CoolCleveland.com credits new owners Joe Pavlick, his wife, Emily Pavlick, his sister-in-law, Kelly Flamos, and Kelly's husband, Colin McEwen, with restoring Mahall's 20 Lanes to its former glory. All Ohio natives, they swooped in and resurrected the once flourishing alley with a fresh infusion of flair. In addition to an expanse of 20 lanes that sparkle between exposed-brick walls, they also refurbished two bars, a dining area, a stage for musical acts with "Mahall's" emblazoned in the background, and pool tables. Locals crowd around tables in the restaurant, chugging brews and chowing down on elote, a grilled ear of corn rubbed with spices. The walls flaunt a mural obscured for years by wallpaper, which Joe and Kelly uncovered during the restoration process. In the lanes, the old-timey method of manual scoring helps the alley maintain its vintage aura and makes automatic counters obsolete.
For the second year running, the Piston Power Show and Excalibur Auto Body fills 1,000,000 square feet with cars, motorcycles, trucks, and airplanes, as well as family-friendly activities and prizes, making it one of the largest indoor vehicle displays in the world. In the vehicle showcase, visitors stroll past more than 1,000 transportation contraptions, admiring the gleaming chrome of classic cars, a fully restored B-17, and a meet-and-greet with the tiny horses that pull the engine's piston. New this year, the Ohio Bike Week Pavilion and Fall Show will showcase live music from bands including The Earthquakes and Thunderstruck, hot dogs, beer, and herds of rowdy motorcycles (food and drink not included with this Groupon). Parents can instill a love of speedy locomotion with interactive displays, simulators, the All-American Soap Box Derby boasting a 250-foot long Indoor Rally track for side-by-side racing, and a fun kids’ zone featuring famous cars from Transformers and Starsky and Hutch. A live band croons nostalgic tunes from the '50s and '60s to offset the atmosphere of fierce competition in Thunder Row, a collection of 32 show cars from around the country wooing judges with powerful engines and svelte figures in the swimsuit competition.
During the day, huge skylights cast a glow over Zelma Watson-George Roller Skating Facility's big, bright, festive rink; in the evenings, glow sticks and other fun accessories light up the crowd as kids and families roll by. Most days, contemporary hip hop and R&B provide the soundtrack, although occasional themed skates turn over the sound system to the likes of Michael Jackson. The center's cafe helps skaters recharge with wings, pizza, hotdogs, and cotton candy, and the arcade bleeps and buzzes with both video games and redemption games spooling out tickets that can be exchanged for prizes or added to an investment portfolio.
Located in the FirstEnergy Powerhouse, the Greater Cleveland Aquarium houses 10 different galleries and 35 tanks with fresh- and saltwater creatures ranging from local trout to sand tiger sharks and piranhas. Regional exhibits demonstrate the native life of Ohio's lakes and rivers with catfish and bass, exotic freshwater landscapes with an interactive African tortoise exhibit, and coastal waterways with octopus and jellyfish.
In the Coastal gallery, visitors can engage another sense at the 11,000-gallon touch pool, where crustaceans and three species of stingrays line up for a kick line at the first sight of an audience. In the main Shark gallery, visitors can immerse themselves in the aquatic environment as they gaze through the transparent ceiling and walls of the 150-foot underwater SeaTube as stingrays, colorful fish, and more than 4 species of sharks swim overhead.
For 14 years, families and friends have created memories while enjoying bowling, video games, food, and beverages at Southgate Lanes. Inside the bowling and entertainment center, guests partake in friendly competition on one of 40 lanes while munching on hot snacks from the full-service bar. Southgate also boasts a game area, enticing guests to take a break from their strikes and spares to try their hand at a game of pool, sharpen their hand-eye coordination with pinball, or prepare for the coming alien invasion on a video game. Other bowling alley attractions include leagues, cosmic bowling, scheduled camps and clinics, and an on-site pro shop.
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.