Why? Weekends, Part 1!

We had a busy weekend, so I decided to split it up into two posts. On Thursday and Saturday evenings, we attended wonderful fundraising events, so I’ll fill you in on those first…

Red & White on Thursday Night

On Thursday, we headed down to Akron for Red & White on Thursday Night, a fundraiser for the Arthritis Foundation, Ohio.

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I always enjoy this event because it gives me a chance to experience so many of Akron’s great restaurants in one spot!

We noshed on delicious short ribs and parsnip puree from Crave

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…artichoke D’Agnese from D’Agnese’s at White Pond

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…mini Galley Boys from Swenson’s Drive In

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…lobster mac ‘n cheese from The Galaxy Restaurant and lobster rolls from Bistro on Main

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…and sweet treats from Chocolates by Erin and West Side Bakery.

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Everything was delicious and we washed it down with lots of wine! There were lots of great silent auction items up for bid, too, like a Baker Mayfield autographed football, jewelry from Kendra Scott, and more.

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Great food, great wine, and a great time, all for a great cause!

***Disclosure: I was asked by the Arthritis Foundation, Ohio to help promote Red & White on Thursday Night. In exchange, I received two complimentary VIP tickets to the event. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Allison Rose Foundation Founders Event

On Saturday night, Mom and I attended the Allison Rose Foundation Founders Event.

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The Allison Rose Foundation was started after Allison Suhy’s life was tragically cut short due to anaphylaxis brought on by a food allergy. Out of this loss, Allison’s family decided to start a foundation to educate families about food allergies, help children transition to safe independent living with food allergies, and research new treatments and cures for food allergies.

The Founders Event was a celebration of how much Allison and her family mean to their community. The room was packed with family, friends, and fellow firefighters (Allison’s dad is the fire chief in Cuyahoga Heights).

Speaking of firefighter support, I got a chance to meet UFC Champ and Valley View firefighter Stipe Miocic, who was there to support the event.

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There were tables packed with awesome raffle prizes, plus a silent auction and 50/50 raffle.

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We also heard from Dr. Sandra Hong of the Cleveland Clinic, who spoke about developments in treatments and potential cures for food allergies.

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What really struck me about this event was how many people have been touched both by Allison and her family and the issue of food allergies. The Allison Rose Foundation may just be kicking off, but they are starting with a huge amount of community support. I can’t wait to see the impact they’ll make for food allergy families.

***Disclosure: I was asked by the Allison Rose Foundation to help promote the Founders Event. In exchange, I received two complimentary VIP tickets to the event. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Red & White on Thursday Night Giveaway!

Did you make a New Year’s resolution to get out more? Or maybe to try a new restaurant or two? Then I’ve got the event for you: the 22nd annual Red & White on Thursday Night to benefit the Arthritis Foundation, Northeastern Ohio.

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Happening Thursday, January 24 at Quaker Station at the University of Akron, this event brings together the winners of Akron Life Magazine‘s 330 Flavor Awards, wine and craft beer samples, silent auctions, and an exclusive VIP lounge for a evening filled with food, fun, and philanthropy.

You will get to enjoy both savory and sweet small bites from Bistro on Main, Cilantro Thai and Sushi Restaurant, Gervasi Vineyard, Kosar’s Wood-Fired Grill, Nuevo Modern Mexican & Tequila Bar, The West Side Bakery, and more.

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VIP guests will enjoy exclusive tastings from The Galaxy Restaurant & Banquet Center, high-end wines tastings, and specialty cocktails from Brown-Forman, as well as access to all the general admission food and drink.

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Plus, all the proceeds from the event benefit the Arthritis Foundation, Northeastern Ohio, which is working to help the over 2.6 million people in Ohio living with arthritis.

Tickets are $85 for general admission and $125 for VIP admission. Tickets are available online.

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Or you can enter to win 2 general admission tickets to Red & White on Thursday Night right here! Here’s how to enter (you can do one, two, three, four, or all five entries, just leave a separate comment for each):

1.Check out the list of participating restaurants and leave a comment here telling me from which you’re most excited to sample food.

2. Visit Arthritis Foundation Ohio and Why CLE? on Facebook and leave a comment here letting me know you visited both pages.

3. Hope over to my Instagram page and complete an additional entry there.

4. Follow @ArthritisFDN and @WhyCLE on Twitter and leave a comment here letting me know you’re following both.

4. Tweet the following phrase and leave a comment here letting me know you tweeted:

I want to attend #akronredwhite thanks to @ArthritisFDN and @WhyCLE #giveaway https://whycle.com/2019/01/02/why-red-white-on-thursday-night-giveaway-3 

You can tweet once per day for additional entries, just leave a separate comment here each time you tweet.

The giveaway will close on Sunday, January 6 at 11:59pm and the winner will be notified the following day. Good luck!

***Disclosure: I was asked by the Arthritis Foundation, Northeastern Ohio to help promote Red & White on Thursday Night. In exchange, I will receive two complimentary VIP tickets for myself and two general admission tickets to give away. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Recycled Wedding Boutique Giveaway!

Are you planning a wedding? Then you know that things can be expensive, especially for items that you’re only using once! The Recycled Wedding Boutique seeks to help with that problem by connecting soon-to-be-wed couples with recently-married couples selling new, gently used, and vintage items.

View More: http://mannandwifephotography.pass.us/rwbwinter-2017

Put on by Oak & Honey Events and Baci Designer, the Recycled Wedding Boutique creates an eco-friendly, economical way to find fabulous finds for your big day! The Recycled Wedding Boutique also supports a non-profit at each event. For the next event, attendees can donate kitchen and pantry items for the Ronald McDonald House of Akron.

The Recycled Wedding Boutique takes place on Saturday, November 10 from 10:30am – 1pm at the John S. Knight Center in Akron. Tickets are now on sale for $20 for a Skip the Line ticket and $5 for General Admission. You can purchase tickets online.

View More: http://mannandwifephotography.pass.us/rwbwinter-2017

Or you can enter to win two Skip the Line tickets right here! Here’s how to enter (you can do one, two, or all three entries, just leave a separate comment here for each):

1.Leave a comment telling me for what part of your big day you’re most in need of inspiration from the Recycled Wedding Boutique.

2. Visit Recycled Wedding Boutique and Why CLE? on Facebook and leave a comment here letting me know you visited both pages.

3. Follow @recycledweddingboutique and @whycle on Instagram and leave a comment here letting me know you’re following both.

The giveaway will close on Tuesday, October 23 at 11:59pm and the winner will be notified the following day. Good luck!

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote the Recycled Wedding Boutique. In exchange, I will receive two tickets to give away. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? FRONT International!

Cleveland has a booming arts and culture scene, which will only be enhanced this summer with FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art.

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Image Source: https://frontart.org/

“An American City: Eleven Cultural Exercises” in collaboration with museums, civic institutions, and alternative spaces across Cleveland, Akron and Oberlin, will showcase an ambitious roster of projects, including performance and theater. With a roster of national, international and area-based artists at all points in their career, FRONT will examine the ever-changing and politically urgent conditions of an American city.

FRONT International’s venues include the Cleveland Museum of Art, Akron Art Museum, Cleveland Public Library, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, West Side Market, Playhouse Square, Oberlin College, and Case Western Reserve University.

There will be events ranging from an Opening Gala to info sessions and lectures throughout FRONT’s exhibition.

There will also be three new public art installations as part of FRONT, which you can read more about here.

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Image Source: https://www.cleveland.com/arts/index.ssf/2018/05/front_announces_3_new_public_a.html

FRONT International runs July 14 through September 30 and will bring several different forms of art to shine in Cleveland. Click here to stay up-to-date on all the things planned with FRONT, as Cleveland’s cultural presence continues to grow!

***Disclosure: I will receive media VIP access to preview FRONT International. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Pro Football Hall of Fame!

While I love taking Jeffrey to places that I’ve been before and getting to see them through his eyes, sometimes it’s equally enchanting to experience a place together for the first time. Last week, we both made our first visit to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton.

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The NFL was founded in Canton in 1920, which is why the Hall of Fame is located there. I was blown away by the facility, which is sleek, modern, and engaging.

When you arrive, you have the opportunity to get your picture taken by a green screen and select different fun backgrounds as a souvenir of your visit. This is great, since I usually only get awkward selfies when Jeffrey and I go somewhere just the two of us.

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Jeffrey and I went on the Museum Insider’s Tour, which gives a detailed overview of some of the most interesting pieces in the collection. Our tour guide, Red, was a wealth of knowledge about the Museum, as well as the game of football itself! The Insider’s Tour is a great option for adult visitors or families with older children who want to absorb a lot of knowledge and anecdotes during their visit.

From walking through the history of football…

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…to seeing the bronze busts and signature gold jackets of those enshrined there…

 

…to seeing mementos from record-setting games and modern items in the “Pro Football Today” gallery…

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…to seeing the Lombardi Trophy and checking out every Super Bowl ring…

 

…there was so much to take in!

There are a lot of interactive elements at the Pro Football Hall of Fame, including a replay booth, helmets wired with in-game commentary, a place to play Madden EA Sports, and a very cool hologram of the Hall of Fame ring that kept Jeffrey entertained for quite awhile!

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There are also movies to see, including “A Game for Life” and the Super Bowl theater.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame is really an incredible tribute to the game of football and the people who made it great.

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While I will confess to not being a huge football fan, I was both impressed and moved by the Pro Football Hall of Fame. I enjoyed learning about something so ingrained in American culture that got it’s start in Northeast Ohio. It’s definitely worth a trip to Canton to check it out!

Admission rates are $25 for adults ages 13-64, $21 for seniors ages 65+, $18 for children ages 6-12, and free for children under 6 and museum members. You can also save $5 off your admission by using code WHYCLE when you purchase tickets online.

***Disclosure: I was invited to visit the Pro Football Hall of Fame with complimentary admission and tour, as well as a swag bag, Gift Shop gift card, and complimentary photos. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Weekends!

If it can’t be warm in Cleveland, at least the sun can shine, right? Here’s how we spent this bright, chilly weekend.

Breakfast with the Bunny 

On Saturday morning, we hopped right over St. Patrick’s Day celebrations to Easter celebrations!

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Matthew, Jeffrey, and I headed south to the Akron Zoo for their Breakfast with the Bunny. We started with a breakfast buffet and time for Easter crafts, plus time with the fuzzy bunny himself.

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Then the kids went to an Easter egg hunt in a designated area of the Zoo, divided by age. The eggs were plentiful and easy to find, plus the kids got to trade in however many eggs they found for a sweet treat bag.

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After the egg hunt, we could stay for as long as we liked to explore the Zoo, too. Even the animals were getting in on the egg hunt fun!

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It was fun, albeit cold, morning and a nice way to kick off the Easter season!

St. Patrick’s Day Dinner

Of course, we couldn’t completely ignore St. Patrick’s Day! My mom made a delicious corned beef dinner.

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Pair it with a Great Lakes Brewing Co. Conway’s Irish Ale and you have a the perfect St. Patrick’s Day meal!

Death of a Salesman

Saturday evening, Matthew and I went to see our friend Wes, who was playing Bernard in The Brecksville Theatre‘s production of “Death of a Salesman.” It had been awhile since I had attended a community theater performance and I forgot how much I enjoy the intimacy of those shows. I’m always so impressed by the talent we have right in our own backyard, too.

While Death of a Salesman ended its run on Sunday, The Brecksville Theatre has a full season of options, plus there are community theaters all over Cleveland offering great cultural experiences with homegrown talent.

Yoga/Brunch

I kicked off my Sunday at Alicia‘s Yoga/Brunch. I’ve said it before, but Alicia’s balance of meditative mindfulness and challenging asana is really my favorite way to practice. I always feel taken care of in both body and spirit.

After class, we headed to downstairs to Dante Next Door for mimosas and conversation and delicious brunch food. I had the cheddar, bacon, scallion hash (OMG, so good) and the waffle with apples and Kentucky bourbon maple syrup.

I can never choose between sweet and savory at brunch, so I decided not to decide!

Alicia has a ton of upcoming Yoga/Brunch dates, if you want to get your Sunday Funday kicked off the right way. Cost is $15 for a 60-minute class, plus a free mimosa or coffee at brunch. Click here for dates and to register.

So, that was my weekend! How was yours? Did you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?

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Why? Swensons Drive In!

You know how a place gets built up in local legend? You’ll hear it whispered about reverently. You’ll see people Instagram pictures of gooey cheeseburgers and thick milkshakes. You’ll know that the food has received national acclaim, including being names Forbes’ best burger in 1999.

And yet, you still wonder if it can possibly live up to the hype. Then you pull up to your first Swensons Drive In. You’re immediately charmed by the old-school concept of someone coming out to your car (in these frigid temps no less) to take your order. You put your “Lights On for Service.”

You order the Galley Boy, the storied Swensons signature double cheeseburger with two special sauces, an order of French fries, and a mocha shake. You apologize to the freezing server who had to wait while you debated the merits of peanut butter/chocolate versus mocha for your milkshake.

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The food arrives on a tray that hooks to your car. You immediately feel the urge to put on the oldies radio station.

You dive in to the cheesy, saucy burger and in one bite understand why everyone raves about Swensons. The toasted bun, the melty cheese, the sauces that compliment without overwhelming the burger itself…it’s all magical and delicious and a perfect slice of Americana.

You also pay less than $10 for all this glorious food and wonder why you’d ever “fast food” anywhere else.

Swensons Drive-In now boasts 8 locations, including ones in Seven Hills and University Heights that are dangerously convenient for us Clevelanders. The menu includes burgers and cheeseburgers, as well as chicken, fish, bologna, and pork sandwiches. You can also get shrimp, fish, and chicken dinners; salads and soups; a variety of fried sides; and desserts. I suggest going classic for your first trip, but I’m a traditionalist that way! Leave your lights on for service!

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Why? Weekends!

It was another fun, festive weekend! Here’s what we were up to:

Brewnuts

On Friday, my mom watched Jeffrey for the day, so that I could have my self-proclaimed “Mommy’s Holiday Get Sh*t Done Day.” The day included gift shopping, grocery shopping, party prepping, and some time for me, too.

I started my day at Brewnuts, which I had been dying to get to since they opened their storefront in Gordon Square.

The store is as adorable as the donuts are tasty. Brewnuts are HUGE donuts and a great balance of sweet frosting and not-too-sweet dough. I had a hard time deciding which to get, but I chose the mint chocolate coffee, made to look like a Frappuccino.

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Yum! Brewnuts also has a large selection of craft beer and options to make your coffee or hot chocolate boozy.

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Whether you stop for a morning treat or an after-work libation and donut, Brewnuts is an awesome, funky, tasty place to try!

The Beauty Room

From there, it was time to pamper my long-neglected toes with a pedicure at The Beauty Room in Tremont.

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I met up with my girlfriend Kimberly, which meant that the pedicure was also good for my soul! Add in some pomegranate mimosas and you have the makings of a perfect morning!

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The Beauty Room is bright, inviting, and has a wonderful selection of products and services (everything from massages and facials to blowouts to manicures) to make you feel, well, beautiful! And starting my day with so much relaxation guaranteed a productive, low-stress remainder of the day at the stores.

Goodyear Blimp Toys for Tots Drive

On Saturday, Matthew, Jeffrey, my parents, and I drove down to the Goodyear Blimp hangar to participate in their annual Toys for Tots drive.

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For a donation to Toys for Tots, you get to drive through the Goodyear Blimp hangar and see the hangar and blimp all decked out for Christmas.

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Santa is also there to greet you, as well as Marine in full dress uniform to accept your donation.

Jeffrey loved getting to check out the blimp up close, as well as any chance to have even a brief audience with Santa.

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What a cool thing to be able to see and a great way to drive donations to a wonderful cause!

Jeffrey’s Holiday Play Date

For the third year in a row, we packed our house on Sunday with Jeffrey’s friends and their families for a holiday play date.

 

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The calm before the toddler storm 

 

We played winter carnival games, did a holiday book exchange, and generally had a fun, slightly chaotic, wonderful time.

And while the food at the party tends toward the simple pizza, cookies, and brownies, I did add in a new addition this year: spiced wine (recipe here).

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This was the perfect cozy treat and I loved that I could leave it in the slow cooker to stay warm for the entire party! Plus, anytime the toddler count in your house climbs to double digits, you need wine too.

The holiday play date has become one of our favorite traditions and I love the chance for everyone to get together in this festive season!

So, that was our weekend! How was yours?

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Why? PAW Patrol Live!

Front-row center seats. The performers looking you in the eye. Dancing with wild abandon right in front of the stage. Where else but at PAW Patrol Live?

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I joked that I’d never been front-row center before, but it’s true. Not for U2 or Billy Joel or any of the amazing acts I’ve seen live. But for how happy the show and the proximity made Jeffrey, it was absolutely worth it!

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The PAW Patrol Live show was themed “The Great Pirate Adventure” and it was filled with fun songs, upbeat dancing, lots of neat effects, and of course an adventure for the pups to save the day.

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We also had the VIP tickets, which gave us access to a meet-and-greet following the show with Ryder, Skye, and Chase.

The VIP area also included snacks, juice, books, and toys…everything you need to keep kids happy while they wait for their photo opp!

It was so fun to see Jeffrey’s reaction to some of his favorite characters being brought to life right in front of him.

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From Skye flying across the stage to Zuma scuba-diving in the ocean, all the pups had a part to play. No job is too big, no pup is too small!

If your kids love the PAW Patrol as much as Jeffrey does, there’s another chance to see PAW Patrol Live when it comes to Playhouse Square on February 9, 10, and 11. Tickets are on sale now!

PAWSOME!

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Why? Cleveland Christmas Events!

The turkey has been eaten and now it’s officially time to celebrate the Christmas season in Cleveland!

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Here’s a round up of some of our favorite holiday events going on around town to fete the holidays:

Winterfest and HoliDazzle

This Saturday, November 25, downtown Cleveland is the place to be for Winterfest and HoliDazzle. From Public Square to Playhouse Square, there will be holiday shopping, ice skating, crafts and character appearances, live entertainment, food trucks, and lots of sparkling holiday lights! Even if you miss Winterfest, head down to see the lights and skate at the Cleveland Foundation Skating Rink.

Magic of Lights

Pack the family in the car and head to Victory Park in North Ridgeville for the Magic of Lights. From the warmth of your car, you’ll enjoy incredible holiday lights displays, with proceeds benefiting Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital.

Candy Land Has Gone Wild!

From now through January 1, visit Penitentiary Glen Reservation in the Lake Metroparks to play Candy Land on a real life scale at Candy Land Has Gone Wild! Kids of all ages will enjoy this fun and magical game. There are also special holiday events on weekends, such as campfire s’mores!

Glow

Glow at the Cleveland Botanical Garden is one of the most aptly-named holiday events in town, happening now through December 31. You can check out trees decorated by local garden clubs, creative entries in the gingerbread house contest, ride on the Garden Express train, and lots more. You can also stop by The Rink at Wade Oval for ice skating and outdoor lights.

Kringle’s Inventionasium

Cleveland’s most original holiday offering has to be Kringle’s Inventionasium, a wacky, loveable twist on Santa’s workshop. You can take a complete tour or just enjoy a one-on-one visit with Mr. Kringle.

Cleveland Orchestra Christmas Concerts

The world-renowned Cleveland Orchestra offers many ways to bring the music of the season to life at the gorgeously-decorated Severance Hall. There are the traditional Christmas concerts offered December 14-23, the PNC Holiday Rainbow concerts focused on kids ages 3-6 on December 9-10, and “Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas” with the live score played by the Cleveland Orchestra on December 19-20.

Deck the Hall

From now through December 30, the historic Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens transforms into a winter wonderland at Deck the Hall 2017. Aside from lots of lovely lights, you can also enjoy live music, visits with Santa and Rudolph, gingerbread cookies, and unique holiday shopping.

Wherever and however you celebrate, there are so many great ways to get in the holiday spirit!

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