Nov 14, 2010

Christmas in Central New York

Have a Dickens of a Christmas in Skaneateles or in Mexico. Skaneateles has been hosting the Dickens Christmas for 17 years. The celebration begins the day after Thanksgiving and runs every Saturday and Sunday through December 19th, from noon to 4 pm, and a limited show on Dec 24th (noon to 3). Not to be outdone, Christmas in Mexico NY is getting bigger and better every year. On Friday, December 3, the PTA is hosting a movie night with a showing of the “Muppet’s Christmas Carol.” Saturday there will be great shopping opportunities at local businesses and church bazaars. The library is hosting an open house and Gingerbread House Workshop. Visitors will enjoy live music at Washington Hall, horse and carriage rides, and a Christmas parade. Everyone is invited to be part of setting a Snow Angel record at 1:00 at the High School. On Sunday, December 5 a Christmas concert will be held at Wilcox Hall on Church Street.

It just isn’t Christmas without Gingerbread. The Erie Canal Museum in Syracuse will host their 25th Annual Gingerbread Gallery. Until January 2 visitors can view over 40 gingerbread creations forming a festive 1800's street scene. People who would like to learn how to make Gingerbread creations or for a family/friends-bonding activity River Edge Mansion in Pennellville offers gingerbread house classes as part of their cooking experiences. Each year since 2005 the Turning Stone Resort and Casino in Verona creates a Gingerbread Village. After weeks of baking gingerbread tiles and brick it takes workers one entire work to assemble the gingerbread village that includes a church, houses, and other luscious additions.

The Turning Stone is one place that really lights up for the holiday. All together there are over 15,000 lights on the 35-foot Emerald Lobby tree and the 50-foot outside tree. The beautiful Turning Stone property will dazzle visitors with over 300,000 lights and one million ornaments resort wide. Lights on Onondaga Lake –will celebrate their 21st season this year. Visitors can enjoy the two-mile drive until January 9 from 5- 10 pm. The drive includes animated scenes, a Victorian village, the Land of Oz, and other colorful displays.

Do you believe? Get on board the Adirondack Railroad at Union Station in Utica and travel to the North Pole on the Polar Express where everyone who believes will hear the bell. The popular storybook comes alive on the two-hour journey that includes a reading of the book, chocolate milk, and cookies along with a chance to see Santa. Children and adults alike are encouraged to wear their pajamas.

Santa’s Workshop at the North Pole on Whiteface Memorial Highway in Wilmington, NY, has been entertaining young and old since the 1940s. They offer special family weekend packages during the holiday season. The Peppermint Pig makes an excellent family holiday gift. The Peppermint Pig has been a Saratoga tradition since Victorian times. The solid Peppermint Pig comes with a little brass hammer. According to tradition after the holiday feast, with everyone sitting around the table, the Pig is cracked into many pieces with the special hammer. One at a time each family member picks up a peppermint piece, and tells about something nice that happened to them during the past year and make their wish for the coming year. The Peppermint Pig can be purchased from Saratoga Sweets or from Hart & Stone on Main Street in Mexico.