6 Things in Ohio You Won’t Want To Miss This Christmas Season

If you want something to do this holiday season, there are a wealth of options available to you in Cleveland and throughout northern Ohio.

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To help you get into the spirit, we’ve picked our six favorite local events, attractions, and places to visit if you want a nice dose of the holidays this December.

Some of these you most definitely know about already (including the first one), but a helpful holiday reminder can't hurt!

1) Cleveland Orchestra, Cleveland

It does not get much better than the Cleveland Orchestra. Routinely ranked among the world’s best, look for holiday performances by this acclaimed group of world class musicians. Every year we are treated to Christmas concerts and holiday performances by Cleveland’s best, and this year will be no different. If you haven’t seen a show by them, this is the year to change that.

2) Country Lights, Lake Farmpark

Imagine horse drawn wagons, Santa’s workshop, decorated trees, appearances by Santa, and more. That’s what Lake Farmpark turns into during the holiday season for Country Lights, a celebration designed for the entire family. If you want to go, though, get your tickets early, because there are limited tickets and they tend to sell out fast.

3) Public Square, Cleveland

Every year in Cleveland’s Public Square, WinterFest brings more than 50,000 people into town to celebrate with a tree lighting, music, and much more. The event takes place the weekend after Thanksgiving and is not to be missed. It’s one of the city’s best holiday events!

4) Ohio Theater, Playhouse Square, Cleveland

Cleveland has a LOT of fantastic holiday traditions, and the annual production of ‘A Christmas Carol’ at the Ohio Theater at Playhouse Square is one of them. Starting November 28, this delightful stage production of the holiday classic has proven to be one of the city’s best Christmas treats. You and your family won’t want to miss it.

5) Winter Waterland, Cleveland Aquarium

December is a fantastic month at the Cleveland Aquarium, when the place is transformed into a wondrous, wintery wonderland that is a perfect holiday day trip for the family. They are open daily and it’s worth a visit, holiday transformation or not, because the Aquarium is a great day out with the family all year round!

6) Nela Park, East Cleveland

For over 90 years, the big holiday display at Nela Park’s GE Lighting Center has been a beloved Cleveland tradition – and trust us, you’ll want to see it. GE lines their property along Noble Road with a huge, bright, must-see display of Christmas decorations that will take your breath away. Well worth hopping in the car for a quick trip.

Any other suggestions we should keep in mind? Let us know in the comments. Also, keep your eyes on this space, because we have another list of 7 great holiday escapes in the Cleveland and Northern Ohio area. Enjoy!

4 November Volunteer & Charity Opportunities in Chagrin Falls

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Whether it’s through volunteering or via charitable contributions, assisting your local nonprofits aids them in making the Chagrin Valley a better place to live.

These are four organizations we think are worth your attention and support:

The Chagrin Valley Jaycees

Getting involved with the Jaycees is a great way to keep some of Chagrin Falls’ most enjoyable happenings alive.

Responsible for events like the Annual Blossom Time festival and the Blossom Time Road Race, as well as volunteering to help decorate the town for the Christmas season, helping the Chagrin Valley Jaycees helps ensure this remains one of the region’s most breathtaking destinations.

Valley Art Center

The visual arts and the cultural enrichment they provide are vital to any community, which is why the non-profit Valley Art Center works to provide classes, exhibits, and more to thousands of students in Northeast Ohio.

Thanks to their efforts, we enjoy the Valley Art Center Mural, the Art by the Falls outdoor show, and an appreciation for the arts throughout the region, while also helping create a new generation of people who love and create art.

Chagrin Falls Dads’ Club

Since 1996, this non-profit organization has worked to improve educational, recreational, and social opportunities for children of the area. Over the years, they have raised over $350,000 for our schools.

All Dads living in the Chagrin School District who want to help find ways to make our schools, family and community better are welcome. Their efforts have helped bring new playgrounds to children, smartboards into their classrooms, playing fields, and more.

Give! Chagrin Valley

Existing for nearly 60 years under several different names, Give! Chagrin Valley is devoted to making life throughout the Valley a little better. Give! identifies local organizations in need and reviews projects those organizations hope to accomplish.

Once beneficiaries have been selected, they work to raise funds, boost awareness, and help make the recipient’s goals a reality.

They are also involved with supporting the Annual Blossom Time festival and related events, and in supporting the efforts of the Chagrin Valley Jaycees. 

Ride to Ohio’s Mysterious Gravity Hill This Halloween

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Ohio is full of weird places, and in some of them you can experience the weirdness firsthand. Mentor’s “Gravity Hill” is one of them.

Imagine stopping your car at the bottom of a hill, placing it in neutral, and then sitting back as your car rolls UP the hill, hits the crest, and down the other side.

Sounds impossible, right? Like something that can only exist in your imagination?

Turns out you don’t need to imagine it. You just need to take a short drive to King Memorial Road in Mentor.

We know it sounds crazy, but it’s true. In fact, Mentor’s infamous “Gravity Hill” is one of many dotting the American landscape.

To find this one, you’ll want to go to King Memorial Road in Kirtland Hills. Find the intersection of Little Mountain Road, then go about 100 yards past it. That’s where the magic happens. Pop the car in neutral – though be aware that local police discourage people from doing this – take your foot off the brake, and wait as your car begins rolling UPHILL.

It’s kind of unnerving. And yes, it’s a real thing.

How does it happen? Most say it’s nothing more than an optical illusion. By all appearances you are sitting on an uphill incline, but in fact you’re actually on a downhill slope.

Sit in your car in front of this “hill,” though, and you’ll be all but certain that you are facing an uphill slope. As you roll, the feeling that you’re rolling uphill is unmistakable, but it’s just a trick of the eyes.

One thing that sets Mentor’s Gravity Hill apart from others in the country is that there are no scary myths about tragic car accidents and fiery wrecks attached to the hill.

Most other “gravity hill” locations come with local legends about flaming school buses and families caught in terrible wrecks, but not King Memorial Road. It’s just a weird bit of local oddness.

So needless to say, if you like weird stuff in Ohio, this is a road trip you’ve got to take, and on or around Halloween seems like the perfect time to do it.

Just one thing that is important to clarify first: stopping in the middle of the road is dangerous and can cause accidents. The hill is a cool curiosity, but don’t be irresponsible. People can get hurt. And understand that the local police probably don’t want you doing this, either.