Top Outdoor Fun
The holiday season brings the with it the first signs of winter, but around Cleveland, it’s more about more than just sweaters, scarves, mittens and boots. So, whether you’re racing down a 1,000-foot-long ice chute or cuddled together on a horse drawn sleigh ride, there’s no better time to experience all that Cleveland has to offer for outdoor fun than in the wintertime.
- Each year, more than 20,000 visitors lace up their ice skates and slide over to The Rink at Wade Oval to take-in the wintry University Circle and enjoy a coffee or hot chocolate from the concession stand, open Nov. 23 through Feb. 18.
- Enjoy an evening stroll through Hale Farm and Village by the light of a lantern where it is Christmas Eve in 1861 and guests are welcomed into the homes of Civil War era residents whose holiday traditions are as diverse as their backgrounds, Dec. 1-23.
- There’s nothing more seasonal than dashing through the snow in a one-horse open sleigh, so head to Burton for Ma & Pa’s Horse Drawn Sleigh Rides, an authentic sleigh or buggy ride experience that’s so cozy and warm, it doesn’t matter what the temperature is outside.
- While visiting a cemetery during the holiday season may be one of the last things your to-do list, visit Lake View Cemetery on Dec. 8 as they decorate a Christmas tree at the gravesite of Rev. Henry Schwan, who is believed to have started the tradition of lighted Christmas trees in America.
- Explore the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo’s 165-acres and 3,000 animals during December Days from Dec. 17 – 30, where families also can take part in special seasonal activities including holiday crafts, live music, pictures with Santa and Mrs. Claus in the Wolf Lodge, cookie decorating and more.
- Experience the thrill of tobogganing down two 1,000-foot-long refrigerated ice chutes at The Chalet in Mill Stream Run Reservation in Strongsville.
- Spend an evening with Rudolph’s long-lost cousins feeding the elk herd at Bonnie Brae’s Farm in Wellington, about 50 miles southwest of Cleveland, where families can visit the barn with a decorated tree and receive a free handmade ornament available Dec 22-23 and 29-30.
- Hit the slopes during Midnight Madness, late night hours lasting from 8pm to 2am, on Dec. 28 at Boston Mills/Brandywine Ski Resorts. Ohio’s largest ski resort, Boston Mills/Brandywine boasts 19 slopes, 16 lifts with snow tubing, skiing, snowboarding, snowblading, terrain parks and 100 percent snow coverage, typically open in mid-December when the temperatures allow for production.
– April Ingle, Communications Assistant