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Your Complete Winter Events Calendar 

Wednesday,November 26

 

Candy Wonder Land: Celebrate the holidays at an exhibit of scenes inspired by the favorite children's board game Candyland, from noon to 5 p.m. daily (except Thanksgiving and Christmas Day) through January 1 at Penitentiary Glen Reservation, 8668 Kirtland-Chardon Rd. in Kirtland. Admission: free. Call 440.256.1404 or visit lakemetroparks.com.

Festival of Trees: More than 50 locally decorated holiday trees line the rotunda of the Cleveland Play House, where a 24-foot pine dressed up by world-renowned floral designer Don Vanderbrook anchors the display. The fest runs from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily (except Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year's Day) at the Cleveland Play House, 8500 Euclid Ave. Admission: free. Call 216.795.7000 or visit clevelandplayhouse.com.

Holiday Tree Festival: The display features more than 200 trees, wreaths, gingerbread houses and holiday decorations surrounded by 85,000 strings of dazzling lights from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily (except 2 to 6 p.m. Thanksgiving Day) through November 30 at the John S. Knight Center, 77 E. Mill St. in Akron. Call 330.543.8100 or visit visitakron-summit.org.

I Spy Holiday: Take a tour with a miniature spy glass and try to find hidden objects for some holiday fun. You'll score a cup of wassail and a few cookies for your efforts from noon to 3 p.m. daily (except Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day) through December 28 at Hower House, 60 Fir Hill in Akron. Admission: $2-$6. Call 330.972.6909 or visit uakron.edu.

Solon Holiday Tree Lighting: Yummy treats and hot chocolate warm holiday revelers as they wait for the city to flip the switch on the tree at 6:30 p.m. at Solon City Hall, 34200 Bainbridge Rd. in Solon. Admission: free. Call 440.248.1212 or visit solonohio.org.

WinterShow: With the theme "City Sidewalks," the Cleveland Botanical Garden drums up a nostalgic feeling of peering into downtown store windows, marveling at twinkling lights and drooling over elaborate gingerbread houses from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays through January 4 at the Cleveland Botanical Garden, 11030 East Blvd. Admission: $3-$7.50. Call 216.721.1600 or visit cbgarden.org.

 

Thursday,November 27 (Thanksgiving Day)

 

Community Thanksgiving Day Dinner: The American Legion invites anyone who has nowhere to go for the holidays to join members for dinner between noon and 4 p.m. at the American Legion Post 12, 395 Ohio St. in Elyria. Admission: free. Call 440.322.2598 for details.

Fleet Feet Sports Turkey Trot & Costume Contest: Before you stuff yourself with turkey, go on this five-mile race or one-mile fun run sponsored by Hermes Sports & Events at 8:55 a.m. at the Cleveland Convention Center, 500 Lakeside Ave. Bring a can of food to give to charity. Call 216.623.9933 or visit hermescleveland.com.

Thanksgiving at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo: Elephants need to eat their pumpkin pie too! Feed the pachyderms and meet their keepers on Thanksgiving from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, 3900 Wildlife Way. Admission: free. Call 216.661.6500 or visit clemetzoo.com

Thanksgiving Community Meal: Sit down for a feast of turkey and all the trimmings from noon to 1 p.m. at St. Procop Uhlir Hall, 3181 W. 41st St. Call 216.631.0365 or visit stprocop.org.

Friday, November 28

Art of the Nativity: The exhibit contains more than 40 nativity scenes in assorted styles and materials from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays (except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day) through December 28 at Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens, 714 N. Portage Path in Akron. Admission: $4-$25. Call 330.836.5533 or visit stanhywet.org.

Blossom Holiday Lighting Festival: Drive a two-mile lane past 300 individual light displays as high as 45 feet and as long as 200 feet, including "12 Days of Christmas," "Snowflake Archway" and "Tunnel of Lights" from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursdays and Sundays and 6 to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through December 14, and 6 to 9 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and 6 to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays daily between December 18 and January 4 (except Christmas Day and New Year's Eve) at Blossom Music Center, 1145 W. Steels Corners Rd. in Cuyahoga Falls. Admission: $12 per car. Call 330.920.8040 or visit blossomholidaylighting.com.

Christmas Belles: A Christmas program spins hilariously out of control in a Southern farce about squabbling sisters, family secrets and a surly Santa Claus at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays through Sunday, December 14, at Workshop Players, 44820 Middle Ridge Rd. in Amherst. Tickets: $10-$15. Call 440.988.5613 or visit workshopplayers.com.

A Christmas Carol: The Great Lakes Theater Festival glows with its time-honored tradition of staging the Dickens classic about Scrooge, Tiny Tim and the ghosts of Christmases past, present and future at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, 1:30 and 7:30 p.m. Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays (with additional performances at 7:30 p.m. December 14 and December 21 and 1:30 and 7:30 p.m. December 23) at the Ohio Theatre, 1519 Euclid Ave. Tickets: $26-$57. Call 216.241.5490 or visit greatlakestheater.org.

A Christmas Story: An updated set and a fine-tuned script shepherd the Cleveland Play House's fourth annual production of the story of Ralphie and his quest for a BB gun at 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays through Fridays, 3 and 7:30 p.m. Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays (with additional performances at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, December 4) through December 21 at the Cleveland Play House, 8500 Euclid Ave. Tickets: $48-$58. Call 216.795.7000 or visit clevelandplayhouse.com.

Holiday Bazaar: La Barberia Salon & Spa hosts its first-ever shopping boutique of gifts, food, live bands, raffles and a visit from Santa from 2 to 9 p.m. at Nido Italia, 12020 Mayfield Rd. Admission: free. Call 216.231.7474 or visit labarberiainc.com.

Holiday Lights: The Lorain County Metroparks brightens the cold nights with thousands of lights in its LaGrange park from 6 to 9 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and 6 to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays (except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day) through December 30 at Carlisle Visitor Center, 12882 Diagonal Rd. in LaGrange. Call 440.526.7275 for details.

Larchmere Holiday Stroll: Three dozen merchants welcome the holiday season with good cheer, nostalgic fanfare and awesome shopping sprees. Santa will even arrive to light up Shaker Square from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday on Larchmere Boulevard. Visit larchmere.com for details.

MIM: Actors from Stow, Twinsburg, Kent and Hudson perform the Biblical story of Mary and Joseph with a modern twist at 7 p.m. at the Barlow Community Center, 41 S. Oviatt St. in Hudson. Admission: free. Call 330.414.4522 for details.

Miracle on 34th Street: The classic holiday tale of Macy's Santa Claus unfolds on stage at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays through December 21 at Huntington Playhouse, 28601 Lake Rd. in Bay Village. Tickets: $10-$17. Call 440.871.8333 or visit huntingtonplayhouse.com.

Santaland Diaries: A 33-year-old slacker takes a job as a Macy's Christmas elf and lives to tell about it in David Sedaris' humorously autobiographical play that's sure to bring a smile to even the grouchiest of Grinches at 8 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays through December 20 at Cleveland Public Theatre, 6415 Detroit Ave. Tickets: $10-$24. Call 216.631.2727 or visit cptonline.org.

Seussical: The Grinch will steal your heart as he leads you through the world of Dr. Seuss at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through December 21 at the Fine Arts Association's Corning Auditorium, 38660 Mentor Ave. in Willoughby. Tickets: $23-$25. Call 440.951.7500 or visit fineartsassociation.org.

Village Kids' Shoppe: It's the ideal place for kids younger than 13 to do all their holiday shopping from noon to 5 p.m. Friday, November 26 and every Saturday and Sunday through December 31 at Legacy Village, 25333 Cedar Rd. in Lyndhurst. Admission: free. Call 216.382.3871 or visit legacy-village.com.

Winterfest Holiday Lighting Ceremony: Downtown Cleveland shows off its holiday bustle with Santa flipping the switch to a 600,000-light display before a traditional carriage parade on Public Square at 7 p.m. Admission: free. Visit cleveland.com/winterfest for details.

Saturday, November 29

Festival of Trees: Main Street Oberlin teams with the Oberlin Chamber of Commerce for the ninth annual fest, with Cats on Holiday as the headliner from 6:30 to 11:30 p.m. at Oberlin Inn, 7 N. Main St., in Oberlin. Admission: free. Call 440.775.2423 or visit oberlinchamber.org.

A Polish Christmas: Chicago's Lira Singers, Symphony and Dancers perform carols and folk songs in colorful, authentic costumes at 7:30 p.m. at the State Theatre, 1519 Euclid Ave. Tickets: $30-$55. Call 216.241.6000 or visit playhousesquare.com.

Sunday, November 30

Advent Walk: Celebrate the first Sunday of Advent with a walk to six of Lorain's downtown churches for brief readings and the singing of several hymns at 3 p.m. at First Congregational Church, 423 Washington Ave. in Lorain. Admission: free. Call 440.244.6283 for details. Monday, December 1

Catch the Holiday Spirit Tree Exhibition: Check out the holiday trees decorated by Geauga County agencies and businesses. You can also donate a pair of socks to the "Lots of Socks for Tots" tree from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily through December 31 at Big Creek Park, 9160 Robinson Rd. in Chardon. Admission: free. Call 440.286.9516 or visit geaugaparkdistrict.org.

Christmas Cookies!: Tour Amish and Yankee stores for ingredients, then bake a batch of cookies and take the leftover dough home to make more as part of the Buy Local Cooking Class series at the Goodwin House B&B, 14485 N. Cheshire St. in Burton. Fee: $62. Call 440.834.5050 or visit goodwinhousebb.com.

Cleveland Food Bank Benefit: Northeast Ohio's bicycling community won't let the homeless go hungry for the holidays with this fundraiser. Bid on auction items, like a Lance Armstrong-autographed postal-service flag and a baseball signed by all the Cleveland Indians players from 6 to 10 p.m. at Lopez on Lee, 2196 Lee Rd. in Cleveland Hts. Tickets: $60 and two cans of food. Call 440.729.2499 for details. Tuesday, December 2

Not-Your-Usual-Holiday Concert: Maestro James Gaffigan leads CityMusic Cleveland in a program of music by Gounod, Corelli, Beethoven and Schubert at 7:30 p.m. at Fairmount Presbyterian Church, 2757 Fairmount Blvd in Cleveland Hts. Admission: free. Call 216.321.8273 or visit willoughbyumc.org. Wednesday,December 3 Beary Merry Christmas Show: The craft expo showcases 40 artisans from Ohio and Pennsylvania. A Chinese raffle features prizes like a spa package, sports items and restaurant gift certificates to benefit the Susan G. Komen for the Cure's Northeast Ohio affiliate from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. December 3 and December 4 at Normandy Party Center, 30310 Palisades Pkwy. in Wickliffe. Admission: $3. Call 216.481.9229 or e-mail bearymerry@roadrunner.com for details.

Candy Cane Cruise: Convertibles and jeeps lose their tops and morph into modern-day sleighs as they cruise past restaurants, shops and boutiques on Cleveland's west side from 7 to 9 p.m. on Clifton Boulevard between West 112th and West 117th streets. Admission: free. Call 216.228.4383 or visit academicventures.com.

 

Thursday, December 4

 

Hanukkah Music: Lunch will also be served from 1 to 2 p.m. at Park Synagogue East, 27575 Shaker Blvd. in Pepper Pike. Tickets: $5. Call 216.371.2244 or visit parksyn.org. Not-Your-Usual-Holiday Concert: See December 4 (at 7:30 p.m. at Rocky River United Methodist Church, 19414 Detroit Rd. in Rocky River. Call 440.331.7676).

 

Radio City Christmas Spectacular: The famed Rockettes kick up their heels for the holidays at 2 and 8 p.m. Thursdays, 5 and 8 p.m. Fridays, 11 a.m., 2, 5 and 8 p.m. Saturdays, 1, 4 and 7 p.m. Sundays and 8 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays through December 28 at the State Theatre, 1501 Euclid Ave. Tickets: $29.50-$79.50. Call 216.241.6000 or visit playhousesquare.com.

 Wine in the Holidays: Stroll among wreaths, poinsettias and wrapped gifts before tasting wines and specialty beers to benefit the Kamm's Corner Development Corporation from 6 to 9 p.m. at Puritas Nursery, 19201 Puritas Ave. Tickets: $40. Call 216.252.6559 or e-mail info@kammscorner.com.

 

Friday, December 5

 

Best Party of the Year: Hundreds of local professionals kick off the holiday season by chipping in a few bucks for the Hunger Network of Greater Cleveland to pay for 400,000 meals for the needy this winter. Party from 6:30 to 11 p.m. at the Intercontinental Hotel, 8800 Euclid Ave. Tickets: $85-$95. Call 216.619.8155 or visit hungernetwork.org.

Children's Hanukkah Celebration: Enjoy traditional Hanukkah songs by high school students at 7 p.m. at Borders, 2101 Richmond Rd. in Beachwood. Admission: free. Call 216.292.2660 or visit borders.com. Christmas Candlelite Walk: Soak in an old-fashioned country Christmas with caroling, craft shows and St. Nick at the French Creek District from noon to 10 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday along St. Rtes. 83, 254 and 611 in Avon. Admission: free. Call 440.934.6119 or visit frenchcreekdistrict.org.

A Little House Christmas: The Kent Trumbull Theatre stages the family-friendly Christmas play, which is based on the '70s TV drama, Little House on the Prairie, at 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays through December 14 at the Kent Trumbull Theatre, 4314 Mahoning Ave. N.W. in Warren. Tickets: $5-$10. Call 330.675.8887 or e-mail trumbullboxoffice@kent.edu to make reservations.

Not-Your-Usual-Holiday Concert: See December 2 (at 8 p.m. at Willoughby United Methodist Church, 15 Public Square in Willoughby. Call 216.321.8273 or visit willoughbyumc.org.). Peter Pan: The holidays take off on a high-flying adventure in a production of the J.M. Barrie classic at 7:30 p.m. Fridays, 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays (with an additional performance at 7:30 p.m. December 18) through January 4 at the Beck Center for the Arts, 17801 Detroit Ave. in Lakewood. Tickets: $10-$28. Call 216.521.2540 or visit beckcenter.org.

Sanders' Family Christmas: Set in 1941 North Carolina, the play is a heartwarming country musical in the aftermath of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Showtimes are at 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays through December 21 at Actors' Summit, 86 Owen Brown St. in Hudson. Tickets: $25-$28. Call 330.342.0800 or visit actorssummit.org.

Scrooge!: Catchy melodies and a witty script make this adaptation of Dickens A Christmas Carol an ideal holiday must-see at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays at Cassidy Theatre, 6200 Pearl Rd. in Parma Hts. Tickets: $15-$20. Call 440.842.4600 for details.

Scrooge's Night Out: More than 1,300 revelers are expected to turn out for Cleveland's signature holiday party to benefit the Ohio Canal Corridor from 7 to 11:45 p.m. at the Galleria at Erieview at the corner of East Ninth Street and St. Clair Avenue. Tickets: $35-$80. Call 216.520.1825 or visit ohiocanal.org.

Student Holiday Art Sale: The Cleveland Institute of Art peddles student-made ceramics, glass, jewelry, clothing, ornaments and enamelware from 6:30 to 9 p.m. December 5, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. December 6 and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.December 7 at the Cleveland Institute of Art's Ohio Bell Auditorium, 11141 East Blvd. Admission: free. Call 216.421.7000 or visit cia.edu.

Saturday, December 6

Breakfast With Santa: St. Nick is coming to town to sit down with families over a breakfast of scrambled eggs, sausage, pancakes, potatoes and juice at 9:30 and 11:45 a.m. December 6 and December 13 at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, 3900 Wildlife Way. Tickets: $12-$14. Call 216.661.6500 or visit clemetzoo.com.

Breakfast With Santa: Have your snapshot taken with Santa before you sit down to a buffet breakfast with the jolly old elf from 8:30 to 10 a.m. at Joseph-Beth Booksellers' Bront‘ Bistro, 24519 Cedar Rd. in Lyndhurst. Tickets: $8.95-$14.95. Call 216.912.1975 to make your reservation.

Christmas in Zoar: Carolers, craftspeople and cooks help bring the mid-19th century back to life in the charming Tuscarawas County burg, where Civil War buffs will reenact the historic 1862 Battle of Fredericksburg from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. December 6 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. December 7. Admission: $6. Call 330.874.3011 for details.

Country Hearth Christmas & Christmas in the Village: The town of Burton celebrates the holidays with an old-fashioned flair of home tours and Santa in the Burton Log Cabin from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. December 6 and December 7 at Burton Town Square. Call 440.834.4204 or visit burtonchamberofcommerce.org.

Holiday on the Ridge: Warm up with a cup of hot chocolate and a plate of cookies while you see holiday offerings, like Cecilia Ilg McKay on the harp, a tree lighting and a re-enactment of The First Christmas Story from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. at North Ridgeville Public Library, 35700 Bainbridge Rd. in N. Ridgeville. Admission: free. Call 440.327.3737 or visit www.nrchamber.com.

Holiday Wine & Shop Open House: Scarf up holiday treats and wines as you shop for holiday gifts at 7 p.m. at NOTO, 111 N. Main St. in Akron. Call 330.990.4724 or visit zelionoto.com.

Lakewood Holiday Lighting and Santa Arrival: The city magically transforms into a winter wonderland with its official holiday-tree and sidewalk lighting from 6 to 8 p.m. on Detroit Avenue between Marlowe and Arthur avenues. Call 216.521.0655 or visit mainstreetlakewood.org.

Lunch With Santa: Bring your kids for lunch and a picture-taking session with Santa and Mrs. Claus from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at St. John Ukrainian Catholic Church, 3038 Charleston Ave. in Lorain. Admission: $3. Call 440.326.4805 for details.

Ma & Pa's Horse-Drawn Sleigh & Carriage Rides: Take a ride from the store's vintage-1820 log cabin, where Ma will serve hot chocolate and homemade cookies afterward from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. December 6 and December 7 at Ma & Pa's Gift Shack, 15161 N. Market St. (St. Rte. 422) in Burton. Fee: $5-$40. Call 440.548.5521 or visit maandpas.com.

Mill Hollow Old-Fashioned Holiday: Take a 20-minute tour through the park museum, where a cast of reenactors steps back in time to 1864 from 4 to 8 p.m. December 6 and 2 to 6 p.m. December 7 at the Vermilion River Reservation, 51211 N. Ridge Rd. in Vermilion. Admission: free. Call 440.526.7275.

Not-Your-Usual-Holiday Concert: See December 2 (at 8 p.m. at Shrine Church of St. Stanislaus, 3649 E. 65th St. Call 216.341.9091).

Reindeer Run 5K: The 9 a.m. race begins and ends at Lakewood Park on Lake Avenue in Lakewood. Call 216.623.9933 or visit hermescleveland.com.

Search for the Christ Child: Experience what it may have been like in Bethlehem on the eve of Christ's birth in this indoor presentation from 5:30 to 8 p.m. on December 6 and December 7 at Fields United Methodist Church, 34077 Lorain Rd. in N. Ridgeville. Admission: free. Call 440.327.8753 or visit fieldsumc.org.

Songs of the Season: The Singers' Club of Cleveland performs choral works about Christmas, winter and worldwide peace at 7:30 p.m. at Waetjen Auditorium, 2001 Euclid Ave. Tickets: $10-$20. Call 216.556.4405 or visit singersclub.org.

Tinsel Town - A Holiday Celebration for Families: Bring the kids to Playhouse Square for an afternoon of holiday crafts, raffles and photos with Santa from 1 to 3 p.m. at Idea Center, 1519 Euclid Ave. Tickets: $8-$14. Call 216.771.4444 or visit playhousesquare.org.

Sunday, December 7

Advent Abendmusik: Celebrate the holidays with the music of Hugo Distler, who was an influential early-20th century German Lutheran composer at 6 p.m. at First Evangelical Lutheran Church, 603 Washington Ave. in Lorain. Admission: free. Call 440.244.6286 or visit firstlutheranlorain.org.

Canadian Brass: The brass quintet returns to Cleveland with a concert mix of holiday and traditional favorites at 6 p.m. at the Palace Theatre, 1519 Euclid Ave. Tickets: $10-$45. Call 216.664.6050 or visit playhousesquare.org.

Carols and Choruses of Christmas: John Drotleff conducts the West Shore Chorale and Orchestra in a program of holiday favorites by Pinkham, Praetorius, Helvey and Thompson at 7:30 p.m. at the Magnificat Center for the Performing Arts, 20770 Hilliard Blvd. in Rocky River. Tickets: $15. Call 216.373.7773 or visit westshorechorale.org.

Cleveland Philharmonic Orchestra and Verb Ballets: The ensemble joins the dance troupe in a family concert for the holidays at 3 p.m. at Cuyahoga Community College's Western Campus, 11000 W. Pleasant Valley Rd. in Parma. Tickets: $8-$12. Call 216.556.1800 or visit clevephil.org.

Christmas Time Machine: The Sweet Adelines' Lake Ridge Chorus performs with quartets Voice, Fusion and Mix at 3 p.m. at Clearview High School, 4700 Broadway Ave. in Sheffield Twp. Tickets: $6-$12. Call 440.960.1799 for details.

Lantern Festival & CircleFest: The 15th annual fest is inspired by the centuries-old, cross-cultural tradition of ceremonial lighting displays. It's capped off with a 5:30 p.m. lantern procession to Wade Oval, with dancers, giant puppets and performers encircling the Environment of Lights installations. It starts at 1 p.m. at the Cleveland Museum of Art, 11150 East Blvd. Admission: free. Call 216.421.7340 or visit clevelandart.org.

Not-Your-Usual-Holiday Concert: See December 2 (at 3 p.m. at St. Mary Catholic Church, 320 Middle Ave. in Elyria. Call 440.323.5539).

Monday, December 8

Lights on the Lake: Lakeview Park is decked out with enough lights and glitter to brighten an entire beachfront for the holiday season from 5 to 8 p.m. at Lakeview Park, 1800 W. Erie Ave. in Lorain. Admission: free. Call 440.526.7275 for details.

The Singing Angels: The youth choir promises to make your yuletide complete with its holiday concert at 7:30 p.m. at Cassidy Theatre, 6200 Pearl Rd. in Parma Hts. Tickets: $10. Call 440.842.4600 for details.

Tuesday, December 9

Deck the House Benefit Auction for the Babies: The wives of Cleveland Browns players auction off vacation-home rentals and ski trips to benefit the nursery at Providence House at 5:30 p.m. at Cleveland Browns Stadium's City View Lounge, 100 Alfred Lerner Way. Tickets: $35-$125. Visit clevelandbrowns.com for details.

Family Day: Yiddish Celebration: Make your own candles, trade Hanukkah gelt and sing traditional Yiddish folk songs at 1 p.m. at the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage, 2929 Richmond Rd. in Beachwood. Admission: $5-$7. Call 216.593.0575 or visit maltzjewishmuseum.org.

Handel's Messiah: Apollo's Singers perform this interpretation by Jeanette Sorell, who's brought the piece to life as Handel would have wanted at 7:30 p.m. at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 1361 W. Market St. in Akron. Tickets: $20-$60. Call 216.320.0012 or visit apollosfire.org.

Wednesday, December 10

Guys' Night Out: Dudes are invited on a holiday-store crawl to Crate & Barrel, Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Lilly Pulitzer and Ladies & Gentlemen Salon & Spa to snap up gifts for their wives, moms and kids. The night closes with free drinks at Bar Louie. The spree is from 5 to 8 p.m. December 10 and December 17 at Legacy Village, 25333 Cedar Rd. in Lyndhurst. Admission: free. Call 216.283.3871 or visit legacy-village.com.

Handel's Messiah: See December 9 (at 7:30 p.m. at Christ Presbyterian Church, 530 Tuscarawas Ave. W. in Canton. Tickets: $20-$60. Call 216.320.0012 or visit apollosfire.org.).

Holiday Splendor: Cleveland Institute of Music students guarantee they'll put you in the holiday mood as part of their Musical Luncheon Series from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Stages at the Play House, 8500 Euclid Ave. Tickets: $35-$40. Call 216.791.5000 or visit cim.edu.

Holiday Tour: Walk through dramatic apartment lofts, fabulous condos and spacious commercial venues in Cleveland's historic Warehouse District. You'll also stop at several restaurants to sample their menus from 5:30 to 11 p.m. in the Warehouse District at the corner of St. Clair Avenue and West Sixth Street. Tickets: $60-$75. Call 216.344.3937 or visit warehousedistrict.org.

Thursday, December 11

Handel's Messiah: See December 9 (at 7:30 p.m. at Trinity Cathedral, 2230 Euclid Ave. Tickets: $20-$60. Call 216.320.0012 or visit apollosfire.org.).

Holiday Bling Fling: Positively Cleveland celebrates the holidays with a sparkling party that spotlights treasures from the Cleveland Museum of Art's exhibit, Artistic Luxury: Fabergé, Tiffany, Lalique at 5:30 p.m. at the Cleveland Museum of Art, 11150 East Blvd. Call 216.875.6691 or visit clevelandart.org.

Friday, December 12

A Christmas Cabaret: The Musical Theater Project presents a holiday program of pieces from the American songbook, including "Winter Wonderland," "White Christmas" and "Silver Bells" at 7:30 p.m. December 12 and 3 p.m. December 13 at Lorain County Community College's Stocker Center, 1005 N. Abbe Rd. in Elyria. Tickets: $10-$15. Call 440.366.4040 or visit lorainccc.edu.

Cleveland Orchestra Holiday Festival: Conductor Robert Porco leads the orchestra in a traditional program of seasonal music with its children's chorus and the Cleveland State University Chorale at 8 p.m. December 12, 3 and 8 p.m. December 13 and December 20 and 3 and 7 p.m. December 14 and December 21 at Severance Hall, 11001 Euclid Ave. Tickets: $33-$63. Call 216.231.1111 or visit clevelandorchestra.com

Handel's Messiah: See December 9 (at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 2747 Fairmount Blvd. in Cleveland Hts. Tickets: $20-$60. Call 216.320.0012 or visit apollosfire.org.).

Winter Party 2008: Northeast Ohio's LGBTs prove exactly why the holidays are merry and gay at this annual blowout by the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered Community Center from 7 to 11 p.m. at Tregoning & Company, 1300 W. 78th St. Tickets: $35-$40. Call 216.651.5428 or visit lgbtcleveland.org.

Saturday, December 13

Breakfast With Santa (Cleveland Metroparks Zoo): See December 6. Breakfast With Santa: Have your snapshot taken with Santa before you sit down to breakfast with the jolly old elf from 9 to 10:30 a.m. at California Pizza Kitchen, 25001 Cedar Rd. in Lyndhurst. Call 216.382.4907 to make your reservation.

Breakfast With Santa: Sit down for a pancake-and-sausage breakfast with Santa. He'll give you a candy cane before you go home. Seatings are at 8:30 and 11 a.m. at Carlisle Visitor Center, 12882 Diagonal Rd. in LaGrange. Tickets: $6. Call 440.526.7275 for details.

Christmas Festival Concert: The Patriots Symphonic Band returns to the stage with a suite of traditional holiday carols, including a moving arrangement of "Silent Night" and a reading of The Night Before Christmas at 7:30 p.m. at Lorain County Community College's Stocker Center, 1005 N. Abbe Rd. in Elyria. Tickets: $6-$12. Call 440.366.4040 or visit lorainccc.edu.

Cleveland Philharmonic Orchestra: See December 7 (at 7:30 p.m. at Zion United Church of Christ, 2716 W. 14th St. Tickets: $15. Call 216.556.1800 or visit clevephil.org.) An Evening in December: The North Coast Men's Chorus criss-crosses from one holiday memory to another as it harkens back to the home, hearth and happiness in a concert of both traditional and contemporary Christmas fare at 8 p.m. December 13 and 3 p.m. December 14 at Lakewood Civic Auditorium, 4100 Franklin Blvd. in Lakewood. Tickets: $10-$35. Call 216.556.0590 or visit ncmchorus.org.

Handel's Messiah: See December 9 (at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 2747 Fairmount Blvd. in Cleveland Hts. Tickets: $20-$60. Call 216.320.0012 or visit apollosfire.org.).

Holiday Gingerbread Tea: Kids will delight in a lighthearted romp with Mrs. Claus, Frosty the Snowman, Mousie the Puppet, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and several of Santa's elves, as they sing holiday songs and take pictures with Santa himself a half-hour before and after each Chagrin Valley Little Theatre production on December 13 and December 14. Tickets: $6-$8. Call 440.247.8955 or visit cvlt.org.

Holiday Show Opening Reception: It's a group exhibition of oil paintings, acrylics, sculptures and limited-edition prints by Graig Alan, Galina Didur, Yuri Kuzmin, Lena Karpinsky, Juia Klimov, Shaul Kosman, Bonnie Silberman and Valentin Sorej from 3 to 7 p.m. at Opus Gallery, 27629 Chagrin Blvd. in Woodmere. Admission: free. Call 216.595.1376 for details. Holiday Wreath Workshop: Designer Charles Phillips helps you create a richly decorated wreath or centerpiece with fresh greens, berries and dried flowers at 1 p.m. at the Cleveland Botanical Garden, 11030 East Blvd. Fee: $60-$67. Call 216.721.1600 or visit cbgarden.org.

Holiday Songs at Rocky River: Folkie Hank Mallery blazes through a set of classic and original holiday songs from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Rocky River Nature Center, 24000 Valley Pkwy. in North Olmsted. Admission: free. Call 440.734.6660 or visit clevelandmetroparks.com.

Kuumba Festival: The blowout features theatrical performances dance numbers to celebrate the sixth of the seven principles of Kwanzaa in the African American community at noon at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, 1100 Rock and Roll Blvd. Admission: free. Call 216.781.7625 or visit rockhall.com. Natural Greetings: Create a handmade holiday cards with nature and the winter season as your inspirations from 2 to 4 p.m. at the South Chagrin Reservation's Look About Lodge on Miles Road in Bentleyville. Admission: free. Call 440.247.7075 or visit clevelandmetroparks.com.

Snack With Santa: Rub elbows and take a picture with St. Nick himself after breakfast and a feeding of the penguins from 9:30 to 11 a.m. Saturdays and Sundays through December 21 at the Akron Zoo, 500 Edgewood Ave. in Akron. Tickets: $13-$20. Call 330.375.2550.

Wrap It Up Naturally!: Decorate sheets of wrapping paper and make gift tags for your holiday presents from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Garfield Park Nature Center, 11350 Broadway Ave. in Garfield Hts. Admission: free. Call 216.241.3152 or visit clevelandmetroparks.com.

Bizarre Bazaar: Get down with some of the funkiest crafters around these parts. You won't find any wooden watermelon wedges or floral toaster covers here. What you will find is more than 70 vendors participating in an underground movement founded in Boston in 2001 that spread to L.A. and Cleveland in 2004. We're talking handmade ceramics, clothes, jewelry and much more with a retro-chic approach that'll leave your crafty mom so out of touch that she'll never leave the house again. From noon to 9 p.m. today, and noon to 6 p.m. tomorrow at 1300 Gallery (1300 W. 78th St.). Go to bazaarbizarre.org/cleveland for more info.

Sunday, December 14

Handel's Messiah: See December 9 (at 7:30 p.m. at Rocky River United Methodist Church, 19414 Detroit Rd. in Rocky River. Tickets: $20-$60. Call 216.320.0012 or visit apollosfire.org.).

TubaChristmas: University of Akron music professor Tucker Jolly, former Akron Beacon-Journal columnist David Giffels and burger-eating champ Dave "Coondog" O'Karma are among the dozens of musicians who'll oom-pah-pah holiday tunes on shiny brass instruments that are trimmed with tinsel, garland and lights at 4 and 6:30 p.m. at E.J. Thomas Hall, 198 Hill St. in Akron. Admission: free. Call 330.972.7570 or visit uaevents.com.

Monday, December 15

Gift-Basket Recycling: Go green this holiday season by bringing an empty bag, box or basket and filling it with books, CDs and other gift items. Clerks will even supply free packing, ribbons and gift tags from 7 to 8:30 p.m. December 15 and December 18 at Joseph-Beth Booksellers, 24519 Cedar Rd. in Lyndhurst. Admission: free. Call 216.691.7000 or visit josephbeth.com.

Tuesday, December 16

Holiday Musical Rainbows: For kids up to 10 years old, the music of Hanukkah is played by violinists Stephen and Carolyn Warner at 10 a.m. December 16 and 12:30 p.m. December 21 at Severance Hall, 11011 Euclid Ave. Call 216.231.1111 or visit clevelandorchestra.com.

Wednesday, December 17

Christmas Brass Quintet: The program features host Maryann Nagel, with Jack Sutte, Michael Miller, Hans Clebsch, Richard Stout and Ronald Bishop at 10 a.m. December 17 and 11 a.m. December 20 at Severance Hall, 11011 Euclid Ave. Tickets: $7. Call 216.231.1111 or visit clevelandorchestra.org.

Thursday, December 18

An Nollaig - An Irish Christmas: The program features Irish fiddlers Eileen Ivers & Immigrant Soul with the Cleveland Orchestra in performances of traditional Irish tunes from the 12th century to the present at 8 p.m. December 18 and December 19 at Severance Hall, 11011 Euclid Ave. Tickets: $26-$48. Call 216.231.1111 or visit clevelandorchestra.com.

Friday, December 19

Amahl and the Night Visitors: The Summit Choral Society unwraps its annual gift to its fans with a dramatic presentation of the Gian Carlo Menotti holiday classic at 7:30 p.m. December 19, December 20 and December 21 at St. Bernard Church, 44 University Ave. in Akron. Tickets: $20-$25. Call 330.434.7464 or visit summitchoralsociety.org.

Candlelite Walking & Caroling: Take a hike through the forest, where trees have been lit by candles. Historical interpreter Foster Brown will lead you to a roaring fire for holiday carols from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the South Chagrin Reservation's Look About Lodge on Miles Road in Bentleyville. Admission: free. Call 440.247.7075 or visit clevelandmetroparks.com.

Holiday Musical Rainbows: For kids up to 10 years old, Barbara Eady of the Cleveland Association of Black Storytellers recites the history of Kwanzaa at 10 a.m. at Severance Hall, 11011 Euclid Ave. Call 216.231.1111 or visit clevelandorchestra.com.

The Nutcracker: The Ohio Dance Theatre's production is filled with holiday surprises, like mischievous mice and the lavish grace of the Dew Drop Fairy at 7:30 p.m. December 19 and December 20 and 2 p.m. December 21 at Lorain County Community College's Stocker Center, 1005 N. Abbe Rd. in Elyria. Tickets: $$16-$26. Call 440.366.4040 or visit lorainccc.edu.

Saturday, December 20

Holiday Star Shows & Laser Light Programs: The family-friendly shows feature the sounds of vibrant seasonal music and the sights of animated laser lights at 11, 11: 30 a.m., 12:30, 1:30, 2:30, 3:30 and 4:30 p.m. on December 20, December 26, December 29, December 30 and January 2 at the Lake Erie Nature & Science Center, 28728 Wolf Rd. in Bay Village. Admission: $1-$3. Call 440.871.2900 or visit lensc.org.

Mannheim Steamroller: Chip Davis's signature sound is where classical and modern-day rock meet acoustic and electronic jams to celebrate the spirit of the season at 7:30 p.m. December 20 and 2:30 p.m. December 21 at the Palace Theatre, 1615 Euclid Ave. Tickets: $10-$85. Call 216-241.6000 or visit playhousesquare.com.

Santa on the Beach: Santa Claus has escaped from the North Pole for a day to meet with kids, have his picture taken and learn what every boy and girl wants for Christmas from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Lakeview Park, 1800 W. Erie Ave. in Lorain. Admission: $10. Call 440.233.7272 for details.

Sunday, December 21

Hanukkah Celebration: The party includes afternoon performances by local school and temple groups from Gross Schechter Day School, the Hebrew Academy of Cleveland and the Haz Amir Choir from 1 to 5 p.m. at Legacy Village, 25333 Cedar Rd. in Lyndhurst. Call 216.382.3871 or visit legacy-village.com.

Tuesday, December 30

New Year's Eve Eve: Usher in 2009 a day early by gliding on a carpet skating rink, making fake snow from polymer and watching Santa vs. the Snowman and Alaska: Spirit of the Wild on an OMNIMAX screen. At midnight, make a toast with your glass of ginger ale as 1,500 balloons fall four floors to the ground from 6:30 to 11:30 p.m. at the Great Lakes Science Center, 601 Erieside Ave. Tickets: $20-$24. Call 216.694.2000 or visit greatscience.com.

Wednesday, December 31 (New Year's Eve)

First Night Akron: The Rubber City celebrates its 13th annual alcohol-free New Year's Eve party as revelers wait for the countdown to a midnight fireworks show and the ball to drop on the Akron Beacon-Journal Tower. From 5 p.m. to midnight on High and Exchange streets in downtown Akron. Admission: $10. Call 330.762.8555 or visit firstnightakron.org.

New Year's at Noon: Start the countdown 12 hours ahead of time to ring in 2009 with food, soft drinks, party favors and a DJ from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Children's Museum of Cleveland, 10730 Euclid Ave. Tickets: $15-$25. Call 216.791.7114 or visit clevelandchildrensmuseum.org.

New Year's Eve at CVLT: The Chagrin Valley Little Theatre offers an evening of cabaret-style music by its talented troupe of performers, followed by a reception of hors d'oeuvres and champagne punch from 8 to 10 p.m. at the Chagrin Valley Little Theatre, 40 River St. in Chagrin Falls. Call 440.247.8955 or visit cvlt.org. Noon Year's Eve: Play the Zoo-Year's resolution game and dance the day away with the Radio Disney street team. At the stroke of noon, toast the upcoming New Year with apple juice and a ball drop from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, 3900 Wildlife Way. Tickets: $3-$6. Call 216.661.6500 or visit clemetzoo.com.

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