On Dec. 7, Cleveland's University Circle neighborhood transforms into a winter wonderland
Holiday CircleFest at University Circle Neighborhood, Cleveland: Dec. 7
The holiday season is once again upon us and soon loved ones- and perhaps not-so-loved ones will be arriving at your door to visit. Radios will blare those famous holiday tunes and folks will enjoy time-honored family traditions like watching "A Christmas Story" or endlessly quoting Uncle Eddie from "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation."*
But another way to get into the holiday spirit in Cleveland is to experience the city's attractions all aglow and bustling with cheer at the 21st Annual Holiday CircleFest. On Sunday Dec. 7 from 1-5:30pm, Cleveland's University Circle neighborhood and more than a dozen of Cleveland's arts and culture institutions are opening their doors to friends and family at a discounted rate, or completely free. These holiday hot spots include:
- Cleveland Botanical Garden
- Cleveland Museum of Natural History
- Western Reserve Historical Society (with the visiting Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage in the lobby)
- Children's Museum of Cleveland
- Cleveland Museum of Contemporary Art
- Lakeview Cemetery
In addition to the proverbial treasure trove of arts and culture institutions, take a stroll around Wade Oval, ride on a "one horse open sleigh" via free horse-drawn carriages or skate around the outdoor Rink at Wade Oval with the big man himself, Santa Claus. Additional activities include ice-carving demonstrations, holiday toy displays, the citywide gingerbread house competition, live music, crafts, shopping and more.
The evening concludes with the gorgeous and dramatic Winter Lights Lantern Festival put on by the Cleveland Museum of Art. This festival brightens up the holiday season by featuring centuries-old, cross-cultural traditions of ceremonial lighting displays and a stunning procession through the Environment of Lights installation outside the museum, led by guest lantern artists, illuminated dancers and giant puppets during Holiday Circlefest. Guests who attend this event can prepare by attending one of the latern-making workshops that are occurring now through Nov. 23.
*By the way, you can also pay homage to both of these holiday classics by visiting "A Christmas Story" House and Museum and Castle Noel and watch the stories come to life with interactive exhibits that everyone in the family will enjoy.