The kids are out of school for winter break, and mom and dad may soon be ready for a break themselves! We’ve compiled some fun, kid-friendly activities to occupy the whole family over the holidays.
1. Great Lakes Science Center
601 Erieside Avenue, Cleveland 44114; 216.696.4576
The Great Lakes Science Center always makes for an exciting day out with kids, from hands-on exhibits to the NASA Glenn Visitor Center and the Cleveland Creates Zone, but there’s even more to do over the holidays. On December 30, New Year’s Eve Ever, the Science Center will host a celebration, during which kids will have the opportunity to dance in the snow, play indoor winter games and join in on a countdown to the balloon drop. The event starts at 2:19pm. And, Winter Wonder Days are December 26 through December 30, including special programming like the Fortnite: Snow Battle and carpet skating. Visit greatscience.com for more information.
2. Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
3900 Wildlife Way, Cleveland 44109; 216.661.6500
The zoo and rainforest are open all year long, with the exclusion of Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Otherwise, bundle up, or take advantage of an unseasonably warm day, and experience the zoo without the summer crowds. Be sure to visit the Wilderness Trek exhibit and meet cold-climate animals like reindeer, sea lions and five species of bears, among other animals. And don’t miss out on Noon Year’s Eve, a celebration from 10am-1pm on December 31. Music, dancing, crafts and more will be available, as well as a ball drop at noon. Visit clevelandmetroparks.com/zoo for more information.
3. Adrenaline Monkey
26800 Renaissance Parkway, Cleveland 44128; 216.282.3100
Need to burn off some energy? A family adventure center and arcade, Adrenaline Monkey has endless options for entertainment for kids and adults alike. With courses like climbing walls, parkour, ninja courses and aerial ropes, new challenges from beginner to advanced will keep visitors coming back time and time again. Check the calendar at adrenalinemonkeyfun.com for fun events that continue through the holidays, as the facility is only closed on December 24 and 25.
4. A Christmas Story House
3159 West 11th Street, Cleveland 44109; 216.298.4919
It’s the perfect time of year to watch A Christmas Story as a family, and then experience it in real life! Among the props and costumes are the toys from the Higbee's window, Randy's snowsuit and zeppelin, the chalkboard from Miss Shields' classroom and the family car. After reliving A Christmas Story at Ralphie's house, don't forget to visit the museum gift shop for your own Major Award Leg Lamp and other great movie memorabilia. Check their holiday calendar at achristmasstoryhouse.com for fluctuating hour.
5. Public Square
Public Square, Cleveland 44113; 216.503.8103
Take a walk through the Christmas lights along Public Square in the evening, and rent some skates at the ice rink right on Public Square, too. Take in the downtown views while carving up the ice and getting into the holiday spirit. Horse-drawn carriage rides around Public Square are available, too! Visit carriagesofclevelandoh.com for more information.