December Holiday Events in Northeast Ohio

December Holiday Events in Northeast Ohio

Photo courtesy of Akron Zoo

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

 

FRIDAYS & SATURDAYS

Horse Drawn Carriage Rides. Step into a vintage white carriage, and take a ride through the beautiful Gervasi estate. Through 12/22. 6-9 p.m. 1700 55th St. NE, Canton, gervasivineyard.com

 

FRIDAYS – SUNDAYS

Scuba Claus & The Seas’n of Play. See Scuba Claus dive in 230,000 gallons of water and ask him questions while he visits a porcupine pufferfish, green moray eel, goliath grouper and other aquatic friends. Greater Cleveland Aquarium, 2000 Sycamore St., Cleveland, 216-862-8803, greaterclevelandaquarium.com

 

SATURDAYS

Elf Labs. A team of exuberant elves will escort your children through six unique stations where they will experience the magic of Christmas. Through 12/15. Castle Noel, 260 S. Court St., Medina, castlenoel.com

 

SATURDAYS & SUNDAYS

Breakfast with Santa at Merwin’s Wharf. Enjoy breakfast with Santa at Merwin’s Wharf every Saturday & Sunday through 12/23. 1785 Merwin Ave., Cleveland, 216-664-5696, clevelandmetroparks.com

Santa at the Zoo. Don’t miss Santa at the Zoo through 12/16. Bring the family for a photo opportunity. Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, 3900 Wildlife Way, 216-635-3391, futureforwildlife.org

Breakfast with Santa. Includes breakfast, entrance to the Akron Children’s Museum, ice skating, skate rental, photo with Santa and more. 9:30-11:30 a.m. Lock 3, 200 S. Main St., Akron, lock3live.com

 

THROUGH DECEMBER 2

Ballet Theatre of Ohio presents “The Nutcracker.” This classic has become a treasured holiday tradition for families of all ages. Akron Civic Theatre, 182 S. Main St., 330-253-2488, akroncivic.com

 

THROUGH DECEMBER 6

A Song in the Flame (A Tale of Israel). Chanukah is a time of music, light and celebration, but for best friends Esti and Leah, this year it is bittersweet, as they find out they will be separated across the still new country of Israel. Talespinner Children’s Theatre, 5209 Detroit Ave., Cleveland, 216-264-9680, talespinnerchildrenstheatre.org

 

THROUGH DECEMBER 19

Prancer. When an injured reindeer appears in Jessica’s backyard, she believes it is Prancer. She also believes in miracles, friendship and devotion. Magical Theatre Company, 565 W. Tuscarawas Ave., Barberton, 330-848-3708, magicaltheatre.org

 

THROUGH 12/22

It’s a Wonderful Life. In our American culture, “It’s a Wonderful Life” has become almost as familiar as Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.” Avenue Arts Marketplace & Theatre, 324 Cleveland Ave. NW, Canton, avenuearts.org

 

THROUGH DECEMBER 23

Country Lights. Live lighted trees deck the halls that lead to Santa’s Workshop and the Little Elf Corner. Take a wagon to see operating model trains, farm animals and holiday horses. 4:45-9 p.m. Lake Metroparks Farmpark, 8800 Euclid Chardon Road, Kirtland, 440-256-2122, lakemetroparks.com

A Christmas Story. The record-breaking show returns to the Cleveland Playhouse stage in all its pink-bunny-suit, glowing-leg-lamp, triple-dog-daring glory. Allen Theatre at Playhouse Square, 1407 Euclid Ave., clevelandplayhouse.com

Holiday Lantern Tours. Take a charming lantern-lit tour of the village and visit historic houses delightfully decorated for the season. Hale Farm & Village, 2686 Oak Hill Road, Bath, 330-666-3711, wrhs.org

Festival of Trees. Get into the spirit of the season with this beloved annual holiday tradition. Allen Theatre at Playhouse Square, 1407 Euclid Ave., Cleveland, playhousesquare.org

Mingle with Kringle. It’s Santa’s first holiday season at Pinecrest. With all that’s new to see and do throughout the district, he just can’t sit still. Book your unique experience with him during one of the many events happening every weekend. Park Ave., Orange Place, 216-514-8700, discoverpinecrest.com

 

THROUGH DECEMBER 24

Santa Express Train Ride. Ride the train to Santa’s Place, hear a story, and have one-on-one time with Santa. Ohio Station Outlets, 9911 Avon Lake Road, Burbank, ohiostationoutlets.com

Santa House at Crocker Park. Put your list together and come visit Santa and his friends at the Lake Ridge Academy Santa House. Located in the East Park, between Cheesecake Factory and Vieng’s Asian Bistro, 228 Market St., Westlake, crockerpark.com

Santa’s Wonderland. Visit Santa and get a photo for free, plus reserve a virtual spot in line while playing games and making crafts as a family. Cabela’s, 35685 Chester Road, Avon, cabelas.com

 

THROUGH DECEMBER 30

Deck the Hall. Come see the estate illuminated inside and out with over one million lights. The Manor House interiors will be decorated to reflect the theme of “Winter Wonderland.” Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens, 714 N. Portage Path, Akron, 330-836-5533, stanhywet.org

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

Holiday Lights. The decorated trail stations along the half-mile paved loop trail will be themed to represent various classic holiday movies and songs. 6-9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 6-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Carlisle Reservation, 12882 Diagonal Road, LaGrange Township, metroparks.cc

Kringle’s Inventionasium. Treat your family to an unforgettable holiday adventure and create memories that will last a lifetime. 230 W. Huron Road, Cleveland, 855-675-7464, mrkringle.com

 

THROUGH DECEMBER 31

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

Christmas/Winter Wonderland.  Looking for a great experience for your toddler/preschooler? Visit Little Explorers to discover, enjoy, play and learn with magical winter themed arts & crafts, dress up, music and sensory activities. Tuesday – Friday 11:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Great Northern Mall, Sears Wing, 372 Great Northern Mall, North Olmsted, littleexplorersplayground.com

 

THROUGH JANUARY 5

Glow. This annual event transports you to a world full of seasonal cheer, where all-new wonders and returning traditions await you. Cleveland Botanical Garden, 11030 East Blvd., Cleveland, 216-721-1600, cbgarden.org

 

THROUGH FEBRUARY 18

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

 

DECEMBER 1

Light Up Lakewood. Free, family-friendly event on Detroit Avenue featuring a holiday parade, lighting ceremony, winter fireworks, live music, ice carvings and more. 4-8 p.m. 14701 Detroit Ave., Lakewood, lakewoodalive.com

Greens for Giving. Join this make-and-GIVE event to create evergreen decorations for Geauga County Department on Aging’s home-delivered meals for seniors. Noon-3 p.m. The West Woods, 9465 Kinsman Road, Russell Township, 440-286-9516, geaugaparkdistrict.org

Rock & Roll Holiday Ball. Eat, drink, be merry. Rock the night away with live music by 2015 Grammy Award-winner Mike Farris & The Roseland Rhythm Revue. 7-10 p.m. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, 1100 Rock and Roll Blvd., Cleveland, rockhall.com

Downtown River’s Holiday Walk. This family day of holiday activities, shop promotions, food and fun has become a tradition for Downtown River’s visitors from near and far. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Old Detroit Road, Rocky River, rrcity.com

Festival of Lights. Kent’s winter wonderland will include a visit from Santa, the Dickens Carolers, horse-drawn wagon rides, extended business hours and more. 5:30-8 p.m. Hometown Bank Plaza, Gazebo and Main Street Bridge, Kent, kentbiz.com

Christmas on the Canal. Stroll through the streets of historic downtown Canal Fulton, visit Santa, see an electric lights parade and more. 1-7 p.m. 125 Tuscarawas St., Canal Fulton, 330-854-6835, cityofcanalfulton-oh.gov

 

DECEMBER 2

Winter Lights Lantern Festival/Holiday CircleFest. Annual circle-wide celebration with activities, entertainment and a procession led by community lantern artists, illuminated dancers and giant puppets. 1-5:30 p.m. The Cleveland Museum of Art, 11150 East Blvd., 216-707-2483, clevelandart.org

Hudson Holiday Walk. Enjoy horse-and-carriage rides, kids’ activities, caroling and more, plus bring a new unwrapped toy and help local military families in need this holiday season. Noon-5 p.m. firstandmainhudson.com

Yad B Yad. For children who are infants to age 5 and their families. The program will focus on the Jewish holidays through music, stories, crafts and food. 10:45-11:45 a.m. Beth Israel, West Temple, 14308 Triskett Road, Cleveland, jecc.org

Christmas on Hoover Farm. Visit with Santa, hear live music, watch ladies in vintage attire baking cookies, and Christmas carol on a horse-drawn wagon. 1-4 p.m. Hoover Historical Center, 2020 E. Maple St., North Canton, 330-244-4667, walsh.edu

Wildwood Holiday Display & Craft Show. Enjoy live entertainment and a huge variety of fine arts and crafts. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Wildwood Cultural Center & Park, 7645 Little Mountain Road, Mentor, 440-974-5735, cityofmentor.com

Live Nativity on The Green. A live nativity with animals and characters. 10:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Clocktower Green, 27 E. Main St., Hudson, 330-653-8230, hudson.oh.us

 

DECEMBER 4

Menorah Lighting Ceremony. Lighting outside followed by a traditional “coin” drop where candy is dropped by the mayor to the children from a Woodmere fire truck, then continue inside for entertainment, food and more. 6-8 p.m. 28699 Chagrin Blvd., Woodmere, etonchagrinblvd.com

DECEMBER 5

Chanukah Candle Lighting. Celebrate the Jewish holiday of Chanukah, also known as the miracle of lights, which historically took place in Jerusalem. Hear the story, sing traditional songs, make holiday crafts, and more.  5-6 p.m. Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage, 2929 Richmond Road, Beachwood, 216-593-0575, maltzmuseum.org  

Chanukah Party for Families with Young Children. Craft, music, Chanukah story and a casual dinner. 5:30-7 p.m. Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple, 23737 Fairmount Blvd., Beachwood, 216-464-1330 fairmounttemple.org

 

DECEMBER 6-8

Christmas at the Hollow. See 20 Christmas trees displayed throughout the home, visit with Santa, enjoy children’s crafts and activities, wagon rides, and local choirs. 6-9 p.m. Quail Hollow Park, 13480 Congress Lake Ave., Hartville, starkparks.com

 

DECEMBER 7

Multicultural Holiday Celebration. International performances, culture, foods, fashion, music, community resource tables, and more. 6-10 p.m. Global Center for Health Innovation, 1 St. Clair Ave., Cleveland, icc-win.org

An Evening of Christmas Inspiration. Featuring Robin Swoboda and Renee Welsch to benefit children in foster care. 6:45 p.m. Lion’s Park Lodge, 641 Silver Lake Ave., Cuyahoga Falls, summitkids.org

 

DECEMBER 7-9

Babes in Toyland. Enjoy this beloved Christmas classic brought to life by Olmsted Performing Arts. Crocker Park, Market Square, 239 Market St., Westlake, olmstedperformingarts.com

 

DECEMBER 7-JANUARY 6

Shrek The Musical. “Once upon a time, there was a little ogre named Shrek …” And thus begins the tale of an unlikely hero who finds himself on a life-changing journey alongside wisecracking Donkey and a feisty princess who resists her rescue. Beck Center for the Arts, 17801 Detroit Ave., Lakewood, 216-521-2540, beckcenter.org

 

DECEMBER 8

Home for the Holidays. Area merchants will have special sales or refreshments along with carolers, carriage rides, Christmas lights and Christmas Tree Alley. 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Short Court Street, Chardon, chardonsquareassociation.org

Breakfast with Santa. Pack your sleigh with your family of elves and enjoy a pancake breakfast and facetime with the man in the red suit. 9 a.m.-noon. Cleveland History Center, 10825 East Blvd., Cleveland, wrhs.org

Pajama-Rama: The Polar Express. Wear your pajamas, enjoy a hot cocoa bar, get hands-on with a wintry, science activity, snap a photo with Santa, and snuggle up in the DOME Theater for this special one-day event sure to get you in the holiday spirit. 9 a.m.-noon. Great Lakes Science Center, 601 Erieside Ave., Cleveland, 216-694-2000, greatscience.com

2018 Home Sweet Home: A Gingerbread Tradition. Be your own architect, decorator and taste-tester with three choices of delicious domains to build and take home. Fieldcrest Estate, 1346 Easthill (55th) St. SE, North Canton, 330-966-2222, fieldcrestestate.com

Cocoa with Mrs. Claus. A fun-filled afternoon on the farm with Mrs. Claus including train rides, craft stations, mailbox to Santa and more. 1-3 p.m. Nickajack Farms, 2955 Manchester Ave., North Lawrence, nickajackfarms.com

Santa Brunch. Enjoy a brunch, explore the holiday display, chat with Santa, and make some crafts to take home. 10:30 a.m. and noon. Miller Nature Preserve, 2739 Center Road, Avon, metroparks.cc

Holiday Cookie Wars. Battle it out to see who can design the best cookies with frosting and toppings. For grades sixth through 12th. 2:30-4 p.m. North Royalton Branch Library, 5071 Wallings Road, 440-237-3800, cuyahogalibrary.org

 

DECEMBER 9

Paws and Claus Pet Parade. Walk the Holiday Lights trail with your favorite costumed, four-footed friend. 2:30-4 p.m. Carlisle Visitor Center, 12882 Diagonal Road, Lagrange, metroparks.cc

Holiday Favorites with Mary Beth Ions. An interactive evening of seasonal violin music certain to calm your nerves and raise your spirits. 7-8 p.m. Independence Branch Library, 6361 Selig Drive, 216-447-0160, cuyahogalibrary.org

Flautrageous Winter Flute Concert 2018. An exciting evening of flute choir music where you will hear all kinds and sizes of flutes. 7-8:30 p.m. The Music Settlement, 11125 Magnolia Drive, Cleveland, 216-421-5806, themusicsettlement.org

A Christmas Carol. Bay Village Community Players will present a staged reading of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.” 3-4 p.m. Bay Arts, 28795 Lake Road, Bay Village, bayarts.net

Winter Princess Ball. Meet 13 enchanting princesses and enjoy a fairytale afternoon your little princess will never forget. 1:15-4:30 p.m. Embassy Suites by Hilton Cleveland, 3775 Park East Drive, Beachwood, eventbrite.com/ewinter-princess-ball-tickets-50821682019

 

DECEMBER 14

Meet and Greet with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Meet Santa and Mrs. Claus to tell them what you want for Christmas. 6:30 p.m. Bainbridge Library, 17222 Snyder Road, Chagrin Falls, 440-543-5611, geaugalibrary.net

A Charlie Brown Christmas Live on Stage. A fresh take on the timeless classic that gives the audience a completely new way of experiencing the storyline as portrayed by real actors who maintain the integrity and spirit of each Peanuts character. 7:30 p.m. Akron Civic Theatre, 182 S. Main St., Akron, 330-535-3179, akroncivic.com

Solstice with Santa. Take a lantern hike, create a craft, make a special treat for wildlife, encounter live animals and learn about the solstice. Purchase tickets in advance at lensc.org to ensure your spot. 6-8:30 p.m. Lake Erie Nature & Science Center, 28728 Wolf Road, Bay Village, 440-871-2900, lensc.org

 

DECEMBER 14-17

A Christmas Cabaret. The annual holiday treat is back. The show isn’t complete until everyone joins in on “White Christmas.” 12/14-15 Stocker Arts Center, Lorain County Community College, 1005 N. Abbe Road, Elyria. 12/16-17 Nighttown, 12383 Cedar Road, Cleveland Hts. musicaltheaterproject.org

 

DECEMBER 15

Breakfast with Blitzen. Enjoy a pile of pancakes, visit with Santa and one of his favorite reindeer, and take a guided hike while sipping on hot chocolate. 9:30 and 10:30 a.m. Holden Arboretum, 9500 Sperry Road, Kirtland, 440-946-4400, holdenarb.org

Super Science Saturday: Christmas Candy. A day filled with awesome hands-on learning opportunities for the whole family. 10:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Akron Fossils & Science Center, 2080 S. Cleveland Massillon Road, Copley, 330-665-3466, akronfossils.com

North Pole Meet and Greet. Meet North Pole reindeer and while Santa’s busy this time of year, meet the charming Mrs. Claus. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Lehman’s, 4779 Kidron Road, Dalton, lehmans.com

 

DECEMBER 15-16

The Uniquely Cleveland Nutcracker. Dancers from Verb Ballets and other guest artists will join City Ballet of Cleveland to whisk audience members away to a magical land of a young girl’s dreams. Breen Center for Performing Arts, 2008 W. 30th St., Cleveland, 216-848-9088, cityballetofcleveland.org

 

DECEMBER 15-22

Teddy Bear Tea. Gather for this beloved holiday tradition at The Ritz-Carlton, Cleveland. Enjoy a festive morning of storytelling, seasonal beverages, tea sandwiches and pastries. The Ritz-Carlton, 1515 W. 3rd St., Cleveland, ritzcarlton.com

 

DECEMBER 16

Santa’s Workshop. Free pictures with Santa; crafts, games and activities; ugly sweater contest; plus unlimited attractions and arcade play. Pizza and pop included. 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Make Believe Family Fun Center, 8303 Day Drive, Parma, makebelieveparma.com

Holiday Family Skate. Welcome the holiday season and spend quality time with your family at this fun event. 1:30-3:30 p.m. Mentor Civic Ice Arena, 8600 Munson Road, Mentor, cityofmentor.com

 

DECEMBER 22

Graham Cracker “Gingerbread” Houses. Celebrate the holidays by designing and building your own gingerbread house. 2-3 p.m. Mentor-on-the-Lake Branch Library, 5642 Andrews Road, 440-257-2512, mentorpl.org

 

DECEMBER 25

Annual Christmas Day Can-Can. Bring a canned good donation and/or pay what you can toward museum admission. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage, 2929 Richmond Road, Beachwood, 216-593-0575, maltzmuseum.org

 

Sensory-Friendly Holiday Events

DECEMBER 1

Christmas Party. Enjoy fellowship, fun, food, games and a special appearance by St. Nick. For individuals with special needs and their families. 1-3 p.m. St. Rita School, 33200 Baldwin Road, Solon, 440-248-1350, stritaparish.com

The Nutcracker Ballet: Sensory Friendly Performance. To provide a supportive and welcoming environment for children and families, performance includes reduction of loud or jarring sounds, flashing or strobe lights, and modification of the house lights. 2 p.m. Lorain Palace Theatre, 617 Broadway, Lorain, 440-723-8598, northpointballet.org

 

DECEMBER 2 & 9

Soothing Santa. An opportunity for children with autism and other special needs (and their siblings) to visit with Santa in a more calm and sensory-friendly environment before the mall opens. 8:30-10:30 a.m. Belden Village Mall, 4220 Belden Village St. NW, Canton, shoppingbeldenvillagemall.com

 

DECEMBER 6

BLAST Holiday Dinner & Dance. An evening of fun for people with developmental disabilities. 6-8:30 p.m. Temple Israel, 91 Springside Drive, Akron, summitdd.org

 

DECEMBER 8

Santa’s Wild Workshop in the Woods For Kids with Sensory or Developmental Disabilities. Make a toy, ride the Wildwood Express, see outdoor displays, visit with Santa, and decorate cookies. 1-2:30 p.m. Wildwood Cultural Center & Park, 7645 Little Mountain Road, Mentor, 440-974-5735, cityofmentor.com

 

DECEMBER 15

Adapted Holiday Workshop. Build your own wooden toy to paint and decorate with your own personal elf at the this fun and festive afternoon for individuals with disabilities. 3-4:30 p.m. Lake Metroparks Farmpark, 8800 Euclid Chardon Road, Kirtland, 440-256-2122, lakemetroparks.com

 

DECEMBER 16

Respite Night. Children with special needs and their siblings are invited for supervised activities, pizza and fun while parents and caretakers take a break from their everyday lives. Access to movement space, quiet sensory room and small group activities. 1-3:30 p.m. Fairview Park Recreation Ctr., 21225 Lorain Road, activityreg.com

 

DECEMBER 22

Holiday Party. Join The Autism Society of Greater Cleveland, ICAN and the Band of Brothers & Gal Pals for this annual holiday party for families with a member with autism. Noon-2 p.m. City of Independence Recreation Bldg., 216-524-3262, [email protected]

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