Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

CLE on the Cheap is taking a holiday break. Thank you for reading and sharing our posts in 2019, our first full year online.

We'll be back in January with more ideas for having fun on a budget in Northeast Ohio. See you in 2020!

Friday, December 20, 2019

Solstice Walk

CLE on the Cheap has been rather shopping-centric lately, but there are other things to do in Greater Cleveland during the holiday season.

Tonight, for example, you can welcome the Winter Solstice. Technically it doesn’t arrive until Saturday, but let's not stand on ceremony.

Photo courtesy photos-public-domain.com
The Nature Center at Shaker Lakes is holding the Winter Solstice Eve Luminary Walk from 6 to 8 p.m. The free event will take place along the All People’s Trail, which opened in November. The half-mile trail is an elevated railed boardwalk that’s accessible to people of all physical abilities, so it lives up to its name. 

Besides taking part in tonight’s walk, visitors are invited to take selfies at the Rose Foundation gazebo and enjoy cocoa and hot mulled cider by a fire inside the Nature Center.

Organizers say this year’s event has spurred a lot of interest, so they expect a big turnout. That’s a good thing, but parking could be an issue. A post on the Facebook event page suggests taking RTA. The Green Line stops at the Rapid’s South Park Station, a short walk from Shaker Lakes.

Tonight’s celebration is free, although donations are welcome. And if you still need to buy some gifts, the Duck Pond Gift Shop will be open and other vendors will be on site.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Holiday Market

This weekend’s Holiday Market at the Screw Factory is going to be bigger than in previous years — an extra day bigger. This is the first year the market is taking place over three days.

The show kicks off Friday at 13000 Athens Ave. in Lakewood. Hours are 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. Parking and admission are free, although donations of nonperishable food and personal care items are being requested for Lakewood Community Services Center.

Makers of all kinds will have their goods for sale. You’ll find apparel, accessories, and art in multiple media. I have found several Christmas gifts here in past years, so there’s a payoff for procrastinating. And if you’ve already finished your shopping, you deserve to buy something for yourself.

Sandwiches, snacks and beverages will also be for sale, courtesy of Cake on the Lake and Birdtown Coffee. If you’re looking for a full meal, though, you’d be wise to go to one of Lakewood’s many restaurants before or after you shop.

The Screw Factory is a large space — it’s the former Templar Motors factory. Comfortable shoes are a must as you visit vendors on multiple floors. You also might consider wearing something other than your heaviest winter coat. The walking and the crowds will warm you up. 

If walking is an issue for you, park in the West Lot and use the West Elevator. Look for signs near the smokestacks to guide you to the elevator. Parking is also available in the East and Madison Park lots and on neighborhood side streets.

Follow the Facebook event page for updates about this year’s market. And for a preview, watch or set your DVR for “New Day Cleveland” at 10 a.m. Wednesday on Fox 8. 

Friday, December 13, 2019

Shop Cheap

How is your seasonal shopping coming along? I haven’t made much of a dent in my Christmas shopping, but that will change this weekend. There will be some nice opportunities to shop local and spend less. Here are just a few.

Walkabout Tremont’s Light Up Your Holidays is tonight from 5 to 10. Regular businesses will stay open later and pop-up shops throughout the neighborhood will do what they do. Come hungry and thirsty. Restaurants and bars will have holiday food and drink specials.

Nearby on Saturday you can attend Holiday Hops & Shops at Forest City Brewery on Columbus Road. From 1 to 7 p.m., you can enjoy craft brews and buy holiday gifts from local makers. 

Also Saturday is the Ohio City Holiday Hop. Seasonal gifts and deals on everything from beer to yoga will abound at neighborhood businesses from noon to 5 p.m.

Cleveland Bazaar Holiday takes place Saturday and Sunday at 78th Street Studios. Local vendors and the shoppers who support them will fill the cavernous space with handmade goods and the holiday spirit. Hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

Sunday in Lakewood, it’s Ugly Christmas Sweater Sunday Funday at Home for the Holidays, a pop-up shop on Detroit Avenue. Come wearing your worst and enjoy discounts on unique gifts, plus cocktails and mocktails, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

On the other side of town (as Carrie Bradshaw often said), the Coventry Village Holiday Festival starts at 11 a.m. Saturday. There will be visits from Santa (including free photos) and adoptable animals, plus face painting, live music, craft workshops, deals and discounts, a free showing of the movie “Elf” and more. Also – and this is big – parking is free. The event concludes with an Ugly Sweater Bar Crawl from 8 to 10 p.m. 

And we can’t leave our pets off our shopping lists. There will be a Holiday Pop-Up Party geared for them Sunday in Slavic Village. Boss K9 is hosting the event from 3 to 8 p.m. at 5606 Fleet Ave. Pet toys, treats and supplies will be for sale and visitors can order paintings and stuffed-animal versions of their pets. Admission is free, but donations of dog and cat food and pet supplies are requested on behalf of Neighborhood Pets, an organization whose mission is to keep pets in their homes. Boss K9 will match each donation.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Seeing the Lights

This is the time of year when you can drive through virtually any neighborhood in the region and enjoy Christmas light displays outside people’s homes for free. CLE on the Cheap is all about having fun on a budget, as you know, so we endorse this practice. 

Most locals know about Seabury Avenue in Fairview Park, where virtually every house participates in a coordinated luminous effort that brings visitors in cars and on foot every holiday season. News 5, the local ABC affiliate, has highlighted that display (although it erroneously refers to the city as Fairview, Ohio) and several others in Cuyahoga, Lake, Lorain, Medina, Summit and Stark counties. 

You can visit any of these neighborhoods on your own time and at your own pace for just the price of the gas that gets you there. But if you’re looking for a more coordinated tour where you can focus your attention on the lights while someone else drives, you might like the Jingle Bells Night of Lights Tour.

The two-hour tour begins at PJ McIntyre’s Irish Pub in Cleveland’s Kamm's Corners neighborhood and its stops include Seabury Avenue, Public Square and A Christmas Story House. Tours leave at 6:30 and 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through Dec. 28. The final two tours of the season leave at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 3 and 4. 

The cost is $22 for people 13 and older and $15 for those 12 and younger with a minimum of 10 passengers. And you can BYOB in a soft-sided cooler, although ID is required to bring alcohol aboard. Get more details and register here.

Dress for the weather and photo ops. 

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Holiday CircleFest

Want to get some shopping done while enjoying Cleveland’s cultural institutions? University Circle is the place to be Sunday for the 26th Annual Holiday CircleFest.
Between 1 and 7 p.m you can check out more than a dozen museums, galleries and churches, go ice skating, take a horse-drawn carriage ride and enjoy live entertainment, among other things. 
Holiday CircleFest used to include free admission to the neighborhood’s museums, but that has changed. Most of the institutions are continuing the tradition, but both the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and the Cleveland Botanical Garden are charging $5 admission. That is a discount from their regular admission fees, though. The Cleveland Museum of Art and MOCA Cleveland are always free.
Parking is another story. Some places, such as The Sculpture Center, are offering free parking, while others are charging for it. Likewise for food and drinks. Check out the details here so you’re not caught by surprise. You could secure a free or paid parking space anywhere when you arrive at Holiday CircleFest, then take the free shuttle to the other sites you plan to visit. The shuttle runs from 12:30 to 7:30 p.m. and the link above includes a map of its stops.
The Holiday Market on Wade Oval and several other venues will offer opportunities to find unique gifts, whether for those on your list or yourself. And don’t miss your chance for a photo with Santa.
Holiday CircleFest concludes with a lantern procession at 5 p.m. followed by Fire and Light Performing Arts, wrapping up at 6:30 p.m.
Sunday also is the final day of the three-day Little Italy Holiday Walk. Little Italy is a short walk from MOCA Cleveland, Artist Archives of the Western Reserve and The Sculpture Center and a CircleLink shuttle ride away from Wade Oval. There’s also an RTA rapid station there, making Little Italy the perfect spot to begin and end the day.