Northeast Ohio holiday activities that make great family traditions


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CLEVELAND (WJW)-- Whether you're a huge fan of Christmas or need a little help getting into the holiday spirit, Cleveland and its surrounding cities have plenty of festive activities perfect for the whole family.

(Check websites for additional information. Dates, times and prices may change. Items listed by start date.)

Castle Noel
260 S. Court St., Medina
Check the website for dates and times.
Tickets are $21. Children 3 and under are free.

Castle Noel is America’s largest year-round, indoor Christmas entertainment attraction. It houses props from Christmas movies like “The Grinch,” “Elf” and “Christmas Vacation.” There’s also animated window displays from New York City department stores.

Christmas Story House and Museum
3159 West 11th St., Cleveland
Open year-round from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., except major holidays. There are extended hours during the holidays.
$13 for adults, $10 for kids ages 3 to 12, and children 2 and under are free.

Take a tour of Ralphie and Randy’s house, check out props from the classic movie “A Christmas Story,” and buy your own leg lamp at the gift shop.

Wild Winter Lights
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, 3900 Wildlife Way, Cleveland
Nov. 22 to Jan. 4. Select nights from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Advance tickets are $15.50 for members and $18.50 for non-members. Children under 2 are free.

The zoo is decked out in more than a million lights with interactive zones, like the Snow Safari, Glacier Glade and Santa's North Pole Lodge.

Mr. Kringle’s Inventionasium
Level One of Tower City Center, 230 West Huron Rd., Cleveland
Nov. 23 to Dec. 24. Book your reservation online.
Tickets start at $18.

Take the family into Kringle’s top secret toy lab, where kids get to help with the evaluation and creation of holiday toys. It’s a hands-on experience and photo opportunity with Mr. Kringle.

Candy Land Has Gone to the Birds
Penitentiary Glen Reservation
8668 Kirtland-Chardon Rd., Kirtland
Nov. 23 to Jan. 1 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., closed holidays
Free to all ages.

Draw a card and become a part of this classic, life-sized board game.

Cleveland Botanical Gardens
11030 East Blvd., Cleveland
Nov. 23 through Jan. 4
$15 for adults, $10 for children and kids under 2 are free.

A world of cheer with gingerbread houses, the Garden Express and holiday music.

(Photo courtesy: Cleveland Botanical Garden/Photo and copyright: Lisa DeJong)

Magic of Lights
Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds
Nov. 27 through Jan. 4, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. nightly.
General admission for a standard vehicle starts at $20.

This 1-mile, drive-thru holiday light show with digital animations and LED technology.

Deck the Halls at Stan Hywet
714 North Portage Path, Akron
Select nights in November and December
Tickets range from $6 to $22

This year's theme is a "Classic Comic Hero Christmas" Explore 19 rooms of the Manor House and check out the giant snow globe, which is new this season.

Scuba Claus
Greater Cleveland Aquarium
2000 Sycamore St., Cleveland
Fridays, Saturdays and Sunday from Nov. 29 to Dec. 22 from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.

Santa puts on his flippers and goes swimming with the sharks. But don't worry, he can still make his list and check it twice.

Tabogganing at The Chalet
Mill Stream Run Reservation, 16200 Valley Pkwy., Strongsville
Nov. 29 through the end of February.
All-day tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for children.

Feel the thrill and chill or the twin, 700-foot ice chutes.

Carlisle Reservation Holidays Lights
12882 Diagonal Rd., LaGrange
Nov. 29 to Dec. 30, Fridays through Mondays from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Stations along the half-mile trail are decorated to represent classic holiday movies and songs.

Huntington Bank Ice Rink
Lock 3, 200 South Main St., Akron
Nov. 29 to Feb. 17. Check website for dates and times
$4 admission and skate rental, $2 if you bring your own skates

Lock 3 is super festive. There's the ice rink for skating, ice bikes and ice bumper cars. Plus, enjoy breakfast with Santa on weekend mornings. It's $15 for children and $10 for adults.

Wild Lights
Akron Zoo, 500 Edgewood Ave., Akron
Nov. 29 to Dec. 30. Select nights from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
General admission adult $16, and child $12. Infants are free, but require tickets.

Christmas lights, local choirs, character appearances and s'mores.

(Photo courtesy: Akron Zoo)

Cleveland Foundation Ice Rink
50 Public Square, Cleveland
Nov. 30 to Feb. 28
Tickets are $10 with skate rental and $7 if you bring your own skates.

Skating at the rink on Public Square kicks off during Winterfest, which features the holiday tree lighting ceremony and fireworks.

(Photo courtesy: Falls Communications)

Nela Park Annual Holiday Lighting Display
1975 Noble Rd., East Cleveland, Ohio
Dec. 6 to Jan. 6

The 95th year of this display kicks off at 5 p.m. on Dec. 6. There are more than a half million LED lights and a replica of the national Christmas tree in Washington D.C.

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