Photo Credit: Jim Montanus



Discover a winter wonderland in Rochester! We have an incredible amount of holiday activities to take part in, from classic performances and themed events to unique traditions including a free downtown holiday festival and a 30-foot tall, magically lit up keg tree. There’s something for all ages and interests in Rochester this season as long as you pack your holiday cheer.


  • Enjoy a sweet start to your trip by exploring the George Eastman Museum’s annual Sweet Creations Gingerbread House Display. Dozens of intricate gingerbread houses fill the mansion each year– providing a visual treat for visitors of all ages. 

  • Attend a matinee showing of A Christmas Carol at Geva Theatre Center. Geva is the most attended regional theatre in the Northeast, and showcases this holiday classic along with a number of other popular shows each year. 

  • Awe over the Holiday Show at Lamberton Conservatory, located in Highland Park, before heading downtown to watch the Liberty Pole Lighting and Parade. Keep your eyes on the city skyline– you’ll see many buildings dressed up with holiday colors! 

  • End your first day right with a delicious meal from one of Rochester’s many restaurants. Ranked as one of the best cities for foodies in the U.S., you’ll find traditional and contemporary cuisines and everything in between. 


  • Begin your day with a trip to Genesee Country Village & Museum to attend one of their many holiday events. As the largest living history museum in New York State visitors will enjoy stepping into history in the 19th-century Historic Village, learning from costumed interpreters and may even find Saint Nick himself while visiting! Mark your calendars for Yuletide in the Country Tours and Dinners, Holiday Open House and more.

  • Dinner with a view is on the schedule for today. At Genesee Brew House you’ll find one of the Rochester area’s newer holiday traditions, a keg tree that’s just shy of 30 feet high decorated with over 20,000 twinkling lights. Visitors will also enjoy delicious food, a variety of seasonal and specialty beers and a spectacular view of High Falls– a 96-foot waterfall that flows through the center of downtown Rochester.

  • A holiday visit to Rochester is not complete without a trip to ROC Holiday Village – a holiday celebration bringing the magic of the holiday season to downtown Rochester. Now in its 5th year, ROC Holiday Village is Rochester’s annual holiday festival featuring free ice skating, an indoor and outdoor bar, free visits and photos with Santa, a shopping village, and more special events all in the heart of downtown Rochester.


  • Those looking to bundle up and get active will find plenty of places to do so in Rochester! Hit the slopes at Bristol Mountain or Swain Ski Resort, a short drive from Rochester. Trek through the 12,000 acres of parks in Monroe County with your snow-shoes or by cross-country skiing.

  • Awe over a magical performance of The Nutcracker by Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and Rochester City Ballet, a partnership that produces a truly incredible show.

  • Give the gift of local love this holiday season by shopping locally. Find gift recommendations in our Holiday Gift Guide and be sure to visit a local shopping event– some of our favorites include Holidays at the Market and Themata

End your visit on a sweet note and pick up some festive, locally crafted chocolates and treats. We recommend Laughing Gull Chocolates, Hedonist Artisan Chocolates, and Stever’s Candies for goodies that will add the perfect finishing touch to your gifts this year.