Photo courtesy of Moderncre8veUsing locally-sourced hardwood lumber from Amish Country and steel from the Cleveland area, Moderncre8ve crafts each modern and mid-century modern piece of furniture by hand, one at a time. Their small team of creatives is driven by a familial connection with each other, with their work, and with every customer who walks through the doors (or orders on Etsy). New Love Decor Etsy shop | Website | Facebook Favorite gift: Key holder + mail organizer with planter Founded by Jen then joined by her friend, Kira, the New Love Decor team is driven by their passion for creating. They combine web inspiration with everyday recycled items to make brand new, inventive pieces that range from home decor, seasonal items, wine storage, organizers and more. The perfect gift for dog moms and wine lovers everywhere, check out their shop here! Bertu Home Etsy shop | Website | Facebook Favorite gift: Modern wood console
Photo courtesy of Bertu Home and Addison Jones PhotographyBertu comes from a long line of local pop-up shops Columbus residents will likely recognize. First, it was a wholesale candle line, then a Christmas store called Glad Tidings, followed by NEST, SHINE and Swanky Abode. Then came Bertu Home, a modern furniture and home decor brand that uses mostly locally sourced black walnut and steel. Learn more about the Jones family, their brand and their products on the website! NytStnd Etsy shop | Website | Facebook Favorite gift: NytStnd FIVE Back in 2015, owners Chad and Victoria found themselves with too many Apple devices and not enough space on their nightstand. In an effort to maximize space (and diminish Victoria's frustrations) Chad designed their first NytStnd, an affordable and stylish charging dock that fits up to four devices at once. Peruse all the design options in the shop or on the website! Minnie and Maude Etsy shop | Facebook Favorite gift: Custom personalized decorative pillow cover
Photo courtesy of Minnie and MaudeAlways fun and never fussy, Minnie and Maude offers charming and sassy decorative pillows, organizational bins, personalized textiles and more. Made by hand in her home, owner and crafter Lennea Truesdell loves what she does — and she gets to do it in yoga pants, too! Buy something this season and a portion of all sales will go to organizations like Help One Now and Compassion International. While you're at it, peruse the second shop, Minnie and Maude Kids! Urban and Loft Etsy shop | Facebook Favorite Gift: Industrial Style Merry and Bright Light Run by Cutler's own Suzi Stepanovich, Urban and Loft features vintage and industrial-style items for the home. Suzi's shop is filled with gorgeous antiques she finds on her travels, and a handful of crafty decorations she makes by hand. Most of the items on Urban and Loft are one of a kind, so if you see something you like, make sure to snatch it up before it's gone!
Photo courtesy of Open Hand Leather GoodsBorn and raised in Columbus, owner and creator Peter Moses Brown began commercial sewing six years ago. Each bag, wallet and tote begins as an idea, turns into a sketch, and then is pieced together by hand from hides selected for their color and personality. As a result, every single item is one-of-a-kind and they're built for style, form and durability. Learn more on the website or shop on Etsy! BEARDED WOODCRAFT Etsy shop | Website | Facebook Favorite gift: Ohio Bamboo Wood Phone Case With plenty of products showcasing Ohio, Buckeye, Cincinnati and Cleveland pride, BEARDED WOODCRAFT specializes in creating eco-friendly wood products. Each item is designed for day-to-day functionality and unique character so whether you choose a phone case, cuff links, a slab wood wallet, or a keychain, the man in your life is sure to be impressed! Peruse the website here for more gift ideas. NativeShaveCo Etsy shop | Website | Facebook Favorite gift: Men's Shaving Gift Set
Photo courtesy of NativeShaveCoNativeShaveCo out of Columbus is a gluten-free and vegan-friendly business, so every product is both good for the environment and good for your body. After years working at Barber and Beauty Supply Company, the owners saw a need for more affordable and more sustainable organic shave products. Cue NativeShaveCo! Today, you can shop shave creams, beard oils, aftershave and shave kits on the website or on Etsy.
Photo courtesy of Irin SkyeEvery item in the Irin Skye Etsy shop is handmade to order and shipped to you already packaged in a gift box! With experience in engineering, but a passion for handmade jewelry, owner and creator Brandy began working for her business full-time in 2009. Ever since, she's been creating gorgeous pieces as treasured bridesmaid, family and holiday gifts. Remembering Gram Etsy shop | Facebook Favorite gift: Cream Grey Flannel Blanket Scarf Inspired by the love she learned from her Gram, Mary creates each and every scarf by hand in her home. After learning how to sew from home economics classes, her mother, blogs and plenty of video tutorials, she dove into upcycled clothing, finding fabrics from thrift stores, old shirts and estate sales. Check out all the soft and cozy items in the Etsy shop. As an added bonus, there is no shipping cost for local buyers who schedule a pick-up! Images in Bloom Etsy shop | Website | Facebook Favorite gift: Rice Flour & Shea Soap
Photo courtesy of Images in BloomThis husband and wife team creates cold-processed, handcrafted soaps, shaving products and luxurious shave soap alongside hand dyed silk scarves and other textile arts. Offering amazing scents like Patchouli, Amber Ginger and Blackberry Sage Tea, the soaps are vegan and made with the best organic oils they can find and the freshest botanicals they can grow! M&J Monograms Etsy shop | Facebook Favorite gift: Personalized Ladies Duffle Bag Founder and maker Julie is a true Cincinnatian and has had a passion for embroidery and personalized gifts since she was a child. With the perfect gifts for the mom, dog mom, wife or best friend in your life, you can get embroidered apparel and aprons, cosmetic bags and handbags, drink ware, pet items, and so much more!
Photo courtesy of Blankies by SheenaOwner and creator Sheena started making blankets about eight years ago for her nine-year-old daughter. Four more baby girls and seven years later, she opened her Etsy shop to spread the coziness to everyone. Now, you can get furry throws and cozy swaddlers in stylish and charming patterns that your kids (and you!) will love. Kugga Kids Etsy shop | Website | Facebook Favorite gift: Birth Announcement Stuffed Animal Kugga Kids is a subsidiary of Sassy Paci Boutique operated by mothers and artists Nicole, Lisa Hezlep and Lisa Thibault. Their products are made for other moms searching desperately for beautifully crafted items — whether it's a Christmas themed pajama set, a birth announcement stuffed animal or monogrammed accessories.
Photo courtesy of Spunky Styles Co.Jenna is the owner of both Spunky Styles Co. and this adorable American Bulldog mix sporting one of her handmade dog bandanas. Made to spoil your pup and up their style game, her trendy shop offers bandanas, collars and matching bracelets. Sure, maybe it's kind of a gift for yourself, but your dog will look great — and that's what really matters. RipleyWear Etsy shop | Website | Facebook Favorite gift: Navy Floral Personalized Laser Engraved Metal Buckle Dog Collar RipleyWear's designer pet collars came about from owner and creator Natalie's love for sewing and for her own pets. Available in traditional, breakaway and engraved styles, you can get bows and bowties, collars and matching leashes, and even Christmas-themed patterns! Percy's Cookie Jar Etsy shop | Facebook Favorite gift: PB + C Donuts Boyfriend tested and dog approved, every single treat that comes out of the Percy's Cookie Jar kitchen is inspired by Percy, the owner's late and beloved pit bull — and boy did he love cookies! Your dog will too as soon as they taste these adorable doggie donuts, puptarts and bacon cheddar bones. MaiRo and Co. Dog Treat Etsy shop | Website | Facebook Favorite gift: Maple Oatmeal Dog Treats In an effort to provide more wholesome and healthy treat options for his own dogs, owner and baker Stephen crafts every bag of treats using a blend of local and organic ingredients. In flavors like coconut, maple oatmeal, carob mint and cheddar cheese, these treats are sure to make your pup's tail wag this holiday season!
Photo courtesy of Joe AlbertThe Hall of Fame City Ice Rink allows you to enjoy outdoor ice skating right in the heart of downtown Canton. The entire experience is amplified with festive music and holiday decorations, and snacks from Arcade Coneys. Admission is completely free, and skate rentals run at just $3 per person. 200 S. Main Street, Akron Lock 3 is a multifunctional park and beloved gathering place for locals year-round, but it also boasts the largest outdoor ice skating rink in Ohio! Admission is free if you have your own skates, and rentals are just $2. Come by for a romantic date night or a fun night out with the family anytime from late November through the end of January. 8319 Port Jackson Avenue NW, Canton Located just south of the Akron-Canton Airport, the Center Ice Sports Complex is a locally owned and operated indoor rink offering year-round ice skating, as well as hockey and figure skating programs. You can find the open skate schedule here! If your child is interested in learning how to skate, the complex offers one of the best educational programs available. 1337 Merriman Road, Akron Sand Run Metro Park offers outdoor fun year round, including hiking, biking, picnicking, cross country skiing, sledding and more. The Big Bend Area, located within the park, offers ice skating during the winter months, and is open daily from 6 am to 11 pm. You will need your own skates to join in the fun, but admission is free! Note: Skating in the Metro Parks is weather dependent. To double check that this rink is open, call the seasonal info line at 330-865-8060. 15381 Royalton Road, Strongsville Strongsville offers a well-maintained indoor rink that is open for ice skating, hockey and figure skating year round! Locals love it for its safe, family-friendly atmosphere and pristine quality of the ice. Here, you can also enjoy lessons, birthday parties, a full-service shop, and a bar and cafe for refreshments. Admission is $8 per person (plus the $3 rental fee if needed), and the open skate calendar can be found here. 1160 Front Street, Cuyahoga Falls Gorge Metro Park is known for its incredible hiking trails and picnic areas during the summer months, but in the winter, it becomes a winter wonderland! There is a small pond in the center of the park that freezes over, and is approved for ice skating by the Metro Parks — you'll just have to bring your own skates. Note: Skating in the Metro Parks is weather dependent. To double check that this rink is open, call the seasonal info line at 330-865-8060. 1 Loop Road, Kent
Photo courtesy of Kent State Ice ArenaHome to the Kent State ACHA Hockey Team and the Kent State Figure Skating team, this ice arena is kept in pristine condition year-round. Locals flock here for the affordable prices during free skating hours, the skate sharpening service, and full-service snack bar. The rink is also a great destination for private parties, broomball or skating lessons! Note: KSU Students receive special discounts on skating, as well as access to the student-only free skating nights.
Photo courtesy of Give Back CincinnatiRotary Location: North Canton Recommended by: Emily Levitt-Iero and Denise Evans The Rotary Club Central was established in the community in 2012, and offers clubs and districts a quantifiable way to measure local and global impact — specifically membership initiatives, service activities and giving. Through the foundation, Rotary members have supported thousands of projects promoting peace, fighting disease, providing clean water, supporting education and growing local economies. Find information on how to get involved here. Give Back Cincinnati Location: Cincinnati Recommended by: Rob Porter Give Back Cincinnati is a local organization dedicated to bolstering today's communities and developing tomorrow's leaders. They call it community service with a social twist, meaning that members and volunteers can participate in as many or as few opportunities as they'd like, and build relationships while they're at it. Cutler agent Rob Porter actually helped to found the organization 16 years ago, and still enjoys volunteering whenever he can! Information on how to start giving back here. Habitat for Humanity Location: International organization with locations throughout Ohio. Recommended by: Jamie Bowman This international organization helps to provide homes and build communities for those in need. Homes are built entirely with donations and volunteer labor, and Habitat makes no profit from the sales. Since its inception in 1976, Habitat has helped more than four million people construct, rehabilitate and preserve homes. Find your local Habitat here and start making a difference. The Know Theatre Location: Cincinnati Recommended by: Joe Mock The Know Theatre is Cincinnati's self-proclaimed theatrical playground, showcasing creative voices, new works and surprising performances. The company does include a small (and mighty) staff, but relies heavily on volunteers for its success. If you support the arts and the integrity of live theatre, consider getting involved or donating! The Franklin Park Conservatory Location: Columbus Recommended by: Deb Saczawa If you've ever visited the Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus, you know that it is a rare gem filled to the brim with natural beauty. The Conservatory maintains 88 acres of Franklin Park, much of which is free and open to the public, making volunteer hours and donations an essential part of its operation. You can help by volunteering, donating, coming to a fundraising event, or joining the women's board. Turnaround Community Outreach Location: Canton Recommended by: Beth Miller This non-profit organization teaches people to rise above challenging circumstances in life, and supplies hot meals, free groceries, toiletries, clothing and more to families in need! "If you are looking for a charity in Stark County to support, this is a great one," says Cutler agent Beth Miller. "Donations of money, new or gently used clothing, and diapers are much appreciated. If you would like to drop off donations at the North Canton Cutler Real Estate office, I will be glad to deliver them to TCO!" Total Living Center Location: Canton Recommended by: Linda Sigler The Total Living Center is a soup kitchen and ministry based in Canton. But as Cutler agent Linda Sigler says, it is so much more than that. "[The Total Living Center] provides hope," she says. The organization provides meals 365 days a year to anyone in need, and also supplies groceries, clothes, toiletries, furniture and more. There is also an onsite hair salon to help make you look sharp if you are heading to a job interview, and commercial washers and dryers to do your laundry free of charge. The organization is entirely donor funded. Information on how to get involved here. Mid-Ohio Foodbank Location: Grove City Recommended by: Carolyn Ferguson The Mid-Ohio Foodbank has a mission to end hunger for those less fortunate one nutritious meal at a time, and also to create a thriving, local community. The organization comes up with innovative ways to serve people, and mobilizes the public in its donation efforts, advocacy and volunteering. Information on giving funds, food or time here. One of a Kind Pets Location: Akron Recommended by: Melissa Strong This rescue clinic truly is one of a kind, sheltering dogs, cats and other furry friends in need with donations from the public. The organization is dedicated to saving animal lives, rescuing pets in immediate danger from euthanization, finding them loving homes, and offering low-cost spaying and neutering services. Make a donation here. Columbus Humane has dedicated itself to providing advanced animal welfare since 1883. Its top-notch services have put the organization on the map nationally. The work covers adoptions of course, but also cruelty investigations, low-cost spaying and neutering services, microchipping and more. The organization helps humans as well, supporting victims of domestic violence who are trying to leave a dangerous situation by providing temporary housing for their companion animals while they find a new arrangement. The society will provide care for all furry friends — big and small, and relies largely on donations and volunteer contributions. There are so many ways to get involved with Columbus humane, either by donating, fostering a pet, or sharing your time to take care of the animals! More information on that here. The Saint Baldrick's Foundation Location: National Organization with a chapter in Columbus Recommended by: Donna Rovan The Saint Baldrick's foundation is a volunteer-powered charity that funds more in childhood cancer research grants than any organization aside from the U.S. government. Getting involved means helping to spread hope to infants, children, teens and young adults in the fight for their lives. Here are some ways to get involved! Crohn's & Colitis Foundation Location: National organization with chapters in Cincinnati, Columbus and Cleveland Recommended by: Christine Adam The Crohn's & Colitis Foundation is dedicated to finding the cures for Crohn's Disease and ulcerative colitis, and also to improve the quality of life in children and adults affected by these diseases. The foundation hosts several marathons (and other team challenges) throughout the year to raise funds and awareness. More information on how to get involved here. United Cerebral Palsy Foundation Location: National foundation with affiliates in Cincinnati and Cleveland Recommended by: Amie Delavega The mission of the United Cerebral Palsy Foundation is to provide life without limits for people with a wide spectrum of disabilities — advocating for support, education and full citizenship for those who need it, and providing physical, occupational, aquatic and art therapies. The foundation has been around since 1949, and has changed millions of lives since its inception. Explore ways to give here! The Ronald McDonald House Charities Location: National organization with 23 locations across Ohio Recommended by: Amie Delavega The Ronald McDonald House Charities provide support and resources that help keep families together in the event of illness or an accident, and help provide easier access to healthcare when children need it most. Information on how to get involved here! The National Down Syndrome Society Buddy Walk Location: National event with locations throughout Ohio. Find one near you! Recommended by: Deb Saczawa The Buddy Walk was established in 1995 by the National Down Syndrome Society to promote acceptance and inclusion of those with Down syndrome. It has grown from just 17 walks to 250 all over the country, and is consistently ranked among the top fundraising events of the year nationwide. Find information on ways to give here. American Red Cross Location: National organization Recommended by: Linda Altomare Every eight minutes, the American Red Cross responds to an emergency. They are the first responders, and dedicate themselves to providing relief after disasters big or small. The organization is always looking for blood donations, which is an easy way to give back! Find a drive or make an appointment near you today. JDRF Location: National Organization with chapters in Southwest Ohio, Central Ohio, and Northeast Ohio Recommended by: JoAnn Clark JDRF leads the global effort in Type 1 diabetes research and aims to keep people healthy and safe until a cure is found. JoAnn Clark participates in the annual JDRF walk every year, and encourages friends and family members to do the same. "Every dollar raised during the annual walk helps to create a world without Type 1," she says. "We are getting closer!" Visit your local chapter page for information on how to help! Indian River Juvenile Correctional Facility Location: Massillon Recommended by: Christina Spurr The Indian River Juvenile Correctional Facility serves male youth, providing a variety of services and treatment options for youth — including a fully accredited high school, health care, religious services, recreation, community service opportunities and reentry services. Volunteer inquiries can be directed to Chaplain Keith Neal at 330-837-4211. Wishes Can Happen, Inc. Location: North Canton Recommended by: Suzi Stepanovich Since 1982, Wishes Can Happen, Inc. has granted more than 1,000 wishes for children with life-threatening diseases. Wishes can be anything — from being a princess for a day or meeting your real-life hero, to embarking on a vacation or exploring Disney World. All wishes are entirely donor funded! "I've had the pleasure of meeting some of the children and families who have received a wish," says Cutler agent Suzi Stepanovich. "Their tenacity in the face of a life threatening illness inspires me." Shriners Hospitals for Children Location: National organization with a location in Cincinnati Recommended by: Barbara Montague This healthcare system is made up of 22 facilities dedicated to providing innovative specialty care to burn victims and those needing reconstructive surgery — regardless of the family's ability to pay. Children up to the age of 18 are eligible for treatment! Make a donation (or explore other ways to give) here! Honor Flight Location: National organization based in Springfield, Ohio with a chapter in Columbus Recommended by: Deb Saczawa The Honor Flight network was created to honor veterans, and to provide a once-in-a-lifetime experience to thank them for their services and sacrifices. The heroes are transported to Washington D.C. to visit and reflect upon war memorials. Top priority is currently given to World War II survivors and terminally ill veterans. "My father was a WWII Veteran and we were able to participate in one of the Honor Flights a few years back," says Deb Saczawa. "It was an amazing experience, and I knew then I wanted to always contribute to this cause so other veterans and their families could also share the trip together." Information on how to donate, apply or nominate a veteran here. Wounded Warrior Project Location: National organization Recommended by: Barbara Montague, Linda Altomare The Wounded Warrior Project is dedicated to the rehabilitation and mental well-being of wounded veterans, and offers a variety of programs, services and community events for those injured in action. The program now serves tens of thousands of veterans every year. Donate or join a fundraiser today!
Photo courtesy of Kenny Jones via Franklin Park ConservatoryIt's the most wonderful time of the year at Franklin Park Conservatory! View elegant displays of poinsettias, seasonal foliage and twinkling lights, compete in the annual gingerbread competition, and enjoy a wide array of family activities, special entertainment and workshops. When: November 21-January 2, After Sunset Where: Columbus Commons Make your way to the Columbus Commons this season to witness a brilliant display of more than 320,000 lights! It's the perfect destination for a stroll after sunset. When: December 1-3, Times Vary Where: The Ohio Theatre
Photo courtesy of Randall Schieber via The Columbus SymphonyRonald J. Jenkins will lead the Columbus Symphony in the wildly popular Holiday Pops concert, featuring the season's most loved songs and carols. Santa himself is rumored to attend! When: December 1-3, Times Vary Where: Bricker Building At Columbus Winterfair, artists from across the nation come together to showcase contemporary crafts from woodwork to jewelry. It's the perfect place to pick up a thoughtful gift for that special someone, or simply find unique decorations for your home! Scioto Mile is lit up from end to end with thousands of spectacular lights, you and the whole family can enjoy a celebration of giving featuring local and national musical acts, seasonal ales from hometown breweries and favorite dishes from Columbus food trucks. A portion of food truck and beer sales will be donated to the Mid-Ohio Foodbank. When: December 2-18, Select Thursdays and Saturdays, 6:30 pm Where: Columbus City Adventures Jaunt through Central Ohio's twinkling winter landscape with Columbus City Adventures. You'll board a bus and journey through downtown, along the Scioto Mile and Christmas Corner. Along the way, listen to historical holiday stories! When: December 3, 10 am Where: Genoa Park Running a 5K has never been so merry! Don your most festive holiday costume, tie jingle bells to your shoelaces, and bring loads of good cheer to this charitable race. 100 percent of your registration fee and fundraising efforts will benefit the Arthritis Foundation — so signing up is guaranteed to get you on Santa's "nice" list. When: December 2, noon-10 pm Where: The Short North Arts District
Photo courtesy of Experience ColumbusOn the first Saturday of every month, Short North welcomes residents and visitors alike for a gallery hop, during which the art galleries open their doors wide and showcase new exhibitions, street performers, special events, food and drinks. The first Saturday in December is no exception, but you can expect the festivities to be even merrier than usual with special events and displays! When: December 3, 5-9 pm Where: German Village Kick off the holiday season at German Village as the streets light up with fun displays. Shops, businesses and restaurants will be open late with holiday treats and special offers, and carolers will serenade you from every corner! When: December 3, 1-4 pm Where: The Smithery: Artist Made Goods Hand-made ornaments are the best ornaments — especially when they look this good! Stop by the Smithery for this three-hour artist's workshop, where you will learn to make your own copper disc ornament with a cutout. All materials and tools will be provided. When: December 5, 7:30 pm Where: The Palace Theatre
Photo courtesy of the United Palace of Cultural Arts via the Columbus Association for the Performing ArtsA large cast of all-star dancers, an on-stage DJ and an electric violinist will come together for this contemporary reimagining of Tchaikovsky's timeless holiday classic, which stands apart as one of the most anticipated performances of the season. When: December 7-17, Times Vary Where: The Short North Stage at the Garden Theater The Short North Stage will come alive this season with the traditional holiday spectacle. This year's show will feature Gideon the Elf as he returns to the city to save it from the clutches of his evil cousin, Simeon. Expect to hear some of your favorite seasonal songs performed by a large cast of singers and dancers! When: December 8-10, Times Vary Where: 400 West Rich Join 400 West Rich and the 400 Market for their annual holiday celebration of art and handmade goods. There will be plenty of local vendors to shop from, live music, and open studios for exploring! When: December 8-24, Times Vary Where: BalletMet Columbus
Photo courtesy of Jennifer Zmuda via BalletMet ColumbusWhether this is your first time witnessing the Nutcracker or if you have made it an annual tradition, the BalletMet rendition is not to be missed. The world-class dance theatre welcomes its best and brightest stars to the stage to present a holiday classic — a performance sure to enchant fans old and young. When: December 9, 1-3 pm Where: The Franklin Park Conservatory and Gardens Your holiday decor isn't complete without a festive wreath on the door! Come learn to make your own at the Franklin Park Conservatory and Gardens using a selection of fresh greenery, cones, berries and other plants. All materials are included in the cost of the class, and you'll be able to take your creation home with you. This is one of many holiday-themed workshops and events at the Franklin Park Conservatory. See the full calendar here. When: December 10, 8-10 am Where: The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium Santa Claus is coming to town, and he's going to be hungry after the long journey! Join him and a series of holiday characters for a merry brunch at the zoo. Your children can get a photo with Saint Nick, enjoy up-close animal encounters and more. When: December 30, 3 pm AND 8 pm Where: The Nationwide Arena You may have attended a holiday concert or two, but you've never heard the classics like this. Trans-Siberian Orchestra is known for their dazzling performances, pyrotechnics, and rock and roll you can feel in your chest. They will stop in Columbus on their Ghosts of Christmas Eve Tour, and tickets are expected to sell out quickly. Grab 'em while you can! When: December 9, 10, 16 and 17, noon-4 pm Where: The Ohio Railway Museum Train-loving children will love this fun holiday event! Come write your own letter to Santa, make Christmas crafts, ride on a train and enjoy a visit with Mrs. Claus herself.
Photo courtesy of the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic RailroadPajama-clad families will board a train for a fun filled evening excursion, complete with hot chocolate, cookies, and a reading of the classic Polar Express story. Your destination is the North Pole, and upon arrival, you will be greeted with caroling elves and even Santa himself! Where: The John S. Knight Center, Akron Mark your calendars for the 36th Annual Holiday Tree Festival! This event will feature more than 200 decorated trees, 85,000 strings of lights and countless holiday creations displayed in the John S. Knight Center. It will truly be a sight to behold! All proceeds will benefit the Akron Children's Hospital. The night after Thanksgiving, the streets of downtown Akron will light up with thousands of holiday lights and fireworks to ring in the holiday season in style! The event will feature live performances, ice skating at Lock 3, holiday treats and more. Come back the following day for a grand parade and the arrival of Mr. Claus himself! The parade will feature more than 75 units including marching bands, floats, costumed characters and dance groups. Santa will be available at Lock 3 after the parade to meet everyone!
Photo courtesy of the Akron ZooCome see the zoo in a whole new light! One of Akron's most popular gems will be decked out in thousands of holiday lights and decorations. Walk through the zoo's displays, enjoy a concert from the carolers, take a ride on the Wild Winter Express train, get a photo with Santa, and top the night off with a freshly made s'more! Stop by the idyllic Beech Creek Gardens for a holiday extravaganza. There will be trees, holiday trains, roasted marshmallows, visits from the Grinch, live performances, plenty of gorgeous light displays, and so much more. There's no better way to get into the holiday spirit! You might have seen a version of the Nutcracker before, but you've never seen it like this! For one night only, enjoy a spoof of America's favorite holiday classic on the Akron Civic Theatre stage. The performance is family-friendly, but parts might be considered adult humor. Start off your holiday season in a sophisticated setting with a soul-warming cup of tea! The famed Dragonfly Tea Room will host a special candlelight tea, complete with holiday snacks and live music, for your enjoyment. Call ahead to make your reservation! This festive, annual event will include live music, crafts for kids, open hearth cooking demonstrations, unique stocking stuffers for purchase, special planetarium and science shows, and a live reading of 'Twas The Night Before Christmas. The museum will be decked out in its holiday best with more than 30 trees and extravagant lighting displays — and we even hear that Santa will make an appearance! Admission for members is free (guest tickets are just $5), but make sure to bring a few canned goods for the Hunger Task Force.
Photo courtesy of the Players Guild TheatreSee the story of Ebenezer Scrooge brought to life by the Players Guild Theatre! The performance of Dickens' ghostly story is sure to get you in the holiday spirit. Where: The Huston Brumbaugh Nature Center, Minerva Celebrate the season at the Nature Center! Make holiday-themed crafts, enjoy s'mores and hot chocolate by the fire, listen to live music, and (most importantly) visit with Santa in an 1800s-era cabin. This free event is guaranteed to be fun for the whole family! Where: The MAPS Air Museum, North Canton
Photo courtesy of the MAPS Air MuseumSanta Claus is coming to town, but he's not using the chimney this time! Santa will fly to the MAPS Air Museum by plane to visit all of the good boys and girls. Make sure to snag a photo with him before enjoying punch and cookies, and exploring the planes at the museum. The animals won't be the only ones at the zoo this season! Santa Claus is coming to town, and he will be at the zoo for this merry event, which includes snacks, entertainment and holiday crafts. Admission to Wild Lights is included in the ticket price. This holiday festival will feature live performances, fantastic fireworks, and a special visit from everyone's favorite man in red! Bring the whole family for this fun-filled event, and don't forget that camera — you'll need it to capture all of the memories! Photos with Santa will be available on the main stage shortly after fireworks have concluded. Join the Akron Symphony Orchestra for their annual holiday celebration concert. Helen Welch, one of Akron's most beloved entertainers and a critically acclaimed vocalist, will lead the evening, so you can be sure the night will be lively and festive to say the least! This tradition is as sweet as can be! The Fieldcrest Estate will host adults and children alike, giving them the chance to choose a floor plan and design your own giant gingerbread house. Guests can choose from three different sized houses to take and build. It will be baked, sliced and constructed upon your arrival, and there will be plenty of materials available so you can decorate the home to your heart's content! While you are working, enjoy hot chocolate, adult beverages and other holiday treats. Enjoy everything ELF at this festive event. A sing along screening of ELF will take place at 2 pm at the Akron Civic Theater, because the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear! Raise the spirit meter even higher by stopping by Lock 3 for ELFcon before the movie starts. Here, you'll be able to compete in an Elf costume contest, an etch-a-sketch drawing contest and a trivia contest alongside a sled hill, ice skating and putt putt. The Canton Parks are merry and bright this time of year, strewn with an assortment of fun and colorful holiday decorations. We can't imagine a better setting for a morning jog! Come to this festive race and walk or run the course of your choosing. The event will start and finish at the McKinley National Memorial, and entry includes a tee shirt, cookies and plenty of hot chocolate! This critically acclaimed extravaganza combines a cirque show, a Broadway musical and a Christmas spectacular into one incredible show! Witness snowmen, penguins, reindeer, gingerbread, Santa and more complete gravity defying feats to the soundtrack of original music and seasonal hits from live performers. This annual extravaganza has become a staple of the Northeast Ohio holiday season, and this year's theme will not disappoint! Ryan Humbert's new honky tonk band, Shooter Sharp & The Shootouts, will pay tribute to the country greats and serve up a healthy dose of merry classics.
This post was updated on October 22, 2019 to reflect the most current information.Thanksgiving Day is nearly here, bringing with it the opportunity to gather with friends and family and indulge in some hearty American classics. This day typically requires a full day (or more) of preparation from the host, and hours of cleanup after the fun is over. There isn't just one way to celebrate Thanksgiving, so this year, maybe it's time to explore the city and try something new! While cooking your own meal is certainly fun, there is also a number of high-end local restaurants offering up Turkey Day feasts of their own! You'll enjoy a decadent meal while saving some time and effort. We gathered up some of our favorite Thanksgiving Day deals in Cincinnati to make your job even easier—all you have to do is make the reservation. 609 Walnut Street, Cincinnati
Photo courtesy of MetropoleThanksgiving is an indulgent holiday to say the least, so step it up a notch by celebrating at Metropole. You'll enjoy a family-style price fixe menu centered around an Elmwood Stock Farm roasted turkey with smoked butter mashed potatoes and a charred cranberry relish. The three-course meal is available for $58 a person, but you can also gobble some of your favorite a la carte items from the Metropole menu if you prefer! Make a reservation by calling 513-578-6660. 3819 Edwards Road, Cincinnati This classy upscale eatery is serving up a special Thanksgiving feast this year! Enjoy roast turkey, savory pan gravy, herb stuffing, Yukon mashed potatoes, green beans and, of course, pumpkin pie. They'll be serving dinner all day long so make sure to make your reservations soon to reserve your spot! Click here to make a reservation. 35 West 5th Street, Cincinnati On Thanksgiving Day, Orchids at Palm Court will be serving a special brunch and buffet to help you celebrate! The all-inclusive meal will cost $76.95 for adults, $54.95 for seniors and $22.95 for children ages 5-12. Reservations are required and must be made by November 21st. Click here to make a reservation. 2635 Edmondson Road, Cincinnati Buca di Beppo opens at 11 a.m. on Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year's Day. Be a part of their holiday festivities at their Cincinnati location, just make sure you make a reservation in advance! Or get your Thanksgiving feast fully catered with their special Thanksgiving catering options, available for pickup or delivery from November 12–22. Call (513) 396-7673 to make a reservation. 812 Race Street, Cincinnati
Photo courtesy of the Presidents Room at the PhoenixThe Presidents Room at the Phoenix opened its doors just a few years ago and has already made its mark on the Cincinnati community. Here, diners experience a mix of classic and new dishes prepared with the finest ingredients available! The restaurant will be serving Thanksgiving meals from noon to 6 pm, and you'll be able to enjoy live music while you eat! Make a reservation by calling 513-721-2260. 1020 Ohio Pike, Cincinnati Laszlo's Iron Skillet is the place to go for top-notch Hungarian fare, boasting some of the best schnitzel and spaetzle in town. Stop in for the prixe fixe menu on Thanksgiving Day, which will be served from 11 am to 6 pm. Reservations are strongly encouraged! Make a reservation by calling 513 561-6776. 4200 Cooper Road, Cincinnati At Parkers, diners come hungry and leave happy. The menu features all-American fare alongside hand-muddled cocktails and a world-class wine list. Diners can expect the same excellent quality at the annual Thanksgiving Day buffet, which will take place from noon to 7 pm. Expect succulent hearth-roasted turkey, slow-roasted prime rib, sweet and savory glazed ham, and a wide assortment of delicious trimmings! Reservations are required. Make a reservation here or by calling 513-891-8300. 27 S Broadway Street, Lebanon
Photo courtesy of the Golden LambThe historic Golden Lamb has been open since 1803, making it the oldest continuously running business in Ohio. This establishment has served as a community gathering place for centuries, housing travelers, statesmen and presidents alike. Where better to celebrate a holiday? The elegant decor and exquisite dining options make it the perfect place for Thanksgiving dinner, and after you've eaten your fill, you can sleep off that turkey in one of the charming rooms on site. Make a reservation here or by calling 513-932-5065. 683 Madison Avenue, Covington This year, Coppins inside Hotel Covington is offering a stunning Thanksgiving buffet from 10 am-2 pm and 4 pm-9 pm. The spread will include all of your holiday favorites, sides, sweets and more! Adults can enjoy the feast for $50 and kids ages 5-12 for $19. Click here to make your reservation. 101 Riverboat Row, Newport Enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving Day dinner with all of the fixin's — in the most untraditional way possible. BB Riverboats will offer a festive experience on the river, complete with turkey, mashed potatoes and unparalleled views of the Cincinnati skyline. The all-inclusive admission price is $49 for adults and $27 for children. Make a reservation by calling 800-261-8586.
Photos courtesy of Victory Alley Sports Bar & GrilleYou don't have to hit the stadium to have a festive game-day experience! Victory Alley makes you feel like you're part of the action with numerous gigantic screens (some more than 15 feet wide) and plenty of raucous Cleveland fans. The taps are filled with local and national craft beer, and the kitchen cranks out some of the best pub food in town. If you do decide to make your way to the actual game, Victory Alley is the perfect place for a pre-game celebration, located just steps away from Progressive Field and the Quicken Loans Arena. 811 Huron Road NE
Photos courtesy of The Winking Lizard TavernFor a great sports bar experience with even better food options, check out the Winking Lizard Tavern. The pizzas here are fresh as can be, slung with house-made dough, flavorful sauce and tons of grated cheese. Finish off your meal with a decadent Oreo Oblivion, a rich Oreo brownie topped with ice cream, whipped cream, real Oreo pieces and hot fudge. You'll need that fuel to cheer for the Browns! 748 Prospect Avenue
Photos courtesy of City TapLocated in the Gateway District, this friendly neighborhood pub lives up to its name well, boasting more than 40 beers on draft and 60 canned or bottled options. Enjoy your craft brew of choice with a hand-packed burger topped with all the fixin's, a hearty serving of crispy fried pickles, or a basket of spicy wings for the table. The venue takes its pregame celebrations seriously, and will stream the game for you if you choose to stick around for the fun. 11409 Euclid Avenue OR 402 Euclid Avenue
Photo courtesy of Jason Miller at Pixelate Ltd., via The Corner AlleyPick one of the Corner Alley's two locations for a game day experience you won't soon forget. If you're not completely glued to the giant screens streaming the Cavs game, you can entertain yourself with a round of bowling in the posh alley. With its delicious menu options, craft beer on tap and invigorating cocktails, the Corner Alley is anything but your typical bowling experience, and even made the Food Network's list of 15 Great Bars for Fun and Games. Locations in Montrose, Westlake, Brooklyn and Mentor With a giant screen displaying the most in-demand sporting events, friendly service, hearty and seasonal fare and plenty of beer on tap, there's no mystery as to why Hooley House Sports Pub & Grille is so popular. In fact, this spot has been voted the best sports bar by Cleveland City voters for the past five years in a row! 323 E. Prospect Avenue
Photos courtesy of Jason Miller at Pixelate Ltd., via Flannery's PubOf course, no list would be complete without Flannery's Pub, a no-frills Irish bar that has been an established city landmark since 1997. Drop by for the perfect pint, a top-notch Irish whiskey, delicious pub food and friendly company as you cheer on your team of choice. We all know that Cleveland is the only reasonable choice, though.
Photo courtesy of the WoodwardNestled in the Over the Rhine neighborhood, the Woodward is a rare and unique space that can be transformed to fit a number of moods and personalities — especially when it comes to music! The venue was originally built in 1914 as a theater, but has been renovated and brought back to life as a live music hotspot. The space regularly hosts acts from near and far, and the genres range from foot-stompin' bluegrass to head-bangin' rock and roll. 2442 Gilbert Avenue, Cincinnati As a long-standing fixture for jazz and theatre performances, the Greenwich is truly a jewel in the Cincinnati performance scene. Over more than four decades, this venue has hosted thousands of live music and entertainment events, and has expanded its reach to cover up-and-coming blues and R&B artists alongside nationally renowned acts. Enjoy these performances in the cozy downstairs area, or head upstairs to meander through a gorgeous art gallery highlighting the work of local visual artists. 4163 Hamilton Avenue
Photo courtesy of the Northside TavernThis Cincinnati staple is where locals flock for a cold beer and a fun night out. The Northside Tavern boasts one of the best happy hours in the city, but when the sun sets, the dancing starts! Stop by to witness a talented local act, or show your stuff at the Northside Square Dance. 111 East 6th Street, Newport From the outside, the Southgate House in Newport looks just like a quaint old church from the 1800s — and that's exactly what it is. But nowadays, you'll hear more than a choir or organ from inside. The building has been transformed into a popular venue that houses punk rock, indie and country acts. Browse the schedule to find a show you like, because a show here is certainly worth a trip across the river! 2621 Vine Street, Cincinnati Originally built in 1890, Bogart's holds a fair amount of history within its walls. Over more than a century, it has served as a vaudeville theater, a German film theater and a restaurant. Nowadays, the building houses a nationally renowned music venue operated by Live Nation Inc., and includes three stories for viewing, one gigantic stage, and six bars. Providing quality live entertainment has always been this building's purpose, and it remains so today! 938 Hatch Street, Cincinnati Named for a famous Texan bluesman (Blind Lemon Jefferson), this whimsical bar opened in 1963 and has since established itself as a Cincinnati staple. Locals flock to this spot for a cocktail and friendly rendezvous after work, and it is recognized as one of the best bars in town and even in the country. Expect live entertainment nightly — perfect for date night or out-of-town guests! 342 Ludlow Avenue, Cincinnati The Ludlow Garage has a storied past that has taken it from an automobile repair shop, to a car dealership, to a shopping mall and even to a pizzeria, but its most notable moment in history was the music venue it housed from 1969 to 1971. During its time, the venue hosted some of the world's most famous musicians, including the Allman Brothers Band, who recorded their album Live at the Ludlow Garage, within these walls. The new owners bought the venue in 2007, and have since returned it to its former glory, even adding a restaurant on the second level! Come to enjoy local and national acts, as well as a little dose of historical charm. 317 East 5th Street, Cincinnati This 2,500-seat theater was built in 1928, as evidenced by its gorgeous art deco interior. The venue hosts Broadway shows and comedy, as well as a rousing lineup of local and nationally-renowned musical acts. The architects had live entertainment in mind, so there isn't a bad seat in the house, and the acoustics are phenomenal! 2820 Vine Street, Cincinnati
Photo courtesy of the 86 Coffee Bar & Concert VenueFor a more intimate live music experience that is no less fun, head over to the 86 Coffee Bar. By day, this cozy cafe serves delicious artisan coffees roasted fresh on site, fruit smoothies, Italian sodas and small bites that you can enjoy by the window or on the spacious patio. But by night, the venue hosts a wide variety of live artists on two different stages!