Are these gray winter days giving you and your little ones a case of cabin fever? Looking for something new to keep your toddler or preschooler entertained? Get out and try some of these hands-on learning adventures in the Cleveland/Akron area.
Hand-Feed the Chickadees
These chilly winter months are perfect for learning about our local birds. Stop by a participating park or nature center and experience the excitement of wild chickadees eating a seed snack from your hand.
9000 Chippewa Road, Brecksville
Hand feeding: Saturdays and Sundays, 10 a.m.-noon through February
Beech Creek Botanical Gardens
11929 Beech St. NE, Alliance
Bird in Hand: Saturdays and Sundays, Noon-3 p.m. through February
Try a Music Program
Watch your little performer dance, sing and play with instruments at a music program. Many classes or programs are offered for children beginning in infancy. “Psychologists, scientists and experts in early childhood development have demonstrated that music does more than bring children joy; it helps their brain cells make the connections needed for every kind of intelligence,” according to Kindermusik’s website.
Find music programs at libraries, which also offer arts and make-and-take crafts days. Local arts centers and others hold programs near your city.
Tour Mitchell’s Ice Cream
Looking for a reason to grab some ice cream this time of year? Bring your little foodie on a tasting tour to learn how this local ice cream brand is made. Enjoy ice cream samples and receive a complimentary free scoop certificate to enjoy anytime.
Mitchell’s Ice Cream
1867 W. 25th St., Cleveland
Register online for tours
Explore the solar system in the full dome planetarium theater. Interactive programs designed for small children are offered throughout the week.
Great Lakes Science Center
601 Erieside Ave., Cleveland
Lake Erie Nature and Science Center
28728 Wolf Road, Bay Village
Fun on the Farm
Milk a real cow and learn how cheese is made on this working farm. When you’re done, take a horse- or tractor-drawn wagon ride through the rest of the farm and meet horses, sheep, chickens, pigs and more.
8800 Euclid Chardon Road, Kirtland
Get Crafty at the Art Museum
Sign up for “My Very First Art Class,” where your tot will learn about the museum and make their very own art piece to take home.
The Cleveland Museum of Art
11150 East Blvd., Cleveland
Learn About Wildlife
Northeast Ohio is full of engaging nature centers that offer a variety of programs for budding park rangers. Get an up-close look at live animals that are native to the area.
Rocky River Nature Center
24000 Valley Pkwy., North Olmsted
F.A. Seiberling Nature Realm
1828 Smith Road, Akron