I can hardly believe it’s already December, but that doesn’t mean I’m not excited about it! The Christmas season is upon us and you know what that means – parties and dinners and festivals and more throughout the Finger Lakes this month!
This is by no means a complete list of all of the happenings around here this month, but it’s some highlights that I think everyone will enjoy.
December 2-4 – 22nd Annual Holiday Shopping Spree
The Cayuga Lake Wine Trail is hosting their annual holiday shopping spree from 10am-5pm. Shoppers will receive a wine glass, grapevine wreath, an ornament, a discount card, and recipe card from each winery. All 17 wineries are participating but there will be different starting points for everyone and not every winery is available all three days. For more information, visit cayugawinetrail.com.
- Christmas Cookie Class at Inns of Aurora
Each class include overnight accommodations at the Inns of Aurora, Rowland House, cooking instruction, dinner, recipes, and a gift.
- Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker
The Great Russian Nutcracker production by the Moscow Ballet will be at Rochester Broadway Theatre on East Main Street in Rochester. 40 Russian artists will bring this classic Christmas story to life, which features a growing Christmas tree, super-sized Matruschka dolls, and a master score that the New York Times raved about. For more information, click here.
- BOGO Happy Hour & Free Live Music at Ventosa Vineyards
Every Friday at Ventosa Vineyards is buy one, get one glass of wine, beer, and mixers from 5-6pm. Live music is from 6-9pm. Fish fry and cafe toscana until 9pm. For weekly music artists and events, visit ventosavineyards.com.
- December 4-6 – December Deck the Halls
Begin a weekend of fun, wine samplings, and food tastings by beginning at your assigned starting winery on the Seneca Lake Wine Trail. The wineries are decorated for Christmas, and over the weekend event you’ll receive a recipe book, collect ornaments, and decorate your own grapevine wreath. Cost is $53 per person or $75 per couple.
- Prohibition Era Cocktail Party – Inns of Aurora
The Inns of Aurora is hosting a cocktail party featuring prohibition-era inspired cocktails, make with local spirits from Finger Lakes Distillery. Rowland House will be transformed into a speakeasy with a jazz band, poker, cocktails, and hors d’oeuvres. Guests can dress for the occasion. $75 per person. Visit innsofaurora.com for more information.
- 41st Annual Sparkle in Corning
Corning’s annual Christmas festival will feature food and craft vendors, horse and carriage rides, outdoor entertainment, carolers, and photos with Santa. This year the festival includes the Selfless Elf 5k and ends with fireworks. It all happens in downtown Corning on and around Market Street.
December 12 – Holiday Happiness at Varick Winery
Varick Winery is having a holiday sale as well as a small fair for the kids. Admission is free, kids can meet Santa, and it’s only $4 to sample six wines.
December 13 – Home for Christmas Concert with Phil Vassar
Country music star Phil Vassar is heading to the Corning Museum of Glass for a special holiday performance, featuring country hits as well as some classic holiday favorites. Tickets range from $15-$25. Visit gafferdistrict.com/events for more information.
December 26 – January 3 – Sid the Science Kid School Break Week
Kids visiting the Strong Museum of Play in Rochester will have a chance to meet Sid the Science Kid from PBS Kids from noon-3pm daily. They will be able to investigate science questions around Sid’s school, home, in the Super Fab Lab, and on the playground. This event is included with general museum admission and more information can be found at museumofplay.org.
- New Year’s Eve at the Inn at Glenora Wine Cellars
Glenora Wine Cellars in Dundee is offering a New Year’s Eve package this year, and will include an evening of dining, dancing, Finger Lakes wine, and more. Room rates start at $325. Visit glenora.com/events/nye2015 for more details.
- New Year’s Eve Bash at Holiday Inn Elmira Riverview
This New Year’s Eve party includes a buffet dinner, overnight accommodations, an open bar from 9pm-1am, a champagne toast at midnight, and the Sam Pallet Band. $225 per couple. For something different, local band Devon Franks will be at Anthony’s Lounge inside the Holiday Inn Elmira for “Kickin’ It and Country Rockin’ the New Year!” $15 per person and $25 per couple. It will include party favors, drink specials, live music, and more. Must be 21 or older.
December events information courtesy of fingerlakes.org.
Featured photo courtesy of Flickr user Michael Stecker.