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Farce of July 

Celebrating those lazy hazy crazy days of winter.

Freeze your butt off at the Metroparks July - Marshmallow Roast!
  • Freeze your butt off at the Metroparks July Marshmallow Roast!
FRI 1/23

What in the world are they smoking over at the Cleveland Metroparks these days? At Friday's pretend-it's-summer party, they'll be lighting up marshmallows by a campfire. "We want you to get out of your house, even though it's winter," explains naturalist Kevin Metcalf, the genius behind July Marshmallow Roast! at North Chagrin Nature Center.

There's also a hike and summer-themed games involved. And while Metcalf hopes to see participants in warm-weather caps, Hawaiian shirts, and sunglasses, he realizes that Mother Nature's whims might make that scenario impractical. "We'll try to do as much outside as we can," he says. "But if it's brutally cold and miserable, we'll move some of the activities indoors."

So don't get your hopes too far up: You could be marshmallowing 'round the ol' electric range, if the weather doesn't cooperate. "In terms of temperature, it's truly the middle of winter," Metcalf points out, just in case you didn't know. Pack the lawn chairs and sunscreen, and get to the July Marshmallow Roast! from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Friday at the North Chagrin Nature Center (off the Sunset Lane entrance of North Chagrin Reservation, off SOM Center Road/Route 91 in Mayfield Village.) Admission is free. Call 440-473-3370 for more information. -- Diane Sofranec

Hunker Down
Kids get a lesson in the Winter Blues.

WED 1/28

The Winter Blues program happening Wednesday features stories and crafts about rabbits, squirrels, and other woodsy critters that stay put during the cold months. Somehow, they survive, despite the weather, a dwindling food supply, and the constant threat of becoming a bigger, hungrier animal's dinner. That these tales of endurance are told by puppets makes it all that much better. They'll be accompanied by craft-making sessions, where preschoolers to third-graders can make their own storytelling puppets. It happens 4 to 5:15 p.m. at the Orange Branch of the Cuyahoga County Public Library, 31300 Chagrin Boulevard in Pepper Pike. Admission is free, but registration is required; call 216-831-4282. -- Michael Gallucci

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