There’s something you need to know about The Land: The party doesn’t stop just because of a little snow. We thrive in the winter months. In fact, we make up excuses to throw parties and celebrate even the darkest days of the year. After all, this is the Midwest. We’re a heartier breed and we’ll prove it by walking uphill (both ways) barefoot in the snow just to get a beer.
It’s always hot in Cleveland, even in the dead of winter. And after the holidays empty your pockets, you’ll be warming up to the idea of freebies while your bank account recovers. (Don’t worry. There will be more puns.)
Here are a few ideas to add to your list of FREE things to do in Cleveland.
It’s big, it’s beautiful and doesn’t look anywhere near its age—150. It’s full of more than just books, too (as if it needed to be — books are awesome). There’s cutting edge tech for makers, community gaming nights and more. Take a tour of CPL’s downtown branch for the full experience.
The event of the season, Brite Winter is an outdoor celebration of live music, art, food and beverages with the city skyline as the backdrop. The performance lineup and other programming will be announced soon, so keep an eye out.
If you dig contemporary art, Transformer Station is your haven. Located in the artsy Ohio City neighborhood, it’s home to four exhibitions per year and close to both the Market District and Gordon Square Arts District.
Get out and active by sledding, snowshoeing, or cross-country skiing in the Cleveland Metroparks, Lake Metroparks and Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Check their websites for designated trails.
It’s literal, actual heaven. The free tour in nearby North Canton is 45 minutes of mouth-watering, behind-the-scenes indulgence at a working chocolate factory. No Golden Ticket necessary.
Winter Programming at the Cleveland Metroparks
Learn tracking and wilderness skills in one of many "101" classes. Drop by one of the Nature Centers to ask experts questions as well as see owls, turtles and other creatures. Try your feet at snowshoeing, go for a hike with hot cocoa, or settle in for a fireside concert. All of this, plus the chilly splendor of the Emerald Necklace await you at the Metroparks this winter.
It's surprising to learn that a museum that contains a permanent collection boasting Picasso, Monet, van Gogh and Warhol would be completely free and open to the public. Then again, Cleveland's a pretty surprising place. Check out the internationally recognized museum in University Circle at zero charge to you.
Sure it's cold outside and the trees are bare, but inside the spacious, glass greenhouse, a warm world of living color and light awaits you. The rooms here are called showhouses and feature tropical plants, ferns, cacti, orchid and water gardens in exciting, detailed displays inspired by global getaway locales.