Looking for affordable family-friendly holiday activities in Northeast Ohio? We’re highlighting four of them here. We always recommend that you call ahead, just in case hours have changed. Enjoy!

Santa Express Train Rides

If your child would enjoy hopping on the Santa Express for a train ride to Santa’s holidayactivitiesnortheastohio.jpgPlace, then head out to Ohio Station Outlets at 9911 Avon Lake Road in Burbank, Ohio on any Saturday or Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. through December 17. There are special hours available from December 21-24, as well. Tickets are $7 per person; children aged 12 months and under ride free. While there, your child will hear stories about the North Pole, benefit from one-on-one time with Santa and get a chance to ask questions. You can bring your camera to take pictures. Find more information here. Note that the site suggests arriving early as tickets sell out quickly.

A Christmas Story House & Museum

Channel 19 offers a variety of family-friendly holiday activities to enjoy, including a visit to A Christmas Story House & Museum. This structure has been “restored to its movie splendor,” according to the site, and fans of watching Ralphie in A Christmas Story will appreciate how you can see original memorabilia, props and costumes. They include Randy’s snowsuit, toys from Higbee’s window, the family car, the chalkboard from the classroom, hundreds of rare behind-the-scenes photos and more. This house and museum are actually open year-round, other than major holidays, but they have special meaning during the holiday season. The cost is $11/adult; $9.50/senior; $8 for children ages 3-12; free for children under the age of two. You can visit any day of the week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 3159 W. 11th Street in Cleveland and your ticket entitles you to a guided tour of the house and yard, as well as entry into the museum.

Cleveland Botanical Garden

During the holiday season, you can see more than 100 gingerbread houses, each one unique, along with dozens of trees decorated for the season. Live holiday music is provided, and your family can enjoy the Garden Express Train that takes you through the outdoor gardens. There is also a new display of model trains that recreates scenes from Northeast Ohio, as well as Madagascar and Costa Rica. This holiday program, Glow, is available through December 31. If you’re already a member of the Botanical Garden, then admittance is free. Otherwise, it’s $16/adults and $12/children ages 3-12. Children 2 and under are free.

You can make a craft to take home and, for an additional fee, create your own gingerbread house. Cleveland Botanical Garden is open on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Wednesdays and Fridays. Sundays are from noon to 6 p.m. Special hours include Monday, December 18 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and, on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, the hours are 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The gardens are located at 11030 East Blvd. in Cleveland.

Candy Land Has Gone Wild

You can find plenty more to do for the holiday season at Cleveland.com – and that includes Candy Land Has Gone Wild, an event held at the Lake Metroparks Penitentiary Glen Nature Center at 8668 Kirkland-Chardon Road in Kirkland. Children can explore “natural” flavors as they play a larger-than-life indoor game. This activity is free and must be seen to be believed! It runs through January 1, open from noon to 5 p.m.

We wish you the happiest of holidays!

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