2021 holiday events guide: Lights, markets and family traditions

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CLEVELAND (WJW)– The holiday season is upon us. We’ve compiled a list of events in Northeast Ohio including Christmas lights, tree lighting ceremonies, holiday markets and family favorites.

(Missing something? Send an email to jsteer@fox8.com to be added)

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo Wild Winter Lights
3900 Wildlife Way, Cleveland
Select dates Nov. 16 to Jan. 2. Walk-thru tickets are $20 for non-members and $18 for members. Tickets are $60 a car for non-members and $54 for members for the drive-thru.

More than a million lights and hundreds of light displays brighten up the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. Enjoy a walk through with carousel rides, costume characters, ice carvers and choirs. Drive-thru dates also available.

Wild Winter Lights walk through at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo on December 11, 2020. (Kyle Lanzer/Cleveland Metroparks)

Holidays in the Hay Candlelight Tours
10825 East Blvd., Cleveland
Thursdays starting Nov. 18. General admission is $20.

The Cleveland History Center offers tours of the Hay-McKinney Mansion and museum galleries. Refreshments provided.

Christmas Connection
1 I-X Center Dr., Cleveland
Nov. 19 to Nov. 21

The holiday market is back with a 30-foot Santa, the Sugar Plum Shoppe for kids and dozens of vendors.

The Christmas Cave
4007 White Gravel-McDaniel Rd., Minford
Open Fridays and Saturdays from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., beginning Nov. 19. Admission is free, but donations are appreciated.

This self-guided, 30-minute light display winds through an underground mine. More than 28,000 people visited last year.

Kevin Craft Photography

Crocker Park Tree Lighting
Westlake
Nov. 20 at 7 p.m.

The holiday experiences start at noon leading up to a performance by the iconic Toy Solider and the tree lighting with Santa.

A Garden Holiday
11030 East Blvd., Cleveland
Nov. 20 to Jan. 2. Admission is $16 for adults and $12 for children 3 to 12.

The Cleveland Botanical Garden’s holiday transformation features conifers, poinsettias, gingerbread houses and more.

Magic of Lights
19201 East Bagley Rd, Berea
Nov. 24 to Jan. 2 from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Advanced tickets start at $21 for standard vehicle, $50 for limo and $80 for bus.

The Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds transforms into a dazzling drive-thru light experience with LEDs and digital animations.

Turkey Trot Cleveland
Cleveland Public Auditorium
Nov. 25 at 8:45 a.m. Registration is $35.

Burn off the calories with a 1K walk or 5K run before you sit down to Thanksgiving dinner.

Akron Zoo Wild Lights
500 Edgewood Ave., Akron
Select dates starting Nov. 26 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tickets are $13 for adults and $9 for children ages 2 to 14. Prices are lower for Akron Zoo members or if you buy pre-sale tickets.

The Akron Zoo gets in the holiday spirit with thousands of lights, dozens of displays and fun photo ops. There’s also costumed characters and Santa!

Ashtabula County’s Lights on the Lake
1700 East 1st St., Ashtabula
Friday, Saturday, Sunday Nov. 26 through Dec. 31 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Suggested donation of $5 per car.

More than 70 displays along Lakeshore Park’s 54 acres with Lake Erie as the backdrop.

Deck the Halls at Stan Hywet
714 North Portage Path, Akron
Select dates between Nov. 26 and Dec. 30. Check online for times and to purchase tickets,

More than a million lights help bring the theme, “Lights, Cameras, Christmas” to life. That gardens will dazzle this year with three holiday songs choreographed to lights.

A Christmas Carol
1501 Euclid Ave., Cleveland
Nov 26 to Nov. 28. Tickets are $38 to $80.

The Great Lakes Theatre presents the holiday classic.

Akron Tree Lighting Ceremony
Lock 3, Akron
Nov. 26 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Carolers, costumed characters and fireworks. Ice skating for $5. Beer and wine available.

Cuyahoga Falls Tree Lighting
Front Street, Cuyahoga Falls
Nov. 27 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Ice carvings, crafts, live reindeer and train rides leading up to the tree lighting.

Winterfest
Cleveland Public Square
Nov. 27 at 7 p.m.

Tree lighting ceremony and other holiday activities for the whole family.

Kirtland Nativity Exhibit
7800 Kirtland Chardon Rd., Kirtland
Nov. 28 to Dec. 31. Closed Christmas Day.

The exhibit features nativity scenes from more than 70 countries

Country Lights Drive-Thru
8800 Euclid Chard Rd., Kirtland
Nov. 30 to Dec. 22 from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tickets available online and in advance only. $27.50 per carload.

The Lake Metroparks Farmpark gets a festive makeover. Enjoy the ride, which takes 20 to 45 minutes, from the comfort of your own car.

Christmas Lighting of the Square
100 Short Ct. St., Chardon
Dec. 2 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Bands, hot cider and even Santa in a horse-drawn sleigh as the Chardon Square lights up for the holiday season.

Elf The Musical
17801 Detroit Ave., Lakewood
Dec. 3 to Jan. 2. Tickets are $34 for adults and $12 for students with ID.

Based on the popular Christmas movie, this musical brings Buddy the elf to life with song at the Beck Center for the Arts.

The Nutcracker
1615 Euclid Ave., Cleveland
Dec. 3 and Dec. 4. Tickets start at $25.

The Cleveland Ballet performs The Nutcracker at Playhouse Square’s Connor Palace. Just five performances.

Patriotic Santa
Public Square, Cleveland
Dec. 4, 11 and 18 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Free.

Cuyahoga County Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument will have photos with the Civil War Santa. You must bring your own camera.

(Photo courtesy: the Cuyahoga County Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument)

5th Street Flea
530 Euclid Ave., Cleveland
Dec. 4 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

A holiday shopping event at the 5th Street Arcades with more than 70 small businesses, live music and food.

Light Up Lakewood
Detroit Avenue, downtown Lakewood
Dec. 4 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

A holiday parade, lighting ceremony, fireworks, beer garden, ice carvings, food trucks and games.

Maple Heights Holiday Lighting Ceremony
5353 Lee Rd., Maple Heights
Dec. 4 from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The ever-growing display includes trees, ornaments and bows at city hall.

Holiday Circlefest
University Circle
Dec. 5 from noon to 7 p.m.

Ice skating, food trucks, holiday market and horse-drawn carriage rides. Special events at participating museums and venues.

Wintertide
Gordon Square Arts District, Cleveland
Dec. 11 from noon to 6 p.m.

A festival featuring live performances, activities, shopping and movies at the Capitol Theatre.

Cleveland Bazaar Holiday
1300 West 78th St., Cleveland
Dec. 11 and Dec. 12.

The annual show at 78th Street Studios is back with four floors and more than 150 artists.

The Nutcracker
198 Hill St., Akron
Dec. 16 and Dec. 17. Tickets are $20 for the public.

A collaboration between the Akron Symphony Orchestra, the Verb Ballets, Firestone High School and Stan Hywet.

Ugly Sweater Bar Crawl
Warehouse District, Cleveland
Dec. 18 from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tickets start at $15.

Six bars on West 6th Street with holiday-themed drinks and specials. Admission includes cover charges.

Scuba Claus at the Greater Cleveland Aquarium
2000 Sycamore St., Cleveland
Dec. 18 to 22. Timed arrivals. Ages 13 and up are $24.95, and ages 2 to 12 are $18.95.

Experience Santa Claus like never before! The jolly old elf dives with the sharks.

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