101 Ideas for Holiday Family Fun in the Capital District | Kids Out and About Albany

101 Ideas for Holiday Family Fun in the Capital District

by Katie Beltramo

KidsOutAndAbout is America's online guide to everything for kids, teens, and families! If you don't already receive our free weekly e-newsletter for the Capital District, sign up today to make sure you're in the know about free stuff, festivals, classes, camps, vacation ideas, and all the best events near you! In the meantime, enjoy the ideas below for holiday family fun in 2018! 

Santa Sightings

ongoing Photos with Santa at Colonie Center
ongoing  Photos with Santa at Crossgates Mall
ongoing Photos with Santa at Wilton Mall
Nov 17 Breakfast with Santa at Wilton Mall
Nov 23 - 25 Home for the Holidays at Albany Institute of History & Art
Nov 24-25, Dec 1-2, Dec 8-19 Meet Santa at Bob's Trees
Nov 25 Santa and S'mores at Faddegon's
Nov 25 - Dec 23 Santa's Magical Express
Dec 1 Pictures with Santa on his Fire Truck
Dec 2 Sundaes with Santa at the Y
Dec 2 Day Out with Santa in East Greenbush
Dec 8 Christmas in the Air at Empire State Aerosciences Museum 
Dec 8 Breakfast with Santa at New Covenant Nursery School 
Dec 9 Lunch with Santa at Proctor's Theatre 
Dec 9 Brunch with Santa and Friends in Latham 
Dec  Santa will be at Ellms' Tree Farm  -- need 2018 update
Dec 12 Pizza with Santa at Bob's Trees
Dec 12 Polar Express PJ Party with Santa at Northshire Bookstore
Dec 15 - 16 Breakfast with Santa at the Hilton Garden Inn in Saratoga
Dec 8 Breakfast with Santa in Ballston Spa
Dec 10 Brunch with Santa at The Century House
Dec 14 Storytime Paint with Santa at Arts & Glass
Dec 20 Swim with Santa at the Southern Saratoga YMCA


Christmas Community Events

Nov 17 Daily Gazette Holiday Parade
Nov 23 City of Amsterdam Tree Lighting
Nov 24 Christmas Tree Lighting & Santa Arrival at Upper Union St., Schenectady
Nov 24 Sinterklaas Send-Off Celebration in Kingston
Nov 29 Victorian Streetwalk in Saratoga Springs
Nov 30 Albany City Hall Tree Lighting Ceremony 
Nov 30 Johnson Holiday Parade and Colonial Stroll
Dec 7 Ballston Spa Holiday Parade
Dec 1 Winter Walk in Hudson, NY
Dec 1 Sinterklaas Festival Day in Rhinebeck
Dec 2 Empire State Plaza lighting 
Dec 2 Holiday on the Avenue in Scotia
Dec 2 Troy Victorian Stroll
Dec 8 Schenectady City Hall-iday
Dec 8 Chatham Winterfest
Dec 9 Annual Victorian Holiday Celebration, Altamont NY


Holiday Theatre

Nov 23 to Dec 23 Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberly at Proctors 
Nov 29 to Dec 1 The Snow Queen at Theatre Institute at Sage
Dec 5 to 9 Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas The Musical at Proctors
Dec 7 to 9, 14 to 16 A Christmas Story at HMT
Dec 12 to 14 The Best Christmas Pageant Ever at The Addy at Proctors
Dec 14 to 16 A Christmas Carol at the Farmers' Museum
Dec 12 'A Sensational Seasonal Show' Featuring Former Rockette Abigail Gatlinn at Cohoes Music Hall
Dec 19 It's a Wonderful Life Live from WVL Radio Theatre at Proctors



Nov 29 Nutcracker's Kingdom of the Sweets Family Night at the National Museum of Dance
Dec 1 - 2 Northeast Ballet's Nutcracker at Proctors
Dec 5 Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker at the Palace
Dec 8 The Nutcracker Act II in Saratoga
Dec 8 - 9 Albany Berkshire Ballet's The Nutcracker at The Egg
Dec 21 - 22

The Nutcracker – Saratoga City Ballet at The Egg


Holiday Concerts

Nov 28 Trans-Siberian Orchestra: The Ghosts of Christmas Eve at the TU
Dec 1 Dashin' and Dancin' 2 with The Refrigerators
Dec 1 The Klezmatics at Troy Savings Bank Music Hall
Dec 2 Albany Symphony's Magic of Christmas at The Palace
Dec 2 The Victorian Stroll Concert at Troy Savings Bank Music Hall
Dec 2 Handel's Messiah with the Octavo Singers at Union
Dec 2 Capital Area Flute Club Holiday Concert at Empire State Plaza
Dec 4 Handel's Messiah at The Cathedral of All Saints
Dec 5 107.7 GNA Presents Jingle Jam 2018 Featuring Rodney Atkins at Troy Savings Bank Music Hall
Dec 8

Cirque Musica Holiday presents Wonderland at The Palace

Dec 9

The Many Moods of Christmas at Troy Savings Bank Music Hall

Dec 14

Jewel’s Handmade Holiday Tour with Atz, Atz Lee and Nikos Kilcher at the Palace

Dec 14 Eileen Ivers Joyful Christmas at Troy Savings Bank Music Hall
Dec 13 -16 CBS 6 Melodies of Christmas at Proctors
Dec 16 Averill Park Community Orchestra Holiday Concert


Living Nativities

Dec 8 Live Nativity at Bethlehem Lutheran Church
Dec 9 Live Nativity Rotterdam United Methodist Church


Christmas Tree Experience

  Cut Your Own Tree at Ellms Family Farm
  Cut Your Own Tree at Ioka Valley Farm
  Cut Your Own Tree at Bob's Trees
  Cut Your Own Tree at Bailey's Trees
  Cut Your Own Tree at Abel's Trees
Dec 1 - 8 Century Club Festival of Trees
Dec 1 - 16 Festival of Trees at Schenectady Historical Society


Holiday Lights

Nov 24 - Jan 2  Price Chopper/Market 32 Holiday Lights in Washington Park
Dec 8 - 9 Santa's Play Land Open House


Crafty & Cookin' Christmas

Nov 24 Tinsel Tree Paint Event at Art in Mind Creative Wellness Studio
Nov 24 Wreath Making Program at Moreau Lake State Park
Dec 1 Build a Bauble at Schenectady County Historical Association
Dec 1 - 2 Paint with Santa at the Pottery Place
Dec 1 Holiday Crafting Exchange  at Grafton Lake State Park
Dec 1 Holiday Board Paint at Art in Mind in Glenville
Dec 2 Create a Holiday Fairy Garden at Art in Mind in Glenville
Dec 13 Winter Decorations Workshop at Mine Kill State Park
Dec 15 Holiday Gift Making with Art in Mind in Glenville
Dec 15 Gingerbread Cracker Houses at Rensselaer Public Library


Festive Flicks

  Dr. Seuss' The Grinch
  The Nutcracker and the Four Realms
Dec 10  Muppet Christmas Carol at the Palace
Dec 21 It's a Wonderful Life at the Palace


Ice Skating (mostly indoor facilities and shows)

  Empire State Plaza
  Bethlehem YMCA
  Clifton Park Ice Arena
  Knickerbacker Ice Arena in Troy
  Messa Rink at Union College
  Schenectady County Recreational Facilities
Dec 13 - 16 Disney on Ice (not technically holiday, but family fun!)
Dec 15 Holiday Happiness Ice Skating Show



Nov 11 Home Depot Menorah Workshop
Dec 1 & 4 Hannukah Bear Story and Craft Hour 
Dec 1 The Klezmatics at Troy Savings Bank Music Hall
Dec 2 Mad Science Chanukah!
Dec 2 Chanukah Extravaganza
Dec 4 Hanukkah Bingo & Dinner



Dec 15 Kwanzaa Umojo Community Celebration in Hudson
Dec 31 - Jan 1 Kwanzaa Celebrations


Journey to an Old-Fashioned Christmas

Nov 24 - Dec 23 Christmas Land at the Vineyard
Nov 23 - Dec 24 Dickens Christmas at Skaneateles
Nov 18 Holiday Art & Craft Fair at Arkell Museum
Dec 8 Christmas in Museum Village
Dec 8 Holiday American Girl Tea with Samantha Parkington
Dec 8 Candelit Evening at the Farmers' Museum
Dec 8 Children's Holiday Story Hour at Ten Broeck Mansion
Dec 27 A Very Mabee Christmas


Shopping & Craft Fairs

through Dec 19 Shaker Heritage Craft Fair
Nov 9-10 Christmas Open House at The Garden Bug in Amsterdam
Nov 17 Faddegon's Holiday Market Event
Nov 16 - 18 Country Folk Art Craft Show
Nov 24 Saratoga Annual Holiday Craft Fair
Nov 20 - Dec 2 Italian Christmas Market
Nov 30 - Dec 1 Home for the Holidays Show at Colonie Center
Dec 1 Holiday Bazaar at Thacher Nature Center
Dec 1 Toy and Christmas Consignment Sale at St. Mary's Church in Rensselaer
Dec 2 Taste NY Holiday Market at the NY State Museum
Dec 14 - 16 Rudolph's Runway aHot Colonie Center


New Year's Eve

Dec 29 New Year' Mid-Day Celebration at the New York State Museum
Dec 31 First Night Saratoga
Dec 31 First Night Bethlehem
Dec 31 Family New Year's Eve at Okemo Mountain Resort



Nov 17 Toys for Tots Collection at Stillwater Public Library
Nov 17 Stuff the Trucks with Local 7 in Latham
Nov 25 Convoy for Tots
Nov 27 Holiday Open House at Albany Institute of History & Art
Dec 2 - 3 Toys for Tots Train
Dec 8 Albany Last 5 K Run
Dec 9 Snow Sisters Holiday Meet & Greet
Dec 15 & 18 Story Hour: A World of Cookies for Santa  at Ten Thousand Villages



If we're missing an activity that should be on our list, please email Katie Beltramo, Albany editor of KidsOutAndAbout.com, at katie@kidsoutandabout.com. Please make sure to include a link to the event when you email. Thank you!