A Gen-Xer’s Music Itinerary
The Gen-Xer’s Guide to Cleveland
By Lexi Hotchkiss
You're a kid from the generation the world coined "slackers." We all know that's a load. Today, you're a parent to a kid born in the 90s or 00s. Your musical tastes run the gamut, but - thanks to your minis - you frequently find yourself in defense of its timeless sounds. Now you're in Cleveland and it's time they get a serious lesson in good music.
6pm: It's no secret that many people claim The Greenhouse Tavern is one of the best restaurants in Cleveland. But, the good news is that Chef Jonathon Sawyer - a dad himself - ensures that all menu items are available in smaller portions. Better yet, you can help Junior understand the idea behind the technology of VHS tapes, which are running throughout the restaurant featuring (mostly) 80s flicks. 2038 East 4th Street, Cleveland, 44115, 216.443.0511, www.thegreenhousetavern.com
8pm: A modern take on Shakespearean classic? Check. Broadway musicals? Check. International music and dance groups? Check. Cleveland's theater district, PlayhouseSquare, is alive every night of the week with world-class offerings of theatrical and musical performances inside its nine performance areas. 1501 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, 44115, 216.771.4444, www.playhousesquare.org
8:30am: Let the fam loose to explore the West Side Market, a food lover's paradise, with its maze of vendors and family-owned stalls selling everything from fresh meat and vegetables to bakery and flowers. Give them a couple of bucks to grab a bite while they peruse or enjoy a full breakfast in the café. 1979 West 25th Street, Ohio City, 44113, 216.664.3387, www.westsidemarket.org
10am: Now it's time for the real education to begin at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. Through interactive exhibits, HD-quality sound, vintage photography, cool artifacts and several history-of-rock films, you and the fam will walk away rock and roll enthusiasts for life (if you weren't already). 1100 Rock and Roll Blvd., Cleveland, 44114, 216.781.7625, www.rockhall.org
1pm: Make your way into the next phase of your rock and roll education at the Hard Rock Café. A great menu filled with tons of approachable American-style menu items is the perfect compliment to the loads of rock and roll memorabilia throughout this Tower City eatery. 230 West Huron Road, Cleveland, 44113, 216.830.7625, www.hardrock.com/cafes/cleveland/
3pm: Instead of rolling your eyes, we've got a better solution to your kid's cringe-worthy question: "Dad, what's ‘vinyl?'" Gotta Groove Records, on Cleveland's near east side, is a small factory where they're pressing real vinyl records -10,000-15,000 of them a week to be exact. Call ahead to organize a tour. 3615 Superior Avenue, Cleveland, 44114, 800.295.0171, gottagrooverecords.com
4pm: Introduce your kids to your childhood, while taking a few pages from theirs inside Big Fun Toys in Coventry. What will you find inside? Think: 1980s GI Joes, vintage Star Wars paraphernalia, bacon-flavored chapstick, fake moustaches, whoopy cusions and all sorts of stuff you don't need - but must have. 1814 Coventry Road, Cleveland Heights, 216.371.4386, bigfunbigfun.com
5pm: They think your music is past its prime? Well, get ‘em to Sterle's Country House for a big dinner and some real, legit old-school music. That's right: Polka. Teach them your best version of this hoppy three-step jive on the sandy dance floor while a live polka band gets down. We have no doubt you'll get them to crack a smile amidst the liveliness - even if they're smirking at you dancing. 1401 East 55th Street, Cleveland, 44103, 216.881.4181, sterlescountryhouse.com
8pm: From A-list pop stars to hit country artists and legendary rockers to the Cleveland Orchestra, you'll find a major performer or nationally known band playing at Blossom Music Center in the Akron area or Jacob's Pavilion at Nautica downtown during warmer weather months. A little too chilly outside? Check out what's playing at the Wolstein Center at Cleveland State University.
10am: Conquering Sunday will require fuel, so power up with some home-style comfort food at neighborhood spoon Grumpy's Cafe in Tremont. 2621 West 14th Street, Tremont, 44113, 216.241.5025, grumpys-cafe.com
11:30am: Experiment with volume and frequency to make a theremin sing, test-out an echo tube and learn about the science of sound inside the Great Lakes Science Center. 601 Erieside Ave., Cleveland, 44114, 216.694.2000, www.greatscience.com
1:30pm: Challenge the kids to a few games of bowling and then dive into a Cleveland-themed menu (think: pierogi, Slovenian sausage, etc.) at the trendy Corner Alley. 402 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, 44114, 216.298.4070, corneralley.com
5pm: The House of Blues offers group families the opportunity to dine in its historic East Fourth Street restaurant featuring Southern-style favorites. Plan your trip accordingly and you might just get to see a great live musician or cover band playing in the attached concert venue. 308 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, 44114, 216.274.3353, www.houseofblues.com/cleveland
8pm: Cleveland is a major tour stop for national artists - many of whom perform inside Cleveland's famed sports arenas. When there's not a concert playing in these venues, you can guess they become quickly filled with sports fans galore. Check out a concert or a game inside one of these hot downtown venues: Quicken Loans Arena, First Energy Stadium and Progressive Field.