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Get Into the Holiday Spirit with Events Across the State

posted by Teresa Farrell at 2023-09-26 21:04:00

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and the spirit of the holiday season is already alive and well throughout Upstate New York. The holiday magic will kick off in some places before the turkey has had time to cool, so those looking for festive holiday fun can start marking their calendars with events taking place in November this year.

In Central New York, Utica’s Christmas on Main Street is one of the earliest of the season; it will be held on Saturday November 18, from noon to 5 p.m. at Utica’s Union Station this year. With wagon rides, cookies and cocoa, live music throughout the day, a craft fair, a visit from Santa, and more, the free event is sure to get kids of all ages into the Christmas spirit before the turkey hits the table.

The Adirondack villages of Old Forge and Inlet aren’t far behind; they will hold their annual Christmas on Main Street Friday through Sunday, November 24-26 this year.

The beloved event sees Main Streets in Old Forge and Inlet transformed into winter wonderlands, with decorated storefronts, horse-drawn wagon rides, a tree lighting ceremony and light parade, dog parade, kids activities like petting zoo, face painting, arts and crafts and a candy cane hunt, a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus and a North Pole letter dropbox, a Reindeer Fun Run, bonfires, refreshments, fire dancers, live music, and even adult-friendly events like a paint ‘n sip, tap takeover, and discounts on holiday shopping and movie tickets, between the two villages’ festivities. The Adirondack Scenic Railroad will also be running their Santa Train that weekend, a 1.5-hour round trip with Santa and Mrs. Claus aboard a train from Thendara to Otter Lake and back.

In the Catskills, don’t miss out on the annual Holiday Parade of Lights, held on Main Street in the town of Catskill at 7 p.m. on Friday, November 24.Theannual event features floats, light displays, festive music, holiday treats, and an appearance from Santa himself. The 15th annual Holiday Market at Bethel Woods also takes place that weekend, from Friday to Sunday November 24-26, featuring more than 75 local artisan food and craft vendors; the Peace, Love and Lights Winter Light Show also begins that weekend and will run through December.

If you’re in Western New York, head over to Niagara Falls for Jingle Falls USA on Old Falls Street Friday through Sunday, November 24–26, 2023 for the annual tree lighting ceremony, market, horse and carriage rides, holiday train rides, petting zoo, live reindeer, breakfast with Santa, meet and greets with Santa and Mrs. Claus as well as Elsa and Anna from “Frozen,” a gingerbread wonderland, and guided hikes and crafts for kids of all ages.  

And the Capital Region city of Saratoga Springs is holding its annual holiday Victorian Streetwalk on Thursday, November 30 this year, from 6-9 p.m., with downtown Saratoga decorated and lit up and a variety of family-friendly activities, including Christmas tree lighting, live music, arts and crafts market, visits from Santa and Mrs. Claus, and plenty of shopping and dining opportunities to enjoy.

This is only a short list of the holiday events kicking off throughout Upstate New York this November. For more, visit Discover Upstate New York and explore more things to see and do this season!


Santa and characters photo credit Christmas on Main Street Utica
Family in sleigh photo credit Old Forge Visitors Information Center
Santa with dog photo credit Old Forge Visitors Information Center
Reindeer photo credit Jingle Falls USA
Tree photo credit Jingle Falls USA
Santa at Victorian Street Walk photo credit Downtown Saratoga Springs

posted at: 2023-09-26 21:04:00, last updated: 2023-11-29 18:25:15

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