Master Guide to December Holiday Fun in Greater Rochester, NY | Kids Out and About Rochester

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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!


The following organizations providing holiday activities have elected to be featured on this page:

Sweet Creations: Gingerbread Exhibit
at George Eastman Museum

Rochester, NY


GEH2011Gingerbreadsm.jpgGingerbread 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 Center

Rochester, NY

Nov 23 - Dec 24, 2016

Location and Hours

Geva Theatre Center presents A Christmas Carol

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 Country
Tour at Genesee Country Village

Mumford, NY

Fri/Sat/Sun Dec 2-18, 2016


Yuletide in the Country at GCVM - Click hereNothing conjures the holiday spirit like a trip back in time for a glimpse of holiday traditions of old! The historic village will be aglow with festively decorated homes for its traditional Yuletide in the Country the first three weekends in December. Enjoy reenactments of Yuletides past in each of the buildings featured on the tour, and much more.

RPO's The Nutcracker

Wednesday, Nov 25, 2015
Friday, Nov 27, 2015
Saturday, Nov 28, 2015
Sunday, Nov 29, 2015

Michael Butterman, conductor (The Louise and Henry Epstein Family Chair)
Rochester City Ballet, Jamey Leverett, 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.

Click here for ticket prices and sales.

NYS Ballet's The Nutcracker

RIT's Robert F. Panara Theatre

December 11-13, 2015

With live music by the RIT Orchestra and a fun cast of fanciful characters, New York State Ballet (NYSB) will perform “The Nutcracker” on Friday, December 11th at 7 pm; Saturday, December 12th at 2 pm & 7 pm; and Sunday, December 13th at 2 pm at RIT’s Robert F. Panara Theatre. This festive event is a great way for the whole family to celebrate the holidays together. Free parking.Click here for information.

Garden Factory Holiday Music & Light Show!

2120 Buffalo Road

Rochester, NY 14624

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!

The Marketplace Mall


Make The Marketplace Mall your place for the holiday season! 

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 for more details, hours and events through the holiday season.

Holiday Light Displays in greater Rochester

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.

Where to visit Santa

 Find all the places you can visit with Santa here.


FREE holiday events

You think you can't get anything free anymore? Nonsense! Here are a bunch of free events (listed day by day) coming up in greater Rochester.



Hanukkah begins in the evening of December 6, 2015 and ends December 14, 2015. Click here for upcoming Chanukah activities!



Lightbulb Day

Lightbulb Day is celebrated on the Winter Solstice, on or about December 21. Click here to find out what it is!




Kwanzaa is celebrated December 26-January 1 each year. Click here for upcoming Kwanzaa activities!



We have subdivided this list into categories below, but to see one easy list of ALL upcoming Christmas activities, click here!

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 greater Rochester.


Breakfast with Santa

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. Click here for Holiday Breakfasts.


New Year's Eve Activities

Click here for KidsOutAndAbout's list of family-friendly New Year's activities in the Rochester area

Holiday concerts, shows, and other performances

There are lots of special concerts and shows... and some of them are free! Click here for the entire Holiday Performance list.





The Nutcracker

The Messiah

 © 2015,

And now for a list of all December Holiday events: