December Holiday Events in Northeast Ohio

December Holiday Events in Northeast Ohio

Wild Winter Lights, photo courtesy of Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

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.

 

Pick Your Day

FRIDAYS & SATURDAYS

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

 

FRIDAYS-SUNDAYS

Scuba Claus. 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. 1 p.m. Greater Cleveland Aquarium, 2000 Sycamore St., Cleveland, 216-862-8803, greaterclevelandaquarium.com

 

SATURDAYS

Elf Labs: Fun with Santa. A team of exuberant elves will escort your children through six unique stations where they will experience the magic of Christmas. Through 12/14. 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 and Sunday through 12/22. 1785 Merwin Ave., Cleveland, 216-664-5696,  clevelandmetroparks.com

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

 

Ongoing

THROUGH DECEMBER 8

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 23

Elf on the Library Shelf. The silly Elf on the Library Shelf will be back for some mischievous fun. Come in each day to try and find him and win a prize if you do. Mentor Public Library, 8215 Mentor Ave., 440-255-8811, mentorpl.org

‘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

 

THROUGH DECEMBER 24

Santa’s House at Crocker Park. Take a photo with Santa Claus, sit in Santa’s sleigh, walk through Toy Train Town and shop at the Polar X ornament and gift shop. Santa’s Village, 228 Market St., Westlake, crockerpark.com 

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 30

Wild Lights at Akron Zoo. 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

Deck the Hall 2019: A Classic Comic Hero Christmas. Nineteen rooms in the Manor House will be themed with the stories of classic comic heroes. Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens, 714 N. Portage Path, Akron, 330-836-5533, stanhywet.org

Holiday Lights. From walking the decorated “holiday movie & song themed” half-mile paved trail and riding the Holiday Express to heading inside to enjoy a night-specific activity, there is plenty of entertainment for you and your family. Carlisle Reservation, 12882 Diagonal Road, LaGrange Township, metroparks.cc

 

THROUGH JANUARY 1

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, bethlehemhillslights.fun

 

THROUGH JANUARY 4

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

Magic of Lights. Northeast Ohio’s largest holiday light show returns for its second year at the Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds. Drive through and enjoy more than one million holiday lights, including fan-favorite displays such as the Enchanting Tunnel of Lights, Winter Wonderland, 12 Days of Christmas and other holiday characters. Also returning is the Jolly Holiday Village, which features Santa photos, Bumble Cars, s’mores roasting, Santa letter station and more. Open daily from 5:30-10 p.m. magicoflights.com/northeastohio

 

THROUGH JANUARY 5

Wild Winter Lights. Wild Winter Lights will feature more than a dozen diverse and interactive zones including Snow Safari, Glacier Glade and Santa’s North Pole Lodge. Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, 3900 Wildlife Way, 216-635-3391, clevelandmetroparks.com/zoo.

 

THROUGH FEBRUARY 17

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

 

Day-by-Day

December 1

Wildwood Holiday Display & Craft Show. 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

 

December 3 & 10

Baby Christmas Ornament. Press baby’s feet or hands into salt dough to create an awesome holiday ornament and then decorate them. 9 a.m. Morley Library, 184 Phelps St., Painesville, 440-352-3383, morleylibrary.org

 

December 5-23

‘A Christmas Story.’ He’s back! One boy, one holiday wish and a world that seems to be conspiring to make certain it doesn’t come true. Cleveland Play House, Allen Theatre, 1407 Euclid Ave., clevelandplayhouse.com

 

December 5-29

‘Black Nativity.’ A Karamu Classic. Langston Hughes’ famed retelling of the Nativity Story, performed in a gospel style and including popular Christmas carols. Karamu House, 2355 E. 89th St., Cleveland, karamuhouse.org

 

December 6

Multicultural Holiday Celebration. International performances, culture, food, fashion, music, community resource tables and more. 6-10 p.m. Cuyahoga Community College, Metropolitan Campus Center, 2900 Community College Ave., Cleveland, icc-win.org

 

December 6-22

‘A Christmas Carol.’ Christmas would not be complete without Charles Dickens’ classic tale. French Creek Theatre, 4530 Colorado Ave., Sheffield Village, metroparks.cc/theatre.php

 

December 7

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

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. 5:30-8:30 p.m. Hometown Bank Plaza, Gazebo and Main Street Bridge, Kent, kentbiz.com

Elf School. Instruction in toy making, cookie decorating and all things “elfish.” 10 a.m. & 1 p.m. Avon Lake Public Library, 32649 Electric Blvd., 440-933-8128, alpl.org

Christmas on the Canal. Stroll through the streets of historic downtown Canal Fulton, visit Santa, see an electric lights parade and more. Noon-6 p.m. 125 Tuscarawas St., Canal Fulton, 330-854-6835, cityofcanalfulton-oh.gov

Family Program: Holiday Open House. Celebrate the holidays at the library. Magic Bob will entertain with magic and balloon creations. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Kenmore Branch, 969 Kenmore Blvd., Akron, akronlibrary.org 

Old-Fashioned Christmas. Enjoy product demos, food samples, live music and children’s activities at this annual fun-for-all-ages event. Find the perfect gift for everyone on your list. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Lehman’s, 4779 Kidron Road, Dalton, lehmans.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

Lunch with Santa at the Bistro. Visit Gervasi Vineyard for some lunch and meet the man in red. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Gervasi Vineyard, 1700 55th Street NE, Canton, gervasivineyard.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

Santa on the Green. Ushered into town in a shiny red fire engine, Santa and Mrs. Claus welcome all the good girls and boys to the gazebo on the green. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. firstandmainhudson.com/play

 

December 7-8

The Polar Express Sleepover & Breakfast with Santa. Spend a magical Christmas weekend with your family with a movie in the evening and wake up to breakfast with Santa from 8-10 a.m. Springhill Suites By Marriott, 30100 Aurora Road, Solon, eventbrite.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 8

Hudson Holiday Walk. Horse and carriage rides, kids’ activities, caroling and more. Bring a new unwrapped toy and help Stuff the Humvee with the Northeast Ohio Foundation for Patriotism to assist local military families. Noon-5 p.m. firstandmainhudson.com

Pet Photos with Santa. Noon-5 p.m. Paws by the Lake, 33757 Lake Road, Avon Lake, loveastraydog.com

Christmas on Hoover Farm. Visit with Santa, hear live music, watch ladies in vintage attire baking cookies, and hear Christmas carols on a horse-drawn wagon. 1-4 p.m. Hoover Park, 1875 E. Maple St., North Canton, 330-244-4667, walsh.edu

Magic Toyshop Story Time Yoga. Bring holiday toys to life through imaginative yoga poses and a Christmas story. For children ages 3-6 years with a caregiver. 2-3 p.m. Twinsburg Public Library, 10050 Ravenna Road, 330-425-4268, twinsburglibrary.org

Holiday CircleFest. Circle-wide celebration with activities, entertainment and a procession led by community lantern artists, illuminated dancers and giant puppets. 1-5 p.m. The Cleveland Museum of Art, 11150 East Blvd., 216-707-2483, clevelandart.org

Hands-On Holiday. Enjoy holiday characters, art workshops, kids dance party, games, interactive session, music and more. 1-5 p.m. Akron Children’s Museum, 216 S. Main St., akronkids.org

 

December 8, 15 & 22

Sunday Brunch with Santa. Bring the family to meet Santa while enjoying a delicious brunch, plus bowling and bocce. Kids can a photo with Santa and make requests from their holiday wish lists. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Pinstripes, 111 Park Ave, Ste. 105, Orange Village, pinstripes.com/cleveland-ohio

 

December 12

Frosty Fest. Chill out with the Snow Queen and her sister with some winter family fun and cookie decorating. 6 p.m. Medina County District Library, 210 S. Broadway St., 330-725-0588, mcdl.info

 

December 13

Solstice with Santa. Take a lantern hike, create a craft, make a special treat for wildlife in your backyard, encounter live animals and visit the Planetarium to learn about the solstice. 6-8:30 p.m. Lake Erie Nature & Science Center, 28728 Wolf Road, Bay Village, lensc.org

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

 

December 13-16

A Christmas Cabaret. The annual holiday treat is back. The show isn’t complete until everyone joins in on “White Christmas.” 12/13-14 Stocker Arts Center, Lorain County Community College, 1005 N. Abbe Road, Elyria. 12/15-16 Nighttown, 12383 Cedar Road, Cleveland Hts. musicaltheaterproject.org

 

December 14

North Pole Tea Party. You don’t have to be from the North Pole to love a sweet treat, and nothing sweetens up the holidays like cookies. 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Old Colony Farm, 3283 Foskett Road, Medina, oldcolonyfarm.com

North Pole Meet and Greet. Meet furry and sweet North Pole reindeer. While Santa’s busy this time of year, you can meet the charming Mrs. Claus and enjoy live music. 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Lehman’s, 4779 Kidron Road, Dalton, lehmans.com

Splash Party. Celebrate the holidays with a Dive-In Movie, swimming, crafts and cookies with milk. There may even be a special visitor from the North Pole. 5:30 p.m. Splash Zone, 95 West Hamilton Road, Oberlin, metroparks.cc 

Doggy Howliday in the Park. Bring your dog-friendly pooch to celebrate the holiday season. Enter the dog sweater contest, take a picture with your pooch, or join your fellow canine lovers for a hike. 10 a.m. Towner’s Woods, Switch Tower, 2264 Ravenna Road, Kent, portageparkdistrict.org

 

December 14-15

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

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

‘Elf.’ Join in for a showing of the movie “Elf” presented by Wayside Furniture. 2 p.m. Akron Civic Theatre, 182 S. Main St., Akron, 330-535-3179, akroncivic.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

Kid’s Shopping Afternoon & ‘Polar Express’ Pajama Party Movie. Bring your little ones in to pick out special gifts for the family. Cocoa, cookies and free gift wrapping from 1-3 p.m. then from 3-5 p.m. cozy up for a movie. BAYarts, 28795 Lake Road, Bay Village, bayarts.net

Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis. Be one of the thousands of runners and walkers who hit the nation’s pavements, pathways and parks this winter to fight arthritis, the nation’s most common cause of disability. 8:30 a.m. Legacy Village, 25001 Cedar Rd, Lyndhurst, legacy-village.com

Brunch with Santa. Enjoy complimentary photos with Santa, complimentary valet, infinite Christmas Cheer and an unlimited brunch that appeals to all. Seating options at 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. The Rustic Grill at StoneWater, 1 Club Drive, Highland Heights, stonewater.com

 

December 17

Broken Ornaments: A Holiday Concert with An Impulse Towards Destruktion. This is the inaugural winter warmer with some dear old holiday favorites with an exotic flair. 8-10:30 p.m. BOP STOP at The Music Settlement, 2920 Detroit Ave., Cleveland, themusicsettlement.org

Pet Photos with Santa. Bring your favorite furry friend for a photo with Santa. 5:30-8:30 p.m. Legacy Village, 25001 Cedar Rd, Lyndhurst, legacy-village.com

 

December 19

Nutcracker Dreams. Enjoy the story and music of Tchaikovsky’s famous, beloved Nutcracker ballet. 4 p.m. Chardon Branch Library, 110 E. Park St., 440-285-7601, divi.geaugalibrary.net

 

December 20

Hanukkah Rock Shabbat. Come for a rockin’ good time. 6:15-7:15 p.m. Temple Israel, 91 Springside Drive, Akron, jewishakron.org

 

December 21

Super Science Saturday: A Dinosaur Christmas. Take a look at the frozen world of paleontology that will keep dinosaurs present for the most wonderful time of the year. 10:30 a.m. Akron Fossils & Science Center, 2080 S. Cleveland Massillon Road, Copley, 330-665-3466, akronfossils.com

Kids Movie Night: ‘The Grinch.’ Kids can enjoy a free screening of “The Grinch” (2018 animated version), as well as pizza, popcorn and decorating holiday sugar cookies. While the kids are entertained, Parents are invited to dine at the adjacent Rustic Grill. Kids can wear PJs and should bring a sleeping bag or blanket. 6-8:30 p.m. The Rustic Grill at StoneWater, 1 Club Drive, Highland Heights, stonewater.com

 

December 22

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 and make holiday crafts. 1:30-3 p.m. Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage, 2929 Richmond Road, Beachwood, 216-593-0575, maltzmuseum.org  

 

December 23

Menorah Lighting Ceremony. Family and friends are welcome to this special Chanukah celebration which will include the traditional foods including latkes, jelly donuts, activities and much more. 6-8 p.m. 28699 Chagrin Blvd., Woodmere, etonchagrinblvd.com

 

December 25

Annual Christmas Day Can-Can. Bring a canned 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 Happenings

 

December 3, 5 & 7

Adapted Polar Express Train Rides. The Autism Society of Greater Akron has partnered with the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad to offer an Autism Friendly Polar Express. Departs from Rockside Station, 7900 Old Rockside Road, Independence, autismakron.org

 

December 4

Sensory-Friendly Santa. A Santa morning visit for families with special needs, autism/sensory integration challenges. 10 a.m.-noon. Brunswick Library, 3649 Center Road, 330-273-4150, mcdl.info

 

December 7

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

 

December 9

Santa’s Wild Workshop For Kids with Sensory or Developmental Disabilities. Make a toy, ride the Wildwood Express, see outdoor displays, visit with Santa and decorate cookies. 2-4 p.m. Wildwood Cultural Center & Park, 7645 Little Mountain Road, Mentor, 440-974-5735, cityofmentor.com

 

December 13

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 14

‘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. 2-4 p.m. Lorain Palace Theatre, 617 Broadway, Lorain, 440-723-8598, northpointballet.org

Adapted Holiday Workshop. Build your own wooden toy to paint and decorate with your own personal elf at 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 15

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. 1-3 p.m. Fairview Park Recreation Center, 21225 Lorain Road, activityreg.com

 

December 17

Holiday Toddler Sensory Play. Families with children ages 2 to 4 years old are invited for messy and creative holiday fun. 10:30 a.m. Kent Free Library, 312 W. Main St., 330-673-4414, kentfreelibrary.org

 

December 24

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. 8-10 a.m. Belden Village Mall, 4220 Belden Village St. NW, Canton, shoppingbeldenvillagemall.com

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