Why? Recess on Detroit!

Last night, members of Playhouse Square Partners and friends took to the Gordon Square Arts District for Recess on Detroit. The “recess” theme started last year with Recess on 25th. The event is a scavenger hunt through local businesses that not only puts you in touch with some of the cool places in a neighborhood, but also raises money for the Playhouse Square Bus Fund.

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Our evening kicked off at Old City Libations, where we enjoyed signature cocktails made with Old City Soda, as well as the chicken paprikash pierogi (OMG, so good).

From there, it was next door to the Near West Theatre, which moved into it’s beautiful new space in 2015 (I know that because it was a question on our scavenger hunt). While we weren’t able to go inside, we did get a fun photo opp in front of the marquis.

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Next up was Superelectric Pinball Parlor. This bright, fun, retro establishment boasts tons of pinball games to enjoy, as well as cool artwork to take in while you play.

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Finally, we ended our hunt with a sweet treat at Sweet Moses Soda Fountain and Treat Shop. Matthew and I shared the Bob Feller Sundae. While I’m not usually one to share ice cream, this sundae was large and rich and definitely good to split.

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Salted caramel ice cream is drenched in hot fudge and topped with Spanish peanuts, caramel corn, whipped cream, and a cherry. It’s the baseball classic Cracker Jack in ice cream form!

The scavenger hunt also encouraged to pick one other Gordon Square business to patronize, so we popped into the fun and funky Land of Plenty: Vintage and Modern, where I picked up an adorable postcard (watch your mail) and an equally adorable purple beaded bracelet.

It was back to Old City Libations to hear the results and while our team didn’t win the scavenger hunt, I feel like we’re all winners for having a fun night in a cool neighborhood for a great cause!

If you’re interested in checking out a Playhouse Square Partners event, our always-popular Trivia Night is happening on Wednesday, May 24 at Kennedy’s Theatre at Playhouse Square. Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.

***Disclosure: I am the vice co-chair of Playhouse Square Partners. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? JCU Founders Day!

Yesterday, John Carroll University celebrated the 131st anniversary of its founding. Originally called Cleveland University and founded on the site of what is now St. Ignatius High School, John Carroll has been an integral part of Cleveland since its inception.

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Last night, the Terminal Tower lit up blue and gold to mark Founders Day!

While the university is 131 years old, the tradition of celebrating Founders Day with events for both students and alumni is only in its second year. I took Jeffrey up to campus during the day to see the decorations and festivities.

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The St. Ignatius statue was ready for a birthday party!

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And the infamous Pacelli lion was painted for the occasion. I definitely remember spray painting my sorority letters on that lion a time or two!

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The Office of Alumni Relations also provided blue and gold cupcakes, because what’s a birthday party without cake?!

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But the most meaningful part of the day on campus was the chance to fill out an “I ❤ JCU Because…” balloon and getting the chance to read what others wrote on their balloons.

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John Carroll truly is a special place that is a lasting part of the lives of the people who attend!

The Founders Day celebration continued in the evening with an alumni event at the Tasting Room at Great Lakes Brewing Co. (one of the founders, Dan Conway, is a JCU alum!)

We enjoyed beer, tasty small bites, and conversation with alumni from many different years and backgrounds. It was a great reminder of how John Carroll is in Cleveland, not just on the campus, and how our connections with the university and fellow students remain so valuable.

Obviously, I’m a proud John Carroll alumni and I’m so glad that the university has taken up the tradition of marking Founders’ Day! If you’re a John Carroll alum, click here to find out about more upcoming alumni events both in Cleveland and nationwide.

***Disclosure: I am the president of the John Carroll University Cleveland Alumni Chapter. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Grapes Under Glass!

What happens when Heinen’s – Downtown Cleveland and The 9 Cleveland combine to put on an event? You get Grapes Under Glass: An Unprecedented Wine Tasting Event.

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All events will take place in the stunning Cleveland Trust Rotunda, a truly unique and beautiful place to enjoy a glass (or two or three) of wine. You will have access to wines from wineries such as Duckhorn, Cline Cellars, Moet Hennessy, Robert Mondavi Winery, and many more.

You’ll also nibble on food paired specifically to the wines, created by The 9’s Executive Chef, Nelly Buleje, as well as Heinen’s culinary team and Chefs Matt Mytro and Paul Minnillo of Flour Restaurant.

On Friday, April 28, there will be a Napa Blue Chip Wine Tasting, with a who’s who of Cabarnet-Sauvignon based wines. On Saturday, April 29, you can participate in various themed Wine Seminars. Then, that evening is the Main Tasting Event, with 23 wineries represented, along with food pairings. The fun caps off on Sunday, April 30 with a Bubbles Brunch (YES!).

Tickets can be purchased for individual events or in an event package, which can include overnight stays at The 9 Cleveland. Click here for more information, including pricing on events and packages, and to purchase tickets.

The Cleveland Trust Rotunda has quickly become a symbol of downtown Cleveland’s renaissance and the perfect place for a high-class event. Grapes Under Glass will be quite the event, so raise a toast!

***Disclosure: I was invited to attend the Grapes Under Glass Main Tasting Event with a guest. Due to scheduling conflicts, I declined my tickets. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? St. Vincent de Paul Society Kentucky Derby Party Giveaway!

It’s almost time for big hats and mint juleps and the Run for the Roses! And you don’t have to travel to Churchill Downs to get in on all the excitement.

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The St. Vincent de Paul Society is hosting it’s 17th annual Kentucky Derby Party presented by the Community West Foundation to raise funds to support the St. Vincent de Paul Society’s multiple hunger centers, which nourish 13,000 men, women, children and seniors each month.

The Kentucky Derby Party will take place on Saturday, May 6 from 4-8pm at Great Lakes Brewing Co. The party will feature a live showing of the Kentucky Derby on the big screen, horse betting, a hat contest, silent auction items up for bid, raffles (you could win up to $1,000), prizes, authentic Derby fare, and mint juleps and Great Lakes Brewing beers.

 

Tickets for the Kentucky Derby Party are $75 and raffle tickets are $5 per ticket or 5 for $20. Both admission and raffle tickets are currently on sale online.

Or you can enter to win two tickets to the Kentucky Derby Party right here! Here’s how to enter (you can do one, two, three, four, or all five entries, just leave a separate comment for each):

1.Leave a comment and tell me what you would name a race horse.

2. Visit St. Vincent de Paul Society and Why CLE? on Facebook and leave a comment here letting me know you visited both pages.

3. Follow @svdpcle and @whycle on Instagram and leave a comment here letting me know you’re following both.

4. Follow @svdpcle and @WhyCLE on Twitter and leave a comment here letting me know you’re following both.

5. Tweet the following phrase and leave a comment here letting me know you tweeted:

I want to attend @svdpcle #DerbyDayCLE thanks to @WhyCLE: https://whycle.com/2017/04/18/why-st-vincent-de-paul-society-kentucky-derby-party-giveaway #giveaway

You can tweet once per day for additional entries, just leave a separate comment here each time you tweet.

The giveaway will close on Sunday, April 23 at 11:59pm and the winner will be notified the following day. Good luck!

***Disclosure: I was asked by St. Vincent de Paul Society to help promote the Kentucky Derby Party. In exchange, I will receive two tickets to give away. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Weekends!

***Note: Thoughts and prayers are with the Godwin family, our local and national law enforcement officers involved in looking for this man, and all those affected by his actions. Please be vigilant and safe. There are several reputable new organizations reporting reliable details on this story. I encourage you to select on your own and to stay informed.***

It was a lovely Easter weekend in Cleveland! On Friday, I took Jeffrey to Playground World for their Easter Egg Hunt.

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While it was really (I mean, really) crowded, the staff at Playground World did a great job at sectioning the Egg Hunt by age groups and keeping everyone organized and safe. It was a really well run, although simultaneously crazy, event!

Friday evening, perhaps seeking some extra zen after the Easter Egg Hunt, I attended an Easter Yoga Workshop at Harmony Yoga. Harmony teacher Kanela led us through a challenging vinyasa flow, mixed with reflections on spirituality and the Easter season. It was a perfect way to center and remember what Easter is all about before the busy weekend ahead!

On Saturday morning, we took Jeffrey to the Cleveland Botanical Garden‘s annual Easter Egg Hunt. This is such a lovely event, from the chance to experience Big Spring (still open at the Garden through Sunday, April 23) to fun crafts to seeing the Easter Bunny to the Egg Hunt in the Hershey Children’s Garden.

Jeffrey also loved seeing the Easter Buggy, a hot pink car complete with bunny ears, nose, and tail!

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Saturday evening, we hosted our parents for a traditional Holy Saturday dinner of kielbasa, sauerkraut, and pierogi. So many family holiday traditions center around food and it’s wonderful (and delicious) to be able to keep them alive!

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On Easter Sunday, we divided our time between the families, with brunch with my family and dinner with Matthew’s family. Of course, we took time at home first to inspect all the goodies left by the Easter Bunny!

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Lots of candy and lots of Paw Patrol filled up Jeffrey’s basket this year! He’s understanding more and more about each holiday and really gets excited for each celebration!

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I hope you had a great weekend, whether you celebrate Easter, Passover, or simply the Indians and Cavs various victories!

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Why? Beasts ‘n Brews Chilifest!

There aren’t many things I enjoy more than a good outdoor food fest! So, when there’s one that combines a trifecta of chili, craft beer, and live music, you can bet I’m excited! The third annual Beasts ‘n Brews Chilifest returns to Legacy Village on Saturday, April 29 from 1-5pm.

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Local chefs and farms will bring their finest chili for festival goers to sample and vote for in the “Best of the Fest” competition. There will be grass-fed beef chili, as well as vegetarian and vegan options. Your $5 admission gets you a personal chili spoon for digging into all the tasty goodness.

After enjoying all that chili, you can quench the fire on your palate with a selection of local craft beers from a variety of breweries and cocktails from Watershed Distillery available for purchase. Then relax and listen to local bluegrass musicians to cap off a fun day!

All of this fun and food benefits North Union Farmers Market‘s mission of championing local foods, specifically targeting their education and accessibility programming.

For more information and to purchase tickets for Beasts ‘n Brews, click here.

***Disclosure: I have an ongoing relationship with Legacy Village to promote their events. In exchange, I will receive compensation in the form of Legacy Village gift cards. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Please Touch!

A couple weeks ago, Jeffrey, my mom, and I headed to the Akron Art Museum to see the amazing Please Touch exhibition.

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Please Touch puts aside traditional museum rules of behavior and encourages visitors of all ages to touch all the artwork.

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You can spin the wheels of “Today I Feel” or express yourself on this sweet message board.

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You can experiment with this fun face or move around all these colorful shapes, too.

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Jeffrey also loved the windows with cool critters (AKA the “Horrible Adorables”) inside and fun stories to find.

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All the artists who worked on Please Touch are from the Northeast Ohio region and have created something truly unique, fun, and special for kids of all ages!

Beyond just the exhibition itself, there are tons of fun toys to keep your kids entertained in the beautiful lobby of the Akron Art Museum.

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This was such a wonderful way for Jeffrey to experience art and to feel like a part of it! Please Touch is a gift of the Mary S. and David C. Corbin Foundation and is open at the Akron Art Museum through July 16. And the Akron Art Museum offers Free Thursdays as a gift of the J.M. Smucker Company, so that’s a great thing to keep in mind as you plan your visit!

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Why? Silver Spoon Awards Party Giveaway!

Cleveland loves good food and loves a party! So, a party designed to celebrate all the great food in Cleveland is bound to be an amazing evening!

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Cleveland Magazine‘s 23rd annual Silver Spoon Awards Party  to benefit the Arthritis Foundation, Northeastern Ohio is happening Wednesday, May 3 at the Crawford Auto Aviation Museum at the Cleveland History Center.

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You can enjoy delicious small bites from Cleveland’s top restaurants, unlimited wine samples, silent auctions and raffles, and the chance to check out pieces of Cleveland history all in one place!

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There is also an exclusive VIP lounge with additional small bites, specialty cocktails from Brown-Forman, and a late-night after party.

Tickets are currently on sale for $100 for general admission and $150 for VIP admission. You can purchase tickets online and can save 10% by using promo code WHYCLE at checkout.

Or you can enter to win two general admission tickets to the Silver Spoon Awards Party right here! Here’s how to enter (you can do one, two, three, four, or all five entries, just leave a separate comment here for each):

1.Leave a comment here telling me which participating restaurant you’re most looking forward to sampling.

2. Visit Cleveland Magazine’s Silver Spoon Awards Party and Why CLE? on Facebook and leave a comment here letting me know you visited both pages.

3. Follow @silverspooncle and @whycle on Instagram and leave a comment here letting me know you’re following both.

4. Follow @SilverSpoonCLE and @WhyCLE on Twitter and leave a comment here letting me know you’re following both.

5. Tweet the following phrase and leave a comment here letting me know you tweeted:

I want to attend @SilverSpoonCLE thanks to @WhyCLE: https://whycle.com/2017/04/12/why-silver-spoon-awards-party-giveaway-4 #giveaway

You can tweet once per day for additional entries, just leave a separate comment here each time you tweet.

The giveaway will close on Monday, April 17 at 11:59pm and the winner will be notified the following day. Good luck!

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote the Silver Spoon Awards Party. In exchange, I will receive 2 complimentary VIP tickets for myself and 2 complimentary general admission tickets to give away. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Weekends!

Aside from Yuri’s Night, there was lots of other fun to be had over the weekend! On Friday, as you know, we woke up to this:

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So, it was indoor activities for us! Jeffrey and I met up with one of his little friends for an unofficial birthday celebration at Chuck E Cheese’s. Jeffrey has so much fun playing the games and winning tickets!

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Friday night, in order to try to warm up a bit, I made hatch chile mac ‘n cheese (recipe here), but added in some shrimp too. It was hearty and tasty and definitely helped warm us up!

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On Saturday morning, we took Jeffrey to Breakfast with the Easter Bunny at the Lake Metroparks Farmpark. As Jeffrey’s enthusiasm for the holidays increases, it’s always great to find new ways to enjoy the season!

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Aside from getting to meet the bunny, we enjoyed a nice breakfast buffet.

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And we got to visit some of the newest members of the Farmpark, including some 3-day-old lambs!

I am continually impressed by the Farmpark’s events and the Breakfast with the Easter Bunny was no exception! If you want to enjoy Springtime on the Farm, you can check out a wonderful indoor play area, plus lots of new critters through May 7.

On Sunday, Jeffrey and I met up with my parents for brunch at Punch Bowl Social. This gave a whole new meaning to Sunday Funday! Punch Bowl has a great Bloody Mary bar, with Pope’s Kitchen mix and lots of fun fixings.

 

I ordered the blue plate special of shrimp and grits, with tender belly ham and jalapeno. The flavors in this dish were spot on, which is great because it will be joining the Punch Bowl permanent menu toward the end of the month.

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Mom went with the chicken and waffles and I managed to snag a bite. Crispy, sweet, spicy, and so good!

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After we stuffed ourselves, it was time to burn off some of our brunch with a family bowling outing.

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This was Jeffrey’s first time bowling and Punch Bowl made it so easy, with a ramp for rolling the ball and gutters that popped up automatically for his turn (although I could have used them myself, too). We all had a wonderful time and lots of laughs!

I’ve continually been impressed with our experiences at Punch Bowl Social, from the food and drinks to the game options to the hospitality. Stay tuned for a more full description of our morning on Cleveland Plus soon!

We capped off an active and completely lovely weather Sunday with another fun race as part of the Healthy Kids Running Series. And then lots of sleep!

What a great weekend! How was yours?

***Disclosure: I was invited to brunch with my family at Punch Bowl Social in order to write a piece for Cleveland Plus, as well as sharing some thoughts on this blog. Our food, drink, and fun were complimentary. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Yuri’s Night!

On Saturday night, Matthew and I had the chance to blast off to an out-of-this-world party at the Great Lakes Science Center.

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Yuri’s Night celebrates Yuri Gargarin, the first human to be launched into space. Space-themed costumes are encouraged and certainly made the people-watching at the party a treat! From Star Wars t-shirts to NASA jumpsuits to other-worldly critters, the attendees put their love for outer space and their creativity on display.

 

Plus, it’s always fun to explore a museum after hours, with an adult beverage in hand!

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Libations for Yuri’s Night were provided by Samuel Adams and Barefoot Wines. There were also bar bites to nibble throughout the museum, such as egg rolls, wontons, and mini pizzas.

We also participated in the evening’s scavenger hunt, which made the event even more fun! Not only was the friendly competition with other party goers exciting, but the scavenger hunt gave us an excuse to really explore the entire museum!

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There were also science demonstrations throughout the evening, proving that learning while drinking can be lots of fun!

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Plus, there was live music from Tricky Dick and the Cover-Ups and witty banter from host Mark Nolan that got the crowd of nearly 1,200 people dancing up a storm!

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Yuri’s Night was a really unique and fun experience that made science come to life in a totally new way. I loved being able to explore the Great Lakes Science Center after-hours and get to see the enthusiasm for space travel of my fellow attendees. After a year off, Yuri’s Night was back, bigger and better than ever!

***Disclosure: I was asked by the Great Lakes Science Center to help promote Yuri’s Night. In exchange, I received 2 general admission tickets for myself and 2 general admission tickets to give away. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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