Master Guide to December Holiday Fun in Greater Rochester, NY
December 2021: The holiday season is going to be different this year, in the Rochester area but we're still going to find ways to fill Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, and New Year's with fun!
© 2021, KidsOutAndAbout.com
Sweet Creations at the George Eastman MuseumSaturday, November 13, 2021–Sunday, January 2, 2022
Dozens of cleverly designed and deliciously decorated gingerbread houses fill the mansion. This beloved holiday tradition provides a visual and aromatic treat for visitors of all ages. All of the gingerbread creations are available in an online silent auction. Free to members; included with museum admission.
Holiday Happenings at Genesee Country Village
There are so many ways to include Genesee Country Village & Museum in Mumford, NY, in your family's traditions this holiday season! With festive special events like our Holiday Market & Preparing for Winter (November 20 & 21), Yuletide in the Country Theatrical Tours and Dinners (select Fridays and Saturdays in December), Holiday Open House and Breakfast with Santa (select Sundays in December), plus holiday cookies and shopping in the Flint Hill Store, GCV&M can help you plan ahead for a season of winter wonder. Explore all upcoming holiday happenings at the Museum: https://www.gcv.org/visit/holiday-happenings-at-gcvm/
RPO's Gala Holiday PopsDecember 17-19. 2021
Jeff Tyzik conducts Kearstin Piper Brown, soprano and your Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra in its annual Gala Holiday Pops at Kodak Hall at the Eastman Theatre, December 17 at 8pm, December 18 at 2pm & 8pm, and December 19 at 2pm.
Whether you drive to Kodak Hall or opt for a sleigh ride, you won’t want to miss this spectacular holiday concert, complete with a sing-a-long!
Visit Santa at The Mall at Greece Ridge and Eastview Mall
Visit Santa at The Mall at Greece Ridge and Eastview Mall - he will be at the malls until December 24! Currently, an interactive Santa experience is planned until further notice. Santa is here Monday – Saturday: 11am – 7pm, Sunday: 11am – 6pm, and December 24: 9am – 5pm (breaks are scheduled daily). We encourage children to write a letter ahead of time to put in Santa’s mailbox! VIP Recognition (the company that helps bring Santa to the malls) encourages guests to make a reservation however they are not required, and walk-ups will be accommodated throughout the day whenever possible. We also invite kids to explore Santa’s Virtual Village. For more information, visit our Holiday Guides. HAPPY HOLIDAYS & HAPPY SHOPPING!
A Christmas Carol at Geva Theatre CenterNovember 24 - December 24, 2021
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 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!
The New York State Ballet presents The NutcrackerDecember 17, 18, 19, 2021 at Roberts Wesleyan College
This beloved holiday tradition is complete with a live orchestra, lavish sets and costumes and an abundance of spirited dancing. Join the lively festivities at the Stahlbaum Family Christmas party where Clara is given a magical Nutcracker doll. That night, the toys come to life and Clara helps her Nutcracker defeat the Rat Queen. Together they enter into the Kingdom of Sweets to meet the Sugar Plum Fairy, and we are entertained by dances from all over the world.
Was it a dream? Watch live and in person at Roberts Wesleyan College December 17, 18, or 19, or watch virtually from home! Visit www.NewYorkStateBallet.org for more information.
Bill Gray's Regional IceplexRochester's #1 Ice Skating Destination
Join us this holiday season for Open Skate! Lace up the skates and see for yourself why ice skating at the Iceplex is one of Rochester’s favorite activities for people of all ages. Whether you are with friends, with family, on a date or just out for some exercise, ice skating is a great activity for all occasions. Throughout the season, we have multiple sessions hosted weekly and during winter recess we’ll have sessions every day! Make sure to purchase your tickets in advance, as sessions will sell out.
Bivona Child Advocacy Center brings you the 2021 Holiday Lights Tour of RochesterA fundraiser from Bivona Child Advocacy Center
Bivona Child Advocacy Center has again partnered with some of the brightest and most festively decorated homes in our area to bring you a fun, socially distant and family-centered event. Holiday Lights Tour presented by Two Point Capital Management is a great way to celebrate the holiday magic while supporting children in our community.
Purchase a Sleigh Box and embark on a holiday adventure with family or friends from the comfort of your own car as your schedule permits, the weather allows, and as often as you like! Sleigh boxes are $40 and are ideal for a family of four. Limited quantities are available. Purchase yours by December 9!
Holiday Light Show at Victor Hills Golf ClubDusk until 10pm November 26 &27, Dec 3, 4, 10, 11, 16-24, and Dec 26-Jan 2.
The Holiday Light Show at Victor Hills Golf Club is a five-week-long event featuring a drive through Christmas light display designed to provide an affordable, family-friendly holiday outing. With over 20 holiday light display installations along a mile and a half path through the rolling hills of Victor Hills Golf Club in the northern Finger Lakes region, the Holiday Lightshow at Victor Hills Golf Club will open for its 2nd Annual run this holiday season! These trails have been transformed by the magic of scenic lights and displays into a festival of lights designed for your family’s entertainment. Set out on a journey among the dinosaurs, around elegant figure skaters, through a portal to Santa’s workshop, along the sweet treat of Candy Cane Lane, and much more! View the holiday spirit through a magical and colorful lens from the comfort of your own vehicle. Hours are dusk until 10pm November 26 / 27, Dec 3, 4, 10, 11, 16-24, and Dec 26-Jan 2.
Roc Holiday Village
Roc Holiday Village is Rochester, New York’s favorite winter festival! Delighting people of all ages, Roc Holiday Village 2021 presents 13 days of enchanting festivities on varying dates from December 3 to December 19. The magical downtown festival features outdoor seating and fire pits, free ice skating and skate rentals, a unique shopping village, and indoor bar with tasty food and drinks, free visits with Santa, tree lighting, hand-crafted goods, cozy winter igloos, free crafts for kids, holiday celebrations, live music, private events, nightlife and more.
There's fun for everyone at the Holiday Village! www.rocholidayvillage.com
DICK’S House of Sport at The Eastview Mall
With holidays just around the corner, DICK’S House of Sport at The Eastview Mall is THE place to be together! From new products to interactive experiences like our Hittrax Batting Cage, Trackman4 Simulator Golf Bays, and 32-foot Rock Wall, we have something for everyone at our store!
We’re so excited to unveil an Ice Rink that will be the community’s gathering place for wintertime fun this holiday season. Beginning at noon on Friday, Nov. 26, the Ice Rink will be open to the public for open skate. Other programming planned is Skate with Santa (Sat. Dec. 4 at 1PM), Stick and Puck/Skills & Drills sessions, Men’s & Women’s pickup hockey leagues and so much more!
100-House Driving Tour of 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.
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.
Subscriptions Boxes: Gifts That Keep on Giving
Send thoughtful choices to the ones you love near and far, and plan some excellent expected surprises for your own family in the months to come. KidsOutAndAbout has put together of some of our favorite choices with a range for all different ages and interests.
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.
Hanukkah begins in the evening of November 28, 2021 and ends December 6, 2021.
Kwanzaa is celebrated December 26-January 1 each year.
Lightbulb Day is celebrated on the Winter Solstice, on or about December 21.
Holiday concerts and performances
RPO's The NutcrackerNov 24, 26, 27 and 28 at Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre with the Rochester City Ballet
Tara Simoncic, guest conductor
Rochester City Ballet
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 ShowCANCELLED FOR 2020
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!