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 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.
CLICK HERE for a complete lineup of Thanksgiving Weekend events.
Cleveland Cavaliers Play Three, LeBron Returns
Coach Bickerstaff and the boys are playing tough defense and team basketball as the Cavs take on the league's best night after night. This weekend, you've got not one, not two, but three opportunities to check out Donovan Mitchell, Darius Garland, Evan Mobley and the rest of the team ball out when they host the Miami Heat (Nov. 22) and Toronto Raptors (Nov. 26). And, on a weekend of Cleveland homecomings, the Cavs host the kid from Akron himself, LeBron James, when he returns to The Land with the Los Angeles Lakers Saturday, Nov. 25.
Thanks to a $185 million transformation, Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse is looking and feeling better than ever, with an abundance of premium seating, a biergarten-inspired club and a gorgeous lounge. You’ll also find great hospitality areas, events spaces and a great line-up of authentically Cleveland dining options from local celeb chefs. Oh, and try your luck at the Caesars SportsBook while you're at it.
PRO TIP: Go ahead and invite Dad. He might just buy the first beer.
Get your body ready for the feast ahead by running in the 42nd 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.
All The Land's A Stage
After arguing with your cousins about Browns playcalling or who ate the last crescent roll, find some serenity at one of the incredible live performances gracing CLE stages this weekend. You'll find options all over town that will get you into the holiday spirit with A Christmas Carol at the Mimi Ohio Theatre, the Cleveland Pops Orchestra Holiday Cheer! concert at the Connor Palace or head to MGM Northfield Park for Chris Isaak and his It's Almost Christmas Tour.
Elsewhere, catch the last weekend of the magical acrobatics of Cirque Du Soleil - Corteo at the Wolstein Center, The Wizard of Oz at the Near West Theatre, or head to Severance Music Center for the Cleveland Orchestra's performance of Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto.
The official start to the holiday season in Cleveland, WinterLand is a day filled with wondrous light displays, live music, gourmet food trucks, fireworks and even a visit from the jolly one himself. And now, the party goes all season long with events throughout the end of the year. It’s a great opportunity to check out everything happening Downtown while basking in CLE holiday npstalgia.
Post-Dinner Hikes in the Great Outdoors
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.
The Many Brews of Ohio City
Hit up some seasonal selections from a few of Cleveland’s favorite breweries. It’s never too early for a Christmas Ale from Great Lakes Brewing Company, the OG in these parts, whose Secret Cellar Christmas Bar offers a holiday hideaway with fresh pints and a festive cocktail menu. The options are nearly endless, with breweries like Market Garden and Nano Brew, which tap local stalwarts Prosperity Wheat and Citramax IPA, among others.
Might as well start in on our Cleveland Brewery Passport and earn some prizes during your holiday weekend crawl.
Need More Holiday Fun?
Looking to add some holly jolly to your holiday season in The Land? Visit ThisisCleveland.com/things-to-do/holidays for events and trip-planning ideas.