Earlier this year, Cleveland's very own Public Square was named one of the best public spaces in the US, and it's not hard to see why.
Public Square is perhaps best known for being the home of the historic Terminal Tower, the most iconic building in Cleveland's skyline. It also functions as Cleveland's transit hub, along with Tower City, as it offers easy access to many of the RTA's buses, trolleys, and rail lines.
But Public Square also functions as a park of sorts. There's a rather sizable area of green near Key Tower, the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ monument, and a fountain that operates all spring, summer, and fall. And with the free wifi that was set up in September of 2018, it truly is the most perfect gathering spot in the city.
The best part of Public Square, however, is the fact that every year it transforms into a real “Winter Wonderland.” Forget the Toledo Zoo’s “Lights Before Christmas” and all the other lights throughout the state, the Public Square Christmas lights are, hands down, the absolute best Christmas lights in all of Ohio.
For one, there’s an ice skating rink right in the middle of them. The Cleveland Foundation Ice Rink is open until February 28th and it’s only $10, which includes renting the ice skates.
Now the Christmas lights themselves are absolutely beautiful, though I generally think most, if not all, Christmas lights are beautiful. Be warned though that just because it’s dark in Cleveland at like 4:30, doesn’t mean that all the Christmas lights are going to be turned on then. You might have to wait until closer to 8:00 p.m. if you truly want to enjoy them in all of their glory.
Public Square is very well lit and most of the buses end up there. I can guarantee that you do not have to hike down Euclid Ave. in the dark just to enjoy them. There is most definitely a bus you can catch that will take you right into Public Square so you can see the Christmas lights. So you really don’t have to worry about wandering the streets of Cleveland after dark.
Public Square kicks of the festivities every year with Winterfest, which involves a huge tree lighting ceremony and fireworks. It takes place Thanksgiving weekend, so unfortunately I’ve never been but it looks like a lot of fun.
But if you enjoy looking at Christmas lights and you want to see the best in Ohio, come to Public Square in Cleveland. It is a true “Winter Wonderland.”