BRECKSVILLE, Ohio - If you would like a relaxing alternative to crazy mall and big box shopping, try going to the park - the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. They have two stores where you can find wonderful educational gifts that are sure to delight your family. Plus you can tour the beautiful park and observe nature at its finest.
How about a guide to the park's plants and animals? Or a book about the rich history of the CVNP? You can start by going to the Boston Store Visitor Center at 1550 Boston Mills Rd., Peninsula. It offers not only interesting books but also locally made products, such as maple syrup, honey and crafts.
The Kelley brothers build the Boston Store around 1836 as literally a "store" - a place to store objects, which is today is the warehouse. The building's second floor was 13 rooms build to be boarding rooms for workers in the area. The building went on to become a post office and a private residence before becoming today's visitor center.
The Canal Exploration Center is another choice for unusual holiday shopping. The building has stood at Lock 38 for over 150 years. It has been a tavern, a store, a residence, a boardinghouse, and even housed a blacksmith shop at one time. It most recently was a park visitor center. Moses Gleeson purchased the structure about 1837, hoping to capitalize on the Ohio & Erie Canal traffic. By 1852 he expanded the building to resemble its current facade.
The Canal Exploration Center features a store selling goods reminiscent of the Canal Era. Interactive touch screens allow visitors to navigate a canal boat through a lock, explore the nation's canal system, or eavesdrop on Canal Chat conversations. Exhibits allow visitors to consider the impact of the canal system and debate the meaning of progress. Take your kids for a day of learning local history at 7104 Canal Road, Valley View.
Dinner theater for the family: Soup, Sandwich and Show with Santa is a new take on "dinner theater" for the entire family. Enjoy a special holiday celebration at the Spotlights Theater on Sat., Dec. 9, 2017. Santa's elves will serve a hot lunch consisting of your choice of soup, sandwich or hot dog, potato chips, veggies, and beverage prepared by none other than Mrs. Claus. There will be special guest appearances by familiar characters. After lunch, all will be ushered into the theater for a short Christmas play featuring Santa himself. The play, Ho! Ho! Ho! The Santa Claus Chronicles is co-directed by a team of talented Spotlights teens and features a cast of all ages. The play will be followed by cookies and ice cream.
There will be two seatings: 11:30a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $13 for adults and $11 for children 12 and under. Children 2 and under (on parents' lap) are free. For more information about the show or for reservations, visit the Spotlights' website: broadview-heights-spotlights.org. This fundraiser is a kick-off event in preparation for the Spotlights' 20th anniversary in 2018. Proceeds will benefit the new capital improvement fund. This event is sponsored by The Goddard School for early childhood development.
Sounds of the Season: Independence Presbyterian Church, 6624 Public Square, will be hosting a Christmas Celebration Concert, "Sounds of the Season," on Sun., Dec. 10 at 4:00 p.m. featuring church organist and pianist, Jake Briggs. Special music selections include "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" by Bach, "Silent Night" arranged by Samuel Barber, and "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" by Bill Evans among other seasonal offerings. Enjoy an afternoon of heart-warming holiday music with light refreshments to follow. Parking is located behind the church off of Elmwood Avenue.
Tree lighting party: Tree lighting in Broadview Heights is an extravaganza with fireworks followed by a huge family party. This year's event will be on Sat., Dec. 2 at 6:00 p.m. The Spotlights' Costumed Carolers will serenade while everyone gathers for the ceremony. Santa will arrive by fire truck to help light the trees. After the fireworks the party moves indoors where there will be Santa visits and free family photos, crafts, a dynamic DJ, a kids' carnival, inflatables, free refreshments and more until 8:30 p.m. The fitness center will be free from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and open swim for all ages from 2 to 5:00 p.m. The event is free but everyone is encouraged to bring non-perishable (unexpired) food items and paper products for the Yuletide Hunger program.
Holiday magic show: Mr. Zap will present The Magic of the Holidays on Sat., Dec. 2 at 2:00 p.m. Enjoy a festive magic show with puppets and audience participation. This program is for all ages, free and open to the public. Registration is required.
The Cuyahoga County Public Library Brecksville Branch is located at 9089 Brecksville Rd. Register online at cuyahogalibrary.org or call 440-526-1102. To register, for more information and a complete list of events, visit cuyahogalibrary.org. All events are sponsored by Friends of Brecksville Branch Library....Read more