One of those items was taking Olivia to the International Children's Festival which was A-Mazing!
First of all where can one go these days and expect freebies - and lots of them! Not many places, but we left with a whole bag of goodies from the festival. Here as a breakdown of our day.
Arrived at around 11 (paid $10 bucks to park) and bought tickets to the 11:30 showing of The Star Keeper (an hour run time) which is described as follows in the program:
As he is lighting up the night sky, Pierrot accidentally dislodges a star from the heavens. Luckily, Pretzel notices and puts the fallen star in his big basket. However, his adventures are just beginning. To return the star to it's proper place, he must climb a spider's thread, cross the dormitory of dreams, dive to the ocean depths in pursuit of a pearl-fish, and resist the bewitching charms of the bubble tamer. In the end, it is Daisy Bygone, a very old lady, who brings this fabulous story to it's conclusion.
The show was held in the idea center whose theater is small and intimate which is great for the kids. There wasn't a bad seat in the house, although there were a lot of empty ones :(
|Theater Entrance: What kind of smile is that? lol|
My favorite puppet was the huge giant whose tummy was a stage where we got to see a tap-dancing spider perform among other things :) Here is a highlight reel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kisC34uVJvI. Olivia got restless and I was exhausted so I may have rested my eyes for a minute or two, but seeing the larger than life puppets and the talent of the puppeteers was so worth the ticket prize of only $15 a ticket.
Next we headed to the basement of the idea center where Olivia picked up her passport. You had to visit 4 or 5 "countries" located right along the theater strip and then were rewarded with a free ice cream from Rothschild Creamery. Liv got to make a sock puppet and a princess crown, spin a wheel and win a stuffed moose (which is so super soft), and walk away with new shades and a Browns stocking hat (unfortunately, it is too small, which is sad because it is totally cute) all at no-cost to us! We just missed the free bubbles and finger-painting. (You could also take advantage of a free lunch for kids at Hofbräuhaus - I mean really?!?! How cool is that?)
Next we headed over to the CSU art gallery which featured The Art of Autism: Exploring Self Expression. Most of the art was created by young children and it was so cool to show Olivia the art of other 5 years old on display! She enjoyed the subject matter of many of the pieces including Minecraft creatures and whales :). This exhibit was particularly meaningful to me since for many years I was an ABA therapist working in conjunction with The Cleveland Clinic Center for Autism to help children on the spectrum.
After breaking for our ice cream prize, we headed over to the US Bank plaza where there was a magician, balloon animals, face painters, and a band (we missed the set on this one and didn't hang around for the second show)...oh, and a miniature pony named Petie (we now own his trading card)!
We ended up leaving around 3 and probably would have stayed another hour had Paper Planet not been sold out :(. It was an interactive exhibit that allowed families to fill a paper world with their own paper creations.
All in all it was a fantastic day that cost us only $42 total including a few bucks for the caricature tip (so much more cost effective than Disney on Ice where one is charged $20 to stand with a cardboard cut-out of a princess - NOT EVEN A REAL PERSON IN COSTUME PEOPLE - CARDBOARD! and that is on top of the $70 ticket price per person) I can't believe how not crowded it was for such a beautiful day in Cleveland!
Can't wait till next year!