If you’re anything like most people, the holidays always come and go too quickly. We come from a pretty large family and enjoy spending the holidays with the them, so generally, we don’t do much traveling this time of year but I still feel like there is never enough time to see and do everything! Living near Cleveland, there is so much to see and do. Whether you live here, work here or are visiting family or friends for the holidays and looking for some last minute holiday cheer, consider this a last minute start to your Christmas in Cleveland checklist!
Check out the lights at Cleveland Botanical Gardens Glow
Held at the Botanical Gardens in University Circle, Glow features lights throughout its gardens, a Gingerbread House contest with two stories of Gingerbread Houses displayed, beautifully decorated trees throughout, seasonal treats and live holiday music. Best viewed at night, the Gardens offer late closing Wednesdays and Fridays and stay open until 9. Click here for more information about Glow.
See the Pointsettias at Rockafeller Gardens
Rockafeller Gardens, along with the Cultural Gardens, is one of those places in Cleveland that I feel if often overlooked. These gardens are open throughout the year and are free. With free parking at the Rockafeller Gardens, something you rarely see in Cleveland, this is a great place to come spend a little time if you love horticulture. While its not very large, at Christmas, they have a magnificent display of Pointsettias along with some simple holiday decor and trees. Best of all, Rockafeller is a greenhouse, so its a great way to enjoy the displays without having to brave the cold temperatures that Ohio can sometimes bring this time of year. They are open every day from 10-4 and are located at 750 E. 88th St in Cleveland and are about a 10-15 minute drive from University Circle.
Go ice skating at Public Square
Cleveland has been working hard to improve Public Square and this year for the holidays, the Cleveland Foundation opened an outdoor ice skating rink where you can skate amongst the beautifully decorated light displays. The cost is $10 or $7 if you bring your own skates and hours are available here . Be sure to check the calendar for special events, live music and food trucks!
See the display at Tower City
While I don’t really consider Tower City a destination in itself due to the very limited shopping options currently available, if you are visiting Public Square or are spending some time at Jack casino, Tower City is worth spending some time checking out their decorations. They have a beautiful display by the fountains and at certain times, they have their classic holiday shows that many Clevelanders have grown up watching. For more information, click here. If you have little ones, Kringle’s Inventionasium is pretty awesome from what I hear and gives them the opportunity to tour Santa’s toy lab and visit with him at the end of the tour!
Catch a show and see the Festival of Trees at Playhouse Square
Whether you are visiting Playhouse Square to see one of their many shows offered throughout the season or are just in the area, the Festival of Trees is a free event open to the public. Located in Allen Theater, 20 beautifully decorated trees line the lobby. For more information click here.
Grab some goodies at the West Side Market
I love West Side Market. I love supporting local businesses, I love the unique finds to be had there and I love the beautiful building itself. Be sure to stop there before the holidays are over to get some real, authentic Holiday goodies just like you remember Grandma making when you were a kid! Parking just got easier as they just finished construction there and opened up 125 new spaces and its still free! Now open Sundays 12-6, there are plenty of opportunities to visit the Market. For more about West Side Market, click here.
Ice Skate in the Park at Wade Oval
While this rink is much smaller than the one in public square, its also much cheaper and is right in University Circle which makes it convenient if you’re already here to see Glow or one of the other museums in University Circle. For hours and other information check out their site here.
And while you’re there, don’t forget to take a photo in the big red chair….
Don’t Shoot Your Eye Out at A Christmas Story House
While this attraction is open all year round, any A Christmas Story fan will find it a little more special in winter when we have some fresh fallen snow. Complete with a gift shop, this little piece of Cleveland history should be on your Christmas to-do list at least once. And come on, who doesn’t love getting their photo taken while hiding under the sink?! For more information on visiting A Christmas Story House, click here.
So, what did we miss? I would love to know what other things Clevelanders enjoy seeing at the holidays. Have a great season and remember to keep warm!