Pro Football Hall of Fame Fan Fest May 3-4, 2014Hey football lovers!!!

The largest gathering ever of Pro Football Hall of Famers available to fans is coming to the I-X Center in Cleveland, Ohio for the first-ever Pro Football Hall of Fame Fan Fest!

This once-in-a-lifetime show of shows will kick off May 3-4.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame Fan Fest will give fans the opportunity of a lifetime to get up close and personal with 100 Hall of Famers including Jim Brown, Joe Namath, Barry Sanders, Lynn Swann, Terry Bradshaw, Marshall Faulk, Warren Sapp & Franco Harris among unprecedented gathering of 100 Hall of Famers.

There are four separate shows that make-up the two-day Fan Fest (see showtimes below). Each show will feature different Hall of Famers.

Show 1 – Saturday, May 3 from 10 AM to 3 PM
Show 2 – Saturday, May 3 from 4 PM to 9 PM
Show 3 – Sunday, May 4 from 10 AM to 3 PM
Show 4 – Sunday, May 4 from 4 PM to 9 PM
This ultimate fan experience will have more than one million square feet of engaging activities perfect for everyone from the die-hard to the casual football fan.

For more information, check out their website!

I’m also offering BOGO deal on Tickets over on my ClevelandKiddos.com blog as well as a giveaway for 2 free general admission tickets. Go to ClevelandKiddos.com to enter!

Pro Football Hall of Fame Fan Fest May 3-4, 2014

To catch all the updates about Fan Fest and connect with other fans, follow @ProFootballHOF onTwitterFacebook and Instagram. Join the conversation using #FanFestHOF. – See more at: Pro Football Hall of Fame Fan Fest 

Disclosure: I was asked by the Cleveland I-X Center to help promote the Pro Football Hall of Fame Fan Fest.  In exchange, I will receive 2 media passes  for myself and 2 general admission tickets to give away. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.

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Lunch at the Greater Cleveland Foodbank April 25th!

Spring is here and the Greater Cleveland Foodbank is sponsoring another Food Trucks event on April 25th and June 6, 2014 from 11 am to 2 pm!

Make your lunch plans for next Friday now, and support Harvest for Hunger!

When: 11:00am – 2:00pm

Where: Greater Cleveland Food Bank 15500 S. Waterloo Rd. Clevel, 44110 map

Enjoy an al fresco lunch at the Greater Cleveland Food Bank while supporting Harvest for Hunger and sampling the fare of some of Cleveland’s finest food trucks.

The food trucks will be at the Food Bank on April 25th and June 6th.

A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Harvest for Hunger campaign.

Food Trucks are back April 25th at the Greater Cleveland Foodbank April 25th

Food Trucks are back April 25th at the Greater Cleveland Foodbank April 25th

Cleveland Lake Erie Monsters

The following is a post I wrote today over on Cleveland Kiddos: (Be sure to check out the original post for the giveaway!)

With only 5 games left in the season, it might seem a little late to be talking about Lake Erie Monsters Hockey, but …. there are still 5 games left so really, it’s NOT too late!

The Lake Erie Monsters have been in Cleveland since 2007!  Have you had a chance to go to any games?  If not, here’s a few reasons why you really need to get to the Q and check them out!!

Before the game even begins, there is so much excitement for the whole family as you walk around the concourse!  My kiddos were instantly excited to check out the different FREE activities including photo props, hair and face painting, sign-making, temporary tattoos, interactive games, music and special performances by the Monsters Hockey Girls.  You can also try to find the Monsters mascot Sullivan C. Goal (get it? 😉  and get a picture with him!

Sully

Sullivan C. Goal – photo via Lake Erie Monsters

The games themselves are action packed, interactive, and very entertaining!  There’s honestly never a dull moment! We especially like the Mullet Brothers.

The Lake Erie Monsters Mullet Brothers

The Mullet Brothers – photo courtesy of Lake Erie Monsters

Throughout the season, fans can also expect a lineup of special theme nights and exciting giveaways.

You may not think of hockey as being “family friendly”, but the Lake Erie Monsters do an excellent job providing  family entertainment for a really excellent value.

Tickets start at only $10 and they also offer a Monsters Family Value Pack !

Visit the website and find out about other values and fun, such as the KIDS CLUB and Kids Parties!   Also on the website you can find out more about the Monsters Hockey Club to see what kind of perks they provide for members and fans at the game!

My family enjoys the Monsters games a lot and when I contacted them to tell them I wanted to write about them on Cleveland Kiddos, they offered a free family four pack to one of my readers!

Head over to Cleveland Kiddos blog today to enter to win 4 tickets to one of the following games:

  • Thursday, April 10th at 7:00 vs. Utica
  • Friday, April 11th at 7:30 vs. Utica
  • Sunday, April 13th at 5:00 vs. Rochester
  • Tuesday, April 15th at 7:00 vs. Hamilton

Giveaway Ends: Thursday April 3 at Midnight (EST).

I will announce the winner on Cleveland Kiddos on Friday April 4th.

photo courtesy of the Lake Erie Monsters

photo courtesy of the Lake Erie Monsters

For more information or to purchase tickets, log onto lakeeriemosters.com. You can also purchase tickets by calling 216.420.0000

photo courtesy of Lake Erie Monsters

photo courtesy of Lake Erie Monsters

 

 

 

West Side Market for beginners

The West Side Market

photo from westsidemarket.org

One of my very favorite things about the city of Cleveland, is our West Side Market.

Like many of you, I was so sad to hear about the recent fire, but very happy to see that efforts are already in place to reopen the market as soon as possible!

I have so many memories going there as a little girl with my mom and sister. It was always a special treat to stop at the candy store and get some of those “candy dots” or a smokie from whichever meat stand my mom shopped at.

candy dots (1)

Today, I live a little distance from the market myself, but it’s still my all-time favorite place to buy groceries and it is so worth the drive!

Shopping at the market is a very different experience than shopping at your typical grocery store. If you have never been to the West Side Market, you really should make it a goal to check it out when they reopen!

In the meantime, here are some things that you should know before you head out!

Tips for West Side Market Newbies:

Hours of operation! The market is NOT open every day! They are open on MONDAY & WEDNESDAY: 7am – 4pm  and FRIDAY & SATURDAY: 7am – 6pm

Friday morning is personally my favorite day to shop, but it’s also the busiest! It’s also very busy right before a holiday! 

Set Up: The market has two main sections; a produce arcade, which is an open air section where you can buy pretty much any produce your heart desires, and the Market House, which is a closed-in area where you can buy everything else.

If you are shopping in the winter, be sure to bundle up!

Every stand is owned by different vendors so you have a lot of choices when it comes to where to buy your food. This can be a little intimidating at first, but after a couple of visits, you will have a pretty good idea of where you prefer to shop. And you will love the variety available! You can find things at the market that are hard to find anywhere else.

Payment: Some stands, especially in the produce arcade, only accept cash, so be sure to have plenty of cash on hand. I also like to carry a notebook to keep track of how much I have spent.

BYOCart:  There are no grocery carts at the market. I have my own cart and I have been stopped so many times  by people asking me where I got it.  I found mine on Ebay.  You can google “shopping carts” and you’ll find a lot to choose from!  If you are only buying a few items, you won’t necessarily need one, but if you are doing big shopping and you don’t want to keep running bags out to your car, I would highly recommend investing in a portable shopping cart!

Take your time!  As you venture through the market, be sure to take your time and browse the stands. Many vendors will have samples for you to try and in the produce arcade, you can count on vendors calling out to you, vying for your attention. This is just part of the experience of shopping at the market. I used to feel bad for not stopping at every vendor  and while you can’t possibly buy from everyone, don’t let that stop you from taking a moment to check them out.

For your first visit or two to the market, plan to spend a couple hours, if you can,  so you can get to know the different vendors and what they offer. Talk to them. Let them know it’s your first visit. Most vendors are very helpful and friendly. They want to establish a relationship with you because they want you to come back to them! They may even give you a first-time visit discount. You will be amazed that by your second trip, many of them will recognize you and even address you by name!

Grab a map and circle your favorite places or jot down notes about what each vendor offers. You will soon get to know where you want to buy certain items and you can use the map to make your future trips more efficient.

Eat it now! You’ve heard it said that you should never shop hungry? Well, that is not a problem at the West Side Market! There are several places where you can stop and get something to drink and/or a bite to eat. Here are some of my favorites:

A word of caution: For the most part, shopping at the West Side Market is a really positive experience. It can be a lot of fun and you will really enjoy getting to know your way around. Always pay attention to how your food is being handled and to what you are being sold. The majority of vendors are very clean and honest, but it still doesn’t hurt to keep your eyes open.

In the produce arcade, tell the vendor that you would like to pick your own produce. On a few rare occasions, I’ve come home with a bag of moldy berries. If you take your time and pick your own produce, however, this should not be an issue.

I, like so many others, really miss the market right now. I hope you will do your part to support this precious Cleveland icon when it is back up and running and hopefully this information will help make that a little easier for you!

Be sure to check out the official West Side Market webpage for more information!

In the meantime, what is your favorite feature of the West Side Market? Do you have any other tips for first time marketers? Do you have any other questions about your first trip to the market? Please share your thoughts and questions in the comments!