The holidays are over, school’s back in session, and if you live in the Cleveland area there’s a good possibility you and your kids are going crazy on the weekends. The snow, rain and cold keep us inside and it gets to be too much. Fear no more, because we put together a list of 5 local Cleveland STEAM experiences for you and your kids to get out of the house and enjoy this winter! BONUS: these are educational and your child probably won’t even know it. Check it out:
Science Day – Great Lakes Science Center or Lake Erie Nature and Science Center
Full of many hands-on exhibits for the kids, the Great Lakes Science Center is the perfect place to delve into fun STEM learning and experiencing. With exhibits such as Biomedtech, Science Phenomena, and the William G. Mather Steamship, everyone is bound to find something that inspires them. Learn about the science of trains with a close-up view of railroads, locomotives, cabooses and more, as the All Aboard! exhibit takes you through the history of the railway in Cleveland. Take a walk through the NASA Glenn Visitor Center, a gallery of space items, pictures and adventures. There’s a maker exhibit, Cleveland Creates, where your child can get creative by exploring and tinkering with this hands-on projects exhibit.
If one science center isn’t enough, head on over to the Lake Erie Nature and Science Center. This wildlife-focused educational center features live animal exhibits and an animal rehabilitation center. Meet the center’s Red Fox, Bald Eagle, Owls and more before spending time under the stars in the planetarium. Both of these science centers are kids-approved local Cleveland STEAM experiences.
All About the Animals – Greater Cleveland Aquarium and the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
Explore the oceans, lakes and rivers of the world and your own backyard at the Greater Cleveland Aquarium. Highlights include the Touch Pool, where kids can pet stingrays, and the real-time Shark Cam (which you can watch right now!), allowing you to look into the world of eels, stingrays, groupers, angelfish, barracudas and sharks. Exhibits feature fish and animals from all over the world.
When you’re done swimming around, the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is always promising fun times. Take another adventure and explore animals from all over the world, catch a movie at the 4-D theater, feed the giraffes, take a ride on the Boomerang Line or the Circle of Wildlife Carousel. The zoo and aquarium are opportunities for kids to learn more about nature, life-science and the environment.
University Circle Museums – Art Museum, Children’s Museum and Natural History Museum
Spend the day touring the city’s museum Mecca at University Circle, such as the Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland Museum of Natural History and more. This trip will be a whole day of local Cleveland STEAM experiences! Encourage your child’s creative side with the Cleveland Museum of Art, featuring 45,000 art pieces spanning over 6,000 years of creation. If you haven’t visited since it’s renovation, it is like a whole new museum. The Children’s Museum of Cleveland is all new and includes hands-on learning and activity exhibits. If your child easily bores while walking around the museums, this is the perfect interactive experience for them.
If they are more interested in dinosaurs of women in science, spend some time at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, where you can explore the mix of history and science in our world. Regardless of the museum you choose, you and your kids are bound to have a fun day of learning and experience.
Farm Park – “A family-oriented science and cultural center devoted to agriculture and farming”
Have your kids ever milked a cow? Agriculture is a hands-on way to experience life-sciences. Get out of the suburbs for a day, and step into the country. Enjoy year-round and seasonal activities at Farm Park including tractor-drawn wagon rides, dairy parlor tours, exhibit hall walk-around and animal interaction. Let your kids milk a cow with their own hands, make ice cream and learn how to make milk and cheese. Walk through the barn and stables and meet the pigs, sheep, alpacas, goats, chickens, dogs, horses and even baby animals. Learn about crops and plant science as well. Your kids will have a blast on this unique farm day experience!
Cuyahoga Valley National Park
You probably already know there is a national park right around the corner, but don’t take it for granted. Take your kids to Cuyahoga Valley National Park and let them experience all the outdoor explorations it has to offer. Keep it simple by walking on part of the 125 miles of hiking trails, or bring your bikes and take a ride on one of the five bike trails. On a warmer winter day, canoeing and kayaking is available. If you’re looking for something more relaxing, hitch a scenic train ride through the heart of the valley. There are many waterfalls, trees, riverbanks and rock formations to explore and make into your own adventure. There’s no doubt your kids will love exploring this national park.
These local Cleveland STEAM experiences will be a great way to engage your kids over the winter holiday, and keep you from going crazy!