Cool Times in the City
Traditions abound at this time of year, when fall and winter pleasures are sure to captivate visitors and locals alike.
Ohioâ€™s premier amusement park, Cedar Point, presents a ghoulish good time during HalloWeekends. Held Friday nights and weekends September 22 through October 29, they are filled with thrills and chills for all ages that rival the roller coasters the park is known for:
Werewolf Canyon offers an encounter with carnivores; the Fright Zone trail is inhabited by monsters and ghouls at every turn; the Lair of the Vampire is one very haunted house; and Fear Faire takes modern thrill-seekers back to medieval times. Pint-sized guests wonâ€™t want to miss the Magical House on Boo Hill, a not-too-scary fun house; Chris Linnâ€™s Magicomedy show; and kidsâ€™ costume contest.
Halloween is also celebrated at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo October 19 through 22 and 26 through 29. Boo at the Zoo features live animal shows, magicians, music and other family-friendly fun.
Since 1980, Geauga Lake has made Oktoberfest an annual event, combining international cuisine, live music and old-world-style entertainment with the fun and excitement of an amusement park. This yearâ€™s fete, September 15 through 17, features a German Festhaus filled with German-inspired dÃ©cor, live entertainment and polka dancing. The event also includes grape-stomping competitions, beer and wine tastings and ice-carving demonstrations.
Take a journey to Civil War times at Hale Farm & Village. The outdoor living-history museum recreates what life was like more than a century ago. On September 9 and 10, skilled artisans and crafters specializing in 19th-century goods â€“â€“ including pottery, ironwork, baskets, candles and rugs â€“â€“ present their wares at Craftfaire. This yearâ€™s Harvest Festival, October 14 and 15, features wagon rides, a pumpkin patch, and plenty of cider and other fall treats. Farm House Suppers, November 3, 4, 10, 11, 17 and 18, take visitors back to a simpler time when hearty foods were the bill of fare. Guests help prepare meals and share in the repast. Reservations are required. See Hale Farmâ€™s Village of Wheatfield in the glow of a Lantern Tour December 1, 2, 8, 9, 15 and 16.
Seasonal celebrations are truly special occasions in University Circle. Located just four miles east of downtown Cleveland, it is northeast Ohioâ€™s cultural arts district, comprised of museums and attractions rivaling those of any large city in the world. Youâ€™re sure to Fall for the Circle October 13 through 15, when 40 10-foot-tall scarecrows make an appearance, amid family-friendly events. During University Circleâ€™s Holiday CircleFest December 3, more than a dozen of the areaâ€™s renowned institutions open their doors for a free open house featuring food, entertainment and special exhibits. The Cleveland Museum of Art adds a special glow with its Winter Lights Lantern Festival, which runs December 1 through 10, and adds the finishing touch to Holiday CircleFest.
Start the holiday season right with Clevelandâ€™s traditional holiday lighting ceremony, Winterfest, November 25 from 6 to 7 p.m., featuring a host of dazzling displays.
The Cleveland Play House brings â€œA Christmas Storyâ€ to the stage November 30 through December 23. Based on Jean Shepherdâ€™s fond and funny tribute to the all-American Christmases of his youth, the story â€“â€“ which is the basis for the film classic â€“â€“ tells the tale of Ralphie Parker and his wish for the â€œHoly Grail of Christmas presentsâ€: a Red Ryder BB gun. Cleveland played a starring role in the movie, since much of it was filmed here. On November 25, A Christmas Story House, where the Parker family lived in the film, and a museum filled with movie props and memorabilia will make their debut.
Nostalgia is also abundant at Lake Metroparks. Penitentiary Glen Reservation Nature Center hosts Woodland Halle Days November 18 through December 31. Featured are â€œCandy WonderLandâ€ with a lollipop forest, gumdrop mountains and other exhibits based on the beloved childhood board game, as well as gingerbread baking. There will also be memorabilia from Halle Bros. department store, the legendary Cleveland emporium without which no holiday season was complete. Country Lights at Lake Metroparks Farmpark, December 1 through 3 and 7 through 23, features a horse-drawn wagon ride past unique displays paying homage to childhood nursery rhymes and the Twelve Days of Christmas. Santaâ€™s Workshop bustles with take-home craft activities, and more than 20 trees are decked out in holiday finery.
Catch the spirit of Christmas Past, Present and Future during performances of â€œA Christmas Carol,â€ November 24 through December 23. Presented by Great Lakes Theater Festival, Charles Dickensâ€™ tale is one of northeast Ohioâ€™s favorite holiday traditions.
Cleveland is known for being a great sports town, evident in the die-hard support for Cleveland Browns football and Cleveland Cavaliers basketball. The Browns schedule includes contests with the rival Baltimore Ravens (September 24), Pittsburgh Steelers (November 19) and Cincinnati Bengals (November 26). Basketball with the Cavaliers begins with pre-season games in mid-October and season tip-off November 1 against the Washington Wizards.
When You go
â€”> Cedar Point, One Cedar Point Drive, Sandusky. 419/627-2350, www.cedarpoint.com.
â€”> Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and the RainForest, 3900 Wildlife Way, Cleveland. 216/661-6500, www.clemetzoo.com.
â€”> Geauga Lake & Wildwater Kingdom, 1060 North Aurora Rd., Aurora. 330/562-8303, www.geaugalake.com.
â€”> Hale Farm & Village, 2686 Oak Hill Rd., Bath. 330/666-3711, www.wrhs.org.
â€”> University Circle, Inc. 10831 Magnolia Dr., Cleveland. 216/791-3900, www.universitycircle.org.
â€”> Winterfest, www.cleveland.com/winterfest.
â€”> Cleveland Play House, 8500 Euclid Ave., Cleveland. 216/795-7000, www.clevelandplayhouse.com.
â€”> A Christmas Story House, 3159 West 11th St., Cleveland. Museum: 1103 Rowley Ave., (across the street). 216/255-6651, www.achristmasstoryhouse.com.
â€”> Lake Metroparks, Farmpark, 8800 Chardon Rd., Kirtland. 440/256-2122; Penitentiary Glen Reservation NatureCenter, 8668 Kirtland-Chardon Road, Kirtland. 440/256-1404, www.lakemetroparks.com
â€”> Great Lakes Theater Festival, 1519 Euclid Ave., Cleveland. 216/241-6000, www.greatlakestheater.org.
â€”> Cleveland Browns, Cleveland Browns Stadium, 1085 West Third St., Cleveland. 216/241-5555, www.clevelandbrowns.com.
â€”> Cleveland Cavaliers, Quicken Loans Arena, One Center Court, Cleveland, 800/820-CAVS, www.cavs.com.
Season of Arts
Cool Times in the City