Cleveland Christmas and Holiday Activities

Rockefeller Park Greenhouse, Cleveland, Ohio, USA
••• Douglas Sacha/Getty Images
  • 01 of 16

    Top Cleveland Christmas Activities

    Old Stone Church
    ••• Eli Pousson / Flickr

    Lights, poinsettias, holiday trees, and "A Christmas Carol"—all are Cleveland Christmas and holiday traditions. Check out the top Northeast Ohio holiday events. What do you have planned for this year?

    Continue to 2 of 16 below.
  • 02 of 16

    Explore Stan Hywet Hall in Akron

    Stan Hywet Hall in Akron
    ••• Tim Evanson / Flickr

    Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens transforms itself each holiday season into a winter wonderland. There's a different theme each year with trees, lights, and floral decorations in the 21 decorated rooms. Outside, the gardens will be strung with thousands of glittering lights. The museum shop will be open for holiday shopping and the cafe will serve hot chocolate, cookies, and other holiday treats.

    Continue to 3 of 16 below.
  • 03 of 16

    Experience WinterFest at Public Square

    Cleveland Winterfest
    ••• Erik Drost / flickr

    WinterFest is the annual holiday celebration in Cleveland's Public Square. Held the weekend after Thanksgiving each year, the evening of music, dance, and hot chocolate culminates in the lighting of the unique holiday light displays in each quadrant of the square and the Christmas tree in front of Tower City. More than 50,000 people attend the event each year. The light display is kept up until after New Year's Day. The event is free and is usually televised.

    Continue to 4 of 16 below.
  • 04 of 16

    Watch Great Lakes Theater Festival's Production of A Christmas Carol

    "A Christmas Carol" performance
    ••• Courtesy of GLTF

    Seeing The Christmas Carol at the Ohio Theater at Playhouse Square is a Cleveland Tradition. Tickets may be purchased online.

    Continue to 5 of 16 below.
  • 05 of 16

    Visit WinterShow at Cleveland Botanical Garden

    Cleveland Botanical Garden Gingerbread House Competition
    ••• Courtesy of the Cleveland Botanical Garden

    The Cleveland Botanical Garden transforms itself into a winter fantasyland. Features include large gingerbread houses with window vignettes designed by the Garden's affiliate garden clubs and the Garden's exhibition area filled with gingerbread house contest entries, lights, trees, and other holiday accents. Of course, the wonderful Garden shop is loaded with special holiday gift items.

    Continue to 6 of 16 below.
  • 06 of 16

    Marvel at the Free Holiday Display at the Cleveland Greenhouse

    Rockefeller Park Greenhouse, Cleveland, Ohio, USA
    ••• Douglas Sacha/Getty Images

    Each holiday season the Cleveland Greenhouse, just north of University Circle, transforms itself into a holiday wonderland with hundreds of red, white, and pink Poinsettias and other Christmas flowering plants. The show runs from early December until New Year's Day.

    Continue to 7 of 16 below.
  • 07 of 16

    View the Lighting Display at Nela Park

    Nela Park holiday lights display, Cleveland Ohio
    ••• Cetta Sole Hartman

    The lighting display at the GE Lighting Center in Nela Park in East Cleveland has been a holiday tradition since 1925. The elaborate display lines GE's property along Noble Road from early December through New Year's Day.

    NELA Park
    1975 Noble Rd.
    East Cleveland

    Continue to 8 of 16 below.
  • 08 of 16

    Experience Christmas at Hale Farm

    Christmas at Hale Farm
    ••• Courtesy of Ohio Travel and Tourism

    The holiday season at Hale Farm in Bath harkens back to the 20th century with Lantern Tours of the historic site, all decked in traditional fashion for the holidays.

    Continue to 9 of 16 below.
  • 09 of 16

    See the Black Nativity at Karamu House

    An annual Cleveland tradition, the Black Nativity, written by hometown literary master Langston Hughes, is a retelling of the Gospel according to St. Luke, set to the music and dance of the Black church. For tickets and information, visit the Karamu House website.

    Continue to 10 of 16 below.
  • 10 of 16

    Attend a Cleveland Orchestra Christmas Concert

    Severance Hall, home of the Cleveland Orchestra, Cleveland, Ohio, USA
    ••• Douglas Sacha / Getty Images

    The Cleveland Orchestra and Orchestra Chorus present a series of holiday concerts each year, featuring all of the old, favorite carols.

    Continue to 11 of 16 below.
  • 11 of 16

    Explore Country Lights at Lake Farmpark

    Santa and his horse-drawn carriage in Paris, France in 2014.
    ••• Chesnot/Getty Images

    For the holiday season, Lake Farmpark becomes a winter wonderland with horse-drawn wagon rides through the festive landscape, a Santa's workshop for kids, a grove of decorated trees in the visitors' center, and frequent visits from Santa and Mrs. Claus. Tickets go on sale November 1 to Lake County residents and November 12 to out-of-county residents. Visit their website for more information.

    Continue to 12 of 16 below.
  • 12 of 16

    Be a Part of University Circle's Circlefest

    University Circle
    ••• Erik Drost / flickr

    This free University Circle event is held the first Sunday of December each year and features a lantern procession around Wade Oval as well as exhibits, music, food, and activities at many of the area's museum's and institutions. Free transportation is offered from place to place.

    Continue to 13 of 16 below.
  • 13 of 16

    Go Holiday Shopping at the Little Italy Holiday Art Walk

    Couple holiday shopping wearing jeans
    ••• Michael Goldman/Getty Images

    Combine holiday shopping with Cleveland culture the first weekend of December each year at the Little Italy Holiday Art Walk. More than 25 galleries open their doors the first Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of December and many offer cookies, hot chocolate, wine, or other treats. Some of the galleries are only open to the public during the Art Walks.

    Continue to 14 of 16 below.
  • 14 of 16

    Attend a Performance of The Nutcracker

    The Nutcracker
    ••• Gabriel Saldana / flickr

    Though the Cleveland Ballet is no longer with us, guest companies traditionally perform this holiday favorite in Northeast Ohio.

    Continue to 15 of 16 below.
  • 15 of 16

    Visit Candyland Has Gone Wild at Penitentiary Glen

    Step into the life-size board game with this new holiday attraction. There'll be wildlife, holiday trees, music, food, and prizes. Admission is free.

    Continue to 16 of 16 below.
  • 16 of 16

    Celebrate the Season at Winter Waterland at the Cleveland Aquarium

    Cleveland Aquarium
    ••• Erik Drost / flickr

    The Cleveland Aquarium, located in the Powerhouse on the west bank of the Flats, transforms itself into a winter, water wonderland for the holidays, with lights and decorations, special animal displays, crafts, live music, and appearances by King Neptune himself.