AAA Travel Tips / Celebrating the Holidays in Northeast Ohio

Celebrating the Holidays in Northeast Ohio

iStockphoto.com / Ron Thomas
By AAA Travel Editor Emily King
January 16, 2018
When the holiday season arrives, check out some of the fun ways to celebrate in northeast Ohio.
Celebrating the Holidays in Northeast Ohio
Courtesy of A Christmas Story House & Museum / NA
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A Christmas Story House & Museum
Have you been known to indulge in the annual marathon running of “A Christmas Story” starting each Christmas Eve? (Guilty!) Much of this holiday classic was filmed in Cleveland. At A Christmas Story House, you’ll be given a tour of the Parker family residence, which has been returned to how it looked when the movie was shot. And yes, a leg lamp sits in the living room window! Peruse the museum across the street that displays props and behind-the-scenes photos taken during filming.
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Courtesy of The Bistro at Gervasi Vineyard / NA
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The Bistro at Gervasi Vineyard
In early November, extensive lights and decorations start going up at this 55-acre Tuscan-themed estate. The Bistro at Gervasi Vineyard (a AAA Three Diamond restaurant) and The Villas at Gervasi Vineyard (a AAA Four Diamond hotel) exude the beauty and joy of the holiday season with decorated Christmas trees and fireplaces, horse-drawn carriage rides, caroling, lunches with Santa and a holiday marketplace. The site feels extra homey this time of year.
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iStockphoto.com / Ron Thomas
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Castle Noel
Mark Klaus has created a must-see Christmas attraction in this Cleveland suburb. His impressive collection of movie props features items from holiday favorites like “Elf,” “Fred Claus,” “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and “The Santa Clause” trilogy. Former New York City department store window displays are another highlight. And reminisce at the thousands of games and toys from decades ago. Were any under your tree in a Christmas past?
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Courtesy of Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens / NA
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Deck the Hall
The gorgeous Tudor Revival Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens, a AAA GEM® attraction, is made even lovelier during the holiday season with more than one million lights. During Deck the Hall, which runs select nights from late November to late December, you’ll get to see the manor house decked out in its Christmas best. A tree lighting, live music and DAZZLE—an animated light show on the grounds—are just some of the nightly events.
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Hanukkah Candlelighting
Each year the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage, a AAA GEMattraction, hosts a 1-hour special event to share the history of Hanukkah, the Jewish festival of lights. Activities include the dreidel game, and cookies are served as well. While you’re there, tour the museum to learn about Cleveland’s Jewish immigrants and how they have shaped the city’s history.
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Courtesy of Hale Farm and Village / NA
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Hale Farm and Village
Make reservations to join one of the 90-minute Holiday Lantern Tours on select evenings in December at this AAA GEMattraction. Tour guides in period attire lead guests around Hale Farm and Village, a working farm with historic structures representing 19th-century life in the Western Reserve. The buildings are adorned with holiday decor and illuminated by candles and lanterns. Learn about holiday traditions from long ago as you marvel at the beauty of this historic site.
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iStockphoto.com / Maria Pavlova
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Holiday Circlefest
University Circle is the place to be the first weekend in December. At Wade Oval enjoy a horse-drawn carriage ride, take a spin around the ice rink and watch the carvers create beautiful ice sculptures. Shop Saturday’s outdoor holiday market. On Sunday, venture inside the cultural attractions around the circle (some of which waive their admission rates for the day) and take part in their holiday-themed activities, including craft projects, storytelling and music performances. Stay for the event’s grand finale—the Winter Lights Lantern Procession.
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Erik Drost / flickr
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Winterfest
Head to Public Square the Saturday after Thanksgiving for downtown Cleveland’s Winterfest. The daylong event includes ice-skating, kids’ activities, holiday shopping, food trucks and horse-drawn carriage rides, and Santa even makes an appearance. The highlight, of course, is the tree lighting after sunset.
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