Toy Crazy

Lake Metroparks honors the true meaning of Christmas.

Blue Heart Produced by Cesear's Forum at Kennedy's Down Under, Playhouse Square Center, 1519 Euclid Avenue Through December 13, 216-241-6000
Halles Winter Wonderland has something for little kids - and big kids. - WANDA  SANTOS-BRAY
Halles Winter Wonderland has something for little kids and big kids.

What did you find under your Christmas tree as a kid? Chances are, you'll find it again at Woodland Halle Days -- Halle's Winter Wonderland. Lake Metroparks' holiday celebration includes a collection of toys from the '50s through '70s, some of which are still in their original packages. "Classic toys are a one-way ticket back in time," says Dan Burnett, who assembled the collection of retro toys -- from an Easy-Bake Oven and Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots to vintage Twister and Matchbox cars.

The centerpiece of the exhibit is a detailed re-creation of the holiday displays that were an annual staple at the downtown Halle Bros. department store years ago. There's also a retro-styled living-room suite -- complete with an aluminum Christmas tree and tacky furniture -- that's ideal for kitschy family photos.

While big kids are busy reliving their childhoods, little kids can play with Lincoln Logs, puppets, and an indoor slide. Woodland Halle Days -- Halle's Winter Wonderland runs noon to 5 p.m. through January 4 at the Penitentiary Glen Nature Center (8668 Kirtland-Chardon Road in Kirtland). Admission is free. For more information, call 440-256-1404. -- Diane Sofranec

Dog Day Afternoon
Max and Annie make a run for the Borders.

SAT 11/29

Max and Annie are lucky dogs, living large -- severed limbs notwithstanding. The subjects of Sandra J. Philipson's best-selling children's book, Annie Loses Her Leg but Finds Her Way, have been turned into an Animal Planet movie called Miracle Dogs. It's the story of a kid whose folks pack up and move to Cleveland, leaving him in desperate need of a pal. So he befriends homeless, tri-limbed Annie and her puppies, and everyone learns something about love, camaraderie, and acceptance. Philipson, Max, and Annie visit Borders Books & Music (9565 Mentor Avenue in Mentor) at 1 p.m. Saturday. Admission is free. Call 440-350-8168 for more information. -- Michael Gallucci

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