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.

Downtown Canandaigua, Commons Park decorated for the Holidays

Light Up the Season

The picturesque Victorian era downtown Clifton Springs is dressed up in holiday lights throughout the season and December 1st the official Festival of Lights offers free horse-drawn wagon rides, visits with Santa, live music, carolers, and more family-focused fun. 

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.


Visit the Shortsville Reindeer Farm

Santa's Reindeer await you and your family at Shortsville Reindeer Farm! Reindeer are gentle, curious and social creatures who love pets and treats. Join them for events and classes year round including holiday visits with the reindeer; classes in beekeeping, maple syrup and cider making. Nearby is Rebel Sailor Brewing Co., which has local craft brews, good eats, and fun events. This winter they came out with a new funny named brew called "Reindeer P." (of course no reindeer products involved!), where they used honey from Shortsville Reindeer farm in the making.

shortsville reindeer

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 Ontario County Arts Council and Dove Block Project at The Dove Block. At the Fort Hill Performing Arts Center in Bloomfield enjoy the beloved “It’s a Wonderful Life” staged production of the radio play. 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, see "The Muppet Christmas Carol"!

 Join them at NY Kitchen for the second annual Merrymaking Holiday Makers Market!  Shop 20+ local makers, craft beverage producers, and more for unique holiday gifts, or some self care shopping-they won't tell!  Experience Laughing Gull Chocolates hot cocoa bar, and Zugibe Vineyards mulled wine station!  The Cafe team will be serving up delicious dishes for you to devour, including brunch and lunch from 11am-4pm, and the Tasting Room will be stocked with exciting wine, beer, cider, spirits, and zero-proof options for you to sip and enjoy by the flight, glass, bottle or growler to-go.

Check out the events calendar for a complete listing of activities to celebrate the holidays, FLX style!


Winter Activities 

We can't talk about a Finger Lakes Holiday experiences without Bristol Mountain! Bristol Mountain sits on a base elevation of 1,000 feet and rises to a 2,200 foot elevation at the mountain summit. The 1200’ vertical rise is the highest vertical between the Adirondacks and the Rocky Mountains. There are 138 acres of total skiable terrain. Views from the summit and the 34 slopes and trails are breathtaking and provide a variety of inclines for every skier and snowboarder from beginner to expert. If downhill isn't your style they also have Alpine Skiing trails and multiple great, cozy cafes. If skating is more your move, check out the ice rink at Dick's House of Sport at Eastview Mall! The full ice rink is open outside on their turf field, complete with hot chocolate, skating events, and free skate. While you're there, head inside and prepare for you summer game by checking out the rock climbing wall, golf simulators, and batting cages! 



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 Holidays at the Gallery will give you many ideas of a special gift. Check out Artizanns' 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. 

The 2nd Annual "Geneva Jingle Markets" shopping event on, November 25th, December 9th, December 16th and December 23rd, 10:00am-2:00pm. On each Saturday, support 30 Finger Lakes vendors selling their diverse gifts. Enjoy local wine, beer, cider, and food tastings, while you fill your "Made in the Finger Lakes" gift boxes with local products. Shop Local and celebrate all that the Finger Lakes has to offer at the Finger Lakes Welcome Center.

Christmas Decorations from the Finger Lakes

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, or stay a favorite hotel chain or enjoy the coziness of a bed and breakfast.

Which ones will you be adding to your holiday happenings checklist? Let us know @VisitFLX on your favorite social channel!