Christmas time in Cleveland

Just an old post I forgot to publish from December.


Every December when my sisters and I were little, we would head Downtown Cleveland with my aunt, uncle and two cousins to Tower City. We did our usual walk through the Higbee building when it was still open as a department store and take pictures with the Higbee Bears outside the ice skating rink on the square. The Renaissance Hotel used to have Christmas trees decorated that lined the hallways and decorations all around what seemed like an enourmous lobby. We would make it in time for the show with the toy soldier and the ballerinas. One of my cousins was petrified of the toy soldier, so we rarely stayed long to visit with him, but just long enough for a picture then it was on to something else. We would all toss a coin into the fountain then make our way up to Sears to see the dancing snowman and his elves. Next would be the talking Christmas tree and then on to a little window shopping. We all knew that going into the stores we weren’t really going to buy anything, but some of the stores that used to be in Tower City were amazing. Our favorites were the Warner Brothers Store, the Disney Store and an old toy store that had every toy you could ever think of. Our day would end with a trip up to the viewing deck where we could look out over the skyline of Cleveland and out over Lake Erie. The Terminal Tower was one of the tallest buildings I had ever been in at that point. To us it was sort of magical to see all the decorations and the different characters all dressed up and everyone excited about the holidays.

We stopped going when my youngest cousin and I turned 10. Our families figured that after that, there wasn’t much of a point in going downtown. Tower City slowly lost majority of their tenants and big name stores closed. As opposed to being somewhere we were always excited to go, it became somewhere you really shouldn’t be anymore. There wasn’t much to see or do as far as the Terminal Tower was concerned. After 9/11 they stopped letting you go up to the viewing deck and there wasn’t much going on otherwise. Our trips downtown had ceased.

This weekend we made the first trip to Tower City during the holidays that we’ve made in over 10 years. Again we went with my aunt, uncle and cousins, but this time brought along my three year old and one year old nephews. Our first stop was at The Arcade which was beaut