Everyone has their own way of connecting with their inner holiday spirit. Thankfully, Rochester has plenty of ways to embrace the season whenever the spirit moves you!
Many of these events take place every year, but to ensure you have the most current information, please know this is updated for 2018.
‘Tis the season of giving
- Volunteer your time and talent
- Trees for Troops
- Pirate Toy Fund
- Salvation Army
- Buy your holiday pie from Special Touch Bakery
- 74 Rochester experiences that make great gifts
Tours of neighborhoods & homes
- Neighborhood Holiday Lights around Rochester Thanksgiving weekend through New Years Eve
- Holidays at the Rochester Public Market November 25, December 2, December 9, December 16
- Park Ave Holiday Open House Thursday, November 29
- Yuletide in the Country Tours at GCV&M Nov. 30 & Dec. 1-2, Dec. 7-9 and Dec. 14-16
- Corn Hill Tour of Homes Saturday, December 1
- Cobblestone Museum Holiday Tour of Homes Saturday, December 1
- Candlelight Night in Pittsford Tuesday, December 4
- Eastman Museum Holiday Homecoming Thursday, December 6
- Festival of Lights in Clifton Springs December 7
- Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion Holiday Home Tour December 8
Holiday-themed displays & events
- Sweet Creations Gingerbread House Display at Eastman House November 2-December 12
- Granger Homestead Festival of Trees November 9-December 2
- Glass Wonderland at the Corning Museum of Glass November 10 – January 2
- Garden Factory Holiday Music & Lights Show Saturdays & Sundays, November 24-December 23
- Sparkle Gaffer District, Corning, December 1
- German/American Christmas Market Old Country Store and More – 1849, December 1
- Lighting of the Genesee Brew House Keg Tree December 7
- White Christmas Dryden Theatre, December 8
- Christmas in Connecticut Dryden Theatre, December 12
- NEW for 2018: Rochester Festival of Lights and North Pole Village at the Dome
NEW for 2018! Roc Holiday Village!
- Liberty Poll Lighting & Roc Holiday Village December 1
The City of Rochester Holiday Village is a holiday market at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Memorial Park at Manhattan Square that will be open on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays in December until Christmas. At the village, you can visit Santa, shop for gifts from local artisans and vendors, eat, drink, ice skate, and much more! Admission is free, visits with Santa are free, and ice skating and skate rentals are also free!
On December 1, enjoy our longstanding tradition of Lighting the Liberty Pole, then parade over to MLK Park and help to cut the ribbon on the first ever Roc Holiday Village! The holiday event is aimed at bringing the spirit back downtown and you may even get a glimpse of at least one car from the Midtown Monorail.
Holiday train rides and displays
- Medina Railroad Polar Express Saturdays beginning Thanksgiving weekend through mid-December
- Garden Factory Holiday Family Fun Model Train Weekends beginning Thanksgiving weekend through mid-December
- Edgerton Model Train Room Holiday Open House Saturdays in December, plus a few weekdays during the break
- New York Museum of Transportation Holly Trolley Rides Sundays in December
- Rochester & Genesee Valley Railroad Museum Santa Trains Saturdays in December
“It’s a Wonderful Life”
- …in the South Wedge December 1
- …in Seneca Falls December 5-9
- …It WAS a Wonderful Life November 24-December 30
“A Christmas Carol”
- … at Geva November 29-December 29
- … in Skaneateles “Dickens Christmas” Weekends through December 23, starting the Friday after Thanksgiving
- … at Sonnenberg Gardens “Dickens Christmas” December 1-2
- …or just go Christmas Caroling!
“A Charlie Brown Christmas”
- … with The Moscow Ballet Auditorium Theater, December 6
- …Hip Hop Auditorium Theater, December 22
- … with The RPO Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre November 21-25
Even more holiday spirit music & theater
- Lightwire Theater’s A Very Electric Christmas Nazareth College, November 24
- The Music of Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas (and other Henson) Loving Cup, November 30-December 2
- Trans-Siberian Orchestra Blue Cross Arena November 29
- CIRQUE MUSICA HOLIDAY presents Wonderland Kodak Center, December 7
- Eastman-Rochester Chorus and Eastman Philharmonia Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre, December 7
- RIT Orchestra & RIT Singers: Advent Lessons & Carols RIT Allen Chapel, December 7
- RIT Performing Arts Ensembles: Annual Holiday Concert RIT Ingel Auditorium, December 8
- Roberts Wesleyan College Christmas Gala December 8-9
- Choir Society and Symphony Holiday Concert St. Charles Church, December 9
- Rochester Tuba Christmas Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre December 16
- A Very Merry Carpenter’s Christmas Tribute Roberts Wesleyan, December 18
- Embracing the Light: An illuminating winter concert Churchville-Chili HS, December 18
- Jim Brickman: A Joyful Christmas Auditorium Theater, December 19
- Gala Holiday Pops Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre December 21-23
Fun on the farm
- Pick Your Own Tree from Thanksgiving weekend through mid-December
- Winter at Powers Farm Market open daily, with extended hours the week leading up to Christmas
Let it snow!
- 9 Places to Rent Snowshoes
- 15 Places for Downhill and Cross-Country Skiing
- 22 Sledding Hills
- 19 Ice Skating Rinks
These homeowners and communities go all out with their holiday lights to celebrate the season, so let’s get out there and celebrate with them!
How do you get into the holiday spirit?
Share with us in the comments. Your insight and experience is invaluable!
some pictures in the post by pixabay