COSI with Teens: MARVEL Exhibit has been extended through the Summer!

Center of Science and Industry (COSI) has been a long-time favorite in our family. The kiddos and I have been visiting since they were toddlers. So when I told them COSI would be the first thing we’d be crossing off our Summer 2022 Bucket list I was a bit shocked when I heard complaints. Apparently, they feel it’s only for little kids. Boy were they wrong! To be fair I had a bit of a surprise up my sleeve. 

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Ziplining & Feeding Giraffes in Toledo

As if you needed an excuse to visit the #1 US Zoo based on USA Today’s Readers’ Choice, the Toledo Zoo! That catchy little tune you hear playing as you make your way across the bridge over the Anthony Wayne Trail is 100% correct, We Love Our Zoo! And now there is so much more to love! In addition to last year’s mind blowing openings of the Aquarium, Penguin Beach, & Splash pad this year the Toledo Zoo has done it again with Expedition Africa and Tower Ridge Giraffe experience. You can now add zip lining, an aerial adventure course, and feeding giraffes to your already awesome Zoo adventures (and here the kiddos thought it couldn’t get any better than Nature Neighborhood, the Touch Tanks in the Aquarium & the Splash Pad).

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What is Expedition Africa?

Expedition Africa is located in the Africa! Exhibit at the Zoo and it is an Aerial Adventure Course. It consist of a variety of activities including, a Challenge course, Zipline, and (coming soon) Quick Drop.

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  • Challenge Course– Test your stamina as you traverse across the Africa! exhibit. Tackle a series of obstacles designed to challenge guests both mentally and physically, including rope bridges, swinging log crossings, horizontal climbing walls, zip line, and much more. (For guests 12 years old or older, Minimum 90lbs and maximum 250lbs) $30 per participantmemorial_africazoo2016 079
  • Zipline-This thrilling and unique experience will start you off at 80 feet above the Africa! exhibit and coast over 760 feet across Giraffe, Watusi Cattle, Wildebeest and more. (For guests 12 years old or older, Minimum 90lbs and maximum 250lbs) $20 per participantmemorial_africazoo2016 143
  • Quick Drop– Take a quick and thrilling 30 foot jump off of the Expedition Africa! Aerial Adventure Course main tower on a controlled descend device that guides you back to the Africa! overlook deck. (For guests 8 years old and up, Minimum 50lbs and maximum 250lbs) $10 per participantmemorial_africazoo2016 080
  • Added bonus: Sky Bridge– Take in the scenery of Africa! with this simple excursion across three sturdy footbridges. Each bridge is 250 feet long and separated by an overlook platform elevated thirty feet above the Africa! exhibit. What a view! (For guests 8 years old and up, Minimum 50lbs and maximum 250lbs) $10 per participantmemorial_africazoo2016 147

Read more & Make your reservations HERE

I opted for the Zip line as opposed to the Challenge Course due to time constraint (Challenge Course takes up to two hours while the Zip line only takes an hour). The zip line includes the awesome Sky Bridge and I was able to view the Challenge Course along the way which I am totally coming back to complete at a later date. And I decided to capture my journey via a GoPro Camera.ZOOFUN

Get this; they have GoPro Cameras available if you would like to document your experience. The GoPro Camera equipment is rented and secured to your helmet. After completing the course I was given a memory card with the footage on it. ($29.99 per participant for Zoo Members & $33.99 per participant for Non-Members)


I had an absolute blast! The Sky Bridge was tranquil, beautiful; I have never felt more one with the environment. At the end of the Sky Bridge I began my journey up the stairs to the Zip line tower, with each step my adrenaline increased, until I was at the top and totally weak in the knees. Then the moment I had been waiting for, gliding across the Africa exhibits was unlike anything I had ever experienced before, the wind beating against my face, the humming of the zip line, and this feeling of awe swept over me, I didn’t feel like I was in Toledo anymore. Checkout my journey……


The only problem with the Zip line is that once you have done it once you will want to do it again! I think this is a fabulous inclusion to the Zoo; it is nice that there is something for the older kiddos to do after they have graduated from the Splash Pad and Natures Neighborhood.

While I Zip lined my munchkin and her Nana road the train and carousel, both located in the Africa! Exhibit, then we met up in the Tower Ridge Giraffe Experience line to feed the Giraffes.

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So,I kinda pride myself in being as transparent and honest as possible and I will be truthful in stating that at first, after paying our $4 for giraffe food, and waiting for what seemed like an eternity (which was probably more like 5 minutes, if that) for the giraffes to walk over I started to think that perhaps this experience wasn’t worth the money or time. memorial_africazoo2016 136

Then it happened, the Giraffes made their way over to us and my heart skipped a beat, they are such majestic, serene creatures, and so gentle. It was an amazing experience. Moral of the story, the experience was totally worth the money and time, just be patient (which can be extra hard on the young, hot, and/or cranky, lol!).

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And then our time was up and we had to bid adieu to Africa! Or should I say…..


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What is your favorite animal /exhibit at the zoo?









A Christmas Story House Tour: A Journey back to Childhood

As we turned onto W. 11th Street in Cleveland, Ohio it seemed like any ordinary street, in any ordinary neighborhood, and then we saw it, that house with the green trim that was unmistakably the Parker residence from the movie, A Christmas Story.  

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And it was then that my anticipation level skyrocketed! It is fascinating how a mere glance at the house can stir up so many emotions. I was suddenly transported back to my own childhood; the emotions conjured up fond memories & feelings of Christmas pasts. I was literally just like one of the kids as we raced into the gift shop to purchase our tour tickets.  

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And just like one of the kids, it felt like I waited for an eternity for our tour to begin, (when in all actuality it was only like 10 minutes, haha!). When the tour finally began it took everything in me to restrain myself from being the first one in line. I did manage to gathering up enough restraint to allow the shorter children to go in front of me, which was a huge hurdle, guess who was rewarded for her good behavior afterward in the gift shop?

As we entered the house my inner childlike spirit had a mini spaz attack, it was spot on from the scenes in the movie! I did manage to maintain composure on the outside, well almost, I wanted to touch everything! And guess what? You can (technically, everything in all but one room)!!! When I heard that my adult self & inner child collided, giving one another a virtual high five, yippee!! Let the fun begin!!!

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We were able to pick up “The Old Man’s” award, sit on Ralphie and Randy’s beds, we reenact a few scenes from the movie, and more!

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We also learned a lot about the history of the movie, characters, actors, etc., like the fact that the year they filmed the movie Cleveland didn’t receive any snow so they did whatever they could to make snow….queue the foam!




And that the actress who played the school teacher was pregnant when they filmed and she didn’t want to go too far from her in Canada where there just so happened to have a lot of snow so they filmed the other scenes in Canada. There is much more but you’ll have to take the tour yourself to hear those nuggets of trivia.


After touring the house and the museum (image above shows actual toys that were in the movie) it was time to reward that inner child, and my actual children with a trip to the gift shop.

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There were so many magnificent souvenirs to choose from and all children were pleased except for one, my son. He so desperately wanted a Red Ryder Carbine Action 200-shot Range Model air rifle, just like Ralphie’s. I entertained the idea for a moment, then culminated the day with a rather appropriate decision and infamous quote, one I am surprised my son didn’t see coming. No, because, “You’ll shoot your eye out.”

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You too can deny your child a Red Ryder Carbine Action 200-shot Range Model air rifle and allow your inner child to come out and play at A Christmas Story House open 7 days a week (except major holidays), 10am-5pm.  Cost, Adults: $10.00 Children 7 to 12: $6.00 (Children 6 & under: FREE) Seniors: $8.00 For more information click here .

What is your favorite scene from the movie?