The holiday season is upon us. It is time for gatherings with friends and family, experiencing the fun of the holiday season, frantic holiday shopping and for some the company holiday Christmas party. We all have our favorite Christmas memories. For me the best holiday memories are trips with my mom, sister, aunts and cousins to downtown Cleveland the day after Thanksgiving to shop and watch the holiday lights being turned on in public square. I also remember going downtown as a child to Higbees to enjoy the holiday windows, see Mr. Jingeling and shop at the Twigbee shop. Downtown was always a magical place for me during the holidays as though wrapped in a special glow.
There are many events that take place during the holiday season in the Cleveland area for all ages. One newer tradition starts around the end of October with the tapping of the keg of Great Lakes Brewery Christmas Ale. The holiday beer has been around for nearly 30 years and has been a holiday favorite for just as long. Many other breweries in the area have started making their own versions of the holiday classic, but the original is still the best. I recommend adding cinnamon and sugar on the glass rim. It gives the beer an extra flavor.
Holiday Events in Cleveland
There are many holiday events, places to visit and things to do in the holiday season. Below are just a few of the fun events. Some, like Winterfest and Circlefest are one day events, while others run the entire holiday season. What are your favorite holiday things to do?
The holidays kick off in Cleveland at the Winterfest in Public Square on Saturday, November 26th from 1pm to 7pm. The party ends with the lighting of Public Square. For the winter, there is an outdoor skating ring in the newly renovated square. In fact, The Cleveland Foundation is offering free skating during Winterfest. The event is presented by the Cleveland Cavaliers and Cleveland Monsters. There will be a Winterfest Village with holiday pop-up shops, food trucks and a children’s stage featuring music, interactive activities and performances. The day’s activities end at 6pm with an hour-long lighting ceremony featuring music, Santa’s arrival and fireworks. Playhouse Square will also be taking part in the holiday spirit with the Festival of Trees at the Allen Theater, shopping options and kids activities at the Idea Center.
University Circle is also celebrating the holidays with their annual Circlefest on December 4th from 1pm to 5:30pm. The skating rink will be back this year through the early part of 2017. A dozen of Cleveland’s art and cultural institutions will be free for the event including the Cleveland Botanical Garden, Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Western Reserve Historical Society, Cleveland Museum of Contemporary Art and the Children’s Museum of Cleveland. There will also be horse drawn carriages rides, Santa Clause, ice-carving demonstrations, music, family activities and more.
Glow at the Cleveland Botanical Garden
One of the great places to visit over the holidays to is the Cleveland Botanical Garden to see “Glow”, their annual holiday show running November 25th to December 31st. The halls of the Botanical Garden are filled with poinsettias, Christmas trees and other decorations. If the weather cooperates, you can take a train ride around the outdoor gardens. It really is a magical place over the holidays.
Cleveland is the home of the largest theater district outside of New York City. For decades, a holiday favorite has been the Great Lakes Theater presentation of “A Christmas Carol” at The Hanna Theater. The production of Dicken’s classic story is a production filled with special effects and holiday warmth. Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas: The Musical will be performed live on stage at Playhouse Square from December 6th to 11th. Another special holiday treat is seeing one of the holiday shows by the Cleveland Orchestra at Severance Hall. This year they are performing the “Nutcracker” with the Pennsylvania Ballet for limit performances as well as having the holiday music concerts. If you haven’t seen a concert at Severance Hall, the holidays are the best time of year to go.
Places to Visit This Holiday Season
A Christmas Story House
“A Christmas Story” is an iconic holiday classic. If you didn’t know, a good portion of the film was shot in Cleveland in the early 1980’s. The house used for the family home is located in the Tremont area and is now a museum for the movie. The house is decorated exactly as the movie sets and visitors can get photos taken by the leg lamp or under the kitchen sink. It is a great place to visit any time of the year, but during the holidays, it is especially magical. To see the movie, live on stage, The Cleveland Playhouse is also performing “A Christmas Story” this holiday season November 25th until December 23rd.
If you want to escape into scenes of some of the best holiday movies, then you need to visit Castle Noel in Medina. Castle holds a vast collection of holiday movie memorabilia from costumes from “Elf” to props from the 2000 movie “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and slide down Santa Klaus Mountain like Ralphie in “A Christmas Story”.
Nela Park Light Display
A holiday tradition for many decades is the holiday light display at Nela Park, home of General Electric. The front street facing buildings of this large campus are transformed with amazing light displays of all sizes and colors.
Stan Hwyet Hall
Take a trip down to Akron and step back in time to the early 1900’s Christmas at Stan Hwyet Hall. The former home of the Seberling family is a wonderful place to visit in the holiday season. The historical home and gardens are decorated for the holiday inside and out and there are special events during the holiday season.
The best part of the holidays is creating your own memories with friends and families. There are so many things to do in the city to enjoy the holiday season. Make your appointment now at Men’s Cuts to look your best this holiday season. Happy Holidays from Men’s Cuts.