We love celebrating the holidays and with so many Christmas activities in Rochester NY it is easy to find family fun activities to enjoy.
From light displays, to fun activities for the kids, to teaching children the giving spirit there are plenty of ways to celebrate the season of Christmas in Rochester.
Family traditions are so important to me and spending the month of December doing special things as a family, especially when life gets busy, is a big priority.
Luckily we don’t have to go far to enjoy family time, there are many Christmas activities in Rochester!
We look forward to these family traditions all year long and they help us connect as we get ready for Christmas.
I love planning our activities and I use Christmas Countdown Calendar to plan fun activities for the family throughout the month. Here are our favorite holiday activities for families in Rochester.
Christmas Activities in Rochester NY for Families
Lamberton Conservatory Lights
We did this for the first time last year and I loved it! The conservatory is small and we walked around a few times but it really is so pretty this time of year.
Hours are still being updated for the 2022 season but expect this to start around the first week of December. Check their website for updates.
Holly Trolley Rides
During December visit the New York Museum of transportation for holiday train rides. Includes a visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus.
The market is open through the holiday season and guests of the farm can walk through a live nativity scene.
Seasonal Cooking Classes at Wegmans
Wegmans offers lots of fun holiday classes. Last year we made peppermint bark. This year we registered for the Gingerbread Making class.
We have done Breakfast with Santa too. All of these events require registration and have a charge. They are totally worth it!! We always love the activities and the treats!
Holiday Light Displays
Drive around your neighborhood for holiday lights or explore a new neighborhood.
Our favorite holiday light displays:
- Colony Lane– Be prepared to get out of your car and say hello to holiday characters.
- Roc Lights at Victor Hill
- For a list of holiday lights in Rochester check Kids Out and About.
Seasonal Events at Genesee Country Village Museum
Genesee Country Village has a holiday market and a Yuletide in the Country tours. Check out their events page.
ROC Holiday Village
ROC Holiday Village has free ice skating and a holiday market. Read my full review of ROC Holiday Village with updates for 2022.
The Garden Factory
Update: This year they will not be hosting the Holiday event but guests can still visit to see the model train.
Garden Factory has small rides, a train display, and a visit with Santa. I love walking around and seeing all the holiday decorations and lights.
My kids loved the Holiday Light Show. Be sure to purchase tickets when you arrive. Hours: Saturday-Sunday 11:00am-4:00pm, Admission $3.00, Continues through December 18th.
Donate to Pirate Toy Fund
I like to talk to my kids about the importance of giving this holiday season.
Last year was the first year they really began to understand how they can help other kids during the holidays. Pirate Toy Fund donates to kids year round and it is a great way to give back.
The Pirate Toy Fund has a location at the East View Mall. It is easy to take the kids shopping and donate it all in one night.
Take a Day Trip Niagara Falls, Canada
Hop in the car and drive 1.5 hour to Niagara Falls, Canada. Their annual Winter Festival of Lights is a favorite of mine.
I grew up in Buffalo and this was a family tradition we did year after year as a kid. I love seeing the falls with all the lights and they have many holiday decorations throughout the area.
If you can’t visit during the holidays season be sure to plan a winter visit to Niagara Falls. It is an often overlooked time of year to visit and can be beautiful.
Holiday Light show at Rochester Museum & Science Center
RMSC offers a 50 minute Holiday Laser Show show on the weekends. It is a show filled with lasers and holiday music and is a wonderful tradition to start with your family.
Check website for hours and to purchase tickets.
Genesee Brew House Keg Christmas Tree
Genesee Brew House has the first Keg Christmas Tree I have ever seen! I know this sounds like it is for the adults but kids can appreciate the lights and adults will love it.
You can make an evening of it and enjoy dinner…and possibly a tasting. I recommend the Bavarian Pretzels!
Sweet Creations at the George Eastman Museum
This is a great indoor holiday event that is fun for all ages. Stroll along the impressive gingerbread houses and if you want to take one home you can even make a bid at the auction. Learn more here.
Cut Your Own Christmas Tree
Stokoe Farms offers cut your own tree for the Christmas season. Learn more here.
Winter Festival of Lights
This is a fairly new activity that I have seen friends do and rave about, but we haven’t had a chance to experience.
It is a tractor ride through the lights. Dress warm and bring blankets. This looks like a really great activity that I am hoping we can do this year. Learn more here.
The Nutcracker is a holiday tradition at the RPO and has performances at the end of November.
Last year we saw A Christmas Carol at GEVA and it was a fantastic performance. Seeing a show is a great way to get in the holiday spirit.
Whether you plan an activity each weekend or pick a couple special activities Christmastime in Rochester is full of holiday fun.