Ohio Blogging Association’s Holiday Night Out in University Circle

“People discuss my art and pretend to understand as if it were necessary to understand, when it’s simply necessary to love.” — Claude Monet

cma stars

I consider myself a person that leans towards the creative side. While I have found my creativity sparked in music and drama, I struggled to connect deeply with visual arts. Perhaps not easily comprehending pieces made me appreciate them more. So any opportunity I have to visit The Cleveland Museum of Art I take happily as an opportunity to expand my learning potential to understand the art form better.

The chance to work with staffers from University Circle Inc. and CMA to bring together a group of local bloggers to enjoy the neighborhood presented itself this Fall, and I knew it would be a hit even before the details were ironed out. Combining CMA’s latest and hugely popular exhibition — Painting the Modern Garden: Monet to Matisse — and ice skating at The Rink at Wade Oval, we had quite the night in store for the Ohio Blogging Association this past Wednesday evening.


Bloggers and social media friends gathered from all over the Northeastern Ohio area — coming from as far as Geauga County and Canton — to start the night with enjoying dinner at the museum’s Provenance Café. We then dove into the Monet to Matisse exhibition: first with about a half an hour on our own before our docent tour began.

Margie, the CMA docent who lead our tour, was outstanding. Her knowledge of all the artists in the exhibition seemed endless as she provided so many detailed, interesting facts and tidbits of knowledge. She also proved to be quite the photographer, helping to capture the group shot above — thanks again, Margie! 

CMA atrium

The special exhibition is flawless. There aren’t enough words to describe the awe that comes over you as you view some of the pieces as they were truly meant to be seen together. As an arts supporter and fellow Clevelander, I encourage you to visit before it closes on January 5th. Good news for us all is that CMA recognized just how popular its been and is offering extended hours on certain dates this holiday season. With this exhibit, its Centennial year upon them, plus USA Today recently naming our hometown museum to its list of Top 20 Museums in the United States, The Cleveland Museum of Art has a lot to celebrate as it celebrates the upcoming new year!

From water lilies to frozen water, our group crossed CMA’s front lawn over to the lawn of Wade Park to enjoy the ice skating rink, a part of University Circle’s Wade Oval Winter programming. With lit up stars, camp fires and a cozy outdoor setting, it was very easy to settle in, lace up and get out on the ice.

ice skating 1

I’ll admit — I was slightly terrified about putting on a pair of skates and trusting my very rusty ice skating skills from the second grade. But fueled with some courage, some popcorn from the concession stand and my husband’s fearlessness, I was back on the ice and having a grand time. (#morefunlessfear, right?!)

ice skating 2

Hans and I won’t be entering any pairs competitions any time soon, but I can easily say it was one of the most enjoyable things we’ve done together all season long. While the ice rink has been open since Thanksgiving, this balmy December we’re having here in Cleveland has made it a bit challenging on the rink. That said, their crews are working magic to make sure it’s open as much as possible! It’s incredibly reasonable in terms of pricing — only $2 to skate with $3 skate rentals if you need them — making it quite the affordable date night or family outing option. The rink is open through March 6th — I know we’ll be returning in the new year to enjoy it and the Museum again in 2016.

Many thanks again to The Cleveland Museum of Art and University Circle Inc. for making Wednesday’s Ohio Blogging Association meet up possible! Stay in the know and support these two local organizations: follow CMA on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and follow University Circle on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Disclosure: The Cleveland Museum of Art provided our group with complimentary passes to the Monet to Matisse exhibit. University Circle provided our group with complimentary skating passes and skate rental. My thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

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