December Holiday Events in Northeast Ohio

December Holiday Events in Northeast Ohio

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo's Wild Winter Lights PHOTO BY CLEVELAND METROPARKS

No matter what holidays your family celebrates, there’s a whole month of festive fun ahead. Check out all the family-friendly holiday events taking place in the greater Cleveland/Akron area and start making plans to enjoy the season with your kids, relatives and friends.

*Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, these events are subject to change. Please check with venues before attending an event to ensure times and availability are valid and to understand health guidelines. Please follow state guidelines, including wearing face coverings, maintaining 6 feet apart from others and washing hands. Visit for more upcoming events.



Leave the World Behind and Visit Castle Noel. Santa will be onsite with the magic of Mark Klaus. Featuring personal, interactive moments with Santa to lift your heart. It’s all captured live. Alien Vacation Mini Golf is open. New for 2020, The Polar Bear Club, an immersive environment for adults. Castle Noel, 260 S. Court St., Medina,

Through December 22

Tween Take and Make: Holiday Decorations. Craft instructions will go live with a link to the YouTube video when it’s time to pick up the supplies. Avon Lake Public Library, 32649 Electric Blvd., 440-933-8128,

Through December 24

Santa Returns to SouthPark Mall. Santa will be meeting children and families in a safe, contactless way. Reservations are strongly encouraged with walk-up visits available as space allows throughout the day. SouthPark Mall, 500 SouthPark Center, Strongsville,

Santa’s Village. Drop off your letters to Santa and take your holiday photos. Check out pet photos with Santa, Holiday Express, Tree Garden and more. Crocker Park, 189 Crocker Park Blvd., Westlake,

Through December 26

Holiday Nights. Discover dazzling festive displays and awaken your senses as you wander through the enchanted gardens. Get creative with a fun make-and-take craft in Santa’s workshop and spread Christmas joy at the elf dance party. Fridays and Saturdays 5-9 p.m. Beech Creek Botanical Garden and Nature Preserve, 11929 Beech St. NE, Alliance,

Through December 27

Holiday Lights Cruise-Thru. Drive-thru family event. Please bring one nonperishable food item to donate to the Second Harvest Food Bank. 5:30-9:30 p.m. Carlisle Reservation Equestrian Center, 13630 Diagonal Road, LaGrange,

Wild Winter Lights. Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is again transforming into a winter wonderland this holiday season. Experience the all-new lighting display, with more than one million individual lights and unique twists on holiday traditions. Thursdays-Sundays. 5:30-9:30 p.m. 3900 Wildlife Way, 216-635-3391,

Through December 30

Wild Lights. Come enjoy the wildest lighting display this holiday season. Nearly the entire zoo is decorated and several animals will be out. 5-9 p.m. Akron Zoo, 505 Euclid Ave., Akron, 330-375-2550,

Deck the Hall. Come see the estate illuminated inside and out with over one million lights with the Manor House interiors decorated to reflect the theme of “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.” Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens, 714 N. Portage Path, Akron, 330-863-5533,

Through January 2

Bethlehem Hills Christmas Light Park. The magic and wonder of the Christmas season is captured at this new 1.25-mile drive-through park on 240 acres featuring 40 spectacular light displays. Berkshire Hills Golf Course, 9760 Mayfield Road, Chesterland, 440-862-4735,

Magic of Lights. Drive through and enjoy more than one million holiday lights stretched across a one-plus-mile pathway, including fan-favorite light displays such as the Enchanting Tunnel of Lights, Candyland, 12 Days of Christmas and other holiday characters. 5:30-10 p.m. Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds, 19201 E. Bagley Road, Middleburg Heights,

Through January 3

Gingerbread Journey. With gingerbread people as your guides, journey through the woods along the Nature Trail to learn how gingerbread cookies and cakes are made. Susan Hambley Nature Center, 1473 Parschen Blvd., Brunswick, 330-722-9364,

Winterfest. This year’s event is tailored to the latest health and safety guidelines with virtual and in-person events and activities to get into the holiday spirit. Cleveland Public Square, 50 Public Square Suite 1700,

Snowland Celebration. Daily snow showers in the Grand Lobby, seasonally themed crafts, festive stories and songs and new this year: a Cocoa Trolley. Enjoy the waterpark, dance parties and more. Great Wolf Lodge, 4600 Milan Rd (U.S. Route 250), Sandusky,  800-641-9653,

Through January 15

The Tree of Remembrance. Stop by and hang a weatherproof ornament on our tree in memory of a loved one. Brunner Sanden Deitrick Funeral Home, 8466 Mentor Avenue, Mentor, 440-255-3401,

Through January 18

Winter Riverfest. New holiday event along the Cuyahoga River in The Flats will feature synthetic ice skating, festive light displays, a beer garden, fire pits, retail shop and igloo village at Merwin’s Wharf. 11 a.m.-8 p.m.

Through February 15

Winter Wonderland. Both the inside and outside mall will be decorated with beautiful artwork made by Monarch’s students using inspiration from winter animals and imagery. Eton Chagrin Blvd., 28601 Chagrin Blvd., Woodmere,

The Rink at Wade Oval. Lace up your skates and enjoy the fresh ice on picturesque Wade Oval. 10820 East Blvd., Cleveland,


Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides. Step into a vintage white carriage and take a ride through the beautiful Gervasi estate. 5-8 p.m. 1700 55th St. NE, Canton,

December 1 through 22

Country Lights Drive-Thru. Experience some new and some familiar lighting displays throughout the Farmpark as you enjoy the festivities from the warmth of your own vehicles. 5-9 p.m. Lake Metroparks Farmpark, 8800 Euclid Chardon Road, Kirtland, 440-256-2122,

December 2, 6, 9, 13 & 16

Santa Nights. Visit with Santa Claus from the comfort of your car at this drive-thru holiday event. 6:30-8:30 p.m. Lakeview Park, 1800 West Erie Ave., Lorain,

December 3, 10-12 & 17

Magic on Main Street. Enjoy Christmas music courtesy of Wadsworth Community Radio, luminary-lined sidewalks, horse and carriage rides, a North Pole Mailbox and much more. Main Street Wadsworth,

December 4, 11-12 & 18

Miller Woods Holiday Express. A special ride on the Little Green Choo through the woods to Santa’s workshop. Enjoy the lighted displays, sounds of the season and possibly a glimpse of the man in red. 6:30-8:30 p.m. Miller Nature Preserve, 2739 Center Road, Avon,

December 4-23

Holiday Lantern Tours. Take a lantern-lit tour of the village and visit historic homes, bustling with holiday preparations. Experience the sights and sounds of the season through a series of charming holiday vignettes. Hale Farm & Village, 2686 Oak Hill Rd., Bath, 330-666-3711,

December 12-20

Light Up Lakewood Reimagined. LakewoodAlive has creatively reimagined the most joyous of Lakewood traditions this year. They will be virtually connecting the community to safely bring the spirit of this beloved event to life with a mini-parade, lighting ceremony, story time, holiday craft and much more.

December 16

Virtual Christmas Origami. All you need is a few pieces of blank printer paper to follow along with us. You will learn to craft an ornament, a bar envelope, and a gift bow for the holidays. 4-5 p.m. Geauga County Public Library,

December 17

Kwanzaa Celebration. Family Zoom program to celebrate African American culture and pride. 6:30-7:30 p.m. Willoughby-Eastlake Public Library,

December  17 & 19

Virtual Polar Express. Families are invited to join us virtually this year, live on Zoom, for this special holiday program of crafts, songs and story. Hudson Library & Historical Society,

December  19

Super Science Saturday: Christmas Physics. Come check out the study of energy and motion in this fun-filled celebration. 10:30 a.m. Akron Fossils & Science Center, 2080 S. Cleveland Massillon Road, Copley, 330-665-3466,

Christmas Bird Count. The Portage Park District is once again partnering with Hiram College for the annual Christmas Bird Count. If you are interested in assisting with the count, please email Jen at [email protected]

Gingerbread House Challenge. Do you have what it takes to create a sturdy edible house out of frosting and graham crackers? Join University Heights Branch Library on Zoom for a sticky sweet construction challenge. Ages 7 and up. Materials provided the week of the


New Year’s Eve Events

December 31

New Year’s Eve Nature Celebration. Celebrate New Year’s Eve at the new Veterans Legacy Woods with fun activities for all ages. 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. 14085 Ravenna Road, Newbury Twp.,

Noon Year’s Eve. Make a resolution to count down to the “noon” year during this daytime celebration of New Year’s Eve. Wear something festive and bring a noisemaker. Register to receive a Zoom link. 11:30 a.m.-12:05 p.m. Akron Public Library,

Virtual New Year’s Eve Party. Listen to a story and learn how to make some fun crafts, such as a party hat, noise maker and popper. 11 a.m. -12 p.m. Wadsworth Public Library,

Countdown-to-Noon Family Storytime. Join in on social media for a special New Year’s Eve family storytime featuring our favorite stories, songs and rhymes. 11:30 a.m.-noon. Westlake Porter Public Library,

Happy Noon Year Party. Ages 3-10 celebrate on Zoom and enjoy music, games, dancing, snacks and of course…the ball drop. Get dressed up in your best attire and let the fun begin.11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Mentor Public Library,

W-E Celebrate: Noon Year’s Eve. We’ll read, dance and watch the ball drop to celebrate the end of 2020. Take and make kits with some party essentials can be picked up at any of our four libraries starting the week of Dec. 14. 11 a.m. -12 p.m. Willoughby-Eastlake Public Library,


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