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.
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.
Nov. 24 through the last weekend in February.
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 over 1.5 million lights across holiday-themed areas including the Enchanted Forest and Santa's Workshop, where guests can take photos with Santa. Drive- and walk-through dates are both available.
Select dates through Dec. 30.
Ice skating at an outdoor rink
Lace up your skates (rentals, too) and glide across the ice at the Cleveland Public Square Ice Skating rink as part of WinterLand, the Rink at Wade Oval in University Circle or the Cleveland Monsters & Ohio Hockey Project Ice Skating Rink at Crocker Park. All three rinks will be open throughout the holiday season and beyond, allowing for plenty of time to show off your figure eights, jumps and spins.
Cleveland Public Square Ice Skating is open through Jan.15.
The Rink at Wade Oval is open Dec. 1 - Feb. 25.
Cleveland Monsters & Ohio Hockey Project Ice Skating Rink is open Nov. 24 - Feb. 19.
The Cleveland Botanical Gardens are a crown jewel in any season, but FROST makes it sparkle just a little more this time of year. Indoor and outdoor gardens transform with towering ice arches, dazzling light installations, a tunnel of flowers, larger-than-life animals, more than 500 poinsettias, seasonal soundscapes and much more to create a completely immersive new world for the holiday season.
Select dates through Dec. 31.
Play in The Garage at the Rock Hall
The Garage, the 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. While you're there, why not school the kids on the classics at "The Beatles: Get Back to Let It Be" exhibit on display through December.
Tickets available for purchase here. The Garage and The Beatles: Get Back to Let It Be are included with admission.
Polar Blast Snow Tubing
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.
Boston Mills/Brandywine's season opens Dec. 16; 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 Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Whether marveling permanent exhibits like the Kirtland Hall of Prehistoric Life and the living galleries of the Perkins Wildlife Center, experiencing the sensation of flight with the Birdly exhibit, or getting ready for the 2024 Total Solar Eclipse at Eclipse Fever, there's more for kids to see and learn at the Museum of Natural History than ever before.
Check museum website for operating hours.