This parade of festivals and events sweeps you through the crisp smells of Autumn in the Finger Lakes and through to the magic of the holiday season.
Fairport Octoberfest - Fri. and Sat. Oct. 5 & 6 @ 4-11 PM, Sun. Oct. 7 @ 12-6 PM. Enjoy authentic German food, a full line-up of music, and pilsners of beer at this fun celebration of the Fall season. $5 at the gate, 12 and under Free. Fairport (Family-friendly).
- 20th Annual ImageOut Film Festival – Fri. Oct. 5 – Sun. Oct. 14. Rochester’s long-running LGBT Film Festival. See schedule for lineup, locations and pricing. Youth series available. Rochester.
- Rochester River Romance Festival – Fri. Oct. 5 – Sun. Oct. 7. Celebrate Rochester’s waterways with walking tours, biking events, day and dinner cruises and much more. See schedule for full listing of events and times.
- Letchworth Arts & Crafts Show and Sale - Sat. Oct. 6 @ 10 AM-5 PM. Enjoy the works of over 300 exhibitors as well as food and music while you’re taking in the beautiful scenery at Letchworth State Park. $8 per auto. Highbanks Recreational Area at Letchworth State Park. (Family-friendly). [Also See our post "Fall in Letchworth State Park," from last year's Arts & Crafts Show]
- Fall Festival at Chemung County Fairgrounds – Sat. Oct. 6 @ 10 AM @ 7 PM and Sun. Oct. 7 @ 10 AM – 6 PM.Enjoy an “old-time” autumn celebration with hay rides, pumpkin decorating, music, a tractor pull Crafts, Food, Cider/Donuts, Educational Demonstrations, Classic Car Displays, Woodcarver, Balloon Artist, Antique Tractor Displays and Amusement Rides. Farmers’ Museum open. Adults $2 and a can food item to be donated to an area food pantry. Children 12 & Under Free. Horseheads. (Family-friendly).
- Fall into Canandaigua Festival – Sat. Oct. 13 @ 10 AM – 7 PM – Scarecrows line the streets and autumn fills the air! Enjoy free wagon rides, performances by the Snowbelt Morris Dancers and the Seneca Soundwaves. Gadgets the clown will entertain kids, the farmers’ market will be thriving and the shops throw open their doors to welcome visitors. FREE. Canandaigua (Family-friendly).
- Ballet Jörgen Swan Lake at Smith Opera House – Sat. Oct. 13 @ 7 PM – Tchaikovsky’s timeless classic ballet is performed by Ballet Jörgen Canada.General Admission $25, HWS Students $10, Children grades 12 and under free. Geneva. (Family-friendly)
- Greek Peak’s Fall Fest 2012 – Sat. Oct. 13 @ 12 – 5 PM.Come to central New York’s destination for Fall fun to enjoy chairlift and horse-drawn wagon rides, NY wine tastings, vendors & artisans, contests, bubblemania magic, pumpkin Decorating ($1/pumpkin), Crossroads the Clown, facepainting, bounce houses, food, drink and more! Adults (15 and over) $20, Youth (7-14) $15, kids 6 & under Free. (Additional fee for some activities such as EuroBungy) Cortland. (Family-friendly).
Mansion Mysteries at Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion – Fri. Oct. 19, Sat. Oct. 20, Fri. Oct. 26 and Sat. Oct. 27 @ 7 PM. Enjoy an original Whodunnit written especially for Sonnenberg Gardens light refreshments. Cash Wine Bar, Adults $22, Sonnenberg Member and ages 12-18 $18. Canandaigua.(Best for adults and older youth).
- Rochester City Ballet’s Third Annual Masquerade Ball – Sat. Oct. 27 @ 8 PM – Midnight. Enjoy the mystique of dancing with a masked partner while savoring wine, beer and bistro fare at this fun and elegant fundraiser. $50 per person in advance; $60 at the door; $250 for Patrons (includes 2 tickets and 2 masks); $400 for a group of 10 (pre-sale only). Rochester. (Best for Adults).
- Quilts=Art=Quilts Exhibition – Sun. Oct. 28, 2012 – Sun. Jan. 6, 2013. (Open Tues. – Sat., 10 am – 5 pm, Sun. 1 – 5 pm. CLOSED: Mondays & major holidays. Closing @ 3pm Thanksgiving Eve.) This annual exhibition celebrates quilts as a visual medium and this year, displays 77 quilts by 61 artists from around the world. $6. Auburn. (Best for Adults or older youth).
- Holiday Wreath Display and Auction at the George Eastman House – Thurs. Nov. 1 – Fri. Nov. 29 @ 10 AM – 5 PM (Mon. – Sat.), 11 AM – 5 PM (Sun.) Enjoy the beauty of the George Eastman’s home during the holidays as the house co mes alive with wreaths and trees. Adults $12, Seniors (65+) $10, Students (with ID)$5, Members and Children (12 and under) Free. Rochester (Family-friendly).
- Sweet Creations Gingerbread House Display at the George Eastman House - Wed. Nov. 7 – Wed. Dec. 12@ 10 AM – 5 PM (Mon. – Sat.), 11 AM – 5 PM (Sun.) Visions of sugar plums will dance in your head as you stroll through the George Eastman House decorated top to bottom with gingerbread houses. Adults $12, Seniors (65+) $10, Students (with ID)$5, Members and Children (12 and under) Free. Rochester (Family-friendly).
- Keuka Holidays I and II – Sat. Nov. 10 & Sun. Nov. 11 and Sat. Nov. 17 & Sun. Nov. 18 – Ticket holders receive a handmade grapevine wreath at their starting winery and collect an ornament at each winery. Tasty food and wine pairings at each winery. Couples Ticket $57, Couples Ticket w/ Designated Driver $52,Single Ticket $37, Single Ticket Designated Driver $32. Along Keuka Lake Wine Trail (Best for Adults).
- Canandaigua Treaty Day – Sun., Nov. 11 @ 10:30 AM – 6 PM: Celebrate the signing of the 1794 Canandaigua Treaty with a commemoration ceremony, a parade, a Native American arts and crafts sales, potluck dinner and Iroquois Social Dancing. FREE. Canandaigua. (Family-friendly). [Also see our post "Ganondagan State Historic Site, Preserving Seneca Culture"}
19th Annual Holiday Shopping Spree on the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail – Fri. Nov. 16 – Sun. Nov. 18 and Fri. Nov. 30-Sun. Dec. 2.Fri. 1- 5 PM, Sat. 10 AM-6PM, Sun. 10 AM – 5 PM. At each winery, receive 1 Souvenir wineglass per person, 1 Grapevine wreath, holiday ornaments from each winery, a Shopper’s Card for $5.00 off a $35 wine purchase at each winery and holiday recipes.Advance: Single $35, Couple $50; Designated Driver TicketsSingle $30,Couple $45, Price at Door Single $40, Couple $55. Along Cayuga Lake Wine Trail (Best for Adults).
- Finger Lakes Cheese Trail Open House - Sat. Nov. 17 @ 10 AM – 5 PM. Hop from creamery to creamery and taste and stock up on the delightful flavors of all the cheeses produced on the Finger Lakes Cheese Trail. FREE. Along Finger Lakes Cheese Trail (Best for Adults).
- 22nd Annual Miniatures & Doll House Exhibit at the Glenn H. Curtiss Museum – Sat. Nov. 17 – Tues. Feb. 19, 2013 @ 10 AM-4PM. More than 90 displays include doll houses of all styles and ages, from Victorian to farm to modern and many other special themes. Also included are model boats, machinery, cars, trucks and antique toys.Adults $8.50, Seniors (65 and over)$7, Students (7-18)$5.50, Children (6 & under) and Members Free, Family Rate $25. Hammondsport. (Family-friendly).[Also see our post "The Glenn H. Curtiss Aviation Museum."]
Rochester City Ballet’s “The Nutcracker” with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and the Bach Children’s Chorus. Fri. Nov. 23, Sat. Nov. 24 & Sun. Nov. 25 @ 2 PM and 7 PM. Add sparkle to your holiday season with Rochester City Ballet’s enchanting performance of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker. $10 – $75. Rochester. (Family-friendly).
- A Dickens Christmas in Skaneateles – Sat. & Sun Nov. 24 & 25, Dec. 1 & 2, 8 & 9, 15 & 16, 22 & 23 @ 12 – 4 PM, Dec. 24 @ 12 – 3 PM. Enjoy an old-fashioned Christmas with carolers, dancers and holiday music! Sing Christmas Carols and meet Father Christmas, taste roasted Chestnuts and see live performances from a Christmas Carol, as you wonder through shops filled with Christmas delights. FREE. Skaneateles (Family-friendly).
- 18th Annual Parade of Lights in Downtown Corning – Sat. Nov. 24 @ 6:30 PM. Kick off your holiday celebration with a light-filled march down Main Street where participants are decked out in lights, followed by a community sing-along and tree lighting. FREE. Corning. (Family-friendly).
- Deck the Halls Weekend on the Seneca Lake Wine Trail – Fri. Nov. 30 @ 1-5 PM, Sat. Dec. 1 & Sun. Dec. 2 @ 10 AM-5 PM. Receive a grapevine wreath and recipe book at your starting winery, then decorate your wreath with an ornament from each winery you visit (couple’s ticket share). Taste food and wine pairings at each winery. Advance Tickets: $70/couple’s ticket (admits 2 people tasting wine), $60/couple’s designated driver ticket (one tasting wine/one non-taster, $48/single’s ticket (admits 1 person tasting wine), $38/single’s designated driver ticket (one non-taster). Reserve tickets soon, event sells out! Along Seneca Lake Wine Trail (Best for Adults).
- Yuletide in the Country at Genesee Country Village & Museum – Fri. Nov. 30, Dec. 7, 14 @ 5-8:30 PM, Sat. Dec. 1, 8, 15 @ 1:30 – 7:45 PM, Sun. Dec. 2, 9, 16 @ 1:30 – 7:30 PM. Enjoy reenactments of Yuletides past and discover historic traditions. 1 1/2 hour tour finishes with a buffet-style dinner. Special event admission: Adults $16.50, Seniors and students $13.50, Youth 4-16 $10.50. Under age 4 Free. Mumford. (Family-friendly).
- 38th Annual Sparkle – Sat. Dec. 1 @ 5-9 PM. Celebrate the season with horse and carriage rides, shopping and dining promotions, outdoor entertainment and activities for the whole family. Enjoy craft and food vendors, holiday carolers, and photos with Santa in his Crystal House. FREE. Corning. (Family-friendly).
- Holiday Open House at Corning Museum of Glass - Dec. 1-2 @ 9 AM – 5 PM. The holidays sparkle at CMOG with local caroling groups and bands providing live holiday.music.Decorate (and eat!) a holiday cookie, enjoy holiday crafts, have breakfast or lunch with Santa ($6/person), make holiday ornaments or glass flowers ($12) or create a glass icicle ($7). Annual glass sale at the Studio. FREE admission. Corning. (Family-friendly). [Also see our post "Making Glass Ornaments at CMOG."]
- Native American Family Day at MAG – Enjoy a fun, family-oriented day of hands-on art activities; music and dance demonstrations; storytelling; and a variety of cultural displays. Be sure to see the new exhibit Changing Hands: Art without Reservations 3. Suggested donation of $5 per family. Rochester. (Family-friendly).
- 6th Annual Lights on the River Festival - Sat. Dec. 2 starting @ 5:30 PM. Christmas lights reflecting on the river, historic buildings lit with candles, Children’s choirs, dancers, carolers, strolling musicians, juggler, a visit with Santa, food and Christmas specials. Fireworks at 8 PM. FREE. Owego. (Family-friendly)
- Cayuga Vocal Ensemble Sings “Comfort and Joy – A Holiday Celebration” – Sun. Dec. 2 @ 4 – 6 PM. Ring in the season with Motets for Christmas by Poulenc, Byrd, and Schütz, along with carol arrangements and other holiday fare. $5-$15. Ithaca. (Family-friendly, but perhaps better for older youth).
- Candlelight Tours of the Seward House – Fri. Dec. 7 & Sat. Dec. 8 @ 6 PM & 7 PM. Take a tour of the beautiful Seward House decorated in 19th Century Style as it would have been when the Seward Family lived there. $TBD. Auburn (Best for Adults and older youth). [Also see our posts “The Seward House…Thanksgiving Traditions in the 19th Century,” “Christmas in the 19th Century,” and “New Year’s Day in the 19th Century.”
- Cayuga County Chamber Orchestra Holiday Performance of Handel’s Messiah – Sun. Dec. 9 @ 4 PM. Don’t miss Handel’s Holiday Classic performed with the Cayuga Vocal Ensemble. $7-$30. Ithaca (Family-friendly).