebrate 4 days of competitions in soccer, baseball and basketball, as well as a variety of activities for athletes like college seminars at Baldwin Wallace University and outings to Friday’s Indians game.  The AC Milan, Cleveland Indians Charities and Cleveland Cavaliers Continental Cups will give athletes a unique chance to not only compete against some of the top teams from across the U.S. and world, but also experience other cultures and explore a bit of Cleveland.

To travel to London for the 2012 Olympics, you’d have to pay a King’s ransom. Fortunately this weekend you can enjoy a tournament that similarly celebrates cultural diversity – for free – by just hopping in your car.

A schedule and full details for all Continental Cup events can be found here.  And to stay up-to-date throughout the weekend, follow @ContinentalCup and the #ContinentalCup2012 hashtag on Twitter or the Continental Cup Facebook page.

Note: Photos of last year’s Continental Cup are courtesy of Greater Cleveland Sports Commission.

All I Want for Cleve-Mas, Part 4: Fighting Cabin Fever

Have you entered the Clue Into Cleveland giveaway for a Dolce Gusto Piccolo coffee machine? Only a few days left to enter here!

From ice skating in University Circle, to the Zoo, Metroparks and Progressive Field, there are plenty of ways to get outside and fight cabin fever this holiday season.

Cleveland winters get a bum rap. Although I know I’ll complain about it when we’re in the throws of February dealing with endless snow, during this time of year I’m not quite ready to hunker down indoors.

In fact, with my holiday shopping and errands nearly done, it’s time to enjoy the season, throw on my coat and head outside in the brisk December winds for some of these festivities:

The Frozen Diamond FaceOff is just one of the new features at this year's Indians Snow Days.

Cleveland Indians Snow Days

Cleveland Indians Snow Days was one of my favorite parts about last year’s winter (here’s last year’s recap). So as soon as tickets went on sale for this year’s return of Snow Days to Progressive Field, I bought mine.

I think it’s a perfect example of Cleveland’s ingenuity — transforming Progressive Field, which would sit mostly empty during the off-season, into a unique and fun wonderland.

Back again this year are The Batterhorn Snow Tubing hill (loved launching down the slick hills last year!) and the Frozen Mile ice skating track (the first non-symmetrical ice skating path in the U.S.).

The Cleveland Indians also added The Frozen Diamond, a regulation-sized ice skating rink covering home plate and stretching down the first base line. On January 15, The Frozen Diamond will host Ohio’s first-ever outdoor college hockey match when Ohio State and the University of Michigan play each other in The Frozen Diamond FaceOff.

I grew up watching the Philadelphia Flyers and hearing stories of the legendary Broad Street Bullies, so hockey’s been in my blood since I was a kid. I’ve never been to an outdoor game, so I bought the Snow Days Bundle Package, which gets you tickets to the January 15 game and a good-any-day combo pass for snow tubing and ice skating fun between now and the end of Snow Days on Jan. 16.

Thrillseekers can shoot down the Cleveland Metroparks' Tobogganing Chutes throughout the winter.

Take a Hike in the Cleveland Metroparks

Cleveland’s “Emerald Necklace” glimmers even more brightly this time of year with plenty of winter recreation opportunities.

Top of my list to try this season is tobogganing at the Chalet in Strongsville’s Mill Stream Run Reservation. If I thought snow tubing down the Indians’ Batterhorn was fast, I don’t know what to expect from the Chalet’s 1,000-foot ice chutes. And when the thrills get too much, I can head indoors and enjoy the warmth of their fireplaces.

For those who like to get some exercise while enjoying the great outdoors, the Cleveland Metroparks are also hosting a series of Holiday Hikes. The next two will explore CanalWay Center on Dec. 22 and Bacci Park on Dec. 29, both in the Ohio & Erie Canal Reservation starting at 1pm.

Other upcoming hikes include this Saturday’s Candlelit Hike and Caroling through South Chagrin’s Look About Lodge, as well as this Sunday’s Winter Blues Hike with Naturalist Kelly McGinnis along Deer Lick Cave Trail.

The Cleveland Metroparks Calendar of Events lists the dates and locations for all of their programs.  And before you take a hike, check out these two Metroparks articles to learn a bit about winter birdwatching and the animals living under winter’s blanket.

During December Days, the Cleveland Zoo is offering discounted admission and plenty of holiday activities.

Cleveland Zoo December Days

I love visting the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, and after October I love it even more because I can save $3 when I want to visit my favorite exhibit: the tigers, bears and wolves in the Northern Trek.

Starting this coming Monday, Dec. 19 and running until Dec. 30, the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is hosting December Days at the Zoo. Admission is discounted even further to $7 for adults, $4 for children 2-11.

In addition to all of the exhibits, the Zoo is hosting a number of festive activities during December Days. From cookie decorating and holiday crafts in the Welcome Plaza’s Exhibit Hall to live music and visits from Santa and Mrs. Claus, it’s another low-cost way to spend the holidays with your family, especially if you have children.

Wade Oval lights up with lanterns from the Cleveland Museum of Art and festive trees and gingerbread houses at the Cleveland Botanical Garden.

Find Yourself (and the Holidays) in University Circle

My final favorite winter spot is the eastside’s University Circle. From more ice skating to winter lights and holiday treats, there are plenty of things to enjoy in the museum neighborhood.

The Cleveland Botanical Garden WinterShow boasts gingerbread houses made by professionals, amateurs and local families. Other festival highlights include the beautiful WinterShow Tree, holiday plants, trees decorated in the themes of children’s tales and fables, and Christmas cacti. It runs through Dec. 31st.

After the Botanical Garden, head over to the Cleveland Museum of Art for their Winter Lights Lantern Displays. Even though I missed the Procession of Lights during Holiday CircleFest, the Environment of Lights installation in Wade Oval is on view through this Sunday, Dec. 18.  The 5 indoor lantern displays will continue inside of the Museum of Art until January 16.

And for those who haven’t gotten their fill of ice skating at Progressive Field or in the Metroparks, there’s always the Rink at Wade Oval Circle. It’s free if you bring your own skates, $3 for skate rentals.

***

As the season wraps up, I have to remind myself to relax and go out and enjoy these seasonal festivities. I hope you also find some free time this holiday – whether it’s enjoying the outdoors at one of these events or inside with a warming hot chocolate or glass of wine.

Check out Parts 1-3 of All I Want for Cleve-Mas 2011:

Pictures from universitycircle.org, cleveland.indians.mlb.com, clemetzoo.com, clemetparks.com and clevelandart.org.

Guest Post: HungryinCLE's Hunger Fulfilled – Summer 2011

Despite Mother Nature thwarting our attempts with an earthquake and hurricane, Scott and I had a great vacation! However, now that I’m home in Cleveland, I’ve got to agree with today’s guest blogger HungryinCLE that I definitely have a case of Fall Fever. Read on for how she’s fulfilled her hunger this Summer with festivals, sports and food!  And if you’re looking to attend a great Cleveland foodie event in September, today’s your last day to enter the Taste of the Browns Giveaway! I’ll be announcing the winner tomorrow morning.

***

The long, hot, humid days of summer in Cleveland are starting to wind down and I will be first to admit it, I have Fall Fever.  From going to Browns preseason games (yep Vic and I are season ticket holders this year) and constantly talking about all things pumpkin, I am ready for the days of cooler temps and the brisk autumn breeze.  I am ready to tackle my first marathon along the Towpath surrounded by the leaves starting to change into vibrant shades of red and orange.   However, summer 2011 in Cleveland is far from forgettable.  From Tribe baseball to food festivals in my favorite Cleveland neighborhoods, here is how I satisfied my hunger in Cleveland over the past few months.

(Me, CLEgal, and Beth last season)

It’s no secret, I am a die hard Tribe fan.  This summer has given me flashbacks to the late 1990’s minus the awkwardness of middle school.  Seeing The Jake sell out a few times and less and less empty seats and the Indians continued to roll on to victory could not make me happier.  I have attended my fair share of games from Opening Day, to comeback victories, to hanging out in the Social Suite, and numerous fireworks nights, my beloved Cleveland Indians have left me Hungry for October Baseball!

(Gina, Me, John Adams before a comeback win against Detroit!)

(Social Suite for the Tribe/Rockies game in June)

One of my favorite parts of summer is any excuse to eat and drink outside.  Two of my favorite neighborhoods hold annual events allowing me to fulfill my hunger for enjoying the great outdoors.  The Taste of Tremont held in July and The Feast of the Assumption in Little Italy in August top my list as my favorite summer festivals.  Both allow you to taste offerings from plethora of restaurants in the neighborhood.  It is the perfect excuse to try something different while also enjoying old favorites.  The patios at all of the bars and restaurants are also a great place to grab some friends and enjoy a beer or glass of wine (or three).  Do not let the heat or rain stop you from checking out these delicious annual events.  Side note: remember to bring cash.

(Bacon guac from Bac; Sweet potato tots from Dim and Den Sum)

(Pierogi from Sokolowski’s; Frog Legs from Maxi’s; Cannoli from Presti’s)

Finally, Honey Hut Ice Cream fulfills not only my hunger for ice cream, but also my hunger for nostalgia.  It takes me back to getting in the car and taking the long trip down 480 with my grandparents when I was a little girl to get orange blossom after a softball game or on a Sunday afternoon.  It reminds me of eating those huge ice cream bars with my grandpa while watching baseball on TV and constantly asking him “What’s the score?”  “What inning is it?” and “Who’s pitching?”.  Now, it comforts me after a bad race or rewards me after a long training run.  Despite some very very tough competition, it is still my favorite ice cream.  I already know my post marathon reward will be a big scoop of Honey Hut pumpkin pie.

Until next time…follow your heart, fulfill your hunger!

About the Guest Blogger

As a native Clevelander, Hungry in CLE has grown to appreciate all of the wonderful aspects of our city from our diverse population, to our sports teams, to the numerous opportunities for settling down and starting her own life. However, over the past five years, Cleveland has emerged as a culinary hot-spot. She started her blog in September 2010 to reflect the greatness and limitless options of the Cleveland food scene. Hungry in Cleveland highlights Cleveland through food. Cleveland is a very diverse city and the dining scene reflects just that. She also takes time to highlight her family roots through traditional foods she learned to cook from her grandmother. Follow her on Twitter @HungryinCLE.

Guest Post: WhyCLE Clues Into Dog-Friendly Places

Guest blogger WhyCLE's CLEpups

Happy Friday! What are you doing this weekend? If you have a dog like WhyCLE, check out these CLEpup-approved places and events. As WhyCLE shares in today’s guest post, these dog-friendly hotspots are fun for both you and man’s best friend! Of course, if you do own a dog, you may need to find a sitter if you win the pair of tickets up for grabs in the Taste of the Browns giveaway. You still have a couple days left to enter – the giveaway closes on Aug. 29 at 11:59pm.

***

Much thanks to Amanda for letting me guest blog for her while she’s enjoying some relaxing family time! Amanda is one of my favorite “blends” (blogger + friend = blend). I love her energy and enthusiasm for bringing to light the unique and wonderful things about CLE and I’m sure you all do too!

CLE is a great town, not just for us, but for our fuzzy friends! My fiancé and I have two dogs (referred to on my blog as CLEpups) and we are so happy with the amount of dog-friendly places and events that CLE has to offer. After all, it’s not just us who want to get out and enjoy this special town!

Lakewood DogPark offers a fenced-in area in the Metroparks for you and your pups to play. Lakewood Dog Park was recently the subject of a campaign from residents to shut the park down due to complaints about noise from barking. However, a group of dedicated park lovers kept the park open and construction is under way to make it even bigger and better.

Fairport Harbor Beach is part of the Lake County Metroparks system and boasts a dog-friendly stretch of beach along the shores ofLake Erie. Pups can run, play, chase tennis balls in the lake, and more. This is a favorite spot for the CLEpups during the Dog Days of summer.

Clark Fields in Tremont also has a dog park, so your pup can get his play on while you get your intramural sports on! This is an off-leash park which has a very cool pup-height water fountain!

For more information on dog parks near you, check out this link: www.clevelanddogparks.com/index.html

After an exciting day in one of Cleveland's dog parks, this CLEpup needs to take a rest

From running in parks to chilling at a local bar, there are bars and restaurants that are dog-friendly in CLE.

Tuesdays have gone to the dogs at Tremont Tap House. Every Tuesday through October, the bar hosts a Yappy Hour on their patio, with treats for your pup and delicious food and drinks for you. Each Yappy Hour benefits a local animal-centered charity.

Great Lakes Brewing Company welcomes your furry friend on their patio and provides water and treats. Keep the delicious craft beer for yourself!

Just across the street from GLBC, Garage Bar will even allow your pup inside, so long as they’re friendly to other pups and patrons.

If wine is more your style, Wine Bar Rocky River’s patio, which is one of my favorite patios anyway, will allow your sophisticated pooch to mellow out with you.

This is just a small sampling of dog-friendly patios where you can enjoy some of the great food and drink of CLE with man’s best friend.

Indians fans can take their favorite canine to the annual Puppypalooza. This year's took place on Aug. 23.

There are also dog-centered events for you and your pup to enjoy.

Every year, the Cleveland MetroParks Polo Field is home to Canine Fun Days. 2011 marked the 18th year of this festival, which benefits Greyhound Adoption of Ohio. There are races and various fetching and activity competitions, plus more fun for humans and dogs alike.

The Cleveland Indians host an annual Puppypalooza game. This year’s Puppypalooza was Tuesday, August 23 where the Indians took on the Seattle Mariners. The Indians scheduled a puppy parade on the field before the game and lots of doggie friendly activities. And don’t worry…no fireworks! Tickets included a donation to the Cleveland APL.

On September 11, the Holden Arboretum will host Woofstock from 9am-3pm. There will be a one-mile fun walk, a pet agility course, live music, contests, shopping and more. Proceeds benefit the Geauga County Humane Society.

Your pup should enjoy exploring CLE just as much as you do and given all these great places and events, there are no shortage of places to start.

About the Guest Blogger

WhyCLE is a CLEgal, born and raised.  Although she’s lived other places, she always comes back home – by choice, not by chance.  The people she knows who make a life here genuinely love it, but often hear the same question, “Why Cleveland?”  The worst part is when it’s people who actually live in Cleveland asking this question. She gets convincing outsiders and is on board with the need to sell them on our scrappy (not crappy) town.  But when Clevelanders themselves ask, “Why Cleveland?”  Well, that’s a problem…  Follow CLEgal on her blog and @WhyCLE as she answers that question for visitors and Clevelanders alike.

The Indians Social Suite: New Cleveland Memories

Cleveland.com and the Plain Dealer recently started a blog called Cleveland Remembers – where anyone in the community can submit their memories of Cleveland people, places and events.  It’s a fascinating glimpse into the city from before my time.

It has also made me think about my own experiences in Cleveland since moving here a few years ago, and how I’ll look back in a decade or two and reminisce about these moments. I know for sure that my Saturday night at the Indians game will be high up on my list of favorite Cleveland memories. 

Inside the suite before the game. Loved the free wifi access.

I was invited to Saturday’s game as part of their new Cleveland Indians Social Suite.  Presented by Time Warner Cable, the Indians Social Suite was unveiled this year and offers a unique experience for social media users. 

Attendees get stunning views of the on-field action and the ability to network in the private, Wi-Fi enabled suite.  The best part is that this first-of-its-kind Major League experience is open for anyone to apply to.  

The Social Suite's view along 3rd base gave an excellent angle of the team as they celebrated their 13th inning win over the Tigers.

Before this weekend, I’d never seen a game from a suite and, as I tweeted my reaction when I got there, it was an overwhelmed “Wow.”  The couches and tv made the inside of the suite a comfortable setting for hanging out prior to the game, and the view from the suite’s balcony along the 3rd baseline was remarkable. 

While the suite was definitely a part of Saturday’s winning experience, it wasn’t the only reason the evening bowled me over. Keeping in line with their performance so far this season, the Tribe put on an incredibly exciting game (read the recap here).  I’ve never been so worked up, but I’m pretty sure that’s what 13 innings and a walk-off with a loaded-bases finish will do to you.

The Indians' fireworks show - set to music of the 70s - was a breathtaking end to our evening.

However, regardless of who you were cheering for during the game, Indians and Tigers fans alike went home happy after enjoying the Cleveland Indians’ renowned post-game fireworks. Each Fireworks Night usually has its own theme and Saturday night’s was the music of the 70s. I’ve never seen the Indians’ fireworks before and could not have asked for a better experience for my first time.

Because we couldn’t watch the fireworks from the suite, we were moved to the Visitors Dug Out, which offered a breathtaking view of the show. In addition to sitting directly across from where the fireworks erupt from, it was amazing to walk along the field and hang out in the dug out. And as they were cleaning up the area, I got my very own souvenir – a ball from the game – something I had always wanted, but never gotten at games I attended as a child. (The fireworks dug out seats are available to any ticketholders who upgrade for $40.)

I’m typically a cynical sports fan (my mantra is to take things one game at a time even when we had a month like the Indians’ April). However, if my giddiness by the end of the night was any indication, the Indians turned this pessimist into a Believer. It was hands down my most memorable sporting experience and will be difficult to top.

The kid in me was giddy at not just getting to sit in the dug out, but also to get a ball from the game.

The Social Suite experience is part of a 2011 program by the Indians to engage with fans via social media. In addition to the suite, fans have the ability to follow many different Indians Twitter users, including the club’s President, Manager and General Manager – giving unprecedented access to the team. Those who follow the team on Twitter and Facebook can also take advantage of social media discount offers and ingame seat upgrades.

This one-of-its-kind social media strategy has garnered the Indians a lot of attention, including being named one of “MLB’s most Twitter-friendly teams” by ESPN the Magazine.

Saturday night was a Tribe Memory this Clevelander will never forget.

However, the strategy works not just because it’s unique, but because the team at Progressive understands the social aspect of social media. Every time we’ve been to the stadium – whether it was for a game or this winter’s Indians Snow Day, each person we’ve interacted with has been personable, helpful and engaging. Saturday was no different – from @tribetalk‘s Robert Campbell to our suite’s attendant, the people were an integral part of the night. 

I’m looking forward to more games this season like Dollar Dogs Nights and Fill the House for Charity – each one a new Cleveland memory to treasure.

Cleveland Indians Social Suite 411:

 

*** Disclosure: After applying for the Cleveland Indians Social Suite, I was invited to use two free tickets at Saturday’s game.  However, the opinions about my experience in this post are 100% my own. ***

Cleveland Indians Snow Days – Making Winter Fun Again

 

The Cleveland Indians Snowflake - as well as Ketchup, Mustard and Onion - greeted fans at Snow Days, which runs until Jan. 2 at Progressive Field.

Clevelanders have to find some sort of enjoyment out of our winters — even if it’s somewhat begrudgingly — because our 5+ months of cold weather are fairly long and snowy.  Be it sledding, snow ball fights, or just warming yourself by a fire, there are plenty of nice things the snow brings to balance out the bad.  And, with the first annual Cleveland Indians Snow Days (which runs until Jan. 2), the Tribe is embracing all of that while finding a unique and resourceful way to use the stadium during the off-season.

Usually if you hear snow and baseball in the same sentence, it’s because a game got postponed or moved. However, with Snow Days, the Indians have intentionally transformed Progressive Field into a winter wonderland filled with snow tubing, ice skating and a winter-themed playground.  Snopening Day was this past Friday, complete with fireworks and festivities (castmembers from A Christmas Story were in attendance as part of the weekend’s Christmas Story convention). Scott and I got our first taste of Snow Days when we went on Sunday night to close out the holiday weekend.

 

Local media and businesses, such as NBC Channel 3, decorated the themed Christmas trees in the Winter Haven walking path.

Indians Snow Days is a first-of-its-kind event.  Although baseball teams have repurposed their stadiums during the offseason for hockey and the like, this is the first time a professional team’s home has been transformed in such a way.  There are three main areas for play: the Winter Haven and Slider’s Snow Zone; the Batterhorn Snow Tubing lanes; and the Frozen Mile ice skating track.  All three areas are located on the baseball field and getting to hang out right where the Indians play is a treat in itself.

The Winter Haven and Slider’s Snow Zone featured a kids’ play area and walking trail complete with snow ball fights, corn maze and Christmas tree display. Of course, some of the adults got in on the snow ball flinging action (myself and Scott included).  To produce enough snow the park is currently being pumped with the mix you find at a ski resort — which was more than fine for a November opening weekend; however, I’m definitely looking forward to going back after we’ve had a couple snowstorms in Downtown Cleveland.

 

ZAMBONI! The Zamboni machine cleans up the ice on the Frozen Mile.

The Frozen Mile is a quarter-mile ice track that circles the field and at one point runs beneath the snow tubing hill. It’s actually unique to the United States and only the second of its kind in North America.  Tickets for ice skating include skate rentals — which weren’t just any cheap pair of skates.  These were brand-new, quality pieces of equipment.  There was also a Rookie Rink for those like Scott and I who haven’t really ice skated before.  We tried our hand at skating on the Rookie Rink before slowly pulling ourselves around the Frozen Mile (thank god for the safety bars lining the track!).  I was horrible at ice skating but loved being able to skate out to center field and through the Christmas-light-covered tunnel beneath the snow tubing hill.   My favorite part, though, was the fact that I didn’t fall at all while skating — in fact, my only tumble of the day was sadly in Slider’s Snow Zone when I slipped down a hill of ice and took a not-so-graceful fall in front of a small crowd of laughing kids.

While I’ll leave the ice skating to those who know how to do it, it was the Batterhorn snow tubing hill that was the highlight of my evening. Snow tubing tickets include 2 hours of access to the series of lanes extending from the left-field bleachers onto the outfield at Progressive Field. The hill is 60 feet long and catapults you down a thrilling, slick, and bumpy ride to the bottom (there’s a children’s hill as well).  Some lanes were faster than others — I was warned to hold on especially tight when I ventured into lane 2. Hold on tight, indeed. The drop at the end momentarily launched me into the air.  I loved every moment of it.

 

Tubers slide down the Batterhorn. The big screen behind it is on a 30 second delay so you can watch your instant reply after you're done.

If you’re there for a while, you’ll want to take a break from the cold.  The Tribe have set up a couple warm retreats with a fire pit on the Home Run Porch above left field as well as the Indians home dugout, which will be fitted with heaters.   They have a menu of park food, snacks and drinks so you can grab a bag of peanuts and Cracker Jack or a hot dog and cup of chili.

All of this comes at a reasonable price.  To experience all of Indians Snow Days — two hours on Batterhorn and unlimited admission to the Snow Zone and Frozen Mile — it costs only $25. If you’re bringing a family of 4 (2 adults, 2 kids), they offer a $100 family ticket that includes full access and a $10 food/drink credit. However, there’s flexibility in their ticket pricing, as they also offer General Admission Only tickets (Slider’s Snow Zone/Access to food areas) for just $5, General Admission and Unlimited Frozen Mile for $10, or General Admission and 2 Hours on Batterhorn for $20. No matter what level of ticket you buy, it really is a fantastic value.

$5 gets you unlimited admission to the Slider's Snow Zone and Winter Haven areas complete with snow ball field and maze in Center Field. Ice skating and Batterhorn admission can be added on for an additional cost.

I’d say all of this is enough to make any snow-loving Clevelander or tourist happy.  But, to top it all off, the staff at Progressive Field were extremely friendly and helpful.  Their amazing customer service was the biggest factor in making it a successful experience. Specifically, I’d like to thank every single person who helped me out during my lost ticket debacle:

When Scott and I entered the park, we didn’t grab one of the ties to attach the sticker ticket to our coat zippers. Learn from my mistake — be sure to not just ‘stick’ the ticket on your coat. Somewhere between my first trip down Batterhorn and getting in line for my second trip, my ticket unstuck itself from the front of my coat and I lost it.  Fearing the rest of my night was ruined now that I didn’t have my snowtubing/ice skating combo pass, I was pretty downtrodden.

Fortunately, Scott tracked down a member of the Batterhorn staff who tracked down a manager.  They not only radioed up to the person manning the line so that I could temporarily keep snow tubing without a ticket, they also printed a new ticket, got us a pair of the zipper ties (so that I wouldn’t lose it a second time), and tracked me down to give them to me.  I didn’t even lose any time enjoying tubing.  It really was customer service that went above and beyond — deserving of a huge Clue Into Cleveland thank you.

 

The Snow Days Frozen Mile ice skating track is unique to the US and only the second of its kind in North America. Part of the track includes a nicely lit tunnel beneath the Batterhorn tubing hill.

Cleveland Indians Snow Days is just another example of what I love about this city — a creative resourcefulness in introducing people to new experiences downtown and beyond. Here we have a unique and innovative concept that was executed perfectly — creating a winter entertainment destination that everyone can enjoy.  And with a family friendly setting, it’s welcoming a new generation of young fans to the Tribe’s home on E 9th St.

Cleveland professional sports have hit their fair share of speed bumps in the past – not always ending up in the news for the best of reasons. However, with Snow Days, the Indians have brought a first-of-its-kind experience to the city that’s deserving of a spotlight on the national stage.

Cleveland Indians Snow Days 411: