Cleveland’s University Circle squeezes more culture into one square mile than anywhere else in Ohio. Go for the museums, stay for the food. Go for the shopping, stay for the orchestra. The area is a great field trip for girlfriends, couples or grandkids.
Plan far enough ahead and you can even schedule a 1,000-foot overview from a Robinson R44 helicopter, operated by Paratus Air out of Burke Lakefront Airport. During the short flight for up to three passengers, you get a fresh perspective on architecture, including the metal tangle of the Peter B. Lewis Building at Case Western Reserve University. Schedule a night flight and enjoy holiday lights. For more information, visit paratusair.com.
If you want to stay indoors …
Take the grandkids (or friends) on a field trip where they don’t need to bundle up. Weekday afternoons are less busy.
Relaxing … Warm up walking through Rockefeller Park Greenhouse and enjoy flowers of the season.
Lunching … Enjoy lasagna, chicken marsala, eggplant parmesan, pizza and more at Presti’s Bakery and Café in Little Italy. Then finish with traditional Italian cookies or elegant pastries in this 100-plus-year-old landmark.
Visiting … Admire more than 100 professional and amateur gingerbread houses at Cleveland Botanical Garden. Stay to enjoy this year’s improved Glow with sparkling lights and stunning decorations throughout the Glasshouse and, if you dare, in outdoor gardens. Glow is best experienced as daylight fades.
If you want to play outdoors …
Walking … Dress in layers and take your camera to historic Lake View Cemetery just north of Cleveland’s Little Italy neighborhood. Hike the 285 acres and photograph angel monuments and ornate buildings. Search out the gravesites of oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller and legendary crime fighter Eliot Ness.
Lunching … Eat at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Choose Provenance for fine dining or Provenance Café for a simpler bite. Carry a food tray to tables in the Ames Family Atrium, a vast three-story, glass-enclosed space full of natural light. Before returning to the elements, take in the Georgia O’Keefe exhibit (now through March 3).