Northeast Ohio winter fun: Christmas lights, ice skating and Cleveland traditions

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CLEVELAND-- Whether you're looking for kid-friendly activities, the best holiday light displays or memorabilia from your favorite Christmas movies, we're got you covered.


Akron Zoo Wild Lights
500 Edgewood Ave., Akron, Ohio 44307
Nov. 25 to Dec. 30 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for children. Parking is $3. The Akron Zoo will be decked with 25 miles of lights. Visit Santa Land and the S’mores stations.

Carlisle Reservation Holiday Lights
12882 Diagnoal Rd., LaGrange, Ohio 44050
Nov. 25 to Dec. 23. Special hours on Christmas Eve. Free. Please donate a non-perishable food item. Walk the half-mile loop of Christmas light displays then ride the Little Green Choo Holiday Express to see more festive decorations.

castle-noel6Castle Noel
260 S. Court St., Medina, Ohio 44256
It boasts it’s “America’s largest indoor year-round Christmas entertainment attraction.” Window displays from New York City department stores, a 25-foot-tall animated Christmas tree and props from all your favorite Christmas movies. You can even ride down the slide like Ralphie in “A Christmas Story.” Check the website for hours and pricing.

christmas-story-houseChristmas Story House and Museum
3159 West 11th St., Cleveland, Ohio 44109
Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week, except major holidays. Extended hours during the holiday season. Admission is $11 for adults and $7 for children 3 to 12.
Admire the “major award” leg lamp and even buy your own. Just don’t shoot your eye out.

Gift of Lights at Victory Park
7777 Victory Ln., North Ridgeville, Ohio 44039
Nov. 18 to Jan. 1. Tickets start at $15 per vehicle.
Load up the car and drive through 30 state-of-the-art light displays, including a 100-foot tunnel.

Glow at the Cleveland Botanical Garden
11030 East Blvd., Cleveland, Ohio 44106
Nov. 25 through Dec. 31. Check the website for specific dates and times. Admission is $16 for adult non-members and $12 for child non-members. The gardens glow with thousands of lights and colorful orbs with fun activities for the kids.

Kirtland Nativity Exhibit
7800 Kirtland Chardon Rd., Kirtland, Ohio 44094
Nov. 27 to Dec. 31. Hours listed online. Closed Christmas Day.
Nearly 1,000 nativities from more than 30 counties on display. Children can dress in custom and take photos in a kid-size nativity.

(Photo courtesy: Mr. Kringle's Inventionasium)

(Photo courtesy: Mr. Kringle's Inventionasium)

Mr. Kringle’s Inventionasium
Level One of Tower City Center 230 West Huron Rd., Cleveland, Ohio 44113
Ticket prices start at $22 for children and $16 for adults. Schedule a reservation here.
This is more than just a photo op with Santa. It’s a hands-on, fun-filled experience.

toy-soldier1Toy Soldier, Fairy Godmother and Friends Holiday Show
Grand Staircase of Tower City Center 230 West Huron Rd., Cleveland, Ohio 44113
Check the site for dates and times.
The free performances have been a holiday tradition for generations.

Outdoor ice skating and tobogganing:

Chalet toboggan chutes
16200 Valley Pkwy., Strongsville, Ohio 44136
Open from Nov. 23 to March 5.
Hours and rates listed online.

public-square-ice-rink1Cleveland Foundation Ice Rink in Public Square
Nov. 18 to Feb. 28. Hours of operation listed here.
Tickets are $10 if you need to rent skates or $7 if you bring your own.

The Ice Rink at Lock 3
200 S. Main St., Akron, Ohio 44308
Beginning Nov. 18. Hours and days vary.
Admission is free. Skate rental is $3.

The Rink at Falls River Square in Cuyahoga Falls
Open Nov. 26 through February. Check the schedule for days and times.
Free for residents and $3 for non-residents. Skate rental is $3.

wade-oval-rink1The Rink at Wade Oval
10820 East Blvd., Cleveland, Ohio 44106
Nov. 25 to March 5. Hours vary during December. Closed Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
Admission is $2 and skate rental is $3.

Is one of your favorites missing from our list? Let us know by emailing