November 25, 2014

Winterfest 2014

Winterfest, hosted by the Downtown Cleveland Alliance, has become the premier holiday celebration in downtown Cleveland. This year's event is packed with festivities and, for the first time, the city's Christmas tree will be lit in U.S. Bank Plaza, across from the sparkling lights of the chandelier in PlayhouseSquare.

Winterfest activities start at 1 p.m. on Saturday with a holiday pop-up shop at PlayhouseSquare, family-friendly entertainment, food trucks and free horse-drawn carriage rides outside the Cleveland Public Library. At 4:45 p.m. the Old Stone Church choir will take to the main stage to perform Christmas songs and choral music. The main event kicks off at 5 p.m. with a concert, lighting ceremony and grand fireworks display at PlayhouseSquare.

Other downtown establishments are getting in to the holiday spirit as well. The Festival of Trees returns to the Allen Theatre and will open at 11 a.m. on Saturday. Tower City will feature a holiday express train ride, Kringle's Inventionasium and Bruce the Talking Spruce starting at 10 a.m., followed by Toy Soldier and Fairy Godmother Holiday Shows at 1, 3 and 7 p.m.

The Hard Rock Cafe will offer pictures with Santa Claus from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and the 5th Street Arcades will host the Cleveland Bazaar, Northeast Ohio's longest-running independent craft show, from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. The Ritz-Carlton will feature its annual gingerbread house display in the lobby and the Horseshoe Casino will once again take guests back in time with its Holidays at the Higbee display.

Celebrate the start of the holiday season in Cleveland by spending the day downtown at Winterfest!

Winterfest 2014 hours:
Saturday, Nov. 29 from 1-7 p.m.

For more information and a complete schedule of events, visit Winterfest.

November 20, 2014

The Cleveland Flea Holiday Market

Suzuran Photography / The Cleveland Flea
The holidays are right around the corner, which means many people have already started their Christmas shopping. If you're looking for unique gifts this year, or want to support local artists this holiday season, stop by The Cleveland Flea's Holiday Market this weekend.

The Cleveland Flea, which began in early 2013, is a monthly pop-up event. The flea has grown to include more than 150 local vendors and artists. At the holiday flea expect to find a huge assortment of items and gifts, from jewelry to clothing to home decor to vintage items.

Expect there to be plenty of food and drinks at the holiday market as well, including holiday cocktails, mulled wine, hot cider and craft beers. Spice Kitchen + Bar will set up a pop-up cafe during the event on Saturday, and Jack Flaps and Luxe Kitchen and Lounge will offer brunch to shoppers on Sunday.

The market, held indoors at 6555 Carnegie Ave. in downtown Cleveland, is free both Saturday and Sunday. Those who want first dibs on items can purchase $25 tickets to a sneak peak party on Friday.

Shop local this holiday season at The Cleveland Flea.

The Cleveland Flea Holiday Market hours:
Friday, Nov. 21 from 5-9 p.m. (tickets required for the sneak-peak party)
Saturday, Nov. 22 from 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 23 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

For more information, visit The Cleveland Flea.

Crocker Park's Annual Holiday Tree Lighting

The holiday season officially kicks off at Crocker Park this Saturday as the outdoor shopping center hosts its annual holiday tree lighting celebration.

Starting at 3 p.m., a handful of local food trucks will line up on the property to dish out tasty food and desserts. Community group performances will take to the stage beginning at 5 p.m.

Dove Cameron and Ryan McCartan, from Disney's original series "Liv and Maddie" will perform live at 7 p.m. The main event of the evening, an appearance by Santa Claus and the lighting of Crocker Park's 50-foot Christmas tree, will take place at 7:30 p.m.

Following the tree lighting, a spectacular fireworks show will light up the night sky. Crocker Park's stores and restaurants will remain open throughout the event.

Get into the holiday spirit this weekend at Crocker Park!

Crocker Park's annual holiday tree lighting hours:
Saturday, Nov. 22 from 5-8 p.m.

For more information, visit Crocker Park.

October 30, 2014

Haunted House Highlights: 7 Floors of Hell

7 Floors of Hell is a must-visit for Halloween fans. The haunt, located in Middleburg Heights, has been featured on the Travel Channel, won a handful of awards and been dubbed one of the scariest attractions in the country.

This year 7 Floors of Hell upped the ante by offering 10 (that's right, 10!) brand new attractions for its "World of Nightmares" theme. Every monster imaginable comes to life to terrorize guests in the various houses.

This year's haunted attractions include the Mental Ward, Hillbilly Horror, Zombie Apocalypse, Clowns Domain, Shadows, Killer Theater, BioX, Journey into the Belly of the Beast, Body Snatchers and House of Nightmares.

The thrills aren't limited to the houses. Creatures roam the waiting lines and the Monster Midway, making people scream and run before they even enter the first attraction.

Tickets to this giant-sized haunt are $25 for general admission and $33 for speedpass admission. 7 Floors of Hell is open Thursdays and weekends through Nov. 2.

Prepared to be scared this Halloween weekend by visiting this monstrous World of Nightmares!

7 Floors of Hell hours:
Thursdays and Sundays from 7-10 p.m.
Saturdays and Sundays from 7 p.m.-midnight
*Nov. 2 hours are 7-9 p.m.

7 Floors of Hell is located at 19191 Bagley Road in Middleburg Heights. 

For more information, visit World of Nightmares.

October 29, 2014

Pumpkin carving contest at Bier Markt

Halloween is just two days away, which means it's time to get your jack-o'-lanterns ready! Bier Markt in Ohio City will host its annual pumpkin carving contest tonight.

Any guest who purchases one of the bar's pumpkin beers will receive a free pumpkin to carve at his or her table. The finished pumpkins will be displayed at the bar throughout the weekend so diners can vote on their favorite jack-o'-lantern. The winner will receive dinner for two at Bar Cento.

Grab you friends and show off your pumpkin carving skills tonight in Ohio City!

Pumpkin carving contest hours:
Wednesday, Oct. 29 starting at 5 p.m.

For more information, visit Bier Markt.

October 28, 2014

Haunted House Highlights: Factory of Terror

What do you get when you combine an abandoned aluminum foundry with mirror mazes, creatures of the night and gory decorations? Ohio's largest haunted house in Canton!

The Factory of Terror utilizes 160,000 square feet of space for an hour-long haunted house experience. Many visitors have exited the haunted house mid-way through, too scared to make it to the end.

The haunt features five different attractions. Guests start at the Asylum, filled with deranged patients and the first mirror maze ever constructed in U.S. haunted houses. Next is the Industrial Nightmare, featuring dangerous pieces from the original factory used to attack victims. Make it out alive and visitors are faced with another maze in the pitch-black Labryinth of Darkness. The Massacre on Mahoning is up next, which takes a treacherous journey through the former mansion of Mr. Terniz, the founder of the factory. Legend is that Mr. Terniz moved in to the factory to keep a close watch on his workers, but after experiencing a mental breakdown he went on a killing rampage and built his own personal cemetery confined within the walls of his mansion. Finally, guests will venture into the House of Nightmares, filled with blood, guts, gore and nightmarish creatures.

Tickets cost $26 for general admission and $36 for FASTpass admission. The haunt is open weekends through Nov. 1.

Ready to see if you can conquer this massive haunted house? Then head over to Factory of Terror this Halloween -- if you dare!

Factory of Terror hours:
Fridays and Saturdays from 7 p.m.-midnight
Sundays from 6-9 p.m.

Factory of Terror is located at 4125 Mahoning Road in Canton.

For more information, visit Factory of Terror.

Halloween is right around the corner, which means haunted houses are popping up all over the city. Over the next couple weeks, I'll be highlighting some of the creepiest, ghoulish and most sinister haunted houses Northeast Ohio has to offer.

October 23, 2014

Haunted House Highlights: Haunted Prison Experience

The Ohio State Reformatory, more commonly known as the Mansfield Reformatory, is a historic prison and a notoriously haunted building in Ohio. Stories abound of tortured spirits and ex-guards who remained trapped within the prison walls.

With once inhumane conditions and brutal treatment of prisoners, it's no surprise that Mansfield Reformatory is one of the most haunted places in the state.

The Mansfield Reformatory begins a truly haunted experience each fall as the Haunted Prison Experience takes shape inside. During the 45-minute haunt, guests will explore the darkened cellblocks and hallways while experiencing in-your-face thrills from actors and animatronic monsters. Spooky lighting and a spine-tingling soundtrack complete the haunted experience.

Who knows, maybe you'll even encounter an actual ghost during your haunted house journey!

Tickets cost $18 per person or $28 for a speedpass, which allows you to jump to the front of the line. Guests must be 13 years or older to enter. The haunt is open through Nov. 1. 

Haunted Prison Experience hours:
Thursdays from 7-11 p.m.
Fridays and Saturdays from 7 p.m.-midnight
Sundays from 7-10 p.m.
*Gates open at 6 p.m., box office opens at 6:30 p.m.

The Ohio State Reformatory is located at 100 Reformatory Road in Mansfield.

For more information, visit Haunted X.

Halloween is right around the corner, which means haunted houses are popping up all over the city. Over the next couple weeks, I'll be highlighting some of the creepiest, ghoulish and most sinister haunted houses Northeast Ohio has to offer.