Top Family-Friendly Holiday Events and Activities
There are few things more magical than being in the presence of a child during the holidays; their eyes full of wonder and hearts filled with unwavering belief. After hours and hours of cheek-pinching from grandparents, aunts, uncles and other relatives, the kids deserve some quality holiday fun.
- On a life-sized game board guided by the familiar holiday song, “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” take a turn to pop the dice, move along from space to space and discover through interactive play the many things that nature gives to us in the winter season at the Lake Metropark’s Penitentiary Glen Reservation Nov. 17 – Jan. 5.
- The 19th Annual Holiday Circlefest on Dec. 2 features live performances from talented musicians, craft making, historic displays of holiday toys, storytelling, a singing Santa, live reindeer and the city’s best gingerbread house competition. In addition, most of University Circle’s renowned museums, gardens, galleries, churches, and schools offer free admission and activities during the Circlefest events.
- Head to TinselTown at PlayhouseSquare on Dec. 1 for holiday crafts, a hot chocolate bar, cookie decorating and, of course, pictures with the merry man himself.
- Splash around in an 84-degree indoor water park, attend North Pole University, explore Santa’s workshop and enjoy the daily snow shows in the Grand Lobby (yes, it will be snowing indoors) at Sandusky’s Great Wolf Lodge Snowland throughout December.
- Snuggle together with the family on a horse-drawn wagon ride in the country and enjoy the wondrous twinkle of approximately a quarter of a million festive holiday light displays at Lake Metroparks Farmpark Country Lights on view Nov. 30 – Dec. 23.
- On Dec. 12, join the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage for the annual Hanukkah Candle Lighting event to celebrate the traditional lighting of the Hanukkah Menorah, sing a few songs and share a festive treats.
- From Nov. 16 – Dec. 20, the vintage Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad cars take on a alter ego as “The Polar Express” for the season, allowing pajama-clad families enjoy hot cocoa, cookies, a reading of the classic story by magical elves, caroling, a stop at North Pole Village and even a visit from the main man himself.
- Experience a truly old-fashioned Christmas in the 19th-century Historic Roscoe Village through horse-drawn carriage rides, roasted chestnuts, strolling carolers, complimentary hot-mulled cider, cookies, Christmas Candlelighting tours, luminaries and visits with Santa. Lightings occur Dec. 1, 8 and 15 at 6pm and activities occur from 1-8pm each Saturday.
- Catch snowflakes every day at 1pm inside the Greater Cleveland Aquarium, Nov. 23 – Jan. 1, during the Winter Waterland event, featuring larger-than-life decorations, twinkling lights, holiday crafts, live music and caroling.
– April Ingle, Communications Coordinator