It’s cold outside – there’s no avoiding it. But that doesn’t mean you have to become a hermit until springtime. The winter months in Cleveland are filled with events around the city, and there is something for everyone in your family to enjoy.
If you’d rather stay inside and enjoy a cozy atmosphere while sipping on a warm latte, there’s tons of local coffee shops to check out. Or if you’re more into seasonal-type activities, there’s ice skating, light shows and so much more – Cleveland truly has it all when it comes to winter festivities.
An Icy Adventure
For those who are feeling stir crazy and want to embrace the outdoors, there’s plenty of fun activities to do with your friends or family outside. An icy adventure worth trying this year is tobogganing at the Cleveland Metroparks Chalet Recreation Area. The twin, 700-foot refrigerated ice chutes operate with or without snow. See how fast you can go (some have hit up to 50mph!) Once you’ve had your fill, head in to the Chalet for some beverages and a variety of snacks—the hot chocolate really hits the spot! Or sit by the fireplace and watch as other riders head down the hill. Keep in mind all riders must be 42” or taller and gloves or mittens are required.
Tobogganing is available from November 23rd through early March during the following hours:
Fridays: 6 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.
Saturdays: 12 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.
Sundays: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Another icy experience in the heart of the city is the Cleveland Foundation Skating Rink: Cleveland’s “coolest” attraction. Open now through mid-February, it’s a perfect activity for anyone wanting to get outside, have fun and get some exercise! In addition to ice skating, Public Square offers live performances on certain nights, and a festive light display.
Did you know Cleveland is home to the nation’s largest indoor adventure park? The 25,000-square-foot active entertainment facility features a mix of challenging, fun and entertaining activities to keep you and your entire family moving, no matter the weather. Play: CLE is great for all ages and includes activities such as zip lines, a climbing wall, a ropes course, bouldering, parkour and a ninja warrior course. If you’re not in the mood to run around, the facility also includes a dining area with food and beverages (including beer and wine for those 21 and up). Save some time by filling out the waiver online ahead of your visit.
If you’ve ever wondered what the inside of the house looks like from the classic holiday movie, A Christmas Story, then you’re in luck. The original house featured in the movie is located in the Cleveland neighborhood, Tremont, and is open year-round to the public for tours. The museum features original props, costumes from the film as well as behind-the-scenes photos. Some of the props on display include Randy’s snowsuit, the family care and the toys from the Higbee’s window. Tours run every hour starting at 10:15 AM. The last guided tour is an hour before closing.
Another wonderful way to celebrate the spectacular winter season is at the Cleveland Botanical Gardens. Explore the gardens outside, or check out special activities. Be sure to check the calendar before planning your trip there.
Crepes & Coffee
There’s always going to be a day when it’s just a little too cold to venture outside, so why not warm up with a delicious crepe and a hot coffee at one of Cleveland’s newer coffee shops? Brewella’s is your one-stop-shop for crepes, coffee and amazing vintage décor. No matter what season it is, you can always expect the storefront outside to be dressed to the nines, and the inside covered head to toe in decorations. The owners are always working to create seasonal specials as well, so don’t be afraid to try something new while you’re there. Brewella’s is located at 16806 Madison Avenue in Lakewood. While the shop doesn’t have it’s own parking lot, there is plenty of metered spots or street parking available.
If you’re looking for coffee closer to the city or near the east side, stop in at Phoenix Coffee in Ohio City for some of the best espresso around. Bonus: you can bring your pup with you, too! Or head to Six Shooter Coffee in Waterloo (try the cortado!). While you’re there, check out all of the local artist shops and stores nearby!
So next weekend when it’s cold and you’re looking for things to do—whether you’re an indoor or outdoor person—know that there’s plenty of things to keep you busy all winter long!