Northeast Ohio December Holiday Events

Northeast Ohio December Holiday Events

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, 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. 

HOLIDAY LIGHTS TO SEE

THROUGH DECEMBER 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 vehicle. 6-8:30 p.m. Lake Metroparks Farmpark, 8800 Euclid Chardon Road, Kirtland, 440-256-2122, lakemetroparks.com

THROUGH DECEMBER 29

Nature’s A-Glow. The gleaming glow of Christmas lights takes this beautiful botanical garden and turns it into the winter wonderland of your dreams. 5-9 p.m. Friday-Sunday through 12/19 and Sunday-Wednesday 12/26-12/29. Beech Creek Botanical Garden and Nature Preserve, 11929 Beech St. NE, Alliance, beechcreekgardens.org

THROUGH DECEMBER 30

Deck the Hall 2021: Lights, Camera, Christmas! Come see the estate illuminated inside and out with over one million lights with the Manor House interiors decorated to reflect the theme of “Lights, Camera, Christmas!” 12/2-5, 12/9-23 and 12/26-30. 5-8 p.m. Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens, 714 N. Portage Path, Akron, 330-863-5533, stanhywet.org 

Wild Lights. Come enjoy the wildest lighting display this holiday season. Nearly the entire zoo is decorated and several animals will be out. Visit with Santa Claus, take a photo at Candy Cane Way, stop by Panda Treats, and more. 11/26-28, 12/3-5, 12/10-12, 12/17-23, and 12/26-30. 5-9 p.m. Akron Zoo, 505 Euclid Ave., Akron, 330-375-2550, akronzoo.org

THROUGH JANUARY 2

Wild Winter Lights presented by NOPEC. Featuring over one million lights across holiday-themed areas at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, including a dynamic musical light show. Drive-through and walk-through nights available. The walk-through event features dazzling walk-through displays, carousel rides, costumed characters, model train displays, and more. 5:30 p.m. Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, 3900 Wildlife Way, 216-635-3391, FutureForWildlife.org/lights

Magic of Lights. A dazzling, drive-through holiday lights experience featuring favorite holiday scenes and characters of the season using the latest LED technology and digital animations. Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds, 19201 E. Bagley Rd., Middleburg Hts., magicoflights.com, cuyfair.com

DECEMBER 16-30

Lights on the Lake. Experience a free lakefront drive-thru lighted holiday display at Lakeview Park! Enjoy “Lights on the Lake’’ with classic holiday scenes, festive décor, and thousands of twinkling lights spanning this 26-acre park. 5:30-9 p.m. Lakeview Park, 1800 West Erie Ave., Lorain, loraincountymetroparks.com

HOLIDAY EVENTS 

THURSDAYS

Candlelight Tours. Tour the Hay-McKinney Mansion by candlelight, then enjoy festive refreshments to ring in the holiday season before exploring our museum galleries. 5:30-8 p.m. The Cleveland History Center, 10825 East Blvd., Cleveland, wrhs.org

FRIDAYS

Miller Woods Holiday Express. Grab your ticket for a memorable ride on the Little Green Choo through the woods to Santa’s village. Enjoy the lighted displays, sounds of the season, and possibly a glimpse of the man in red. 12/3, 10 & 17. 5-9 p.m. Miller Nature Preserve, 2739 Center Rd., Avon, 440-937-0764, loraincountymetroparks.com

FRIDAY-SUNDAY

Christmas on the Farm. Indoor ice skating, light display, craft with elves, cookies with Mrs. Claus, visit with Santa, and more. Fridays 2-8 p.m., Saturdays 11 a.m.-8 p.m., and Sundays 1-7 p.m. Nickajack Farms, 2955 Manchester Ave., Canal Fulton, 330-323-9714, nickajackfarms.com 

SATURDAYS & SUNDAYS

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. 12/11-12/19. Lock 3, 200 S. Main St., Akron, lock3live.com

SUNDAYS

The Toy Soldier Mini Previews. Enjoy the magic of the Toy Soldier with 20-minute mini shows every Sunday through 12/19. Noon and 3 p.m. Crocker Park (Across from the Cheesecake Factory), Westlake, crockerpark.com

Breakfast with Santa at the Cleveland Botanical Garden. 12/12 and 12/19 from 10 a.m.-noon. 11030 East Blvd., Cleveland, 216-721-1600, cbgarden.org

THROUGH DECEMBER 18

“Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” The Biblical saga of Joseph and his coat of many colors vibrantly comes to life in this delightful musical parable. Tuesdays-Sundays. Weathervane Playhouse, 1301 Weathervane Lane, Akron, 330-836-2626, weathervaneplayhouse.com

THROUGH DECEMBER 19

Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad- North Pole Adventure. Families can climb aboard and join this journey of a lifetime to a North Pole Adventure. Weekdays and Weekends, Rockside Station at 7:30 p.m. and Akron Station at 7 p.m. Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, 330-439-5708, cvsr.org

“Miracle On 34th Street.” A holiday classic filled with humor, spectacle, and such beloved songs as “Pinecones and Holly Berries,” “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas,” and “My State, My Kansas,” this joyous, heartwarming musical is pure family entertainment. Friday 7:30 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 2 p.m. The Fine Arts Association, 38660 Mentor Ave., Willoughby, 440-951-7500, fineartsassociation.org

THROUGH DECEMBER 22

Light it Up! A New Holiday Musical. This musical event features original pop, rock, gospel, and jazz holiday tunes and new arrangements of Christmas favorites. Light It Up! is a celebration of family, friends, community, and each person’s ability to make every day brighter. Allen Theatre, 1407 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, clevelandplayhouse.com

THROUGH DECEMBER 24

‘Black Nativity.’ A Karamu Classic. Langston Hughes’ famed retelling of the Nativity Story, performed in a gospel style and including popular Christmas carols. Thursday-Saturday 7:30 p.m. and matinees Saturdays and Sundays. Karamu House, 2355 E. 89th St., Cleveland, karamuhouse.org

Santa’s Village at Crocker Park. Visit Santa throughout the season for festive holiday pics, take a ride on the express train around Crocker Park to view the magical experiences in person, stop in to shop at a variety of local vendors, and more. Located across from East Park, next to The Cheesecake Factory, crockerpark.com

THROUGH JANUARY 2

Winter RiverFest. Winter RiverFest presented by Troy-Bilt will transform Rivergate Park and Merwin’s Wharf for the holiday season. New this year: enjoy an authentic ice-skating rink and appearances by Santa (Fridays-Sundays). Experience festive décor, a beer garden and firepits, retail shop and igloo village along the Cuyahoga River in The Flats. clevelandmetroparks.com/WinterRiverFest

A Garden Holiday. It’s the most wonderful time of the year at the Cleveland Botanical Garden. A Garden Holiday will delight the senses and transport visitors to a holiday wonderland filled with the colorful plants and towering trees that bring the most festive time of year. Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sundays Noon-5 p.m. Cleveland Botanical Garden, 11030 East Blvd., Cleveland, 216-721-1600, cbgarden.org

Elf the Musical. Based on the beloved holiday film, this hilarious big-elf-living-in-a-small world comedy follows Buddy the Elf in his quest to find his true identity in a holiday bedazzled New York City. Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. Beck Center for the Arts, 17801 Detroit Ave., Lakewood, 216-521-2540, beckcenter.org

Through DECEMBER 18

The Holiday Channel Christmas Movie Wonderthon. Enjoy the sugar rush of six Christmas movies all at once. Welcome to Hopewood Falls, Vermont, where singles in adorable sweaters converge to look for love. Stow Players, The Heritage Barn at Silver Springs, 5238 Young Rd., Stow, stowplayers.net 

Through DECEMBER 19

A Christmas Carol. This ingenious telling of Scrooge’s redemption, complete with live music, is delightful and filled with surprises. Fridays at 7:30 p.m., Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m. Magical Theatre Company, 565 W. Tuscarawas Ave., Barberton, 330-848-3708, magicaltheatre.org

DECEMBER 17-19, 21-23

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, wrhs.org

Through DECEMBER 18

Makerspace Ornament Making. Join all week long in the makerspace to create festive ornaments to take home. South Branch Library, 340 15th St., Elyria, elyrialibrary.org

DECEMBER  18

Virtual Polar Express. Families are invited to join us virtually this year, live on Zoom, for this very special holiday program of crafts, songs, and a reading of Chris Van Allsburg’s award-winning book. Tuesday at 7 p.m. Thursday at 7 p.m. Saturday at 11 a.m. Hudson Library, 96 Library St., 330-653-6658, hudsonlibrary.org

DECEMBER 18-22

Scuba Claus is Coming to Town. Guests explore the Aquarium and complete an animal seek-and-find activity before spending a few minutes chatting with Scuba Claus while he’s underwater. Saturday and Sunday 8:30-10 a.m., and Monday-Wednesday 4:30-7 p.m. Greater Cleveland Aquarium, 2000 Sycamore St., Cleveland, 216-862-8803, greaterclevelandaquarium.com

DECEMBER 19

Pet Photos with Santa. Bring your favorite pet to Pet Photos with Santa presented by Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District. All pets will receive a special treat. Great Northern Mall, visit here for info.

DECEMBER 21

“It’s A Wonderful Life” – Holiday Movie. The show is about an angel sent from heaven to help a desperately frustrated businessman by showing him what life would have been like if he had never existed. 7:30 p.m. Canton Palace Theatre, 605 Market Ave. North, Canton, cantonpalacetheatre.org

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