Small Market Meetings

MAR 2017

The Newspaper for Smaller Cities, Facilities and Planners.

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A k r o n Z o o A k r o n March 2017 33 Neil Armstrong's spacesuit sits on display at the Armstrong Air and Space Museum. Courtesy Armstrong Air and Space Museum Gallery can seat 50 people for meals, and in the 80-person, domed Astro Theater, groups can enjoy a projection of the night sky, watch a movie about the Eagle's descent to the moon or use it for pre- sentations, speakers and other films. The museum also has a party room for about 25 and an outdoor covered pavilion that can seat about 100. Groups can take guided tours, or the center can have docents stationed among the galleries, said Christopher Moynihan, director of programming and education. Visitors will see two of Armstrong's space suits: one he wore for 11 hours while in the Gemini VIII capsule, and the other was one of his two Apollo spacesuits; each of the Apollo suits weighed 190 pounds on Earth but only 32 pounds on the moon. The museum also houses the Gemini VIII space capsule, as well as a moon rock from the Apollo 11 moon landing. Guests can try three flight simu- lators: lunar landing, shuttle landing or Gemini VIII spaceship docking. Planners can arrange to have the replica lunar rover on display outside or even offer guests short rides, weather permitting. Akron Zoo Akron Visiting the zoo is already a wild experience, but going after it's closed for the evening is even more special. At the Akron Zoo, groups can have the entire zoo open after hours with all the ani- mals on display, "so the entire zoo is open just for you," said Elena Bell, marketing and group sales manager. Planners can also have the zoo's train and carousel running on an hourly basis to give unlimited rides to attendees. "Basically, you and your group are the only ones here at the zoo," she said. The Komodo Kingdom building is perfect for banquets or fundraisers, especially in the winter, Bell said. Inside, the cafe can seat 150 people for meals, and visitors can dine next to Komodo drag- ons, the world's largest lizard species, or see the rain forest exhibit that features a Galapagos tor- toise. The zoo is adding a new exhibit in the building, slated to open June 3, called "Curious Creatures," which will feature interesting animals with strange adaptations, such as flashlight fish and naked mole rats. In the Lehner Family Zoo Gardens, guests won't find any animals, but they will find landscaped gardens and fountains. The space can accommo- date about 150 for receptions, or the indoor build- ing can seat 50 for meals. For any event, groups can add an animal encounter to get up close to one of the zoo's education animals, such as a bird, a snake or an armadillo.

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