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The holidays and winter break from school bring some much-needed family time for parents and kids. But we know the idyllic game nights and family bonding quickly can give way to arguments and choruses of “I’m bored” echoing throughout the house.
Seriously, is it time for the kids to go back to school yet??
If being cooped up with the kiddos is giving you cabin fever, we’ve got you covered. There are tons of kid-focused things to do in The Land this time of year — so much, in fact, that we bet you (like your kids) will start hoping winter break never ends.
Clevelanders don’t have to make a trip to the North Pole to see Santa’s workshop; instead, they can pay a visit to Kringle’s Inventionasium Experience at Tower City Center in Downtown Cleveland. This immersive experience lets kids become honorary elves and help Mr. Kringle and his kooky inventing team prepare for the holiday season by creating and testing toys in the top-secret inventing lab.
Select dates through Dec. 24, mrkringle.com
Enjoy the thrills and chills of the tallest, fastest toboggan chutes in Ohio. At this Cleveland Metroparks spot, your family can spend the day laughing all the way down the twin, 700-foot refrigerated ice chutes (no snow necessary!). For a post-run warm-up, pop inside The Chalet for food and a cup of holiday cheer.
Friday, Nov. 29 through the first weekend in March, clevelandmetroparks.com
Image © Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
See the zoo’s wild residents in a whole new light — actually, make that more than a million new lights. The zoo, transformed into a winter wonderland, will offer guests interactive zones, a light show on Waterfowl Lake, a view of the “A-Roar-A Borealis” and more.
Select dates through Jan. 5.
Lace up your skates (rentals, too) and glide across the ice at the Cleveland Foundation Skating Rink in Public Square or the Rink at Wade Oval in University Circle. Both rinks will be open throughout the holiday season and beyond, allowing for plenty of time to show off your figure eights, jumps and spins.
The Cleveland Foundation Skating Rink is open Nov. 30-Feb. 29.
The Rink at Wade Oval is open Dec. 6-Feb. 17.
This annual event will transport visitors for a night of glowing homes and playful gnomes. The festive “Holiday Hollow” themed winter wonderland features decorated trees and gingerbread houses, crafts, the Garden Express train and more.
Select dates through Jan. 4.
What do fruit cake explosions and non-melting snow have in common? Science, of course! From liquid nitrogen ice cream demonstrations to carpet skating, there’s hands-on family fun for everyone at this annual event.
Select dates from Dec. 26-Jan. 7.
The Garage, the new hands-on exhibit at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, consists of five main areas where fans can pick up real instruments — drums, guitar, bass and keyboards — learn to play, jam with friends, brand their band with custom merch, and check out gear and instruments from the museum’s collection. From tiny tots to experienced musicians, video prompts will guide players as they learn a song or show off their freestyle skills.
Winter/spring hours: open Thursday through Tuesday from 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; open from 10 a.m.-9 p.m. on Wednesday.
Check the snow report and head to nearby Boston Mills/Brandywine Ski Resort to experience the cushy thrill of Polar Blast snow tubing, where even the tiniest tots can glide down the hill on inflatable tubes. The resort’s two conveyor lifts ensure you’ll conserve energy for hours of downhill adventure.
Open daily from Dec. 21-Jan. 1; hours vary.
Shake off the winter chill and step into the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo’s RainForest, where it’s always a balmy 80 degrees. The unique two-acre, two-level habitat is home to more than 10,000 plants and 600 animals from the jungles of Asia, Africa and the Americas.
Open daily, with the exception of Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Pint-sized future paleontologists can explore the dinosaurs of the Southern Hemisphere that evolved in isolation from the dinosaurs we know and love. Meet Giganotosaurus, the bigger, badder cousin of T-Rex, or Ouranosaurus, bearing huge spines on its back.
Open daily, with the exception of Christmas Day and New Year’s Day: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Wednesday from 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sunday from noon-5 p.m.
Skiing and snowboarding are among the most popular winter sports, and Clevelanders can take to the slopes right in their own backyard. Featuring 88...
Bike, jog and picnic at the Chalet Recreation Area! Year round activities available including tobogganing on the 700-foot chutes in the winter.
Cleveland Botanical Garden, located in Cleveland’s University Circle cultural district, is an ever-changing 10-acre urban oasis where visitors find...
Visit animals from around the world and learn how you can help secure a future for wildlife. Create unforgettable memories with unique experiences...
From dinosaurs to diamonds, the museum is a beautiful blend of traditional and interactive galleries related to history, art and the natural...
Invent, design, tinker and create! Great Lakes Science Center, home of the NASA Glenn Visitor Center, makes science come alive through hundreds of...
Meet Mr. Kringle & friends! Tour Kringle's top secret inventing lab and help his team create and test toys. Visit privately with Mr. Kringle himself.
Serving as the central plaza for Downtown Cleveland, this four-block space includes a statue of General Moses Cleaveland (1888), the city’s founder,...
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Wade Oval is one of northeast Ohio's premier public spaces, home to events year-round like WOW! Wade Oval Wednesdays, Parade the Circle & Circle...