For more than 25 years, the International Women’s Air & Space Museum has tickled intellects with exhibits dedicated to the women who defied societal conventions to explore the sky and outersky. Current exhibits showcase the life and times of the infamous Amelia Earhart, the paper-helicopter-building abilities of Katharine Wright (sister to the Wright brothers), and the tremendous courage shown by the 39 female Air Force service pilots that gave their lives in WWII. Hurry in to catch the IWASM’s exhibit 100 Ohio Women in Air & Space, on display until January 2.
Glass Bubble Project's owners Mike Kaplan and Chris McGillicutty are business partners, friends, and working artists. Beginning in 1998, they repurposed their garage space into a working studio where professional artists and students create side by side, firing delicate one-of-a-kind masterpieces—and, according to Cleveland Magazine, the occasional grilled cheese sandwich—in the shop's 2,000-degree furnace. Their glass-blowing and welding classes teach adults and children to create one-of-a-kind artwork as nearby artists at work bolster creativity. Besides classes, the studio invites guests to watch their free public demonstrations and grants private studio time to artists in need and broken bottles looking for a fresh start.
The shop's resident artists craft and sell sconces, chandeliers, and vases from recycled glass and repurposed metal. Nicknamed “Clevetion Glass” to simultaneously lampoon delicate Venetian glass and celebrate Cleveland's heartiness, their blend of industrial parts and elegant glasswork toughens up the décor of private residences and commercial buildings, such as the Ritz Carlton, all across the country.
Since 1983, families have spent their holidays around the television, watching A Christmas Story and joining in the triumphs and failures of 9-year-old Ralphie as he struggles to secure a Red Ryder BB gun from Santa's bag. Although the cult-classic film showed Ralphie living in Indiana, the house in which the movie took place rests in Cleveland—and is now a museum. When MSNBC interviewed lifelong fan and A Christmas Story House & Museum owner Brian Jones, they profiled the story of how he found the house on eBay and jumped at the chance to own it. Today, he’s turned it into a year-round place of pilgrimage for fans and the site of an occasionally-held convention for Ralphies.
Jones’s restoration has returned rooms to exactly how they were in the film, letting guests gaze at the tinsel-strewn tree with its star falling off and explore the bathroom where Ralphie’s mouth was washed out with soap—a time-tested method for cavity prevention. Visitors can even attempt to hide like little Randy in the cabinet under the sink. After seeing the backyard that still houses the original shed, where Ralphie defended his family against Black Bart, fans head across the street to the A Christmas Story House & Museum. Here, original props such as the toys from the Higbee’s department-store window, Randy’s snowsuit, and Miss Shields’s classroom chalkboard join other memorabilia and hundreds of behind-the-scenes photos. Before leaving, guests drop into the gift shop to pick up a leg lamp just like the one Ralphie's old man cherished so dearly.
A Cleveland institution since 1968, the Museum of Contemporary Art is a major producer of original exhibitions of national and international artists, as well as a supporter of nascent area artists through its PULSE and Wendy L. Moore Emerging Artist Series. Current exhibitions include Seth Rosenberg: The Cleveland Years, a collection of abstract paintings that incorporates old scientific illustrations and references to Social Realism in the 1930s, much like early drafts of the script for According to Jim: The Movie.
To most, the garden featured in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is purely make-believe. But not to people who've smelled the chocolate-scented varietals blooming amongst hidden trails and a climbable tree house at the Hershey Children's Garden. This sweet-smelling garden is just one of the Cleveland Botanical Garden's 20 gardens, which encompass everything from 3,500 herb plants to lotuses and water lilies floating atop a 74-foot-long reflecting pool. Vibrant hydrangeas complement sculptures in an art garden, while the Guren Art Gallery's ever-changing exhibits spotlight new work inspired by botany and the power of pruning shears.
Shaded boardwalks and winding trails connect all these visual splendors, eventually leading visitors to the Eleanor Armstrong Smith Glasshouse. Divided into a Madagascar desert and a Costa Rican rainforest, the glasshouse showcases 50 types of butterflies, birds, reptiles, and amphibians, plus 350 exotic plants, including a colossal strangler fig. Experts shine a light on such specimens during botanical lectures, which are one of many educational programs the garden offers, ranging from gardening symposia to kids science classes.
Hailed by the New York Times as “one of the country’s best repertory movie theaters,” The Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque feeds eyes with a vast array of foreign and independent first-run films, silver-screen classics, and touring retrospectives. Cinematheque members notch $2–$3 off regular tickets to a lineup of 450 annual film screenings ($6 for a single film with membership, $12 for two films on the same day with membership). Guests can then stay up-to-date on the latest showings and plan outfits for the premieres of award-winning film trailers by reading the bi-monthly film schedule that is sent by mail or by tracking Cinematheque’s online extended film schedule. They can then head to the front row of the 616-seat Russell B. Aitken Auditorium to bask in the glow of films projected from vivid 35mm film.