Even when we were in NYC briefly last fall, I went out to GoCityKids and found an amazing puppet show blocks away from our apartment, the next day we walked to Prospect Park and went to the Zoo, the day after that we went to storytime at Brooklyn public Library. I never once had to worry about what to do with the kids. It was AWESOME.
It's not that Cleveland doesn't offer events for the kids, it does. This city has an incredible amount of options for introducing culture to the kids. From museums to art classes, to story times and plays, Cleveland has options. The problem in my humble opinion is the amount & consistency of the events the city offers.
I think that the lack of events in our fair city is the lack of demand. The modern day suburban family goes downtown for two reasons, sports and shitty pop concerts. The majority of these suburban families would rather spend their time walking around a mall eating at TGI McHoulihan's then walking and living through the fantastic city of Cleveland.
I know exceptions to this broad generalization of course, for example my friend OhMommy. OhMommy is a suburbanite (whether she likes to admit it or not:) with three kids. She regularly searches out events for her family to participate in that are located downtown. She wants her children to know both lives, urban and suburban. I can't speak for her but I think our philosophies are close to the same. The more cultural experiences our children have, the more ready they will be for the real world. I stress the word experiences as I believe each urban experience plays a huge role in the lives of our children. It introduces them to a new part of life, one they
don't will not see in the suburbs. OhMommy and myself live this mantra. We take our kids downtown, we introduce them to foods they won't find at Crapplebee's, we walk the streets with our kids and we are proud to do so. Our simple belief in the future of downtown drives us to do so and if every suburban family would mimic OhMommy's passion for downtown, I am sure the calendar of events for children downtown would surge.
Well my friends, I think that surge has begun. It is starting off slow but it's there. I know this when I hear that one my favorite events from last year is back.
The International Children's Festival is held by Playhouse Square and it is one of those events that makes me believe Cleveland is on the right path towards growth again. This is the second year and I am so proud to say that my kids will get to experience this incredible festival brought to our city by Playhouse Square. Last year's festival was a highlight in our year. The intimacy of each show we saw made my kids feel like they were the only ones in audience. The talent this year is equally if not more stunning than last. There are countless shows from all over the world that will entice each and every one us, big or small.
5 Days in May will feel like we live back in the big city. As a family, we will walk the streets of downtown Cleveland thinking about what our city can grow to be. We will know that we are a part of our city's future, that each thing we do in Cleveland contributes to our bringing our city back to life. We will walk to Playhouse Square and I will tell me kids that someday they will be walking their own kids down this same street, only instead of it being a monthly or weekly trip downtown, they will live here. They will raise a family here.
I encourage you to fall in love with your city. Embrace what it has to offer. Go downtown! Go to Playhouse Square! Take your kid's to the International Children's Festival! Be a part of re-building our once was thriving city.
One of you lucky peeps is gonna get to see how great the CLE is first hand. I am giving away 4 tickets to the Saturday (May 7) show, Room on a Broom.
You can win these tix a few different ways:
- First way to win is to leave a comment telling me your favorite thing to do in the CLE with your kids. If you don't have kids, just tell me your favorite thing about the CLE.
- Tweet the following:"I wanna win @playhousesquare kids festival tix on @chefswidow http://tinyurl.com/3op94lk " Make sure to leave me a comment with your tweet.
- Share this blog post on FB. Again leave a comment with your link.
- Link this post on a your blog. Leave a comment with your blog post link.
You can do one, two, are all of these things. Each comment left will be one entry. Please remember to put your email in the comment so if you do win I can actually get the tickets to you! xx
I will be picking the winner next Monday May 2nd. Good Luck!