Seven Quirky and Unexpected Cleveland Attractions
Gone are the days of the rust belt infamy and here today is a thriving metropolis with a flavor all its own. And here, locals know how to have a sense of humor about the off-beat nature of their beloved lakefront home. How off-beat? Try these seven unusual, quirky and unexpected attractions.
Big Fun Toy StoreFun is packed into this Big Fun Toy Store with cards, collectibles and kitsch items including lunch boxes, blow-up advertising toys, Barbie dolls, and reproduction and original classic toys. Prices range from under a buck to thousands of dollars.
b.a. Sweetie Candy CompanyWhat do bugs, toxic waste and chocolate worms have in common? All are edible! At b.a Sweetie Candy Company, a family-owned candy warehouse that's been around for generations, children can indulge their wackier tastes. Sweetie's have just about every kind of candy imaginable. For those who aren't ready for the extreme candies, they can choose from nostalgic favorites such as wax lips, PEZ dispensers and gourmet jellybeans.
Dittrick Museum of Medical HistoryInside the Dittrick Museum of Medical History visitors will find a 19th century sadistic-looking homeopathic medicine case, an 1861 amputating set complete with handheld saw and an 1890 physicians surgical chair designed to look like a piece of parlor furniture. Not just for budding doctors and medical show junkies this one-of-a-kind museum is known for its collection of historic contraception tools and practices, as well as rare books. Connected with Case Western Reserve University, the museum grew from the late 19th-century efforts of Dudley Peter Allen, M.D., a founder of the Cleveland Medical Library Association, to preserve the medical heritage of Cleveland by maintaining the equipment of its physicians.
Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of FameWhen visitors triple-step into the Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame located in Euclid they are instantly surrounded by Cleveland's polka history. With plaques of big names like Frankie Yankovic, Johnny Pecon and Johnny Vadnal adorning the perimeters, the museum takes visitors on a journey through legendary oompah bands, vintage accordions, ornate performance costumes, images and video of this ethnic folk dance that reflected a time of happiness and prosperity. Admission is free to the four-room museum, but it's always nice to toss a donation their way (or purchase a fabulous polka CD in their gift shop).
A Christmas Story House + MuseumIt doesn't need to be Christmastime to enjoy the restored Cleveland house where the classic movie, A Christmas Story, was filmed. In fact, no matter the time of year kids will love hiding under the kitchen sink like a fearful Randy or hovering around the radio waiting to hear Little Orphan Annie's top-secret message. Directly across the street is the official A Christmas Story House Museum, featuring original props, costumes and memorabilia including Randy's snowsuit, the chalkboard from Miss Shields' classroom and the family car. Together they make Christmas Story House + Museum is a fun destination.
Merry-Go-Round MuseumVisitors can expect an entertaining and educational visit that focuses on the art, history, preservation, production and restoration of the beautiful and historic Merry-Go-Round amusement rides at the Merry-Go-Round Museum. While there, visitors can even catch a ride on the fully restored Allan Herschell Carousel with the band organ playing. The carousel at the heart of the museum was built in North Tonawanda, New York. When purchased, the machine came without any of the original animals so the museum has populated it with figures from the museum's collections as well as on loan from private collectors. Historic "County Fair" or "Country Fair" style animals from a variety of carvers are used, plus a several recent carvings. New for 2012 is "Grab the Brass Ring", an exhibit displaying signed horses, menagerie carvings, and a new wolf, providing insight into the three historic carving styles.
Museum of Divine StatuesRecently opened in a former church in the westside suburb of Lakewood, the Museum of Divine Statues seeks to rescue, restore and display ecclesiastical statues in a reflective and respectful museum setting. Each piece has been restored personally by owner Louis McClung and gives visitors the opportunity to learn details and historical information about each piece. The statues in the museum date as far back as 1855 with the restoration of the Our Lady of Perpetual Help statue. The museum is open to the public on Sundays from 12-4pm.
Based on information provided by PositivelyCleveland.com