This fall, take some time to celebrate a holiday created by candy makers. No, not Halloween — Sweetest Day. This little-known occasion was first celebrated here in Cleveland 100 years ago. On Oct. 10, 1921, a group of local Cleveland confectioners donated boxes of sweets to the less fortunate and, in turn, encouraged the public to purchase candy. Lots and lots of candy. Despite the best efforts of those sweet makers, the holiday is best known in the Great Lakes region.
“Many years ago, Sweetest Day was a really big day in Cleveland, but not a lot of people know what it is anymore,” says Tom Scheiman, owner of B.A. Sweetie Candy Co. Luckily, everyone loves an excuse to pamper that special someone in their life. Take part in this delightful Cleveland tradition by celebrating this year’s Sweetest Day at these four romantic locations.
If you have a sweet tooth, visit B.A. Sweetie Candy Co.
This iconic Cleveland candy store is known for its expansive inventory of unique and retro treats that helps customers locate hard-to-find sweets such as white chocolate Reese’s Cups or bags of coconut jelly beans for the people they love. “That’s where we really shine, in those special items,” says Scheiman. After hunting for favorites in the warehouse, couples can head over to Sweetie’s Soda Shoppe, which features 36 flavors of house-made ice cream along with two 18-hole miniature golf courses decorated for Halloween. 6770 Brookpark Road, Cleveland, 216-739-2244, sweetiescandy.com
Take in the fall sights (and beer) at Mapleside Farms.
This family-friendly farm offers plenty of fall fun for couples. On Sweetest Day weekend, Mapleside will host a Rocktober Fest with live music and a beer tent. On Fridays and Saturdays through the end of October, make it a date night with its Vino the Way event, where couples can wander through a corn maze. If that doesn’t sound like your speed, feel free to snuggle up and enjoy the foliage. “It’s just a thing of beauty in the fall when the colors are out and you’re just out among the trees,” says Mapleside Farms manager Rob Romph. 294 Pearl Road, Brunswick, 330-225-5577, mapleside.com
Looking to get spooked? Take a trip to the Buckland Museum of Witchcraft and Magick.
Since opening in Cleveland in 2017, this museum has intrigued everyone from devoted Wiccans to casual fans of Harry Potter. Named for writer Raymond Buckland, the space is home to more than 200 artifacts where guests can purchase tickets for tours lasting around 90 minutes. Museum director Steven Intermill often narrates tours, offering insider tidbits on everything from the first American Wiccan coven to a real Mandrake root. “We get a lot of couples. First dates. Meet me at the witch museum,” he says. 2155 Broadview Road, Cleveland, 718-709-6643, bucklandmuseum.org
If you’re eager to see what life looks like above the trees, visit The Holden Arboretum.
With 3,600 acres of trails, The Holden Arboretum is the perfect place to retreat for an autumn walk. “Pack a picnic, pick a trail and get lost in the beauty of the arboretum with someone special,” says Jill Koski, president and CEO of Holden Forests and Gardens. This location is home to unique attractions such as the Murch Canopy Walk — a series of suspended bridges strung 65 feet above the forest floor — and the 12-story Kalberer Emergent Tower. And for good reason, as you can see Lake Erie from the top on a clear day. 9550 Sperry Road, Kirtland, 440-602-3838, holdenfg.org