‘tis the Season for Family and Friends to See Cleveland

November 22, 2016

Destination Cleveland Offers an In-depth Guide to Enjoying Winter Wonder in the Land


CLEVELAND (Nov. 21, 2016) - As the end of November draws near, holiday planning moves into high gear and preparation for visiting family and friends begins. To help residents plan a truly authentic CLE experience for loved ones making their way to Northeast Ohio in the weeks ahead, Destination Cleveland is offering a helping hand with a one-stop-event guide to many of the holiday happenings going on around town. Stay up-to-date this holiday season by visiting ThisIsCleveland.com/Holiday for great events, attractions and dining hotspots that are sure to help everyone eat, drink and be merry in Cleveland.


Thanksgiving at the Zoo at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and The RainForest

  • 3900 Wildlife Way, Cleveland, 44109, 216.661.6500, www.clevelandmetroparks.com/Zoo
  • Nov. 24, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and The RainForest host Thanksgiving at the Zoo. Featuring free admission, heated shuttle transportation and holiday treats for the animals, this event makes Thanksgiving memorable.

Turkey Tech at the Great Lakes Science Center

  • 601 Erieside Ave., Cleveland, 44114, 216.694.2000, greatscience.com
  • Nov. 25-26
  • Families and friends can experience a lineup of Thanksgiving-themed tech activities at the Great Lakes Science Center. Festivities include an Egg Drop Challenge; a Kitchen Chemistry Lab demonstration highlighting the ways science helps prepare a Turkey Day dinner; the Physics of Flight Science Spectacular, which explores a turkey's ability to fly; and the Thanksgiving in Space cart activity, which shows how a vacuum chamber might affect a feast in space.


  • Public Square, Cleveland, 44115, www.downtowncleveland.com
  • Nov. 26, 1-7 p.m.
  • Winterfest, presented by Huntington Bank, returns to Public Square. Featuring free entertainment and activities all day along Euclid Avenue, this holiday extravaganza can't be missed. Activities include free tours of Downtown on horse-drawn carriages, food trucks, Cleveland Bazaar's Holiday Pop-Up Shop, the Winterfest Children Stage, the chance to snap a picture with the #ThisisCLE sign, the official tree lighting ceremony and fireworks.

Larchmere Holiday Stroll at Larchmere Boulevard

  • Larchmere Boulevard, one block north of Cleveland's Shaker Square Neighborhood (click here for specific directions)
  • Nov. 28-30
  • The Larchmere Holiday Stroll is more than just a weekend of shopping, it's an annual holiday experience that features festive music, food and twinkling lights. Visitors can shop for locally made Cleveland goods, art, antiques, books, clothing, crafts and more.

Nature Tales Story Time at the Cleveland Botanical Garden

  • 11030 East Blvd., Cleveland, 44106, 216.721.1600, www.cbgarden.org
  • Dec. 1, Dec. 8, Dec. 15, Dec. 22, Dec. 29
  • Parents can take their children to enjoy favorite seasonal nature stories, songs, and finger plays provided by the Children's Museum education staff. Guests also have the opportunity to participate in a hands-on activity in the Hershey Children's Garden (weather dependent) or the Eleanor Squire Library.

Cleveland Creates

More than 200 artists will be showing their works in six buildings between Downtown Cleveland and the City of Lakewood during the holiday season. Cleveland Creates offers art lovers the chance to connect with some of this region's finest local artists, as well as find family and friends a special holiday treasure.

  • TerraVista Holiday Show (Cleveland's St. Clair Superior Neighborhood)
    • 1400 East 30th St. #401, Cleveland, 44114, 216.523.1387
    • Dec. 2, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
    • Dec. 3, 12-7 p.m.
    • Dec. 4, 12-4.p.m
  • Screw Factory Open Studios (Lakewood's Birdtown Neighborhood)
    • 13000 Athens Ave., Lakewood, 44107, 216.521.1088
    • Dec. 2, 6-10 p.m.
    • Dec. 3, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
  • Cleveland Bazaar at Lake Affect(Downtown Cleveland's Campus District)
    • 1615 East 25th St., Cleveland, 44114
    • Dec. 3, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
  • Salomon & Kennedy Open Studio (Downtown Cleveland's Campus District)
    • 3620 Perkins Ave., Cleveland, 44114
    • Dec. 3, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
  • Tower Press Open Studios (Downtown Cleveland's Campus District)
    • 1900 Superior Ave., Cleveland, 44114
    • Dec. 3, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
  • ArtCraft Studio Show (29th annual) (Downtown Cleveland's Campus District)
    • 2570 Superior Ave., Cleveland, 44114
    • Dec. 3, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
    • Dec. 4, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

A Christmas Story 5K/10K Run

  • Starts at the corner of Ontario St. and Huron Road, Cleveland, 877.534.5267, www.achristmasstoryrun.com
  • Dec. 3, 9 a.m.
  • Runners and fans of the holiday classic, A Christmas Story, can pay homage to their favorite film by running in either a 5K or 10K race from Public Square to A Christmas Story House (5K) and back (10K). Runners are encouraged to wear a leg lamp or bunny suit costume to complete the theme.

Holiday CircleFest at University Circle

  • Wade Oval, 10820 East Blvd., Cleveland, 44106, 216.707.4640, www.universitycircle.org
  • Dec. 4, 1-5:30 p.m.
  • Cleveland's cultural mecca, University Circle, is transformed into a winter wonderland for Holiday CircleFest. Guests of the celebration can visit the many museums and cultural institutions all day long for free. Outside, visitors can take free horse-drawn carriage rides, watch ice-carving demonstrations, ice skate at the Rink at Wade Oval, enjoy live music, participate in the citywide gingerbread house competition, shop and more. The evening concludes with the gorgeous and dramatic Winter Lights Lantern Procession put on by the Cleveland Museum of Art.

Winter Lights Lantern Festival (part of CircleFest) at the Cleveland Museum of Art

  • Wade Oval, 10820 East Blvd., Cleveland, 44106, 216.707.2483, www.clevelandart.org
  • Dec. 4, 5:30 p.m. (Lanterns will be on display through late December.)
  • The Cleveland Museum of Art brightens up the holiday season with a festival inspired by centuries-old, cross-cultural traditions of ceremonial lighting displays at its Holiday Lantern Festival. The free annual festival includes an array of workshops for making lanterns and a stunning display through the Environment of Lights led by guest lantern artists, illuminated dancers and giant puppets.

Breakfast with Santa at the Cleveland Botanical Garden

  • 11030 East Blvd., Cleveland, 44106, 216.721.1600, www.cbgarden.org
  • Dec. 4 and Dec. 11, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.
  • Children have the chance to meet Santa while enjoying a breakfast buffet, crafts and cookie decorating. They also will have an exclusive opportunity to experience the winter wonderland Glow before it opens to the public for the day.

Holiday Lantern Tours at Hale Farm & Village

  • 2686 Oak Hill, Bath, 44210, 330.666.3711, www.wrhs.org/plan-your-visit/hale-farm
  • Dec. 5, Dec. 11-12, Dec.18-23
  • The Western Reserve Historical Society's Holiday Lantern Tour gives guests the opportunity to stroll through 19th century Hale Farm and Village by the light of a lantern. Attendees will experience the holiday season of years past and travel back to Christmas Eve 1861 where they are welcomed into the village homes by Civil War era residents whose holiday traditions are as diverse as their backgrounds.

Tremont Holiday BrewHaHa

  • Cleveland's Tremont Neighborhood
  • The historic Tremont neighborhood's main holiday event of the season is full of Christmas cheer and delicious beer.
    • Dec. 9: Experience the Tremont Brewhop and Tremont Artwalk as Lolly the Trolley drives attendees all over Tremont to see the artistic makings of more than 30 vendors. Begin the day in the Grand Ballroom of Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church (2187 West 14th St., Cleveland, 44113) and board the trolleys for a (free) journey through one Cleveland's most popular neighborhoods.
    • Dec. 10: Runners are invited to join Santa Claus in Tremont's own Santa Shuffle and dress up as the jolly Christmas figurehead to complete a mile run through the neighborhood. Food and beverage specials are available afterward at the nearby restaurants.
    • Dec. 11: Enjoy live music at The Treehouse from 6-9 p.m. and holiday karaoke at The Flying Monkey Pub.

The Santa Hustle Cedar Point 5K & Half Marathon

  • 1 Cedar Point Drive, Sandusky, 44870, 847.829.4536
  • Dec. 11, 9 a.m.
  • Thousands of Santa Claus costumes take to the streets of Sandusky at the annual Santa Hustle Cedar Point 5K & Half Marathon. Every participant receives a finisher medal, free Santa hat, beard and a lightweight performance hoodie. All can enjoy holiday decorations, seasonal music and an after-party complete with candy and cookies.

Kid's Breakfast with Santa at Merwin's Wharf

  • 1785 Merwin Ave., Cleveland, 44134, 216.664.5696
  • Dec. 17, 8:30-10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. and 2-4 p.m.
  • The Cleveland Metroparks invites mom, dad and the kids to share in the holiday spirit with a Kid's Breakfast with Santa at Merwin's Wharf. In addition to eating with the big man himself, kids will also enjoy a special buffet-style brunch, crafts, a trendy photo booth, balloon blowing and face painting. Reservations are needed.

Dec. 25th Can-Can at The Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage

  • 2929 Richmond Road, Beachwood, 44122, 216.593.0575, www.maltzmuseum.org
  • Dec. 25
  • The Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage invites guests to "give what you can" and explore the stories and cultures of both activist photographers and Jewish immigrants. By donating a canned good upon entrance on Dec. 25, visitors can enjoy the museum's special exhibit, This Light of Ours: Activist Photographers of the Civil Rights Movement, as well as tour The Temple-Tifereth

Israel Gallery and share in the Jewish immigrant experiences that make up An American Story, the museum's core exhibition. Guests also have the opportunity to watch a screening of the

Stacey Holman's "Freedom Riders" and create welcome cards for new immigrants entering Northeast Ohio.

December Days at the Zoo at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and The RainForest

  • 3900 Wildlife Way, Cleveland, 44109, 216.661.6500, www.clevelandmetroparks.com/zoo
  • Dec. 26-30
  • December Days at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and The RainForest features special seasonal activities including crafts and live music. Stay warm by traveling through the indoor exhibits and spending time with some of the zoo's special friends, including the cool cats in the Primate, Cat & Aquatics Building or those cute koalas inside GumLeaf Hideout.

Winter Week at the Great Lakes Science Center

  • 601 Erieside Ave., Cleveland, 44114, 216.694.2000, greatscience.com
  • Dec. 26-31
  • The Great Lake Science Center invites families to participate in Winter Week, a seven-day celebration of seasonal happenings starting the day following Christmas and running until New Year's Eve. Events include the Fire and Ice Big Science show, which demonstrates what happens when the two come together, ice fishing, toy train making, a New Year's Eve celebration and many more. Enjoy an educational, yet entertaining week. All activities are free with general admission. No advance registration required.

Harlem Globetrotters

  • Quicken Loans Arena, 1 Center Court, Cleveland, 44115, www.theqarena.com
  • Dec. 27, 1 p.m. and 6 p.m.
  • The Original Harlem Globetrotters are bringing their tour to Cleveland. For 90 years, the Globetrotters have wowed audiences of all ages with their basketball artistry, ball-handling wizardry and one-of-a-kind family entertainment.

Noon Year's Eve at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

Trans-Siberian Orchestra at Quicken Loans Arena

  • Quicken Loans Arena, 1 Center Court, Cleveland, 44115, www.theqarena.com
  • Dec. 31, 3 p.m. and 9 p.m.
  • The nationally acclaimed rock opera Trans-Siberian Orchestra makes its way back to Quicken Loans Arena for two electrifying performances.


A Christmas Story House and Museum

  • 3159 W. 11th St., Cleveland, 44109, 216.298.4919, www.achristmasstoryhouse.com
  • Open year round, daily
  • Leg lamp entrepreneur, Brian Jones, bought the house in Cleveland's Tremont neighborhood where "Black Bart" and other scenes from A Christmas Story were filmed, and restored it to its big screen look with original props and images for public viewing. Visitors should also make it a point to head across the street to the gift shop to purchase major award leg lamps, official Red Ryder BB guns, Secret Society decoder pins, Lifebuoy soap and other gifts.

Castle Noel

  • 260 S. Court St., Medina, 44256, 330.721.NOEL (6635), www.castlenoel.com
  • Open year round; extended holiday hours: Now - Dec. 31
  • Castle Noel is America's largest indoor Christmas museum attraction. The Christmas Movieland exhibit showcases favorite cinematic moments using iconic props, including Cousin Eddie's RV from National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation and the Grinch's sleigh from Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas. The museum is also adorned with Christmas-themed, animated department store window displays and contains a classic Christmas Toyland.

Ma & Pa's Horse Drawn Sleigh Rides, Burton

  • 15161 Main Market Road, Burton, 44021, 440.548.5521, www.maandpas.com
  • Now - mid March
  • There's nothing more seasonal than dashing through the snow in a one-horse-open sleigh. Visitors can create a lasting winter memory cuddled under a blanket and riding through the snow in an authentic sleigh or buggy in the town of Burton at Ma & Pa's Horse Drawn Sleigh Rides, approximately 40 miles southeast of Cleveland. Afterward, they can warm up by the fire with fresh coffee and cookies made by Burton's own Mrs. Claus, better known as "Ma."

NBA: Cleveland Cavaliers' Games

  • Quicken Loans Arena, 1 Center Court, Cleveland, 44115, www.cavs.com
  • Warm up your winter days with Cleveland's 2016 NBA Championship team. For a complete schedule, click here. (Season runs through April 2017.)

AHL: Cleveland Monsters' Games

  • Quicken Loans Arena, 1 Center Ice, Cleveland 44115, www.clevelandmonsters.com
  • Cheer on CLE's 2016 AHL Championship team as they take to the ice this holiday season. For a complete schedule, click here. (Season runs through April 2017.)

Bob Hope: An American Treasure at the Cleveland History Center

Hope. The exhibit is compliments of the World Golf Hall of Fame & Museum and highlights several aspects of Hope's life, including his extraordinary relationship with the U.S. Armed Forces.

Holiday Events at Tower City Center

Holidays at the Higbee at JACK Cleveland Casino

  • 100 Public Square, Cleveland, 44113, 216.297.4777 www.jackentertainment.com/cleveland/
  • Nov. 22 - mid January 2017
  • This holiday season, JACK Cleveland Casino will be adorned with more than 100,000 twinkling lights, 100 holiday trees and 6,000 square feet of "snow" creating the perfect wonderland. Throughout the three gaming floors, JACK Cleveland Casino will be draped in sparkling décor laden much like past holidays celebrated in Higbee's Department Store. This year, the casino is encouraging guests to find JACK Frost in 21 hiding places inside the lavish bliss of the decorated gaming floors. Additionally, guests to Downtown Cleveland can enjoy the window display featuring a hand-crafted twig tree with more than 28,000 crystals, snowflakes and lights at the central window on Public Square.

Playhouse Square

  • 1501 Euclid Ave., Cleveland, 44115, www.playhousesquare.org
  • Celebrate the magic of the holidays at the largest performing arts center in the country outside
  • of New York. The five beautifully restored historic theaters and four newer performance spaces of Playhouse Square are home to the KeyBank Broadway Series, concerts, comedy shows,

Cleveland Play House, Cleveland State University's Department of Theatre and Dance, Great Lakes Theater Company and Tri-C Jazz Festival.


Nov. 23, Nov. 26 - Dec. 23: A Christmas Carol (Great Lakes Theater)

  • Charles Dickens' classic tale of one man's ultimate redemption can be seen on stage this winter at Playhouse Square. One of Northeast Ohio's favorite holiday traditions, A Christmas Carol is a perfect gift of theater for people of all ages.

Nov. 25 - Dec. 23: A Christmas Story (Cleveland Play House)

  • The famous holiday classic film, A Christmas Story, makes its way from the big screen to the stage. Open all Christmas season long, this play stays true to the movie classic and offers a night of holiday fun the whole family is sure to love.

Nov. 26: Thanksgiving Soul Jam

  • Soul music legend Dennis Edwards & The Temptations Review, The Manhattans featuring Gerald Alston, The Dramatics featuring Willie Ford, Enchantment & Lenny Williams come to Cleveland and put on a show of nostalgia. Performing memorable hits and bringing back the decade of dance and disco, Thanksgiving Soul Jam helps audience re-live those days of afros and disco balls.

Nov. 27: Let the Merry Bells Keep Ringing

  • The Cleveland POPS Orchestra presents its annual performance, Let the Merry Bells Keep Ringing, featuring the melodic combination of bells, horns, strings, flutes and drums guaranteed to put any audience in a joyous state of mind.

Nov. 30 - Dec. 4: The Cleveland Orchestra presents George Balanchine's The NutcrackerTM with the Pennsylvania Ballet

  • Brilliant costumes, realistic scenery, entrancing storytelling and breathtaking dancing bring the classic story of George Balanchine's The NutcrackerTM to life. Gather loved ones and enjoy the incomparable Cleveland Orchestra and Pennsylvania Ballet.


Dec. 1-18: The Santaland Diaries

  • Based on the story by David Sedaris and produced by Cleveland Public Theatre, The Santaland Diaries is sure to bring a smile to any grinch's face. The show is a hilarious recount of the trials and tribulations told by Crumpet, now in his mid-fifties, about the time he was an out-of-work actor and forced to work as a Macy's Christmas Elf in 1989. The show is side-splitting fun for those looking for a different type of holiday cheer.

Dec. 3: Tinsel Town Holiday

  • Families can enjoy holiday crafts, pictures with Santa, a hot chocolate bar, cookie decorating, toy raffle baskets and more when they visit Tinsel Town at Playhouse Square for an unforgettable holiday party.

Dec. 3-4: Our Gay Apparel

  • The Northcoast Men's Chorus presents their annual holiday concert titled Our Gay Apparel at the Hanna Theatre in Playhouse Square. Visitors who attend can hear classic seasonal songs as well as new and unexpected holiday tunes that make for a fun and festive evening.

Dec. 6-11: Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas: The Musical

  • This Broadway favorite invites audiences on a musical and magical journey with Dr. Seuss to the whimsical world of Whoville for a special reminder about the true meaning of the holidays.

Dec. 9-10: Cleveland Jazz Orchestra: A CJO Christmas

  • Join Nia Drummond, the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra and other jazz fans and "Have yourself a Swinging Jazzy Christmas" as this group performs for the 31st season.

Dec. 9-10: Dave Koz Christmas Tour 2016

  • Jazz fans can join sensational saxophonist extraordinaire, Dave Koz, along with his friends singer/songwriter and guitarist Jonathan Butler, five-time Grammy-winning singer, Christopher Cross, and smooth jazz vocalist and songwriter, Maysa, for his 2016 Christmas Tour at Playhouse Square.

Dec. 11: Cleveland Jazz Orchestra: Jingle Bell Matinee

  • Led by Paul Ferguson with guest Nia Drummond, Jingle Bell Matinee is a shortened version of the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra's holiday performance for adults to enjoy with their kids.

Dec. 17: Mannheim Streamroller Christmas

  • Grammy Award winner Chip Davis brings the treasured Christmas music of Mannheim Steamroller back to Cleveland this holiday season, complete with dazzling multimedia effects to appeal to the ears, eyes and heart.

Deck the Hall at Stan Hywet Halls & Gardens

  • 714 North Portage Path, Akron, 44303, www.stanhywet.org
  • Nov. 25-27, Dec. 1-4, 8-23, 26-30
  • The elaborate 65-room Manor House at Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens will once again host its annual holiday celebration, Deck the Hall. Festivities include live music and "Dazzle," a 10-minute, dramatic computerized lights program with more than 850,000 lights that plays three times each hour in the Great Garden. Additionally, the Playgarden has been transformed into a

Gingerbread Land where visitors can meet the gingerbread family, see a 17-foot gingerbread house, giant peppermint candy canes and a 20-foot glittering candy tree.

Tobogganing at the Chalet at the Cleveland Metroparks

Glow at the Cleveland Botanical Garden

  • 11030 East Blvd., Cleveland, 44106, 216.721.1600, www.cbgarden.org
  • Nov. 25 - Dec. 31
  • Head to the Cleveland Botanical Garden to see the spectacular holiday event, Glow. Guests can enjoy twinkling lights and live Christmas music while riding the Garden Express train to see the all-new outdoor light display featuring thousands of radiant twinkling lights. Other popular Glow traditions are set to return and transform the inner gardens into a winter wonderland.

Wild Lights at the Akron Zoo

  • 500 Edgewood Ave., Akron, 44307, 330.375.2550, www.akronzoo.org/home
  • Nov. 25-27, Dec. 2-4, 9-11, 16-18, 22-23 and 26-30
  • After a 16-year hiatus, The Akron Zoo is bringing back Wild Lights. On a journey through twenty-five miles of lights and displays throughout the zoo, guests will have the chance to visit and take pictures with Santa in Santa Land, enjoy seasonal snacks from s'mores stations and visit with the many animals that will be on display.

Snowland at Great Wolf Lodge

  • 4600 Milan Road, Sandusky, 44870, 419.609.6000, www.greatwolf.com
  • Nov. 26 - Jan. 1, 2017
  • Visitors can celebrate the magic of winter at Snowland at the Great Wolf Lodge in Sandusky. From snow showers and twinkling lights in the Grand Lobby to gingerbread houses and interactive activities, Snowland has something for everyone to enjoy.

Cleveland Orchestra

  • 11001 Euclid Ave., Cleveland, 44106, www.clevelandorchestra.com
  • Holiday travelers can hear The Cleveland Orchestra and Choruses perform holiday favorites in the festive splendor of the opulent Severance Hall, with a special visit from Santa. Cleveland's holiday tradition presented by one of the world's renowned orchestras is opened to locals and visitors alike.

DON'T FORGET: Destination Cleveland's Cleveland Concierge Team is also available to help you and visiting family and friends explore the region during the holiday season. Contact our team through email or chat at www.thisiscleveland.com, or stop in the Cleveland Visitors Center (334 Euclid Ave., Cleveland, 44114) Mon.-Sat., 9 a.m.-6 p.m. to plan your adventure.

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