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!
© 2018, KidsOutAndAbout.com
Sweet Creations at the George Eastman MuseumNovember 2–December 12, 2018
Gingerbread houses! The popular holiday tradition returns to George Eastman Museum for its 23rd 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 2 - December 12, 2018, 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 21, 23, 24, 25, 2018 at 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.
Disney Junior Dance Party coming to Kodak Center in MarchA great holiday gift!
Are you ready to DANCE?!? The hit Disney Junior Dance Party On Tour is returning to Kodak Center on Tuesday, March 12, 2019, at 6 p.m.! Sing and dance along to Disney Junior’s greatest hits with your favorite characters at this interactive live concert experience – now featuring Fancy Nancy! Kids of all ages and their families are all invited to the biggest dance party around! Disney Junior Dance Party On Tour features live appearances by Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Vampirina, Elena of Avalor, Sofia the First, Doc McStuffins, Puppy Dog Pals, and Fancy Nancy! You will also experience magical on screen moments with Muppet Babies and the Lion Guard!
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 had hours daily 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, Field & Stream, 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
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. 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). 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.
The New York State Ballet presents The Nutcracker
This December 14, 15, and 16, the New York State Ballet is proud to present its holiday classic, the 2018 Nutcracker, with world famous music by Tchaikovsky, performed by a live orchestra under the direction of Music Director, Jared Chase at the Kodak Center of Performing Arts at 200 West Ridge Rd. Follow along as young Clara falls asleep at her family's Christmas party under a majestic Christmas tree with her beloved Nutcracker doll by her side. Watch as her doll magically comes alive, battles the Mouse King and takes her to the Land of Sweets where she meets the Sugar Plum Fairy and enjoys dances from around the world. Performances are Friday at 7pm, Saturday at 2pm and 7pm, and Sunday at 2pm.
Visit with Santa at Eastview MallNovember 17 - December 24, 2018
Visit Santa at Eastview November 17-December 24 in Eastview Mall’s Main Court. Monday – Saturday 10am-8pm. Sundays 11am-6pm (closed Thanksgiving Day). 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 every Tuesday morning in December from 9:00am–10:00am or Sunday, December 9 from 9:00am-11:00am.
Bill Gray's Iceplex
Holiday Fun at Bill Gray's
Each holiday season, Bill Gray's Regional Iceplex hosts their Annual Skate with Santa event; this year, this family friendly ice-skating event takes place on Saturday, December 15th from 4pm-5:30pm. During this popular ice skating event, families will have an opportunity to hit the ice to holiday music and festive holiday decor. Santa Claus will be on the ice skating alongside all guests, providing all children an opportunity to give him their holiday wish list, and take photos with him (Santa loves selfies!).
First Night Rochester is Rochester's largest family-friendly New Year's Eve event. It features hourly countdowns, three ice skating rinks for ice skating, a 17,000-square-foot play area that's decked out in decorations, bounce houses, music, face painting, and more. It is the area's most popular New Year's Eve event for young families, designed specifically with those guests in mind.
2018 Inaugural Roc Holiday VillageEvery Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in December, 12/1 - 12/23
Roc Holiday Village, presented by Five Star Bank, will present 11 days of fun holiday festivities at Martin Luther King Jr. Park. Held every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from December 1 to 23, 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 2, 2018 and ends December 10, 2018.
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.