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

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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 2017!

Santa Sightings

ongoing Photos with Santa at Colonie Center
ongoing  Photos with Santa at Crossgates Mall
ongoing Photos with Santa at Wilton Mall
ongoing The Train to Christmas Town (from Lake George)
Nov 18 Breakfast with Santa at Wilton Mall
Nov 18 Breakfast with Santa at Clifton Park Center
Nov 23 - Dec 23 Santa's Magical Express
Nov 26 Lunch with Santa at Proctor's Theatre
Starting Dec 2 Santa will be at Ellms' Tree Farm on weekends
Dec 2 Breakfast with Santa in Ballston Spa
Dec 3 Brunch with Santa and Friends in Latham
Dec 7 Swim with Santa at the Southern Saratoga YMCA
Dec 9 Christmas in the Air at Empire State Aerosciences Museum
Dec 9 Breakfast with Santa at New Covenant Nursery School
Dec 10 Brunch with Santa at The Century House
Dec 16 Breakfast with Santa at Dave & Buster's


Christmas Community Events

Nov 18 Daily Gazette Holiday Parade
Nov 24 City of Amsterdam Tree Lighting
Nov 25 Christmas Tree Lighting & Santa Arrival at Upper Union St., Schenectady
Nov 25 Sinterklaas Send-Off Celebration in Kingston
Nov 30 Albany City Hall Tree Lighting Ceremony
Nov 30 Victorian Streetwalk in Saratoga Springs
Dec 1 Ballston Spa Holiday Parade
Dec 2 Cobleskill Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting
Dec 2 Winter Walk in Hudson, NY
Dec 2 Sinterklaas Festival Day in Rhinebeck
Dec 3 Empire State Plaza lighting
Dec 3 Holiday on the Avenue in Scotia
Dec 3 Troy Victorian Stroll
Dec 7 Snow-a-Palooza in Malta
Dec 9 Schenectady City Hall-iday
Dec 16 Chatham Winterfest


Holiday Theatre

Nov 24 Charlie Brown Christmas at Proctors
Dec 1 - 10 Miracle on 34th Street at Proctors
Dec 1 - 14 A Christmas Carol at Theatre Institute at Sage
Dec 5 The Puppet People present A Christmas Carol
Dec 12 Puppet Show: The Steadfast Tin Soldier
Dec 8 - 17 A Christmas Carol by Home Made Theater
Dec 14 - 17 The Best Christmas Pageant Ever at Cohoes Music Hall
Dec 15 - 17 A Christmas Carol at the Farmers' Museum
Dec 21 Carol of the King Irish Dance Spectacular
Dec 22 A Garfield Christmas at the Palace



Dec 2 -3  Northeast Ballet's Nutcracker at Proctors
Dec 6 Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker at the Palace
Dec 9 National Museum of Dance School at Maple Avenue Middle School
Dec 9 Albany Berkshire Ballet's The Nutcracker at The Egg
Dec 16 The Nutcracker: Sweet & Swingin'



Holiday Concerts


Dec 3 Albany Symphony's Magic of Christmas
Dec 5 Handel's Messiah at The Cathedral of All Saints
Dec 5 Fly 92.3's Not So Silent Night at The Palace
Dec 9 Blind Boys of Alabama Christmas Show at The Palace
Dec 9 Handel's Messiah with the Octavo Singers at Union
Dec 12 Jennifer Nettles Christmas Concert at The Palace
Dec 14 Eileen Ivers Joyful Christmas at Troy Music Hall
Dec 15 CBS 6 Melodies of Christmas at Proctors
Dec 17 A Saratoga Christmas with the McKrells
Dec 17 The Many Moods of Christmas with Albany Pro Musica
Dec 27 Trans-Siberian Orchestra Ghosts of Christmas Eve at the TU Center


Living Nativities

Dec 7 - 9 Living Nativity at East Glenville Community Church
Dec 9 Live Nativity at Bethlehem Lutheran Church
Dec 10 Live Nativity Rotterdam United Methodist Church
Dec 16 Live Nativity Performance with Redemption Dance Institute



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
  Cut Your Own Tree at Majestic Tree Farm
Dec 2 - 9 Century Club Festival of Trees
Dec 2 - 17 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

Dec 1 Paint and Sip Hot Chocolate at Colonie Library
Dec 2 Paint with Santa at the Pottery Place
Dec 3 Holiday Sweets & Treats for Kids
Dec 9 Christmas Cardinal Painting at Art in Mind Creative Wellness Studio
Dec 9 Holiday Nature Crafts at Grafton Lake State Park
Dec 16 White Christmas Painting at Art in Mind Creative Wellness Studio
Dec 21 Holiday Candy Box at The Wonder Room


Festive Flicks

Dec 16 Saturday Morning Cartoon Cereal Bowl: Holiday Edition at Proctors
Dec 19  Muppet Christmas Carol at the Palace
Dec 22 It's a Wonderful Life at the Palace


Ice Skating (mostly indoor facilities and shows)

 Beginning Dec 1 Empire State Plaza
  Bethlehem YMCA
  Clifton Park Ice Arena
  Knickerbacker Ice Arena in Troy
  Messa Rink at Union College
  Schenectady County Recreational Facilities
Dec 16 Holiday Happiness Ice Skating Show
Dec 14 - 17 Disney on Ice: Frozen (not technically holiday, but family fun!)



Dec 3 Home Depot Menorah Workshop
Dec 13 Balloon Menorah Extravaganza at Boscov's
Dec 17 Chanukah at the Chocolate Factory



Dec 16 Kwanzaa Umojo Community Celebration in Hudson
Dec 28 Annual Kwanzaa Celebration - African American Cultural Center 


Journey to an Old-Fashioned Christmas

Nov 25 - Dec 12 Christmas Land at the Vineyard
Nov 25 - Dec 24 Dickens Christmas at Skaneateles
Nov 18 Holiday Art & Craft Fair at Arkell Museum
Dec 3 Christmas in Museum Village
Dec 9 Holiday American Girl Tea with Samantha Parkington
Dec 9 Candelit Evening at the Farmers' Museum
Dec 16 Children's Holiday Story Hour at Ten Broeck Mansion
Dec 16 and on Horse Sleigh Rides at Adams Farm


Shopping & Craft Fairs

through Dec 16 Shaker Heritage Craft Fair
Nov 10 Christmas Open House at The Garden Bug in Amsterdam
Nov 11 Faddegon's Holiday Market Event
Nov 17 - 18 Country Folk Art Craft Show
Nov 25 Saratoga Annual Holiday Craft Fair
Dec 1 Holiday Show at Colonie Center
Dec 1 - 3 Italian Christmas Market
Dec 1 - 3 Rudolph's Runway at Colonie Center
Dec 3 Taste NY Holiday Market at the NY State Museum


New Year's Eve

Dec 31 First Night Saratoga
Dec 31 First Night Bethlehem
Dec 31 Family New Year's Eve at Okemo Mountain Resort



Nov 16 Holiday Treasure Hunt at Grafton Lakes State Park
Nov 18 Toys for Tots Collection at Stillwater Public Library
Dec 2 - 3 Toys for Tots Train
Dec 3 A Winter Holiday Celebration with the Snow Sisters
Dec 9 Albany Last 5 K Run
Dec 12 Inclusive/Special Needs Christmas Worship Service




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!