November 13, 2017

Destination Cleveland offers in-depth guide for the most wonderful time of the year in The Land

CLEVELAND (Nov. 13, 2017) - With the holiday season quickly approaching, Clevelanders may be welcoming family and friends from over the river and through the woods for fun-filled festivities. The CLE begins its holiday celebrations in November, and Destination Cleveland recommends locals and their visitors take a break from feasting on turkey and yams to explore seasonal events throughout the region.

I-X Center Christmas Connection

  • Clevelanders can kick off the holiday shopping season with more than 140 vendors in one spot at the I-X Center Christmas Connection. Guests will find everything from home décor to ceramics to jewelry and food that someone on their shopping lists will love to find in their stockings this holiday season. Breakfast with Santa, a Gingerbread House competition and live entertainment will also be featured.
    • 1 I-X Center Drive, Cleveland
    • Friday, Nov. 17 and Saturday, Nov. 18, 10 a.m. - 8 p.m.; Sunday, Nov. 19, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Winter Wine and Ale Fest

  • Residents can raise a glass to the holiday season at Downtown Cleveland Alliance's Winter Wine and Ale Fest. Attendees can try holiday cuisine and beverages from a variety of restaurants, cider houses, and craft breweries including Adega at the 9, Ruth's Chris Steak House, The Brew Kettle and Market Garden Brewery.
    • Global Center for Health Innovation, 1 St. Clair Ave., Cleveland
    • Saturday, Nov. 18, 8 - 11 p.m.

Kringle's Inventionasium

  • Families can join Mr. Kringle and his elite team as they make toys, ornaments and other creations in the top secret toy lab. Through the Kringle's Inventionasium interactive theatrical experience, families can explore testing rooms like the Puppet Pattern Workshop, Grow Snow Laboratory and Toy Engineering Room. Guests even get the chance to meet with Mr. Kringle himself and review their holiday wish list.
    • Tower City Center, 230 W. Huron Road, Cleveland
    • Saturday, Nov. 18 and Sunday, Nov. 19; Friday - Sunday, Nov. 24 - 26; please visit for reservation times and December dates

Thanksgiving at the Zoo at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and Rainforest

  • If the family needs a break from feasting on Thanksgiving, residents have the chance to change it up and check out special meet the keeper experiences at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and Rainforest's annual Thanksgiving at the Zoo. As a special thanks to the community, admission to the zoo on Thanksgiving is free of charge.
    • 3900 Wildlife Way, Cleveland
    • Thursday, Nov. 23, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Turkey Tech at Great Lakes Science Center

  • After residents stuff their bellies with turkey and pie, they can feed their curiosity with holiday-themed activities and demonstrations at Great Lakes Science Center. Guests can challenge the family to some friendly competition at the Egg Drop Challenge, discover if turkeys really can fly at the Physics of Flight Spectacular and stay after hours on Saturday, Nov. 25, for the Take Two Double Feature of "Uncle Buck" and "Planes, Trains and Automobiles" at the Cleveland Clinic DOME Theater.
    • 601 Erieside Ave., Cleveland
    • Friday, Nov. 24 and Saturday, Nov. 25, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.; Sunday, Nov. 26, noon - 5 p.m.

Larchmere Holiday Stroll at Larchmere Boulevard

  • An event that stretches for ten blocks, the Larchmere Holiday Stroll is more than just a weekend of shopping. It's an annual holiday experience that features festive music, Cleveland cuisine and twinkling lights. Guests can peruse shops for local goods they can't find elsewhere and indulge in complimentary treats and beverages served throughout the district.
    • Larchmere Boulevard, one block north of Cleveland's Shaker Square Neighborhood (click here for specific directions)
    • Friday, Nov. 24 and Saturday, Nov. 25, 10 a.m. - 10 p.m.; Sunday, Nov. 26, noon - 10 p.m.

Scuba Claus & The Seas'N of Play at the Greater Cleveland Aquarium

  • It's a winter water wonderland at the Greater Cleveland Aquarium this holiday season. Guests can see the one-and-only Scuba Claus dive into the shark exhibit and SeaTube and ask him questions while he swims among his aquatic friends. Residents can also participate in activity stations where they can learn how hula hoops, fish-cicles and other toys and treats help to keep the aquarium's residents active and engaged.
    • 2000 Sycamore St., Cleveland
    • Friday - Sunday, Nov. 24 - Dec. 24, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Glow at the Cleveland Botanical Garden

  • Making the holidays merry and bright, Cleveland Botanical Garden's Glow event returns for another season. Kids can experience the sparkling lights and stunning decorations as they venture through the outdoor gardens on the Garden Express Train Ride. And after the ride, attendees can head inside to warm up with hot cocoa, see more than 100 gingerbread houses and leave a holiday wish on the Wishing Tree. This year's event features a new outdoor light display and Glasshouse lights.
    • 11030 East Blvd., Cleveland
    • Nov. 24 - Dec. 31; please visit for event hours

Wild Lights at the Akron Zoo

  • Just 45 minutes south of Downtown Cleveland, residents can enjoy thousands of lights throughout the Akron Zoo and visit with Santa so he knows exactly what to leave under the tree this year. At Akron Zoo's Wild Lights, each weekend showcases a different holiday theme, as well as live entertainment and ice-carvers.
    • 500 Edgewood Ave., Akron
    • Friday - Sunday, Nov. 24 - 26, 5 - 9 p.m.; please visit for December dates 

Deck the Hall at Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens

  • Tis the season for locals to visit the extravagant 65-room Manor House at Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens. Only an hour south of Downtown Cleveland, guests can explore the estate, which is covered both inside and outside in one million lights. Attendees can also enjoy Dazzle, the outdoor light show set to music, freshly baked holiday treats and a visit with Santa and his noble steed, Rudolph.
    • 714 North Portage Path, Akron
    • Nov. 24 - 26 and Nov. 30, 5 - 8 p.m.; please visit for December dates

Tobogganing at the Chalet at the Cleveland Metroparks

  • Clevelanders can get some fresh air during the winter months while racing down some of the tallest toboggan ice chutes in the state at the Cleveland Metroparks' Chalet in Mill Stream Run Reservation. In its 50th season, the 700-foot-long ice chutes operate all season, with or without snow, and residents can enjoy special events scheduled throughout the holidays.
    • 16200 Valley Pkwy., Strongsville
    • Nov. 24 - March 4


  • It's not a Cleveland holiday season without the annual Winterfest celebration in Public Square. This year's event includes free horse-drawn carriage rides, ice-skating at the Public Square rink, crafts for the kids, live music and local food trucks. Attendees can also get a head start on holiday shopping at the Winterfest Pop-Up Shop at Tower City Center presented by Cleveland Bazaar. At 6 p.m., the tree will be lit before a holiday fireworks display. Additional festivities will be taking place at various locations throughout Downtown Cleveland. And don't forget to stop by the Cleveland Visitors Center for tips to help family and guests explore Cleveland during the holidays.
    • Public Square, Cleveland
    • Saturday, Nov. 25, 1 - 8 p.m.

Snowland at Great Wolf Lodge

  • When the weather outside is frightful, locals can head to Great Wolf Lodge for the annual Snowland celebration. Just an hour west of Cleveland, guests can enjoy beautifully decorated trees, a life-sized gingerbread house they can dine in, and indoor snow showers that melt in the 84-degree water park.
    • 4600 Milan Road, Sandusky
    • Nov. 25 - Jan. 1

Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad

  • Nov. 18 and 19; Nov. 25 and 26: Christmas Tree Adventure
  • Nov. 18 and 19; Nov. 25 and 26: Mr. Jingeling's Holiday Jubilee
    • Residents have the chance to join Santa's right-hand elf, Mr. Jingeling, as he shares stories about life at the North Pole and sings classic holiday songs.
  • Nov. 24 - Dec. 21: Ugly Sweater Holiday Train Ride
    • It's time for locals to don their ugliest holiday sweater and hop aboard for the Ugly Sweater Train Ride. This adult-only adventure travels through the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, and attendees can splurge on holiday drinks at the cash bar.
    • Rockside Station and Akron Northside Station, for directions please visit

Playhouse Square

  • Nov. 19: The Singing Angels Holiday Spectacular (Connor Palace)
    • More than 200 of Ohio's most talented young performers will carol their way through holiday classics, including the world premiere of a medley of songs from the new musical "Kris Kringle."
  • Nov. 21 - Dec. 23: Festival of Trees - All Spruced Up (Allen Theatre)
    • It's not a holly jolly Christmas without the Festival of Trees, and this year's event is better than ever. Dazzling trees, decorated by local designers, will deck the halls of the Allen Theatre, and Clevelanders can enjoy this free event throughout the holiday season.
  • Nov. 24 - Dec. 23: "A Christmas Story" (Allen Theatre)
    • With A Christmas Story House located in the Tremont neighborhood, it only makes sense to celebrate the holidays by experiencing this classic story live on stage. The Cleveland Play House's production of "A Christmas Story" runs all season, so we triple-dog-dare you to go see it.
  • Nov. 25 - Dec. 23: "A Christmas Carol" (Ohio Theatre)
    • Locals don't want to miss Charles Dickens' famous story of Ebenezer Scrooge and all his ghostly friends on stage this winter. The Great Lakes Theater's production of "A Christmas Carol" is the perfect, heart-warming story that Clevelanders of all ages will enjoy.
  • Nov. 26: The Cleveland Pops Orchestra: A Musical Magical Christmas (Connor Palace)
    • The Cleveland Pops Orchestra and Pops Chorus is telling everyone's favorite holiday story, "Twas the Night Before Christmas," through sing-along songs. The show also includes performances of classic carols like "Sleigh Ride," "Silent Night," and "The Christmas Song." Attendees can also stop by the Connor Palace lobby an hour prior to the concert or during intermission for holiday activities, adoptable pets from local shelters and a visit from Santa Claus himself.
    • 1501 Euclid Ave., Cleveland

For more holiday festivities or to learn more about Destination Cleveland or new attractions and activities, please visit, 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 the week of Thanksgiving - Wed., Nov. 22, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.; Thurs., Nov. 23 and Fri., Nov. 24, closed; Sat., Nov. 25, 10 a.m. - 7p.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

EDITOR'S NOTE: The list of December holiday events in Northeast Ohio will be released after Thanksgiving.    

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