Stark County Holiday Cheer Guide

Wizard-themed galas, holiday movies, historical tours, Christmas concerts, tree lightings and more: Stark County brings holiday festivities to new levels in 2014.

Wizard-themed galas, holiday movies, historical tours, Christmas concerts, tree lightings and more: Stark County brings holiday festivities to new levels in 2014.

*designates free event

December 3

*Holiday Gift Wrapping Workshop
6:30 p.m. Wednesday, December 3, at the Rodman Public Library Branch (1808 W. State St. in Alliance). Free. Get expert gift-wrapping tips courtesy of the Yum Yum Tree cards and gift shop to ensure that your beneath-the-tree display looks Martha Stewart-worthy.


December 4

*Light Up Downtown
5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, December 4, in downtown Canton. Free. Explore 16 blocks of holiday fun, including the elf himself, Christopher Pop-In-Kins, on the main stage at Market Square (301 Market Ave. N) plus additional attractions, vendors and entertainment for all ages.

Tuscarawas Dance Arts Center: The Nutcracker
7:30 p.m. December 4 through 6 and 2 p.m. December 7. See the live performance at the Kent State University at Tuscarawas Performing Arts Center.

December 5

Wm. McKinley Presidential Library & Museum annual Holiday Party
6 to 8 p.m. Friday, December 5, at the Wm. McKinley Presidential Library & Museum (800 McKinley Monument Dr. NW). Admission: Free for members, $5 for guests. Shop and socialize with Santa at this historical museum’s annual Christmas extravaganza. Additional attractions such as musical entertainment, kids’ crafts, apple cider, doughnuts, a reading of “’Twas The Night Before Christmas” and a special planetarium show round out the event.

Palace Theatre Holiday Movies
7:30 p.m. Friday, December 5; Friday, December 19; Saturday, December 20; and Sunday, December 21, at the Palace Theatre (605 Market Ave. N in Canton). Admission: $5. Celebrate the season with festive standards such as “The Polar Express,” “Elf,” “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” and “It’s A Wonderful Life,” played on screen at the historic Canton Palace Theatre throughout the month of December.

*Alliance’s Light Up Downtown
6 p.m. Friday, December 5, at the square in downtown Alliance. Free. Watch Alliance’s tree-lighting ceremony complete with a visit from Santa and live entertainment for a holiday event for the whole family.

*Walsh University Christmas Festival
7 p.m. Friday, December 5, at the Cecchini Family Health & Wellness Center (2020 E. Maple St. in North Canton). Free. The Walsh University Chorale and the Walsh University Chamber Singers join to perform music from all over the world. Directed by Dr. Britt Cooper, this concert is free and open to the public.

cheer_xmascarol“A Christmas Carol” at the Players Guild Theatre
Friday, December 5, through Sunday, December 7; Friday, December 12, through Sunday, December 14; and Friday, December 19, through Sunday, December 21, with show times at 2 and 8 p.m. at the Players Guild Theatre (1001 Market Ave. N in Canton). Admission: $19 to $25. Watch as the Players Guild Theatre’s cast portrays this Dickens classic with elaborate costumes and a spectacularly festive score.

*First Friday: Jingle Mingle
5:30 to 10 p.m. December 5 in downtown Canton. The theme for December’s First Friday is Jingle Mingle. Enjoy a party in the downtown Canton Arts District, featuring music, performance and visual arts events, with a few surprises. Take the self-guided tour of local art galleries, studios, stores and restaurants. The night begins with the First Stop at 5:30 p.m. at the Canton Museum of Art. “Polar Express” is playing for free at the Canton Palace Theatre starting at 7:30 p.m. First Friday ends at 10 p.m.

December 6

*Christmas on the Canal
throughout the day Saturday, December 6, in Canal Fulton. Free. Santa Claus makes a special appearance at Canal Fulton’s own holiday event.

cheer_zoarChristmas in Zoar
10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, December 6, and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, December 7, at 198 Main St. in Zoar. Admission: $7 for adults, free for children younger than 12. Explore Zoar’s old-fashioned Christmas celebration with unique Christmas gifts and décor made by American folk artists, blacksmiths and tinsmiths, plus musical entertainment and more in the historic Zoar Schoolhouse and Number One House.

Canton Christmas Candlelight Tour
4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Saturday, December 6, in downtown Canton (205 Market Ave. S). Admission: $15, $12 for members. Beginning at the Victorian Theatre of the National First Ladies’ Library Education and Research Center, this historical holiday tour explores White House Christmases throughout the decades and then finishes with a candlelight tour of Ida McKinley’s ancestral home.

Lions Lincoln Theater Holiday Movies
At 7 p.m. every Saturday in December at Lions Lincoln Theater (156 Lincoln Way E in Massillon). Bring the whole family to watch Christmas standbys such as “It’s A Wonderful Life,” “A Christmas Story,” “White Christmas” and “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” on the big screen at this charming downtown Massillon mainstay.

*Rodman Public Library Children’s Christmas Program
1 to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, December 6, at Rodman Public Library (215 E. Broadway St. in Alliance). Free. Watch world-class magician Tim Angeloni perform a holiday magic skit and then visit with Santa.

2014 Yule Ball: Wizard’s Gathering
7 to 11 p.m. Saturday, December 6, at Fieldcrest Estate (1346 Easthill St. SE in North Canton). Admission: $45 for adults, $30 for guests 11 and younger. Enjoy an elegant, wizard-themed holiday dinner at Fieldcrest Estate. With dancing, entertainment and a grand dining experience, this holiday ball is a must-attend. Participate in a Sorcerer’s Scavenge and learn about herbology, charms, quidditch, Muggle studies and other topics for $15, beginning at noon and continuing every hour on the hour throughout the day.

Christmas Candlelight Tour
December 6. The program will begin in the Victorian Theatre of the Education and Research Center of the First Ladies’ Library for a gorgeous historical peek at White House Christmases from Abigail Adams to Michelle Obama. After the program, the audience will take a candlelight tour of Ida McKinley’s ancestral home. All decked out for Christmas, the home looks especially lovely. The cost is $12 for members and $15 for general admission.

Lunch with Santa
12:30 to 2 p.m. December 6, 13, 20. Santa Claus will greet guests during lunch
at The Bistro at Gervasi Vineyard. Reservations are highly recommended.


December 7

*Christmas on Hoover Farm
1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, December 7, at the Hoover Historical Center (1875 E. Maple St. in North Canton). Free. Explore the historic Hoover family homestead to get a true old-fashioned holiday experience. Take photos with Mr. and Mrs. Claus, taste cookies baked in an authentic, period stove, participate in raffles and more. Begin the afternoon with caroling through Hoover Park on a horse-drawn carriage.

*Holiday Decorations Workshop at Huston-Brumbaugh Nature Center
2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, December 7, at the Huston-Brumbaugh Nature Center (16146 Daniel St. NE in Washington Twp.). Free. Drop in at the nature center to create holiday decorations made from natural and recycled materials amid the center’s calming, woodsy landscape.

*Light Up Louisville
2 to 7 p.m. Sunday, December 7, on Main St. in downtown Louisville. Free. Light up the Louisville Christmas tree with Santa after a day filled with holiday activities including horse-drawn carriage rides, caroling, a live Nativity, crafts, a scavenger hunt and more.

*Voices of Canton (VOCI) Holiday Concert Series
3 p.m. Sunday, December 7 at Christ Presbyterian Church (530 Tuscarawas St. W in Canton) and 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, December 9, at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church (127 Cherry Rd. NE in Massillon). Free. Enjoy VOCI’s free holiday Christmas concerts in two Stark County locations this December.

Canton Symphony Orchestra: Holiday Pops
3 p.m. Sunday, December 7, at Umstattd Performing Arts Hall, with free family activities at 1:30 p.m. in the Zimmermann Symphony Center available to ticket holders. Admission: $18 to $28. Hear traditional Christmas music played by the symphony’s world-class musicians, plus choruses from Alliance and Perry high schools and the Canton Youth Symphony conducted by conductor Rachel L. Waddell.

*Hartville Evening in the Village
4:30 to 7 p.m. Sunday, December 7, on the historic square in downtown Hartville. Free. Enjoy holiday festivities the Hartville way with the village’s own Christmas celebration.

*North Canton Community Tree-Lighting
5 to 6:30 p.m. Sunday, December 7, on the square in North Canton (Main and Maple streets). Free. Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive at 5:45 p.m. Get there early to hear live music by the Hoover Hi Notes and the Hi Los. Children will get the opportunity to meet with the Clauses following the tree-lighting ceremony.

*Massillon Community Candlelight Walk
5:30 to 7:15 p.m. Sunday, December 7, at Fourth Street NE in Massillon. Free. Absorb Massillon’s architectural wonder at night with a stroll through the city’s historic churches, complemented by luminarias along Fourth Street plus carolers, instrumental groups and seasonal foodstuffs.

December 11

Polar Express-Depot
Departure times for the ride are 6 and 8 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, and 2, 4, 6 and 8 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays December 11 through 14, 18 through 21. Take the magical journey to the North Pole and back while the storyteller joyously reads “The Polar Express.” Festive elves will serve hot chocolate and chocolate chip cookies. Be sure to look out the window at the North Pole to find Santa and all of the elf houses. Everyone gets his own bell, just as the boy in the book has. First-class seating includes a separate waiting room so you do not have to wait in the cold. And each first-class child will get a satchel full of goodies, a wooden train whistle and an engineer’s hat. To make reservations (which are required), call The Dennison Railroad Depot Museum toll free 877-278-8020 and purchase with a Mastercard, Visa, Discover or American Express or stop in at the front office. Tickets are first-come, first-served.

Christmas at the Hollow
6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, December 11; Friday, December 12; and Saturday, December 13 at Quail Hollow State Park (13480 Congress Lake Ave. NE in Lake Twp.). Admission: $2 donation for adults. Take a self-guided tour through Quail Hollow’s historic 40-room manor house as you enjoy cookies and hot wassail, wagon rides, make-and-take crafts and one-on-one time with Santa.

December 12

Wm. McKinley Presidential Library & Museum Holiday Open Hearth Dinner
6 to 8 p.m. Friday, December 12, at the Wm. McKinley Presidential Library & Museum (800 McKinley Monument Dr. NW). Admission: $30 per person with prepaid reservations required. Taste a home-cooked meal, including pumpkin soup, chicken, green beans and apple cobbler prepared over an open hearth while enjoying the historical museum’s decked-out holiday display.

cheer_nutcracker“The Nutcracker” at the Canton Ballet
7:30 p.m. Friday, December 12; 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, December 13; and 2 p.m. Sunday, December 14, at the Canton Palace Theatre. Admission: $8 to $22. Enjoy the Canton Ballet’s take on this 1892 Christmas classic set in the Land of the Sugar Plum Fairy, performed by Canton’s best young ballet dancers.

Rudolph—The Red-nosed Reindeer the Musical
7:30 p.m. December 12 at the Akron Civic Theatre. The beloved TV classic “Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer” soars off the screen and onto the stage this holiday season. Help celebrate Rudolph’s 50 years on TV, and come see all of your favorite characters from the special, including Santa and Mrs. Claus, Hermey the Elf, Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster, Clarice, Yukon Cornelius and, of course, Rudolph. Tickets are $25 for $45.

December 13

Breakfast with Santa Claus
8 to 11 a.m. December 13 at the Hartville MarketPlace. Kids and adults alike will love this fun-filled event. For $6.50 per person (children younger than 2 get in free), each ticket holder receives a wonderful breakfast, and all children receive a goody bag and a free photo with Santa. Only 50 tickets available for each time slot, with six times from which to choose.

Massillon City Parks & Recreation Breakfast With Santa
8:30 to 9:45 a.m. Saturday, December 13, at Massillon City Parks & Recreation’s administrative offices (505 Erie St. N in Massillon). Admission: $5 for children 12 and younger and $4 for everyone 13 and older. Join St. Nick himself for a special breakfast appearance and photo-op in Massillon. Admission price includes a Christmas keepsake, a holiday craft and breakfast complete with sausage and pancakes.

cheer_maizeMaize Valley Breakfast with Santa
9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, December 13, and Saturday, December 20, at Maize Valley Market, Winery & Brewery (6193 Edison St. NE in Marlboro Twp.). Admission: $9 for adults, $7 for children. Reservations required. A filling breakfast, gifts from the North Pole and a make-and-take ornament station are secondary to time spent with Mr. Claus at Maize Valley’s annual holiday breakfast.

Hartville MarketPlace Breakfast with Santa
8 to 11 a.m. Saturday, December 13, at the Hartville MarketPlace and Flea Market (1289 Edison St. NW in Lake Twp.). Admission: $6.50 per person, free for kids 2 and younger. Dine with the jolliest man himself at the Hartville MarketPlace. Ticket holders, who must purchase admission for one of six time slots, get a goody bag and a photo with Santa.

*Holiday Concert at North Canton Public Library
2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, December 13, at the North Canton Public Library (185 N. Main St.). Free. Hear veteran acoustic guitarist Tom Conner perform Christmas classics at the North Canton Public Library.

*Rodman Public Library Adult Christmas Program
2 to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, December 13, at Rodman Public Library (215 E. Broadway St. in Alliance). Free. Get in the spirit with a free holiday concert presented by Christ United Methodist Church choirs, under the direction of Lewis Shields.

*Jackson Township Holiday in the Park and Tree-Lighting Ceremony
5 to 6:30 p.m. Saturday, December 13, at Jackson North Park (7660 Fulton Dr. NW in Jackson Twp.). Free. Bring the little ones to see Jackson’s annual tree-lighting ceremony and visit with Mr. Claus while you join in with carolers and enjoy refreshments.

December 14

*St. George Greek Orthodox Church Breakfast with Santa
9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, December 14, at St. George Greek Orthodox Church (364 First St. SE in Massillon). Free. Enjoy breakfast with Santa plus a bake sale and craft show hosted by the St. George Philoptochos Ladies.

December 16

Holiday Spectacular on Ice
December 16. It is a fun-filled, joyous, frozen production for the winter holidays, guaranteed to delight audience members of all ages. The show is an original ice production that combines figure skating and theater. Santa’s mischievous elves guide guests during the evening, and they keep everyone laughing. See this spectacular at the Kent State University at Tuscarawas Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $25 to $45.

December 18

*Teen Gift-Making Program at North Canton Public Library
3 to 4:30 p.m. Thursday, December 18, at the North Canton Public Library (185 N. Main St.). Free. Keep teens busy during winter break with this special gift-making program that teaches youngsters how to make unique, homemade gifts.

December 21

Bolshoi “The Nutcracker” at Tinseltown USA
12:55 p.m. Sunday, December 21, at Tinseltown USA (4720 Mega St. NW in Jackson Twp.). Admission: $18 for adults, $16 for children and $17 for students and senior citizens. Take in Tchaikovsky’s Christmas classic on the big screen with this special showing of “The Nutcracker,” performed by Moscow’s Bolshoi Ballet.

7:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Palace Theatre on December 21. Enjoy the comical Christmas movie starring Will Ferrell. Admission is $5.

December 26

Trans-Siberian Orchestra
3 or 8 p.m. December 26 at Quicken Loans Arena. Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s rock opera “The Christmas Attic” will be re-released to coincide with the group’s tour, complete with bonus tracks, as well as a special vinyl edition. The album’s narrative begins on Christmas Eve, when a young girl’s curiosity leads her to a night of mischief and magic. She decides to sneak into the attic of her parents’ home while she should be asleep, and there, she discovers a magical doorway to the past in the form of a mysterious trunk filled with ornaments, toys, old records and bundles of handwritten letters. A startling discovery in one of the letters leads to an unlikely adventure. See it live at 3 or 8 p.m. at Quicken Loans Arena. Tickets range from $32.50 to $72.50, with a $3 facility fee.

December 31

New Year’s Eve at Fieldcrest Estate
7 p.m. to 1 a.m. Wednesday, December 31, at Fieldcrest Estate (1346 Easthill St. SE in North Canton). Admission: $30 to $40 pre-sale, $50 at the door. Ring in the new year at Fieldcrest with musical entertainment by the Class Action Band, appetizers, a cash bar and a ceremonial champagne toast at midnight.