Image © Aerial Agents
Think: twinkling lights, festive holiday trees, horse-drawn carriage rides, hot cocoa and caroling.
The holiday season commences in Downtown Cleveland on Saturday, Nov. 27 with the kind of full-on holiday hoopla that’ll have you ready for the jolliness of the season.
But, since this is Cleveland, we also threw in some live music and a massive fireworks display and, oh yeah, we decided to extend the party all the way through the holiday season. Because that's how we do.
Lighting Ceremony + Activites on Nov. 27:
Image © Larry Highbaugh, Jr.
- Winterfest marks the official beginning of the holiday season in Cleveland, so, as you might expect, the event, which kicks off at noon culminates in the lighting of the city's own Christmas tree on Public Square at 7:30 p.m. There's plenty to do before nightfall, though! Check out some of the activities below and visit WinterfestCLE.com to get all dates, times and more info!
- RTA Holiday Trolley - An immersive holiday experience ecomplete with pictures with Santa.
- Food Trucks
- Ice Skating in Public Square - Lace em up in Downtown Cleveland's premier outdoor space.
- Slick Woody's Family Fun Zone - Compete in cornhole and other games with giveaways.
- Mr. Jingeling Presented by K&D - Get to the Halle Building to meet the Cleveland Holiday icon himself and perhaps you'll get your own magical key from Jingeling himself.
- Free Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides
- The Ohio State University vs. The Team Up North Viewing Party on Public Square
- Take-n-Make Crafts, Ice Sculpting and more at Cleveland Public Library
- Living History Holiday Edition - Apartment Tours
- Firepits on the Square
- JACK Entertainment - S'mores Kits - Fireside sweet treats in Public Square.
- Old Stone Church - Carillon Concerts - Pre-wrapped cookies and performances by carolers.
- Winter warm up activities with ASCEND Fitness and Spa
- CAVS All for Fun Tour Trailer, photo ops and more.
- JACK Cleveland Casino Pop-Up Bar - Enjoy the debut of JACK's new holiday attraction serving festive cocktails all season.
- Winterfest Dance Party w/ DJ Shake
- TREE LIGHTING (7:30pm) - Public Square gets lit, complete with an appearance by Santa, a music performance and a FIREWORKS FINALE to cap off the event.
Winterfest Events Throughout the Season:
- Book a stay in Mr. Kringle's Suite at Hilton Cleveland Downtown (Nov. 12 - Jan. 9) - This is the fourth year the hotel will have the suite available which will be decked out in Christmas decor, include a letter from Mr. Kringle, cookies and milk, holiday movies, and specialty robes for the room.
- Breakfast with Mr. Kringle at Hilton Cleveland Downtown (Nov. 26 - Dec. 24) - Enjoy a buffet breakfast with the residents of Kringle's Inventionasium, along with cookie decorating, letter writing and making s'mores by the fire.
- Mrs. Kringle Suite at Hotel Indigo Cleveland Downtown (Nov. 26 - 30) - This is the first year the hotel will have the suite available which will be lavishly furnished with festive Christmas decor, include a letter from Mrs. Kringle, cookies and milk, holiday movies, and specialty robes for the room.
- Brunch with Mrs. Kringle at Hotel Indigo Cleveland Downtown (Nov. 27) - Honored guests will Meet Mrs. Kringle, and all her festive friends, while enjoying a delicious holiday spread of seasonal sweets and savories as well as participating in various activities.
- Cleveland Public Square Ice Skating + More (Nov. 26 - Jan. 17) - Bring the whole family to ice skate in the heart of Downtown Cleveland and enjoy performances from Cleveland Opera Theatre (Dec. 3, 10), The Cleveland Carolers (Dec. 4, 11, 18) and Cuyahoga Valley Church Choir (Dec. 4), as well as Santa in the Square and Cleveland Library Story Time and hot chocolate with Santa (Dec. 4-5, 11-12, 18-19).
- Winter RiverFest presented by Troy-Bilt (Nov. 26 - Jan. 31)
- Annual Gingerbread House Village - Ritz-Carlton Cleveland (Nov. 26 - Jan. 1)
- Holidays at the Higbee - JACK Cleveland Casino (Nov. 27 - Jan. 1) - JACK decks the halls of the historic Higbee Building.
- RTA Holiday Trolley (Nov. 27 - Jan. 1)
- Seasonal Igloos and Patio Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner at Betts Restaurant. (Nov. 27 - Dec. 31)
- Mr. & Mrs. Kringle, Mr. Jingeling, Twigbee and more Character Opportunities (Nov. 27 - Dec. 24)
- Holiday Pop-Up Bar - Jack Cleveland Casino (Nov. 27 - Dec. 18, Fridays and Saturdays)
- "Light It Up!" at Allen Theater (Nov. 27 - Dec. 22) - A brand new, family-friendly musical set in Cleveland.
- Downtown Cleveland Christmas Walking Tours (Nov. 28 - Dec. 26)
- The Cleveland Ballet presents The Nutcracker (Dec. 3 - 5)
- Ice Skating at Univerity Circle (Dec. 3 - Feb 21)
- Circle Fest at University Circle (Dec. 5)
- Wicked at Playhouse Square (Dec. 8 - Jan. 2)
- #Winterfest CLE at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (Dec. 18)
- Cleveland Browns vs. Las Vegas Raiders Dawg Pound Drive (Dec. 19)
- Teddy Bear Tea at the Ritz-Carlton (Dec. 21-22)
- The Singing Angels Performance at Heinen's Downtown (Dec. 22, 12pm)
- Christmas Eve Services at Old Stone Church (Dec. 22 4pm-10pm)
- Christmas Eve Dinner at the Ritz-Carlton (Dec. 24, 5pm-9pm)
- Holiday Tea at the Ritz-Carlton (Dec. 28-29)
- Trans-Siberian Orchestra at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse (Dec. 30)
- The Real Black Friday at Tower City, Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse and various locations (Feb. 12 - 18) - The Real Black Friday is an initiative created in order to bring awareness and exposure to Black-owned and operated businesses in northeastern Ohio. The purpose is to inform the community of the number and types of Black-owned businesses, while also encouraging individuals to financially support these businesses as consumers. The Real Black Friday will host various events throughout the NBA All-Star week and weekend.
Where to Crash?
While the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel and Ritz Carlton, Cleveland are physically connected to Tower City Center and offer great proximity to the lighting on Public Square, other hotels like the Hyatt Regency (Cleveland at the Old Arcade), Holiday Inn Express (Downtown Cleveland), Crowne Plaza (Cleveland at Playhouse Square), Schofield Hotel (Kimpton), Metropolitan at The 9 all sit within the Winterfest action.
Or, check out all the hotels in Downtown Cleveland, which offer walkable proximity to just about everything Downtown.