Christmas in Rochester is a magical time filled with festive activities and events that bring families closer together. 

However, planning the perfect family-friendly Christmas can sometimes feel overwhelming with so many options available. 

And that’s where we can help – let us guide you through some of the best activities and events in Rochester to ensure a memorable holiday season for you and your loved ones. 

We handpicked these events and activities to meet diverse preferences and interests!

Meet Santa at The Mall at Greece Ridge

Father Christmas meeting a kid is the a family Christmas tradition!

There’s something truly magical about the timeless tradition of meeting Santa Claus. 

As the holiday season approaches, The Mall at Greece Ridge becomes a winter wonderland where Santa graces us with his jolly presence from mid-November all the way to Christmas Eve. 

Children eagerly line up from 11 AM to 7 PM, their eyes sparkling with anticipation. 

But it’s not just the little ones; adults too find their inner child bubbling with excitement at the prospect of a close encounter with Father Christmas. 

And remember, Santa takes a break at 2:30 PM to feed his reindeer, so plan your visit accordingly!

Please visit their website for further information.

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A Christmas Carol at Geva Theatre Center

The entire family will enjoy the tale of Scrooge, the three ghosts of Christmas, and tiny Tim!

Do you know anyone who hasn’t heard of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol? It’s become a cherished holiday staple worldwide. 

On Christmas Eve, the story unfolds as Scrooge, the most despised man in London, is visited by a series of ghosts. 

They offer him a chance at redemption, reminding him of his past and offering him a chance at redemption. 

One of Rochester’s cherished Christmas events is the seasonal performance of A Christmas Carol at the Geva Theatre Center, enveloping audiences in a world of spectacular magic and heartwarming music. 

And if this reminds you of The Nutcracker, another beloved holiday season tale, just you wait – We’ll talk about that too! 

Please visit their website for further information.

Dickens Christmas in Skaneateles

Horse-drawn carriages and a host of other attractions are available here!

Interested in another Dickensian Christmas experience? You’ll have to hit the road for an hour or so to Skaneateles, but the journey is well worth it. 

Once there, you’ll find yourself enveloped in a magical world celebrating 30 years of Dickens Christmas. 

From the day after Thanksgiving through to Christmas Eve, the village comes alive with over 50 characters from the famous writer’s tales. 

Engage with live music, unique shopping, and delectable food. 

And don’t miss the horse-drawn wagon rides, the spirited Christmas carol sing-alongs at the gazebo, and the lighthearted performances of “A Christmas Carol,” where the audience gets to be a part of the story.

Please visit their website for further information.

Roc Holiday Village

Feel the festive season come alive at Roc Holiday Village!

Roc Holiday Village becomes an idyll of festive magic during the winter season. 

From December 1st to December 23rd, it transforms into a wonderland of joy and celebration, offering many activities for families to enjoy. 

Glide on free ice skating rinks under the glow of holiday lights, explore a unique shopping village filled with hand-crafted treasures, and cozy up around outdoor fire pits.

And for a truly magical experience? You even get to meet with Santa himself! 

And the little ones will be doubly overjoyed with storytime sessions featuring Anna & Elsa from the beloved movie “Frozen.” 

With such offerings, it’s clear why the Roc Holiday Village stands out as a major Christmas attraction in Rochester, promising memories that last a lifetime.

Please visit their website for further information.

Escape room adventure at Mythical Escape Rooms

Enjoy Christmastime bonding at Mythical Escape Room!

Looking to add a twist to your Christmas celebrations? Here at our Rochester escape room, we offer an unforgettable adventure that’s perfect for the holiday spirit. 

Dive into thrilling storylines, whether it’s figuring out how to escape a spaceship, trying to make it out alive from a mysterious industrial plant, or solving enigmatic puzzles in other immersive settings. 

As the winter chill sets in outside, inside our rooms, the warmth of teamwork and the excitement of the holiday season come alive. 

It’s not just about escaping a room—it’s about creating memories, sharing laughs, and celebrating the joy of the holidays together. 

So, if you’re searching for unique Rochester activities this Christmas, come and experience the magic with us!

Please visit our home page for further information.

Christmas Tree Farms

Keep the tradition alive with a visit to a Christmas tree farm!

There’s a certain charm in keeping traditions alive, especially during the holiday season. One such cherished tradition in Rochester is heading out to the local Christmas tree farms with family in tow. 

Picture this: a crisp winter day, the ground blanketed in fresh snow, and rows upon rows of evergreens waiting to be chosen. 

The joy of searching for that perfect tree, the laughter as you all work together to cut it down, and the anticipation of bringing it home to be adorned with lights and ornaments. 

It’s more than just getting a tree – it’s about creating memories, embracing the season’s spirit, and relishing a wintertime ritual that brings families closer together.

Bivona Child Advocacy Center’s Holiday Lights Tour

Embracing the spirit of Saint Nicholas, who used his inheritance to aid the needy and suffering, the Bivona Child Advocacy Center’s Holiday Lights Tour offers a heartwarming blend of festive fun and philanthropy. 

From December 9th to January 1st next year, families can embark on a self-guided tour of Rochester’s most festively decorated homes, all illuminated to spread holiday cheer.

The tour is not just a visual treat; it’s an opportunity to support children in our community. 

They also offer Sleigh Boxes for purchase, which come packed with a tour guide, games, toys, holiday treats, and festive activities to enhance the experience. 

As you drive through the twinkling streets, remember the true essence of Christmas: giving, caring, and sharing. 

You’re not only creating cherished memories but also instilling the values of compassion and generosity in your children.

Please visit their website for further information.

The Nutcracker at Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre

Another Christmas operatic performance that will leave you spellbound!

A wintertime tradition that has enchanted audiences for nearly 130 years, much like the idea of a romantic Rochester Christmas, “The Nutcracker” is a mesmerizing journey into a magical world of dancing snowflakes, delightful sweets, and captivating characters. 

This year, Rochester’s own Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre brings this beloved ballet to life, pairing the enchanting dance of the Rochester City Ballet with Tchaikovsky’s iconic score, performed in all its grandeur by the Rochester Philharmonic Opera. 

Children and adults will be spellbound by the festive party scenes, the ethereal Land of Snowflakes, and the vibrant Kingdom of Sweets. 

Just like A Christmas Carol, The Nutcracker is a cherished Christmas staple, offering a heartwarming tale of wonder, imagination, and the magic of the holiday season. 

Please visit their website for further information.

Sweet Creations Gingerbread Display at the George Eastman Museum

From November 13th to January 2nd next year, the George Eastman Museum will transform into a gingerbread wonderland, showcasing dozens of ingeniously designed and scrumptiously decorated gingerbread houses. 

This visual and aromatic treat is not just for the eyes and nose; it’s a journey into the heart of Christmas. 

But there’s more to it than just festive fun. By participating in the online silent auction, visitors can take home one of these edible masterpieces, all while supporting a noble cause.

Just like the Bivona Child Advocacy Center’s Holiday Lights Tour, this event captures the essence of giving during the holiday season. 

It’s a delightful experience for both kids, who marvel at the intricate designs, and adults, who appreciate the craftsmanship and the history behind this much-loved festive tradition.

Please visit their website for further information.

Ice skating at The Iceplex

Enjoy gracefully finding your way across the ice at The Iceplex!

The Iceplex in Rochester offers a quintessential Christmas attraction: ice skating. 

As the cold awaits you outside, the smooth glide of skates on the icy surface feels almost therapeutic. 

The rhythmic sound of blades cutting through the ice, combined with the laughter and chatter of fellow skaters, creates a festive atmosphere that’s hard to resist. 

Beyond the joy and nostalgia it evokes, ice skating is also a graceful way to give your quads a workout and take in chestfuls of fresh air. 

Whether you’re a seasoned skater or lacing up for the first time, The Iceplex promises an exhilarating and memorable experience, making it a must-visit spot during the holiday season in Rochester.

Please visit their website for further information.

Holly Trolley Rides at the New York Museum of Transportation

The holiday season in Rochester wouldn’t be complete without the enchanting Holly Trolley Rides at the New York Museum of Transportation. 

As December’s chill sets in, families gather to experience the joy of hopping aboard a vintage trolley, its interiors adorned with festive decorations. 

The ride offers a unique blend of history and holiday spirit, as passengers are treated to scenic views and the comforting rhythm of the trolley’s journey. 

But the magic doesn’t end there. Upon arrival, visitors are greeted by none other than Santa and Mrs. Claus, making the experience all the more memorable. 

With complimentary hot chocolate and cookies to warm you up, it’s a delightful way to immerse oneself in the festive spirit and relive the charm of yesteryears.

Please visit their website for further information.

Christmas at RCCM

Christmas at RCCM is a festive haven that captures the essence of the holiday season. Set against the backdrop of wonder and excitement, RCCM offers a range of attractions that cater to both the young and the young at heart. 

Visitors can immerse themselves in “Miracle,” a 4D motion ride that promises thrills, or “The Name,” a multi-sensory spoken word experience. 

For families, “Raffadali’s Great Adventure,” starring Raffadali the donkey, offers interactive fun, while “Star’s Yuletide Workshop” lets kids craft their own Star-themed ornament. 

And if that wasn’t enough, the all-new Musical Light Show Spectacular illuminates the RCCM campus with tens of thousands of color-changing lights, creating a mesmerizing display. 

It’s a celebration that beautifully intertwines the joys of Christmas with engaging entertainment, making it a must-visit during the holiday season in Rochester.

Please visit their website for further information.

Handmade goods market at Culver Road Armory by THEMATA

Support local talent and small businesses at this charming marketplace!

The Culver Road Armory in Rochester becomes a hub of creativity and craftsmanship with THEMATA’s artisan markets, a tradition that was also popular last year.

Showcasing the best of local talent, these markets bring together over 165 artisans and emerging brands, offering a diverse range of handmade crafts, ethically sourced goods, and unique gifts.

There’s something for everyone, from high-quality apparel to delightful accessories, wine, and beer. 

But it’s not just about shopping; it’s about supporting local artisans and businesses. Every purchase made at the market directly benefits the local community, helping support public schools, libraries, parks, and more. 

Whether you’re searching for the perfect Christmas gift or simply want to indulge in some retail therapy, the Culver Road Armory by THEMATA promises a rewarding and festive experience.

Please visit their website for further information.

Started making Christmas plans yet?

As the festive season draws near, Rochester explodes with numerous possibilities. 

From the timeless tradition of meeting Santa at The Mall at Greece Ridge to the thrilling escape room adventures at Mythical Escape Rooms, there’s something for everyone. 

And that’s not to forget the enchanting performances of A Christmas Carol and The Nutcracker, or the holiday light tour by Bivona Child Advocacy Center. 

We hope this list has given you the inspiration and information you need to start planning your festive celebrations. 

Here’s wishing you and your family a magical and memorable Christmas in Rochester!

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