'Tis the season to be jolly! With holiday events galore, this season is a festive time of year to discover Albany. Scroll on for merry ways to celebrate the season with special events, holiday tree lightings, cheerful gatherings and sparkling light displays.
November 29 - January 3, 2020
Capital Holiday Lights in the Park is an Albany tradition. Each year, Washington Park is transformed into a dazzling display of brilliant lights and holiday cheer. Drive through the park and marvel at more than 125 whimsical light displays from the warmth of your car. Cap off the experience at the Washington Park Lake House for crafts, holiday treats and even Santa visits (through December 23). Keep an eye out for special events such as the Chili, Chowder & Soup Festival, Pet Walk Night, and Craft Beer, Wine & Spirits Festival at the Lights.
Riverside Maple Farms is hosting a special guest all the way from the North Pole for one day only! Sugar on Snow is a fun New England tradition featuring hot maple syrup poured over shaved ice. The result is a delicious taffy treat! Bring your little ones to whisper their wishes to Santa and taste the delicious maple treat. Plus, The Mac Factor will be serving up hot bowls of mac and cheese and the farm will be offering free tours.
December 1 - December 22
Ten Broeck Mansion, a Federal-style house perched above Albany's Arbor Hill neighborhood, is dressed in holiday style every year. This holiday season the historic mansion's halls and parlors will be trimmed with decor aligning with the theme, "American Treasures." The Holiday House festivities kick off on December 1 with the Holiday House First Look. Throughout the month of December, special events such as Candle Light Tours, a Holiday Tea, "A Jane Austen Christmas" lecture with local author Carlo DeVito and a performance by the Musicians of Ma'Alwyck will put visitors in the holly jolly spirit.
December 6 - 7
Visit the Pruyn House, a country estate built between 1825 and 1830, decked out for the holidays with the theme, "Festive Holiday Trees." The Open House festivities include live music from the Hudson Mohawk Recorder Society and a Children's Holiday Workshop with Sinterklaas and old-fashioned musical instruments. There will also be a pop-up boutique in the basement filled with holiday items. After exploring the historic home's holiday halls, head across the grounds to the Schoolhouse for a Greens Sale featuring gorgeous hand-made wreaths.
Venture to Rensselaerville for the Carey Institute for Global Good's annual Holiday Party! The festive party features a delicious eggnog and seasonal craft beverage tastings from the Helderberg Brewery. The eggnog has been adapted from a historic recipe from P.L. Elmore, one of the co-founders of The Institute on Man and Science. Cheers to the holiday season!
Step back in time at Crailo State Historic Site for St. Nicolas Day! Bring your little ones to meet Sinterklaas, the Dutch St. Nicholas, to discover who has been good or bad this year! Head down to the open hearth fireplace in the cellar kitchen to taste seasonal dishes and watch cooking demonstrations. Peruse Crailo’s Marketplace Museum Shop for books about local history, historically themed toys for the kids and other unique holiday gifts.
Enjoy a full day of festive fun in downtown Albany. Stroll through the halls of the New York State Museum for the Taste NY Holiday Market. Shop and sample made-in-New York food and beverages from dozens of vendors such as Albany Distilling, Fort Orange Brewing, Nine Pin Cider, Nothing Bundt Cakes and more! Throughout the afternoon, living historians in period attire will host colonial cooking and 18th century drinking chocolate demonstrations. Once night falls, the Empire State Plaza's Holiday Tree Lighting & Fireworks Festival features a countdown to the tree lighting and spectacular fireworks display.
Experience small town charm straight out of a Hallmark Christmas movie at the Victorian Holiday Celebration & Wintermarket in Altamont. The event includes joyful activities such as a Festival of Trees, Howliday Pet Parade, Wreath Auction, holiday scavenger hunt, gingerbread houses, and the popular Wintermarket. Make sure to stick around for Santa's arrival on a train at the beautifully restored Victorian train station on Main Street for the holiday tree lighting!