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A River Reborn

The Cuyahoga River famously caught fire on June 22, 1969, inspiring several songs and sullying Cleveland’s reputation for generations. Ultimately, though, the incident sparked conservation efforts and led to the Clean Water Act. Today, the water flowing by the Greater Cleveland Aquarium is home to more than 60 species of fish along with rowing crews, paddleboarders, boaters and others enjoying the river’s scenic beauty.  That’s the story we want to tell as we commemorate the 50th anniversary of the last time the river burned; not the burning but the inspiration and restoration.

Northeast Ohio is commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Cuyahoga River’s last fire as to remind us of the importance of our natural resources and as an opportunity reflect on how far Northeast Ohio and the nation have come in cleaning up our waterways.  So far this year, the Aquarium has participated in the River Sweep cleanup, made presentations to more than 30 groups on the history of the Cuyahoga River and conducted a river walking tour that ended with a citizen science water quality test.

On the actual anniversary, we have our grand finale commemoration event. We’re inviting the community to a Cuyahoga50 #RiverReborn Family Celebration filled with feel-good music and hands-on kids’ activities. Join the Cleveland History Center, Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Creative Concepts in Music’s Sheela Das, Eriesponsible, Holden Forest & Gardens, International Women’s Air & Space Museum, musician Brent Kirby, National First Ladies’ Library, Nautica Queen, Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District (NEORSD) and Sierra Club for an afternoon of make-and-take crafts, games and informational displays focused on being good stewards of our natural resources. All activities are included with Aquarium admission.

Whether it’s making recycled water bottle fish, ship or plane, taking a narrated walk along the Cuyahoga or guessing how long it takes trash to break down, this rain-or-shine afternoon event is full of fun, hands-on activities and organizations that will help future generations gain a better understanding of their relation to and impact on natural resources.

Many thanks to NEORSD for its partnership and support of these initiatives.

(If you’re able to stick around on the West Bank of the Flats, there’s a Farmer’s Market beginning at 4pm steps away at Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica AND an evening Cuyahoga River Boat Parade that day too!)

Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District

Make a Difference: 2019 Beach Clean-ups

For more than 25 years, the Alliance for the Great Lakes has hosted Adopt-a-Beach events all over the Great Lakes to keep the shorelines healthy, safe and beautiful. In 2018 alone, more than 14,000 volunteers picked up 35,606 pounds of litter over the course of 900 cleanups.

The Splash Fund (a non-profit affiliate of the Greater Cleveland Aquarium) has hosted beach clean-ups in Cleveland since we opened seven years ago. This year, our beach cleanups are scheduled:

5/18 – 10am-12pm Perkins Beach (Edgewater) in partnership with Drink Local. Drink Tap.

6/15 – 10am-12pm Edgewater (main beach)

7/20 – 10am-12pm Edgewater (main beach)

8/17 – 10am-12pm Edgewater (main beach)

9/28 – 10am-12pm Perkins Beach (Edgewater) in partnership with Drink Local. Drink Tap.

The Cleveland Metroparks team does a terrific job of keeping big waste items off the beach, so what exactly gets picked up during these volunteer events? We mostly collect small plastic items including cigarette butts, water bottles, food containers, straws and cigar tips. Even though we are picking up primarily small pieces of plastic, we still remove around 100 pounds of garbage each of the mornings. We couldn’t do it without the help of hundreds of volunteers each summer. We show our gratitude for this effort by offering each volunteer one free post-event ticket to visit the Aquarium.

The easiest way to sign up for one of our beach clean-ups is to register here. It’s easy and fun and make a big difference. We hope to see you at the beach this summer!

10 Holiday Things to do with your Family in Northeast Ohio

The holiday season is officially here! From cookie baking to movie marathons and more, it’s a very exciting time of the year and a great time to spend with loved ones. This winter, don’t miss out on the opportunity to start a new family tradition, continue an old one or treat your family to a festive surprise. Here are 10 family-friendly seasonal adventures happening in your own backyard!

 

Glow  

Glow is an indoor showcase of decorated trees, gingerbread houses and other beloved holiday traditions. Cleveland Botanical Garden is located at 11030 East Boulevard in Cleveland’s University Circle.

 

Castle Noel

You can visit Castle Noel any time because this Christmas attraction filled with Christmas movie costumes and props, vintage toys, store holiday window displays and even indoor snow is open year-round. Castle Noel is located at 260 South Court Street in downtown Medina.

Photo by: Nevit Dilmen 

Ice Skating Outdoors

Lace up your skates and bundle up for the great outdoors! The Ice Rink at Wade Oval is located at 10820 East Boulevard in Cleveland’s University Circle.

 

Tobogganing   

Looking for an “outdoorsy” adventure?  The Cleveland Metroparks 700-foot twin toboggan chutes located at the Chalet in Mill Stream Run Reservation (16200 Valley Parkway, Strongsville, Ohio) are open throughout the winter.

 

Kringle’s Inventionasium

This inventive and interactive theatrical experience is your opportunity to help Mr. Kringle and his team prepare for the holidays. Kringle’s Inventionasium Experience is located in downtown Cleveland’s Tower City Center.

 

Scuba Claus & the Seas’N of Play at Greater Cleveland Aquarium

Expend your seasonal spirit while completing activities about movement and learn about some pretty amazing animal traits along the way. On Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays (1 – 2pm) you can snap a selfie with Scuba Claus underwater in a 230,000-gallon shark exhibit while he visits the sandtigers, stingrays, eels, pufferfish (and guests!) on his nice list.  An activity book, temporary tattoo, scavenger hunt and Scuba Claus visit is included with general Aquarium admission during the Seas’N of Play. The Greater Cleveland Aquarium is located on the West Bank of the Flats in downtown Cleveland at 2000 Sycamore Street, Cleveland, Ohio.

Magic of Lights

Enjoy magical lights in a mile-long display that includes Candy Cane Lane, Reindeer Crossing, the Enchanting Tunnel of Lights and more. The Magic of Lights is in a new location this year at the Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds, 19201 E. Bagley Road, Middleburg Heights, Ohio.

 

A Christmas Story House

Many know and love A Christmas Story and consider watching the coming-of-age movie an annual holiday tradition. Fans can make a pilgrimmage to the A Christmas Story House and Museum where the movie was filmed. This pop culture destination open year-round is very near the Aquarium (so make it a two-fer) at 3159 W. 11th Street, Cleveland, Ohio.

 

A Classic Christmas Play at Playhouse Square

Playhouse Square has performances of A Christmas Story and A Christmas Carol happening through December 23. Cleveland’s theatre district (festooned with a massive outdoor chandelier) is located at 1501 Euclid Avenue.

 

Cleveland Orchestra Christmas Concert  

Join the Cleveland Orchestra and Chorus for a holiday concert, perfect for families. The holiday concerts include guest choruses and sing-alongs. Severance Hall is located at 11001 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio.

Photo by: Erik Drost

 

Happy holidays!

– Tori Pishkula