2014 Cleveland Winter Fun

Winter activities in Cleveland

Sure, we get it. The easy thing to do around these parts when the sun sets before you leave work and a special Lake effect delivery is waiting for you before you get home is to hunker down. Why, after all, would you try braving the wind chill and overarching darkness when you could just embed yourself on the couch and pretend like it's not December?

Because it's not that bad. You know that though. We're a hardened Midwestern people, and ain't no snow or chills gonna keep us down, and bored, for months on end.

Plus, there's plenty to do, from one-off events and festivals to bucket-list items that you've been meaning to cross off for years. And with friends and family dropping back into town for the holidays and the work schedule tapering off into "holiday mode, " there's arguably more time than in any other months of the year to, ya know, actually do stuff.

You might not need suggestions, but we have a feeling you might, so we rounded up 25 things we're aching to do before the snow melts for good sometime next year. Let us know what you think should be added, unless "hunker down on the couch" is your suggestion, then just keep your thoughts to yourself. You're probably from Florida anyway.

Ride the Polar Express: The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad is something you should have ridden by now, but if you've been putting it off, the holiday season is the right time to buy a ticket. Through Dec. 21, the train is decked out in Christmas splendor with plenty of Santa action and charms for the little ones.

Toboggan: Okay, you've heard about the Metroparks' chalet in Strongsville, but have you actually gone? Probably not, and if you have, probably not since you were a kid. Where else — the answer is nowhere, in case you were wondering — can you shoot down a 1, 000-foot ice sheet?

Ice Skating: Whether it's a romantic date, with the family, or, well, a romantic date, nothing really beats a holiday skate outside. Head on over to Wade Oval to strap on the blades and pirouette, and inevitably fall down, under the skies. All for $5 too. Which is a bargain price just for the pleasure of watching would-be Romeos trying to stay on their feet.

Glow at the Botanical Gardens: For the third year, the eastside cultural outpost bedecks the interior and exterior of the gardens in winter wonderland decorations. A hundred gingerbread houses, a train ride, and lights. Lots of lights. Get your cultural obligations out of the way while bringing Santa cheer.

Museums: Let's go back to the cultural obligations for a second. Maybe you haven't had the time or the pre-holiday bussle has your schedule booked, but the various museums around town are pining for your attention. The Cleveland Museum of Art, MOCA, the Natural History Museum — you know you've been slacking.

Brite Winter Festival: On February 21, 2015, Ohio City will once again be the venue for an outdoor and indoor music festival that pulls together a bevy of top-notch local and regional acts. Yes, it's cold outside. But, as we mentioned before, no one cares. Bundle up, grab a cup, stand by the fire, and enjoy the tunes.

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