Master Guide to December Holiday Fun in Greater Rochester, NY
December 2019 holiday fun in the Rochester area: Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, and New Year's! 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!
© 2019, KidsOutAndAbout.com
Sweet Creations at the George Eastman MuseumNovember 8–December 15, 2019
Gingerbread houses! The popular holiday tradition returns to George Eastman Museum for its 24th year, featuring more than 50 clever confections throughout the museum and historic house, which is elaborately decorated for the holidays. The Sweet Creations Gingerbread House Display is on view November 8 - December 15, 2019, with the houses for sale via silent auction. A select number of gingerbread will be on display through New Years, making the museum a great place to take family during the holiday break. Kids 4 and under are FREE at the museum with a paid adult admission, and children 5-17 are $5!
A Christmas Carol at Geva Theatre CenterNovember 27 - December 29, 2019
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 $18 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 NutcrackerNov 27, 29, 30 and Dec 1 at the Eastman Theatre with the Rochester City Ballet and Bach Children's Chorus
Tara Simoncic, guest conductor
Rochester City Ballet
Bach Children’s Chorus, Karla Krogstad, director
The Nutcracker’s timeless tale of wonder and imagination has captivated audiences for over a century. Be whisked away to a magical land of sparkling snow and delectable sweets as enchanting dance from Rochester City Ballet pairs with Tchaikovsky’s unforgettable score, performed in all its glory by the RPO. This beloved story of a young girl’s Christmas Eve dream never fails to touch the heart, and is the perfect start to the holiday season.
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!
It’s the most wonderful time of the year – and The Marketplace Mall is your place for holiday shopping and holiday fun! Take part in the tradition of visiting Santa Claus – located in Center Court’s winter wonderland, Santa has hours Nov 16 through December 24. Enjoy family time at Dave & Buster’s, RPM Raceway, Glowgolf and our custom Play Area! Of course, with over 100 stores to choose from, The Marketplace Mall is your place to shop this Holiday Season with retailers like Old Navy, Charming Charlie and The Children’s Place Outlet. Visit themarketplacemall.com for your Holiday Shopping Guide. Happy Holidays and Happy Shopping!
Holly Trolley Rides at the New York Museum of TransportationSaturdays and Sundays December 7, 8, 14 & 15; 11 am - 4 pm
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 cookies and hot chocolate, and take a 2-mile round trip ride on the museum's authentic vintage trolley car. No reservations are required. The only trolley railroad in New York State, a museum full of trolley cars, a steam locomotive, fire engine, model railroad....and Santa Claus too! Be sure to check our website for the hours Santa will be with us. Rides operate every half-hour, starting at 11:30 a.m., and are included with admission to the museum ($10 adults, $9 seniors 65+, $8 youths age 3 - 12). Last ride departs at 3:30.
The New York State Ballet presents The Nutcracker Dec 13-15
The New York State Ballet presents The Nutcracker, a Rochester holiday tradition, at Roberts Wesleyan Hale Auditorium. World famous music by Tchaikovsky, performed by a live orchestra under the direction of Music Director Jared Chase. Buy your tickets now to enjoy these lavish performances December 13th through the 15 at Roberts Wesleyan College’s Hale Auditorium. Evening shows Friday and Saturday at 7pm, or 2pm matinees on Saturday and Sunday. Purchase tickets at www.Roberts.edu/clc or call (585) 594-6008. Follow along as young Clara travels with her beloved Nutcracker doll to the Land of the Sweets, battles the Mouse King, meets the Sugar Plum Fairy, and enjoys dances from around the world. Free parking.
Visit with Santa at Eastview MallNovember 16 - December 24, 2019
Visit Santa at Eastview November 16-December 24 in our Main Court! (Note: Mall closed on Thanksgiving Day)
Monday – Saturday 10:00am – 8:00pm, Sundays 11:00am – 6:00pm December 24 8:00am - 6:00pm
Children and adults with special needs who would like additional assistance, extra time, or a quieter, less stressful environment in which to visit with Santa are invited to attend Santa Cares on:
Tuesday, December 3 from 9:00am - 10:00am, Sunday, December 8 from 9:00am-11:00am, Tuesday, December 10 from 9:00am - 10:00am, Tuesday, December 17 from 9:00am -10:00am
Don’t miss Santa Pet Night on December 1! Visit eastviewmall.com for details.
2019 Roc Holiday VillageEvery Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in December, with extended Village hours & a New Year’s Eve Celebration!
Roc Holiday Village, presented by Five Star Bank, returns for fun holiday festivities at Martin Luther King Jr. Park. Held every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from December 6 to 29, plus Thursday December 19th. The Village will reopen on December 31st for a special New Year’s Eve celebration. Festivities will include Breakfast with Santa, free ice skating, a shopping village, food and drink, tree lighting, Santa Land, hand-crafted goods, pop-up restaurants, special events, music, private parties, nightlife and more. Our community’s holiday spirit will once again have a central gathering place for families all December long: Guests of all ages will have an enchanting holiday experience!
Nazareth College Arts Center
Celebrate the season with two holiday shows at Nazareth College Arts Center!
Angelina Ballerina The Very Merry Holiday Musical- Kick off the holiday season with this heartwarming musical based on characters from the best-selling children’s book series! Angelina and her friends are planning an absolutely positively spectacular holiday dance pageant; the best in all of Mouseland! When a costume mix-up threatens to stop the pageant, Angelina and her friends must use their creativity to save the show.
It’s a Wonderful Life: Live From WVL Radio Theatre- This clever and wildly funny play within a (radio) play breathes new life into a timeless Christmas classic! It’s Christmas Eve 1945, and only a handful of WVL Radio’s actors have braved the blizzard to perform that evening’s broadcast of It’s a Wonderful Life and keep the radio station afloat. A four-member company masterfully conquers multiple characters and sound effects as the story of George Bailey and Bedford Falls unfolds.
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.
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.
Hanukkah begins in the evening of December 22, 2019 and ends December 30, 2019.
Kwanzaa is celebrated December 26-January 1 each year.
Lightbulb Day is celebrated on the Winter Solstice, on or about December 21.
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.