Tree festivals, lightings, holiday strolls, gift guide and so much more.
Dazzle your guests with holiday etiquette tips 101
You’ve spent the entire day cooking the perfect holiday feast. But it’s an hour before your guests arrive, and you find yourself standing in front of the table, listening to a little nagging voice in your head.
Does the knife go on the left, fork on the right, or is it the other way around? Is that centerpiece too tall? Should I go ahead and put food on table before guests arrive, or do I wait until everyone gets here?
If you can’t answer those questions, don’t feel alone. In today’s eat-on-the-run world, you’re not the only one to flunk holiday etiquette.
“Table manners have become a lost art,” says etiquette expert Jill Slatter. “Think back 15 or 20 years ago, families gathered every evening for a proper meal. But these days we’re all stretched so thin juggling work, school and home, most folks don’t have time to sit down together, so when holidays roll around no one’s sure what to do at a formal meal.”
Slatter is an etiquette coach at Greensboro, N.C.-based Replacements, Ltd., touted as the world’s largest supplier of old and new china, silver, crystal and collectibles. The company is bombarded with questions this time of year from folks looking for a crash course in proper manners and table settings. Based on the most frequently asked questions, Slatter offers this quick holiday etiquette 101 to give you insight that will dazzle your guests.
Set the perfect table
Forks to the left, knives and spoons to the right. Only set out utensils that will be used for various courses. “If you’re not serving soup or salad, you certainly don’t want an extra spoon or fork in your place setting,” Slatter says. “Not only will those get in the way, the extra utensils may confuse your guests.”
The bread plate goes on the left of the dinner plate, glasses on the right.
Wait to pour. Water glasses should be the only glasses filled before your guests arrive. Iced tea, wine and other beverages should be poured once everyone is seated. Wine should be filled halfway, not to the rim.
Salad and bread should be the only food on the table when your guests arrive.
Courses are generally served in the following order in the United States: appetizer, soup, salad, main course, dessert.
Are you the hostess with the mostest?
Remember, the hostess always sits last.
Unscented candles are a great part of holiday decor, but should only be lit during the evening. “Another thing to keep in mind, flickering candles are more than a distraction, those can cause headaches,” warns Slatter. “That’s why you never want to place burning candles directly in front of your guest, and make sure you situate the flame below eye level.”
Centerpiece too tall? Sure those flowers you spent hours arranging are pretty, but will only get in the way if your guests have to crane their necks to look at each other. Make sure your guests can see over any table adornments.
Passing isn’t just in football. Always pass food around the table counter clockwise to the right and refrain from serving yourself first. Always pass the salt and pepper as a set, even if you’re only asked for one.
Be a gracious guest
Avoid the smear. Female guests should blot their lips before sitting down at the table. This will keep you from getting lipstick stains on linen napkins or glassware.
Wait for the signal. Your host will let you know when it’s okay to begin eating. They may make a prayer or statement or start by passing a dish.
If you’re not sure which utensil to use with each course, start on the outside and work in toward the plate.
If you need to excuse yourself temporarily, gently place your napkin in your chair.
Signify you’re finished with the meal by placing napkin to the left of the dinner plate, and your fork and knife side by side diagonally across your plate with the sharp side of the knife blade facing inward and the fork tines down.
“One of the most panicked questions we hear concerns what to do if you accidently break a piece of the host’s dinnerware,” adds Slatter. “You should certainly offer to replace the broken piece especially if it has sentimental value for the host or hostess.”
Slatter says don’t lose hope if your host doesn’t know the name of the pattern or the manufacturer–you can always take advantage of Replacements’ free pattern identification service.
If you’re still in doubt about holiday etiquette 101, a cheat sheet is just a mouse click away. You can find place setting guides outlining the correct layout for all meals at www.replacements.com, under the site’s “neat things” tab. With these tips in mind, you’re sure to throw the perfect gathering.
Courtesy of ARA Content
Festival of Trees
North County Festival of Trees – Christmas wonderland including gingerbread houses, arts & crafts, Holiday Boutique featuring handmade items, activities, games, crafts for the children and breakfast with Santa too! The Queensbury Hotel. For more info: 798.0170; www.prospectcenter.com.
December 1-January 4
Festival of Holiday Trees – Enjoy a festival of trees, on display at the Blenheim-Gilboa Project’s visitors center. New York Power Authority. For more info: 800.724.0309; www.nypa.gov.
Festival of Trees – Display of miniature Christmas trees decorated by local businesses & artists in Hedbring room. During the open hours of the library. Free. Greenwich Free Library, Greenwich. For more information, call 692.7157.
Festival of Trees – Holiday tradition with a selection of Christmas Trees decorated for viewing. Special events include: Premier Night, Ladies Who Lunch, Wine Tasting Experience, International Night, Children’s Morning, Festival Brunch, Sugar Plum Fairy Ball, and Group Lunches. Call for times, admission fees, and ticket information. GFWC Century Club, Amsterdam. For more info: 842.2031.
Festival of Trees – Trees, wreaths, centerpieces and other holiday items for viewing and sale. Adults $6, seniors and children over 10 $3. Saratoga Springs City Center. For more info: 587.5000.
Festival of Trees at the Georgi – Festival with cocktail party, auction & family day. Georgi Museum, Shushan. For more info: 854.3773; www.thegeorgi.com.
Festival of Trees Dinner Dance – Gala Dinner Dance with band and over 60 decorated trees. $25. 6pm-midnight. 1 Main Street, Dolgeville. For more info: 315.429.9871; email@example.com; www.dolgeville.info.
Festival of Trees – Exhibition of Christmas trees decorated by local artists and community groups. Fruitcake events 12/5. Old Stone Fort, Schoharie. For more info: www.TheOldStoneFort.org
November 20 & 22
Holiday Craft Show – Over 40 vendors with unique hand crafted gifts. Daily raffles. Village of Schoharie. For more info: 295.7505.
Craft Show & Sale – Holiday Bazaar. Free. Luncheon available. 9am-3pm. Caldwell Presbyterian Church, Lake George. For more info: 668.2613/668.4245; www.caldwellpres.org.
15th Annual Quilt Show and Holiday Bazaar – Viewer’s Choice quilt contests, handmade crafts, raffle quilt, “treasures” from Grandma’s Attic, and homemade lunch specials. Featured artist is Marlous Carter of Marlous Designs. Handicapped accessible. Free. 10am-3:30pm. 22 North Main Street, Mayfield. For more info: 661.5328; firstname.lastname@example.org.
2009 PTSA Craft Fair – Handmade crafts from 90+ people. Food and beverages available for purchase. Enter our 50/50 raffle. Huge bake sale. Free admission. 9am-4pm. Colonie Central High School.
November 21 & 22
Christmas Holiday Craft Show – Sunnycrest Orchards. Sharon Springs. For more info: 284.7540; www.sunnycrestorchards.com.
34th Annual Holiday Craft Fair – More than 100 crafters offering unique creations including holiday gifts, wood furniture, doll clothes, pottery and much more. Entertainment and food available. 10am-4pm. $2. Saratoga Springs City Center. For more info: 587.8008.
Country Christmas Bazaar – Hand-crafted items by local artisans. 9am-3pm. Thurman Town Hall. For more info: 623.2580/623.2909; www.thurman-ny.com.
Through December 19
Shaker Christmas Craft Fair – Find perfect holiday gifts for everyone on your list at our annual Christmas Craft Fair. Over 50 regional crafters are represented. 10am-4pm. Free. Shaker Heritage Society, Albany. For more info: 456.7890; email@example.com.
Hamagrael Handcrafted Craft Fair – 80 vendors offering a wide variety of crafts. Lunch available for purchase. A Bucket Auction and Bake Sale. Free. 10am-4pm. Hamagrael
Elementary School, Delmar. For more info: 478.0735 or 478.9548.
Holiday Craft Fair – Hand crafted & unique gifts, jewelry, artwork, wood crafts, baked goods, food. 9am-4pm. Free. The Lodge at Echo Lake, Warrensburg. For more info: 623.2161; www.warrensburgchamber.com.
Johnstown Holiday Parade – Kick off the holiday season with this Disney movie-themed parade. Parade route starts at The Wells House (201 West Madison Avenue), past Pineview Commons, right on East Main Street to the Johnstown Senior Center. 7pm-8:30pm. Main Street, Johnstown. For more info: 848.3666.
Broadalbin Annual Holiday Parade – Come see this annual event to ring in the holiday season. 6:30pm-8pm. Main Street, Broadalbin. For more info: 883.8265.
Victorian Streetwalk – Stores open, music, entertainment, Santa & Mrs. Claus, live reindeer, magic and more. Broadway will be closed to traffic
5pm-10pm. 6pm-10pm. Downtown Saratoga Springs. For more info: 587.8635.
Bethlehem’s Holiday Parade – Santa arrives by fire truck and all kinds of community groups join the fun starting at Town Hall and ending at Delmar’s Four Corners. 6pm.
Winter Walk on Warren Street – Holiday revelers ride in carriages drawn by teams of horses up and down Warren Street, Hudson’s main thoroughfare. Carolers dressed in Victorian costumes sing songs of the season. Musical ensembles and dancers perform in the many shops that fill the street. The aroma of roasting chestnuts fills the air. It’s a scene evocative of days gone by. Entertainment and activities for all ages. Free. 5pm-8pm. Hudson Opera House, Hudson. For more info: 822.1438; www.hudsonoperahouse.org.
Village of Cobleskill Holiday Parade & Tree Lighting – Downtown lights up for the holiday season! Parade begins at 5pm.
Village of Middleburgh – Miracle on Main Street. Lots of fun on the streets & extended store hours! 5:30pm. For more info: www.artsmrc.org.
Ten Broeck Mansion
9 Ten Broeck Place, Albany 436.9826
Champagne Preview Party Thursday – Join us for a preview of the Mansion’s gracious rooms and halls beautifully decorated for the holidays by community volunteers. Enjoy a light champagne reception, a Silent Auction, Holiday Gift Shop and a visit from Sinterklaas. 5:30pm-8:30pm. $60. Pre-paid reservations required.
Holiday Tea at Ten Broeck Mansion – Enjoy a festive Holiday Tea served in the formal dining room. Sit with friends in one of the lovely parlors and then stroll through the beautifully decorated rooms and hallways. Stop in the Holiday Gift Shop for early gift shopping. 2pm-4pm. $15. Pre-paid reservations required.
Lecture: “St. Nicolas: The Saint That Became Santa” – Speaker: Author Ms. Peter Rose. After the lecture, enjoy light refreshments and a visit with Sinterklaas. Free. 1pm.
December 6 & 12
Holiday House Open House at Ten Broeck Mansion – Stroll through the Mansion. Ask questions of Mansion volunteers. Shop in the Holiday Gift Shop. Let the children enjoy holiday crafts, a visit from Sinterklaas (12pm-2pm). Enjoy listening to invited choirs singing seasonal songs and carols. Adults $5; under 12 $1; family rate $10. 12/6 12pm-4pm; 12/12 10am-2pm.
Lecture: “Hanukah and Jewish Holiday Traditions in Albany” – Speaker: Rabbi Richard Feldman. Light refreshments. Free. 1pm.
Children’s Story Hour – Bring your children to hear Holiday stories read by Sinterklaas, play parlor games and enjoy simple holiday refreshments. (Recommended ages 3-10). Free. 10:30am-noon.
Holiday Madrigals, Coffee & Desserts – Enjoy afternoon coffee & desserts and holiday songs performed by a special Madrigal Singing Ensemble. Stroll through the beautifully decorated Mansion rooms and hallways. $20 per person. Reservations suggested. Combined Holiday Madrigals & Opera at Ten Broeck $40/person. 3pm-5pm.
December 4,5,6,11,12, 13, 18, 19, 20, 26, 27
Holiday House Tours – Visit Olana for Christmas with the Churches, a look at how the family spent the holiday at home. Hear oldest son Frederic Joseph’s letter to Santa Claus to find out just what gifts the children wished for, and hear what other family and visitors wrote about the experience. 11am-4pm. Adult $9, students & seniors $8, under 12 and TOP members free. Olana Site, Hudson. For more info: 828.0135; www.olana.org
Candlelight Tours of Clermont – 3pm-6pm. Bonfire at 2pm. Adults $5, seniors $4, under 12 free. Clermont State Historic Site, Clermont. For more info: 537.4240; www.friendsofclermont.org.
Christmas at Clermont Open House – 11am-4pm. Clermont State Historic Site, Clermont. For more info: 537.4240; www.friendsofclermont.org.
Tour the beautiful Hildene, the summer home of Robert Todd Lincoln, all decked out in holiday dcor!
November 27, 28 & 29
Thanksgiving At Hildene – Visitors enjoy self-guided tours through the mansion decorated for the harvest. Adults $12.50; children $5; members & children under 6 free.
December 28 & 29
Hildene Holiday Evenings – Self-guided tours through the mansion decorated for the holidays. 4:30pm-6:30pm. Adults $12.50; youth $5; members free.
Troy Victorian Stroll
27th Annual Troy Victorian Stroll–All afternoon Troy’s historic downtown will offer more than 100 free attractions, including the region’s top performers, musicians, dancers, magicians and storytellers. This popular annual holiday tradition transforms the historic streets of downtown Troy into a magical stage of song, dance and family enjoyment. There will be rides, refreshments, a craft show and much more! Troy’s shops, boutiques and galleries will be open for holiday shopping and when hunger hits, stop into one of the many eateries or visit the Food Court located next to City Hall. 11am-5pm. www.victorianstroll.com.
HOLIDAY EVENTS BY COUNTY
Harvest Maple Festival – Maple pancake breakfast and lunch, Maple producers and crafters. 10am-2pm. Free. Empire State Plaza, Albany. For more info: 474.0538.
November 27 – January 2
13th Annual Capital Holiday Lights in Washington Park – New lights show with more than 100 illuminated scenes with the theme, Celebrating Our Differences. After the drive through the lights, the Lakehouse has crafters, refreshments and lots of surprises. Enter New Scotland and Madison Avenues, Albany. Sun-Thur 6pm-9pm; Fri & Sat 6pm-10pm. $15 per car; $25 limo or 15-passenger van; $75 bus. Benefits the Albany Police Athletic League (PAL).
New York State Museum Chocolate Expo and Holiday Gift Market – Begin the holiday season at the New York State Museum! Enjoy the finest chocolates, desserts, specialty foods, and holiday gifts the region has to offer. You’ll find something special for everyone on your shopping list with a selection of beautiful jewelry, painted works of art, and much more. Be sure to treat yourself to the We Do Fondue chocolate fountain and enjoy seasonal music while strolling through the galleries. 11am-4:30pm. Free. NYS Museum, 1st Floor Exhibition Hall. For more info: 474.5877; www.nysm.nysed.gov.
Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis – Bells will be ringing across the country as people tie jingle bells to their laces, don festive holiday costumes and join friends and neighbors in support of the Arthritis Foundation’s mission to prevent, control and cure arthritis and related diseases. Registration 7:30am; run at 9am. The Crossings, Colonie. For more info: 456.1203.
Winterfest 2009 – Downtown Albany is transformed into a magical celebration of fun with indoor and outdoor excitement including interactive games, music, live animals and a variety of family-friendly performances. The Kid’s Jingle Jog, Last Run 5K and fabulous fireworks will round out the day. Free (registration fees for Jingle Jog and 5K). Noon-5pm.
The Egg Performing Arts Center
Empire State Plaza, Albany
A Sinatra Christmas – Starring the Joey Thomas Big Band and featuring vocalist Bob Father. 3pm. $30, $25 (seniors, veterans), $35 day of.
Mountain Snow and Mistletoe – A concert of holiday songs and stories with Christopher Shaw and Bridget Ball that features “The Mountain Snow Orchestra” – fiddler John Kirk, guitarist Kevin McKrell, and percussionist Brian Melick. 12/12 8pm; 12/13 2pm. $24.
Zucchini Brothers Holiday Show – Jack (guitar), Steve (keyboards) and Sam (drums) – perform their original holiday songs and favorites from their popular recordings for children. 2pm. $10.
Superstitions Tour – Do you believe a broken mirror brings seven years bad luck? Do you throw spilled salt over your left shoulder? Do you think a red sky in the morning is reason to take warning… even if you’re not a sailor? Skeptics and believers alike are welcome to hear stories of the superstitious practices our ancestors used to ward off evil. You might be surprised! 11:30am, 12:30pm, 1:30pm, 2:30pm, 3:30pm – reservations recommended. Adults $9; students & seniors $8, under 12 and TOP members free. Olana State Historic Site, Hudson. For more info: 828.0135; www.olana.org.
Winter Celebration at Martin Van Buren National Historic Site – Warm yourself with hot cider while socializing with friends in the winterized tent or enjoy the bonfire in front of Lindenwald. Then see Lindenwald especially adorned for the season! 5:30pm-8:30pm. Front lawn, free. Martin Van Buren Site, Kinderhook. For more info: 758.9689; www.nps.gov/mava.
A Child’s Christmas – $12 per child. Reservations required. 10am. Clermont State Historic Site, Clermont. For more info: 537.4240; www.friendsofclermont.org.
The Merry Minstrels and Olana’s Annual Holiday Bonfire – Take a late afternoon holiday tour, enjoy a winter sunset, enjoy the company of neighbors and warm up at the bonfire while enjoying the sounds of traditional Victorian caroling performed by The Merry Minstrels. 2pm-4pm. Olana State Historic Site, Hudson. For more info: 828.0135; www.olana.org.
Holiday Sing – Annual Holiday Sing at the Austerlitz Church featuring songs from many traditions. 3:30pm. Austerlitz Church, Austerlitz. For more info: 392.0062; www.oldausterlitz.org.
Candlelight Night in Village of Kinderhook – Come celebrate the season with family fun activities. 5pm-8pm. For more info: www.village.kinderhookny.us.
Village of Chatham: Winterfest – Santa Claus, holiday music, special sales, and lots of surprises.
3rd Annual Community Sing of Handel’s Messiah – Bring your voice out of the shower and jumpstart the holiday by singing Handel’s Messiah with family, friends and neighbors! $10 door; $8 advance. 7:30pm. St. James Church, Chatham. For more info: 965.3445; www.columbiafestivalorchestra.org
19th Annual Thanksgiving Eve Sports Card & Sports Memorabilia Show – Featuring 60 dealer tables full of sports cards & related memorabilia (1800s to present) from baseball, football, basketball, hockey, NASCAR, & wresting. Autograph guest to be announced. $2 admission. 5pm-10pm. Johnstown MOOSE Club, Johnstown. For more info: 725.5565; firstname.lastname@example.org; tcsportspromotions.com.
Gloversville Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony – Join Santa and Mrs. Claus in this annual event. Sing carols and enjoy the lighting of the tree. Main Street Four Corners, Gloversville. 4pm-6pm. For more info: 835.4330.
Ho Ho Haute Hotties Holiday Luncheon Soiree – Part of the Ho-Ho-Holidays for Hospice (Proceeds to benefit Mountain Valley Hospice). A champagne toast starts this special holiday ladies’ five-course luncheon catered by Union Hall Inn. This event also is the unveiling of the holiday themed and festively decorated trees, greens and baskets. There will also be an exclusive, one-time raffle specifically for those attending this great event. Reservations only! $40 per person. Tickets available at Chamber Office. 2pm-4pm. Patrick’s Lodge, Johnstown. For more info: 725.4545.
December 4, 5, 6
“12 Days of Christmas Treasure Hunt” – Find the framed Anne Geddes prints in designated merchant shops, fill out the form, and bring to St. Patrick’s Lodge to be entered into a drawing for a bountiful holiday baskets. Free. Merchants in Downtown Johnstown. 6pm-9pm.
December 4, 5, 6
Deck the Halls with Greens and Goodies Dollar Auction – Part of the Ho-Ho-Holidays for Hospice (Proceeds benefit Mountain Valley Hospice). The doors open to a Christmas wonderland full of a magical display of trees, greens and baskets all decked out in holiday finery. Buy raffle tickets for any of the trees, greens and baskets. Free. 6pm-9pm. St. Patrick’s Lodge, Johnstown. For more info: 725.4545.
December 4, 5, 6
Kris Kringle Kafe` – Part of the Ho-Ho-Holidays for Hospice (Proceeds to benefit Mountain Valley Hospice). Come taste the decadent homemade holiday treats with hot coffee, tea or hot chocolate while you view the festively decorated St. Patrick’s Lodge. Buy raffle tickets for any of the trees, greenery or baskets on display. 6pm-9pm St. Patrick’s Lodge, Johnstown. For more info: 725.4545.
Mayfield Historical Society – Christmas Open House – The members have decorated the Homestead, inside and outside, in the spirit of Christmas. There will be tours of the home, spinning and weaving demonstrations, and Teddi Knapp, famous local NYS documented folk artist, will display her artwork and herbs. On Saturday at 1pm, there will be musical entertainment. Mulled cider and old-fashioned cookies will be served and homemade pies will be available for sale. Free admission, but donations welcomed. 111am-4pm. For more info: 661.5576. 328 Riceville Road, Mayfield.
Christmas Culinary Academy 101 with Megan Henck Saltsman of Union Hall Inn-Part of the Ho-Ho-Holidays for Hospice (Proceeds to benefit Mountain Valley Hospice). Join Union Hall CIA Master Chef Megan Henck Saltsman for a lesson in Holiday Entertaining Hands-On cooking. Learn how to make an appetizing hors d’oeuvre and a delicious dessert; dine with classmates on creations and take home recipes. Classes are 10am-11:30am and Noon-1:30pm. Space is limited and tickets are required. $20 per person. Tickets available at the Chamber office, 2 North Main Street, Gloversville.
Santa’s Little Elves Workbench – Part of the Ho-Ho-Holidays for Hospice (Proceeds to benefit Mountain Valley Hospice). Bring your children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews and friends to our holiday workshop where you can make holiday ornaments, crafts or even a Swarovski crystal bracelet. $1 per craft (excluding crystal bracelet). 10am-6pm.
Little Angels “La-Tea-Da” Tea Party – Part of the Ho-Ho-Holidays for Hospice (Proceeds to benefit Mountain Valley Hospice). Little girls gather together all dressed up and play grown-up at their own holiday social. Fine china tea service, as well as, finger foods and other treats will be served. Events include: hats and boas for dress-up, ornament making, writing letters to Santa and photographs (fee for photographs). Reservations only. $10 per child (excluding photographs). 2:30pm-4pm. Tickets available at the Chamber office, 2 North Main Street, Gloversville.
Ho-Ho-Holiday Breakfast – Part of the Ho-Ho-Holidays for Hospice (Proceeds to benefit Mountain Valley Hospice). Enjoy a beautifully prepared breakfast buffet prepared by Wally Hart and Bill Crankshaw just for this event. Interact with Santa and his elves. View the beautiful trees, greenery and baskets created for these events. $5 per person, 9am-11am. Tickets available at the Chamber office. St. Patrick’s Lodge, Johnstown. For more info: 725.4545.
Winter Workshop – Basket Ornaments: Create ornaments for your Thanksgiving Table and Christmas Tree using traditional basket weaving techniques with this encore presentation by Beverly Cornelius. Materials fee TBA. Limit 10 participants. Advance registration required. Ages 12+. 10am-12pm. Schoharie Crossing Visitor Center, Fort Hunter. For more info: 829.7516.
November 26-January 1
Kristy Pollack Memorial Light Display – An elaborate Christmas display greets visitors as they drive through the lights. Donations appreciated to aid severely ill children and their families. Lyon Street, Amsterdam.
Light Up The Sky With The Marching Rams – A drive through light show on a paved road through an urban forest in the middle of Amsterdam adorned with hundreds of trees and shrubs wrapped with lights, illuminated arches, homemade wooden displays from 3′ to 8′ high, illuminated deer, band members dressed in costumes, and Santa and Mrs. Claus. Proceeds benefit the Amsterdam High School Marching Rams. $5 per vehicle. 6pm-9pm. 154 Brookside Avenue, Amsterdam For more info: 843.3052.
Elves Night Out – Letters to Santa at the Post Office, sing-along at the town Christmas Tree, free cookies and hot chocolate, all merchants open for Christmas visiting and shopping, special holiday market. 5pm-9pm. Free. Canajoharie-Palatine Bridge. For more info: 673.4434.
Heritage Holiday Tea – An afternoon tea in the holiday-decorated Old Fort. The tea will include tea sandwiches, scones/biscuits, and assorted sweets. $15 per person. Reservations required. 12pm-2pm or 3pm-5pm. Old Fort Johnson, Fort Johnson. For more info: 843.0300.
Holiday Pet Photos – Holiday photos of your pet alone or with the whole family! Holiday shop, adoption clinic and refreshments. Photos taken on walk-in basis, first come, first served (no appointments will be taken). Proceeds benefit the homeless animals of the Montgomery County SPCA. Riverfront Center, Amsterdam. For more info: 842.8050.
St. Nicholas Day – Colonial music, storytelling, roaring fires, pine bough decorations, homemade cookies and gingerbread, stolen, hot chocolate, spiced cider, St. Nicholas and homemade wooden ornaments. Noon-3:30pm Fort Klock, Johnsville. For more info: 568.7779.
Mohawk Valley Chamber Brass Concert – A regional ensemble playing everything brass from Baroque to Jazz. 7pm. Arkell Museum, Canajoharie. For more info: 673.2314.
Messiah by G.F. Handel – Soloists, orchestra and community choir directed by Richard McKee 3pm. Free-will offering. St. Ann’s Episcopal Church, Amsterdam. For more info: 842.2363.
Visit from Santa – 1pm. The Garden Bug. Amsterdam. For more info: 829.7024.
Cookie Sale – Homemade cookie sold by the pound. Choose your cookies for your gift box. 10am-3pm. GFWC Century Club, Amsterdam. For more info: 842.2031.
November 27, 28, 29 December 5, 6, 12, 13
Christmas Lights, Trains and Santa Claus Express aboard the Cooperstown & Charlotte Valley RR.
Santa Arrives at his Cooperstown Cottage.
Adorn-a-Door Wreath Festival – A silent auction of donated wreaths. Gallery C. Cooperstown Art Association, Cooperstown. For more info: 607.547.9777.
Holiday Lantern Tours at The Farmers’ Museum.
A Cherry Valley Christmas – Visit the interesting shops, Cherry Valley Museum, Art Gallery and eateries.
Sint Niklaas Visits Brewery Ommegang.
Holiday Hoopla for Kids at The Farmers’ Museum.
Carolers, Bell-Ringers, Living Nativity, & Youth Choir Holiday Performance.
Candlelight Evening at the Farmers’ Museum.
Vanderheyden Residential & Community Services for youth, individuals and families Presents: Voices of the Capital Region featuring Rockapella – With an ever-expanding fan base, Rockapella are known as the Kings of Contemporary A Cappella. 7:30pm. Adults $22; children/seniors $17. Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Troy.
November 21 & December 19
Saratoga SAVOY Diamond Dance – The Northeast’s largest monthly swing dance! Enjoy hours of live music performed by some of the best local and nationally known musicians, dance demonstrations, DJ’d music between sets, art exhibits, discounts on dance lessons, the elegance of the historic Saratoga Music Hall, free food and a free beginner dance lesson at 7:30pm and Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream! $15. Saratoga Music Hall, Saratoga Springs. 7:30pm-11pm. For more info: 587.5132.
Home Made Theatre: A Christmas Carol. Spa Little Theatre, Saratoga Spa State Park. For more info: 587.4427.
Holiday Cocktail Party – Celebrate the holidays with your family, friends, clients and/or staff while supporting Saratoga Bridges. Cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and great live entertainment. 6pm-9pm. The Lodge, Saratoga. For more info: 587.0723.
Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis – Bells will be ringing across the country as people tie jingle bells to their laces, don festive holiday costumes and join friends and neighbors in support of the Arthritis Foundation’s mission to prevent, control and cure arthritis and related diseases. Registration 7:30am; run at 9am. Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs. For more info: 456.1203.
Home Made Theatre: A Saratoga Christmas with the McKrells – Join Kevin McKrell and gang as he performs a fun holiday program for all just in time for the holiday. 7pm. $15. For more info: 587.4427.
First Night Saratoga – Alcohol-free celebration of the arts and the community for the New Year. Over 35 sites throughout Saratoga Springs. Fireworks at midnight. 4:30pm-12am. Downtown Saratoga Springs. Free. For more info: 583.9622.
Holiday Parade – 5pm. State Street, Downtown Schenectady.
December 12 & 13
Model Trains – Don’t miss this holiday favorite! The model trains are back at the Museum this season! Noon-3pm. FREE with Museum admission. The Schenectady Museum & Suits-Bueche Planetarium.
5th Annual Holiday Farmers’ Market – Discover unique gift ideas and holiday cooking essentials from our local farmers and artisans. Friday Night Preview Event 4pm-8pm $10. Saturday Shopping Hours 10am-4pm – Free. Proceeds will be donated to local charity. SUNY Cobleskill Bouck Hall Ballroom. For more info: 234.3751.
December 5 & 6
Winter Wonderland in Schoharie – Dinner, wine tasting, crafts, tree lighting, caroling and much more. For more info: www.christmastimeinschoharie.com.
Depot Lane Singers – “Christmas Around the World” Concert. 7:30pm. Schoharie Central School, Schoharie.
Paper Christmas Ornaments at the Middleburgh Public Library – Make a variety of beautiful paper Christmas ornaments to take home. Perfect for children ages 8 and up, adults and seniors. 10am. Registration required. For more info: 827.5142.
Pictures with Santa – Santa Claus will be visiting and will have his photo taken with children. New York Power Authority. For more info: 800.724.0309; www.nypa.gov.
Wine & Chocolate Festival – Choice domestic & foreign wines, chocolates, local cheeses and decadent desserts by area bakers. 5:30-8pm. Fee. Queensbury Hotel, Glens Falls. For more info: 793.2826.
Fall Festival – 10am-3pm. Free. Community Methodist Church of Chestertown. For more info: 494.3374.
3rd Annual Lake George Polar Plunge – Registration 9am-11:30am at Shepard’s Cove Restaurant. Plunge at noon at Shepard Park Beach. Benefits Special Olympics of NY. For more info: 388.0790, ext.129; www.specialolympicsny.org.
Family Activity Day: Holiday Crafts – Hand-dipped candles, and try quilling to create holiday decorations. Two sessions: 1pm-3pm. Reservations required. Fee. Chapman Historical Museum. For more info: 793.2826; www.chapmanmuseum.org.
Lite Up the Village – Fireworks – Tree lighting ceremony, music, kid’s activities. Free. 5pm. Shepard Park, Lake George. For more info: 668.5771; www.lakegeorgevillage.com.
Ladies Noel Night – Chocolates, live music, door prizes, holiday refreshments, more. 5pm-7pm. Free. The Hyde Collection, Glens Falls. For more info: 792.1761; www.hydecollection.org.
Silver Christmas Tea – Celebrate the season! 11am-3pm. United Methodist Church, North Creek. For more info: 251.3427.
Christmas Tree Lighting Festival – Holiday Reception. Owens House, North Creek. For more info: 251.5842; www.northcreekdepotmuseum.com.
Hometown Holidays – Tree lighting ceremony, downtown festival. 8pm. Free. Downtown Glens Falls. For more info: www.cityofglensfalls.com.
Breakfast with Santa – Fun & games, face painting; photo with Santa. Christmas shop & bake sale. Fee. 8:30am-10:30am. Caldwell Presbyterian Church, Lake George. For more info: 668.2613/668.4245; www.caldwellpres.org.
Christmas Boutique – Displayed in the historic Sherman House, holiday decorations, gift ware, figurines, jewelry, baked goods. 9am-2pm. Free. Glens Falls Senior Center, Glens Falls. For more info: 793.2189.
Operation Santa Claus Charity Ball – Dinner, dancing & auction. Black tie optional. 6pm. Reservations required. Fee. The Sagamore, Bolton Landing. For more info: 747.2628.
Reindeer Run – 5k race, 8am register. Adirondack Community College. Queensbury. For more info: www.adirondackrunners.com.
Winter Celtic Arts Concert – Adirondack Pipes & Drums present Irish Breakdown, Comhaltas. For more info: 793.2600.
Yuletide Gathering – Adirondack Repertory Dance Theatre. 2pm & 7pm. Fee. Charles Wood Theatre, Glens Theatre. For more info: 761.0873; www.glensfallsardt.com.
Christmas in Warrensburg – Townwide celebration featuring church bazaars, luncheons, caroling, musical performances, tree lighting ceremony, craft fair, activities for kids and more. Main Street, Warrensburg. For more info: 466.5497; www.warrensburgchamber.com.
Holiday Weekend in Bolton Landing – Holiday shoppers will be able to shop, dine & stroll the streets of Bolton Landing during this festive event.
A Celtic Christmas – Irish tenor Emmanuel Lawler joins the Glens Falls Symphony in music of the season with an Irish flare. He joins the Symphony’s Children’s Chorus in song and celebration, concluding with an audience sing-along. 4pm. Adults $25; students $10. Glens Falls High School. For more info: 793.1348; www.gfso.org.
Christmas in Bolton: Tree lighting – Hay rides with Santa, holiday entertainment & refreshments. 2pm-4pm. Free. Roger’s Memorial Park, Bolton Landing. For more info: 644.3831; www.boltonchamber.com.
Adirondack Voices Holiday Concert: Lake George Community Band – 70-member chorus performs holiday selections. 7:30pm. Free. Christ Church United Methodist Church, Glens Falls. For more info: 222.1302; www.lakegeorgecommunityband.com.
Ladies Holiday Night – Selected Downtown stores offer discounts, entertainment, refreshments and more. 4pm-8pm. Free. Glens Falls. For more info: 798.1144 ext 2.
Children’s Christmas Party: Community Tree Trimming – Visit from Santa, gifts, carol sing, refreshments too! All ages welcome! Thurman Youth Commission. 1pm-3pm. Free. Thurman Town Hall, Athol. For more info: 623.2249.
Upstate Model Railroaders Train Show – Operating displays, railroad art, photographs, collectibles. Heritage Hall, Glens Falls. For more info: www.upstatemodelrailroaders.com.
The Nutcracker: Adirondack Ballet Theatre – Performed by students ages 5-18 with guest artists. Sat. 2:30 & 7pm; Sun. 2:30pm. Fee. Charles Wood Theatre, Glens Falls. For more info: 798.5058; www.dcqdance.com.
Men’s Holiday Night – Selected Downtown stores offer discounts, entertainment, refreshments and more. 4pm-8pm. Downtown Glens Falls. For more info: 798.1144, ext. 2; www.larac.org.
Holiday Concert: Lake George Community Band – Holiday and seasonal selections. 8pm. Free. Charles Wood Theatre, Glens Falls. For more info: 222.1302; www.lakegeorgecommunityband.com.
Santa’s List: Rabine Productions – A Christmas play for the whole family. Fri, 7pm; Sat, 4 & 8pm, Sun, 2pm. Fee. Charles Wood Theatre, Glens Falls. For more info: 798.9663; www.woodtheater.org.
Coca-Cola Fireworks Spectacular – Fireworks at the base area. North Creek. For more info: 251.2411; www.goremountain.com.
Christmas in Cambridge – Annual event featuring lighted parade Friday evening, caroling, tree-lighting, and other events throughout the weekend. Village of Cambridge. For more info: www.cambridgenychamber.com.
Community Caroling in Mowry Park – Tree Lighting in Mowry Park at 6pm followed by Community Caroling accompanied by an ensemble from the Greenwich Central School . Join us for hot beverages and cookies afterward in the St Paul’s Parish Hall. 6pm. For more info: 692.7979.
Holiday Open House at Alpacas of Easton – Shop in the fiber store, visit animals, spinning & dying demos. 10am-5pm. For more info: 692.8684.
Breakfast with Santa – Breakfast & photos with Santa & FFA helpers; projects, crafts, etc. 7:30am-11:30am. Adults $5; children $4. Elks Club, Greenwich. For more info: 692.9446.
Everlasting Lights – Tree lighting memorial. 5pm. Town Commons. For more info: 692.7611.