Events

Everything You Absolutely Must Do in Cleveland This Winter

Published On 11/30/2016 Published On 11/30/2016
The Nutcracker
The Nutcracker | Roger Mastroianni

SNL got one thing right: We just need to get away for a little bit, even if it's from the confines of our homes for a minute as the cold weather sets in (thanks for showing up early, snow). Once you've run out of Joe Biden memes to look at and are sick of seeing everyone from high school you never wanted to talk to again at SouthPark Mall or Beachwood Place because you wandered outside for once, try going to some of these other destinations instead. You’re cold, but not as chilly as a Cleveland winter.

December
Cleveland flea market
Holiday Flea Market | Flickr/Edsel Little

December

Thursday
Dec 1
Great Lakes Brewing Company presents the 7th Annual Holiday Hop. Snuggle into the historic Lolly the Trolley for trips to four different destinations providing holiday shopping, drinks, food, and festivity.
Friday
Dec 2
It’s a whole night of Star Wars-themed burlesque. Yes, you read that right: “The Tease Strikes Back." Featuring Vita De Void, Bella Sin, Dimples Diamond, Noelle Deville, and more.
Friday
Dec 2
Tchaikovsky’s beloved score performed by the Cleveland Orchestra with the Pennsylvania Ballet’s production has been captivating audiences for decades. Don't miss out.
Saturday
Dec 3
Traditional lighting ceremonies abound in Cleveland, but what else can we do? It gets dark so early! Presented by LakewoodAlive and many downtown Lakewood businesses, a holiday parade, ice carving demonstration, and winter fireworks are in store along with a delicious cup of hot cocoa.
Saturday
Dec 3
Wintertide will provide free horse and carriage rides, pop-up music and theatre performances in neighborhood storefronts, and “A Christmas Story” playing at Capitol Theatre for only $1. Gordon Square Arts District is the place to be today to get into the holiday spirit for not a lot of dough.
Saturday
Dec 3
Get ready for the 8th annual Cleveland Metal Holiday Food Drive, presented by WJCU, The Exchange, and Auburn Records. Bring donations or cans of food and gain access to two stages full of the most metal music in the 216.
Sunday
Dec 4
It’s the annual holiday sale at the ArtCraft building, including photography from "Off the Wall" Members Showcase at the Cleveland Print Room, furniture, painting, jewelry, mixed media, and leather accessories from Fount.
Sunday
Dec 4
University Circle is home to some of the country’s finest museums and universities. Take today to check out what’s in your own backyard with free admission admission to it all. Have fun ice skating, ice carving, and end the night with the Cleveland Museum of Art’s winter lantern procession.
Thursday
Dec 8
Hip hop radio station Z107.9’s annual “White Out” concert will feature Lil Yachty, D.R.A.M., Luke Nasty, and Doe Boy. It’s one of the most anticipated parties in the Land, originally gaining the name from the suggestion to wear white to the show.
Thursday
Dec 8
Frank Capra’s holiday film classic will be projected onto the big screen as a live accompaniment by The Cleveland Orchestra, performs Dimitri Tiomkin’s heartwarming score in time to the movie.
Friday
Dec 9
A fusion of all the holiday shenanigans that Tremont is known for come together at the Tremont Brewhaha: The Christmas Story House, Lolly the Trolley rides, fine art, and craft beers. Santas from all over will unite for a one-mile fun run with a bar crawl to follow.
Friday
Dec 9
Grog Shop
Cruel Winter Fest is back for it’s third year presented by Dirty Jones Productions, hosted by Kris Hilton and Walker OG with music by Corey Grand and DJ Chucky Supreme. The local hip hop showcase will feature performances by Tribe Untitled, Bre Vibes, King Zell, Chazz Wit 2, 55 Bagz, Bankiez, and many more.
Saturday
Dec 10
Heavy Metal Flea Market is back for one day only to supply all of the metalheads, goths, and Satanists in your life with the perfect stocking stuffers, collectibles, and rarities. It’s always an evil time. All donations to the event will benefit the James Paul Konya Scholarship in Music at Kent State University.
Saturday
Dec 10
Grog Shop
It’s “Last Call Christmas,” a holiday presentation from a sketch comedy troupe. The guys are snowed in and must figure out a way to stave off the holiday madness; they’ll sing songs about Christmas Ale, there will be fake snow AND fake blood, along with real laughter.
Saturday
Dec 10
Think back to all of the Harry Potter books you read because The Side Quest is preparing a night that no Potter fan will ever forget (next to the release parties of yesteryear). Live wizard-themed music, fortune telling, festive foods, wand pairings, and butter beer cocktails await good wizards.
Saturday
Dec 10
One of the more well-known vending events in Cleveland, this is the perfect time to get a gift for hard to impress relatives on your list. Vintage, hand-crafted, fabulous fair abounds in this highly curated collection of vendors from the Pierogi Lady to Liza Michelle Jewelry.
Sunday
Dec 11
Get outside and move around during the 2016 Jingle Bell Run, a 5k Run and 1-mile family fun run to help the Arthritis Foundation with fundraising and awareness of the #1 cause of disability in America.
Sunday
Dec 11
Since 2004, this holiday market caters to the offbeat, kitschy shopper with plenty of options. There are more than three floors of vendors, and all of the year-round studios are open for business on this most joyous of weekends.
Wednesday
Dec 14
The theatrical adaptation of A Christmas Story is back for diehard Clevelanders that can’t get enough of it, even after 24 hours on the TV screen. With stunning sets and an all-star cast, you’ll be happy you saw this classic in person.
Thursday
Dec 15
Scene Magazine’s annual soirée includes unlimited drink and food tastings along with live entertainment to solidify an evening of sensory overload. They’ll also host a “Culinary Showdown” of top chefs, each receiving only 30 minutes to make a winning dish.
Thursday
Dec 15
Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is whimsically acted out in one of Northeast Ohio’s favorite traditions of the season. Scrooge and the Ghosts of Christmas Past and Future will all be present at the show.
Friday
Dec 16
Free music all night on both stages from The Del Rios, The Beyonderers, Surfer Rex, Cigarette Playdate, and many more; all they ask is that you don your ugliest sweater to the party.
Saturday
Dec 17
Tsk, tsk, late shoppers! At least our local crafting community is looking out for you. Get Cleveland apparel and handmade gifts while strolling through the bright window-filled hallways of The Galleria.
Sunday
Dec 18
B Side Liquor Lounge/ The Grog Shop
Ring the bell! Let friends know they can sip, shop, and sing at this daylong event on Coventry Road. Buy from local artisans upstairs and downstairs, then afterwards listen to some gospel music from Elégie and soul from FunkyardX.
Sunday
Dec 18
World famous Cleveland Orchestra and Choruses will be performing their annual Yuletide program complete with sing-alongs with a special guest. Also, enjoy a special lunch with Santa at Severance Restaurant prior to any of the matinee performances.
Tuesday
Dec 20
Dan Wenninger and Mike Sopko present “Broken Ornaments: A Holiday Concert with an Impulse Towards Destruktion,” a jazz program of holiday classics in the style of Albert Ayler, Ornette Coleman, and Bill Frisell.
Wednesday
Dec 21
Once a year, the shopping district invites unique Cleveland companies to be a part of its pop-up holiday market. This year’s businesses include Chris Deighan design, Foundry Woodprints, Sub Rosa Tea, and more.
Friday
Dec 23
It’s “Home For The Holidays 3 - A Punk Rock Reunion” featuring The Librarians, Cypher, The Atomix, Brave Bones, and The Hooligans. All bands have been reunited with their now out-of-town compatriots for a raucous holiday show!
Friday
Dec 23
The Modern Electric bring their annual Christmas concert to Coventry with help from Columbus friends Nick D & The Believers as well as The Teddy Boys. Gather around the piano to sing holiday originals from this cinematic pop band.
Sunday
Dec 25
Grog Shop
The annual Secret Soul Club X-mess party hits the club with soul, funk, and RnB rarities from Motown and Northern Soul giants. Two bands also take the stage for hip gyrating fun you can bounce around to all night.
Saturday
Dec 31
For those looking for a touch of class and an air of mystery on New Year’s Eve, this may be your chance. Tickets include two drinks, food, and a champagne toast at midnight. No password necessary.
Saturday
Dec 31
The Trans Siberian Orchestra is back in town for their first live performance on NYE since 2008 with their “The Ghosts of Christmas Eve” tour presented by 98.5 WNCX and the Hallmark Channel.
Saturday
Dec 31
The Jazz Heritage Orchestra ushers in 2017 with a big band (17-piece) of educators currently in residence at the Cleveland State University Black Studies Program. Admission includes a champagne toast and hors d’oeuvres.
January
Cleveland Winter Beerfest
Cleveland Winter Beerfest | Mark Byron

January

Monday
Jan 2
It’s every child’s (and possibly grown woman’s) dream to see their favorite princesses skating around an ice rink, wearing beautiful gowns and leotards. Sing along, take photographs, and don’t harm any actual children in the process. Believe it or not, this year actually features Dory from Finding Nemo (go figure).
Thursday
Jan 12
Three local folk musicians walk into a bar: Christopher Black, Ray Flanagan, and Holden Laurence. The punchline is that Black has just released a brand new album that his friends will help him to promote on this momentous evening. It's not that funny, but stay tuned to hear it for yourself.
Friday
Jan 20
It’s easier than it sounds at CWRU Film Society’s 42nd annual Sci-Fi marathon. A full 24 hours of films may have you camping out to catch them all, or come and go at your leisure.
Saturday
Jan 21
“United We Brunch,” an annual event celebrating that coveted meal between breakfast and lunch made better with friends is back with plenty of Cleveland restaurants serving up their best brunch dishes to taste. Tito’s will hook you up with a Bloody Mary and a commemorative glass.
Monday
Jan 23
WWE’s Raw roster storms into town with a Royal Rumble’s worth of WWE superstars including WWE Universal Champion Kevin Owens, United States Champion Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, The New Day, and Enzo & Cass. Smackdowns may vary!
Friday
Jan 27
The fourth annual Cleveland Winter Beerfest is back, this time bringing more than 400 craft beers, 120 breweries, live music, and much more for beer enthusiasts and their friends.
Saturday
Jan 28
This festival will feature live animals, crafts, demonstrations, and everything relating to America’s favorite rodent. Rouse yourself from your wintertime slumber just in time to prepare for (cross your fingers) spring!
February
Brite Winter Fest
Brite Winter Fest | Brite Winter/Robert Muller

February

Saturday
Feb 18
With more than 50 musical acts, a dozen stages in venues both inside and out, and innovative art installations, Brite Winter Fest is a blast that sometimes happens to take place in the middle of a blizzard. It’s all about embracing the winter and building a fire to create your own heat!

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Rachel Hunt is a Cleveland-based writer and event coordinator. She often wishes she could be at two places at once. Follow her adventures on IG @workinggoth.

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