From outdoor festivals and twinkling downtown light displays, to signature events, with a sophisticated twist, Ontario County in New York's Finger Lakes is a special place to spend the holiday season.
What is your favorite way to celebrate the holidays in Ontario County? Be sure to tag us @VistFLX and #FLXexperience so we can follow along! Read on for these idea starters.
Light Up the Season
Through December 31st bundle up and head over to the historic Granger Homestead in Canandaigua to enjoy the “Light up the Lawn” event featuring brilliantly decorated and illuminated trees on the Homestead grounds.
The picturesque Victorian era downtown Clifton Springs is dressed up in holiday lights throughout the season and December 3rd the official “Festival of Lights” offers free horse-drawn wagon rides, visits with Santa (socially distanced), live music, carolers, and more family-focused fun. Tip: Bring a saw and sled to cut your own Christmas tree at nearby Darling's Tree Farm.
The Raggi Christmas Light Show on Buckskin Drive in Farmington happens nightly, through December 31st from 4:30-11 p.m. Just tune your radio to 91.1 and enjoy holiday music as you drive down this illuminated street of homes that would put Clark Griswold to shame! The Light Show is free but donations are accepted for someone in need during the holiday season.
The artsy, creative community of Naples pulls out all the stops with their “Light up Naples” event on December 11th. Stroll down Main Street and soak in the glistening lights and beautiful holiday decorations while listening to holiday music, sampling treats, and hearing the church bells ringing in the holiday season. The trees adorned with purple lights will remind you of Naples’ important grape growing heritage! Another Naples tradition is a visit to Hanggi’s Tree Farm to enjoy the fresh air, delicious Christmas cookies and friendly staff while you search for your perfect Christmas tree or select a freshly cut tree.
Round out the season of light with New Year’s Eve at Bristol Mountain Resort with a torchlight run down the mountain and a fireworks extravaganza!
Holiday Arts & Culture
Ontario County’s art & culture scene shines extra bright throughout the holidays and this year, we are all thirsty for entertainment more than ever. Catch Charles Dickens’ famous “A Christmas Carol” brought to life by the talented Kim Tenreiro who brings over thirty characters to life at the Woodlawn Chapel in Canandaigua on December 3rd. At the Fort Hill Performing Arts Center in Bloomfield enjoy the beloved “It’s a Wonderful Life” staged production of the radio play and the Rochester City Ballet’s magical performances of “The Nutcracker.” Choir! Choir! Choir! At the Smith Center for the Arts in Geneva is equal parts singing, comedy and community building that is an absolute joy!
Check out the events calendar for a complete listing of activities to celebrate the holidays, FLX style!
Tis the time of year when folks trade gifts with loved ones and share in the season of giving. Find that extra special and unique present by visiting the numerous local boutiques, galleries, and holiday markets that Ontario County has to offer. The Pat Rini Rohrer Gallery in Canandaigua always has an art show - and this year's will give you many ideas of a special gift. Check out Artizann's Gifts and Gallery in Naples for a made in the Finger Lakes gift. Be sure to stroll down historic Main Street Canandaigua and stop in all the unique shops that line the street. Another idea is to go to FLX goods and put together a Finger Lakes basket - perfectly designed by you for that special someone. You never know what treasure you will find that's perfect for someone on your gift list.
Another idea - give the gift of an experience. Whether it's an art class or a culinary class like the one pictured here at the New York Kitchen, there's nothing better to create special memories than a shared experience.
Book Your Place to Stay - We all deserve a holiday getaway!
Seasonal tip: With so many things to do and shops to enjoy, do yourself a favor and book a stay for a night or two. Get pampered at one of the resort properties, rack up points at a favorite hotel chain or enjoy the coziness of a bed and breakfast or country inn.
Which ones will you be adding to your holiday happenings checklist? Let us know @VisitFLX on your favorite social channel!