Cleveland's finest outdoor attractions grow a little brighter
By Erin Toohey Naso
Cleveland Botanical Gardens
Stroll through 10 acres of brightly-decorated winter wonderland (both indoors and outdoors) at the Cleveland Botanical Gardens' Glow. Any day or night, between Nov. 27-Jan. 3, catch carolers, decorated trees, gingerbread towns, the Garden Express Train, and Wade Oval skating rink next door. The Madagascar- and Costa Rica-themed glasshouses will shine even brighter on Wednesday and Friday evenings with extended hours.
Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens
The house that rubber built turns 100 this Christmas. Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens, the former mansion of Goodyear Tire founder F.A. Seiberling, celebrates the holidays by lavishly decorating and illuminating the estate with the help of 900,000 lights. From Nov. 27-Jan. 2, guests can wander the festooned gardens and Manor House, grab a cocoa or cocktail, and explore Gingerbread Land and DAZZLE (an outdoor music light show).
Hale Farm & Village
It's like taking a walk through Dickens' A Christmas Carol but without all those judgmental ghosts. Running Dec. 20-23, Hale Farm & Village's Holiday Lantern Tours will tour the recreated, decorated historic homes of the 19th century-themed Western Reserve Hale Farm & Village. Get your carol, cocoa, and cookies on to really make it magical.
Just a short sleigh ride from Cleveland delivers you to the hands-on toy workshop experience hosted by the Lake Metroparks Farmpark and its Country Lights events. After children assemble their toys with real tools and (we assume) pretend elves, it's off to a wonderland wagon ride, sitting with Santa, miniature train display, and the Farmpark animals. Country Lights runs Nov 27-29, Dec. 26-31, and Jan. 2 and 3.