While the holidays may look different this year, there are still several safe, socially-distanced ways to get in the holiday spirit in Albany County. From sparkling holiday trees, to safely meeting Santa (in a snow globe!), to a dazzling drive-through holiday light display, Albany County is feeling merry and bright. Here are some of the top spots brimming with holiday cheer in Albany!
Latham is home to Wintertime Wonderland, one of the largest indoor holiday light displays in the Capital Region. This brand-new attraction is an immersive way to experience the magic of the season, without the chilly weather! Stroll through an immersive and illuminated North Pole complete with a frosty ice maze, gingerbread house, Candy Cane Alley and more. Venture to Santa's Workshop to whisper your Christmas wishes to Santa and along the way maybe even meet Mrs. Claus, a Gingerbread Man, an Ice Princess, Elves and more! Masks must be worn at all times and guests must adhere to all health and safety guidelines. The must-visit attraction is open through December 23.
Capital Holiday Lights in the Park
Washington Park is aglow with Capital Holiday Lights in the Park! After a year of unprecedented challenges, this year's theme for the annual drive-through holiday light display is "hope". For over two decades, families have marveled at whimsical light displays depicting iconic holiday symbols such as trees, nutcrackers and menorahs. Experience this magical Albany tradition in Washington Park through January 3.
Nestled in Altamont, Christmas Land is a destination for holiday cheer. Enjoy a ride on an enchanting horse drawn sleigh or take a spin on Frankie the Christmas Land Train! Schedule a visit in advance to safely meet Santa as he sits inside a plexiglass snow globe. Before visiting, preorder delicious Christmas cookies and wood stove pizza to pickup when you arrive. There is also plenty of cheerful holiday tunes, take-home crafts, outdoor fire pits and more. Face masks and social distancing required. The holly jolly destination is open until December 20.
Brighten up your holiday season with a trip to the Empire State Plaza to admire the official New York State Holiday Tree! Against the backdrop of "NY Tough" on the Corning Tower, the sparkling holiday tree is truly an unforgettable sight. After visiting, submit your best guess for the number of lights on the holiday tree for the Empire State Plaza's contest.
Searching for more dazzling holiday trees? Before leaving downtown Albany, head to East Capitol Park for a magnificent holiday tree in front of the New York State Capitol building. Across the street in Academy Park, view the City of Albany Holiday tree as well!
The halls of the treasured Albany Institute of History & Art are decked out for the season! Visit the museum to see Winter Amusements, a variety of special seasonal displays. An annual favorite, the delightful miniature dioramas made by artist and children’s book author Joan Steiner are back on display. Festive trees and decorations are scattered through the museum's galleries for an added touch of sparkle! Before leaving, make sure to stroll along Washington Avenue to view an outdoor pop-up exhibit featuring winter-themed images from the museum's collection. Most activities are included with museum admission. Timed tickets for museum admission can be purchased in advance online and masks are required. View Winter Amusements through February 2021.