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Thanksgiving means a trip home for many former Clevelanders living outside The Land. You’ll spend time with loved ones, catch up with old friends and of course sit down to a pants-splitting spread of turkey, stuffing, pumpkin pie and all the other usual suspects.
But it’s a long weekend and you can only spend so much time updating Mom and Dad on your dating prospects. You’ve got to get out and explore your hometown to see all the amazing changes it’s experienced and mix it up with some holiday weekend hijinks.
Whether it’s cheering for the Cavs in their brand-new home or starting the holiday season off right, we’ve put together some of the best reasons to escape your childhood home for a few hours.
Image © Aerial Agents
Coach Beilein’s boys are starting a new era at the gorgeously updated Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse by playing tough defense and team basketball. You’ve got two opportunities to check out the new-look Cavs with games bookending Turkey Day.
Of course, you’ve got to check out the new-look arena while you’re here. Thanks to a $185 million transformation (and a fancy, new name), Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse is looking and feeling pretty good with an abundance of premium seating, which includes private theater boxes, a biergarten-inspired club and a gorgeous lounge. You’ll also find eight new hospitality areas, 22 events spaces and a great line-up of authentically Cleveland dining options from local celeb chefs.
PRO TIP: Go ahead and invite Dad. He might just buy the first beer.
Image courtesy Instagram.com/rayraysw0rld
Get your body ready for the feast ahead by running in the annual Cleveland Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning. The 1-Mile fun walk and 5-Mile and 5K runs will take you on a tour of Cleveland landmarks like the West Side Market, Progressive Field, Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse and the Warehouse District.
Image courtesy Lake Effects
For the second year, Lake Effects is setting up their pop-up holiday bar in the Schofield Building on the corner of East 9th and Euclid. It’s opening weekend for this holiday venue that’s been described as “a visual explosion of holiday cheer in an immersive one-of-a-kind environment.” So get out of the cold and grab yourself a cocktail. After suffering through 45 minutes of Uncle Stan’s political commentary, you’ve earned it.
Image courtesy Instagram.com/robluv71
This weekend event in Larchmere’s historic commercial district is the perfect antidote to Black Friday and a great stage for Small Business Saturday. Holiday shopping doesn’t get much better, with a variety of singular, independent shops filled with boutique fashion items, antiques, art and more. I mean, there are free horse-drawn carriage rides up and down the boulevard. Come on.
The official start to the holiday season in Cleveland, Winterfest is an evening filled with wondrous light displays, live music, gourmet food trucks, fireworks and even a visit from the jolly one himself. It’s a great opportunity to check out everything happening Downtown.
Image © Charles W. Thomas, Jr.
After a day of thanks that signals the start of a season of giving, there’s no better way to spend a few hours than taking in Cleveland History Center’s current exhibit The Soul of Philanthropy, composed of portraits of philanthropy across generations. “Celebrate Those Who Give Black” further highlights historic and contemporary stories of Black philanthropy in our region.
Catching up with old friends is one of the best parts of the holiday season in The Land. But sometimes finding the right place to gather the hometown squad can be a little cumbersome — especially if you’ve got a big group. Check out these Cleveland hotspots that can handle the entirety of the ’04-‘06 swim team.
Image © Cody York
Sure, the air is a little crisper, but you can enjoy gorgeous landscapes with a hike through one of Cleveland’s amazing green spaces like Rocky River Reservation or Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Both have miles of trails perfect for working off that extra slice of pumpkin pie — okay two extra slices — or avoiding Black Friday mayhem.
Grab one of our Cleveland Brewery Passports, then hit up some seasonal selections from a few of Cleveland’s favorite breweries. Platform Beer Co. is quickly making a name for itself with inventive brews like the S’Mores Yammy pumpkin/sweet potato ale, and its new Phunkenship location mixes it up with indoor bocce and shuffleboard tables. It’s never too early for a Christmas Ale from Great Lakes Brewing Company, the OG in these parts. The options are nearly endless, with breweries like Market Garden and Nano Brew, which tap local stalwarts Prosperity Wheat and Citramax IPA, among others.
Looking to add some holly jolly to your holiday season in The Land? Visit ThisisCleveland.com/holidays for events and trip-planning ideas.
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