FREE! Great Lakes Science Center

Blog Date
Julie Smith
Kevin F. Smith

FREE! Great Lakes Science Center

Weekends and weekdays -- we have found that there is so much going on in Cleveland! We want to share with you here two events that we attended February 21 and 22, 2014.

The first event, attended by Julie and Stuart, PechaKucha Cleveland (@PKNCLE), was something we have enjoyed many times in the past. Knowing the history of the location, The City Club (@TheCityClub), added an interesting dimension.

The second event, attended by Julie, Kevin, and Stuart, was a gift to the community from the The Cleveland Foundation (@CleveFoundation) as part of their 100th birthday celebration -- a free day at the Great Lakes Science Center (@GLScienceCtr).

We were originally planning to publish this as one blog post about both events, but have now decided to wait until Monday to post the Cleveland Foundation section for two reasons. First, and most importantly, the Cleveland Foundation is scheduled to make a big announcement about their next big event on Monday. Secondly, as we pulled together the content, we discovered that there was so much to share that it warranted two posts.

Read the first installment blog post: PechaKucha Cleveland at The City Club.

Here is the SECOND installment which includes the Cleveland Foundation announcement...

Cleveland Foundation FREE Day at Great Lakes Science Center

Free Weekend North Coast Harbor
Enlarge Photo

We have been to the Great Lakes Science Center (@GLScienceCtr) for other events. What we saw on Saturday, February 22, 2014, as part of the gift from Cleveland Foundation, was much more than we saw in the past. At many of the presentations, the museum staff asked for a show of hands of how many were visiting for the first time. Based on what we saw, the Cleveland Foundation and Great Lakes Science Center reached their goal of connecting to many first-time visitors. Over 16,000 science center guests attended the free event. If they had as good a time as we did, we assume that they will come back for future events.

Cleveland Foundation

Cleveland Foundation @ 100

Before we write about our day, it is important to say why we were at the Great Lakes Science Center that day. Of more importance than the fun we had this one day is the important role that The Cleveland Foundation (@CleveFoundation) has been playing in our community for 100 years.

Cleveland is unique in the world in having the first community foundation. The Cleveland Foundation has assets of $2 billion and distributed $89 million in grants in 2013. The February 22 & 23, 2014, free weekend on North Coast Harbor -- Saturday, Great Lakes Science Center and Sunday, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame & Museum -- is just one of many events planned to commemorate this special year. See below in the "future" section of this blog post about the next big event.

The Foundation Effect

See the special "The Cleve1and FOundatiOn -- Leading a Century of Change" website to learn more about "The Foundation Effect" on Cleveland through the decades.

Great Lakes Science Center

We have never had we seen the Great Lakes Science Center (@GLScienceCtr) the way we did that day. When we arrived, a little after the opening time, we were shocked to see a line in front of the building that went the length of the building along the sidewalks, and was at least six people across. It looked like one long snake of humanity. Here is the official Cleveland Foundation video that shows the excitement of the crowd.

Our experience was completely different from those that entered through the front door. We pulled into the attached parking garage, and entered the building with no lines and plenty of staff to help visitors start to explore. The Great Lakes Science Center and Cleveland Foundation had many staff and volunteers in special blue shirts ready and willing to assist attendees -- everything was very well organized. The upper floors were crowded, but the science center had opened sections that we had never seen before. We had no problem getting seats at the special presentations we had chosen to attend.

Please read through our tweets and see the photos that follow to get a sense of what we did during the day. We only want to bring special note to the three following items:

Enlarge Photos
O-H! I-O! Ohio Astronauts
O-H!  I-O!

Ohio Astronauts HometownsOhio Astronauts

There is so much more we can write about the day, but we will let the photos and tweets speak for themselves. Here is the schedule from the special free day at the Great Lakes Science Center.

Free day at Great Lakes Science Center schedule
Read Schedule



Here are our photos. If you device does not support a Flickr slideshow, please view February 22, 2014 - Great Lakes Science Center Free Day online.

Thank you to Great Lakes Science Center for allowing us to share their The Cleveland Foundation - Free Weekend on North Coast Harbor Facebook photos here:


Tweets & Retweets

Here are Stuart's @sos_jr tweets and retweets from the day. We think they give a good overview of the day. We also recommend that you follow not only @CleveFoundation but also their #TCF100 hash tag to learn about all that is happening during this 100-year anniversary of the foundation.


We decided to delay the publishing of this post until today to coincide with the The Cleveland Foundation's March 3rd announcement of their next centennial gift to the community. The next event is (drum roll, please) Cleveland Foundation Day at Downtown Festivals. The Cleveland Foundation will provide a free day at the Cleveland International Film Festival on March 24, and free concerts at the Tri-C JazzFest on June 27 & 28.

See the Cleveland Foundation Day at Downtown Festivals is the March AND June centennial gifts to the community article, and follow on Twitter @CleveFoundation and hashtag #TCF100 for more details!

Cleveland Foundation Day at Downtown Festivals

In 2013, the Great Lakes Science Center began a series of adult evening events called Science After Dark. Check it out!

Great Lakes Science Center Science After Dark

Please read more about the Great Lakes Science Center's ongoing exhibits and year-round activities on their website.

We have learned that NASA Glenn Research Center is offering tours of their facility.

PechaKucha Cleveland at The City Club

Please read the first installment (published Friday, February 28, 2014) of this two-part blog post PechaKucha Cleveland at The City Club here.

PechaKucha Cleveland at The City Club

Learn more in past posts...

If you want to learn more about these organizations events we have attended in the past, please see our blog posts: