Master Guide to December Holiday Fun in Greater Rochester, NY
As soon as the cold weather arrives, our thoughts naturally turn to the holiday season! We prepare for it for weeks. Here is your master guide to the holidays!
© 2016, KidsOutAndAbout.com
Sweet Creations at the George Eastman MuseumNovember 4–December 14, 2016
Gingerbread houses! The popular holiday tradition returns to George Eastman Museum for its 20th year, featuring more than 70 clever confections throughout the museum and historic house, which is elaborately decorated for the holidays. "Sweet Creations: Gingerbread House Exhibition" is on view November 7 - December 16, 2015, with the houses for sale via silent auction. Remember: KIDS 12 and under always get in FREE (with paid adult) to the George Eastman Museum!
A Christmas Carol at Geva Theatre CenterNovember 23 - December 24, 2016
Celebrate the Holiday Spirit with your entire family at Rochester’s most popular family holiday tradition, Geva Theatre Center's A Christmas Carol! Geva’s newest version includes over a dozen original songs, larger than life sets, and the newest stage technology to bring this classic tale to life in under two hours. Guy Paul once again returns to Geva as Scrooge!
Tickets from $15 for kids age 5-12! Call 232-GEVA for details. Click here for the KOA review of A Christmas Carol!
Yuletide in the CountryTour at Genesee Country Village
This special program is different than a usual daytime visit to the museum. Using the historic village as its canvas, tour guides will lead guests through the snow-covered streets in the year 1849 when New York declared Christmas, Independence Day and New Years Day state holidays. Enjoy music, dancing and tree lighting as you visit village homes and businesses to see how residents react to the news of Christmas as a holiday!
RPO's The NutcrackerAt the Eastman Theatre with the Rochester City Ballet and Bach Children's Chorus
Michael Butterman, conductor The Louise and Henry Epstein Family Chair
Rochester City Ballet, David Palmer, artistic director
Bach Children’s Chorus, Karla Krogstad, director
Sit back in the beauty of Eastman Theatre and make holiday memories that will last a lifetime. This enchanting holiday favorite is brought to life by RCB, with Tchaikovsky’s unforgettable score performed live by the world-class RPO.
Garden Factory Holiday Music & Light Show
Over 100,000 LED lights, enough to cover over 500 individual trees, all hung up within one heated indoor theater, set to music in a synchronized display, cascading with the melody and pulsing to the beat. The show features three-song sets from among eleven holiday songs, ranging from rock opera to the oldies we’ve all grown up with, so you’ll want to return again and again to experience them all. Bring the kids, bring the parents, bring the grandparents, this is a show that is sure to entertain everyone. While you're there, check out all of The Garden Factory's other Holiday Family Fun, like their Model Train Display, visit Santa, and lots more!
Marketplace MallMake it your place for the holidays!
From fantastic restaurants like The Melting Pot and Papaya Asian Kitchen and Bar to host your holiday parties (or just sneak away for date night!) to exclusive stores like Field & Stream, Gift-ology and Charming Charlie, Marketplace is your go-to place for the holidays. Need a break from the hustle and bustle of the season? Enjoy Pole Position Raceway, the new indoor go kart track with high-performance, electric karts that reach speeds of 45 mph! While here, don’t miss Santa! Located in Center Court’s winter wonderland, Santa has hours daily. Visit themarketplacemall.com for more details, hours and events through the holiday season.
Cirque Dreams HolidazeDec 13-18 at the RBTL's Auditorium Theatre
Cirque Dreams lights up the 2016 holiday season with its critically acclaimed holiday stage extravaganza… Cirque Dreams Holidaze…a new cirque show...Broadway musical... and family Christmas spectacular all in one! Be amazed by this holiday spectacle with over 300 costumes, 20 acts and 30 artists from every corner of the globe. Witness snowmen, penguins, angels, reindeer, toy soldiers, gingerbread men, ornaments and of course Santa; with soaring acrobatics, gravity defying feats, elaborate production numbers, imaginative costumes, illusions and more. The show also celebrates the most wonderful time of the year with singers, original music and seasonal favorites all performed in a winter wonderland of amazement.
Christmas at RCCM
Christmas at RCCM consists of 5 major attractions: Miracle, our thrilling and awe-inspiring 4D motion ride; Journey Through Bethlehem, our incredible live show and family favorite featuring live animals, a living nativity, 40 actors, and a celebrity narrator; Raffadali's Great Adventure, our exciting and interactive family show starring Raffadali the donkey; Star’s Workshop, our newest kids attraction, and finally RCCM’s Country Christmas (on select evenings only) -- an all-original, knee-slapping, toe-tapping good time starring the Frateriggo family. All FREE! Each show is about 20 mins and they run continuously from 6-9pm each night. For much more information and to reserve advanced tickets please visit RCCM.org or call 585-247-4444.
M. C. Escher: Reality and IllusionExhibit at the MAG November 13, 2016 - January 29, 2017
This holiday season, Rochester's Memorial Art Gallery is featuring the perfect exhibit to bring both your in-town and out-of-town family guests AND your kids: Experience up-close-and-personal the fascinating world of M. C. Escher. This exhibition of 120 woodcuts, lithographs, mezzotints and drawings takes us deeper into both the literal and impossible worlds he created over a career that spanned five decades. Drawn from the world’s second-largest private collection of Escher’s work, Reality and Illusionincludes early figure drawings, lesser-known book illustrations, the “tessellations” for which he became famous, and several examples of his signature architectural fantasies in which stairways seem to go both up and down. Museum Hours: Wednesday-Sunday 11 am-5 pm Thursday 11 am-9 pm. CLOSED Monday, Tuesday and major holidays.
Holly Trolley Rides at the New York Museum of TransportationSundays December 4, 11, & 18
Santa's leaving the reindeer at home and will be arriving by trolley at the New York Museum of Transportation this year! Families will want to visit with Santa, enjoy holiday decorations and free hot chocolate, and take a 2-mile round trip ride on the museum's authentic vintage trolley car. Rides operate every half-hour, starting at 11:30 a.m., and are included with admission to the museum ($8 adults, $7 seniors 65+, $6 youths age 3 - 12). No reservations are required. The only trolley railroad in New York State, a museum full of trolley cars, a steam locomotive, fire engine and more....and Santa Claus too!
Christmas Tree Farms
Do you cut your own Christmas tree? Here's our big list of farms where you can cut your own Christmas tree in Rochester.
FREE Holiday Events
You think you can't get anything free anymore? Nonsense! Here are a bunch of free holiday events (listed day by day) coming up in our area.
Holiday concerts and performances
Holiday Light Displays in Greater RochesterChristmas lights, and lots more!
So many families have the tradition of hopping in the car and going to see the lights in neighborhoods around our area. Check out KidsOutAndAbout's big list of holiday light displays... as reported by readers.
Breakfast with Santa
There are lots of Breakfasts with Santa (and sometimes, Breakfast with the Grinch!). Get your tickets early, because these tend to sell out.
Hanukkah begins in the evening of December 24, 2016 and ends January 1, 2017.
Lightbulb Day is celebrated on the Winter Solstice, on or about December 21.
Kwanzaa is celebrated December 26-January 1 each year.