Free Summertime Family Activities in Cleveland, Ohio

Cleveland families are often restless after the long, cold winters. Once the summertime hits, we are ready to grab the family and head out and immerse ourselves in a variety of different activities. However, with the economic downturn, many Cleveland families do not have a lot of spare cash so they seek out the the many free summertime family activities in Cleveland, Ohio.

Cuyahoga County Archives

You and your family can stop by from 8:30am until 3:00pm Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. You can find all of the archives of this county starting from 1835. This is a great place to come as a family to start tracing your family tree. The address is 2905 Franklin Boulevard, Cleveland, Ohio 44113.

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

Every Monday you and your Family can visit the zoo for free. Parking is free as well. Adults will have to bring their driver's license or state I.D. to prove residency. The zoo has hundreds of animals and exhibits, as well as places to eat and shops.


Two of the free things to do are Cleveland's beaches. Edgewater is located on the near west side. This park is free and also has free parking. Located on the shores of lake Erie, the park offers a beach and picnic areas. The sunsets are quite beautiful too. There is also a pavilion for those who wish to have a larger party or family get-together. Mentor-on-the-Lake is on the eastern edge. This beach is a bit cleaner and larger. It also offers free parking and beautiful sunsets.

Art Walks

On the second Friday of every month, the Tremont neighborhood offers a free art walk. You and your family can enjoy plenty of art and live music. There are also free refreshments and a diverse crowd of people.

Every June, the Murray Hill area in Little Italy also offers an art walk lasting three days. While they usually do not have live music, most galleries do have refreshments and there is a diverse crowd here as well.

Squire's Castle

Located in the Cleveland Metropark's North Chagrin Reservation, this old castle structure sits. It is purported to be haunted and many locals swear they have seen the ghost of a woman. Visitors are allowed to have a picnic in the castle or spend the day here for as long as the park is open.

Dittrick Museum of Medical History

Located at Case …

CaringBridge for Times of Family Distress

Discovering CaringBridge for times of family distress was a truly eye opening experience for me, my family and friends. Every person, every family passes through difficult times in the course of a year or a life time. In this age of computer technology I guess it shouldn't be a surprise to discover how truly incredible computer websites can be when it comes to dispersing information and keeping people connected even in times of high stress. Discovering CaringBridge has so much to offer,in so many trying situations.

Not surprisingly CaringBridge Website grew out of the personal tragedy of a single family. Trying to keep people informed about the medical progress, prognosis and end results could have put a great deal of additional stress on a family dealing with the birth of premature baby. But a technically savvy friend gave this struggling family the lift they needed by producing a website which enabled them to send out information and receive messages of support simply and securely. The success of this project was multiplied when a memorial fund was donated to St. Paul's Children's Hospital in Minnesota to help set up a free website for use by patients and their families to keep connected during difficult times.

Out of this very localized success has come widespread development that has seen CaringBridge mushroom over the last 12 years since this effort began. According to statistics compiled by CaringBridge more than 155,000 sites have been created to manage the important flow of information and personal messages between patients and their families and friends. An incredible 30 million people have visited the CaringBridge site in the last 12 months alone. Still, until you have faced a catastrophic situation as an individual or family you may be unaware of the wonderful service that CaringBridge can offer you, for free.

When a close friend of mine developed cancer I was invited to participate in what is an ever burgeoning net-work of friends and family. For my friend and his family this means no more well meaning but often tiring and irksome phone calls to contend with and no more unexpected and taxing personal visits. For friends who have signed on to this personal website via CaringBridge it means that we receive an automatic notice every time our friend or his family has a status report they want to share. We can read it , re-read it and it …

How to Plan a Successful Family Reunion

Many families these days plan large Family Reunions for their entire clan. These Reunions are a great way to reunite the entire family and spend some quality time together. Different families plan differently, but a four year interval is quite popular, and it’s always fun to see the new additions to the family in that time, and how grown up the children look from the last Reunion. However, planning a family Reunion can feel like an overwhelming and endless task, so here are a few tips of the trade to help with your next Family Reunion.

-You will need to decide on the time frame for the reunion. How long the Reunion is will designate the amount of food and refreshments to be purchased. This will also stipulate the amount to be paid by each person.

-Cooking & Food Preparation is dreaded by many at such an event. However, there is a simple and painless process. If each individual family unit is responsible for preparing, cooking, and cleaning up afterwards one meal than it is much less tiresome. It can be a good bonding time for the family unit, and one meal is relatively painless. Depending on the length of the Reunion and amount of people/families it may need to be increased to two but it is relatively simple overall. If you hang the cooking schedule up in the kitchen than everyone will know their designated time to feed the clan.

-Meals to Prepare. Keep the meals simple such as soup and salad, or barbeques. You don’t want to become too gourmet in your cooking when there are so many people of various ages to feed. It is also important to check for any food allergies within the group of people attending the Reunion.

-Put together an Activities schedule. You will want to have activities for children and adults, as it’s a family reunion it’s always important that there is something for everyone. Again, each family should help with the set up and running of at least one active. This will keep everyone involved in the events taking place at the reunion. A couple of ideas are:

  • Scavenger Hunts
  • Silent Auction (each family brings one item to donate to the auction)
  • Arts and Crafts for the Kids
  • Talent Show
  • Iron Chef Contest
  • Sing-along’s
  • Prepare a Family Cookbook by having each family bring one or two of their favourite family recipes.

Spending Time with Your Family – A Practical Start

Are you one of the millions of people around the world who have made a decision to spend more time with your family this year? Then this article aims to provide some practical and useful guidelines to help you achieve your goal.

This is a good time of year to take a critical look at your life. Introspection is the first step towards change. Look at the factors in your life that prevent you from spending time with your family. Take a sheet of paper and make a list of those factors on one side of the paper. On the other side, list some strategies that you can use to neutralize the impact of those factors on your time. For example, if one of the factors that keep you from your family is work, a strategy maybe to work fewer overtime hours.

Review the strategies that you listed earlier and pick one or two that you can implement immediately. Work to remove the obstacles that prevent you from having quality time with your family. If necessary, seek advice and help from your pastor or other professionals in your community. Today we are faced with many forces that compete for the limited time we have. Regardless of the nature of those forces at work in our lives, we must be more determined than ever to defeat those challenges. Some of these challenges come in the form of negative habits that have been with us for years. Habits like watching too much television, procrastination, neglect of family and working too much are just a few of the challenges that may have to be overcome.

While your enthusiasm is in high gear, go right ahead and set aside family time in your weekly schedule. Start with 30 minutes per week and increase the time as needed. Use that time to do things together. Involve your family with the planning and execution of all activities. Do not make the mistake of monopolizing family time. This will destroy the initiative and enthusiasm of the family. Activities may include games, barbeques, hikes, movies, and Bible study. The list is your choice.

With the cooperation and help of the other family members, take a monthly or bimonthly reflective look at the past month or two. Give each family member a chance to give his opinions, criticisms or suggestions on how things can be improved. Suggest ideas that …

Tips for Making Dinner Time with Your Family More Enjoyable

For an entire week I tried a little something different at the kitchen table. My kids seem to have a hard time just eating. They like to play and joke around instead of filling their bellies. I must say that I have really learned a little bit more about my family. Armed with this information I can have a little more direction for activities that we can do later.

On a whim I decided to distract them a little and ask questions. The first rule was that they were not to take a single bite until after they talked. I let each person answer the question with just one answer and then allowed them to take a bite.

Now these questions were not vague and had to require a little bit of thinking. Not just the "how was your day" but more those that were a little more direct. Topics to questions can be anything from naming something that happened today to what would you like to be when you grow up. I asked each of them what they wanted to grow in the garden and what their favorite game to play was. Each of them told me what they would like to learn how to cook and different recipes they would like to try. I definitely learned what each kid would like to do with dad or myself when it is their turn for some one on one time. There is so much you can learn about kids in just a matter of 30 minutes. My kids are still very young and they were more than happy to talk about themselves. Each day brought more insight and even more questions. To mix it up a little I let the kids start asking questions and working around the table to listen to each others answer. Sometimes the questions went around more than once and some of the answers were getting a little silly, but you can not replace the quality time that had spent really getting to know what is going on in your kids' heads.

I realize that a busy household has a little bit of difficulty really coming together to have a meal. With today's hectic schedules and everyone trying to buzz about to get things done around the house, it is hard to actually make quality time with the family. Not only are you teaching good communication …

Planning 101 for a Theme Family Holiday

Going on a vacation should be fun for any family, but only when all family members are happy with the vacation spot. Just taking off on a vacation with a family without proper planning will not result in an enjoyable holiday for any of the family members no matter the amount of money spent.

To avoid disappointment, this year, why not try a theme holiday. There is a host of such vacations that you can elect to go to which should provide all family members with something to enjoy. You can make this year's vacation the one all of you will keep in mind and talk about for many years to come.

First off, research all vacation themes available and then sit down with the family. List all the pros and cons of each vacation spot and finally agree on the spot that suits all of you the best. Budgetary considerations should form a central part of the discussions. There is no point in picking a vacation you can't afford.

Book the vacation many days well ahead of the vacation time. This ensures that you will get all the facilities you need, like good camping grounds, accommodation, and boat and car rentals. You may also benefit from discounts given for booking early.

Without doubt Disney World in Florida wins as the most attractive family destination. There is entertainment galore for all family members. You can reduce the costs by purchasing day passes which give discounts to Disney World. Some of the passes will permit you to visit the studios at Universal and Epcot Center without wasting time queuing to buy tickets when you get there.

Another destination to consider is Washington DC. There many historic sites to see like museums, monuments, etc. You can also spend your time in theaters, relaxing in coffee shops or enjoying all forms of art found in the many galleries. You will get entertainment day or night. Take a camera or video recorder for the spectacular sites you will enjoy.

Hershey Park in Pennsylvania is another place not to pass up. You can include it in your itinerary when visiting Washington DC.

Unless the family is hot on skiing, try visiting the southern parts of the US, like San Diego, Los Angeles, etc. during the winter months. You will be assured of a warm vacation away from the cold of the north. You now have …

Rational Thinking on Family Planning

Before you decide whether or not it is good or bad to want a big family, ask yourself a few other questions first. Is it bad to bring more children into the world when there are already so many that need loving homes? Can our environment handle more humans? How many children can I actually afford to raise, on my own, without help from government agencies? Can I provide quality time for all of those children, separate or together? How will I provide for many children if my spouse dies?

Raising kids these days is no joke and by no means easy. I have one daughter and often find it to already be a struggle at times. It costs a lot of money to bring up kids. From the time they are born you will work your self half to death providing food, shelter, clothes, and the millions of other numerous things that go along with raising kids.

I do not feel as if it is a bad thing to want a big family. I do however, think that it's a bad thing to be irresponsible in planning a large family without the means to do so. Is it fair to all of your children if you can really only afford to raise one or two of them within your capabilities? As humans, we need to understand that we are in crisis. Energy needs are at an all-time high. Drought plagues the planet in areas, reducing the amount of food being produced. How is it even possible to have a big family in good conscience?

I don't think that humans understand fully the effects that overpopulation is having on the planet. In a more simple time, large families were more appropriate. Now is a different era. We must look at breeding in a more logical way. At the current rate of 20 births per 1000 people, how can we possibly provide for ourselves? Money can buy many things- but what if there was nothing to buy? Is it in our best interest to put ourselves in a position to face possible starvation? Not if you ask me.

In the end, it comes down to personal choice anyway. Here in America at least. I must say that I am unimpressed by our inability to identify this very real issue. Don't have more than 3 children. Adopt one or more if it's …

Planning an Outdoor Family Game Night During the Summer Months

Family game night has proven to be a lot of fun for families, especially after the show aired on television showing how much fun families can have playing games together. Now that spring is here there are plenty of families looking to get outdoors. So why not move your family game night outdoors. Below you will find a list of spring and summer family game night activities that is sure to be a lot of fun. If you have an idea or suggestion you can put it in the comments section below this article.

Slip and slide bowling

Adding a new twist to the old fashioned slip and slide game can really be a lot of fun. First of course you need a regular slip and slide. If you don't have one, you can instead use a basic tarp. Tarps can usually be found near all of the camping gear. A regular tarp can be laid out in the yard. Next you will need to purchase very large water balloons. You can usually find this at just about anywhere. Try doing an online search to see if you can buy a bag of large balloons. Next you will want to fill the balloons with water and number them. You will need a total of five water balloons and five buckets as well. Small beach buckets are just the perfect size. Once you fill the balloons, place the buckets at one end of the tarp. Make sure that ground underneath is level. The buckets should be upside down. Place the water balloons on top of the buckets. Turn the hose on and place it so that the water runs down the tarp. What often works best is a sprinkler that can keep the entire tarp wet. Put the sprinkler in the middle of the tarp. Then each person will need to use a very large beach ball, roll it towards the water balloons and try to know over as many balloons as possible. The person who knocks over the most wins. What is really nice about this game is that you can switch it up. The slip in slide part comes in when each person runs and tosses the bowl down towards the balloon bowling pins. Just make sure the sprinkler is off to the side so no one runs into it. Keep in mind that this game can easily be …

How Natural Family Planning Charts Help Determine Fertility

Natural family planning charts are helpful tools to both the woman seeking a form of contraception and the one hoping to get pregnant. They all help women find their most fertile days in each menstrual cycle.

There are hundreds of products on the market sold as natural family planning charts. Some are available only through family planning classes, however.

While some charts record only one way to measure fertility – such as basal body temperature – others record multiple types of readings and can be quite complex. For the woman who wants to avoid pregnancy, understanding all aspects of the chart before using it is essential. Examples of some of the more popular charts and instructions for using them can be found at the Georgetown University Institute for Reproductive Health site.

According to WebMD, all the methods of natural family planning captured on charts are based on finding the time of ovulation. For optimal planning effectiveness, women should use all the methods in combination for several months before attempting to use them as natural birth control.

The charts by themselves are relatively inexpensive. However, the cost of natural family planning classes varies greatly. Women can use charts to track the following methods of planning:

Calendar (Rhythm)

A woman needs to guess her next ovulation event after recording several months of menstrual cycles, which is fairly easy to learn. Based on the chart, she deduces on which days of the month she’s most likely to ovulate. Fertile days begin five days prior to ovulation.

The main disadvantage is that this type of chart only works if she has regular 28-day menstrual cycles. Even women with regular cycles occasionally experience irregular ones. Women don’t always ovulate exactly in mid-cycle. Some experts advise that it’s more likely to happy between 9 and 17 days prior to her next period. This makes this type of tracking imprecise when used alone.

Standard Days Method (SDM)

This type of charting utilizes a string of colored beads known as CycleBeads to track a woman’s cycle. It works best for those with cycles between 26 and 32 days long.

To use this type of tracking, the red bead counts as day 1 of a woman’s period. Each successive day is one bead. A dark brown bead corresponds to day 26. The last brown bead before the red bead represents day 32.

Unfortunately, women who have more than one …