As the winter winds blow across Lake Erie and the snow starts to cover city streets, Clevelanders and their guests have ample opportunities to get outside and enjoy themselves. From holiday light displays to winter sports, there is no lack of activity during the holiday season. Actually, Northeastern Ohio is world-renowned for a number of its events. If you’ve already tried this Guide For Thanksgiving Weekend Visitors to Cleveland, you might also enjoy the following ideas for more ways to enjoy Northeast Ohio.
Chalet Toboggan Chutes
16200 Valley Parkway
Strongsville, OH 44136
If shooting down a near vertical wall of ice at speeds to 60 mph is your idea of a good time, join hundreds of others at the Chalet in Strongville. Dual chutes for racing your friends operate from the day after Thanksgiving through early March, weather permitting. Children must be 42 inches tall to ride and all riders must be capable of walking up a dozen flights of stairs to reach the top of the chutes. Warm yourself between runs in the Chalet where large fires are always burning and warm drinks are available.
Serpentini Winterhurst Arena
14740 Lakewood Heights Blvd.
Lakewood, OH 44107
Enjoy one of the traditional wintertime sports this winter and go ice skating. But, if the weather is too much, enjoy it inside at the Winterhurst Arena. Just minutes from downtown, this full-size ice arena offers skate rental and numerous “open skate” time slots through the week. The arena also offers Learn to Skate as well as Learn to Play Hockey classes for toddlers through adult.
1501 Euclid Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44115
Every year the Downtown Cleveland Alliance sponsors Winterfest. This year, the festival has moved to Playhouse Square for the first time. With a tree lighting, fireworks and entertainment, the festival always kicks off on the Saturday after Thanksgiving and continues until early January. Immediately following the fireworks, purchase tickets and join the Winter Wine & Ale Fest.
Related: Best Holiday Escapes Near Cleveland
DAZZLE at Stan Hywet Hall
714 N. Portage Path
Akron, OH 44303
South of Cleveland, Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens welcome visitors to this estate that was the former home of F.A. Sieberling, founder of Goodyear Tire Company. The gardens and the estate are decorated for the holidays with more than 800,000 lights. Be sure to catch DAZZLE, the light show animated to music. Each night, the courtyard tree lights are lit by Santa Claus or the Gingerbread Man and children will enjoy the outdoor play space while adults will enjoy be serenaded by local choirs and musicians. A 20-foot-tall poinsettia tree is the highlight of the Corbin Conservatory.
Glow at Cleveland Botanical Gardens
11030 E. Blvd.
Cleveland, OH 44106
If plant-inspired holiday decorations, along with thousands of lights and a generous mix of gingerbread houses, is appealing, be sure to get tickets for Glow. Now in its third year at the Cleveland Botanical Garden, this is both an indoor and outdoor extravaganza. The Garden Express train will take you for a ride through the outside decorations, weather permitting. Inside, take your holiday photo by the two-story decorated tree, or purchase a gingerbread house kit and decorate it at home. There’s a kids’ shopping area as well, where they can shop for gifts for all of those on their list. Ice skating is also available outside on the Rink at Wade Oval.
Related: Historic Walking Tour of Cleveland
Doug Bardwell is a freelance writer, traveling the globe in search of unique experiences to share with his readers. He writes about travel, tech and the active life from his base in Cleveland, Ohio. Doug’s work can be found on Examiner.com