Category Archives: Events

GIVEAWAY: Yuri’s Night Space Party at Great Lakes Science Center

We’ve gone to a lot of events over the course of my blogging career, but one event gets the credit for two of my all time favorite Hansen family dancing photos:


Yes, Hans fist pumping, and me dancing with a cut out of Sam Adams. Thank you Yuri’s Night 2012.

Don’t know what Yuri’s Night is? Well, it’s my duty as “Mrs. NASA Glenn” to share just what it’s all about — with help from Great Lakes Science Center:

Yuri’s Night parties and events are held around the world every April in commemoration of April 12, 1961, the day of cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin’s first manned space flight, and April 12, 1981, the inaugural launch of NASA’s Space Shuttle. As home of the NASA Glenn Visitor Center, the Science Center is thrilled to be the host of Cleveland’s official Yuri’s Night celebration.

And since last year we were at a NASA Social, and this year I’ll be at a yoga teacher training (#shocker), I thought it might be fun to get you involved in this year’s Cleveland Yuri’s Night.

Taking place on Saturday, April 12, this year’s Cleveland Yuri’s Night will include:

  • Live music by Abby Normal, Vibe & Direct, DJ 41SE7EN and OZMTZ
  • Dancing all night long
  • Beer and wine - Sam Adams beer, Angry Orchard cider, Barefoot wines and light hors d’oeuvres included in ticket price while supplies last; cash bar for cocktails and special treats
  • New!  a Black Light Lounge and outdoor deck party experience (weather permitting)
  • A costume contest – wear your best space-themed attire!
  • The opportunity to explore the NASA Glenn Visitor Center and the special exhibition, Wildlife Rescue
  • the GLSC’s Big Science Show, cool science demos and their signature midnight balloon drop
  • Special appearances by NASA astronaut Greg H. Johnson, Cleveland Institute of Art, the Great Lakes Base of the Rebel Legion, Ohio Garrison / 501st Legion and the Mandalorian Mercs
  • Free parking in the GLSC’s attached garage

Tickets are $55 per person. Purchase online or call 216-621-2400 to get your tickets today… or you can enter two win two tickets to the April 12th Yuri’s Night event this week on the blog! Enter via the Rafflecopter:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You have until this Friday, March 28th at 12:00AM EST to enter. The winner will be announced later that morning. Since this event takes place in Cleveland, make sure you can attend before entering.  So grab your astronaut costume (wait, everyone doesn’t have one at home?!) and enter to win today!

Want to learn more about Yuri’s Night?  Check out the Great Lakes Science Center’s Facebook page here, and follow @YurisNight and @GLScienceCtr to keep up-to-date on all of the global celebrations.

Disclosure: I am unable to attend this event, but the Great Lakes Science Center agreed to passing along my two media passes to the winner of this giveaway. My thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

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event recap: PlayhouseSquare’s Jump Back Ball 0023

My anxiety almost got the better of me last weekend. It still will sneak up when I’m forced into certain public environments – shopping malls being one of them. But with a gala on the horizon, I sucked it up and headed out to find a purple sequin dress at Nordstrom Rack at Legacy Village on President’s Day. And after a few text messages to my favorite ladies and with a pair of heels that I already had, jewelry borrowed from my mom,  my trusty hair straightener and my sturdy redhead by my side, we were ready for PlayhouseSquare’s Jump Back Ball.

collage lobby hans and me

We met up with our friend Jen for a pre-gala adult beverage at Cowell + Hubbard, and then met up with the rest of our VIP-ing crew to head straight for the State Theatre stage. There, the beverages were flowing care of Buckeye Vodka…

Collage buckeye vodka

…and the food was served care of Driftwood Restaurant Group.  I was incredibly excited to find hearty gluten-free options including shepard’s pie, white asparagus, chicken satay and what I believe was a chopped salad similar to what is on (or at least used to be) on the Hodge’s menu. If it weren’t for the heavy flowing cocktails, I probably would have snuck back around for more. The dessert table towards the end of the evening made up for it though. Dark chocolate covered cheesecake pops are now my new favorite things in the world.

When not eating and drinking, we enjoyed all the event had to offer.  We shared what we wanted to do before the next Jump Back Ball:

Collage before next jump back ball

Mine says “teach more yoga!” Yes, my husband is trying to get FAR FAR away from me. 

We danced. A LOT.  Two sequin dresses together makes for one sparkling sight to see.

collage dancing to band on stage

We sang along. A LOT. My Muppet like facial expressions strike again.

collage singing pop rocks

We enjoyed a wonderful evening with my favorite people. A LOT.

Collage on the dance floor in lobby

It really doesn’t get any better than that.

PlayhouseSquare Partners is a wonderful way to get active in your community, especially if you have a love of the arts – and for really good parties, ha!  Major credit goes out to my ladies Kimberly for co-chairing this year’s event, and Amanda and Jen for being great volunteers for the Partners’ organization. Them, plus many others, spent countless hours pulling together this benefit that raises more than $125,000 for PlayhouseSquare each year. It’s not just one of the hottest parties – it’s helping the non-profit achieve its mission – something I will always support. Learn more about the group at

Just want to know more about PlayhouseSquare? Stay up-to-date with all of their social media happenings: follow PlayhouseSquare on Facebook, on Twitter at @playhousesquare, or on Instagram at @playhousesquare.

Disclosure: I was asked by PlayhouseSquare to serve as an official blogger for the 2014 Jump Back Ball event and to help promote the event and related happenings. In exchange for sharing  information and purchasing one event ticket, I will receive one complimentary ticket to the February 22, 2014 event. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

know before you go: PlayhouseSquare’s Jump Back Ball

There are many signs around Cleveland that spring is on its way.  Maybe you notice them while driving through the Metroparks, or how people slowly start to come out of hibernation. For me, that first signal of spring is the anticipation of another Jump Back Ball, hosted by PlayhouseSquare’s Partners.

I’ve attended this event in 2013 and in 2011, and been kept up-to-date on the plans for this year by the kind crew at PlayhouseSquare as well as a few of the Partners themselves. So without more hold up, here’s what you should know before you go to the 2014 Jump Back Ball:

Jump Back Ball

Pre-game for the party — by taking it easy.

This tip comes from Amanda at Clue Into Cleveland, a Jump Back Ball veteran.  Sure, the event is on a Saturday, so you might be tempted to do a bunch of errands, clean your house or take a three hour yoga workshop (no, just me?) earlier that day. Just remember that you’ll be partying the night away so you’ll want to save some energy. Why not catnap instead?

Eat up the food by some of Cleveland’s finest culinary minds.

If you treated yourself to VIP tickets, Dante Boccuzzi has a lovely spread in store for you in the Palace Theatre during the early hours of the event.  (Check out Dante on Fox 8 promoting the event here - and yes, I will be making that polenta recipe at home.) On the main stage, Driftwood Restaurant Group – lead by NEO favorites Scott Kuhn and Chris Hodgson – is ready to treat you to quite the meal. We’re going to eat so well on Saturday, so maybe sneak in some cardio on Friday!  

Tap into your inner actor and own center stage.

This is your opportunity to see what the view of the State Theatre looks like from the main stage – one of my favorite component of galas held at PlayhouseSquare. Upon arrival to the main event, head straight into the theater and right up those stairs to bask in the stage lights while sipping your martini (shaken, not stirred, OF COURSE) with your fellow party go-ers.

Take time to enjoy the custom made scenery. 

Volunteers deck out the theatre spaces with decorations that rival professional set designs. It’s one of my favorite parts of how their supporters pull together to create a unique event while getting in touch with their artistic sides. Again, head over to Clue Into Cleveland for a sneak peek on this year’s decor.

Admire some fun fashions and charactered costumes.

Even this yoga pants enthusiast buckled down and found a special outfit for a night of dressing up – thanks to the non-profit for the shout out in this post this week and for sharing my Instagram photo. It’s not too late for you to jump in on the costumed fun: here’s another PlayhouseSquare blog post with some ideas you can still pull off.

jump back ball sparkle

There’s a bar in the ladies’ restroom.

You’ll thank me for this when the lines at the main stage are a bit longer then the ones for the restroom stalls. I have no idea if there’s one in the men’s. Perhaps this year I should have Hans report back, ha!

Bring your dancing shoes.

…because you’ll be dancing all night to the sounds of Your Villain My Hero on the main stage and Pop Rocks in the lobby towards the end of the evening. Also because who doesn’t love a good dance party?!

Find yourself an invite to a JBB after party.

Just cause the ticket says the event goes until 12AM doesn’t mean that the party ends. Make some friends and before you know it, you might be somewhere else other than home by 12:30!

Still looking for more tips? Check out PlayhouseSquare’s first timers guide which includes all the important things you need to know. Stay up-to-date with all of their happenings and events – follow PlayhouseSquare on Facebook, on Twitter at @playhousesquare, on Instagram at @playhousesquare or by searching the hashtag #JBB23.

So the big question: who will I see this Saturday night at JBB23?  

Disclosure: I was asked by PlayhouseSquare to serve as an official blogger for the 2014 Jump Back Ball event and to help promote the event and related happenings. In exchange for sharing  information and purchasing one event ticket, I will receive one complimentary ticket to the February 22, 2014 event. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

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