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

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CLEVELAND– It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

So take check out our list of tree lighting ceremonies, holiday markets, ice skating rinks, Christmas light displays and more winter family fun.


Crocker Park Tree Lighting
228 Market St., Westlake, Ohio 44145
Nov. 18 from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Event parking is $10 with proceeds going to Make-A-Wish.

Live music, including Jim Brickman. Then Santa Claus arrives to light the 50-foot tree.

Bedford Tree Lighting Ceremony
Bedford Commons, North Park Drive, Bedford, Ohio 44146
Nov. 22 at 6 p.m.

Bedford Firefighters Local 1683 will provide refreshments and Santa Claus will stop by to kick off the beginning of the holiday season.

Akron Tree Lighting Ceremony
200 S. Main St., Akron, Ohio 44308
Nov. 24 at 7 p.m.

Singing and fireworks kick off the season at Akron’s Lock 3.

(Photo courtesy: Lock 3)

Light Up Night
2nd Street, Hudson, Ohio 44236
Nov. 24 at 7 p.m.

Santa brings his elves to town to fill the air with music and much more. Browse the crafts and grab something to eat.

Crafty Mart Holiday Show
Musica, Akron Art Museum, and Summit Artspace
Nov. 25 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Early bird tickets are $7 and available here.

Do your Christmas shopping at three Akron locations, where you’ll find handmade jewelry, ceramics, quilts and leather goods.

(Photo courtesy: Chris Rutan via Crafty Mart)

Welcome Santa Parade
200 S. Main St., Akron, Ohio 44308
Nov. 25 at 11 a.m.

More than 75 bands, floats, costumed characters, dance groups and other organizations participate in this annual tradition.

(Photo courtesy: Lock 3)

50 Public Square, Cleveland, Ohio 44113
Nov. 25 from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Free horse-drawn carriage rides and free ice skating, plus live music. Tree lighting and concert start at 6 p.m.

Waterfront Winterfest
Broadway Avenue, Lorain, Ohio 44052
Nov. 25 from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Santa, reindeer and other costumed characters will be there to enjoy the fireworks.

10075 Ravenna Rd, Twinsburg, Ohio 44087
Nov. 25 at 6 p.m.

Louie the Elf will lead the lighting extravaganza with fireworks and other entertainment.

Chardon Square Christmas Lighting
Short Ct. St., Chardon, Ohio 44024
Nov. 30, starting at 5 p.m.

Enjoy the sounds of the Chardon Polka Band before Santa arrives.

Holiday Circlefest
10820 East Blvd., Cleveland, Ohio 44106
Dec. 2 from noon to 5 p.m. and Dec. 3 from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Circlefest is now a two-day event with ice carvers, horse-drawn carriage rides, food and shopping.

Sugar Plum Tour
Five homes in Bath, Copley, Firestone Park and Highland Square
Dec. 3 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets are $35.

Tour five fabulously decorated homes.

Tremont Holiday BrewHaHa
Cleveland’s Tremont neighborhood, including Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church
Dec. 8 and 10

Free Lolly the Trolley rides on Dec. from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Popup shop and party at Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church. Restaurants and business specials. Santas in Tremont race and post-party.

Cleveland Flea Holiday Market
3333 Lorain Ave., Cleveland, Ohio 44113
Dec. 8, 9 and 10. Tickets are required for Friday. Buy them online in advance.

Browse more than 100 vendors, offering handmade and vintage jewelry, art and more, to find the perfect holiday gift.

200 S. Main St., Akron, Ohio 44308
Dec. 9 from noon to 8 p.m.

Festivities start in Lock 4 then move inside the Akron Civic Theatre for a sing-along and the movie “Elf.”

Jingle Bell Bash
200 S. Main St., Akron, Ohio 44308
Dec. 16 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for children.

Enjoy hot chocolate, cookies and Thirsty Dog beer. There’s also ice skating, Polar Putt Putt and Reindeer Run.

“A Christmas Story Live” Watch Party
3159 West 11th St., Cleveland, Ohio 44109
Dec. 17 starting at 4 p.m.

Enjoy food and drinks at the “A Christmas Story” House with other fans of the film. Then watch the live version on FOX on giant inflatable screens at 7 p.m.

Christmas light displays and attractions:

Akron Zoo Wild Lights
500 Edgewood Ave., Akron, Ohio 44307
Nov. 24 to Dec. 30 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults and $11 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 and dozens of displays. There’s also carolers, costumed characters, ice carvers and Santa!

(Photo courtesy: Akron Zoo)

Candy Land has Gone Wild
8668 Kirtland-Chardon Rd., Kirtland, Ohio 44094
Nov. 18 to Jan. 1 from noon to 5 p.m. Free to all ages.

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

(Photo courtesy: Emily Wearstler via Lake Metroparks)

Carlisle Reservation Holiday Lights
12882 Diagonal Rd., LaGrange, Ohio 44050
Nov. 27 to Dec. 30. Times vary. It’s free, but visitors are asked to bring a non-perishable food item for Second Harvest Food Bank.

Stations along the half-mile trail are decorated to represent classic holiday movies and songs. The Little Green Choo Holiday Express runs from Nov. 27 to Dec. 23.

Castle Noel
260 S. Court St., Medina, Ohio 44256
Check the website for dates and times. Tickets start at $17 and are available online.

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.

(Photo courtesy: Castle Noel)

Christmas at Beech Creek Gardens
11929 Beech St. NE, Alliance, Ohio 44601
Nov. 24 to Dec. 23. Times vary by day. Admission is $5. Children 2 and under are free.

Enjoy the lights and trees, visit the Grinch and follow the Storybook Trail.

Christmas Story House and Museum
3159 West 11th St., Cleveland, Ohio 44109
Open year-round from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., except major holidays. There are extended hours during the holidays. Tickets are $11 for adults, $8 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.

(Photo: Darcie Loreno/FOX 8 News)

Deck the Halls at Stan Hywet
714 North Portage Path, Akron, Ohio 44303
Select dates between Nov. 24 and Dec. 30. Check online for times.

More than a million lights help bring the theme, “Postcards from the Past,” to life. Go outside to take in the light show and Gingerbread Land.

Glow at the Cleveland Botanical Garden
11030 East Blvd., Cleveland, Ohio 44106
Nov. 24 to Dec. 31. Check the website for times. Admission is $16 for adults, $12 for children 3 to 12, and kids 2 and under are free.

Enjoy holiday cheer at the Cleveland Botanical Garden, filled with decorated trees, gingerbread houses and carolers.

(Photo courtesy: Cleveland Botanical Garden)

Holiday Lantern Tours at Hale Farm
2688 Oak Hill Rd., Bath, Ohio 44210
Select days from Dec. 2 to Dec. 23. Tickets are $20 for non-members, $15 for members, and $12 for children ages 3 to 12.

Take a lantern-lit tour of the village and visit historic houses decorated for the season.

Lights on the Lake
Lakeview Park, 1800 West Erie Ave., Lorain, Ohio 44502
Nov. 26 to Dec. 31. Santa visits 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Free.

Drive through the light displays at Lakeview Park, then stick around for hot chocolate, crafts and a photo with Santa.

Magic of Lights at Victory Park
7777 Victory Ln., North Ridgeville, Ohio 44039
Nov. 17 to Jan. 1 from dusk to 10 p.m. It costs $20 for a car or standard vehicle at the gate.

This 1.5-mile, drive-thru holiday light show features more than 400 displays. Organizers say this year’s setup is bigger and brighter than ever.

(Photo courtesy: Victory Park Ohio)

Mr. Kringle’s Inventionasium
Level One of Tower City Center, 230 West Huron Rd., Cleveland, Ohio 44113
Nov. 18 to Dec. 30. 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.

(Photo courtesy: Mr. Kringle’s Inventionasium)

Nela Park Holiday Lighting Showcase
1975 Noble Rd., East Cleveland, Ohio 44112
Dec. 8, Dec. 15 and Dec. 22 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Non-commercial vehicles can go inside the gates during designated times mentioned above. Displays along Noble Road can be seen from Dec. 1 to Jan. 1 by car or on foot.

Toy Soldier, Fairy Godmother and Friends Holiday Show
Grand Staircase of Tower City Center 230 West Huron Rd., Cleveland, Ohio 44113
Check the website for dates and times. Free.

Tower City and Olmsted Performing Arts put on this show that’s become a Cleveland Christmas tradition.

Outdoor ice skating and tobogganing:

Chalet toboggan chutes
16200 Valley Pkwy., Strongsville, Ohio 44136
Nov. 24 to March 4. Hours vary by day. All-day tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for children.

Cleveland Foundation Ice Rink
50 Public Square, Cleveland, Ohio 44113
Nov. 24 to Feb. 28. Hours vary by day. Tickets are $10 with skate rental and $7 if you bring your own skates.

The Ice Rink at Lock 3
200 S. Main St., Akron, Ohio 44308
Open starting Nov. 24. Check the calendar for dates and times. Skating is $4 with skate rental and $2 if your bring your own.

The Rink at Wade Oval
10820 East Blvd., Cleveland, Ohio 44106
Nov. 24 to March 4. Hours vary by day. Call the hotline, at 216-707-5033, to make sure the rink is open. Admission is $2. Skate rentals are $3.

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