Cleveland in December - Things to Do & What to Wear

Cleveland in December – Things to Do & What to Wear

As the winter season sets in, Cleveland transforms into a magical wonderland with an array of activities and events to enjoy. Whether you’re a visitor or a local, there are plenty of opportunities to make the most of your time in Cleveland in December. From festive holiday events and winter activities to indoor attractions and fashionable winter outfits, this vibrant city has it all. Read on to discover the best things to do and what to wear during your December visit to Cleveland.

Key Takeaways:

  • Celebrate the holiday season with festive events and Christmas lights in Cleveland.
  • Embrace the winter season by engaging in outdoor activities like snowshoeing and skiing.
  • Escape the cold weather by exploring indoor attractions such as museums and theaters.
  • Dress warmly and stylishly with layers, winter coats, waterproof boots, and accessories.
  • Take advantage of the diverse range of activities available in Cleveland to create unforgettable memories.

Festive Holiday Events in Cleveland

Cleveland comes alive with festive holiday events and dazzling Christmas lights during December. From WinterLand and Circlefest to the Cleveland Orchestra Holiday Concerts and Wild Winter Lights at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, there are plenty of opportunities to get into the holiday spirit. Explore the city and experience the magic of the season at these popular events.

At WinterLand, you can enjoy ice skating in Public Square while taking in the beauty of the city adorned with sparkling lights. Circlefest, held at University Circle, offers a winter wonderland of artistic performances, activities, and attractions for the whole family.

Cleveland Orchestra Holiday Concerts

Immerse yourself in the enchanting melodies of the Cleveland Orchestra during their annual holiday concerts. From traditional carols to festive symphony performances, these concerts will transport you to a world of holiday cheer and musical brilliance.

Wild Winter Lights at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

Discover the magic of the animal kingdom illuminated by stunning holiday lights at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. Take a stroll through this mesmerizing display, featuring larger-than-life animal figures, interactive displays, and captivating light shows.

Don’t miss out on these incredible events and the chance to see Cleveland sparkle with Christmas lights. Plan your visit to Cleveland in December and immerse yourself in the festive holiday spirit.

Event Date Location
WinterLand Throughout December Public Square
Circlefest December 18-19, 2021 University Circle
Cleveland Orchestra Holiday Concerts December 10-12, 2021 Severance Hall
Wild Winter Lights November 17, 2021 – January 2, 2022 Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

Winter Activities in Cleveland

Embrace the winter season in Cleveland by participating in various outdoor activities. There are plenty of exciting options to choose from that will make your winter visit to Cleveland memorable. Whether you’re seeking adventure or simply want to enjoy the beauty of the winter landscape, Cleveland has something for everyone.

Snowshoeing in Cleveland

If you’re looking for a unique way to explore the winter wonderland, try snowshoeing in Cleveland. Head to the picturesque Cleveland Metroparks or Lake Metroparks and strap on a pair of snowshoes. It’s a great way to take in the scenic surroundings while getting exercise and fresh air.

Tobogganing in Cleveland

Experience the thrill of tobogganing at the Chalet in Mill Stream Run Reservation. The Chalet features two refrigerated ice chutes that provide an exhilarating ride down the hill. Grab a toboggan and race down the snowy slopes with friends and family.

Winter Hiking in Cleveland

If you prefer a more leisurely outdoor activity, winter hiking is the perfect choice. The Cleveland Metroparks, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, and other nearby parks offer scenic trails that are transformed by the winter landscape. Lace up your hiking boots and embark on a peaceful winter hike.

Skiing in Cleveland

For those who love skiing or snowboarding, Cleveland offers the perfect slopes. Visit the Boston Mills/Brandywine Ski Resort, located just outside the city, for a day of skiing or snowboarding fun. With slopes catering to all skill levels, as well as snow tubing, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Winter Activity Location Details
Snowshoeing Cleveland Metroparks Explore scenic trails on snowshoes
Tobogganing Chalet in Mill Stream Run Reservation Ride down ice chutes on toboggans
Winter Hiking Cleveland Metroparks, Cuyahoga Valley National Park Enjoy peaceful hikes in winter landscapes
Skiing/Snowboarding Boston Mills/Brandywine Ski Resort Ski or snowboard on slopes for all skill levels

Make the most of the winter season in Cleveland by engaging in these exciting activities. Whether you’re an adventure enthusiast or prefer a leisurely winter hike, there’s an activity that will suit your interests. Take advantage of the natural beauty and unique opportunities that this winter wonderland has to offer.

Indoor Attractions in Cleveland

When the weather gets too cold, head indoors and explore the many attractions that Cleveland has to offer. Whether you’re interested in art, history, or theater, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Cleveland Museums

Visit the Cleveland Museum of Art ( to admire beautiful exhibits and collections spanning over 6,000 years of artistic history. From ancient artifacts to contemporary masterpieces, you’ll find a diverse range of artworks to explore. Don’t miss the Armor Court, where you can see impressive suits of armor from different periods.

Another must-visit museum is the Cleveland Museum of Natural History ( Immerse yourself in the wonders of the natural world as you explore exhibits on dinosaurs, gems and minerals, wildlife, and more. Marvel at the extensive collection of dinosaur fossils or dive into the depths of the universe at the Shafran Planetarium.

Cleveland Theater

If you’re a fan of live performances, make sure to catch a show at Playhouse Square (, the largest performing arts center outside of New York City. With several theaters under one roof, you can experience a wide range of productions, from Broadway hits to local performances. Be sure to check the schedule for upcoming shows like Hamilton or Black Nativity.

Other Indoor Activities

Looking for unique indoor activities? Visit the Brecksville Nature Center in the Cleveland Metroparks ( and have the opportunity to hand-feed chickadees. It’s a magical experience that allows you to get up close and personal with these friendly birds.

For a delicious treat, indulge in paczki pastries at local bakeries like Rudy’s Strudel & Bakery ( These Polish pastries are a beloved Cleveland tradition, especially during the holiday season. From traditional flavors like prune and rosehip to modern twists like Nutella-filled, there’s a paczki to satisfy every sweet tooth.

Discover the fascinating indoor attractions of Cleveland and make the most of your visit, rain or shine.

Winter Fashion in Cleveland

Dressing appropriately for the winter weather is essential when visiting Cleveland in December. To stay warm and comfortable, it’s important to layer your clothing and choose the right accessories. Here are some tips on what to wear in Cleveland to stay fashionable and cozy:

1. Layer Up

Layering is key to staying warm in Cleveland’s cold winter months. Start with a thermal or moisture-wicking base layer to keep you dry. Add a cozy sweater or fleece for insulation, and top it off with a waterproof and windproof outer jacket. This way, you can easily adjust your clothing layers depending on the temperature.

2. Don’t Forget the Essentials

When braving the chilly Cleveland weather, don’t forget to wear a hat, gloves, and a scarf. These accessories not only provide extra warmth but also add style to your outfit. Choose gloves that are touchscreen-friendly so you can still use your phone without exposing your hands to the cold.

3. Get the Right Footwear

Navigating through snowy streets requires sturdy and reliable footwear. Opt for waterproof and insulated boots to keep your feet warm and dry. Look for boots with good traction to prevent slips and falls on icy surfaces. You can also choose to wear warm woolen socks for added insulation.

4. Cozy Accessories

Accessorize your winter outfit with scarves, earmuffs, and hats. These accessories not only provide additional warmth but also add a stylish touch to your look. Chunky knit scarves, faux fur earmuffs, and pom-pom beanies are popular choices that can elevate your winter fashion game.

Now that you know what to wear in Cleveland in December, you can stay fashionable while staying cozy during your visit. Embrace the winter season and explore Cleveland’s attractions with confidence!


Cleveland in December is the perfect destination to indulge in a wide range of activities and events. Whether you’re looking to immerse yourself in the festive holiday atmosphere, engage in exciting winter activities, explore indoor attractions, or showcase your fashionable winter outfits, this city has it all.

Visitors and locals alike can enjoy the abundance of options that Cleveland offers during the winter season. From mesmerizing holiday events and winter wonderlands to thrilling outdoor adventures and world-class museums, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

So bundle up, embrace the cold weather, and create unforgettable memories in Cleveland this December. Whether you’re strolling through the magical Christmas lights, taking part in winter sports, or admiring the art and culture indoors, Cleveland will captivate your heart and leave you with lasting impressions.


What are some festive holiday events in Cleveland in December?

Some festive holiday events in Cleveland in December include WinterLand, Circlefest, Cleveland Orchestra Holiday Concerts, and Wild Winter Lights at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.

What are some winter activities to do in Cleveland?

Some winter activities to do in Cleveland include snowshoeing at the Cleveland Metroparks or Lake Metroparks, tobogganing at the Chalet in Mill Stream Run Reservation, winter hiking in the Cleveland Metroparks or Cuyahoga Valley National Park, and skiing or snowboarding at Boston Mills/Brandywine Ski Resort.

What are some indoor attractions to visit in Cleveland in December?

Some indoor attractions to visit in Cleveland in December include the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Playhouse Square for live theater shows, and the Brecksville Nature Center for hand-feeding chickadees.

What should I wear in Cleveland in December?

In December, it’s important to dress warmly in Cleveland. Layer your clothing, wear a winter coat, hat, gloves, and waterproof boots. Accessories like scarves and earmuffs can also provide extra warmth and style.

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