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20 Reasons to Celebrate Opening Day

You know Opening Day is a big deal when folks view it as a national holiday. Whether it gets the acknowledgement it deserves of not, here in Cleveland, we know it’s clearly a day worthy of some serious celebration.

Here are our top 20 reasons to take the day off on Friday, April 4, to celebrate the Cleveland Indians’ Opening Day.

1. The weather can either be sunny and 60 degrees or snowy. Either way, it’s something that you’ll be talking about for weeks to come.

2. It’s an excuse for some mid-afternoon day drinking.

3. Not only does Great Lakes Brewing Company keep the award-winning beers flowing, they also offer rides to the stadium on the Fatty Wagon (powered by fryer grease).

4. It’s easy to get around Downtown with RTA’s free trolleys, the Healthline and on the rapid.

5. Win or lose, it’s on a Friday, which means you’ll automatically have a three-day weekend.

6. The Indians have had the largest opening day crowd in baseball history 18 times. Yeah, it’s a pretty big deal.

7. Nationally-acclaimed restaurants on East 4th Street are less than a 5 minute walk from Progressive Field.

8. The steady, familiar sound of the rally drum, returning as the team’s heartbeat for yet another season.

9. Awesome, say-it-like-it-is gear from local favorites CLE Clothing and GV Artwork.

10. The “Dad’s Beer” stand inside the stadium offers classic beer awesomeness such as Blatz, Miller High Life Lite and Milwaukee’s Best, while the “Spirits of Ohio” stand offers local craft beers.

11. Laid-back neighborhood joints in Tremont, Detroit Shoreway and Ohio City to watch the game.

12. Bertman’s Ball Park Mustard. Love it or hate it, it’s an icon.

13. Even if the team doesn’t win big, you try to at the Horseshoe Casino, just a few blocks away from Progressive Field.

14. The familiar smell of hot dogs, peanuts and crackerjacks.

15. No matter what the calendar may say, once it’s Opening Day, spring has officially arrived. And, along with it comes the potential for plenty more warm summer nights watching baseball.

16. If you aren’t in the stadium, get your hot dog fix at Happy Dog featuring more than 50 different gourmet topping options.

17. Making friends with hundreds of strangers as you stand shoulder-to-shoulder at one of the bars in the Historic Gateway district.

18. The first hotdog race of the season. Will this be the year Onion finally takes home the crown?

19. The chance to see head coach Terry Francona riding around Downtown from his apartment to the stadium on his bright red mo-ped.

20. You can practically feel the hopeful energy in the air around Downtown as fans feel unlimited potential for a winning season.

– April Ingle

14 Reasons to Visit Cleveland in 2014

1 - Brand New Buildings1. Brand New Buildings

$2 billion in new tourism projects includes the new Horseshoe Casino Cleveland, the Greater Cleveland Aquarium, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Cleveland Convention Center and much more.

2 (alt)2. Music Mecca

Music lovers come to Cleveland to pay homage to their idols at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, then stay to explore the plentiful bars, clubs and outdoor amphitheaters where local artists and national acts play live nightly.

3 - Sizzling Culinary Scene3. Sizzling Culinary Scene

Nationally recognized as a foodie paradise, Cleveland is home to a 100-year-old public market, the likes of a true “Iron” Chef, several James Beard Foundation Award winners and more than 117 ethnicities represented throughout the culinary scene.

4 - Wild Family Adventures4. Wild Family Adventures

Families can stand nose-to-trunk with five massive African elephants at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and brave more than 16 record breaking roller coasters at Cedar Point. Thrill-seekers can soar high above the park entrance on Gatekeeper, the world’s longest winged coaster, which opened at Cedar Point last year.

PosCle IPN2013-145. World-Class Arts & Culture

Cleveland is home to University Circle, the country’s most concentrated square mile of arts and cultural institutions such as the Western Reserve Historical Society, Cleveland Museum of Natural History and the Cleveland Botanical Garden. Not to mention the incredible Cleveland Museum of Art, which recently completed a $350 million renovation and expansion.

6 - The Perfect Pour6. The Perfect Pour

Whether it’s a tall glass of one of the gold medal winning beers from one of the many local microbreweries or a taste of sweet ice wine from one of the more than 50 lakeside wineries gaining national recognition, no foodie will go thirsty in Cleveland.

7 - Fresh Air Fun7. Fresh Air Fun

With more than 52,000 acres for outdoor recreation between the Cleveland Metroparks and the tenth most visited national park in the US, the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, visitors can hike, jog or bike 275 miles of trails, hit the links at one of the 300 golf courses or splash in Lake Erie for seasonal fun any time of year.

8 - Friendly Competition8. Friendly Competition

Not only is Cleveland home to three major professional sports teams, but it’s also keeping visitors cheering all year long with a plethora of family- and budget-friendly minor league teams, entertainment leagues and an arena team.

9 - Save the Date9. Save the Date

From an international film fest to the 2014 International Gay Games, there’s always something happening in Cleveland. Whether it’s summer festivals every weekend or winter ice skating in Wade Oval, there’s always a reason to celebrate.

10 - Shop Till you Drop10. Shop Until you Drop

Shoppers can find quirky and eclectic doodads, independent art, delectable chocolates or uniquely Cleveland postcards, t-shirts and giftware, at boutiques, antiques and retail options suited for any taste and budget.

11 - Hit the Snooze11. Hit the Snooze

With so much to see and do, visitors need a place to rest their heads. This is why Cleveland offers an array of recognized hotel brands, indoor waterpark resorts, charming B&Bs, inns and campgrounds.

12 - In the Hood12. In the Hood

Cleveland’s true heart and soul lies in its neighborhoods. Ethnic neighborhoods retain much of their Old World cultural background with food and festivals. Other diverse neighborhoods blend art galleries, indie theatres, gastropubs and blue-collar watering holes.

13 - Region13. Remarkable Region

Visitors can leave the hustle and bustle of everyday life behind by venturing into one of the largest Amish communities in the world. Or, families can unwind at one of the region’s massive indoor waterparks or set sail for a refreshing getaway on Lake Erie’s Islands. It’s all just a day trip away from the heart of Cleveland.

14 - Performances14. Unparalleled Performances

From PlayhouseSquare, the second largest theater district in the nation; or the world-renowned Cleveland Orchestra at the stunning Severance Hall; to the more than 45 additional performing arts and entertainment centers it’s safe to say premium performances are center stage.

Visit www.positivelycleveland.com for more reasons to visit Cleveland.

– April Ingle

Winter Wonderland

winter wonderland blog

Enjoy the Snowy Season with these Excellent Outdoor Adventures  

In Northeast Ohio, there’s no shortage of outdoor activities that celebrate snow. Just visit Cleveland’s winter sports mecca, Boston Mills/Brandywine Ski Resort (www.bmbw.com), which celebrated 50 years of skiing in 2013. With 88 total skiable acres, these adjacent resorts reside in the majestic Cuyahoga Valley National Park, offering skiing, snowboarding, and the Polar Blast Snow Tubing park at Brandywine, which has 20 lanes and conveyer lifts for tubing enthusiasts of all ages.

If nostalgic sled rides are more your style, try tobogganing at the Cleveland Metroparks Mill Stream Run Reservation in Strongsville (www.clevelandmetroparks.com/main/toboggan-chutes.aspx). Fulfill your need for downhill speed with two 1,000-ft, refrigerated ice chutes ready every weekend.

Speaking of ice (or rather a silicon-based polymer that looks and works like ice), the Rink at Wade Oval is a unique faux ice skating rink right next to Cleveland’s cultural epicenter, University Circle (www.universitycircle.org). Admission is free and skate rentals are only $3.

Work up a similar sweat snowshoeing or cross-country skiing throughout the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, starting at the Winter Sports Center at Kendall Lake Shelter (www.nps.gov/cuva). Gear rental is available daily when conditions are ideal.

– Kelly Pickerel

This Weekend in CLE: September 20-22, 2013

More than 225,000 people are expected to celebrate the final days of summer in Downtown Cleveland and the surrounding area at 14 major events this weekend. Those looking for a fun-filled weekend can enjoy free art and technology festivals, races, downtown Lolly the Trolley tours, college football games, Cleveland Indians homestand and other events throughout the weekend.

FESTIVALS:

IngenuityFest: A Festival of Art and Technology (FREE admission)

At IngenuityFest, passionate innovators and master-class artists meet to exhibit original and transforming works, beautiful to the eye and mind.

When: Friday, Sept. 20, 5pm-1am, Saturday, Sept. 21 Noon-1am, Sunday, Sept. 22 Noon-6pm
Where: Docks 30 and 32, on the lakefront, north of Browns Stadium and the Great Lakes Science Center
More info: www.ingenuitycleveland.com

Cleveland Dragonboat Festival (FREE admission)

This annual festival and race celebrates the unique culture of Cleveland’s Asian community and dragonboat history. Onlookers can watch as 400 athletes race in three colorfully painted dragonboats from the Jacob’s Pavillion to Shooters on the West Bank of the Flats.

Where: Saturday, Sept. 21
8am: Opening Ceremonies
9am-4pm: Dragonboat Races
Where: The location for best viewing is along the boardwalk on the West Bank of the Cuyahoga River near Jacob’s Pavilion, 2014 Sycamore Street
More info: www.clevelanddragonboatfestival.com

Sparx City Hop (FREE Lolly the Trolley rides)

Attendees can “hop” on three different Lolly the Trolley lines to explore various Cleveland neighborhoods. Along the way, tour guides share interesting facts and artistic points of interest. Wristbands for free trolley rides and welcome centers are available at each of the trolley stops along the routes with the main hub welcome center at Public Square.

Blue Route: explores the Downtown district and PlayhouseSquare
Green Route: explores the Ohio City neighborhood
Red Route: explores the Tremont neighborhood

When: Saturday, Sept 21, 11am-9pm
Where: Starting Location: Public Square, Downtown Cleveland
More info: www.downtownclevelandalliance.com

Western Reserve Historical Society’s Wings & Wheels Weekend

This weekend, car enthusiasts should head down to the Crawford Auto Aviation Collection’s new REVolution and Setting the World in Motion exhibits at the Western Reserve Historical Society. Highlights include the “Cars by Twilight” evening event, a Historic Road Rally, curator presentations, family activities such as “Safety Town,” face painting and photo scavenger hunts.

When: Friday, Sept. 20 6-9pm (Cars by Twilight), Saturday, Sept. 21 10am-5pm, Sunday, Sept. 22 Noon-5pm
Where: History Center, 10825 East Boulevard, Cleveland
Tickets and more information: www.wrhs.org

Cleveland Museum of Art Chalk Festival (FREE admission)

Children and adults alike can join professional artists in transforming the walkways around the Cleveland Museum of Art into a colorful canvas through beautiful chalk artwork. Hundreds of chalk artists and 19,000 spectators are expected this year.

When: Saturday, Sept. 21 11am–5pm, Sunday, Sept. 22 Noon-5pm
Where: Cleveland Museum of Art, University Circle
More info: www.clevelandart.org

Tremont Art & Cultural Festival (FREE admission)

This festival celebrates the ethnic and cultural diversity of the Tremont neighborhood with vendors showcasing fine art, jewelry, sculptures, musicians, performers and food from local Tremont restaurants. Tremont is located just 15 minutes from Downtown Cleveland.

When: Saturday, Sept. 21 11am-6pm, Sunday, Sept. 22 Noon-5pm
Where: Lincoln Park at 1208 Starkweather Avenue, Tremont neighborhood
More info: www.tremontwest.org

RIPE! Fest

This Saturday and Sunday, people can head to the Cleveland Botanical Garden for the annual RIPE Fest which celebrates the city’s fresh produce, craft beer and local music. This end-of-summer festival features food from local area farms, restaurants and breweries, live music, a marketplace, cooking demonstrations, gardening workshops and a children’s area.

When: Saturday, Sept. 21 11am-10pm, Sunday, Sept. 22 11am-Sundown
Where: Cleveland Botanical Gardens, University Circle
Tickets and more information: www.cbgarden.org/ripe.aspx

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum’s World Festival (FREE Entertainment)

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum hosts a colorful, world festival celebrating Cleveland’s many cultures and ethnic groups. Participants representing Cleveland’s diverse cultures will dress in native costumes and share cultural song and dance throughout the festival.

When: Sunday, Sept. 22 Noon-4:00pm
Where: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Downtown Cleveland
More info: www.rockhall.com/event/world-festival-2013

Taste of Little Italy

Attendees can sample food from more than 40 of Cleveland’s delicious Italian restaurants. Other activities include wine tastings, live entertainment and a silent auction in Cleveland’s Little Italy neighborhood.

When: Sunday, Sept. 22, 2pm-6pm
Where: Holy Rosary Church, Little Italy neighborhood
Tickets and more information: www.tasteoflittleitalycleveland.com

SPORTING EVENTS:

Cleveland Indians Home Games

This weekend, the Cleveland Indians take on the Houston Astros at Progressive Field. On Friday night, fans can fill up on the popular Sugardale Dollar Dogs. Saturday, those attending the game should stick around for the post-game “Thank you Tribe Town” fireworks, courtesy of the Indians own, Nick Swisher. And, before Sunday’s game, attendees can bring the kids to the KeyBank Kids Fun Day to participate in a Homerun Derby, take a swing in the batting cages or run the bases of Progressive Field like the big league players.

When: Friday, Sept. 20 7:05pm, Saturday, Sept. 21 6:05pm, Sunday, Sept. 22 1:05pm
Where: Progressive Field, Downtown Cleveland
Tickets and more information: www.indians.mlb.com

Cleveland Classic

On Saturday, the Tuskegee University vs. Winston-Salem State University football game takes place at FirstEnergy Stadium, home of the Cleveland Browns. The pregame festivities include a tailgating party, featuring live entertainment, food and a celebration of the premier historically black colleges and universities (HBCU). The weekend also showcases the Cleveland Classic Gospel Concert with national recording artist, Tye Tribbett, and the Cleveland Classic Stepping for Life Comedy and Step Show.

When:
Friday, Sept. 20
6pm: Cleveland Classic Gospel Concert featuring Tye Tribbett presented by The Word Church at The Word Church main campus on Cleveland’s east side

8:30pm: Cleveland Classic Stepping for Life Comedy and Step Show at the Wolstein Center, Downtown Cleveland

Saturday, Sept. 21
11am: Tailgate Party outside FirstEnergy Stadium, home of the Cleveland Browns

1pm: Kickoff: Tuskegee University vs. Winston-Salem State University at FirstEnergy Stadium

KeyBank Marching Band Halftime Show: Tuskegee University and Winston-Salem State University Marching Bands and drum lines to perform

Tickets and more information: www.clevelandsports.org/clevelandclassic.aspx

RACES:

Komen Race for the Cure

The Komen Race for the Cure takes place Saturday at Malls B and C in Downtown Cleveland. The race offers a 5K timed competitive run, a 5K walk, a one-mile family fun walk and a kid’s dash to benefit breast cancer education, screening and survivor support programs. This year, 12,000 participants are expected.

When: 
Saturday, Sept. 21
6am: Event opens at Malls B and C, Downtown Cleveland
8am: Survivor Ceremony begins
9:15am: 5k Competitive Race
9:30am: 5k Walk
9:45am: 1 Mile Walk
10:15am: Awards Ceremony
10:30am: Kid’s Dash

Where: Malls B and C, Downtown Cleveland

More info: www.komenneohio.org

The Cleveland Color Run 5k

Attendees can watch as runners sprint through Willoughby Hills in a unique “paint race” that celebrates individuality, healthiness and happiness.

When: Saturday, Sept. 21, 8am starting window
Where: The starting location is at Pat O’Brien Chevrolet at 2810 Bishop Rd, Willoughby Hills
More info: www.thecolorrun.com/cleveland-fall

Head of the Cuyahoga presented by The Cleveland Rowing Foundation (FREE admission)

The Cleveland Rowing Foundation is hosting a rowing regatta along the Cuyahoga River that attracts rowing clubs from around the country. The 4,800-meter course involves five major river turns (including an S-bend) and begins at Rivergate Park.

When: Saturday, Sept. 21, 8am-3:30pm: Head of the Cuyahoga Race
Where: Best viewing location is Rivergate Park in Downtown Cleveland home of the Cleveland Rowing Foundation Boat House at 1003 British Street.
More info: www.clevelandrows.org

Weekend Travel Tips

Download a parking map for the event. This weekend, it’s best to get to events early and have alternative parking lots in mind. Most parking lots require cash. To find parking close to your destinations, visit: http://www.positivelycleveland.com/visit/maps.

Use public transportation. If you’d rather leave your car at home, use the Cleveland Regional Transit Authority’s (RTA) service. Cash fare for any RTA bus or rapid is $2.25 per ride. All-day passes allow for unlimited rides on any RTA bus or rapid anywhere in Cuyahoga County, from the time of first use until 3am the next day. The cost is $5. Five-trip passes cost $11.25, but are not restricted to subsequent day use. For routes and lines near you, visit http://www.riderta.com.

Pack for weather changes. Weather changes quickly on the Great Lakes. The weekend forecast shows Friday at a high of 80 degrees and Saturday and Sunday in the mid 60’s. Be prepared for any weather condition by carrying a light jacket, hat, sunscreen, water bottle and a collapsible umbrella in your backpack or purse.

Whenever possible, walk. Downtown Cleveland is incredibly walkable and most downtown hotels are within a 5-25 minute walk of waterfront events, Horseshoe Casino Cleveland, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Progressive Field, The Warehouse District, East Fourth Street, PlayhouseSquare and other major attractions.

Bike it. For residents who live in surrounding neighborhoods like Tremont, Ohio City or Cleveland Heights, consider riding your bike to Cleveland’s main attractions. With the recent upswing in “greener” transportation, many downtown locations offer secure bike parking like the Cleveland Bike Rack located across from Quicken Loans Arena. (www.clevelandbikerack.com)

Mobile hospitality. Positively Cleveland has a unique location-based mobile website that matches you with nearby dining hotspots, attractions and hotels. (www.cleplus.mobi)

Ask Downtown Cleveland Safety Ambassadors for help, safety or directions. Safety Ambassadors patrol downtown and act as the city’s eyes and ears. Ambassadors also carry two-way radios to reach Peace Officers, who are off-duty Cleveland Police officers who can provide supplementary security. These Ambassadors are easy to spot with their bright yellow shirts. (www.downtownclevelandalliance.com/ambassadors.aspx)

Purchase tickets beforehand. Visit the event websites found within each description to purchase tickets for events beforehand; you’ll be happy you did.

Plan, plan, plan. Visit PositivelyCleveland.com to get started planning your trip. Also read first-hand experiences on our blog at Flee to the Cleve.

Are you #HappyinCLE? Prove it!

10HappyinCLE_pushpinsWhen your friends come to town, are you the one taking them around to all of your favorite home-grown hotspots, while spouting out Cleveland-centric trivia? Does your wardrobe mostly consist of Cleveland related t-shirts and Indians, Browns and Cavs jerseys? Are you known for your extreme local pride? If your answer is a resounding “yes” to any of these, then we need your help.

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Celebrate 50 years of Gridiron Greats at the Pro Football Hall of Fame

Whatever the team, whatever the season . . . the Pro Football Hall of Fame brings in the fans.

Whatever the team, whatever the season . . . the Pro Football Hall of Fame brings in the fans.

Join the Pro Football Hall of Fame as it celebrates its 50th anniversary at the annual Enshrinement Festival with more than two weeks of sporting events from now through August 6.

Honoring professional football’s gridiron greats for half a century, the Enshrinement Festival includes various food festivals, concerts, fireworks, a balloon classic, a fashion show and a parade. The festival culminates in an Enshrinees’ Gold Jacket Dinner, a reception at the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Enshrinee autograph sessions and a preseason NFL/Hall of Fame Game. This year’s Enshrinement Festival focuses on the class of 2013 Enshrinees Lary Allen, Cris Carter, Curley Culp, Jonathan Ogden, Bill Parcells, Dave Robinson and Warren Sapp.  The preseason NFL/Hall of Fame Game this year will be the Miami Dolphins vs. Dallas Cowboys in what is sure to be an exciting match-up.

In addition to celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, this year’s Enshrinement Festival includes a Golden Anniversary Reunion featuring a record number of returning Hall of Famers. Here, fans will have a chance to take an iconic group photo of the Hall of Famers at a “Golden Anniversary Reunion Photo Op” event and snag an authgraph at scheduled times throughout the August 2-4 weekend.

FRIDAY, AUGUST 2

11am-11:30am: Golden Anniversary Reunion Photo Op @ Pro Football Hall of Fame
11:30am: Fashion Show Luncheon @ Memorial Civic Center and Cultural Center

5:15pm: Enshrinees’ Gold Jacket Dinner @ Memorial Civic Center and Cultural Center

6pm: Friday Night Reception @ Pro Football Hall of Fame

SATURDAY, AUGUST 3

8am: Grand Parade @ Downtown Canton

12pm-3:30pm: Returning Hall of Famers Autograph Sessions @ Pro Football Hall of Fame Plaza Tent

12pm-2pm: MM Shows LLC., Autograph Session @ Pro Football Hall of Fame Plaza Tent

4pm-6pm: Enshrinement Celebration Fan Party @ Pro Football Hall of Fame

7pm: Class of 2013 Enshrinement Ceremony @ Pro Football Hall of Fame Field at Fawcett Stadium

SUNDAY, AUGUST 4

12pm-4:45pm: Returning Hall of Famers Autograph Session @ Pro Football Hall of Fame Plaza Tent

12:30pm: Enshrinees’ Gameday Roundtable @ Memorial Civic Center and Cultural Center

3pm-4pm: Class of 2013 Autograph Session @ Pro Football Hall of Fame Event Center

5pm-7:30pm: Fan Appreciation Tailgate Party @ Pro Football Hall of Fame

8pm: NFL/Hall of Fame Game, Miami Dolphins vs. Dallas Cowboys @ Pro Football Hall of Fame Field at Fawcett Stadium

This year’s Enshrinement Festival is taking place at an exciting time in the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s history.  Recently, the Pro Football Hall of Fame completed a $27 million expansion and renovation in May, the largest project of its kind in its history. This project includes the state-of-the-art Ralph Wilson Jr. Pro Football Research and Preservation Center, interactive exhibit galleries, a vibrant entrance and lobby, a new Event Center and an expanded Pro Football Hall of Fame store. For more information and to purchase tickets to any of the weekend festivities visit www.profootballhof.com.

– Chris Moore

Culture Powered by Two Wheels

A strong biking community paired with Cleveland’s laid-back Midwestern friendliness, has put the city on the map for a biking culture all of its own. In fact, Bicycling Magazine puts Cleveland on its list of “Five Up-and-Coming Bike Cities” and HGTV Front Door rated Cleveland in as one of the Top Ten Great Cycling Cities in America. From “Critical Mass” ride demonstrations and Downtown bike parking to independent bars and businesses specifically catering to the riding audience, becoming a part of the independent Cleveland’s culture is easy as riding a bike.

Critical Mass

Cleveland Critical MassOn the last Friday of each month the bicycling community in Cleveland bands together for a mass ride to demonstrate and celebrate biking as well as educate and engage with others with similar interests. Critical Mass bike rides take place in more than 300 cities around the world, and Cleveland’s ride is frequently well-attended by a welcoming and committed group of bike enthusiasts as a great way to experience the various aspects of the city.

www.clevelandcm.wordpress.com

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This Weekend in Cleveland: June 1-2, 2013

This weekend, spend a day downtown before the Indians vs. Tampa Bay Rays game. Take the family up to the Terminal Tower observation deck to see some of the best views of the city or experience the free Take a Hike tour offered through the Historic Gateway Neighborhood Corporation.  Then, head over to the Great Lakes Science Center to see the opening of Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition, allowing you to experience the history of the Titanic like never before.

You can always visit our searchable calendar for more events at: www.positivelycleveland.com/play/events.

A Day Downtown: Take a Hike Tour and Tower City Observation Deck, Downtown Cleveland

Terminal Tower Observation DeckSee the city from a bird’s eye view, and the ground below. First, head over to the Terminal Tower observation deck at the top of the Terminal Tower in the Tower City Center. Here, you’ll see breathtaking 360 views of Cleveland’s skyline. When you’re finished, experience the history of Cleveland by going on a Take a Hike tour put on by the Historic Gateway Neighborhood Corporation. Both guided and free, these tours are a fun and educational way to experience Cleveland’s past and present. For Saturday’s tour, make your way over to Constantino’s Market on West 9th Street at 10am where you will embark on a tour of the Warehouse District. On Sunday, meet at Settler’s Landing RTA station at West Superior Avenue at 10am to tour Canal Basin Park in the Flats.

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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 

Fall Foliage Sightings

This year, the relatively dry summer has created the opportunity for a great fall foliage season, which could peak during mid-October in northeast Ohio. And, the warmth from Lake Erie ensures that the first half of fall has nice temps – perfect for pumpkin picking, football watching and all the wonderful activities that make autumn a special time of year.

Below are some ideas on where to truly experience the beauty of fall in the region.

GEAUGA COUNTY – AMISH COUNTRY

Many are unaware that the Northeast Ohio region plays home to the largest settlement of Amish people in the country. The rural sections of Geauga County (just 20 minutes outside Cleveland) are a must-see during September and October with the ultimate in fall foliage viewing along with the quaint and ever-popular visits to Amish Country. Visit the Geauga County CVB website to download a driving tour of Amish country where you’ll make stops throughout the farms and rural towns inhabited by this welcoming and friendly group of people – all while enjoying the beauty of autumn.

CUYAHOGA VALLEY SCENIC RAILROAD – TAKE A RIDE THROUGH A NATIONAL PARK

Watch the changing leaves aboard the historic rails of the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad. This vintage steam train rolls along the Cuyahoga River and dips in and out of the beautiful Cuyahoga Valley.  The Cuyahoga Valley National Park, the sixth most visited national park, is 33,000 acres of land. From river floodplain and steep cut valley walls to ancient stands of evergreen, guests aboard this beautiful train journey through a world of historic sites and timeless natural processes – a truly special experience during the fall. Looking to add more to your experience? Purchase tickets to one of the railroad’s wine or beer tasting events that occur on board. 

ASHTABULA COUNTY – 17 HISTORIC COVERED BRIDGES

Or, head east to Ashtabula County, home to 17 historic covered bridges. Take in the beautiful, natural landscape of this county as you take a self-guided drive to explore these awesome structures. Get to the area Oct. 13- 14 to enjoy the Covered Bridge Festival including crafts, entertainment, historic vehicles and engines, farmers market, quilt show, draft horses, parade, and food vendors galore.

LAKEVIEW CEMETERY – URBAN BEAUTY

Just outside of the city in a metropolitan neighborhood sits the 285-acre Lakeview Cemetery, offering an unmatched fall hotspot. Lake View Cemetery is an outdoor sculpture museum filled with gardens, rich architecture and tributes to those who made great contributions to the area’s industrial and civic development. A great destination, the garden cemetery provides an unmatched skyline view of Cleveland from atop the James A. Garfield Memorial. James D. Rockefeller, Elliot Ness, 22 Cleveland mayors and more. Take trolley tours through the massive cemetery or drive yourself.

– April Ingle

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