12 Fun Ways To Enjoy Cleveland In December

things to do in cleveland in december

As December sets in and the city of Cleveland transforms into a winter wonderland, it's time to get into the festive spirit and indulge in some winter fun. From ice skating to sipping hot cocoa, exploring the city's impressive light displays to catching a holiday show, Cleveland has plenty of fun ways to get into the holiday spirit. If you're looking for some inspiration on how to enjoy the city this December, we've got you covered with our list of 12 fun ways to enjoy Cleveland in December. Let the merriment begin!


Ice skating at Public Square

Source: www.cleveland.com
Characteristic Description
NameCleveland Foundation Skating Rink
TypeIce skating rink in Cleveland, Ohio
WebsiteGo to website
Rating / Review count4 / 64
Address3 Public Square, Cleveland, OH 44115
Phone(216) 503-8103
HoursSaturday - Open 24 hours
Sunday - 3–8 PM
Monday(Memorial Day) - Open 24 hours
Tuesday - Open 24 hours
Wednesday - Closed
Thursday - Closed
Friday - 5–10 PM

Cleveland in December is a magical time of year when the city comes alive with holiday festivities. One of the most popular activities to enjoy during the winter season is ice skating at Public Square.

Located in the heart of downtown Cleveland, Public Square is a gathering place for both locals and tourists. During the winter months, the square transforms into a winter wonderland with a large outdoor ice skating rink that is open to the public.

The ice skating rink at Public Square is a favorite destination for Clevelanders of all ages. The rink, which measures approximately 40 feet by 85 feet, is surrounded by colorful lights, festive decorations, and holiday music. There is nothing quite like skating under the stars while taking in the sights and sounds of the holiday season.

The ice skating rink is open every day from late November to early February, weather permitting. Visitors can rent skates on site or bring their own. The rental price includes skates, but guests can also bring their own skates if they prefer.

For those who are just learning to skate or need a refresher, lessons are available at the rink. The skating instructors are patient and knowledgeable, and they can help skaters of all skill levels improve their technique and confidence on the ice.

During the holiday season, the ice skating rink at Public Square is a popular destination for families, couples on dates, and groups of friends looking for a fun and festive activity. The rink is especially popular on weekends and holidays, so it is recommended to arrive early to avoid long lines and wait times.

In addition to ice skating, there are many other winter activities to enjoy in Cleveland, such as visiting the nearby Christmas markets, attending holiday concerts and shows, and admiring the city's holiday lights. However, ice skating at Public Square remains one of the most beloved and iconic winter attractions in the city.

In conclusion, if you're looking for a fun and memorable activity to enjoy in Cleveland in December, lace up your skates and head to Public Square's ice skating rink. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced skater, you're sure to have a blast gliding across the ice and soaking up the festive atmosphere.


Christmas shopping at the Cleveland Flea

Source: www.cleveland.com

Cleveland in December is a magical time of year. The city is filled with twinkling lights, cozy fireplaces, and plenty of opportunities to shop for unique holiday gifts. One of the best places to get your shopping done is at the Cleveland Flea.

The Cleveland Flea is an outdoor market that operates every second Saturday of the month from April through December. In December, the Flea turns into a festive winter wonderland, complete with holiday decor, carolers, and over 100 local vendors selling everything from vintage clothing to handmade soaps.

If you're looking to get your Christmas shopping done in one fell swoop, the Cleveland Flea is the place to be. You can find gifts for everyone on your list, from your mom who loves artisanal cheeses to your brother-in-law who's obsessed with craft beer.

Here are a few of our favorite vendors to check out at the Cleveland Flea this December:

  • Revival Body Care: This local company makes all-natural skincare products that are perfect for the eco-conscious person on your list.
  • The Velveteen Rabbit: This vintage clothing shop always has a great selection of cozy winter sweaters and unique accessories.
  • Cleveland Jam: These artisanal jams and preserves make great stocking stuffers, and the flavors range from classic strawberry to exotic fig and lavender.
  • A Couple of Cooks: This catering company sells homemade baked goods that are sure to impress your holiday guests.
  • Wanderlust Jewellery: This local jeweler makes one-of-a-kind pieces inspired by nature and travel.

While you're shopping, be sure to take breaks to enjoy the festive atmosphere. You can grab a cup of hot cocoa, stop by the craft station to make your own holiday decorations, or listen to live music from local performers.

The Cleveland Flea is open on December 14th, from 10 am to 4 pm, and is located at 3615 Superior Ave E, Cleveland, OH 44114. Admission is free, but bring plenty of cash or a credit card, as many vendors do not accept checks.

In conclusion, if you're looking for a fun and festive way to get your Christmas shopping done in Cleveland this year, head over to the Cleveland Flea. With a wide variety of local vendors and a holiday atmosphere, it's sure to put you in the holiday spirit.


Winterfest at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

Source: www.clevelandmetroparks.com

Cleveland in December may be chilly, but it's also the perfect time to embrace the winter season and enjoy some festive activities. One event that should be on your list is Winterfest at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.

Held annually, Winterfest is a fun-filled evening for families and friends to enjoy the twinkling lights, holiday decorations, and special animal experiences. The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is transformed into a winter wonderland with over one million twinkling lights, a 50-foot-tall Christmas tree, and an array of festive decor.

Visitors can take a stroll through the enchanted forest, ride the zoo's carousel or train, join in on the Wild Winter Show, and listen to a holiday choir. There are also bonfires to keep you warm, visits with Santa Claus, and hot cocoa and treats to enjoy.

One of the highlights of Winterfest is the animal encounters. Visitors can see some of the zoo's favorite residents, including the polar bears, otters, and reindeer. The zookeepers offer special talks about the animals and how they adapt to the winter season. You can watch the polar bears swim and play, or see the reindeer up close and personal - it's an experience you won't forget!

In addition to the festivities, Winterfest also offers a variety of crafts and activities for children to enjoy. Families can create ornaments, write letters to Santa, and decorate cookies.

Winterfest is a must-do activity during the holiday season. It's a wonderful opportunity to spend time with loved ones, explore the zoo, and embrace the winter season. Tickets for Winterfest can be purchased online, and the event runs weekends from late November to early January. Don't miss out on the magic of Winterfest at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo!

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Touring the Winter Wine and Ale Fest at the Cleveland Botanical Garden

Source: www.cleveland.com

Cleveland in December can be quite cold and snowy, but that doesn't mean there aren't plenty of fun outdoor activities to enjoy. One such event is the Winter Wine and Ale Fest at the Cleveland Botanical Garden.

This popular event takes place in mid-December and features a variety of local wineries and breweries showcasing their best offerings. Attendees can sample different wines and beers while strolling through the gardens, taking in the festive holiday lights and decorations.

In addition to the beverages, the Winter Wine and Ale Fest also offers food from local vendors, live music, and even a holiday market where you can find unique gifts for your loved ones.

One of the highlights of the event is the Botanical Garden's Glow exhibition. This spectacular light show features over one million LED lights, transforming the garden into a winter wonderland. Visitors are encouraged to explore the different themed areas, including the Gingerbread House, the Enchanted Forest, and the Music Box.

The Winter Wine and Ale Fest is a great way to celebrate the holiday season in Cleveland, and a perfect opportunity to try some delicious locally-made beverages. Make sure to dress warmly and bring a group of friends to share in the fun. Tickets typically sell out fast for this popular event, so be sure to book in advance to avoid disappointment.

Overall, visiting the Winter Wine and Ale Fest at the Cleveland Botanical Garden is an unforgettable experience that you won't want to miss. With the stunning light display, delicious drinks and food, and plenty of holiday cheer, it is the perfect way to celebrate the season in Cleveland.

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Holiday CircleFest in University Circle

Source: www.cleveland.com

Cleveland in December is a wonderful place to be, especially when it comes to holiday celebrations. One such event that stands out is the Holiday CircleFest in University Circle. This event is an annual affair that takes place in the heart of Cleveland’s cultural district.

The Holiday CircleFest is a family-friendly event that features a lot of activities, entertainment, and food. With over 1 million twinkling lights, the event is sure to ignite your holiday spirit. The event has plenty of attractions on offer, so there is something for everyone. From ice carving demonstrations, live music, horse-drawn carriages, and the always-popular Euclid Beach Rocket Car rides, the Holiday CircleFest is an experience not to be missed.

The highlight of the Holiday CircleFest is the tree-lighting ceremony. Every year, a massive Christmas tree is placed at the center of Wade Oval, and the tree lighting ceremony is held. The lighting of the tree is accompanied by fireworks, and it is a sight to behold.

One of the best parts of the Holiday CircleFest is the free admission. The event is open to the public, so you can come and enjoy the festivities without having to pay anything. However, activities such as the Euclid Beach Rocket Car Rides and Horse and Carriage Rides have a minimal fee.

Other attractions that are worth checking out are the Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland Botanical gardens, and Cleveland History Center. The museums are open to the public and offer a suitable distraction for those looking to take in some culture on their visit to Cleveland.

Overall, the Holiday CircleFest is an event that should not be missed. It is an excellent opportunity for families to gather and enjoy the holidays together while enjoying the sights and sounds of Cleveland. With plenty of activities and entertainment on offer, you are sure to have a good time. So, mark your calendar, grab your family and friends, and head out to University Circle for the Holiday CircleFest.

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The Nutcracker ballet at Playhouse Square

Source: www.cleveland.com

As the holiday season approaches, many Clevelanders look forward to attending the annual performance of The Nutcracker ballet at Playhouse Square. This beloved production has become a cherished tradition for families and theatergoers alike, and for good reason. With stunning costumes, memorable music, and an enchanting storyline, it's no wonder that The Nutcracker has become a classic holiday favorite.

The performance at Playhouse Square is produced by the Cleveland Ballet, a local dance company that has earned a reputation for its skilled performances. Each year, the company brings together talented dancers, musicians, and artists to create a magical experience for audiences of all ages. The production features Tchaikovsky's beautiful score, which includes iconic pieces like "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" and "Waltz of the Flowers." The music is brought to life by the talents of the Cleveland Orchestra, one of the country's finest symphony orchestras.

The stage design for The Nutcracker is also nothing short of spectacular. From the snow-covered landscape of the first act to the whimsical Land of Sweets in the second act, the sets and costumes evoke a sense of wonder and enchantment. The Sugar Plum Fairy's tutu alone is a masterpiece of design, with layers of tulle and delicate embroidery. The production also features stunning lighting effects and special effects that add to the magic of the performance.

But of course, the heart of The Nutcracker is its story. Set on Christmas Eve, the ballet follows the journey of a young girl named Clara as she travels to the Land of Sweets with her magical Nutcracker prince. Along the way, they encounter dancing snowflakes, lively gingerbread men, and delightful characters like Mother Ginger and the Sugar Plum Fairy. The story is a timeless tale of holiday magic and the power of imagination, and it's no wonder that it has captured the hearts of audiences for generations.

If you're looking for a way to get into the holiday spirit this December, The Nutcracker ballet at Playhouse Square is not to be missed. With its beautiful music, stunning sets, and unforgettable story, this production is a true Cleveland treasure. Whether you're attending with family or making it a festive date night, there's no better way to celebrate the holiday season than with this magical performance.

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Polar Express train ride in Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Source: www.cleveland.com

If you're looking for a festive activity to enjoy in Cleveland during the month of December, why not take a ride on the Polar Express train in Cuyahoga Valley National Park? This magical experience is perfect for families and anyone who loves the holiday season.

The Polar Express train ride is based on the classic children's book "The Polar Express" by Chris Van Allsburg. During the ride, passengers are transported to the North Pole, just like in the book. Along the way, they are served hot chocolate and cookies, and are able to enjoy the beautiful winter scenery in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

The train is decked out in holiday decorations and the experience is completed with a visit from Santa Claus himself. Children are encouraged to wear their pajamas, just like the characters in the book, and there is even a sing-along to some classic holiday songs.

The Polar Express train ride is a popular activity during the holidays, so be sure to book your tickets in advance. The experience lasts about two and a half hours, so make sure to dress appropriately for the weather. The train ride is suitable for all ages, so it’s a great activity for families with young children as well as adults.

In addition to the Polar Express train ride, the Cuyahoga Valley National Park has plenty of other winter activities to enjoy. The park offers winter hiking trails, cross-country skiing, sledding hills, and ice skating in the park's skating rink. After you have had your adventure in the park, you can warm up at one of the local restaurants in the surrounding areas.

Overall, the Polar Express train ride in Cuyahoga Valley National Park is an unforgettable way to experience the magic of the holidays in Cleveland. It allows visitors to see the beautiful winter scenery and immerse themselves in the holiday spirit. Don't miss out on this festive activity during your visit to Cleveland in December.

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Snowshoeing at the Cleveland Metroparks

Source: www.clevelandmetroparks.com

Cleveland may not be the first place that comes to mind when thinking about winter activities, but the Cleveland Metroparks offer a unique and exciting opportunity for those looking to get outdoors and enjoy the winter weather. One such activity is snowshoeing, which provides a great way to explore the park's trails and enjoy the winter scenery.

The Cleveland Metroparks offer a variety of snowshoeing options, with trails for all skill levels. At North Chagrin Reservation, visitors can enjoy a two-mile trail that winds through the forest and along the Chagrin River. This scenic trail is perfect for beginners, offering a gentle incline and plenty of opportunities for wildlife viewing.

For more experienced snowshoers, the Brecksville Reservation offers a challenging four-mile trail that traverses steep hills and winding valleys. This trail offers stunning views of the park's rugged terrain and is a great way to get a workout while enjoying the winter weather.

If you don't want to venture too far from downtown Cleveland, the Rocky River Reservation offers a three-mile snowshoeing trail that winds along the Rocky River and through the park's picturesque forests. This trail is perfect for families and beginners, with a relatively flat terrain and plenty of opportunities for wildlife viewing.

Before heading out on the trails, be sure to dress appropriately for the weather. Layers are key, as you'll want to be prepared for both cold temperatures and periods of physical exertion. Waterproof boots are a must, as well as gloves, hats, and a warm jacket.

Renting snowshoes is easy and affordable, with several options available in the Cleveland area. The REI Co-op in downtown Cleveland offers snowshoe rentals at a reasonable price, and several local outdoor shops and equipment rental stores also offer rentals.

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Figure skating at the Cleveland Heights Community Center

Source: www.cleveland.com

If you're looking for a fun and exhilarating way to spend your time in Cleveland this December, look no further than the Cleveland Heights Community Center for figure skating!

The Cleveland Heights Community Center offers a variety of skating programs for people of all ages and skill levels. Whether you're an experienced skater or just starting out, you'll find something to love here. The facility features two rinks, including one Olympic-sized rink that is the perfect size for figure skating.

Skating programs at the Cleveland Heights Community Center include classes for beginners, as well as more advanced classes for those looking to improve their skills. Skaters can also participate in ice shows and competitions, giving them the chance to showcase their skills to the community.

In addition to skating lessons, the Cleveland Heights Community Center offers public skating sessions throughout the week. These sessions are a great way to practice your skills, or just enjoy some time on the ice with friends and family.

If you're looking for a unique way to celebrate the holiday season, the Cleveland Heights Community Center also hosts a variety of special events throughout December. These events include Christmas-themed ice shows, holiday ice skating parties, and much more.

The Cleveland Heights Community Center is the perfect place to indulge your love for figure skating this December. Whether you're a seasoned pro or just starting out, there's something for everyone here. So if you're looking for a fun and exciting way to spend your time in Cleveland this winter, be sure to check out the skating programs at the Cleveland Heights Community Center. You won't be disappointed!


Christmas movies at the Capitol Theatre

Source: www.cleveland.com

As the freezing temperatures of the winter season settle in, Cleveland locals eagerly anticipate the seasonal festivities that come along with it. One winter highlight for Clevelanders is watching classic Christmas movies at the Capitol Theatre located in the heart of the city.

Located at 1390 W 65th St, the Capitol Theatre has been a beloved local landmark since it first opened in 1921. The old-fashioned movie house has preserved its charm ever since, making it the perfect venue for festive Christmas movie screenings.

Starting from early December, the Capitol Theatre invites locals to indulge in the heartwarming classics that have become synonymous with the season. Each year, the theatre showcases a lineup of beloved holiday films, including popular Christmas movies like "It's a Wonderful Life," "A Christmas Story," and "Elf."

Movie lovers can grab a seat in the dimly lit auditorium of the theatre, complete with classic velvet seats and an old-fashioned Art Deco interior. As the lights dim, the audience is transported into the heart of the movie, ready to experience all the joy and nostalgia that comes along with it.

At the Capitol Theatre, viewers can indulge in more than just the movie, thanks to the added charm of the theatre's historic setting. The theatre's old-school concessions stand offers the perfect movie night snacks, including classics like popcorn and soda, while other local vendors are also available for moviegoers wanting to indulge in some hot chocolate and holiday treats.

The Capitol Theatre has become a holiday tradition that Cleveland locals eagerly anticipate year after year. The theatre's festive atmosphere, combined with classic holiday movies, creates the perfect setting to spend time with friends and family during the Christmas season.

So if you're in Cleveland during the month of December, make sure to head down to the Capitol Theatre to indulge in the timeless tradition of watching classic Christmas movies on the big screen.


Caroling at the Cleveland History Center

Source: www.cleveland.com

As we approach the holiday season, many events and activities are lining up in Cleveland, Ohio, to celebrate the joy of the season. One of the most exciting events is caroling at the Cleveland History Center, which has become a festive tradition of the area.

December in Cleveland can be bitterly cold, but the warmth of cheerful carolers singing in harmony can quickly dispel any winter gloom. The Cleveland History Center, located in University Circle, is a beautiful and historic setting for this event. The center is home to the Western Reserve Historical Society, and it boasts a gallery of period clothing, furniture, and artifacts that date back to the 1800s.

During this time of year, the center transforms into a festive celebration of the holidays, welcoming families, and friends to join in singing well-loved Christmas carols. The event is open to the public, and it brings people of all ages and backgrounds together for a night of joyous harmony.

The caroling usually starts with some hot chocolate and cookies, which attendees can indulge in while browsing through the gallery's exhibits. Afterward, participants gather for the singing of classic carols like "We Wish You a Merry Christmas," "The First Noel," "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing," and many others.

The Cleveland History Center provides song sheets, so even those who don't know the words or are out of practice can join in the merriment. The sound of voices singing, filling up the room, and reverberating off the walls creates a beautiful and unforgettable experience.

The event is perfect for those seeking to escape the stress of the holiday season and immerse themselves in a joyous atmosphere. It's also the ideal opportunity to spend time with friends and family while sharing the holiday cheer.

The caroling event at the Cleveland History Center is a cherished tradition among the locals, and it is sure to put anyone in the holiday spirit. If you're in Cleveland in December, don't miss the chance to come together with others to celebrate this wonderful and heartwarming tradition.

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Holiday lights at Nela Park in East Cleveland

Source: www.cleveland.com

As the holiday season approaches, there are countless events and experiences to enjoy in Cleveland. One of the most spectacular displays of holiday cheer can be found at Nela Park in East Cleveland.

For over 90 years, Nela Park – the headquarters of General Electric Lighting – has been illuminating the holiday season with a breathtaking display of lights. Every December, the campus is transformed into a winter wonderland, with more than half a million LED bulbs glowing in a variety of colors and patterns.

Visitors to Nela Park can drive or walk through the display, which features dozens of illuminated holiday scenes, including reindeer, snowmen, and Santa Claus himself. The lights are synchronized to music, which adds an extra layer of magic to the experience.

While the holiday lights at Nela Park are certainly a sight to behold, they are also a symbol of Cleveland's rich history as a center of innovation and industry. General Electric Lighting has been headquartered at Nela Park since 1913, and the company's innovations have helped to shape the way we think about light and energy.

Of course, the holiday lights at Nela Park aren't the only reason to visit Cleveland in December. The city is home to a variety of other festive events and attractions, including markets, concerts, and ice skating rinks.

Whether you're a resident of Cleveland or a visitor from out of town, there's no better way to get into the holiday spirit than by experiencing the breathtaking display of lights at Nela Park. So bundle up, grab a cup of hot cocoa, and prepare to be dazzled by the magic of the season.

Frequently asked questions

A few popular activities include visiting the Cleveland Botanical Garden's annual WinterShow, seeing the holiday light displays at Public Square and the Cleveland Zoo, and attending the annual Winter Wine and Ale Fest at the Cleveland Convention Center.

Yes, there are several events happening around the city during the holiday season. One example is the Cleveland Orchestra's annual Christmas Concerts at Severance Hall. Additionally, the Winterfest and Holiday Walk in Little Italy is a popular local event featuring holiday shopping and food options.

Yes, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is a great attraction to visit any time of year in Cleveland, but it can be especially interesting during December. The museum often hosts special events during the holiday season, and it can be a fun way to spend a day with family or friends while enjoying some iconic music history.

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Tahlia Irwin

Hey there! I just visited Cleveland last December, and let me tell you, it was absolutely magical. One of the must-do activities is to check out the Winterfest in Public Square. The whole place is decked out in beautiful lights, and you can even ice skate in the heart of downtown. Plus, the Cleveland Museum of Art is a must-visit. They have some incredible holiday-themed exhibits that are perfect for getting into the festive spirit. Don't forget to catch a show at Playhouse Square too! The theaters are stunning, and they always have fantastic shows during the holiday season.

Aurora Osborn

Hi! I had the most amazing time in Cleveland last December, and I highly recommend checking out the Winter Wine and Ale Fest if you're a fan of craft beer or wine. It's held at the Cleveland Botanical Garden, and you can sample some delicious drinks while enjoying the beautiful winter scenery. Another highlight for me was the Cleveland Orchestra's holiday concert. The musicians are incredibly talented, and the music really puts you in the holiday mood. Don't miss out on the Cleveland Bazaar Holiday Market as well. You can find unique gifts from local artisans, and it's always fun to support small businesses during the holiday season.
Hi there! I'm so glad to hear that you had an amazing time in Cleveland in December. The Winter Wine and Ale Fest at the Cleveland Botanical Garden sounds like a fantastic event. I definitely have a soft spot for craft beer and wine, so I'll make sure to check it out on my next visit. The Cleveland Orchestra's holiday concert must have been incredible. I love being able to get into the holiday spirit with beautiful music. And the Cleveland Bazaar Holiday Market sounds like a great opportunity to find unique gifts and support local artisans. Thank you for sharing your recommendations!

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