Founded in 1796, Cleveland sits proudly on the shore of Lake Erie. The city has around 400,000 residents but over 2 million live in its metropolitan area. We decided to spend a couple days exploring this great city and see what it had to offer our family.

Great Lakes Science Center

LOCATION: HOURS: FEES:
601 Erieside Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44114
WINTER OPERATING HOURS
Tuesday – Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday noon to 5 p.m.SUMMER OPERATING HOURS
Monday – Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday noon to 5 p.m.
ADULT: $16.95
YOUTH (2-12): $13.95
SENIOR (65+): $14.95
COLLEGE STUDENT: $15.95

Our plan for today was to visit the Great Lakes Science Center, squashed between the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Browns football stadium on Lake Eire. We walked the short distance from our hotel to the Science Center as it was a bright but chilly morning. This science center is one of the best we have been to and is full of great hands-on exhibits covering the broad aspects of science. As usual Jack and Emily were drawn to things like a hang gliding and flight simulator, whilst the parents tried to drag them towards what they believed to be more educational demonstrations (how boring).

There are a number of exhibit halls including:

  • NASA Glenn Visitor Center: Here you’ll find galleries exploring the history and science of space travel and the challenges that astronauts face in living in space.
  • Cleveland Creates Zone: This exhibit focuses on bringing out the creative elements that lie within in us. It provides materials to bring your own creations to life using design and engineering processes.
  • William G Mather Steamship (additional fee): This restored 618 foot long vessel used to ply its trade on the Great Lakes, playing its part in making Northern Ohio a major center for industry.
  • Biomedtech: Exploring the world of genomics, stem cells, prosthetics, functional electrical stimulation (FES) and medical imaging through interactive exhibits, videos and displays.
  • Science Phenomena: A chance to play with some interactive exhibits exploring magnetism, lights, optics, motion, mechanics, sound and resonance.

In addition to the mainstay exhibits the Science Center offers camps, events and special programs. During our visit there was a lot going on and we were able to sit in on some of the fun shows that the Center’s staff put on several times throughout the day. There is a lab room where they demonstrate, with the help of willing volunteers, different aspects of science. In the main auditorium they also run shows, focusing on electrical power. Here they have a huge van der graaf generator which will really make your hear stand on end.

To finish our day we went to the impressive dome theater where they project iMax movies on to the wall of the dome. This is one of those truly immersive experiences. The list of movies shown changes so it is worth checking out the website to find out what is currently showing.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Location: Hours: Fees:
1100 Rock and Roll Boulevard,
Cleveland, Ohio 44114
Phone: 216.781.7625
Daily 10am-5:30pm
Wednesday 10am-9pm
Closed Thanksgiving & ChristmasSUMMER HOURS
May 25 – June 30
Daily 10am-5:30pm
Wednesday & Saturday 10am-9pmJuly 1 – August 31
Sunday thru Tuesday 10am-5:30pm
Wednesday thru Saturday 10am-9pm
General Admission: $26
Senior (65+): $24
Youth (6-12): $16
Ages 5 and under: FREE

For our second day in Cleveland we planned to spend a couple of hours at the Rock and Roll hall of Fame, before heading our for a general wander around the city. Located on the shore of Lake Erie in downtown Cleveland, Ohio, the Hall of Fame recognizes and archives the history of the best-known and most influential artists, producers, engineers, and other notable figures who have had a major influence on the development of rock and roll. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation was established on April 20, 1983, by Atlantic Records founder and chairman Ahmet Ertegun. In 1986, Cleveland was chosen as the Hall of Fame’s permanent home.

The 150,000 square-foot museum features seven floors, four theaters for films and ever-changing exhibits. The exhibits are mainly film and memorabilia, with some stations where you can listen to music. It is all very well done and we had an absolute blast watching the films of old stars (most of whom are admittedly dead) like Janis Joplin, Jimmy Hendrix and Elvis Presley. To be fair Jack and Emily didn’t know who these people were but it was a chance for them to be educated that good music did exist at the time of their parent’s childhood. This is probably not a place to take young children. Having originally planned to be spend no more than an hour or so at the museum we ended up being there for more than for hours and were some of the last people to leave.

 

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