Lining up plans for the holidays? Cleveland and the surrounding areas offer family friendly activities all season long during this special time of year.
Whether you’re a local, new in town or visiting family for the holidays, you’ll be sure to find something fun without traveling too far. Events can range in price and location, but they’re sure to be a perfect outing for seniors and their friends or grandkids, or a solo adventure.
For a list of events happening in and around Cleveland this holiday season, continue reading below.
Listed in order of event date.
1. A Christmas Story: Cleveland
A Christmas Story at Cleveland Playhouse Square is back! The record-breaking show returns just in time for the holidays. Gather the family and stop by the theater for a laugh, as youngster Ralphie Parker attempts to convince his parents of the perfect Christmas gift.
There are designated seats in the theater for guests who require accessible seating.
Entry Price: Ticket prices vary by seat. Event Details: November 23 – December 23. Show times vary; see the schedule for more information. Location: Playhouse Square, 1501 Euclid Avenue, Suite 200, Cleveland, Ohio 44115
2. Magic of Lights: Middleburg Heights
Enjoy a festive evening with the best light displays and animations Northeast Ohio has to offer. Magic of Lights is a great way for families to share an experience that will be cherished by all for years to come. Bring along the grandkids to experience the one-mile drive-through from the comfort of your own car.
Entry Price: $20.00 general admission on weekdays; $25.00 general admission on weekends. Event Details: December 1 – 31, 5:30 – 9:00 p.m., Monday thru Saturday; 5:30 – 10:00 p.m. Friday thru Sunday. Location: 19201 East Bagley Road, Middleburg Heights, Ohio 44130
3. Breakfast with Santa: Cleveland
Bring your camera for a family photo with Santa and his helpers at Merwin’s Wharf. This fun-filled, family friendly event is open to all ages, and a perfect way to spend a morning with the grandkids. General admission includes a breakfast buffet, plus crafts for the kids to enjoy.
Start a new family tradition at Spring Mist Farms’ Candy Cane Christmas. Enjoy the sights and sounds of model trains running through a lit-up Christmas village. Or, explore the live nativity scene with farm animals. This indoor event is sure to be fun for the whole family.
Entry Price: $5.00 ages 1 – 10; $3.00 ages 11 and over Event Details: December 1 - 23, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. Fridays; 4 p.m. – 8 p.m. Saturdays. Location: Spring Mist Farms, 691 Pearl Road, Brunswick Hills, Ohio 44212
5. Skating Rink in Public Square: Cleveland
Glide into the holidays at Cleveland’s premier outdoor venue, Public Square. The ice rink offers the perfect winter activity in the heart of the city. You won’t want to miss this magical winter wonderland that promises to delight all ages.
Entry Price: $10.00 general admission; $7.00 if you bring your own ice skates Event Details: Open daily thru February 28, 3:00 – 10:00 p.m. Monday thru Friday; 11:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. Saturdays; 10:00 a.m. – 8 p.m. Sundays. Location: Cleveland Foundation Ice Rink, 3 Public Square, Cleveland, Ohio 44115
6. Family Grinch Day: Avon
Have you ever read the beloved children’s tale, How the Grinch Stole Christmas? Get into the holiday spirit at Avon Public Library for Family Grinch Day. This event is suitable for all ages, with games and crafts provided. Finish off the afternoon of fun with a candy cane scavenger hunt.
Wheelchairs are available at the library to accommodate your specific needs.
Said to be Northeast Ohio’s most visited year-round attraction, the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo invites you and your family to get a picture with Santa this holiday season. The zoo offers enjoyable and educational programs for all ages.
All areas of the zoo are wheelchair accessible.
Entry Price: $14.95 general admission, $12,95 senior discount (ages 62 and older), $10.95 junior admission (ages 2 – 11) and children under 2 are free. Event Details: Available thru December 16, 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Location: Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, 39000 Wildlife Way, Cleveland, Ohio 44109
8. The Nutcracker: Rocky River
The North Pointe Ballet’s third annual performance of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker is a holiday classic with theatrical elements and larger-than-life sets and costumes. Grab the family for an evening of epic battles, beautiful dances and incredible displays.
The center is wheelchair accessible.
Entry Price: Tickets range from $22.00 – $24.00 Event Details: December 21 – 23, 7:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 2:00 p.m. Sunday. Location: Magnificat Center for the Performing Arts, 20770 Hilliard Boulevard, Rocky River, Ohio 44116
9. Gingerbread House Workshops: Cleveland
There’s nothing quite as festive as building your own gingerbread house. Gather the family and join in the fun of this tasty craft at Cleveland Botanical Garden’s winter spectacular, Glow. Materials will be provided for you to take your creation home to enjoy all season long.
The garden is mostly wheelchair accessible with some limitations.
Entry Price: $35.00 per gingerbread house, admission not included. Event Details: December 22, 2:00 – 3:30 p.m. Location: Cleveland Botanical Gardens, 11030 East Boulevard, Cleveland, Ohio 44106
10. Trans-Siberian Orchestra: Cleveland
Take the whole family to rock out to an electrified Carol of the Bells with this longstanding holiday engagement. Featuring the best hits from the Trans-Siberian Orchestra (TSO), this year’s theme is “The Ghosts of Christmas Eve” to celebrate 20+ years of live performances. Similar to previous years, a portion of every ticket sold benefits local charities.
Seats are available for purchase for individuals with mobility disabilities.
Entry Price: Ticket prices vary by seat. Event Details: December 30, shows at 3:00 and 6:00 p.m. Location: Quicken Loans Arena, 1 Center Court, Cleveland, Ohio 44115
Get Access to Even More Holiday Activities
For more activities to create memories with the people you love, we encourage you to download Busch’s Essential Guide to Meaningful Conversation. Packed with 20+ conversation-starting questions, this guide is designed to help you connect with loved ones this holiday season. From cherished family traditions to favorite recipes, this is sure to be a fun exercise for around the table.
Editor's Note: This post was originally published in December 2015, and has been updated for 2018.