Family Activities

Century Garden

In a year full of great change and loss, Story Forum, Inc. and The Shaker Historical Society have partnered to unite our community around a shared history to grieve lost time together and pave the way forward with renewed hope for the future.

The Century Garden Project will provide an opportunity for families to safely come together to share stories and histories through the creation of a century garden and related programming. The garden will represent four different centuries and reflect the food and growing practices of diverse heritages, including early settlers, Indigenous populations, European settlers, African and Caribbean peoples of the Northern Migration, and our 21st-century immigrant neighbors.

The goal of this project is to connect Shaker Heights families with each other, the history of the area, and the greater Shaker community through storytelling based on The Century Garden and corresponding care, maintenance, and programming.

Upcoming Century Garden Events:

  • Thursday, June 17 | 3:30-4pm | Shaker Historical Society

Join Debra Quarles for an evening of enlightening American History as we explore this little known aspect of how enslaved Africans paved the way to the profuse prosperity of coastal South Caroline and Georgia using their skills and their knowledge of rice. This is part of a Century Garden program in partnership with Story Forum. This event is open to participants in the program only. For more information and to register, please visit

  • Thursday, June 17 | 4-5:30pm | Shaker Historical Society

Elementary-age children join educator Anjali Rao as she takes them on a book journey complete with engaging activities from 4:00-4:45pm at the Century Garden on the grounds of the Shaker Historical Society. Adult and middle school book chats run simultaneously! Bring a blanket. All are invited to stay from 4:45-5:30 for collaborative playwriting with Susan Reese, Mia Compton-Engle, and Grace Wilkinson.

Reading, Writing & Revelry are offered on the first and third Thursdays of the summer months. You can pay $60/family for all 3 months, $20/month, or pay-what-you-can. For more information and to register, please visit

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DIY Tin Can Luminary

Looking for something fun and mindful for you and your family to do? Try making your own tin can luminary! This activity is a great stress reliever for everyone and results in a beautiful addition to your holiday decorations!

What you'll need: a clean & dry tin can (thin cans work best!), a nail, a hammer, and a permanent marker.

Simply draw your design on your can, we went for a simple snowflake design on ours! After you are satisfied with your design, carefully take your nail and hammer and start to gently but firmly punch holes over your design. The can might become misshapen or dented during this process, that's fine! Once you are done with your design, reshape your luminary by rolling it on a flat surface or gently squeezing the can. When you are done, place a light source in it and wait for it to get dark! These work best when the light is cast against a surface, such as a wall or perhaps some snow. To keep your luminary for longer, keep it clean and dry to avoid rusting.

Did you make a cool luminary? Tag us! @shakerhistory

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Origami Paper Flowers

Needing some mid-week zen time? Try making some origami flowers! These flowers are easy to make and provide a great mindfulness activity to break up your daily routine. They also add a nice flair to your home or office (or a home office!)

Does your flower look great? Tag us on Facebook and Instagram #shakerhistory

Click this link to learn how to make these beautiful flowers!

Mouse Shaker Heights Coloring Page.pdf
Bee Shaker Heights Coloring Page.pdf
Bug Shaker Heights Coloring Page.pdf

Click the image above to download the pdf file of the coloring page.

Coloring Contest (Printable Activity)

A new exhibit-related coloring page by Lauren Garvin of Snailberry Art will be released here on the first Friday of each month. This competition is now closed. Thank you to all who participated in this coloring contest!

Competition Age Group Winners:

  • 4 and under: Quinn (Age 3)

  • 5-6: Oliver (Age 6)

  • 7-8: Clara (Age 8)

  • 9-10: Laura (Age 10)

Check out the winners below!

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