In NASCAR: The IMAX Experience, the only thing more white-knuckling than race cars speeding by at 200 miles per hour is Kiefer Sutherland's mumbling, dragging narration. The real action revs up once NASCAR faves Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, and Jimmie Johnson climb into their rides and burn rubber. The ultra-huge screen, coupled with ass-tickling surround sound, puts you right in the driver's seat. NASCAR plays on the OMNIMAX screen at the Great Lakes Science Center (601 Erieside Avenue) through January 6. Show times are noon, 1, and 3 p.m. Monday through Friday and noon, 1, 3, and 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission is $8.95, $6.95 for kids; call 216-694-2000.
Friday, October 14
Frankly, we're not quite sure why Blossom Music Center's Carnival of Horrors refers to its haunted abode as a Fun House. Being pursued by chainsaw-wielding fiends and malicious clowns doesn't sound the least bit enjoyable. Neither does the Wicked Woods, a monster-infested forest with nary a light to guide strollers to safety. However, it's the Freakshow in 3-D Terrorvision that has us trembling in genuine fear. It might have something to do with those goofy cardboard glasses we need to wear to see all the goblins and ghouls jumping out at us. The Carnival's in town through October 30 at Blossom Music Center, 1145 West Steels Corners Road in Cuyahoga Falls. It's open 7:30 p.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday and 7:30 to 10 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $15. Call 330-252-9070 for more information.
For more thrills and chills, check out the Bloodview Haunted House, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary of scaring the crap out of people with one of the area's most bloody and fright-filled haunts. Two new attractions -- the House of the Damned and the Haunted Cemetery Woods -- have been added to the mix. Plus, it's Werewolf Weekend, which oughta leave us howling. Scares happen through October 31 at 1010 Towpath Road in Broadview Heights. It's open 8 to midnight tonight and tomorrow and 8 to 10 p.m. Sunday and Thursday. Admission is $13. For more information, call 440-526-9148.
Saturday, October 15
We're so into Archaeology Day, the natural history museum's annual commemoration of eons-old artifacts and the people who excavate them. This year, the action centers on Ohio's prehistoric past, with looks at recent archaeological investigations. Experts will be on hand to explain how to make a proper spear and throw it. Hands-on activities include pump-drilling and plenty of projects that have to do with stone tools. Can you dig it? Get your hands dirty from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, 1 Wade Oval Drive. Museum admission is $7, $5 for kids; call 216-231-4600.
If J. Peterman can do it, so can you. Tonight's Dancing With the Stars event, presented by Verb Ballets, might not feature John O'Hurley or Kelly Monaco from ABC's hit hoofing show, but many of Verb's troupers will be there to tango with guests. In addition to offering lessons, the ensemble will perform a set. Tapas, dessert, and booze round out the night. It starts at 7 p.m. at Bossa Nova, 28601 Chagrin Boulevard in Beachwood. Tickets are $75; call 216-831-7128.
Sunday, October 16
The term "arts and crafts" immediately brings to mind angel jewelry and potpourri sachets made by middle-aged ladies from the 'burbs. The Cleveland Museum of Art's The Arts & Crafts Movement in Europe and America, 1880-1920: Design for the Modern World (opening today) paints a different picture. Gathering more than 300 objects -- including furniture, paintings, and textiles -- the traveling exhibit offers some of the all-time-great designers: Frank Lloyd Wright, Josef Hoffmann, and William Morris, among them. It's an astounding collection of work that blends the artistic world with the everyday. It's on view through January 8 at the art museum, 11150 East Boulevard. It's open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. Admission is $7, $5 for kids; call 888-262-0033.
Monday, October 17
Now that summer's over, we're preparing to consign ourselves to the indoors for the next five months. But before we stock up on ramen noodles and pull out the electric blankets, we're heading over to the Cleveland Public Library's Fall Used Book Sale to load up on as many reads as we can carry. With all the paperback novels, coffee-table tomes, biographies, mysteries, and how-to books we plan to purchase, we'll barely notice the leaves piling up outside. The sale runs through Thursday at the library, 325 Superior Avenue. Hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. today through Wednesday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday, when a bag of books goes for a mere $4; call 216-623-2821.
Tuesday, October 18
Rick Miller isn't your average Simpsons geek. He created a one-man show, MacHomer, which casts Shakespeare's Macbeth with the population of Springfield. The show retains much of the Bard's text, but it's recounted by Miller as Homer, Apu, Comic Book Guy, et al. Methinks the dude has way too much free time. It's at the Hanna Theater (1422 Euclid Avenue) through Sunday. Show times are 7:30 p.m. tonight through Friday, 5 and 8:30 p.m. Saturday, and 7 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $15 and $35; call 216-241-6000.
Wednesday, October 19
Think of Swedish singer-songwriter Jens Lekman as a Scandinavian version of Stephin Merritt. Like the Magnetic Fields frontman, the 23-year-old Lekman writes melancholy songs about love and desire, using fanciful wordplay that somehow manages to rhyme helicopter with lobster without sounding silly. He plays Case Western Reserve University's the Spot (1619 Mistletoe Drive) at 9 tonight. Admission is free; call 216-368-2786.