Most winters (perhaps not this one!), people think of winter in the northeast as a time of hibernation…except skiers, of course! Well, if you’re hankering to get out of the house and have some fun, put these festivals and events on your calendar.
- January 15, 2012 @ 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. – Mendon Ponds Park Winterfest – Celebrate winter with a day filled with nature walks, snow shoeing, ice boating demonstrations, dog sledding, horse-drawn wagon rides and cross-county skiing lessons. Free. Pittsford. (Family-friendly)
- January 19, 2012 @ 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. – 2300°: Fire and Wine – Innovative glassmaking by Anne Gant, music by the Weber Brothers and free wine tasting with more than 25 wineries. Free. Corning. (Better for adults).
- January 21-22 @ 12 Noon – 5 p.m. – Chili and Wine Tasting at Long Acre Farms- Two chilis with toasted baguette paired with JD wines or juice for the kids. $10 per person. Macedon. (Family-friendly).
- January 27-29. See schedule for events and times – Winter Village Blue Grass Festival – Whether you’re a musician or a music lover, you won’t want to miss this weekend-long event that includes a stellar line up of performers, plus many workshops for musicians. All inclusive Festival Pass – Friday and Saturday night concerts, Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning performances, workshops, and jamming. $85; Saturday Concert Only (at Hangar Theatre)$30; Friday Day Pass including Afternoon workshops and evening concert $40; Saturday Day Pass including Morning/afternoon workshops and evening concert $50. Ithaca. (Better for adults, unless your child is a true music lover).
- February 3, 2012 @ 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. – ZooBrrrew! – Enjoy the wildest happy hour around, sampling seasonal beers and wines, listening to live music, tasting food and more. Zoo members $20, Non-members $25. Rochester. (Over 21 only)
February 4, 2012 @ 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. - Ganondagan’s Winter Games and Sports - Discover the winter activities of the Seneca people, including such hands-on activities as dog sledding, snow snake, snowshoeing, storytelling and winter crafts.Suggested donation of $5 per family. Snowshoe rental: $5/adults, $3/children, and free for Friends of Ganondagan members. Snowshoe owners are encouraged to bring their own because of limited supply. Victor. (Family-friendly). For more on the sport of Snow Snake, read my article, “Snow Snake, a Haudenosaunee Sport Steeped in Tradition.”
- February 10 – 12, 2012 @ Fri. 1-5 p.m., Sat. & Sun. 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. – Chocolate & Wine Weekend on the Seneca Lake Wine Trail – What could be more decadent?! Get your gift item at your assigned starting winery then start sampling chocolates, or foods prepared with chocolate, creatively matched with their wines at 30 different wineries. $30 per person (wine tasting ticket), $20 for designated driver tickets (alternative non-alcoholic beverage offered). Be sure to read details on winery touring. Along Seneca Wine Trail. (Best for adults).
- February 11-12, 2012 – Cheese and Wine Lovers Weekend – Cheese and Wine…an incomparable combination dating back thousands of years ! Each of 8 wineries will creatively include cheese in a variety of savory dishes. Weekend ticket $18 per person and $13.50 for designated drivers. Along Keuka Wine Trail. (Best for adults).
- Febuary 12, 2012 @ 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. - Lakeside Winter Celebration and Polar Plunge – Head out to Ontario Beach Park for snow shoe lessons, the 18th Annual Chili Challenge, The 12th Annual Polar Plunge, the 2nd Annual Ice Wine Festival and Farmers Market, a Snow Sculpture Competition and more! Rochester. (Family-friendly)
- February 18, 2012 @ 12 Noon – 6 p.m. – New York Ice Wine Festival at Casa Larga – Enjoy and experience New York’s diversity of ice wines with tastings and food pairings by top regional chefs and restaurants. Tickets: $40 advance and $50 at the door. Fairport. (Best for adults).
- February 18-19, 2012 @ 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. – 10th Annual Mardi Gras on the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail -Receive a special anniversary set of beads and wine glass at your starting winery. At following wineries, you’ll receive Mardi Gras Beads, recipe cards, a chance to pick the lucky coin for instant prizes plus participate in a scavenger hunt for a sampler case of fine wines as you enjoy food and wine pairings. Advance tickets $25, at the door $30, designated driver $20. Along Cayuga Lake Wine Trail. (Best for adults).
- March 2, 2012 @ 5 – 10 p.m. – IGNITE the Winter – Auburn fires up the fun with live ice sculpture exhibitions, a “Comfort Food” Cook-off, a photography club winter exhibition, carriage rides, First Friday discounts, food, entertainment and more. Free. Auburn. (Family-friendly).
Know of other events that should be part of this list? We invite you to add them in the comments section!