It's the Most Wonderful Time of Year in The Land

November 27, 2017

Destination Cleveland recommends activities for a season-long holiday celebration 

CLEVELAND (Nov. 27, 2017) - The leftover turkey and yams may be quickly dwindling, but there's no reason for Clevelanders to fret. Holiday hoopla is just getting started in the CLE. Destination Cleveland recommends locals and their visitors celebrate the holiday season throughout December with visits from Santa Claus, dazzling lights and many more seasonal events throughout the region.

A Christmas Story 5K/10K Run

  • Clevelanders can take a jog down memory lane as they visit "A Christmas Story" movie set locations during the annual A Christmas Story 5K/10K run. Participants get to tour the famous house for free, and we triple dog dare ya to dress in a pink bunny suit or leg lamp costume to embrace the theme of this race.
    • Race starts in front of Tower City Center at Public Square, visit for more information.
    • Saturday, Dec. 2, 9 a.m.

Holiday CircleFest at University Circle

  • Holiday CircleFest is back and better than ever because this year's celebration is a two-day event. Residents can kick off the festivities on Saturday by shopping at University Circle's newly added Holiday Market and then head to The Rink at Wade Oval to skate with Santa. The celebration continues on Sunday when more than a dozen of University Circle's institutions open their doors free of charge for a day filled with activities, shopping, food and music.
    • Wade Oval, 10820 East Blvd., Cleveland
    • Saturday, Dec. 2, noon - 5 p.m.; Sunday, Dec. 3, 1 - 7 p.m.

Winter Lights Lantern Festival

  • As a part of Holiday CircleFest, locals can experience holiday lights in a new and innovative way at the Cleveland Museum of Art's annual Winter Lights Lantern Festival. Guests will enjoy lantern art, a lantern procession, illuminated dancers and giant puppets that fit this year's theme of "bioluminescence." Attendees are encouraged to be a part of the procession by making their own piece at the lantern-making workshop.
    • 11150 East Blvd., Cleveland
    • Sunday, Dec. 3, 1 - 5:30 p.m.; lantern procession begins at 5:30 p.m.

Holiday Lantern Tours at Hale Farm and Village

  • Residents can travel back in time on the Holiday Lantern Tours through Hale Farm and Village. Just 35 minutes south of Downtown, guests can experience how the holidays were celebrated in the 19th century as they venture through the decorated historic village and indulge in holiday treats.
    • 2686 Oak Hill Road, Bath
    • Dec. 2-3, 8-9, 15-17, 19- 23, 5:30 - 9 p.m.

Breakfast with Santa at the Cleveland Botanical Garden

  • Children have the chance to enjoy breakfast with jolly old St. Nicholas and tell him what they hope to find under the tree this year at the Cleveland Botanical Garden. After feasting on pancakes and decorating cookies, attendees have the exclusive opportunity to experience Glow before it opens to the public in the evening.
    • 11030 East. Blvd., Cleveland
    • Sunday, Dec. 3 and Sunday, Dec. 10, 10 a.m. - noon

Kid's Brunch with Santa at Merwin's Wharf

  • Clevelanders can enjoy a delicious brunch while overlooking the beautiful Cuyahoga River this holiday season at Merwin's Wharf. Children will have a blast at this family-friendly event that features a balloon artist, magic show, face painting and, of course, a visit from Santa.
    • 1785 Merwin Ave., Cleveland
    • Sunday, Dec. 3, 10 and 17 with seatings at 9 a.m., noon and 3 p.m.; reservations are highly recommended.

Tremont Holiday BrewHaHa

  • Tis the season for beer and cheer at Tremont's Holiday BrewHaHa. Clevelanders won't want to miss this three-day extravaganza that starts with Lolly the Trolley touring guests around Tremont to experience the BrewHop and Holiday ArtWalk. Residents can return for day two filled with local eats, shopping and the Santa Shuffle run. And the fun continues on Sunday when guests can enjoy live music at The Treehouse or sing karaoke to their favorite holiday tunes at The Flying Monkey Pub.
    • Various locations in Cleveland's Tremont Neighborhood
    • Friday, Dec. 8, 5 - 11 p.m.; Saturday, Dec. 9, 1:30 - 8 p.m.; Sunday, Dec. 10, 6 - 9 p.m.


  • Residents can spend the day exploring the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood at the annual Wintertide event. The festivities kick off with a showing of "A Christmas Story" at Capitol Theater and continue with pop-up music, theater performances and holiday treats around Gordon Square.
    • Gordon Square Arts District, 6516 Detroit Ave., Cleveland
    • Saturday, Dec. 9, 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Cleveland Bazaar Holiday

  • Cleveland Bazaar's largest holiday show at 78th Street Studios is back with more than 125 local vendors and artists. Guests can shop for unique gifts for loved ones while enjoying a variety of bites from food trucks and adult beverages from the bar. On Saturday, there will be a shuttle between Wintertide and 78th Street Studios so locals can explore the neighborhood all day long.
    • 1300 W. 78th St., Cleveland
    • Saturday, Dec. 9, 10 a.m. - 9 p.m.; Sunday, Dec. 10, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

The Santa Hustle Cedar Point 5K and Half Marathon

  • Better watch out; better not cry; better not pout because thousands of Santa Clauses are coming to town to run the Santa Hustle 5K and Half Marathon at Cedar Point. If participants don't have Santa costumes of their own, no need to worry. All runners receive a free Santa hat, beard, shirt and candy cane socks to get in the holiday spirit.
    • 1 Cedar Point Dr., Sandusky
    • Sunday, Dec. 10, half marathon begins at 9 a.m., 5K begins at 9:30 a.m.

Holiday Tea at The Ritz-Carlton Cleveland

  • The holiday festiviTEAs continue at the Ritz-Carlton Cleveland with the annual Teddy Bear Tea and Holiday Afternoon Tea. With a tasty menu and holiday storytelling from Mrs. Claus, Teddy Bear Tea is perfect to celebrate with children. Later in the day, the Ritz offers Holiday Afternoon Tea with a variety of teas, sandwiches and sweets that guests of all ages will enjoy.
    • 1515 W. 3rd St., Cleveland
    • Dec. 10, 11 and 17-23; reservations are required, click here for times.

Friends of the Maltz Museum Hanukkah Candlelighting

  • The Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage invites children of all ages and backgrounds to celebrate the Jewish Festival of Lights. Located 25 minutes east of Downtown Cleveland, guests will enjoy learning about the story of Hanukkah, playing the dreidel game and listening to festive music.
    • 2929 Richmond Road, Beachwood
    • Wednesday, Dec. 13, 5 - 6 p.m.

"A Christmas Story: Live!" Watch Party

  • Clevelanders can celebrate Christmas with the ultimate block party when "A Christmas Story: Live!" hits televisions across the nation. The party begins at A Christmas Story House with an outdoor showing of the classic movie projected on two giant inflatable screens. Afterwards, locals stay to watch the live musical on FOX. There will be plenty of treats provided by The Rowley Inn and Jack Frost Donuts. The popular #ThisisCLE letters will also be on site for holiday photo opps.
    • 3159 W. 11th St., Cleveland
    • Sunday, Dec. 17, 4 - 10 p.m.

Give What You Can, Pay What You Can at Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage

  • Locals can choose to donate a canned good or pay what they can to explore the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage on Dec. 25. Attendees can hear inspiring stories at the "Beyond Soup: Jews and Medicine in America" exhibit and learn about Jewish art and artifacts at The Temple-Tifereth Israel Gallery. Guests are also encouraged to stop by the theater for 1940s Superman cartoons and to decorate New Year's cards.
    • 2929 Richmond Road, Beachwood
    • Monday, Dec. 25, 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Holiday Lights Tour with Lolly the Trolley

  • Ring-a-ling, on every street corner Clevelanders will hear Lolly the Trolley touring guests around town on the Holiday Lights Tours. Riders can either travel through the Tremont neighborhood and stop by A Christmas Story House on the A Christmas Story House Tour or journey around Downtown to experience the beautifully decorated Public Square on The Silver Bells CLE Tour.
    • Powerhouse at Nautica, 1101 Winslow Ave., Cleveland
    • Visit for available dates

Gifts from the Heart of Nature at Holden Arboretum

  • Residents can "go green" with their gifts this holiday season at Holden Arboretum's annual Gifts from the Heart of Nature show. Just a 30-minute drive from Downtown Cleveland, shoppers will find dozens of unique vendors in one location with gifts that range from jewelry to pottery and candles.
    • 9550 Sperry Road., Kirtland
    • Now-Jan. 3, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Ma and Pa's Horse Drawn Sleigh Rides

  • It's lovely weather for a sleigh ride together at Ma and Pa's in Burton. Approximately 45 minutes southeast of Downtown Cleveland, residents can snuggle up with loved ones under a blanket while dashing through the snow in a horse-drawn sleigh. After the ride, guests can warm up by the fireplace with Ma's homemade cookies, hot cocoa and maple coffee.
    • 15161 Main Market Road, Burton
    • Visit for more information on times and prices.

Holiday Events at Tower City Center

  • Tower City is filled with kid-friendly fun for Clevelanders this holiday season. Bruce the Spruce, the magical talking Christmas tree, is back from vacation to chat with guests while they journey through the center on the Holiday Express Train.

Castle Noel

  • A holiday favorite that locals can enjoy this season is Castle Noel, the country's largest year-round Christmas attraction. Located 45 minutes south of Downtown, Castle Noel is filled with thousands of vintage toys and the world's largest collection of Hollywood Christmas movie props and costumes from favorites like "Jingle All The Way" and "The Santa Clause" trilogy.

A Christmas Story House

  • A Christmas Story House may be open to the public year-round, but what better time to stop by than during the holiday season. Locals can tour Ralphie's house, filled with original props and costumes from the film, or snag their own Red Ryder and Major Award leg lamp from the gift shop.

Ice Rinks at Public Square and Wade Oval

  • Lace up and bundle up, Clevelanders! It's time to hit the ice at two of the coolest ice rinks in the region, Public Square and Wade Oval. Both rinks are open all season long for locals to show off their figure eights, spins and other ice-skating moves.
    • Public Square, 3 Public Square, Cleveland
    • Wade Oval, 10820 East Blvd., Cleveland
    • Visit Public Square's and Wade Oval's websites for more information on dates and times.

Cleveland Orchestra

  • Dec. 8-9: Christmas Brass Quintet
    • Families will enjoy festive tunes as the Christmas Brass Quintet presents their annual holiday concert. Cleveland Orchestra musicians and a special guest will perform short selections to celebrate the music of the holiday season.
  • Dec. 14-17, Dec. 21-23: Cleveland Orchestra Christmas Concerts
    • The Cleveland Orchestra Christmas Concerts are back to spread holiday cheer. Attendees will experience a visit from Santa and sing-along-songs with guest choruses that will have them caroling along to their favorites.
  • Dec. 19-20: Disney in Concert, Tim Burton's "The Nightmare Before Christmas"
    • The holiday season is all about ghosts, goblins and ghouls at Severance Hall when the Cleveland Orchestra presents Tim Burton's "The Nightmare Before Christmas." Guests can experience the spooky tale of Jack Skellington as the orchestra plays the score live to accompany the film.
    • 11001 Euclid Ave., Cleveland

Playhouse Square

  • Dec. 2-3: Under the Mistletoe, presented by North Coast Men's Chorus (Hanna Theatre)
    • The North Coast Men's Chorus is waiting "Under the Mistletoe" for Clevelanders to join them in celebrating their 30th anniversary. At the holiday concert, guests will be entertained with carols, dazzling dances and creative costumes.
  • Dec. 5-23: On Your Feet! (Connor Palace)
    • Clevelanders won't be able to stop themselves from jumping to their feet to conga when they attend this inspiring musical. "On Your Feet!" celebrates the true story of Gloria and Emilio Estefan who found a way to land on their feet after facing tragedies and adversity when coming to America.
  • Dec. 6: The Hip Hop Nutcracker (KeyBank State Theatre)
    • "The Hip Hop Nutcracker" takes a contemporary twist on the classic ballet. Instead of traveling to the beautiful Land of Sweets, guests will travel back in time to 1980s Brooklyn with the cast of all-star dancers, a DJ and a violinist.
  • Dec. 6: Children's Theater Series, A Very Electric Christmas (Hanna Theatre)
    • Children can experience the heartwarming story of a young bird's accidental journey to the North Pole during "A Very Electric Christmas." This story introduces creative holiday characters like caroling worms and dancing poinsettias that will entertain the young and young at heart.
  • Dec. 6-17: The Santaland Diaries (Outcalt Theatre)
    • Based on a story by David Sedaris and produced by the Cleveland Public Theatre, "The Santaland Diaries" will have guests laughing so hard their bellies will shake like a bowl full of jelly. Attendees are sure to enjoy the story about an out-of-work actor's job as a Macy's Christmas elf.
  • Dec. 15-17: Nutcracker Suite, Presented by the Cleveland Ballet (Hanna Theatre)
    • Locals can waltz around the world with Clara and the Prince during the famous holiday ballet, "Nutcracker Suite." Guests will be amazed by the elegant dancing and alluring costumes that make this ballet a holiday favorite.
    • 1501 Euclid Ave., Cleveland

NBA: Cleveland Cavaliers

  • It's the most wonderful time of the year for basketball fans as the Cleveland Cavaliers season is in full swing. Locals can root for the Cavs every week as they take to the court during the holidays. For a complete season schedule, click here.
    • Quicken Loans Arena, 1 Center Ct., Cleveland
    • The season runs now through April 2018.

AHL: Cleveland Monsters

  • The weather outside may be frightful but watching the Cleveland Monsters play is always delightful. Residents can take family and friends to cheer for their favorite hockey team this holiday season. For a complete season schedule, click here.
    • Quicken Loans Arena, 1 Center Ct., Cleveland
    • The season runs now through April 2018.

NFL: Cleveland Browns

  • Bundle up football fans and support the Cleveland Browns during their final games this December, and don't forget the Christmas ale and hot cocoa when tailgating at the Muni Lot. For a complete season schedule, click here.
    • FirstEnergy Stadium, 100 Alfred Lerner Way, Cleveland
    • The season runs through Dec. 31.

Quicken Loans Arena Events

  • Harlem Globetrotters
    • The Original Harlem Globetrotters are back to bring Clevelanders unforgettable, one-of-a-kind family entertainment. Guests will be in awe over the Globetrotters unbelievable basketball skills that have made them a worldwide phenomenon.
    • Wednesday, Dec. 27, 1 p.m. and 6 p.m.
  • Trans-Siberian Orchestra
    • Locals can celebrate the holidays by experiencing the Trans-Siberian Orchestra's Ghosts of Christmas Eve tour. This iconic rock opera will have two memorable performances that residents won't want to miss.
    • Friday, Dec. 29, 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.
    • Quicken Loans Arena, 1 Center Ct., Cleveland

Holiday events continuing from November

For more holiday festivities or to learn more about Destination Cleveland or new attractions and activities, please visit or, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and subscribe to our channels on YouTube and Pinterest.

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

Please note, the Cleveland Visitors Center will operate under special hours during Christmas:

  • Fri., Dec. 22, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
  • Sat., Dec. 23 - Mon., Dec. 25, closed
  • Tues., Dec. 26, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
  • Wed., Dec. 27 - Thurs. Dec. 28, 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.


ABOUT DESTINATION CLEVELAND: Destination Cleveland is Cleveland's convention and visitors bureau. This private, non-profit organization's mission is to drive economic impact and stimulate community vitality for Greater Cleveland through leisure and business travel. Cleveland welcomes 18 million visitors annually. For more information, visit

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