Traditionally, on the weekend after Thanksgiving, Cleveland kicks off the holiday season! On Saturday and Sunday, November 24 and 25, 2018, we took part in some great holiday celebrations!
We wrote this blog post as our way of saying thank you to PlayhouseSquare (@PlayhouseSquare) and Cleveland Play House (@ClevePlayHouse) for Holidazzle 2018, and to Downtown Cleveland Alliance (@DowntownCLE) and Cleveland Public Square (@CLEPublicSquare) for Cleveland Winterfest 2018.
We also want to mention the great Cleveland Foundation (@CleveFoundation) skating rink on Cleveland Public Square! The Foundation has been sponsoring a winter skating program since 2016 as a great addition to the year-round programming that takes place at the Cleveland Foundation Centennial Plaza.
In addition to Holidazzle and Cleveland Winterfest, we have included in this blog post tweets with photos and videos from this year's TubaChristmas Cleveland. Julie performs in TubaChristmas concerts in either Cleveland or Akron every year.
On Saturday, November 24, 2018, we started our visit to PlayhouseSquare Holidazzle 2018 by touring the Festival of Trees. We have always enjoyed the Cleveland Play House Festival of Trees over the Christmas season, both at their old location (the 86th Street Theatre) and their current theatres in PlayhouseSquare. We are so glad that they continue this holiday tradition as a gift to the community -- there is no admission charged to see the Festival of Trees!
For families who visited, balloon artists created some incredible, wearable art. A string quartet was amazing as they performed holiday favorites in the beautiful Gund Foundation Lobby of the Ohio Theatre. We also enjoyed relaxing to the music of the Kimball organ in the Connor Palace Theatre.
Idea Center - 1:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Enjoy cartoons for the whole family throughout the day in the Westfield Insurance Studio Theatre, and create Holiday themed children’s crafts and meet balloon artists in the Gund Dance Studio. Stop by the Playhouse Square Partners raffle table and purchase some chances at amazing holiday themed gift baskets.
KeyBank State Theatre - 1:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Kick off your Holiday shopping with local vendors from the Cleveland Bazaar Holiday Market and various family friendly activities sponsored by the U. S. Army in the State Theatre Lobby. Make sure that you record a special holiday message to the troops.
Connor Palace - 1:30 - 4:30 p.m.
The Kimball organ will wow crowds with a holiday concert, while facepainters decorate young faces with holiday themes. Enjoy a cup of hot chocolate or a cookie and the refreshment stop in the lobby.
Allen Theatre - 1:30 – 4:30 p.m. The lobbies of the Allen Theatre will be adorned to dazzling perfection as Cleveland Play House brings back their beloved holiday tradition, Festival of Trees. This endearing holiday favorite features a grand display showcasing more than 20 trees exquisitely decorated by various local designers, with each tree offering a unique design or theme.
Theaters, Lobbies and Outdoor Holiday decorations - 1:30 – 4:30 p.m. Delight in the sounds of the season from local musicians while enjoying the beautiful Playhouse Square theaters! Visit U. S. Bank Plaza, the GE Chandelier and the entire Playhouse Square neighborhood to discover unique and amazing photo opportunities both inside and out that will help make Holiday memories that will last a lifetime!
It's the holiday season. From Holidazzle to some of our favorite shows of the season, use this holiday event guide to plan your next celebration!— Playhouse Square (@playhousesquare) November 21, 2018
Read: https://t.co/zBo3v8CBkB pic.twitter.com/2t0MRkoEak
Thanks to everyone who voted to name our crane! Ichabod is the winner with 48% of the votes. Follow @IchabodtheCrane for the latest updates!— Playhouse Square (@PSQDistrict) November 5, 2018
Spent Saturday watching The Lumen site get some new concrete! Excited to see everything taking shape. pic.twitter.com/tjhzdsoCRG— Ichabod The Crane (@IchabodtheCrane) November 5, 2018
CPH is taking toy donations this holiday season. Here's where you can drop off your new toy... https://t.co/8o2c3BquxN— Cleveland Play House (@ClevePlayHouse) November 21, 2018
Arriving at PlayhouseSquare Holidazzle
Time to explore all the theaters at @PlayhouseSquare during their Holidazzle event! https://t.co/Gi7mWKgad9— Stuart O. Smith, Jr. - sosAssociates.com (@sos_jr) November 24, 2018
We always have a good at @PlayhouseSquare: https://t.co/UbzgKFjc3h pic.twitter.com/eyx9BzCzSv
#Clevelandâ€™s #FestivalOfTrees at @ClevePlayHouse during @PlayhouseSquareâ€™s Holidazzle 2018! https://t.co/vlSsSrLlD3#ThisIsCLE #arts and #theatre at its best! https://t.co/Gi7mWKgad9 pic.twitter.com/EY8wDHJJfe— Stuart O. Smith, Jr. - sosAssociates.com (@sos_jr) November 24, 2018
#Clevelandâ€™s #FestivalOfTrees at @ClevePlayHouse! https://t.co/vlSsSrLlD3#ThisIsCLE â€” Very cool that Cleveland has the second largest #theatre district in the USA open to explore during @PlayhouseSquareâ€™s Holidazzle 2018! https://t.co/Gi7mWKgad9 pic.twitter.com/WHzS1BeUzs— Stuart O. Smith, Jr. - sosAssociates.com (@sos_jr) November 24, 2018
â€œMuses of Poems and #Musicâ€ â€” String quartet performance in the #GeorgeGundFoundation Lobby at @PlayhouseSquare for Holidazzle 2018! #ThisIsCLE #theatre district! https://t.co/Gi7mWKgad9 pic.twitter.com/nKYYuZbAyo— Stuart O. Smith, Jr. - sosAssociates.com (@sos_jr) November 24, 2018
â€Here Comes Santa Clausâ€ #Music playing in Palace #Theatre by #organist Christopher J. Ha.— Stuart O. Smith, Jr. - sosAssociates.com (@sos_jr) November 24, 2018
At @PlayhouseSquare for Holidazzle 2018! #ThisIsCLE #theatre district! https://t.co/Gi7mWKgad9 pic.twitter.com/e0iC9KdZD7
Itâ€™s a perfect day to explore Playhouse Square while enjoying free activities for the whole family at Holidazzle! Join us until 4:30.ðŸŽ„ pic.twitter.com/LyTXFMAn8G— Playhouse Square (@playhousesquare) November 24, 2018
Thereâ€™s nothing more Cleveland than buying the @gvartwork Christmas sweatshirt (while getting an awesome free Lakewood t-shirt) and posing at the Christmas Story Selfie spot @playhousesquare pic.twitter.com/LY7uoRFaeC— Sra. Chavez (@SraChavezWE) November 24, 2018
You'll shoot your eye out. Fun times in Cleveland over Thanksgiving. pic.twitter.com/msdg2sq4oC— John Robitaille (@John_Robitaille) November 23, 2018
Check out @IchabodTheCrane while in @PSQDistrict for @PlayhouseSquareâ€™s Holidazzle 2018! https://t.co/Gi7mWKgad9— Stuart O. Smith, Jr. - sosAssociates.com (@sos_jr) November 24, 2018
Followed @IchabodTheCrane on Twitter per recommendation by @tkunsman: https://t.co/5YSqyBGj7O pic.twitter.com/URC62baS0t
And always talk under the dome!! #lovetheecho— Pete Marek (@PeteMarek) November 24, 2018
The @GELightingâ€™s #GEChandelier is worldâ€™s first and largest outdoor #Chandelier and is located at @PlayhouseSquare.— Stuart O. Smith, Jr. - sosAssociates.com (@sos_jr) November 24, 2018
Great to see Chandelier this time of year along with #ChristmasLights and other #Cleveland #theatre district lights in @PSQDistrict. https://t.co/AlyFaVtCdn pic.twitter.com/W0Fo5gwVr2
I enjoyed #Cleveland’s #FestivalOfTrees at @ClevePlayHouse during @PlayhouseSquare’s Holidazzle 2018 this past weekend.— Stuart O. Smith, Jr. - sosAssociates.com (@sos_jr) November 28, 2018
It is FREE & a must attend before #Christmas: https://t.co/vlSsSrLlD3
Here is a video from 2017 that highlights why you should visit: https://t.co/zODiecIokE
Yes, New York City is great. Chicago, too. But come on, #Cleveland at Christmastime gives them both a run for their money! The lobby of the Allen Theater is stunning! @playhousesquare #ThisIsCLE pic.twitter.com/Mi9q7lz6HI— Mike Brookbank (@brookbanktv) December 1, 2018
We did get to enjoy watching people skate on the Cleveland Foundation ice rink, the holiday lighting ceremony (including fireworks!), and the after-party in the Huntington Bank building.
The best thing is that Cleveland Public Square will continue to have outdoor activities through February.
Here are our @sos_jr tweets and retweets that not only share our experience and those of others attending the Cleveland Winterfest 2018, but also have information of what is happening at Cleveland Public Square.
Weekend plans? Make a date for free skating @CLEPublicSquare on Nov. 24 at #WinterFestCLE! Free skating passes will be distributed beginning 7 a.m. until they run out (limit 6 passes per person). Get all the details: https://t.co/xjhR8astbn. pic.twitter.com/SlrenoPT69— Cleveland Foundation (@CleveFoundation) November 23, 2018
Officially ready for Christmas! See you at Winterfest 2018 tomorrow?!? pic.twitter.com/Y5fu5651YB— Aerial Agents (@aerialagents) November 23, 2018
Join us @CLEPublicSquare TODAY for free skating @CleveFoundation Skating Rink during #WinterfestCLE! Free skating passes are available now until they run out, so don't delay. Limit 6 skating passes per person. Here's what to know before you go: https://t.co/cO8P8EYJbR. pic.twitter.com/dzcf7eCIik— Cleveland Foundation (@CleveFoundation) November 24, 2018
Now this is how you decorate the Higbees window in downtown Cleveland! @360vegas @Kerenmark @360VegasTony My friend Kristin with @ClevePlayHouse really made this amazing, esp compared to that generic window someone else made. pic.twitter.com/lbGSwaRbnJ— Josh Fab Dude (@JoshFabDude) November 17, 2018
#WinterfestCLE! Festivities include shopping, food and more, all leading up to the lighting ceremony at 6 p.m. You won’t be able to miss the main tree adorned with more than 130,000 GE branded LED multi-colored lights.— GE Lighting (@GELighting) November 24, 2018
Don't forget to head over to Public Square to pick up your free ice skating and carriage rides passes now! #winterfestCLE— DowntownCLE (@DowntownCLE) November 24, 2018
Don’t miss WINTERFEST + plus + Observation Deck EXTENDED HOLIDAY HOURS today thru DEC. 23 Saturday 12-8 + Sunday 12-8 proceeds will benefit those who are suffering GET YOUR TICKETS https://t.co/YPeB0UQM1u pic.twitter.com/KFQz6qsNiD— Terminal Tower CLE (@TowerLightsCLE) November 24, 2018
It's time to make your way back to Public Square for the tree lighting ceremony! The ceremony begins at 6 pm so make sure you are there in time for a good spot #winterfestCLE— DowntownCLE (@DowntownCLE) November 24, 2018
Arriving at Public Square for #WinterfestCLE!
See fun happening at @e4thst and the lights of @TowerLightsCLE look great as we walk from @PlayhouseSquare to @CLEPublicSquare for @DowntownCLE’s #winterfestCLE! https://t.co/zzpWtkM0Si— Stuart O. Smith, Jr. - sosAssociates.com (@sos_jr) November 24, 2018
Ice skating at @CLEPublicSquare provided by @CleveFoundation! https://t.co/Loxs1INxOj pic.twitter.com/6IaqORAQtr
Join us for the public after party in the lobby of the 200 Public Square! Enter on the Euclid Ave side! Starts as soon as the show is over.— DowntownCLE (@DowntownCLE) November 24, 2018
Winterfest! pic.twitter.com/h0yTPtmtYc— Polly Karr (@karr_pe) November 24, 2018
#Santa Claus has arrived and all the #ChristmasLights have been lit at @CLEPublicSquare during @DowntownCLE’s #winterfestCLE! https://t.co/zzpWtkM0Si— Stuart O. Smith, Jr. - sosAssociates.com (@sos_jr) November 24, 2018
Many #iceSkating on the @CleveFoundation rink! https://t.co/Loxs1INxOj pic.twitter.com/KdiZaWjymy
#Cleveland #ChristmasLights at @CLEPublicSquare for @DowntownCLE’s #winterfestCLE!— Stuart O. Smith, Jr. - sosAssociates.com (@sos_jr) November 25, 2018
Great lighting on the @CityofCleveland’s #Christmas tree from @GeneralElectric’s @GELighting: https://t.co/p2naiEWe1i
The #ThisIsCLE #music and #IceSkating on the @CleveFoundation’s rink continues on at #Cleveland’s @CLEPublicSquare for the @DowntownCLE’s #winterfestCLE! https://t.co/zzpWtkM0Si pic.twitter.com/fshgE5lmyw— Stuart O. Smith, Jr. - sosAssociates.com (@sos_jr) November 25, 2018
#ThisIsCLE fun!— Stuart O. Smith, Jr. - sosAssociates.com (@sos_jr) November 25, 2018
Thank you, @Huntington_Bank, for hosting the after-party in your building on #Cleveland’s @CLEPublicSquare for @DowntownCLE’s #winterfestCLE!
Thank you, @Starbucks, for the FREE hot chocolate, #Christmas #cookies, & yummy cake pops!https://t.co/zzpWtkM0Si pic.twitter.com/6LwkfxBMch
#ThisIsCLE - Great that people get to visit #Santa Claus at #Cleveland’s @Huntington_Bank lobby during the @DowntownCLE’s #winterfestCLE after-party on @CLEPublicSquare! https://t.co/zzpWtkM0Si pic.twitter.com/iiB2lAj27J— Stuart O. Smith, Jr. - sosAssociates.com (@sos_jr) November 25, 2018
Wow!— Polly Karr (@karr_pe) November 25, 2018
Great to see @TheCityClub & @Heinens all lit up this Saturday evening as we walk from @DowntownCLE’s WinterfestCLE at @CLEPublicSquare back to @PlayhouseSquare @PSQDistrict.— Stuart O. Smith, Jr. - sosAssociates.com (@sos_jr) November 25, 2018
#ThisIsCLE fun afternoon and evening!
Thank you @PlayhouseSquare Holidazzle & @DowntownCLE Winterfest! pic.twitter.com/zQx8K5WTXR
Perfect night!!!— ?Michelle Ebeling (@ShellE719) November 25, 2018
Thank you Cleveland #TheLand
At Winterfest CLE!!!! pic.twitter.com/xAfv5C48GV— Ohio City Singers (@ohiocitysingers) November 24, 2018
Great to have been a part of this Celebration!! Great Job Mark!! @TheNolanNation— ibewlocal38 (@ibew38cleveland) November 25, 2018
Enjoy sleigh rides, ice skating & fireworks at Downtown Cleveland’s #Winterfest celebration today, which kicks off the holiday season with the annual tree lighting ceremony. #Cleveland #Ohio #ThisisCle #VisitMeInCLE #interconcle #Winterfest2018https://t.co/I10dkyIGbx— InterContinentalCLE (@InterConCLE) November 25, 2018
Cleveland sure knows how to do Christmas! Spectacular Winterfest 2018 event in Public Square last evening put on by @dwntowncle. pic.twitter.com/Ym2ZeF5pJy— Aerial Agents (@aerialagents) November 25, 2018
@MannyWallace, great photos of @CLEPublicSquare during @DowntownCLE's #WinterfestCLE.— Stuart O. Smith, Jr. - sosAssociates.com (@sos_jr) November 25, 2018
I look forward to seeing all of your photos from Winterfest & holiday tree lighting ceremony when they are posted by @ClevelandScene.
cc: @Huntington_Bank @CleveFoundation @TheNolanNation https://t.co/lk9vx4ZM5c
On Sunday, November 24, 2018, Julie performed in TubaChristmas Cleveland. She has been playing her euphonium in Akron's TubaChristmas for over 15 years, and has participated in TubaChristmas Cleveland since 2015.
Excited to be conducting this year's TubaChristmas Cleveland! If you haven't registered yet, see info in the image! #TubaChristmas #Cleveland #ClevelandState #tuba #euphonium pic.twitter.com/RXTjkEDPav— Matthew Salvaggio (@MASConductor) November 13, 2018
Welcome to #TubaChristmas #Cleveland 2018!— Stuart O. Smith, Jr. - sosAssociates.com (@sos_jr) November 25, 2018
Cleveland’s annual #tuba and #euphonium #Christmas concert to start the holiday #musical season.
Here you can hear your favorite #carols and #holiday #songs, accompanied by the big brass ensemble. https://t.co/Ma2ouTi1OQ pic.twitter.com/9v17MmYQs4
Related Blog Posts
We have written many blog posts about PlayhouseSquare (view here) (including our Cleveland Play House posts), and Cleveland Foundation programs (view here), and a few about Public Square (view here). We welcome you to learn more about these great organizations by reading our related blog posts.
Here are our three blog posts about past Winterfests:
Blog Date: December 12, 2016 - A Thank-You for Cleveland Holidazzle & Winterfest 2016
Blog Date: December 10, 2013 - A Christmas Carol Social Media Night and Cleveland Winterfest
Blog Date: November 28, 2012 - Cleveland Winterfest 2012
We are fortunate that we have PlayhouseSquare (@PlayhouseSquare), Cleveland Play House (@ClevePlayHouse), Downtown Cleveland Alliance (@DowntownCLE), and the Cleveland Public Square (@CLEPublicSquare) planning activities that enhance the quality of life for people living in Greater Cleveland. We look forward to attending more great events at these sponsoring institutions year-round. We are also grateful for the Cleveland Foundation's (@CleveFoundation) support of the good work of these institutions.