Tag Archives: cleveland metroparks

Guest Post: AMA’s Urban Picnic with the Cleveland Metroparks

This week’s guest posts are all about enjoying the outdoors in Cleveland! Today, Jessica from Anchored in CLE recaps the recent Cleveland AMA Urban Picnic with the Cleveland Metroparks.

Hi! I’m Jessica and I’m a recent marketing graduate from Kent State. I recently got to check out my first Cleveland American Marketing Association (AMA) event and now I’m here to tell you all about it.

On August 15th, the Cleveland chapter of AMA hosted an Urban Picnic featuring the Cleveland Metroparks.

Image 1Source

The AMA brought in the Cleveland Metroparks’ Chief Marketing Officer, Sanaa Julien and Director of Communications, Sue Allen to discuss their recent acquisition of over 450 acres of lakefront property including Edgewater Park. The event was hosted at the riverfront Rivergate Cafe in the Flats, and attendees were provided drinks and dinner from the StrEat Mobile Bistro Food Truck. The weather was absolutely gorgeous for an evening spent by the river!

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5 Recommendations for Wintertime Fun in Cleveland

Today is the Ohio Blogging Association‘s All State Blog Swap where bloggers from all around the state are swapping posts.

This guest post is by Danielle from Find Time for Fun. Born and raised in Northeast Ohio, Danielle wanted to share her love of the area with her two young children but  struggled to find information about family friendly activities. Visit FindTimeforFun.com to learn about events, attractions and ideas for fun at home.

Then visit Poise in Parma to read the rest of today’s All State Blog Swap posts and check out my post Clue Into Cleveland’s Top 5 for Out-of-Town Guests.


Winter is right around the corner, which means the snow will be here before we know it!  While winter certainly isn’t my favorite season, I do try to make the best of it.

Thankfully, Cleveland offers many fun wintertime activities; some will have you playing outside while others will help get you into the Holiday spirit.  Below are my five recommendations for winter fun in Cleveland.

The Chalet in Mill Stream Run Reservation (photo from www.clemetparks.com)

Tobogganing at the Chalet in the Mill Stream Run Reservation – Remember how much fun it was to go sled riding when you were young?  Channel your inner child this winter and go Tobogganing in the Cleveland Metroparks.  The Chalet has two 1,000-foot refrigerated ice chutes that can operate with or without snow and are open from the end of November to the middle of March.

Snowshoeing at Penitentiary Glen Reservation – Lake Metroparks offers nearly 7 miles of snowshoeing trails for guests to explore.  Beginners can start with the Peppermint Trail, a short quarter-mile loop.  Snowshoes can be rented by the hour or by the day, and rental is available daily from the middle of November through early March.

Rink at Wade Oval in University Circle

Outdoor Ice Skating at the Rink at Wade Oval – There is something about ice skating outdoors that makes it even more enjoyable.  This winter, get the full ice skating experience at the outdoor Rink at Wade Oval.  Admission is FREE and Skate Rental (if needed) is only $3 per person.  The Rink is open from the end of November through the middle of February.

Lolly the Trolley Holiday Tours – Riding through Cleveland on Lolly the Trolley is a great way to see the city.  Add Christmas lights and decorations to the mix and you have a truly unique and memorable experience.  During the month of December, there are a number of Special Holiday Tours including: A Christmas Story House Tours, Silver Bells Plus Tours and Family Fun Night Tours.

2012 Glow at the Garden (photo from www.cbgarden.org)

Glow at the Garden – While visiting The Cleveland Botanical Gardens is always a great option, it is especially enjoyable during the holiday season.  From late November through the end of December guests can view the decorated trees and gingerbread houses while listening to Christmas music, ride on the garden express train, decorate their own gingerbread houses, and do some holiday shopping at the gift shop.

Those are just some of the events and activities that make winter in Cleveland fun.  Leave a comment below and let us know some of your favorite wintertime activities in Cleveland. 

39th Annual ZippityZooDoo: Take a Trip to Zoolin Rouge

This duct tape elephant celebrates the opening of the Cleveland Zoo’s African Elephant Crossing

 For a region whose cold weather is the punchline of a lot of jokes, it may be surprising at first glance that one of Northeast Ohio’s most visited year-round attractions is the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.  With 183 acres, this primarily outdoor venue welcomed 1.3 million visitors last year.

After our first visit to Cleveland’s Zoo a couple years ago, Scott and I immediately understood its popularity.  Home to nearly 3,000 exotic animals, the Zoo boasts a variety of habitats like the African Elephant Crossing, RainForest, Northern Trek, Australian Adventure (my favorite!), African Savanna, Waterfowl Lake and the Primate, Cat & Aquatics Building.

The fact that parking is free and Cuyahoga County and Hinckley Township get free admission on Mondays doesn’t hurt either.  Between their exhibits as well as fun programs like Rising Waters Safari Camp and Bowling for Rhinos, it’s a Cleveland institution that young and old can enjoy in equal measure.


In 1957, the Cleveland Zoological Society was established to partner with and advocate for the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. Their primary function is to raise awareness for and help underwrite the Zoo’s exhibits and programs.

41,000+ households of Zoo members and donors make the Cleveland Zoological Society the largest membership program in Northeast Ohio; and the organization works hard to create a slate of unique events that everyone will enjoy. From this Summer’s Date Night at the Zoovies to Twilight at the Zoo, the Zoological Society is giving us even more reasons to visit.

Fortunately, their next event – the 39th annual ZippityZooDoo – is only 2 weeks away.

Hosted by Cleveland Zoological Society, June 8

On Friday, June 8, Cleveland’s longest-running benefit returns. With this year’s theme of Zoolin Rouge, the Cleveland Zoological Society is bringing Paris to Cleveland with all of the extravaganza and indulgence you’d expect.

Starting with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres at 6pm, the evening goes til midnight and features live entertainment, music, dancing and the chance to bid for unique Zoo experiences.

It culminates with ZippityZooDoo’s pièce de résistance (said in my best attempt at a French accent) — a filling five-course feast.

If you’re looking for a reason to go (besides supporting one of Cleveland’s great institutions), check out this menu:

  • First Course: Tuna tarter wonton crisp, Vegetable ratatouille cup, Duck prosciutto fava bean pistou crostini, Lavender vichyssoise, Mushroom ragout bruschetta
  • Second Course: Spinach greens, tarragon marinated tomato cucumber salad, champagne vinaigrette
  • Fish Course: Smoked salmon caviar, sea salt, crostini, dill crème fraiche
  • Entrements: Blood orange sorbet
  • Main Course: Steak au poivre peppercorn mélange cognac glace. Chive lemon oil asparagus. Saffron risotto gruyere cheese croquette
  • Dessert: Gourmet cheese plate

I’m seriously salivating just thinking about the smoked salmon caviar, steak and duck prosciut…..

Sorry…I dazed off dreaming about all of that food.  (A vegan menu is also available if that’s your preference.)

Photo from Cleveland Zoological Society

Tickets for the ZippityZooDoo cost $250 – $175 of which is tax-deductible — and include valet parking, along with everthing above.

Purchase tickets for the Zoo Society’s benefit here.

Donations to the Cleveland Zoological Society underwrite almost 50% of funding for major new exhibits and capital improvements, as well as 20% of the Zoo’s annual operating budget. It’s with events like the ZippityZooDoo that the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo can continue to offer the programs and services that make it so popular year after year.

Disclaimer:  I was offered one ticket to attend ZippityZooDoo in exchange for blogging about it. However, the decision to attend and post about an event is my own based on whether I think it’s something that may also interest others.  Scott has purchased his own ticket to attend.

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.