Press ENTER to search, ESC to clear

Ways You Can Support Local Business Today

It is a decidedly difficult time. COVID-19 is impacting everything in our orbit—hospitality and tourism, retail, education, law enforcement, politics, sports, the arts, nonprofits, healthcare . . . the list goes on. The way our world has changed is particularly striking today—St. Paddy’s Day. This is a time when Clevelanders would be filling the streets and generating income for the bars, bakeries, breweries and musicians. Today some of us will maybe get a Reuben to-go and log-on to watch local rockers giving voice to the holiday with a 1pm livestream concert for the community.  

We wrote this post this morning and by the time it’s shared online we suspect things will have changed even more—that’s how quickly things are moving. For now, we’d like to share some of the ways we can still support struggling local businesses who have supported Aquarium events over the years. If we missed someone, add a comment or email us. We’ll add it here.

Breweries 

Bookhouse Brewing – Our neighbors up the hill just announced they were going to try a home beer and waffle delivery. Order some and follow them on Facebook

Double Wing Brewing – With the mandatory closure of on-site consumption, Debonne said it is offering carryout sales of both Double Wing Beer and Debonné wine, but you must call ahead. They’ll also deliver, but there are some restrictions. Check out the post on social.   

Great Lakes Brewing Company – They’re continuing to brew, but the brewpub is closed. Their Facebook says “We’ve got plans in the works to bring the fresh, comforting tastes of our pub to your home. Stay tuned [for info on] our upcoming to-go food and beer offerings, including festive holiday fare.” 

Saucy Brew Works – The Hingetown fixture is shifting its “focus solely to PICKUP and DELIVERY options for our full menu, crowlers and growlers of beer on tap (new Saucy growlers only)” and cans.  They’ve also changed their hours in the short-term. Find out the latest here

Terrestrial Brewing Company – Terrestrial has been an amazing partner to the Aquarium’s Splash Fund, raising money for efforts to save spotted turtles in Northeast Ohio. The Battery Park Brewer says, “We are only offering to-go sales on all beers and food with limited hours. We will be opening Tuesday thru Friday (4-8 PM) and Saturday and Sunday (12-8 PM). At these times, guests may purchase any to-go beers (crowlers and growlers), merchandise, gift cards, as well as to-go La Plaza Taqueria & Catering food. We are currently working on canning operations as well. Expect your favorite Terrestrial beers in six-packs in the near future.”

Twin Oast Brewing – The Catawba Island brewer is encouraging those who’d like to support them to buy a gift card saying, “This is an easy way that you can continue to support our staff and our business during the mandatory closure. As a small token of our appreciation, we’ll be adding on to the value of your gift card.”

Voodoo Brewery Cleveland – One of the newest additions to the Cleveland (Heights) beer scene will offer carry out beer, cider and food. Check out their Facebook for more. 

Chocolates, Sweets & Snacks 

The Bom – With online s’more and truffle-making parties, The Bom is a great alternative during the era of social distancing. Check them out here

Fear’s Confections – Carry out chocolate in Lakewood. You know you want to. It’s the opposite of stressful. Here’s the info

Jack Frost Donuts – Some of Northeast Ohio’s most fanciful (and deelish) donuts are now available curbside for those with the foresight to pre-order. Details here.  

Mitchell’s Fine Chocolates – This Cleveland Heights chocolatier invites you to support a local business and “grab ‘n’ go” some sweet deliciousness. 

Sweet Bean – Sweet been has been making lemon out of lemonade (well, more like chocolate out of cocoa beens) and heading to online for virtual markets. Find out how to shop one of them here.  

Sweet Designs Chocolatier – Stop in, pick up and head out. This Lakewood business has sanitizing and public safety in mind and terrific chocolates in its cases. 

Restaurants 

Astoria Café & Market – Astoria will be open Tuesday-Saturday 11am-9pm for carry out and curbside to-go and they’re offering 10% off every purchase excluding alcohol. The market will be open and they have to-go beer and wine.

The Flat Iron – Our neighbors across the bridge are offering carry out Monday through Saturday 11am- 8pm. Dall 216.696,6968 to place an order. Take-out bottled beer and wine are also available. This is a new game and The Flat Iron is taking things day by day, so follow them here for updates. 

Hatfields Goode Grub – The West Park staple is offering curbside pickup and free local delivery of their full menu including beer and wine from 11am – 8pm. Online ordering is suggested.  

Melt Bar & Grilled – The full Melt Bar and Grilled menu is now available for take-out and delivery with amended hours. Enjoy the ooey-gooey, family-friendly cheesy goodness at home. 

Prosperity Social Club – Prosperity is regrouping with carryout specials and beer and wine to-go.  Check out the eclectic Tremont pub’s quintessentially Cleveland comfort food here

Rascal House – All Rascal House locations are open for pickup, takeout and delivery only – so take that pie home with your bad self. 

Wineries 

CLE Urban Winery – You can still get your favorites from the Cleveland Heights’ winery online or at Heinen’s. 

Debonne Vineyards – The 175-acre vineyard in Madison says it is offering 20% off all carry-out wine & beer or 50% off shipping until Easter.

Grand River Cellars – They are currently open 12-6pm daily and offering 20% post off all carryout wine sales

High & Low Winery – Zoom zoom zoom, High & Low Winery is delivering wine to your living room! $3.95 flat fee, no minimum, no venturing out. More here.   

Raven’s Glenn Winery – Located in West Lafayette, they have pickup available and will deliver orders over $40 within local corporation limits.  

Other 

K-9 Cleveland – In an effort to support the human healthcare team during the COVID-19 pandemic, the doggy daycare/groomer/trainer is offering a 50% discount on daycare & boarding through the end of April to those working in local hospitals.

Lolly the Trolley – They are not offering their super informative public tours for the remainder of March. Be sure to take a sightseeing tour when they start back up again. 

Nautica Queen – The sightseeing cruise was just gearing up for the summer season. Look for announcements and book your afternoon or evening on the Cuyahoga River. 

Visible Voice Books – The indie Tremont bookshop will be closed for browsing and events until this all blows over, but its entire inventory IS available online. They’ll also be taking orders via at info@visiblevoicebooks.com. Payment options available thru PayPal and Venmo and they’ll be offering free domestic USPS shipping and arranging curbside book pickup while the store is closed.

– Greater Cleveland Aquarium Team

5 Things I Learned about Poison Dart Frogs

Poison dart frogs prove that old adage—big things come in small packages . . . some of these 1 to 2-inch wonders are among the most toxic animals on the planet.

Humans have actually benefited from poison dart frogs’ toxins—whether it was the indigenous people of western Colombia coating the tips of blow darts with their poison or the scientists currently working to create pharmaceuticals based on their secretions. You can see “azureus” blue, green & black and “Patricia” dyeing dart frogs up close in the Tropical Forest Gallery at the Greater Cleveland Aquarium.

– Sam Fryberger

5 Things I Learned about Garden Eels

At first glance, garden eels can be mistaken for plants but a closer look reveals slim little fish with big eyes. 


Nature. It’s a curious thing. You can see yellow garden eels the next time you visit the Coastal Boardwalk Gallery at the Greater Cleveland Aquarium.

– Samantha Fryberger

5 Things I Learned: Surinam Toad

With a triangular head, flattened appearance, bumpy skin and tiny lidless black eyes, the Surinam toad is one odd-looking amphibian. Their earthy-colored, mottled, leaf-like appearance allows them to blend into the rocks and plant debris at the bottoms of muddy, slow-moving waterways of South America.

The Surinam toad can stay underwater for more than an hour and is actually considered an aquatic frog. Its rough skin earned it the “toad” name. See these unique animals up-close at the Greater Cleveland Aquarium. Nature. It’s a curious thing.

-Samantha Fryberger

Bird is the Word

You might be curious about the bird calls you hear while walking through the Aquarium’s Tropical Forest Gallery. Birds play important roles in their ecosystems, from being predators and prey, to acting as pollinators and seed dispersers, to providing magnificent sights and sounds we have come to expect from wild habitats. You will find three different colorful species of birds at the Aquarium. Crested wood-partridges are peculiar, ground-dwelling birds native to Indonesian rainforests. Be on the lookout for the showy red crest on the male’s head. What the female is lacking in head decorations, she makes up for with beautiful green body feathers, compared to the male’s dark blue variety. You might see these birds using their feet to move things around on the ground while foraging for edible treats.

Black-naped fruit doves are another pair of birds where a quick visual study easily distinguishes the male and the female. The male sports the black nape on his neck and head area, while the female is entirely green. Fruits and seeds make up the majority of the menu for these doves.  If you’re fortunate, you may hear and see the male making his vocalization from a perch.

If extremely active birds are your favorite to observe, look no further than the curl-crested aracaris. They’re a playful and curious pair, seemingly hopping and flying around endlessly, always searching for the next item to eat or interact with. They mainly accomplish these activities using their spectacular, large, multicolored bills. Stop by and see if you can spot any out–of-the- ordinary items in their exhibit; these are provided regularly to enrich the birds’ active brains.

Matt Debelak

5 Reasons to Check Out Hauntaquarium

Looking for something to do this Halloween? Here are 5 reasons your family will enjoy Captain NEO’s Hauntaquarium at the Greater Cleveland Aquarium October 18, 19, 25, 26 or 27* from 6 – 9pm.

RAIN, SHINE OR SNOW IT’S A GO Our pirate party activities—from a DJ dance party to face painting—are indoors.

FUN, NOT SCARY There are pirates, pumpkins and magic, but nothing gets too spooky. Parents attending with kids in tow are encouraged to come in costume; as long as it is child-friendly and does not include a mask.

BUDGET-CONSCIOUS PRICING Due to the generosity of sponsors like the Cleveland Monsters, Integrity Radio and K9 Cleveland, the cost to attend Captain NEO’s Hauntaquarium is less than daytime admission—$12 ($10 for Passholders).  If you purchase your ticket in advance and show it at the gate to the lot, parking is also included.

MORE THAN TREATS Captain NEO’s Hauntaquarium is more than a treat trail with stickers, candies and temporary tattoos. The evening also includes animal encounters, mini science experiments, costumed SCUBA divers and activities to spur the imagination of budding young biologists.

FEEL-GOOD FUN We hope you’ll enjoy the evening and take away a newfound appreciation for how flashlight fish get their special glow, where piranhas earned their fearsome reputations or why poison dart frogs are such brilliant colors. We are excited for any opportunity to share our passion for aquatic life and the environment with curious learners of all ages.

Interested? Space is limited. I suggest getting your tickets in advance to make sure you get the night of your choice AND free parking. (*Note: October 27 is being held in partnership with Autism Speaks Northeast Ohio and is for families who could benefit from a reduction of stimuli.) You can purchase tickets here.

  • Neda Spears

A Spin on the Laundromat: Moon Jellyfish

You may wonder as you walk through the Greater Cleveland Aquarium’s Coastal Boardwalk Gallery why there is a giant washing machine. As you get closer, you will see what is gently swirling in the fanciful exhibit—moon jellyfish. The decision to showcase these animals in such a way came from Director of Artistic Production and Operations, Bruce Orendorf.

Bruce had a few ideas about how to fit the new exhibit in with the gallery’s deliberately kitschy boardwalk theme. The jellyfish exhibit uses a circular kreisel tank that causes the water to flow in a circular motion and enables the animals to rise and fall, but moves slow enough so that they are allowed to move freely as well. In thinking about the exhibit’s relationship to a boardwalk Bruce thought, “Cotton candy machine?”, but ruled that out as that kind of machine operates horizontally, not vertically. Then he thought, “You know what that looks like? A washing machine.”

The moon jellyfish (Aurelia aurita), which gets its name from four internal gonads that have a moon shape, cannot swim, so their movement in the water relies on currents. They use currents to move through the water to find their prey, which consist of zooplankton, fish eggs, larval crabs and shrimp. Here at the Aquarium, their diet consists of artemia nauplii, a form of brine shrimp.

“I want people to find them as interesting as I do,” said Aquarist Bethany Hickey, who is in charge of the exhibit, and who has a particular interest in invertebrates. Hickey says that ensuring that the temperature, as well as the water currents, mirror that of the environment these animals live in, is crucial to their survival. “They are very susceptible to any environmental changes, and that necessary stability is somewhat challenging to maintain in the exhibit,” she said.

After landing on a name, Bruce built the façade in-house and had signs made that were similar to what you would see in a real laundromat, but would also work within the Coastal Boardwalk theme.

Now you know some of the thought and planning that goes into creating a new exhibit. Next time you visit, check out the jellyfish in the Blue Moon Laundromat.

– Neda Spears

5 Tips to Recycle Responsibly

We all want to do our part to help the Earth, but sometimes we feel we just we don’t know how. Nine out of 10 people said they would recycle if it were “easier.” Here are 5 simple tips to become a recycling regular:

1. Follow City’s Pickup Standards.

Depending where you live, recyclables are either collected in blue plastic bags or loose in bins. Follow the regulations of your City to ensure extra plastic is not wasted. If your City does not require collection in plastic bags, use a bin or cart when taking out or dropping off recycling.

Collecting recyclables in plastic bags can cause issues with the recycling equipment and sorting machines. Plastic bags can get tangled and contaminate sorted recycling bins creating more trouble and waste. Because of this, they can end up in landfills, blow away and clog our waterways, oceans and seas.

Plastic bags, like grocery bags should never be recycled with your recyclables. Collect plastic bags and consider looking into collection programs at local grocery stores and retailers. To find a location accepting drop-offs near you, check out plasticfilmrecycling.org. 

2. Only recycle clean, empty containers.

Rinse out your bottles, jars and cartons before throwing them in the recycling. Remember, that pizza box isn’t recyclable. While it is cardboard, it can never be clean and free of grease and food remnants.

3. Replace bottle lids after cleaning.

Plastic lids can now be recycled but they can’t be recycled alone. Bottle lids that are thrown into recycling alone can be hard to spot and are often lost in the process of sorting. This means they can end up with the trash and head to a landfill. After you empty and clean your containers, make sure to put the caps back on.

4. Don’t mix everything together if you’re unsure.

When recycling, it is important not to “wish cycle”. Wish cycling is a term used to describe when someone puts items in their recycling and is unsure if it’s recyclable or not. This creates more waste and contaminates items that could have been recycled. While it feels good to recycle more items, make sure you only recycle the “core” recycling items at home: cans, cartons, glass bottles and jars, paper and boxes, and plastic bottles and jugs.

5. Research your city’s recycling policies.

If you’re interested in learning more about how you can continue or start recycling correctly, research your City’s website to find out what items are accepted, and the best way to recycle. Each site will address any frequently asked questions you might have on recycling properly where you live. If you live in Cuyahoga County, you can find more information at cuyahogarecycles.org.

Species Highlight: Poison Dart Frog

Poison dart frogs got their moniker from indigenous Central and South Americans using the toxins the animals secrete through their skin on hunting arrows. We talked to aquarist Connor Craig to learn more about some of the Greater Cleveland Aquarium’s newest (and deadliest) residents.

Poison dart frogs can be found in nature in the humid rainforests of Central and South America. Their vivid coloring is a form of protection from would-be predators. “A poison dart frog’s bright color advertises the fact that it’s poisonous, so they don’t get eaten,” says Craig adding that although darts frog come in a variety of hues, their color doesn’t correlate to how poisonous they are.

Their deadly poison comes from the frog’s diet of different small insects like ants, small flies and beetles. In the Aquarium, the poison dart frogs eat fruit flies, pinhead crickets and a vitamin supplement to ensure proper nutrition. “The controlled diet doesn’t allow for the development of the poison for which these animals are known,” says Craig.

The only natural predator of the poison dart frog is the fire-bellied snake (Leimadophis epinephelus), which has developed a resistance to the frog’s poison. However, the biggest problems facing poison dart frogs are related to human activity. “One of the first signs that something is wrong in an ecosystem is if indicator species, such as amphibians, start to decline,” Craig says. “Many species of amphibians are threatened from human activities like deforestation, the pet trade and deteriorating water quality.”

While deadly, imagine if their poison could be used to make someone feel better. Scientists are using the toxins blue poison dart frogs secrete to study how nerves conduct electricity to help them create new human painkillers.

Get an up-close look at green and black, Patricia dyeing and ‘Azureus’ blue dart frogs on your next visit to the Greater Cleveland Aquarium. Nature. It’s a curious thing.

– Hannah