It’s time for the winter season to creep its way into our daily lives. Mariah Carrey has been defrosted, and “All Want for Christmas” can be heard at any given time, the beautiful fall leaves have almost all fallen off the trees, and all the stores are stocked full of Christmas decor and gifts. To some, this is the most wonderful time of the year, to others, it’s the most daunting. That’s why I made my 2022 Guide to Cleveland in the Winter, to help everyone plan their best season yet.
I’ve spent the past couple of weeks thoughtfully curating together lists of all the best, most interesting, and fun things to do throughout the winter season in Cleveland. This is not a comprehensive list of every. single. thing. there is to do but more of a curated list from my perspective and experience.
I hope you find this helpful this season! Please bookmark to reference throughout the winter season and share with your friends who will also love it using these easy buttons below. I will continuously update this throughout the season when new events are confirmed. Feel free to leave a comment at the bottom of the page if you feel I am missing something that should be on this list! Enjoy the season.
*This guide uses Downtown Cleveland as its north star and covers things to do within an hour or less away. Addresses for park destinations are all approximate as there is no exact street address for some. Be sure to check the linked websites for the most up-to-date information.
Table of Contents
Hey there! This guide is pretty massive and I know that can be a lot to scroll through. I’ve added this table of contents to help you get to each section quickly and also included a return button at the bottom of each. Hope this helps, enjoy!
- Outdoor Fun
- Christmas Lights
- Arts & Entertainment
- Events & Experiences
- Eats & Treats
- Holiday Markets & Pop-Up Shops
- Have a Staycation
- Iconic Cleveland Christmas Icons
- More Winter Events
Enjoy Nature & The Outdoors In The Winter
I’ll be the first to admit that the snow gets old pretty fast, however, have you gone to the woods after freshly fallen snow? Saw a huge ocean-sized lake frozen over? Or perhaps went fast down a hill on a sled, toboggan, or skis?
Sometimes it’s just the crisp, cool air that makes the outdoors great in winter, other times it’s all the fun things you can do. That’s why I’ve included some of the best things to do outdoors in my 2022 Guide to Cleveland in the Winter. From extreme sports to simple enjoyment of nature, this list covers it all. Keep scrolling for a bonus for the indoorsy people who like to stay active, I got you covered!
Snow-Covered Hikes Through the Woods
One of my absolute favorite things to do during the winter is drive or hike through Cuyahoga Valley National Park or one of the 18 Cleveland Metroparks after a fresh batch of snow (I’m partial to Rocky River Reservation). Every branch, twig, and the tree trunk is coated in white, glistening snow. If you get there early enough, the trail or street hasn’t become muddy yet. It’s absolutely magical. It’s also a great time to go on a hike as the air always feels so fresh and it’s fun to hear the snow crunch as you walk.
I don’t go too crazy with my hikes and tend to stay near trailheads, so please take proper precautions if you want to go on a full hike.
The Chalet Toboggan Chutes
Visit | Mill Stream Run Reservation in Strongsville, Ohio | Opens late November
This has been on my to-do list forever! I’m thinking this is going to be the year I finally ride the toboggan chutes at The Chalet in Mill Stream Run Reservation. These 700-foot tall, twin refrigerated ice chutes operate with or without snow and run from November through early March, weather permitting of course.
Visit a Frozen Lake Erie
I absolutely love it when Lake Erie freezes over. The Lake takes on a magical appearance where everything is frozen in time. Some more adventurous people will walk way far out on the frozen lake, and others like me will step out on it close to the shore just to have the novelty of saying they walked on a frozen Great Lake. Others just admire the sheer beauty of the chilled landscape.
Whatever you choose to do, please be safe and note I do not recommend walking out on the frozen lake as there is no way to know how sturdy and thick the ice actually is. You do so at your own risk.
Have an Ice Day Out on The Rink
Whenever I think of ice skating, I think of the 1992 classic movie The Cutting Edge, in the scene where figure skating darling Kate has to teach ex-hockey player Doug how to figure skate so they can win the Olympics and he learns about the toe pick. It’s a riot, check it out. But anyway, back to ice skating rinks–there’s gonna be several of them around town so even if you have a love/skate relationship with the ice, you should get out there and have fun this season, and don’t forget about the toe pick.
Enjoy the Winter Wonderland with These Outdoor Activities
Sledding & Tubing: There are plenty of hills around Cleveland to have fun sledding and tubing down, but here are some suggestions from the Cleveland Metroparks.
Skiing & Snowboarding: If you like to zoom down the hills and valleys then look into skiing or snowboarding at Boston Mills/Brandywine next to Cuyahoga Valley National Park, or Snow Trails in Mansfield Ohio.
Surfing: Did you know that winter is one of the best times for surfing in Cleveland? That’s right, we have surfers who brave the arctic chill of Lake Erie to catch some frosty waves. (This one is more of a spectator sport if you ask me!)
Bonus: Indoor Activities for Those Who Avoid the Cold
“My favorite outdoor activity is going back inside where it’s warm” – if this is something you’d say, this is the list for you. Sometimes the winter is just not pretty but you just need to be active. That’s why I wanted to include a list of indoor activities you can enjoy throughout the winter in my 2022 Guide to Cleveland in the Winter.
Perplexity Games in the Ohio City Neighborhood
Have fun in one of their themed escape rooms, including The Naughty List, a Christmas-themed Escape room. I was recently invited to check it out and it was SO much fun (see some of my first escape room experience here!)
Forest City Shuffleboard near Detroit-Shoreway & Ohio City Neighborhoods
This year-round sport isn’t just for cruises. Play with friends and enjoy some light activity during the cold months of winter. There is also a bar that serves food.
Play: CLE Indoor Adventure Park Avon, Ohio
This 25,000-square-foot entertainment center is perfect for all ages. Find your inner Ninja Warrior and play on the zip line, ropes course, climbing wall, and more.
Cleveland Rocks Climbing Tremont Neighborhood
Enjoy rope climbing, bouldering, and other fitness training at this rock climbing gym. A unique way to get in your workout during the cool, gray, winter.
Rays Indoor Bike Park West Boulevard Neighborhood
If you miss riding your bike when the snow gets gross outside, check out this huge indoor bike park with lots of ramps.
Sky Zone Trampoline Park Highland Heights & Westlake, Ohio
Have fun with several indoor trampoline-focused activities that range from just jumping to incorporating a variety of other sports like dodgeball, basketball, volleyball, etc.
Punch Bowl Social Downtown Cleveland, Ohio
This entertainment complex/restaurant is perfect for a cold winter’s night out with light activity. Bowling, Skeeball, Darts, Corn Hole, Putt-Putt, games, and more.
2022 Winter Nature Events | 2022 Guide to Cleveland in the Winter
- Now–3/1 Lights On at Chapin Forest Reservation in Kirtland, Ohio
11/19 Winter is Coming at Brecksville Nature Center in Brecksville, Ohio 11/25 Green Friday Hike at West Creek Reservation in Parma, Ohio 11/25 Green Friday Hike at Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Penninsula, Ohio
- 11/25–2/21 Ice Skating Rink at Public Square in Downtown Cleveland, Ohio
11/27 How Animals Prepare for Winter Talk at Tinker’s Creek Gorge Scenic Overlook in Bedford, Ohio 11/27 Hibernation Chat with a Naturalist at Brecksville Nature Center in Brecksville, Ohio
- 12/2–1/26 The Rink at Wade Oval at University Circle in Cleveland, Ohio
- 12/10 Read Polar Express With A Cuyahoga Valley National Park Ranger at Tower City in Downtown Cleveland, Ohio
- 12/26–12/18 Tobogganing at the Chalet at Mill Stream Run Reservation in Strongsville, Ohio
‘Tis The Season to Sparkle & Shine
Like seeing pretty colors in the fall, seeing your city twinkle with hundreds of lights is just as exciting. In my 2022 Guide to Cleveland in the Winter, I’m sharing some of the best places to see Christmas lights in the Cleveland area.
Downtown Winterland Tree Lighting
Visit | Downtown Cleveland, Ohio
On Saturday, November 26th between 4-6 pm, enjoy Winterland, the free kickoff to Cleveland’s Holiday season with the lighting of the tree in Public Square. Find Santa, ice skating, live music and entertainment, and much more at this annual celebratory event.
This also lands on Small Business Saturday, the perfect day to shop at the many great small and local businesses in the Cleveland area. Keep scrolling to see my curated list of shops I love.
Wild Winter Lights at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
Visit | at The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo in Cleveland, Ohio
If you enjoyed the Asian Lantern Festival at Cleveland Metropark’s Zoo, then you’ll love Wild Winter Lights. Transforming into a winter wonderland, the zoo will feature hundreds of light displays along a special trail throughout the zoo. From Enchanted Forests, Starry Skies, Santa’s Workshop, Candyland, and more. They offer drive-through tickets for around $66 a car and walk-through for around $19-$22 per person tickets at varying dates. (Discount tickets available to members)
Find More Sparkle Around Town
Snowflake Garden at Crocker Park in Westlake, Ohio
Have a stroll through a winter wonderland under a lighted arch surrounded by evergreens and ice sculptures, sure to make a beautiful walk and photo-op. Check out other lighting events at Crocker Park like the Holiday street lights and a nightly light show with their 50-foot Christmas tree.
Magic of Lights at Cuyahoga Fairgrounds in Middleburg Heights, Ohio
Drive through the Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds and enjoy the dazzling light display from the comfort of your vehicle. Tickets start at $23 a car.
Bethlehem Hills at Great Geauga County Fairgrounds in Burton, Ohio
Over 40 displays and 2 million lights make up this sparkling spectacle of lights you can experience while driving throughout the Great Geauga County Fairgrounds in Burton, Ohio. Tickets start at $25 a car.
Country Lights Drive-Thru at Lake Metroparks Farmpark in Kirtland, Ohio
Enjoy a magical evening driving through the Lake Metroparks Farmpark all lit up for the season. Tickets start at $27.50 per car.
Cleveland Destinations That Really Deck The Halls
While these aren’t official lighting events, I wanted to include spots around town that have historically decorated for the season on my 2022 Guide to Cleveland in the Winter.
The Arcade in Downtown Cleveland, Ohio
As shown in the photo above, the Arcade is beautiful on its own, but add some Christmas decor and it becomes magical. Visit Monday–Sunday from 7 am to 7 pm to enjoy the festive decor. They may occasionally close early for private events like Weddings. There may also be Holiday music performances, schedule yet to be shared as of the publishing of this article.
Playhouse Square in Downtown Cleveland, Ohio
In addition to the theatre sign lights and the country’s largest outdoor chandelier, you can enjoy seasonal lighted decor throughout the area. Huge, lighted ornaments you can stand inside for fun photo-ops, and other fun lights throughout. There is also the Festival of Trees inside the Allen Theatre Lobby which is a treat to see and free!
JACK Casino at Public Square in Downtown Cleveland, Ohio
This casino was once the former Higbee’s Department Store, famous for its window scene in the cult classic Holiday movie A Christmas Story. The casino is known for decorating it up inside, having its popular cocktail pop-up bar, Sleigh, and decorating its windows out front.
Rockefeller Park Greenhouse in Cleveland, Ohio
This gorgeous greenhouse and botanical garden is quite the hidden gem in Cleveland and a great, free holiday experience for anyone who loves plants and winter decor.
Let me know in the comments your favorite place to see Cleveland all decorated up for the Holidays!
2022 Winter Lights Events | 2022 Guide to Cleveland in the Winter
- 11/19–1/30/23 Snowflake Garden Winter Wonderland of Lights & Street Lights at Crocker Park in Westlake Ohio
- 11/23–1/23 Magic of Lights at Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds in Berea, Ohio
- 11/25–12/23 Funny Bus Lights & Laughs Holiday Tour at Collision Bend Brewing Company in Cleveland, Ohio
- 11/25–12/25 select dates Holiday Lights at Medina County Fair in Medina, Ohio
- 11/25–12/30 select dates Deck The Hall: Gracious Gathering at Stan Hywet in Akron, Ohio
- 11/25–1/1/23 Bethlehem Hills Christmas Lights at Great Geauga County Fairgrounds in Burton, Ohio
11/26 Winterland Lighting Ceremony at Public Square in Downtown Cleveland, Ohio
- 11/30–12/23 select dates Country Lights Drive-Thru at Lake Metroparks Farmpark, Kirtland Ohio
- 12/03 Light Up Lakewood 2022 at Downtown Lakewood in Lakewood, Ohio
- 12/21 Grand Menorah Lighting by Downtown Chabad in Downtown Cleveland, Ohio
Be Dazzled & Entertained This Winter
In my 2022 Guide to Cleveland in the Winter, I am covering many areas, but one of the most fun might be all of the entertainment options that happen during the winter. From Holiday plays to musical performances, here are some of the best things to do in art & entertainment in Cleveland this winter.
A Night Out at The Theatre
Enjoy an evening at the theatre in Playhouse Square with these Holiday classics.
A Christmas Carol at Playhouse Square’s Mimi Ohio Theater in Cleveland Ohio | 11/25–11/27
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer at Playhouse Square’s Connor Palace in Cleveland Ohio | 12/02–12/04
The Nutcracker at Playhouse Square’s Connor Palace in Cleveland Ohio | 12/14–12/17
See more theatre performances in the calendar list below
Kick Off the Season with a Christmas Concert
Home Alone in Concert at Severance Music Center in University Circle | 12/14
Cleveland Pops Holiday Spectacular at Playhouse Square’s Connor Palace in Cleveland Ohio | 11/27
See more concert performances in the calendar list below
Classic Christmas Movie
Catch a Christmas movie at one of Cleveland Cinemas (Cedar Lee, Capital Theatre, or Chagrin Cinemas) Showtimes coming soon so check the links for the most up-to-date information.
A Christmas Story
Why not see everyone’s favorite Christmas movie in the theatre instead of on repeat at home this year?
It’s A Wonderful Life
Every time a bell rings, someone is watching this Christmas classic in a theatre instead of at home.
A Christmas Story Christmas
You’re going to need HBO Max for this one but another sequel to the beloved A Christmas Story is coming out on November 17 and it actually looks kind of cute. Ralphie comes home for Christmas in the 1970s with his family and we’ll see a lot of the characters from the original. It’s giving Vacation (the sequel to National Lampoon’s Vacation) vibes. We’ll see how it goes, it’s on my list. This gets a mention due to Cleveland’s ties to the original movie.
2022 Arts & Entertainment Events | 2022 Guide to Cleveland in the Winter
- 11/25–12/23 select dates A Christmas Carol at Playhouse Square’s Mimi Ohio Theater, Cleveland, Ohio
11/26 Tomáseen Foley’s A Celtic Christmas at Playhouse Square’s Hanna Theater, Cleveland, Ohio 11/27 Cleveland Pops Holiday Spectacular! at Playhouse Square’s Connor Palace, Cleveland, Ohio
- 12/01–12/10 How The Circus Stole Christmas at Cleveland Public Theater in the Detroit-Shoreway Neighborhood
- 12/01–12/29 Thursdays Lunchtime Live Holiday Music (free) at Skylight Park in Tower City, Downtown Cleveland, Ohio
- 12/02–12/04 Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer at Playhouse Square’s Connor Palace, Cleveland, Ohio
- 12/02 Hip Hop Nutcracker at Playhouse Square’s KeyBank State Theatre, Cleveland, Ohio
- 12/03 Season’s Bleeding’s at the Capital Theatre, Gordon Square Arts District, Cleveland, Ohio
- 12/02–12/30 Elf The Musical at Senney Theater, Beck Center for the Arts, Lakewood, Ohio
- 12/02 & 12/9 Cleveland Opera Theatre Holiday Performance at Public Square in Cleveland, Ohio
- 12/08–12/18 Cleveland Orchestra Holiday Concerts at University Circle’s Mandel Concert Hall, Cleveland, Ohio
- 12/14 Home Alone in Concert at University Circle’s Mandel Concert Hall, Cleveland, Ohio
- 12/15–12/18 The Nutcracker at Playhouse Square’s Connor Place, Cleveland, Ohio
- 12/17 & 12/18 Jim Brickman: A Very Merry Christmas at Playhouse Square’s Hanna Theater, Cleveland, Ohio
Have Snow Much Fun at These Winter Events & Experiences
From anticipated annual events to iconic Cleveland things to do, there’s plenty to keep you busy this Holiday season.
Celebrate the Season at Winterland
Visit | Various Downtown Cleveland locations | 11/26–02/28
For 37 years, Cleveland’s citywide winter celebration has been the epicenter for all things Christmas and winter fun in Cleveland. Be sure to check out the tree-lighting celebration on November 26th, and enjoy a variety of activities throughout downtown Cleveland all winter long. (Note: this event was formerly named Winter Fest)
Catch Nostalgic Festive Feels at Castle Noel
Visit | Medina Ohio | Year round
If you’re looking for the country’s largest year-round Christmas attraction, this is it. Enjoy all your childhood Holiday memories, photo-ops, Christmas window displays from New York City’s biggest department stores, props from movies like Elf, The Grinch, and others, the slide from A Christmas Story, and tons more. The perfect Christmas fun for the entire family. They are open year-round, excluding select Holidays. Hours vary. Tickets start at $27.50 with discounts and private tour options available.
Don’t Shoot Your Eye Out at A Christmas Story House
Visit | Tremont Neighborhood | Year round
Everyone’s favorite Christmas movie they are inundated with a 24–hour+ rerun schedule every Holiday season actually has several ties to Cleveland-the most recognizable may be the actual home used as Ralphie’s family home. While they only used the facade of the family home on good ole’ Cleveland Street, the house has since been turned into a museum where the interior was made to reflect the movie scenes as close as possible. You can even rent out suites in this home and the neighbors. Don’t forget the iconic leg lamp.
*Note, this house recently went on the market and it’s too early to know what that means. Be sure to check it out this season if you haven’t before just in case!
Explore & Imagine at Kringle’s Inventionasium
Visit | Downtown Cleveland Ohio | 11/19–12/24
An interactive toy lab where guests can interact and invent their own toys in Mr. Kringle’s Secret Toy Lab. Perfect for kids 2 years and older. Tickets start at $34, all ages are welcome to participate.
Enjoy the Magic of The Festival of Trees
Visit | Downtown Cleveland Ohio/ Playhouse Square | 12/03–12/22
This has become one of my favorite annual events. View some beautifully decorated Christmas trees sponsored by local businesses, groups, and individuals in the stunning Allen Theatre lobby. There are usually other fun photo ops set up among the beautiful trees.
Rock Out & Cool Down at Brite Winter
Visit | at the West Bank of the Flats in Downtown Cleveland
An annual winter festival is held each February in Cleveland’s West Bank of the Flats. This festival brings together people of all ages to celebrate live music, art, and much more.
More seasonal Events & Experiences | 2022 Guide to Cleveland in the Winter
- 11/05–12/24 Santa’s Wonderland at Cabela’s in Avon, Ohio
- 11/11–12/21 North Pole Adventure at the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad in Peninsula, Ohio
11/19 Tree Lighting & Grinchmas Party with Santa at Crocker Park in Westlake Ohio
- 11/19–12/31 Cleveland Botanical Garden Holiday Show at the Holden Arboretum in Kirtland, Ohio
- 11/26–12/18 Pictures with Santa at Petitti Garden Center in Avon, Bainbridge, and Strongsville, Ohio
- 11/26–2/28 Winterland at Public Square in Downtown Cleveland, Ohio
- 11/19–12/24 Kringle’s Invetionasium at Tower City in Downtown Cleveland, Ohio
12/01 Downtown Cleveland Christmas Walking Tour at various locations in Downtown Cleveland, Ohio
- 12/01–12/29 Holiday Tours at the Cleveland History Center in Cleveland, Ohio
- 12/03 90’s Dance Party! A Brite Winter Fundraiser at Phunkenship in Cleveland, Ohio
- 12/03 Krampus Night with Krampus of Cleveland at Cleveland Botanical Garden in Cleveland, Ohio
- 12/03–12/22 Festival of Trees at the Allen Theatre Lobby in Downtown Cleveland, Ohio
- 12/04 Holiday CircleFest at University Circle in Downtown Cleveland, Ohio
- 12/08–12/23 The Toy Soldier at Crocker Park, Westlake, Ohio
- 12/10 Snowday in Detroit Shoreway, Cleveland, Ohio
- 12/11 Enchanted Holiday Princess Ball at Four Points by Sheraton, Cleveland, Ohio
- 12/14–12/18 Scuba Claus Meet & Greet Days at Greater Cleveland Aquarium, Downtown Cleveland, Ohio
- 2/25/23 Brite Winter at the West Bank of the Flats, Downtown Cleveland, Ohio
From Hosting to Toasting, Enjoy Festive Eats, Drinks & Treats in Cleveland This Season
From breakfast with your favorite holiday character to dining with friends under a warm igloo, or taking a selfie in an obnoxiously (on purpose) decorated bar, Cleveland’s got a little something tasty and fun for everyone this winter season.
Breakfasts with Santa & Christmas Characters
Breakfast with Santa at the Cleveland Botanical Garden, University Circle | 12/11 & 12/18
Breakfast with Mr. Kringle at Hilton Downtown, Downtown Cleveland, Ohio | 11/26–12/10
Brunch with The Grinch at The Haunted House Restaurant, Cleveland Heights, Ohio | 11/26–12/25 (TBD)
Brunch with Mrs. Kringle at Hotel Indigo, Downtown Cleveland, Ohio | 11/26–12/10
Breakfast or Lunch with Santa at Lake Metroparks Farmpark, Kirtland, Ohio | 11/26–12/18
Polka Brunch with Santa & Krampus at Music Box Supper Club, Cleveland, Ohio | 12/10
Make Spirits Bright at a Holiday Pop-Up Bar
Mix and mingle this Holiday season at one of Cleveland’s many pop-up Christmas bars that can be found all around town. Here’s what we know is coming, and we’ll keep this updated as more are announced!
Miracle on 4th Street at Society Lounge, E 4th Street, Downtown Cleveland Ohio | 11/18–TBD
This Miracle event returns to E 4th street’s speakeasy-style bar with seasonal decor, cocktails, photo-ops, and more. (Did I see them post a slide like in A Christmas Story the other day? Fun!)
Sleigh Holiday Pop-Up Bar at JACK Casino, Public Square, Downtown Cleveland Ohio | 11/25–12/17
Returning for its second year, this exclusive Holiday pop-up bar will be filled with Christmas decor, seasonal-themed cocktails and treats, and fun photo-ops. Find the drink menu here.
XMAS BAR at Hi–5, East Bank of the Flats, Downtown Cleveland Ohio | 11/10–TBD
New Holiday pop-up bar in the East Bank of the Flats! Holiday decor, food, cocktails, and fun.
Holiday Spirits at Tower City Center | Public Square, Downtown Cleveland Ohio | 11/25–12/31
A new pop-up bar by Nuevo at The Eatery in Tower City Center. Enjoy Holiday decor, festive cocktails, and gathering spaces to enjoy.
Secret Cellar Christmas Bar at Great Lakes Brewpub, Ohio City Neighborhood | 11/23–12/31
Enjoy Christmas Ale, festive cocktails, and seasonal snacks in this secret Holiday hideout.
Cleveland Suburbs & Nearby
Christmas Corner Bar at Around the Corner Bar in Lakewood, Ohio | 11/18–TBD
One of the original Christmas pop-up bars opens up on November 18th this year with Holiday-themed martinis and beer, karaoke, and more.
Blitzen’s at Hudson’s at Hudson’s Restaurant in Hudson, Ohio | 11/24–12/31
Enjoy “extreme Holiday revelry” surrounded by the festive decor at this first-come-first-serve Holiday pop-up bar.
Santa City at The Shipyards in Lorain, Ohio | 11/25–12/3
The third annual Christmas Bar at The Shipyards has a beach theme this year. Find your tropical Christmas vibes at this themed Christmas pop-up bar.
Christmas Explosion in the Bomb Bar at Roll House in Mentor, Ohio | 11/15–TBD
8 Christmas ales on draft, Holiday decor, games, photo ops, and lots of fun.
Let It Snow at Brew Garden in Strongsville, Ohio | 12/1- TBD
Eat Outside in A Warm & Whimsical Igloo
These restaurants really know how to set the Holiday scene in these fun outdoor igloos. Popularized in the 2020s, you can find these igloos (and other shapes) popping up across the city. Be sure to call and reserve yours today, these tend to be quite popular. Here are the restaurants that have been confirmed so far.
Georgetown Vosh in Lakewood, Ohio
Sip on cocktails, small plates, and dinners in a heated igloo outside on a beautifully landscaped and enclosed patio space. Casual and elegant dining options are available and fire pits throughout the patio for enjoyment and warmth. Separate rental fees apply, must reserve your space. Check out the linked website for full details!
Merwin’s Wharf in Cleveland, Ohio
Dine on the banks of the Cuyahoga River in a toasty warm igloo. Enjoy lighted decor, fire pits, and fun. A rental fee applies to the total of your bill and reservations are required. Check the linked page for more details.
The South Side in Tremont, Ohio
Stay toasty in Tremont with two igloo options, one for dining and one for hanging out and enjoying small bites and drinks with friends. Reservations are required, the deposit depends on the date. Click the link for full details.
9’ers Diner in Brunswick, Ohio
Enjoy patio season all winter long in a heated igloo. Deposit and minimum order amount required, be sure to check out the linked website for full details.
Westel’s Alibi & Hush in Willoughby, Ohio
Another place to enjoy outdoor dining in the winter is with their 2 patio igloos. Reservations and deposits are required, full details are at the link.
Pop Culture Cle in Solon, Ohio
Enjoy frozen treats in an adorably festively decorated igloo-like tent. Click the link to contact us for more details.
Baked Goods & Sweet Treats for the Holidays
Enjoy the winter wonder with treats from these local shops that know how to celebrate the season. These are my go-to spots for the season.
Kelsey Elizabeth various locations in Rocky River, Avon, and Chagrin Falls Ohio
One of my favorite bakeries to go to get themed treats for the season (and for anytime, they have fun!). Their Holiday kickoff is on 12/3. Here’s the invite.
Mitchell’s Ice Cream has various locations on the East & West sides of Cleveland Ohio
My favorite flavor, Swiss White Chocolate, usually comes out in January but it’s still winter so it counts. It’s the best flavor. They come out with some other seasonal flavors, too, but the Swiss White Chocolate will get me to leave the house in the snow to pick up a pint.
Here are more Cleveland shops that have shared a holiday menu:
Pop Culture CLE in Solon, Ohio menu,
I know there are more shops that go all out for the Holidays in Cleveland. Tell me who I’m missing in the comments below!
seasonal eats, sweets, & drinks events | 2022 Guide to Cleveland in the Winter
- 12/3–12/18 Kringle Buffet at the Burnham Restaurant, Downtown
- 12/04 Holiday Spectacular Wine Tasting at Flight Cleveland, Detroit-Shoreway
- 12/4 6th Annual 12 Bars of Christmas Crawl® at Dive Bar, Cleveland
- 12/09 Solon Stroll and Pour Holiday Event at Multiple Locations, Solon
- 12/09 Holiday Extended Happy Hour at Pop Culture CLE, Solon
- 12/10 6th Annual Ugly Sweater Bar Crawl: Lakewood at Around the Corner, Lakewood
- 12/11 & 12/18 Breakfast with Santa at Cleveland Botanical Garden, University Circle
- 12/13 Holiday Brewmaster’s Dinner at Great Lakes Brewing Co., Ohio City
- 12/13 & 12/14 Teddy Bear Holiday Tea at the Ritz-Carlton, Downtown
- 12/14 Holiday Movie Trivia Night at Bookhouse Brewing, Ohio City
- 12/15 Holiday Trivia Bash + Ugly Sweater Contest at The Eliot, Tremont
- 11/16 & 12/14 Holiday Mixology Cocktail Class at Quintana’s Speakeasy, Cleveland Heights
- 12/17 Cleveland Ugly Sweater Bar Crawl at Añejo Tequila Joint, Downtown Cleveland
- 12/17 Ugly Sweater Social at Plum Hill Creative Studio, Lakewood
- 12/17 Christmas Farmer’s Market at Boyerts Greenhouse & Farm, Medina
- NEW! – 12/18 Make the Yuletide Slay Drag Brunch at Great Lakes Brewery, Ohio City
- 12/24 Christmas Eve Dinner at TURN Bar + Kitchen in the Ritz-Carlton, Downtown
- 12/25 Christmas Day Dinner at TURN Bar + Kitchen in the Ritz-Carlton, Downtown
- 11/18–TBD Miracle on 4th Street at Society Lounge, E 4th Street Downtown
- 2/10–2/11 Cleveland Beerfest at Huntington Convention Center, Downtown
Holiday Markets & Pop-Up Shops in Cleveland
Shop small at one of the many Holiday pop-up markets and shops throughout Cleveland during the winter season. From curated vintage finds, to beautifully handmade goods and everything in between. My 2022 Guide to Cleveland in the Winter features several markets and shops you should definitely check out!
Looking to shop locally in Cleveland? Check out my huge guide here.
Cleveland Christmas Connection
Visit the I-X Center, Cleveland, Ohio THIS EVENT ALREADY HAPPENED, TRY NEXT YEAR! 🙂
A huge event on
November 18–20 from 10 am till 8 pm (5 pm on Sunday) at Cleveland’s IX Center full of every kind of vendor from seasonal decor, apparel, kids, home, electronics, art, beauty and wellness, garden, and much more. Here is a list of the vendors for this year. Tickets start at $12, save $2 when you buy tickets online. Other pricing options are available. Parking is $10 per vehicle.
Home for The Holidays Shop
Visit Lakewood, Ohio
Going on its 7th year, this boutique Holiday shop in Lakewood hosts dozens of local makers in their shop that has a little something for everyone. Local Cleveland items? Check. Cute Holiday decor? Check. An unexpected gift perfect for that hard-to-shop-for person? Check. Be sure to visit this season Tuesday through Sunday from 10 am to varying closing times between 4 pm–8 pm.
More Holiday Markets & Pop-Up Shops To Check Out
Cleveland Bazaar Holiday at Lake Affect Studios in Cleveland, Ohio |
11/26, 12/03, and 12/10–12/11
You can find this popular Holiday market at three different events this winter. Winterland on November 26th, Lake Affect Studio on December 3rd, and 78th Street Studios on December 10th & 11th.
Revival Holiday Market at Legacy Village in Lyndhurst, Ohio | 12/7 1–7 pm
Enjoy a shopping event with custom mocktails, make & take stations, and more.
Santa’s Little Heathens in Akron, Ohio | 12/10 2–7 pm
A Holiday marketplace for those mischievous ones. Over 50 indie and alternative makers will be at this free event. Connecting two breweries in Akron, you can also expect tarot, beer, henna tattoos, photos with Santa, raffles whose proceeds go towards One of a Kind Pet Rescue, and more.
Gathering at The Market & Home for the Holiday Market at The Common Ground Warehouse in Medina, Ohio |
Enjoy 2 different Holiday markets at the new Common Ground Warehouse. Their grand opening, a Gathering at the Market, lands on November 26th, and their Home for the Holiday Market falls on December 17th and 18th. Both look like lots of fun so be sure to check them out.
Heights Arts Holiday Store at Heights Arts in Cleveland Heights, Ohio | 11/4–12/30
Huge Holiday shop featuring 120 local artists’ goods in a variety of art, home goods, and stocking stuffers.
Winter & Holiday Shopping events | 2022 Guide to Cleveland in the Winter
- 11/04–12/30 Heights Arts Holiday Store 2022 at Heights Arts, Cleveland Heights
11/18–11/20 Christmas Connection at the IX Center 11/19 Holiday Marketplace at Fine Arts Association, Willoughby
- 11/19–12/24 Holiday Market at Crocker Park, Westlake
- 11/19–12/24 Holiday Shop at BAYarts, Bay Village
11/25 Annual Black Friday Shopping Experience at 78th Street Studios, Detroit-Shoreway 11/26 Cleveland Bazaar Winterland at 5th Street Arcades, Downtown 11/26 Avon Winter Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show at Emerald Event Center, Avon 11/26 Small Business Holiday Shopping at 2nd Semester Consignment Shop, Collinwood 11/26 MRKT17CLE Cozy in Cleveland at BLDG 17 CLE, East Cleveland 11/26 Sip & Shop at Shore Society & Him & His, Ohio City Neighborhood 11/30 Holiday Sucre and Shop at Art of Sucre, Fairlawn 12/02 Christmas Market at White Birch Barn, Medina
- 12/02–12/04 Holiday Art Walk at Little Italy, Cleveland
- 12/03 Cleveland Bazaar at Lake Affect Studios, Cleveland
- 12/03 Holiday Market at Plum Hill Creative Studio, Lakewood
- NEW! – 12/03 & 12/10 The Tree Farm at Great Lakes Brewing, Ohio City
- 12/04 Westside Flea Holiday Flight Market at Aviator Event Center, Cleveland
- NEW! – 12/4 Yulemarket at Buckland Museum of Witchcraft, Cleveland
- 12/07 Revival Holiday Market at Legacy Village, Lyndhurst
- 12/09 Hudson Christkindlmarkt at Clocktower Green, Hudson
- 12/09–12/11 Hudson Christkindlmart, Hudson
- 12/10 Queer the Halls 2022 at LGBT Community Center, Detroit-Shoreway
- 12/10 Jingle Bell Holiday Shop at the Grog Shop, Cleveland Heights
- NEW! – 12/11 A Very Industry Christmas at Cordelia, Downtown Cleveland, Ohio
- 12/10 & 12/11 Cleveland Bazaar Holiday! at 78th Street Studios, Cleveland
- 12/10 Solon Hometown Holiday Market at Solon Recreation Center, Solon
- 12/16 Holiday Market at The Screw Factory, Lakewood
- NEW! – 12/17 Deck Mahalls Holiday Market at Mahall’s 20 Lanes, Lakewood, Ohio
- 12/17 Beachland Holiday Flea at Beachland Ballroom, Waterloo Arts District Cleveland
- 12/17 Cleveland Bazaar Holiday Market at Skylight Park, Downtown Cleveland
- 12/19 Walkabout Tremont Light Up Your Holidays in multiple locations, Tremont
- NEW! – 12/29 The Big Cleaning Event at Table for 2, Detroit-Shoreway
Beat the Winter Blues with a Staycation
While it’s hard for many to take a vacation during the winter months with all the Holidays, sometimes the perfect solution is to take a staycation. Just the act of not being at home can sometimes feel like a vacation in itself. So leave the Christmas mess at home and book a room to get away and explore your city. Even better, book a room for New Year’s Eve to make it extra fun. Sharing some of my favorite local hotels in my 2022 Guide to Cleveland in the Winter. Below are some of my favorite hotels that are stylish and in fun locations. There are also some Christmas-specific rooms mentioned below to make the season even more magical.
Wintertime is Perfect for a Hotel Stay in Cleveland
Winter can feel long and sometimes dreadful and vacation may seem far away. This is the perfect time for a staycation at one of the many awesome hotels downtown. Here are a few of our favorites below. Be sure to check the website, or call to book as often there may be a staycation or local discounts offered.
Stay Here for a Modern & Trendy Hotel
Kimpton Schoefield Hotel. We loved our stay at the Schoefield with its comfy beds, amazing bathrooms, and epic city views.
Eat at: Betts, the hotel’s delicious and stylish hotel restaurant. When it chills outside, they have covered patio seating, be sure to call ahead to reserve and make sure they are available.
To do: You’ll be within walking distance of Playhouse Square and Public Square, two places to enjoy Holiday lights and events like Festival of Trees, several Holiday musicals and plays, and Winterland.
Don’t miss: Relax in the very photogenic hotel lounge for nightly wine hour from 5–6 pm.
Stay Here for a Classic Hotel:
Hyatt Regency Hotel at the Old Arcade has simple and comfortable rooms, if you’re lucky you’ll get a view of E 4th Street all lit up.
Eat at: You’re across the street from one of the best foodie destinations in Cleveland, E 4th street. There’s a little something for everyone, but I recommend checking out Indie, Red the Steakhouse, or Citizen Pie Roman Cafe for a quick bite.
To do: Visit Society Lounge for Miracle on 4th Street Holiday pop-up bar or walk to Playhouse Square and Public Square to enjoy Holiday lights and events like Festival of Trees, several Holiday musicals and plays, and Winterland.
Don’t miss: Walk through the inside of the Arcade as it will be all decked out with festive Holiday decor!
Stay Here for a High-End Hotel:
The Metropolitan at the 9 is the place to stay when you are feeling extra fancy. It’s in a stark, brutalist-style building but don’t let the exterior fool you, inside is far more luxurious.
Eat at: The new hotel restaurant The Centro that just opened in early November, serving up house-made pasta, a 900-year-old sourdough brick oven. pizza, and more.
To do: You’ll be within walking distance of Playhouse Square and Public Square, two places to enjoy Holiday lights and events like Festival of Trees, several Holiday musicals and plays, and Winterland.
Don’t miss: Vault, the hotel bar inside an old bank vault
There are several other downtown hotels worth checking out. The Hilton Cleveland Downtown has epic city or lake views plus Bar 32 which offers panoramic views of Lake Erie with cocktails and lite food offerings on the 32 floor. Aloft Hotel in the heart of the Flats East Bank downtown, Hotel Indigo near the Gateway District within walking distance of the Sleigh Pop-Up Bar inside JACK Casino, or the Westin Downtown just a few blocks away from The Rock Hall, The Flats, and more.
Spend the Night in Ralphie’s House
Did you know Cleveland has the actual house they used to film A Christmas Story? While just the facade of the home was used, the home was purchased and renovated to align with the actual interior as much as possible. In addition to visiting the house, now a museum, you can stay the night at either the A Christmas Story house or the neighbor The Bumpus’s home. Be warned, this experience will come with a pretty price tag the closer to the Holidays it gets.
Note: Recently, the A Christmas Story House was put on the market. It’s too early to know what that means for this nostalgic Cleveland icon so make sure you at least drive by and get a picture if you’ve never visited. You may have to get a little creative to avoid the for-sale sign. Hopefully, the new owners keep the museum open!
Feel Like a Kid Again with Mr. Kringle & Company Suites
Mr. Kringle’s Suite at the Hilton Downtown is available 11/13/22–1/8/23
Mrs. Kringle’s Suite at the Hotel Indigo Downtown is available 11/11/22–1/6/23
Staycation Events | 2022 Guide to Cleveland in the Winter
- 11/13–1/08 Mr. Kringle Suite at the Hilton Cleveland, Downtown
- 11/11–1/06 Mrs. Kringle Suite at the Hotel Indigo, Downtown
Enjoy Memories of Holidays Past with Cleveland Christmas Icons
If you are new to Cleveland, or just a little behind on your Cleveland trivia, here are some iconic Cleveland Christmas characters you should know.
Mr. Jingeling learn more
This Holiday icon got its start at Halle’s Department Store in the mid 1950s. Known as “the keeper of the keys”, this jolly Santa’s helper is remembered fondly by many Clevelanders and is still active today.
A Christmas Story House and the Infamous Leg Lamp learn more
The very home used in the cult classic A Christmas Story is a real home that exists in Cleveland’s Tremont neighborhood. You may also notice a lot of homes and businesses have a Leg Lamp in their windows, and now you understand why. See above for more info on A Christmas Story house.
Bruce the Spruce meet Bruce
A talking tree made popular at Higbee’s, an icon in itself.
Mr. & Mrs. Kringle learn more
Popular for their overnight stays at select hotels (see above), the Inventionasium, and other fun Holiday activities.
Great Lakes Christmas Ale find some here
Sure, there are lots of breweries in Cleveland that do Christmas-focused beer these days, but one of the oldest and most popular is from Great Lakes Brewery. They are celebrating their 30th Anniversary by making Christmas Ale this year, cheers!
Did I miss a Cleveland Christmas icon? Let me know in the comments!
Happy New Year
I’m sure we’ll see more NYE party announcements as we get further into the season. Till then, here are the confirmed events that caught my eye.
New Year’s Eve & Day Events | 2022 Guide to Cleveland in the Winter
- 12/31 New Orleans Style NYE at Bourbon Street Barrel Room, Tremont
- 12/31 Foundation Room Disfunktional NYE Party at the House of Blues, Cleveland
- 12/31 Midnight Hour NYE at the 9, Downtown Cleveland
- 12/31 “Noon” Year’s Eve Lunch Cruise on the Nautica Queen, West Bank Flats
- 12/31 New Year’s Eve Dinner Gala on the Nautica Queen, West Bank Flats
- 12/31 New Year’s Eve Concert & Party: Casino Royale at Severance Hall, University Circle
- 12/31 NYC 2023 With Lago Custom Events, Cleveland
- 12/31 New Years Eve Dinner at TURN Bar + Kitchen in the Ritz-Carlton, Downtown
- 12/31 like a slumber party… NYE2022 at Gordon Green, Detroit-Shoreway
- 12/31 A Night at Windows on the River NYC Celebration, Downtown Cleveland
- 12/31 Howl at the Moon NYE Celebration at The Shipyards, Lorain
- 12/31 Bangin’ New Year’s Eve at The Big Bang, Downtown Cleveland
More Events During Winter in the Cleveland Area
More Things To Do | 2022 Guide to Cleveland in the Winter
11/12–11/19 Terminal Tower Observation Deck Self-Guided Tour, Downtown
- 11/18–12/16 Friday Night Lights at Cleveland Museum of Natural History, University Circle
11/7–11/13 Cleveland Pizza Week at multiple pizza shops
- 12/6–1/15 Hamilton at the KeyBank State Theatre, Playhouse Square
- 12/13 Tarot Card Reading at Speakeasy Quintana’s, Cleveland Heights
- 12/17 The Nuevo Island Killer: A Murder Mystery Party, Downtown Cleveland
- 1/x/23 North Coast Harbor Ice Fest, Downtown Cleveland
- 1/21/23 Mentor Chill Out at Mentor Civic Center Park, Mentor
- 2/11–2/18/23 11th Annual Cleveland Kurentovanje Festival, Cleveland
- 2/x/23 Donut Fest at various locations, Cleveland
Looking for more things to do in Cleveland? Check out all of my Cleveland guides here!
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