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Holiday Shopping & Events Guide

Holiday activities, events celebrate season

11/26/2009 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

Visitors of Hale Farm & Village will be able to travel back in time during the Lantern Tours of holidays past, which will take place Dec. 4-5, 11-12 and 18-23.
Photo courtesy of Hale Farm & Village
Sunita Joshi and Damien Highfield are shown as the Spanish Couple in Ballet Theatre of Ohio’s “Nutcracker.”
Photo courtesy of Ballet Theatre of Ohio
Cynthia and Lawrence Nixon work on a past holiday display they arranged inside UA’s Polsky Building window.
Photo courtesy of the city of Akron
NORTHEAST OHIO — The holidays bring a variety of activities and events for the whole family to mark and celebrate the sights and sounds of the season. The following is a sample of area offerings in greater Akron and Cleveland.

Akron’s “Welcome Santa” Holiday Parade will take place Nov. 28 at noon along Main Street between Cedar and Bowery streets.

Children’s Hospital’s 28th Annual Holiday Tree Festival runs through Nov. 29 at the John S. Knight Center in Downtown Akron. The event includes more than 200 decorated full-size trees, wreaths, miniature trees, gingerbread displays and countless holiday creations, as well as local entertainment surrounded by 85,000 strings of dazzling lights. All display items are for sale, with proceeds supporting patient care programs, education and research at Akron Children’s Hospital. Viewing hours are Thanksgiving Day from 2 to 6 p.m., Nov. 27-28 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Nov. 29 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is free.

Chriskindl Market at Lock 3 in Downtown Akron will be open Thursdays through Sundays, Nov. 27 to Dec. 31. This year, local ethnic groups will be selling handcrafted items along with a few vendors from Chemnitz, Germany. The market also will feature free ice-skating through Jan. 31, with skate rentals available for $2 each. Lock 3 will be the city’s major collection point for new toys to be delivered to more than 150 families supported by Akron’s Victim Assistance Program and Furnace Street Mission. Donations of gently used winter coats and nonperishable food items for the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank also will be accepted. Also, Akron’s tree lighting ceremony will take place Nov. 27 at 7 p.m. inside the park, with a light and fireworks show after the ceremony.

A Christmas Story House and Museum, now restored to its movie splendor, is located in Cleveland’s Tremont neighborhood. This year, the site will “go Griswold” with 25,000 twinkle lights to celebrate the 20th anniversary of National Lampoon’s “Christmas Vacation.” Tours of the house museum, with admission of $5.50 to $7.50, are available year-round Thursdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m., as well as Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Nov. 26 to Dec. 31. For details, call (216) 298-4919 or visit www.achristmasstoryhouse.com.

Cleveland Orchestra Christmas Concerts at Severance Hall in Cleveland will take place Dec. 11-21 and include: eight concerts with the Cleveland Choruses; two performances with Eileen Ivers; two performances of Burning River Brass, featuring the 12-member Burning River Brass ensemble and organist Todd Wilson; two performances of Handel’s Messiah; and three different Holiday Musical Rainbow programs for children up to age 10 — “Music of Chanukah,” “All About Kwanzaa” and “Christmas Brass Quintet.” Also, families can arrive early for the 3 p.m. Christmas Concerts Dec. 12-13 and 19-20 and enjoy Lunch With Santa in Severance Restaurant from noon until 3 p.m. For show times and ticket information, visit www.clevelandorchestra.com or call (216) 231-7373.

Cleveland Play House Festival of Trees will run through Jan. 3. The event features a display of more than 50 locally sponsored and professionally decorated holiday trees. The event is free and open to the public Mondays through Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m.. It will be closed Thanksgiving and Christmas days. For more information, call (216) 795-7000 or visit www.clevelandplayhouse.com.

• Grow Barberton Inc.’s Downtown Barberton Christmas Walk and the city of Barberton’s Lighting of Lake Anna is scheduled for Nov. 28 at 5 p.m. at Lake Anna Park, located between West Park and West Lake avenues. The tree lighting and lighting of Lake Anna will take place at the gazebo at 6 p.m., but the four corners of the lake also contain lighting displays with different themes. The lighting event will be followed by a downtown parade. The event also will include local businesses offering a variety of specials, costume characters wandering around the town, train and hay rides around the lake, craft activities, a live nativity at St. Augustine Church furnished by Grace Bible Church, visits with Santa at FirstMerit Bank and performances by choral, dance, instrumental and theater groups. Programs for various activities and performances will be available at local businesses and at Lake Anna. For details, call (330) 472-0366.

Hale Farm & Village in Bath will present a Yule Log Celebration Dec. 3 from 6 to 8 p.m. Enjoy a glass of mulled cider, the story of the Yule Log and sing carols around a bonfire. Also, visitors can travel back to the 19th century with Lantern Tours of holidays past, with the grounds all decked out in traditional fashion for the holidays, Dec. 4-5, 11-12 and 18-23. The cost is $15 for members and $18 for nonmembers. To make a reservation, call (330) 666-3711 or visit www.wrhs.org.

• The 16th annual Holiday CircleFest will take place Dec. 6 from 1 to 7 p.m. at University Circle’s Wade Oval in Cleveland. Visitors are invited to hop aboard a shuttle bus to visit more than 20 museums, gardens, galleries, churches and schools for music, activities and shopping, capped off by the Cleveland Museum of Art’s Winter Lights Lantern procession. For details, call (216) 791-3900 or visit www.universitycircle.org/uci.aspx?page=107.

• Akron Symphony Orchestra and Chorus’ Holiday Pops concert will take place Dec. 18 at 7:30 p.m. at The University of Akron’s E.J. Thomas Hall. Tickets range in price from $20 to $40 and are available at the Thomas Hall Box Office or by calling (330) 535-8131.

• The Lettermen Christmas Show will take place Dec. 13 at 7 p.m. at the Akron Civic Theatre, 182 S. Main St. Tickets, which cost $25 and $35, are available through TicketMaster or by calling the Civic Box Office at (330) 253-2488.

• The Medina County Women’s Endowment Fund Festival of Trees will take place Nov. 27-29 in conjunction with the 30th annual Christmas in the Colonies craft fair at the Medina County Fairgrounds Community Center. The event features decorated trees and holiday decorations available for sale to benefit the fund. For details, visit www.akroncommunityfdn.org/medinawef.

“Nutcracker,” performed by Ballet Theatre of Ohio, will take place Nov. 28-29 and Dec. 4-6 at the Akron Civic Theatre, 182 S. Main St. in Downtown Akron. Matinee and evening performances are scheduled. Tickets range in price from $18 to $40 and are available by contacting the Civic Box Office at (330) 253-2488 or TicketMaster at (330) 945-9400.

• Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet will perform “The Nutcracker” at Playhouse Square’s Allen Theatre in Cleveland with 45 live musicians. Performances will be Dec. 10-11 at 7 p.m., Dec. 12 at 1 and 7 p.m. and Dec. 13 at 2 p.m. Tickets range from $10 to $75 and may be purchased by calling (216) 241-6000 or visiting www.PlayhouseSquare.org or the Playhouse Square Ticket Office. Special discounts are offered for groups of 15 or more.

Polsky’s Holiday Window Displays, sponsored by Downtown Akron Partnership, includes holiday displays Nov. 25 through New Year’s Eve in The University of Akron’s Polsky Building’s Main Street windows, at State Street and University Avenue. This year, the displays, created by Cynthia and Lawrence Nixon, feature the “Prince and Princess” and the “Land of Oz.”

Ryan Humbert: Strung out for the Holidays concert will take place Dec. 12 at 7:30 p.m. at the Akron Civic Theatre, 182 S. Main St. The Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank will be celebrating the end of its annual Long Haul Against Hunger food drive by collecting nonperishable food, canned goods and financial contributions outside the Civic the day of show. Proceeds from ticket sales also will benefit the foodbank. Tickets, which cost $15 and $20, are available through TicketMaster or by calling the Civic Box Office at (330) 253-2488.

Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens’ Deck the Hall program will take place 5 to 8 p.m. Nov. 27-29, Dec. 3-6, 10-13, 17-20, 22-23, 26-27 and 29-30 at 714 N. Portage Path in West Akron. This year, 25 rooms will be decorated with Christmas collections such as snow globes, gingerbread houses, Christmas quilts and Barbie and American Girl® doll collections. A collection of nutcrackers will be displayed in the Corbin Conservatory, where children up to age 17 will receive a free gingerbread cookie, reminiscent of the Seiberling family tradition of giving Christmas cookies to guests visiting at holiday time. The event also will include musical entertainment. For a list of performers, visit www.stanhywet.org. New this year, Clear Gold Audio & Lighting will illuminate the Conservatory roof with candy cane stripes and other elaborate patterns. Just outside the Corbin Conservatory on Friday evenings, culinary students from the Garde Manger Club of The University of Akron will create holiday-themed ice sculptures. The gardens and grounds also will be dressed in a winter wonderland of lights. For tickets and details, call (330) 315-3287 or (330) 836-5533 or visit the Web site.

• The 30th annual Tuba-Christmas will take place Dec. 19 at noon at The University of Akron’s E.J. Thomas Hall. Admission is free for this event, which features a sing-along with hundreds of decorated tubas. The cost for low brass musicians who want to participate is $5. To register, contact Tucker Jolly at (330) 972-6641 or via e-mail at trjolly@uakron.edu.

Winterfest in Public Square will take place Nov. 28 at 6:30 p.m. in Downtown Cleveland. Half a million lights on Public Square and the city’s Christmas tree will magically come to life, followed by the Winterfest Music and Fireworks Show with Neil Zaza and the Singing Angels. Free family entertainment will include horse-drawn carriage rides, holiday concerts, historic tours, the Guitar Hero® Challenge at the House of Blues, Xbox Basketball Challenge at Cadillac Ranch, pictures with Santa, ice sculpting and holiday movie showings. For details, call (216) 621-3300 or visit www.cleveland.com/winterfest.

• Pointe West Performances will present a free interactive dance performance, Winter Suite: Madeline’s Magic Holiday, Dec. 6 at 2 p.m. in the Akron-Summit County Main Library Auditorium at 60 S. High St. as part of its annual holiday “Gift to the Community” Tour. Characters from “Madeline’s Christmas” story will be used to create a fun and interactive dance performance for audiences of all ages and cultural backgrounds. The show includes a “magic carpet ride” entrance to the lobby of the auditorium, displays and demonstrations by the various international performers in costume, and an opportunity to try out various ethnic instruments and see performers’ up-close dance movements from countries around the world. The show continues in the theater, with children receiving a hand-held candy cane that will serve as a dancing prop for the finale.

• The Cleveland Botanical Garden and University Circle Inc. have teamed up to present WinterShow, which will run through Jan. 3, Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. The event features a centerpiece tree, gingerbread creations, window displays, festive holiday plants in the Eleanor Armstrong Smith Glasshouse and skating at Wade Oval. Tickets cost $3 for children ages 3 to 12 and $7.50 for adults. For details, call (216) 721-1600 or visit www.cbgarden.org.

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