Best Holiday Lights Shows In Cleveland

December 7, 2015 12:17 PM

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Cleveland isn’t the birthplace of lighting, but it is home to Nela Park, the first industrial park in the country and home to its historic Christmas lighting display. Christmas lighting typically begins each year on the day after Thanksgiving, and many displays will continue to be illuminated into January. Pack up the kids, a thermos of hot chocolate and head out to one of the many fine Christmas light displays this year. Here are five of the best, sure to delight your entire family.
Carlisle Reservation
Lorain County Metroparks
12882 Diagonal Road
LaGrange, OH 44050
(440) 458-5121

Bundle up and stroll through a magically decorated park path at Carlisle Reservation, just west of Cleveland in Lorain County. Many local organizations will be sponsoring a “Holiday Movie” scene along the decorated trail. The holiday light spectacular runs through December 30, 2015; but is closed on December 24 & 25. Craft nights are available December 12 & 19 from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. and balloon twisting occurs December 21 and 28, from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Santa will be there on Thursdays, December 10 & 17 from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.  Admission is a non-perishable food item, which is being collected for Second Harvest Food Bank.

Nela Park
GE Lighting’s World Headquarters
1975 Noble Road
East Cleveland, OH 44112
(216) 266-2121

For 91 years, GE Lighting has been lighting up their Noble Road campus to the delight of Clevelanders of all ages. Using a half-million LED lights, which consume very little energy, GE leaves the lights on all day so they can be enjoyed 24/7. Ten display vignettes are set up and visible as you drive or walk down the Noble Road hill towards Euclid Ave. This year’s lighting theme is CLE, and the displays will remain up until January 4, 2016.

Playhouse Square
1501 Euclid Ave
Cleveland, OH 44115
(216) 736-7799

Each year, Downtown Cleveland Alliance coordinates the official 40+ foot tall, tree lighting ceremony and Christmas light display downtown.  This year, RTA medians from Public Square to Playhouse Square will be adorned with ribbon trees and gift boxes crafted by students at MC²STEM High School. The Hannah Building features 40 wreaths illuminated by white LED strings, and the United Way Building will feature giant snowflakes with icicle garland. Lights come on at dark and will be illuminated through the holiday season.

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Medina County Fairgrounds
710 West Smith Road
Medina, OH 44256
(330) 723-9633

Southwest of Cleveland, you’ll find the quaint town of Medina, home of one of the area’s largest drive-through Christmas light displays. The Medina County Fair Ground is the site of the 13th annual Christmas Holiday Light Show. Last year, it featured 85 displays, and this year, with the addition of Mansfield’s rockets, it will potentially be larger. The display is open December 11-13 and 18-27. Hours are Friday and Saturday, from 6:00 – 10:00 p.m. and weekdays and Sunday, from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. Admission is $7 per car, $15 per van and $50 per bus.

Deck The Hall
Stan Hywet Hall
714 N. Portage Path
Akron, OH 44303
(330) 836-5533

Southeast of Cleveland, you’ll find the most elegant display of Christmas lights and decorations at the historic Stan Hywet mansion and gardens. This ticketed event opens at 5:00 p.m. on selected dates through Jan. 2, 2016. With almost a million lights across the estate, both young and old will be mesmerized by the color. Through December 23, arrive early for the Christmas tree lighting, lit by Santa Claus at 5:30 p.m. Area choirs and performers entertain in the Music Room. Be sure to catch DAZZLE, the outside animated light show set to music each evening. Every year it’s a new show.

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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