I’m not going to lie, I dread Cleveland winters. I always yell at my parents for choosing to live here instead of Puerto Rico, and while I don’t completely mean it, I definitely wouldn’t mind island living either. Waking up to sunshine, blue skies, and humidity in January sounds like a dream, lol!
Since that’s not my reality, though, I’ve found ways to cope. Surprisingly, the key to tolerating the Cleveland cold isn’t hibernating under blankets while eating pizza straight from the box (unless you enjoy cabin fever). If you want to survive (and thrive!), you have to go out and DO THINGS!
That said, here are 19 things to do in Cleveland in winter.
19 Things to Do in Cleveland in Winter
Visit the West Side Market.
You’ll discover over 100 vendors selling a variety of fresh produce, meat, seafood, and even baked goods! Plus, the aesthetic of the building is #instagramable.
Try a new dinner spot.
Cleveland has birthed some great (and well known!) chefs, including Michael Symon! And that makes for an incredible restaurant scene. Some of my favorites include Lola, Astoria, and Parkers Downtown. If you want killer ambiance, Marble Room Steaks and Raw Bar is an absolute must-do.
Go to the Cleveland Museum of Art.
It’s “one of the world’s most distinguished comprehensive art museums” (source)… and it’s ever changing! You can visit their website to check out their current features and activity calendar. They actually host some pretty cool events, one of my favorites being MIX at CMA.
Hit up the Great Lakes Science Center.
I especially recommend this place if you have kids. I’ve taken my niece (now 7) a few times and she keeps asking to go back. I’d say that’s a good sign!
Tour the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
This is easily one of my favorite things to do in CLE! At “the Rock Hall”, you can travel through time by reading about and engaging with artifacts from musical artists around the world. You’ll see costumes, and videos, and awards… and it’s just insanely cool!
Drink a beer with your morning donut.
If you didn’t think this combo was a thing, think again! Brewnuts is part donut shop, part waterhole. And it’s as yummy as it is unique.
Stroll around downtown.
Even if you’ve done it 100 times, there’s always something new to see! Yeah, it might be cold in winter, but if you’re popping in and out of places you’ll be fine! 😉 Be sure to add Heinen’s and The Arcade onto your agenda. They’re always a sight to see!
Bop around The Flats East Bank.
If you’re into bocce, arcade games, mini golf, eating, drinking, etc, you can do all of these things and then some at this lakeside destination. And, yes, all of said activities are indoors.
Explore the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.
It’s open year round, folks! They only close on Christmas Day and New Years day.
Coffee shop hop.
I wouldn’t recommend trying them all in the same day (unless you can handle high dosages of caffeine), but Cleveland has some pretty cool coffee shops! My favorites are Pour, Phoenix, and Erie Island.
Visit Playhouse Square.
Aside from New York, this is the largest performing arts center in the nation. And they have some incredible shows (even Broadway plays!) that pass through (source). Click here to see what’s happening now and in the near future.
Belly laugh at Hilarities.
This comedy theater hosts 7 shows a week, and they’re under the same roof as an awesome restaurant (Pickwick and Frolic), too.
Brunch with friends.
Or by yourself, I won’t judge you. There are a TON of awesome brunch spots in Cleveland, but Townhall is one of my favorites. Here’s a list of brunch spots in Cleveland that Cleveland Scene put together if you want to dig a little deeper.
Visit the “A Christmas Story” House.
You won’t shoot your eye out, but you’ll have a lot of fun exploring Ralphie’s digs.
Go hunting for murals.
Eat a hot dog covered in – well, whatever you want!
Happy Dog is known for is known for covering this great American delicacy in other great American delicacies – like Cheetos and Lucky Charms. And if you thought being vegan would stop you, I’m happy to share that they have vegan dogs, too. Sooo… NO EXCUSES.
Get ramen in Ohio City!
Try ALL of the taco spots!
Get your sweat on.
We have SO many cool boutique fitness studios in Cleveland, many of which I’ve not even been lucky enough to try! But check out Corus 45, Groove Ride, or Ride and Workout if you’re looking for something fun and interesting.
>> Do you have something to add to this list? Feel free to comment your favorite things to do in Cleveland below! The more ideas, the better for all of us.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for reading. Do your best today, babe!