A Complete Guide to 28 Holiday Events in the Akron and Canton Area
It’s nearly here! The holiday season has snuck up on us once again and pretty soon strings of lights will be adorning the fronts of houses and your mailbox will be bulging with Christmas cards.
This time of year, our calendars fill with family get-togethers, ugly Christmas sweater parties and white elephant gift exchanges. Take a breather from the craziness of the holidays and visit one of the many events happening this season in Akron and Canton! From watching the Nutcracker to swimming with Santa, there’s something for everyone this time of year.
We tracked down some of the most exciting events going on this season, so mark your calendars and make the holiday one to remember!
For the wine lover in your family, visit this year’s Market Place Gala at Gervasi Vineyard! Enjoy tiny treats while you shop their new holiday lines, dine in the Crush House for a special holiday lunch, and get an expanded tour of the winery. They promise a memorable experience that appeals to all the senses!
Make sure to mark your calendars for the 37th Annual Holiday Tree Festival in Akron, where you can see more than 200 trees, 85,000 strings of lights and other holiday creations! It’s a truly beautiful sight and all proceeds benefit the Akron Children’s Hospital.
The Akron Zoo will most definitely have the wildest light display this holiday season. Almost the entire zoo will be decorated and many animals will be on exhibit. While you’re there, stop by Santa Land and tell Santa your holiday wishes, visit Holly Jolly Hillside which will feature lighted North American animals and trees synchronized to music, take a ride on the Wild Winter Express train ride, and stop by Mrs. C’s Sweets for a s’more!
When: November 23 at 7 p.m. and November 24 at 11 a.m.
Where: Lock 3, Akron
The night after Thanksgiving, be sure to head over to Lock 3 to watch the streets of downtown Akron light up with thousands of holiday lights and fireworks! There will also be live performances, ice skating and holiday treats.
Take a stroll down Main Street between Bowery and State this holiday season and enjoy the largest seasonal vintage collection in Ohio. Department store’s will showcase animated displays from the 1960’s-80’s in the windows of the O’neil’s, Polsky and Landmark buildings.
When: November 24-December 23, Fridays and Saturdays 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Sundays 12-5 p.m.
Where: Beech Creek Gardens, Alliance
There’s so much to see at this weekend holiday event! Have fun and learn something new at the Beech Creek Gardens. Enjoy Candyland and the Christmas Express, explore the Festival of Trees, visit with the Grinch, learn about animals in winter, complete workshops for adults and children, sip hot cocoa, and more!
When: November 24-December 2, Saturdays at 2 and 7 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m.
Where: Akron Civic Theatre
This wonderful holiday tradition lives on in Akron and is a “must-do” for you and your family. Roger Durbin of the West Side Leader wrote,”… the production levels in Artistic Director Christine Meneer’s version — as well as her engaging choreography — capture the audience and transport it for a couple of hours into a magical, wonderful, escapist wonderland.” Get your tickets here.
Make sure to start off the holiday season right. Sip an invigorating cup of tea in the Dragonfly Tea Room while snacking on holiday treats and listening to live music. Call ahead to make a reservation!
Where: McKinley Presidential Library & Museum, Canton
This annual party will definitely be a fun time for the entire family. There will be musical entertainment, crafts for kids, open-hearth cooking demonstrations, special planetarium and science shows and, of course, a visit from Santa! The museum will be beautifully decorated with over 30 trees and holiday scenes. Reservations are appreciated.
Historic Canal Fulton invites you to stroll the streets of the downtown area and celebrate this holiday season. The blocked off streets will allow space for wood and ice carvers, carolers, and wagon rides. Stop by and visit Santa and meet Mrs. Oberlin for tours of the Oberlin House and Olde Canal Days Museum. Shops will be open late to offer special discounts, refreshments and entertainment. When the sun goes down, the electric lights parade and tree lighting ceremony will commence!
For an event the whole family will enjoy, Hands-On Holidays at the Akron’s Children’s Museum is perfect! Meet fun holiday characters as you explore interactive exhibits with special make-and-take crafts. Paint your own snowman, design your own cookie, enjoy a live DJ and more — plus, adults AND kids can enter to win fun prizes. They will also be hosting a Winter Warmth Drive at the event and collecting gloves, hats, socks and scarves for kids and adults for Family Promise of Summit County.
Where: Huston-Brumbaugh Nature Center, University of Mount Union, Alliance
Celebrate the holiday season in nature. The Huston Brumbaugh Nature Center’s annual holiday celebration features crafting, s’mores and hot chocolate by the fire, live acoustic music, and a visit with Santa Claus in a 1800’s-era cabin. This event is truly simple holiday fun for the whole family!
This spirited festival will feature 14 city blocks of attractions, ice skating, entertainment, refreshments, sleigh rides, singers and dancers, a visit from Santa, and incredible fireworks! The best part is, this event is free and fun for all ages.
Put a little history in your holiday festivities by visiting Canton Woman’s Club on December 7 to see their 150-year-old Victorian home decorated for the holidays! Admission to the house is free and dinner will be available at an additional cost.
Looking for a unique holiday experience this season? Make sure to check out this event featuring 20 of the world’s most skilled Irish dancers and musicians. Carol of the Kings brings an exciting story of love that will transport the audience to a new time and place.
Where: Edwin J. Thomas Performing Arts Hall, The University of Akron
Join the Akron Symphony Orchestra as they ring in the holidays with an evening of traditional carols, inspiring songs and holiday cheer. There’s also a rumor that a certain special visitor from the North Pole will be making an appearance so make sure to reserve your seat soon!
Don’t buy the prepackaged gingerbread houses this year, go visit Fieldcrest Estate and build one there! This event is perfect for families, friends, couples or crafty singles. Visitors get to choose their floor plans to build and decorate, so you can create an original masterpiece. Reservations are required.
Santa left the reindeer behind this year and is arriving in Akron and Canton a little differently — by plane! Go watch him touch down and get a photo of your loved ones with Santa. In return, you are asked to bring a food donation for the Reserves/National Guard Family Services Food Pantry that services troops stationed at the Akron Canton Airport.
Join the Canton Symphony Orchestra for their celebration of the holiday season! Sing along to some of your favorite carols and listen to beautiful renditions of holiday songs. Individual tickets are on sale now.
Don’t miss out on this opportunity to see a Christmas classic live on stage. This is a fresh take on A Charlie Brown Christmas so you’ll be experiencing the storyline in a completely new way. This Peanuts experience also includes an intermission — and after the show, audience members are invited to join the Peanuts gang in singing Christmas favorites!
The story of It’s a Wonderful Life is a natural for a stage adaptation. Come watch the saga of George Bailey as he discovers how amazing his life really is, live on stage. Support your local theater and experience the true meaning of Christmas!
Celebrating 10 years of making Christmas memories, bring the whole family to enjoy holiday carols, heartwarming new melodies, a rockin’ band segment, and a singalong! Majestic Voice Chorus will be joined by dancers from “A Time to Dance” in North Canton, featuring ballet, a chorus line and Irish Step Dancing.
After gaining recognition on America’s Got Talent and TRU TV’s Fake Off, Lightwire Theater has gone on to perform all over the world. By using a combination of puppetry, theater and dance with the music of holiday classics, Lightwire Theater promises an exhilarating holiday experience for the whole family.
Santa Claus is coming to town, but he needs a break. To relax, he decided to pay a visit to the Massillon Rec Center for a swim and some cookies. Bring your kids to join him! They’ll be able to hang out with Santa while listening to some Christmas music and taking a dip themselves. You must have proper swim attire to participate in the event.
Where: E.J. Thomas Performing Arts Hall, The University of Akron
Over 300 incredible costumes, 20 world-class acts, amazing singers, and original music, as well as seasonal favorites come together in a two-hour breathtaking event. Boston Globe calls it “Entrancing… Las Vegas meets family entertainment”. You don’t want to miss this high-flying spectacle this season!
This is a holiday rock event for the whole family, featuring former members of classic rock giants — Rainbow, Alice Cooper, Ted Nugent Band and others — along with Broadway and Theater veterans. This diverse group will perform a holiday rock opera titled “Tales Beneath a Northern Star”. Join them on their journey inside a snow globe in search of the true meaning of Christmas.
Experience this holiday classic on the big screen! Akron Civic Theatre will be playing The Polar Express in their gorgeous theater for free — all you need is a ticket which you can get from the Akron Civic Box Office. These tickets are almost gone, so get yours soon!
Have a Happy Holiday!
However you and your family decide to celebrate the holidays this year, remember to stay safe and have fun. From all of us at Cutler Real Estate, have a happy holiday season!