Summer Fun Guide 2013: Family Style

From exploring the world's oceans to taking in Pixar films set to music, check out these six events for all ages.

The Cleveland Orchestra Pixar in Concert
Aug. 31-Sept. 1 // Blossom Music Center
Enjoy montages of Pixar animated films ranging from Toy Story to Brave as the Cleveland Orchestra provides the soundtrack. It's like seeing all 13 movies in one night, capped by a fireworks display. "I had never seen the film Up," says Mark Williams, the show's director of artistic planning. "The music is so good, so descriptive and the orchestra plays so well that I really felt I experienced this entire story, but in seven minutes." $20-$85, under 18 free. 8:30 p.m., 1145 W. Steels Corners Road, Cuyahoga Falls,

Rhododendron Discovery Garden
All summer // Holden Arboretum
Lake County's Holden Arboretum has a new garden blossoming this year, a 4.5-acre area created to serve as an educational space that deepens visitors' understanding of the existing Helen S. Layer Rhododendron Garden. "It's beautiful and serene and peaceful," Holden marketing and public relations specialist Vicki McDonald says of the arboretum's first new permanent exhibition since its butterfly garden opened in 2003. "It's divided into three segments: the evolution and history, a hybridization display and how to successfully plant rhododendron in your own garden." $6, $5 (seniors 60 and older), $3 (kids 6-12), kids 5 and under and members free. Daily 9 a.m.- 5 p.m., 9500 Sperry Road, Kirtland,

World Oceans Day
June 8 // Akron Zoo
Seventy percent of the Earth is ocean, so deepen your appreciation for it at the Akron Zoo's World Oceans Day. "We wanted to highlight water and the importance of animals in water," says David Barnhardt, the zoo's director of marketing and guest services. Visit ocean-themed exhibits ranging from penguins to jellyfish. Kids can participate in games and activities such as making an octopus out of cups and paper to take home. "We want to do things that are educational, but make it fun," Barnhardt says. "So hopefully kids learn something without even realizing it." $10, $8.50 (seniors 62 and older), $7 (kids 2-14). 10 a.m.-4 p.m., 500 Edgewood Ave., Akron,

Train Day
June 15 // Ohio & Erie Canal Reservation
Kids will get a glimpse of bygone days when those down on their luck and looking for work along the railroad would rely on coded messages left by others to navigate. "They would say different things — if they could find food here, if people were friendly here — with all kinds of symbols that they'd draw on trees," explains Karen Lakus, the cultural history interpreter at the CanalWay Center. This one-day event also allows kids to ride on a trackless train for $2, make railroad crafts and view model train displays. Free. 10 a.m.-4 p.m., CanalWay Center, 4524 E. 49th St., Cuyahoga Heights,

Junior Eco Chefs
June 26-28 // Rocky River Reservation
Boost your kids' understanding of Earth-friendly eating with Cleveland Metroparks' Junior Eco Chefs day camp. "Kids will learn to connect with where their food actually comes from," says chef Rae Endreola, who runs the program. "They'll make their own salad dressing from the greens they pick." Pizza and pancakes are among the creations on the menu during the three-day cooking camp. $66 (pre-registration required). 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Rocky River Nature Center, 24000 Valley Parkway, North Olmsted,

Living History Days
July 20 // Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens
Step back into the early days of the 20th century, when F.A. Seiberling, co-founder of Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., and his wife, Gertrude, lived at Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens. Those touring the Manor House will be able to interact with actors portraying period-accurate friends and employees of the famous pair. "If [a visitor] talks about an electric kitchen range, I have no idea what it is," says Jim Urban, the actor who portrays Chef Mazur. "But I tell the folks that I understand the engineers at GE are working on one." $14, $6 (kids 6-17), kids 5 and under and members free. 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., 714 N. Portage Path, Akron,

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