From: Saturday, Nov 27th, 2021
To: Friday, Dec 24th, 2021
Cleveland Winterfest 2021
Winterfest is Cleveland’s official kick-off to the holiday season each year. The event is hosted by the Downtown Cleveland Alliance.
Held the first Saturday after Thanksgiving, Downtown Cleveland’s annual Winterfest is everything you want out of a holiday season kickoff: twinkling lights, festive holiday trees, horse-drawn carriage rides, hot cocoa and caroling. Since this is Cleveland, add in some live music, a beer festival and a massive fireworks display.
The Lighting of the Christmas Tree
- Winterfest marks the official beginning of the holiday season in Cleveland. The event ends with the lighting of the city’s Christmas tree. Events take place in Public Square and are inspired by traditional European Christmas markets. There’s ice skating, a Christmas village and live music. After dark, after the tree lighting, stay for the fireworks show and a visit from Santa Claus. Have you been naughty? Food trucks are always on hand to give visitors a taste of the best that Cleveland has to offer with traditional Christmas Dishes and mulled wine.
- The Cleveland Bazaar, an indie craft favorite, opens a holiday-themed pop-up shop at a designated location (more recently at the 5th Street Arcades).
The after party
Don’t forget the after-party! Whether it’s enjoying cookies and hot chocolate after the tree is lit, or heading to the gay districts for some adult beverages, Cleveland makes sure there’s a whole sleighful of chances to unwind after the cold and eventful day.
- Twist Social Club (11633 Clifton Blvd.). An upscale lounge at the Cleveland/Lakewood border, Twist is especially nice during summer months when its giant windows are opened and the crowds spill out onto the patio. facebook.com/TwistSocialClub
- Union Nightclub (1392 W. 6th St.) Music transcends everything and this premier Downtown nightclub is open for anyone who enjoys EDM,
- House and International music. facebook.com/UNIONCleveland
- The Hawk (11217 Detroit Ave.) A down-to-earth,cozy bar serving the LGBTQ community for nearly 40 years in Cleveland’s west side Cudell neighborhood. A local fave. thehawkbar.com
- Cocktails Cleveland (9208 Detroit Ave.) The basement bar opens in the evenings, Wednesday through Sunday. facebook.com/CocktailsCleveland
- Vibe Bar + Patio (11633 Lorain Ave.) Voted the best LGBTQ bar in Cleveland, this west side hot spot features a large outdoor patio and daily Happy Hour. Open to everyone – gay, lesbian, transgender or straight – come as you are. vibecleveland.com
- Leather Stallion (2205 St. Clair Ave.). Cleveland’s oldest leather bar features regular theme parties that have built a community feel. But it’s best known for its patio, a huge draw on summer Sunday evenings, when even those who don’t have an interest in leather can’t resist. leatherstallion.com
- Interbelt (70 N. Howard St., Akron) and Square(820 W. Market St., Akron). These two Akron hotspots are your best bets for parties that range fromkaraoke to dancing to drag, and often include national DJs and performers. interbelt.com and
- G2H2 (various locations). By far the most happening LGBTQ happy hour in town, this gathering moves around to different restaurants and bars the third Friday of each month from 5:30-9pm. Mostly men, however everyone is welcome. G2H2.com
Here are the Hotels we recommend that keep you close to all the action,
Recommended Apartments in Cleveland
This property offers access to a patio, free private parking and free WiFi. 2 bedrooms, a kitchen with a dishwasher and a microwave, a flat-screen TV, a seating area and 1 bathroom equipped with a shower.
1 & 2 Bedroom
The air-conditioned units come with a kitchen that includes a microwave, a private bathroom with free toiletries, and a living room with a flat-screen TV. A fridge and coffee machine are also featured. Free WiFi.
Close to Hot Spots
The apartment has 1 bedroom, a flat-screen TV, an equipped kitchen with a dishwasher and a microwave, a washing machine, and 1 bathroom with a shower. Private parking available on site and free WiFi
Air-conditioned accommodation with a patio and free WiFi. The apartment is equipped with 1 bedroom, a flat-screen TV with cable channels and a fully equipped kitchen that provides guests with a microwave.
Recommended Hotels in Cleveland
The Westin Cleveland
4 Star – Central Location
Each room at the hotel provides a flat-screen cable TV and refrigerator. Complete with a bath or shower, private bathrooms also include a hairdryer and free toiletries. A seating area and iPod dock are also provided in every room.
4 Star, Luxury
At the hotel, rooms are equipped with a desk. Each room is fitted with a private bathroom with free toiletries and a hairdryer. All units include a wardrobe. A buffet breakfast can be enjoyed in the breakfast area.
Drury Plaza Hotel
3 Star – Great Amenities
Guests can enjoy the indoor pool, hot tub and 24-hour fitness centre at the hotel. Complimentary hot breakfast and afternoon popcorn and soda are offered daily. On-site guest laundry and a guest pantry are also available
Hampton Inn Cleveland
3 Star – Perfect Location
Guests at the city centre Cleveland Hampton Inn can enjoy a restful night’s sleep on the hotel’s signature Cloud Nine. The hotel also provides a as well as free wireless internet access.