Best Holiday Celebrations In Cleveland

December 2, 2013 7:00 AM

Situated in the State Theatre main lobby, these five murals were completed in 1921 by James Daugherty. (Photo by Mark Horning)

Clevelanders love the holidays. Hours are spent decorating the house, shopping for gifts, visiting friends and family and seeing shows and displays. There is so much to do during this time of the year that it is a wonder how any work gets done between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. Here is a list of some well-known and lesser-known activities to help keep the holidays bright.

PlayhouseSquare (Photo by Mark Horning)

PlayhouseSquare (Credit, Mark Horning)

Jim Brickman
The Palace Theatre
1564 Broadway
Cleveland, OH 44115
(212) 730-8200

Date: Dec. 7, 2013

Cleveland native Jim Brickman has been called America’s Romantic Piano Sensation and his “The Magic of Christmas” tour will be stopping at the Palace Theatre on PlayhouseSquare in Cleveland, Ohio on December 7, 2013 at 7:30 p.m. Mr. Brickman’s style of playing and performing is unique, which accounts for his 27 top 40 singles and legion of fans (in the millions) worldwide.

Severance Hall (Photo by Mark Horning)

Severance Hall (Credit, Mark Horning)

Christmas Concert
The Cleveland Orchestra
Severance Hall
11001 Euclid Ave.
Cleveland, OH 444106
(216) 231-7300

Dates: Dec. 13-22, 2013

This yearly Cleveland tradition is always a high point of the holiday season for many Clevelanders, featuring the Cleveland Orchestra and Cleveland Orchestra Chorus performing a host of favorite holiday songs. The performance includes sing-a-longs, guest choruses and a “surprise” visitor. This is a great concert to share with the family and is always a sellout.

Related: Best Places To Make Holiday Gift Donations In Cleveland

A Christmas Carol
Great Lakes Theater
The Hanna Theatre
2067 East 14th St.
Cleveland, OH 44115

Dates: Nov. 30 through Dec. 22, 2013

Known far and wide as “Cleveland’s Classic Theater Company,” Great Lakes Theater takes time out from its busy schedule of Shakespeare and Broadway-worthy musicals to perform the ultimate Christmas classic “A Christmas Carol.” With astounding special effects, lighting and staging as well as superb acting, this is Scrooge and Tiny Tim as you have never experienced them.

The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo (Photo by Mark Horning)

The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo (Credit, Mark Horning)

Breakfast With Santa And December Days
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
3900 Wildlife Way
Cleveland, OH 44109
(216) 61-6500

Dates: Dec. 15-30, 2013

No matter what the weather, the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo has a temperature that is right for you. From the always 80-degrees Rainforest, to the less tropical Cats, Primates and Aquatics Building to the open animal displays whose temperatures vary, you will find an area of comfort that you will enjoy with heated shuttles to take you from place to place. Special seasonal activities include holiday crafts, live music, cookie decorating and more plus pictures with Santa and Mrs. Clause in the Wolf Lodge on December 16 and 24, 2013.

Frostville Museum

Frostville Museum (Credit, Mark Horning)

Holidays At Frostville

Cleveland Metroparks
Lewis Road and Cedar Point Road

Dates: Dec. 7-8, 2013

All eight buildings will be open for tours including the Briggs House, Carpenter House, Events Barn, General Store, Church, Jenkins Cabin, Pretchel House and restroom garage. The houses will be decorated in old fashioned holiday charm and cookies and cider will be offered.  Live musicians will be found at various indoor locations as well. Step back in time to learn about a simpler manner in celebrating the holidays.

Related: Best Holiday Volunteer Opportunities For The Family In Cleveland

Cleveland Playhouse
A Christmas Story
The Allen Theatre
1407 Euclid Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44115
(216) 771-4444

Dates: Now through Dec. 22, 2013

It’s hard to believe that 30 years has passed since the premiere of the beloved holiday movie “A Christmas Story” first filled the movie screens. Cleveland Playhouse brings back this family favorite with all of the fun that you remember from the movie. Nine-year-old Ralphie returns with his Little Orphan Annie Decoder Pin, “deranged bunny suit,” leg lamp, Santa at the Higbee Department Store and all the rest.

A Christmas Story House
3159 11th St.
Cleveland, OH 44109
(216) 298-4919

With “A Christmas Story” being back in town, why not head over to Tremont on the near west side and visit the “A Christmas Story” house (located at 3159 11th Street, Cleveland, Ohio) where the movie was actually filmed. Tour the house for a trip down memory lane and stop by the gift shop to pick up a leg lamp in a variety of sizes…and don’t forget to drink your Ovaltine!

Mark Horning is a freelance writer covering all things Cleveland. His work can be found on