Master Guide to December Holiday Fun in Greater Rochester, NY
December 2020: The holiday season is going to be different this year, in the Rochester area but we're still going to find ways to fill Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, and New Year's with fun!
© 2020, KidsOutAndAbout.com
Sweet Creations at the George Eastman MuseumNovember 6–December 13, 2020
Dozens of cleverly designed and deliciously decorated gingerbread houses fill the mansion. This year, we’ve limited the show to 45 submissions and we’re placing many of the creations in display cases to make it safer and easier for visitors to enjoy them while social distancing. This beloved holiday tradition provides a visual and aromatic treat for visitors of all ages. All of the gingerbread creations are available in a silent auction—new this year, we’re offering the auction exclusively online. Auction begins early November.Free to members; included with museum admission.
Yuletide Open House at Genesee Country Village2020 weekends: December 5/6, 12/13, 19/20. Sat 12-6, Sun 12-4
Celebrate the season and experience the village bedecked in its holiday finery. Walk amid villagers bustling with preparations as you explore historic homes on a self-guided excursion through festive traditions of Gensee Valley settlers. Relish the cathartic sounds of seasonal music, listen to classic tales read aloud, and pickup tips from our cooks as you savor the intoxicating scents of holiday dishes. Don’t miss a socially-distanced photo op with the star of the season, St. Nick, and a stop at the Flint Hill Store for handcrafted gifts. Take advantage of our Saturday extended hours to see the village by candelight.
Please Note! Due to COVID restrictions, our 2020 Yuletide program is NOT a tour, nor is it a theatrical performance as in years past. We hope to return to our typical programming in 2021 but know you will enjoy our Village Open House!
Marketplace MallMake it your place for the holidays!
Visit Santa Claus December 4 - 24! It will look a little different, but we are happy to be able to still bring Santa to The Marketplace Mall this season! Santa will be here 11am - 7pm in Center Court (near Hannoush and Journeys) December 4 - 23 and 9am - 5pm on December 24. To help reduce crowds and wait times, and to make the experience as touchless as possible, Cherry Hill (the company that helps bring Santa to Marketplace) is encouraging guests to make a reservation, and purchase their photo package, ahead of their visit. Click here for reservations and photo packages.
Visit with Santa at Eastview MallDecember 4-24, 2020
Visit Santa at Eastview December 4-24. It will look a little different, but we are happy to be able to still bring Santa to Eastview this holiday season! Santa will be here each day in our Main Court of the mall (near LEGO and Eddie Bauer) from 11am-7pm, and on December 24 from 9am-5pm. To help reduce crowds and wait times, and to make the experience as touchless as possible, Cherry Hill (the company that brings Santa to Eastview) is encouraging guests to make a reservation, and purchase photo packages, ahead of their visit. Click here to learn more, or to make a reservation.
The New York State Ballet presents The NutcrackerFour LIVE virtual performances Dec 23, 26, & 27, 2020
The New York State Ballet brings Nutcracker 2020 to you! Celebrate the joy of the holidays with the whole family by filling your home with the beauty, music and magic of this beloved Christmas story.
Enjoy the excitement of a live show! Choose from four LIVE virtual performances on December 23 at 2:00pm, December 26 at 2:00pm and 7:00pm, and December 27 at 2:00pm.
Purchase tickets by calling 585-704-1903 or 585-203-1763.
Visit www.NewYorkStateBallet.org for more information.
Bivona Child Advocacy Center brings you the 2020 Holiday Lights Tour of RochesterA fundraiser from Bivona Child Advocacy Center
This year, Bivona Child Advocacy Center has partnered with some of the brightest and most festively decorated homes in our area to bring you a fun, socially distant, and family-centered Holiday Lights Tour. Purchase a Sleigh Box for $40 each (ideal for a family of four) and pick it up at Bivona Child Advocacy Center at the kickoff event December 12th from 5-8pm or December 15th or 17th from 8am-6pm. You may embark on a holiday adventure with family or friends from the comfort of your own car as your schedule permits, weather allows, and as often as you like! Homes on the Tour will be decorated and expecting passers-by through December 27th. Sleigh box includes: Map to designated homes & neighborhoods; holiday treats & goodies; fun & festive activities for the family. Limited quantities of sleigh boxes are available so purchase yours now!
101 Ideas for Holiday Family Fun
Our annual 101 Holiday Events list is somewhat shorter this year than our traditional 101 ideas for local holiday fun, but there are still local and virtual ways to make the holidays special in our area for 2020.
Drive-Thru Holiday Lights, Events, and ActivitiesUpcoming events you can experience from the safety of your car!
The COVID pandemic has generated many restrictions on holiday activities, but in the midst of difficulties often spring wonderful ideas and human ingenuity. To accommodate social distancing requirements, organizations around the country have planned drive-thru experiences... most are light displays, but other experiences have emerged as well. Click here for our list of local drive-through activities!
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.
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.
Subscriptions Boxes: Gifts That Keep on Giving
Send thoughtful choices to the ones you love near and far, and plan some excellent expected surprises for your own family in the months to come. KidsOutAndAbout has put together of some of our favorite choices with a range for all different ages and interests.
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.
Hanukkah begins in the evening of December 10, 2020 and ends December 18, 2020.
Kwanzaa is celebrated December 26-January 1 each year.
Lightbulb Day is celebrated on the Winter Solstice, on or about December 21.
Holiday concerts and performances
Garden Factory Holiday Music & Light ShowCANCELLED FOR 2020
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!