For anyone staying home during the February school break, Ganondagan in Victor has LOTS to keep you—and your family—occupied and having fun!

As a lead-up to its ever-popular annual Native American Winter Games on Saturday, February 24, Ganondagan is hosting a Native American Winter Fun Week from 10am to 4pm Tuesday through Friday, February 20-23. There’s something different every day, and it’s all free with admission to the Seneca Art & Culture Center, except for the special “Furry Friends & Tales” workshop on Wednesday. Games and workshops take place at 11am and 2pm, and Make & Take activities at 10am and 3pm. Daily “Trade Game” is at 1 pm. Some activities have age requirements, so be sure and check details online.

ganondagan-victor-winter-games-qtip-arrowsTuesday, February 20: The whole family can play traditional hand guessing games, then hear Native American stories related to hunting and make your own miniature ash splint “bows” and cotton swab “arrows.” New this year is Trade Game, where participants break into teams to work together to trade and “get rich” and learn what was considered wealth in that time. This game is appropriate for the whole family, especially with fourth graders and up.


Wednesday, February 21: Join in a hoop dancing workshop! Learn the basic skills and moves for this fun and challenging style of dancing. Know the story of The Three Sisters (corn, beans and squash)? Listen to stories about them, then make your own cornhusk doll. Trade Game featured today, as well.

If your kids love stuffed animals, you’ll want to register them for this special workshop, “Furry Friends & Bear Tales,” at 1pm. Listen to bear stories, then build your own bear stuffed animal! Cost is $18 for general public; $15 for Friends of Ganondagan members. Pre-registration is required by emailing or by calling (585) 742-1690.


Thursday, February 22: Learn and play the Bone Dice Game! The Haudenosaunee version of this game of chance uses eight antler “dice” cut into pieces. For today’s Make & Take activity, there will be storytelling, then learn to make a small clay pot to take home. Trade Game featured today, as well.


Friday, February 23: You’ve seen the Allegany River Dancers at Ganondagan. Now have a real hands-on experience with Seneca Social Dance Songs! Use horn rattles to accompany a lead singer and learn the history and lyrics of actual Seneca songs. Hear some stories about birds, then make a pinecone winter bird feeder for your feathered friends in your own yard. Trade Game also featured today.


On Saturday, some of your favorite activities return for the Native American Winter Games from 10am to 4pm, both indoors and out. Try your hand at snow snake, race small hand-held snowboats down a track, watch dog sled demonstrations from Kindred Moon Kennels, learn about wampum belts, make a wampum bracelet, tour the exhibits at the Seneca Art & Culture Center, enjoy food for purchase, watch the Iroquois Creation Story film, and participate in Iroquois Social Dancing and family activities. Suggested donation is $10/family.


At 1:30pm, there’s a second special workshop with “Furry Friends and Turtle Tales.” Hear Native American turtle stories, then make your own stuffed animal turtle to take home. Cost is $18 for the general public; $15 for Friends of Ganondagan members. Pre-registration is required by emailing or by calling (585) 742-1690.

No matter your age or skill, you’ll learn something new and have a great time in the process! Ganondagan State Historic Site is located at 7000 County Road 41, Victor, NY.