Area attractions remain closed, offer virtual activities to enjoy

Press Staff Writer

        Spiegel Grove, the 25-acre grounds of the Hayes Presidential Library & Museums, reopened to the public on May 1. Hayes Presidential buildings remain closed.
        Hayes Presidential asks visitors to maintain at least 6 feet of physical distance at Spiegel Grove and to stay home if they are feeling sick or have symptoms of COVID-19. Wearing masks is also recommended.
        Spiegel Grove is reopening in conjunction with the city of Fremont’s parks again being accessible to the public. HPLM staff have been working with the city and Sandusky County Health Department on coordinating efforts to minimize spread of the virus.
        The Grove has been closed to the public since March 28. Its reopening is the first in a series of steps to begin Hayes Presidential’s full reopening to the public. HPLM is closely monitoring the situation and following Gov. Mike DeWine’s orders and directives.
        Updates on reopening facilities and the rescheduling or cancellation of events and programs will be posted at and on social media pages.
        In the meantime, HPLM is offering a wide range of online activities to enjoy from home, including:
        • A virtual tour of the museum through a 3-D scan.
        • Videos sharing in-depth information about parts of the Hayes Home, museum and grounds.
        • Gallery talks with Curator of Artifacts Kevin Moore.
        • The Ohio Obituary Index and other online genealogy resources, available for use by genealogy researchers, and librarians are fulfilling obit orders.
        • Printable coloring book and kids’ activities.
        • Storytimes presented by Hayes staff members.
        • Recipes of First Lady Lucy Hayes.
        • Book recommendations.
        • A self-guided tour of the grounds.
        HPLM staff plans to add more videos and things to do to the website in the coming days. For the full list and updates, visit
        For information, call 419-332-2081, visit or follow HPLM Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Stay at Home Science
        While Imagination Station Toledo is temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the science center is offering “Stay at Home Science” – a series of videos, activities and stories designed to engage viewers and spark a passion for science.    
        A sampling of activities includes:
        • STEM on the Fridge – A Week of Water. See what sinks and what floats, build bridges, learn about colors and more.
        • Chromatography Butterflies – Blend art with science to make a beautiful butterfly.
        • Sun Prints – When the sun interacts with construction paper, it changes color and leaves a silhouette. Try the activity and observe the sun’s energy while experiencing nature and making art.
        • Candy Towers – Candy, like gumdrops or marshmallows, is ideal for building and engineering structures and sculptures.
        • Invisible Glass – The physics activity explains how glass objects are visible due to the light that reflects on them, but when the light is diminished, the object becomes invisible.
        Try these and other activities at home by visiting
        As a nonprofit that provides informal science education to the community, Imagination Station welcomes donations to support operations as well as to create exhibits and programs in the future. Donate online at
Toledo Zoo virtual offerings
        Despite grounds being closed to the public for now, the Toledo Zoo is open for online visits.
        Each day, the zoo offers new opportunities to engage virtually with animals, view exhibits and learn from staff on social platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and its website,
        • Facebook Live Streams are offered at 10:30 a.m. each weekday on the Zoo’s Facebook page. Streams include animal meet-and greets, highlights of Zoo conservation areas and more.
        • The Zoo also offers distance learning, appropriate for all ages on a variety of topics at Classroom lessons are offered Tuesdays and Thursdays at 11:15 a.m. See virtual tours Tuesdays and Thursdays at 1:15 p.m. A horticulture series is presented Wednesdays at 11 a.m., and visitors can watch animal trainings Tuesdays at 1:30 p.m.
        • The Zoo presents storytimes, appropriate for children up to age 8. Videos are posted on the Zoo’s YouTube channel and other social media platforms Saturdays at 2:05 p.m.
        • Craft projects, appropriate for all ages (with parental guidance), are posted on the Zoo’s YouTube channel and social media platforms Sundays at 2:05 p.m.
        • Hippo Way Activity Articles, geared toward kids ages 5-12, offer activities to enjoy until families can enjoy the Zoo in person again. See documents at
Captain Scupper’s Kids Club at NMGL
        In an effort to help parents, kids and educators stay connected to Great Lakes History, the National Museum of the Great Lakes (NMGL) has reimagined Captain Scupper’s Kids Club to become their newest virtual initiative.
        “We all want to do what we can to help others during this incredibly difficult time. Providing free, online resources in the form of videos, interactive learning tools, and educator guides is one way we can help combat growing feelings of isolation along with providing educational support tools during this time at home,” says Kate Fineske, the museum’s Director of Communication and Development.
        The new Kids Club landing page at will be updated regularly and includes online and downloadable maritime activities for kids of all ages along with teacher and parent resources to support learning standards.
        “Secondary educators and students may want to explore resources that interact with the museum’s new ‘Port of Toledo: Then and Now’ online exhibit,” said Education and Visitor Experience Director Ellen Kennedy. “Primary students can check out Captain Scupper’s Kids Book Club or learn the signal flag alphabet using an easy, at-home activity guide.”
        NMGL also released information on “Color the Colonel,” a contest for kids to share their artistic talents and coloring skills using original art drawn by cartoonist Don Lee.
        Over the last several weeks, with stay-at-home orders in effect, NMGL has substantially increased its virtual education initiatives including a continuously updated online exhibit, two new video series, blog posts, and virtual museum tours. All content is free and mission-focused to preserve and make known the history of the Great Lakes.
        On April 21, the National Museum of the Great Lakes released a story-time video of their original children’s book, “The Adventures of Kitty Smoke and Her Friends.”
        Written and illustrated by Alexander Burns Cook for the museum in 2017, the eight-minute story is narrated by Lissa Guyton.
        Once the most powerful tugboat on the Great Lakes, Kitty Smoke was left to rot in a shipyard where she was rediscovered by a boy and his grandfather – who, with a little bit of hard work and a lot of love, restore her to become, yet again, one of the greatest tugboats on the Great Lakes.
        The video is available on the museum’s Facebook and YouTube pages and is a part of their “History from Home” program.
TMA at Home
        Recognizing that art and museums offer engagement and comfort during difficult times, Toledo Museum of Art, which remains temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, has compiled a list of virtual offerings to enjoy remotely. See a complete list at
        • Visit the Museum’s world-renowned collection digitally at or at TMA’s Google Arts & Culture partner page (
        • Enjoy at-home activities with the Family Center, including creating a recycled cityscape, coffee filter water lilies, an “I Spy” shadow box and a rubber band print.
        • Download coloring pages and art projects.
        • More than 400 TMA publications have been digitized and can be accessed at Past issues of the member magazine ArTMAtters, are available at
        • TMA has posted more than 300 videos on its YouTube channel ( The collection includes artist demonstrations, guest talks and lectures, promotional videos for exhibitions and more.
        • Each Monday, TMA publishes Art Minute, which highlights a work of art via email, social media and the website,
        • The Museum Store is open online, offering art supplies, books and publications and more.
        Get updates by following TMA on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


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