Bill’s photo of the Cleveland skyline from Huntington Beach – February, 2012 .
Post-holidays in Cleveland, when the white world seems to close in on you, sometimes it’s hard to venture out of the cozy warmth of the house and seek out entertainment (I recently heard this time referenced as “The Christmas Cliff.”). Even though I meant to be a skier, I’m not, so am always looking for entertainment that either incorporates the cold and snow or ignores the cold and snow.
So, I offer this list of things to do in Cleveland that will keep you inspired. I’ve tried to limit it to events that are free or relatively inexpensive and to those that I’ve actually experienced. What I haven’t even begun to mine is the plethora of theatre opportunities in Cleveland and I’ve only touched on the museum scene in this town (Did you know we have a Money Museum??).
1. Sunday Classics at the Capital Theatre: http://www.clevelandcinemas.com/promo.asp?ID=29#classics. For $5 you can watch a classic film on the big screen and then go to brunch at one of the great nearby restaurants in Gordon Square Arts District.
2. Cleveland Museum of Art – at night – the Museum is open late on Wednesdays and Fridays and even have a happy hour on Friday: http://www.clevelandart.org/visit. With darkness, the exhibits take on a different glow that feeds your soul.
3. Market Garden Brewery Brews and Prose series: http://marketgardenbrewery.com/news-and-events/ where once a month you can get good beer, good food, and hear local writers do their thing.
4. Gallucci’s “cooking” classes: http://tasteitaly.com – these aren’t really classes, but you do get recipes and where else can you go to sit in the aisles of a grocery store and get served multiple courses of interesting Italian food on Styrofoam plates while drinking all the wine you can handle – usually, for $50.00.
5. A variety of film series – for the west-siders, at LCCC’s Stocker Center: https://www.lorainccc.edu/Stocker+Arts+Center/fss.htm or for east-siders, at the Cleveland Institute of Art’s Cinematheque: http://www.cia.edu/cinematheque/film-schedule, both of which usually have a short introduction or post-screening discussion.
6. Okay, so I’m biased, but the Lakewood High School Lakewood Project’s winter concert http://www.lakewoodcityschools.org/content_page.aspx?cid=798 is always a blast. It’s a high school rock orchestra that will reaffirm your hope in the future when you see these young people work their magic on their electric strings and other instruments.
7. So, you put the bike and golf clubs away for the winter, but that shouldn’t stop you from bundling up and taking on a few of the wonderful hikes within spitting distance of Cleveland. The Cuyahoga Valley National Park is a good place to start: http://www.nps.gov/cuva/planyourvisit/recommended-hikes.htm. If it really gets cold, do what my husband used to do with the kids and hike a stream that gives you a totally different perspective on whatever area you choose.
8. Visit a beach. Talk about a different perspective, seeing the ice monster that is Lake Erie in winter is worth getting chilled – check out the sculptural qualities of frozen waves. See what happens to sand. It gives a new meaning to “cool”.
9. Of course, there’s the Cleveland Orchestra, but go see Apollo’s Fire Baroque Orchestra: http://www.apollosfire.org. Their Christmas concert Sacrum Mysterium, a blend of Celtic song and dance was totally energizing and spiritual in a way I couldn’t have imagined. We hope to get to the Intimate Vivaldi program in January or February. The group performs all over the Cleveland and Akron area, but on limited dates.
10. Throw a party – the planning, shopping, and executing of a party is a fun, creative project. Try a dinner-and-a -movie party or my friend Karen’s shop-at-the-Westside Market-in-the-afternoon–and-cook-what-you-bought-in-the-evening party. Game night. And people are more open – and available – in the winter when, those who haven’t read this list, think there isn’t a lot to do in Cleveland in the winter.