Tag Archives: great lakes science center

Great Lakes Science Center Brews Up After-Dark Fun

I promised Scott another evening of me being the designated driver and he promised me another sonnet after the response to last week’s blog post. Enjoy!

Even without the Great Lakes Science Center's Beer Goggles, their Home Brew event was a lot of fun

Even without the Great Lakes Science Center’s Beer Goggles, their Home Brew event was a lot of fun

I am a big fan of the Great Lakes Science Center. Every time I go I have a great time. It’s an awesome space filled with experiments and exhibits that consistently entertain and educate me.

We’ve always enjoyed Yuri’s Night, so Amanda and I were very excited to learn the Science Center was continuing their events for the 21+ crowd will Science After Dark: Home Brew.

Home Brew, which took place a couple weeks ago, focused on the science behind brewing beer and coffee.

After settling in, our first stop was a presentation from Paul Benner and Reed Jaskula of The Cleveland Brew Shop. (Correction: Amanda’s first stop was the presentation, mine was for glasses of mead.)

I hadn’t expected the science and story of yeast (The Workhorse of Beer!) to be as entertaining as they made it, but hilarious drawings and a great dynamic made it a lot of fun.

Tremble before the terror of Yeast! Kill it! KILL IT WITH FIRE!

Tremble before the terror of Yeast! Kill it! KILL IT WITH FIRE!

After Paul and Reed wrapped up we stayed for Arthur Gugick’s presentation on Calculus and the Coliseum, an amazing presentation on the math used to create from-scratch LEGO art pieces and monuments. Mr. Gugick is the local Cleveland artist/genius whose work is highlighted as part of the Science Center’s LEGO exhibit.

Minds are about to be blown...into little LEGO shaped pieces.

Minds are about to be blown…into little LEGO shaped pieces.

I love LEGO and the temporary (now through September 7th) LEGO displays were something that I was really looking forward to seeing. I had no idea that a significant portion of the Science Center’s lower exhibit hall was going to be dedicated to landmarks, paintings, and other fantastical works all created by Mr. Gugick.

After thoroughly amazing us with the talent and creativity portrayed in his presentation, Amanda and I were energized to begin our exploration of the Science Center’s other entertainment and imbibements.

Regarding drinks, Amanda was the designated driver and quite enjoyed (and appreciated) Phoenix Coffee’s options. I tried a few wines, beers, and meads, but ultimately my favorite was Sunshine Daydream by Fat Head’s Brewery. It was light and crisp and quite a pleasant surprise!

Beverages are easy to pick favorites from, but I would be very hard-pressed to pick out my favorite activity from the evening’s selections. The Science Center really outdid itself.

The first one we encountered was the Make-It-Yourself Miniature Golf, where all the holes were fashioned from reclaimed and recycled material. All you needed was some duct tape, your imagination, and a couple extra hands and you had your own mini golf hole!

By the time Amanda and I arrived there were already quite a few constructed, so we concentrated on trying out other people’s creations.

I call this "Action Shot Amanda"

I call this “Action Shot Amanda”

We also stumbled (figuratively) across Beer Goggle Cornhole, where you wore goggles that simulated the wobbly vision of inebriation. We didn’t actually play much cornhole with them, but it was fun trying to walk straight lines with the great lake view before us.

Next we found the LEGO Daredevil High-wire Challenge…or it could have been named something else very similar, it’s hard remembering certain details after a few cups of beer! But it was a lot of fun creating a LEGO machine that could make it from the third floor to the second without falling from the wire. Mine smashed to pieces when it reached the bottom, but I still made it the whole way!

Another awesome part of the night was the Tabletop Cleveland area and creating our own board game pieces. Amanda and I put together our little monstrosities and then took part in the evolving board game. If you had to hop on one leg in order to gain points equivalent to Pi, you landed on my challenge. Sorry.

My Cleveland Tabletop board game piece - Mustachio Baseball Bat and Pirate Bunny Drinking in a Rocket Ship - sits next to my bare-bones but uber-functional high-wire LEGO device.

My Cleveland Tabletop board game piece – Mustachio Sword and Pirate Bunny Drinking in a Rocket Ship – sits next to my bare-bones but uber-functional high-wire LEGO device.

As the evening began to near its end Amanda and I made our way down to the LEGO exhibit. It really is inspiring. I’m not even going to bother trying to describe the detail, wonder, and skill that is captured throughout both Mr. Gugick’s works and the traveling exhibit.

It is incredible – and fun – and should absolutely be checked out before it leaves on September 7th.

LEGOs. Aw yeah.

LEGOs. Aw yeah.

As with my last entry I had also threatened promised to include a review a la sonnet, so here goes:

Great Lakes Science Center is quite a place,
Three stories of discovery await.
You will use the thinker behind your face,
Fun for the family, and even a date!

Science After Dark is really inspired,
Get out and learn with a drop of some brew.
With all that there is, your brain will not tire,
There’s so many sciences waiting for you!

Cleveland Brew Shop made yeast science funny.
Tabletop Cleveland brought fun you could make.
The Fat Head’s beer was really quite sunny,
Phoenix Coffee kept Amanda awake!

For a memory that is sure to stick,
Check out the LEGOs by Arthur Gugick!

Disclaimers: 

  • I am much happier with the rhymes in this sonnet. I thought that was worth you knowing. 
  • Amanda was offered tickets to attend Science After Dark in exchange for blogging about it. I got her second ticket because if she hadn’t let me go with her I would have whined like a sad puppy dog for well over a week. The decision to attend and post about an event is her own, based on whether she thinks it’s something that may also interest others.
  • My decision to blog about the event was actually my own this time. Because LEGO.

Intoxicating Pairings: Cleveland Beer Events for Those Who Like to Learn, Laugh or Draw

I’ve been on the road the past week, so this bit of blogkeeping is belated. Congratulations to Elizabeth P for winning 2 tickets to the Tri-C JazzFest!

Scott and me celebrating his birthday at a beer and comic books event

One of my favorite beer pairing events was Great Lakes Brewing Company’s comic books and beer night

When I hear the phrase “beer pairings,” my thoughts – as yours probably do – immediately go to beer and food. From cheese and chocolate to bacon, seafood, and sushi.

However, this post is not about that kind of pairing. (If you’re here looking for that, save the date for Cleveland Beer Week 2014 October 10-18, which promises to be full of great food and beer events.)

Instead, I’m talking today about beer paired with some unexpected activities. From comedy to science to art, here are 3 upcoming events if you’d like to do something different while drinking your favorite pint.

Science After Dark - Home Brew

Did you miss Great Lakes Science Center’s Yuri’s Night? I have good news for you:

This Thursday, June 26, GLSC is continuing their series of 21-and-over ‘Science After Dark’ events with HOME BREW from 6:30-9:30 pm.

  • Do you know what happens to beer when you take away air pressure? Witness it firsthand when the Science Center staff tests it out with different kinds of brews. 
  • Want to learn about home brewing? Meet Paul and Reed from Cleveland Brew Shop at their “Yeast: The Workhorse of Beer” demonstration.
  • Ever wondered, as I have, why your speech sounds funny after you start drinking? Dr. Amee Shah of CSU’s Speech Acoustics & Perception Lab will discuss your brain on booze.

There will also be hands-on activities including LEGO-building and science board and card games created by Cleveland Institute of Art students. Or you can try creating a putt-putt golf hole using everyday materials.

And, of course, beer and coffee samples from Fat Head’s Brewery, Crafted Artisan Meadery, Jackie O’ Brewery, Great Lakes Brewing Company, and Phoenix Coffee will be available.·

Tickets are $18 in advance/$21 at the door (only $12 for members). Buy tickets online here or call 216-621-2400.

CLEVELAND DRINK AND DRAW

Avengers Artists, Assemble!”

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a professional, amateur, or completely-out-of-practice artist like me. Join the Cleveland Drink & Draw Social Club at one of their twice-monthly meetups. They’re at Great Lakes Brewing Company the first Wednesday and Lava Lounge the third Thursday of every month.

That means the next one is July 2nd in GLBC’s Rockefeller Room (7-11pm).

Started in 2012 by the Rust Belt Monster Collective, the Drink & Draw Social Club is “a place to exchange techniques, build contacts, and most importantly; bond over what is far too often a solitary passion.”

All you have to do is bring your art supplies. Every event also includes group “jam pieces” and prizes from long-time supporters Carol And John’s Comic shop. 

brewhahalogo

Not into science or art? Well, everyone likes to laugh.

On July 10, the Greater Cleveland Food Bank’s YP Pantry group will be hosting the inaugural BrewHaha – Lager and Laughs for Hunger Relief.

From 6-9pm at the Food Bank’s distribution center, enjoy the talents of Last Call Cleveland and local comedians Josh Womack, Mary Santora, and Jake Solomon while sampling beer from Chardon BrewWorks, Great Lakes, Market Garden, Willoughby Brewing Company, Platform Beer Company, Deschutes Brewery and others.

The comedy show will be hosted by the always-hilarious Bill Squire, co-host of the Alan Cox Show and live music will be provided by Newshoes.  

Individual tickets are $25, which includes 20 samples of beer in a souvenir beer tasting glass and the evening’s entertainment. Tickets for two are discounted at $45 and designated drivers can enjoy water, non-alcoholic beverages and all of the performances for only $10. Get them here.

All proceeds from the evening go to benefit the Greater Cleveland Food Bank’s mission to provide food to those in need.

***

I hope you check out at least one of, if not all of these events. The Cleveland beer scene is incredible, and it’s exciting to see the city not just embrace it, but do so in such eclectic ways.

Disclosure: I was invited to attend the Great Lakes Science Center’s HOME BREW with a guest. I also used to be on the YP Pantry board. However, I chose to blog about these events independently of those decisions and the opinions are 100% mine.

A Blast for Yuri: Great Lakes Science Center’s Yuri’s Night

Yuri's Night Cleveland 2014 at Great Lakes Science Center

Yuri’s Night Cleveland 2014 at Great Lakes Science Center

“Only in Cleveland,” Scott turned and said to me at this year’s Yuri’s Night Cleveland, “can I enjoy a drink at a science center to celebrate a Russian cosmonaut, while a band dressed in Star Trek uniforms named after a Mel Brooks pun plays Boogie Man.”

On April 12, space geeks came together with fans of science fiction, Star Wars, Star Trek, Doctor Who and the Jetsons at the Great Lakes Science Center for Yuri’s Night. The party is Cleveland’s contribution to the worldwide celebration of Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space.

Only at comic book conventions have I seen a celebration of so many layers of nerdom under one roof.  It’s why I love this event and look forward to it every year.

A photo with the guest of honor

A photo with Yuri

Our first stop at Yuri’s Night Cleveland was for a bit of rocket fuel.

Upstairs in the VIP lounge, we sampled a shot of chilled pea soup from AMP150 and grilled asparagus salad with parmesan biscuit from Crop. Downstairs, they had some of my favorite comfort foods including empanadas and fried ravioli.

And then of course there was dessert. While there were many sweets to choose from, I opted for A Cupcake a Day‘s blackberry sage cupcake, Peace Love and Little Donuts‘ raspberry lemonade donut, and astronaut chocolates from Sweet Designs.

Cupcakes

While we ate, Scott and I enjoyed a lot of rock and a little ska from Abby Normal. They embraced the spirit of the evening and captivated the crowd – dressing as a Star Trek crew and making great use of the Science Center’s escalators:

Abby Normal at Yuri's Night Cleveland

Abby Normal at Yuri’s Night Cleveland

After enjoying their performance, I tracked down the special guest I most-wanted to see.  No, not Astronaut Greg Johnson … R2D2!

Scott holds R2D2's gin and tonic while they get a picture together

Scott holds R2D2’s gin and tonic while they get a picture together

Ok, @Astro_Box was the Yuri’s Night guest I was second-most excited for, and we managed to have our photo taken with him at the end of the night.

Astronaut Greg Johnson

Astronaut Greg Johnson

I also had the pleasure of meeting the Doctor Who Society of Cleveland who brought their TARDIS. The craftsmanship was incredible. 

If you missed the TARDIS at Yuri’s Night, it’ll be at the premiere of episode 1 of T.R.A.C.E,  a Doctor Who Fan Film, on May 7.

Night made:

It IS bigger on the inside!

It IS bigger on the inside!

Some of the fashions at Yuri’s Night could have rivaled costumes at a convention. The costume contest winner honored the man we were celebrating, Yuri himself. However, this one was my favorite:

Vader

All this sightseeing and people watching tuckered me out. Fortunately, we were able to rest our feet in the Black Light Lounge.  New to this year’s Yuri’s Night party, the lounge featured an art wall for everyone to draw and write on and a CIA fashion show of wearable tech.

Of course, Yuri’s Night wasn’t all fun and games. In addition to checking out the Science Center’s exhibits, Scott and I made sure we took in a few lectures.

These weren’t your run-of-the-mill physics lessons. We first caught part of a talk on the similarities between real-life space science and its pop culture counterparts, and then we witnessed the Big Science Show’s rocket launch while learning about propulsion. 

Blast off!

Blast off!

Unfortunately, what goes up must come down and even the best of times must come to an end. So after GLSC’s epic midnight balloon drop, Scott and I called it a night and headed home.

However, we only have to wait til the Earth goes around the sun one more time before our next Yuri’s Night. I hope we’ll see you there!

Yuri's Night Balloon Drop

Yuri’s Night Balloon Drop

Disclosure: I was invited to attend Yuri’s Night with a guest in exchange for blogging about it ahead of the event. Opinions expressed here are 100% my own.

Yuri’s Night Space Party at Great Lakes Science Center: Cleveland’s Part in Worldwide Spaceflight Celebration

Cleveland's Yuri's Night Space Party at the Great Lakes Science Center takes place April 12, 2014

Cleveland’s Yuri’s Night Space Party at the Great Lakes Science Center takes place April 12, 2014

On Sunday, Scott and I excitedly curled up on the couch for the premiere of Cosmos. Scott, a fan of the original with Carl Sagan; I, a fan of host Neil deGrasse Tyson’s StarTalk Radio.

A fantastic storyteller who’s able to make science more accessible and entertaining, Tyson brought us back in time and far into the universe in only the first episode.

Shows like Cosmos and StarTalk may be the closest I get to outer space. However, on April 12, I’ll be joining the world in celebrating the anniversary of the first human to get closer.

The Great Lakes Science Center, home of the NASA Glenn Visitor Center, is the perfect spot for Yuri's Night

The Great Lakes Science Center, home of the NASA Glenn Visitor Center, is the perfect spot for Yuri’s Night

In 1961, Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin was launched into outer space for a 108-minute flight orbiting the Earth. For over a decade, cities around the world honor the first human spaceflight, as well as the inaugural launch of NASA’s Space Shuttle on April 12, 1981, with Yuri’s Night.

Since 2001, these Yuri’s Night events combine space-themed partying with education and outreach in honor of humanity’s past, present, and future in space.

So far this year, there are 54 parties in 13 counties, including Cleveland’s Yuri’s Night Space Party at the Great Lakes Science Center on Saturday, April 12.

I attended my first Yuri’s Night party last year, and I can tell you: the Great Lakes Science Center REALLY knows how to party. Anywhere I can do the robot to the Tetris theme song and party with Doctor Who, Star Wars, and Star Trek look-alikes is my kind of event!

Some of my favorite costumes and science experiments from last year's Yuri's Night Space Party

Some of my favorite costumes and science experiments from last year’s Yuri’s Night Space Party

This year’s Cleveland Yuri’s Night will feature:

  • Live music by Abby Normal, Vibe & Direct, DJ 41SE7EN and OZMTZ and dancing all night long
  • Beer and wine – Sam Adams beer, Angry Orchard cider, Barefoot wines and light hors d’oeuvres included in ticket price while supplies last; cash bar for cocktails and special treats
  • Costume contest – wear your best space-themed attire
  • GLSC’s Big Science Show, cool science demos and their signature midnight balloon drop
  • Special appearances by astronaut Greg Johnson, Cleveland Institute of Art, the Great Lakes Base of the Rebel Legion, Ohio Garrison / 501st Legion and the Mandalorian Mercs
  • New this year: A Black Light Lounge and outdoor deck party experience (weather permitting)

Tickets also include admission to the NASA Glenn Visitor Center, GLSC’s special exhibition Wildlife Rescue, and free parking in their attached garage.

Don’t wait to get your tickets: Early bird pricing of $40 is still available, but only until March 17. Ticket prices will go up to $55 per ticket on March 18. Purchase online or call 216-621-2400.

UPDATE (3/24): Enter to win 2 tickets to Yuri’s Night at Poise in Parma.

Hope to see you partying on the dance floor at this year's Yuri's Night

Hope to see you partying on the dance floor at this year’s Yuri’s Night

Want to learn more about Yuri’s Night?  Check out the Great Lakes Science Center’s Facebook event site here and follow @YurisNight to keep up-to-date on all of the global celebrations.

Disclosure: I will be attending with a guest as media but was going to write about the event regardless. My opinions are 100% my own.

Cleveland Weekend: Yuri’s Night and Market at the Foodbank

Cleveland Weekend - Yuri's Night

Yuri’s Night Cleveland at Great Lakes Science Center

Some blog-keeping: Have you entered to win 2 tickets to the Cleveland JazzFest?
You can tweet daily for additional entries.

After all the running around for last week’s Partners Bowl-a-Rama (who has stress dreams over bowling? this guy!), I was more than ready for the weekend.

Ready to sleep past 4 each morning, ready to kick back and have fun. With both Yuri’s Night and Market at the Foodbank this weekend, it was easy.

Yuri’s Night Space Party at Great Lakes Science Center was like I had died and gone to heaven. So much sci-fi cosplay, a bit of learning, even more partying, and a couple awesome photo ops!

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Spring into Upcoming Events in Cleveland

Springtime in Cleveland

Even our gnome is ready for Spring!

As we March into Spring, eager to trade in those winter coats for short sleeves, Cleveland is full of upcoming events to help shake the winter blahs.

Here are a few I’m looking forward to. Be sure to leave a comment with your picks!

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Yuri's Night Space Party at Great Lakes Science Center

Get tickets for the Cleveland Yuri's Night at glsc.org/yurisnight.php

Top on my list of Cleveland places I still need to visit is the Great Lakes Science Center. We’re big science fans in our house and ever since the NASA Glenn Visitor Center moved down there, we have plenty of reasons to go.

Another reason to visit – and to celebrate two huge milestones in space travel – is coming up on Saturday, April 7:

Yuri’s Night at the Great Lakes Science Center.

Yuri’s Night is a party that commemorates April 12, 1961, the day of cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin’s first manned space flight, and April 12, 1981, the inaugural launch of NASA’s Space Shuttle.

Every April these Yuri’s Night events take place across the world — combining space-themed partying with education and outreach in honor of humanity’s past, present, and future in space.

Yuri's Night parties take place across the globe. Pictured here is the 2007 Yuri's Night Bay Area party at NASA Ames. (Photo Credit: Yuri's Night/Sam Coniglio/yurisnight.net/press-room)

The Great Lakes Science Center’s Yuri’s Night will take place April 7 from 8pm to 1am. Tickets include:

  • Live music from Disco Inferno and all-night dancing
  • Beer, wine and hors d’oeuvres
  • Costume contest for the best space-themed attire
  • NASA Glenn Visitor Center exhibits
  • Trivia contest with an astronaut
  • A visit from the 501st Legion dressed in Star Wars costumes
  • Big Science Shows – witness a large-scale spectacle of science

Additionally, the first 200 guests to arrive will receive a free ticket to a midnight showing of the OMNIMAX movie Hubble (so get there on time!).  Specialty drinks will be available to purchase — including a different flavored jello shot every hour.

Tickets for Cleveland’s official Yuri’s Night party cost $60 online (you must be 21 and over to attend).

However, through this Saturday, March 17, you can get your tickets for just $50 each. Use the promo code “Gagarin” when you purchase your tickets online.

Designated drivers and Great Lakes Science Center members can get discounted tickets by calling 216-621-2400.

Want to learn more about Yuri’s Night?  Check out the Great Lakes Science Center’s event site here and follow @YurisNight to keep up-to-date on all of the global celebrations.

Circling the Earth in my orbital spaceship I marveled at the beauty of our planet. People of the world, let us safeguard and enhance this beauty — not destroy it!”

– Yuri Gagarin, 1st person in space

Guest Post: iNeedaPlaydate's Spring Break Trip to the Great Lakes Science Center

To say Cleveland is a diverse community would be an understatement. Because of the city’s different interests and strengths, blogging about an assortment of topics is something I strive for.

I’m the first to admit I could do a better job at this. Subsequently, when my coworker and fellow Ohio Blogger Mary Johnson tweeted me about reviewing her trip to Downtown Cleveland’s Great Lakes Science Center, I was overjoyed. 

Mary is an amazing mother of two (follow her journey at iNeedaPlaydate) and I’m happy she chose to spotlight such a family-friendly venue on Clue Into Cleveland.  Even though Scott and I don’t have kids (yet), Mary’s review of the Science Center has us planning a visit there very soon!

– Amanda

***

Nothing says spring break like an Educational Field Trip!  At least, not in my house growing up … Spring break meant lazy days at the Grandparents or – if my parents were feeling adventurous – maybe opening up the camper early. But taking us to museums much less ones about science … not so much. 

Of course, it never even occurred to me as a mom, now, that these would be fun places to go until talking with another mom who is a *gasp* Great Lakes Science Center member?!? 

Really…?  A science museum…?  And, you say Cleveland has a great one no less?  I had to check this out!  But… my son, who is in kindergarten and I refer to as the Kindergartner on my blog, has a favorite go-to place for fun and convincing him that we were going to a science museum was not going to be an easy sell. 

The Children's Museum (pictured) was the Kindergartner and his little sister's favorite place until they visited the Great Lakes Science Center. Now we have a second favorite.

You see, his favorite place is the Children’s Museum, which is an amazing, fun place to explore.  They have a rotating exhibit on the main floor, which right now is the Egyptian Sands exhibit (there till May) and then, in the basement, is the main attraction.  At least for the Kindergartner, it is the main attraction – they have an exhibit called Bridges to Our Community

In this exhibit, besides a house, a doctor’s office, a bus, a grocery store, a bank and a few other “places” they can play in, there is the Kindergartner’s “most favorite thing in the whole world” – a working stoplight.  Yes, friends, my son is obsessed with stoplights.  If there was a stronger word for obsession, I would use it. The Children’s Museum has one and he gets to play with it!  Do you see why this whole science thing will be a hard sell?

When I told him of the plans I was surprised at how easy it was to convince him to go. Well, after I explained to him where it was located and that it was the place with the giant windmill … he was intrigued.  It also helped that second only to his obsession to stoplights (oh and train crossing signs, it’s a tie) is his love of anything in downtown Cleveland, which happens to have a lot of stoplights.

The very first thing he wanted to do when we arrived at the Great Lakes Science Center was to check out the wind turbine that actually produces, with the help of the 300 feet of solar canopy, 6% of the power used at the science center.  He was absolutely amazed by that and by the immense size of the wind turbine (150 feet tall).  It was hard to convince him to go into the actual science center but pointing out the huge solar panels we had to walk under and the magical revolving doors that sense when we wanted to go in was a big draw to get him in the building.

Once inside, I was stunned by the size.  It did not look that big from the outside.  The stats from their website are really impressive. I was also impressed and I admit, grateful, that the ticket prices were reasonable and after spending the entire day there – so worth every penny.  And… baby was free! 

The Kindergartner measures up against the Great Lakes Science Center's wind turbine.

Before I go further I am also going to mention that the Kindergartner made a friend and this friend and his family were going to see Tornado Ally at the OMNIMAX® Theater.  It was not my intention to spend more money than I had to especially if he was not going to want to see it … but he has a friend and they were going … so I got in line to buy tickets. 

Now, by this point, we had already been here some time and my original receipt was locked away in one of the lockers the Science Center has for rent so I was expecting to pay full price for two tickets to see this movie.  But… I did not!  They gave me the pick of two price difference!  WooHoo!  Score!  I did not have to pay full price!

The movie, by the way, was very cool.  The baby was even mesmerized for most of the movie and it was the first time I got to see a whole movie, sitting, in a long time.  I cannot wait to see Born to Be Wild (yes, we are returning), which is about orphaned animals in Africa living with humans. 

The OMNIMAX® Theater is something that just has to be experienced.  It is a smaller theater than a traditional one and you get the feeling of being immersed into the movie.  It felt like we were in the storm but it was also a little deceptive because it did not really discuss the human impact of the storm until the end.  With only watching the tornado chasers searching for the next storm, the Kindergartner wanted to visit Tornado Ally for vacation.  It was not til the end when you can see the destruction and it feels like you are in the middle of it that he decided against going there for a vacation.

Keep in mind that the movie was just 45 minutes out of our entire day there (an hour if you count the 15-minute wait to get into the theater).  I would say that the majority of our time was spent between the Science Phenomena Floor and the Polymer Funhouse

We also checked out the NASA Glenn Visitor Center and very briefly the Biomedical Technology Gallery.  For those of us who grew up in Cleveland and took field trips to NASA you will recognize the NASA Glenn Visitor Center as just that – the lobby from NASA transported to the science center.  They closed the lobby and brought it to the science center.  When I heard about it on the news, I was a little sad but after walking through it and then being able to go off and see other things, I realized the wisdom of their decision. 

Both the Kindergartner and his baby sister enjoyed playing in the Science Center's Polymer Funhouse.

I knew from the website that Polymer Funhouse was going to be popular so I was prepared to spend a lot of our time playing in the ball pit but I was not prepared for how neat it would actually be to play with in person.  Granted, I was not actually allowed in the pit because it is meant for the seven and under bunch but it was a joy to watch the Kindergartner learn about cause and effect and even teamwork as he worked with the other kids to fill the overhead bin with balls using a pulley system, a ball canon and their own ingenuity and then stand under the contraption while another kid pulled the release to let down a flood of balls.  Of course, the Kindergartner was in the middle of it all. 

There was a quieter end of the ball pit that the baby could play in without being trampled on and there was even a… thing (for lack of a better word) that is constantly blowing air so you can balance the balls in the of stream air and watch them float. The baby also enjoyed an exhibit that was created with PCP pipes and you drop balls into one of three locations and watch them roll down the pipes.  She would sit in the middle of it and hand the balls to the kids who walk by and each and every one of them would oblige her and drop the balls so she could watch them roll down, again and again and again. 

Those are just two of the many different things you get to touch and explore in the funhouse.  It is a socks-only area of fun and in the summer they expand it to some water fun on the deck that overlooks the North Coast Harbor. 

The Great Lakes Science Center even had a stoplight exhibit - definitely a winner for our family!

I wish I had a better vocabulary to describe all the cool things they have there but alas… I don’t and I have failed to mention that except for the funhouse – all exhibits are open to all ages!  I would also say that 100% of the exhibits are interactive in some sort of way. 

There is literally something for everyone whether you are interested in music, weather, bubbles, anatomy, space… 

Remember when I told you about the Kindergartner’s obsession with stoplights?  Guess what they have there?  If you said, “an entire exhibit dedicated to stoplights and how they work” you would be absolutely right.  See, something for everyone.

So dear readers of Clue into Cleveland… don’t walk but run to the Great Lakes Science Center.  It is worth every penny of the membership.

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About the Guest Author: Mary Johnson

Mary Johnson is the wife & mom behind iNeedaPlaydate.blogspot.com where she blogs between working full time and attempting (albeit half heartedly) to do the laundry.  Her topics range from random thoughts, stories from her life and the world around her, and the occasional product review thrown in for good measure. Follow her on Twitter @marirene74.