Review: Orchid Mania (Cleveland Botanical Gardens)

160224 Cleveland Botanical Gardens

Have you checked out Orchid Mania (Cleveland Botanical Gardens)? This once a year event highlights the beauty of the orchid family of flora, bringing hundreds of orchid variety on display throughout the Cleveland Botanical Gardens.

Over the years, I have tried my greenthumb at a variety of plants. Sometimes my work resulted in the direct result of less oxygen creating species on this planet, resulting in the demise of the species. However, with several years of experience tending to plants and flora, I have become rather good at nursing a plant back into a beautiful species. No where is that more apparent than in the orchid variety of flora.

After getting my first couple orchids, they lost their flowers as all do. However, their leafy greens continued to flourish, and despite my wife telling me I should throw them out, I have managed to bring them all back into gorgeous blooms at least once per year.

Orchids take a good deal of patience and the right conditions to get them to flower again. Fortunately, I keep our orchids, now numbering a half dozen at indirect light windows, water once per week with a good soaking, and give periodic fertilizer and repotting when necessary.

So I had a big urge to visit the Cleveland Botanical Gardens Orchid Mania display for many years. This year when Orchid Mania appeared on Groupon, I knew our family had to take advantage of the offer. For only $20, I got our entire family into the event (I actually saved 20% on top of that with the weekly promo code).

Get your discounted tickets to Orchid Mania.

Our family had been to the Botanical Gardens a handful of times; however, in order to use the Groupon, it has to be used on a Wednesday evening, giving you a different view of the property at night.

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After enjoying the large variety of orchid blooms in the lobby and main hallway, we opted to enjoy a quick healthy bite to eat at the Botanical Gardens Cafe, offering fresh salad, fruit, yogurt, and sandwich offerings. The food was fantastic and healthy all at the same time.

Once darkness had set in, we went into the main atrium. Having the environment dimly lit created a whole new experience for all of us. The dark allowed us to see all the plants and few animal habitats in a new “light.” While you may not have been able to see the orchids in all of their glory, if you looked closely, there were many hidden gems to be discovered.

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I love seeing all the many variety of orchids on display, and it inspires me to keep on with the hard work on the promise of a gorgeous annual bloom.

While there were other kids at the facility for Orchid Mania, it appears to be more of a date night or girls night out event. There is a small play area towards the end on the upper level, giving the kids a chance to escape for putting up with dads staring at plants.

Review: Maritime Museum of Sandusky

After getting a bit tired of being indoors from the long winter, with a burning desire to get on the road, we headed out towards Sandusky, Ohio this past weekend to explore and see what we could find.

Shores and Islands, the local tourism board for the Lake Erie travel region, recently gave our family a voucher to visit the Maritime Museum, Milan Museum, and the Merry-Go-Round Museum in and around Sandusky, so it gave us a good reason to explore.

With Lake Erie being such an integral part of our region, the Maritime Museum explores the history of shipping, transportation, and recreation on our Great Lake.

The biggest lesson I personally learned from visiting the Maritime Museum was the history of pirating, as I had no idea this happened in our area. Pirates used to even set up fake lighthouses that caused ships to run aground, giving them the perfect advantage for pillaging.

The Maritime Museum offered a perfect mixture of educational exhibits for the parents while also providing kid friendly areas that they could play, like on a pirate ship or building their own boat craft.

The museum also had a beautiful collection of Lyman Boat Works vessels, making us slightly envious of those with boats.

The Maritime Museum is small and perfect for younger families with kids with small attention spans. Visiting the museum takes about an hour including the two outbuildings.

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2014 Smithsonian Museum Day Live

This Saturday, September 27, 2014, marks the annual Smithsonian Museum Day Live event, where hundreds of museums around the country offer free admission to guests.

The list of participating museums has grown tremendously over the years, making it next to impossible to lis them all. However, you can visit the participating museums page to find one located near you.

You must pre-register online and print out your ticket to take with you to the museum.

While this is a great program, keep in mind the Smithsonian Museum Day Live offer is only valid for two admission tickets per household. Therefore, while the parents would get in free, you would still have to pay for any kids to visit the museum.

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Source: InACents