Events & Festivals

December 2017 Events

Now thru Dec. 23rd    Gingerbread Wonderland & Breakfast with Santa on Nov. 25th & Dec. 2nd
Niagara Falls Culinary Institute
28 Old Falls Street, Niagara Falls, NY
(716) 210-2525 for more info
Does Santa eat cookies and milk for breakfast? Come out and eat breakfast with him on Nov. 25th or Dec. 2nd to find out! Then check out the LARGEST life size Gingerbread Village in Western New York with 5,000 lbs of gingerbread and 2,000 lbs of icing! Live entertainment, music, face painting, magicians, cookie decorating, kids crafts, letters to Santa, chef demos, story time and much more.

25th thru Dec. 31st    It WAS a Wonderful Life
Forest Lawn Cemetery Chapel
1411 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo
(716) 885-1600
The historic Forest Lawn Chapel is transformed into a festively decorated live theatre for the critically acclaimed original production of "It WAS a Wonderful Life". The narrator, John Lay – the first person to take up permanent residence at Forest Lawn, in 1850 – will introduce several of the new friends he’s made over the last 164 years at Forest Lawn. They, in turn, will create musical, comical and poignant glimpses of Christmases past, when they enjoyed life on this side of the lawn. Playing various Saturdays & Sundays from Nov. 25th through Dec. 31st, 2017. Visit the website for dates and times.

Now thru January 7th    Poinsettias - Expect the Unexpected! & Garden Railway Exhibit
Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens
2655 South Park Avenue, Lackawanna
(716) 827-1584
The whole family will enjoy beautiful poinsettias, vibrant colors and playful surprises!  The WNY Garden Railway Society is sponsoring the Railway Exhibit which brings fun and whimsy to our holiday season! Adults and kids enjoy this great exhibit! 10am-5pm.

Now thru January 26th    Fireworks Over the Falls
Viewable from Niagara Falls, NY & Niagara Falls, Ontario
Enjoy spectacular fireworks over Niagara Falls EVERY FRIDAY at 9pm until January 26, 2018!  NIGHTLY FIREWORKS will show every evening December 23rd-29th at 9pm and New Years Eve, Dec. 31st at midnight. Fireworks schedule is subject to change.  Fireworks performances are weather permitting and may be cancelled due to poor weather conditions.

Now thru March 18th, 2018    FREE Ice Skating at Rotary Rink
Rotary Rink at Fountain Plaza
Main at Chippewa Streets, Buffalo
(716) 856-3150
Downtown Buffalo's outdoor, free ice-skating rink. Snacks and beverages are available. Opening on November 26th weather permitting. Host an upcoming party or special event; party packages available. Skate rental available. Rotary Rink is weather dependent. Call before coming if the temperature reaches 45 degrees.

Now thru March 18th, 2018    Ice Skating & Ice Biking at Canalside
The Ice on Canalside
44 Prime Street, Downtown Buffalo
 (716) 574-1537
The ice at Canalside is Buffalo's newest downtown attraction. It offers more than ice skating! Enjoy curling or, unique to Buffalo, enjoy riding an ice bike. Ice Bikes were designed and manufactured locally to be ridden on the ice! Warm up with some hot cocoa and snacks from the Winter Café! Call or check our website before coming down if the weather is not so wintery.

1st    2017 Canalside Holiday Celebration & Tree Lighting
Canalside Buffalo
44 Prime Street, Buffalo
(716) 436-7100
This free, family-friendly event takes place at the Ice at Canalside, just off the Erie Canal Harbor Station on the Metro Rail! This year's event will include: tree lighting with Santa Claus, free children’s activities including visits with Santa Claus, food trucks and in-house specialties, pop-up performances from local groups,live entertainment and open ice skating. Visit the website for more details!

1st    First Fridays in Allentown
Allen Street between Pearl Street and Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo
(716) 881-1024
Join us on the first Friday of each month from 6 to 9pm, when Allentown art galleries, performance artists, musicians, restaurants, retailers and more, come together to create a rich cultural attraction.

1st & 2nd    Hertel Holidays ... Shop & Dine
Hertel Avenue, Buffalo
Hertel Holidays is an annual family tradition that delights all of the senses with twinkling displays, Santa Claus and unique shopping and dining experiences. Hertel's boutiques, antique stores, and art galleries will take the stress out of your holiday shopping with great places to stop at afterwards for dinner or a drink. Visiting Hertel Avenue during the holiday season means that your holidays will shine a little brighter! Friday, Dec. 1st 6-9pm, Saturday, Dec. 2nd 11am-1pm is cookies and milk with Santa & Mrs. Claus at START WITH SLEEP at 1211 Hertel Ave.

1st, 2nd, 3rd, 7th, 8th, 9th & 10th    It's A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play
Shea's 710 Theatre
710 Main Street, Buffalo
(716) 847-0850  Information
(800) 745-3000  Tickets charge by phone
Spend a little time in Bedford Falls this holiday season by being a part of the studio audience at WBFR's 1946 Christmas Eve radio broadcast of It's a Wonderful Life (based on the Frank Capra movie). Five actors and a foley artist perform all the voices, music, singing, and sound effects from the most beloved Christmas movie of all time: the story of George Bailey, a young dreamer who will mortgage his last dream for the smaller hopes and needs of his neighbors and friends, and Clarence, George's 292-year-old guardian angel who will help him discover that "no man is a failure who has friends."

1st-3rd, 8th-10th, & 15th-23rd    Fairgrounds Festival of Lights
The Hamburg Fairgrounds
5820 South Park Avenue, Hamburg
(716) 649-3900
Drive through the all new light displays from North Pole Productions! Stroll the illuminated street and explore each of the buildings for unique holiday activities, shows, and more. Climb aboard the Express Train and take a short train ride around the Festival grounds. Kids can stop in to the TOPS Winterland Workshop to make a craft. The centerpiece of the Festival of Lights is the North Pole Experience. This ten thousand square foot walk through adventure leads guests through the North Pole and right to Santa’s front porch. This and more is included in your carload admission.

1st thru 31st    Niagara Power Projects Festival of Trees
Niagara Power Project's Power Vista
5777 Lewiston Road, Lewiston
(716) 286-6661
See the Niagara Power Vista transformed into a winter wonderland with a dazzling display of reusable trees, adorned with energy efficient holiday lights and decorated by local non-profit groups. Visitors of all ages can enjoy hands-on experiences and learn about hydroelectricity and the historic role it has played in the Niagara Frontier. Parking and admission are FREE.

2nd    Annual Tree Lighting at the Zoo
Buffalo Zoo
300 Parkside Avenue, Buffalo
(716) 837-3900

Enjoy holiday music, hot chocolate, animal meet and greets, festive activities, treats and be dazzled when the Zoo lights it’s holiday tree. The event starts at 3:00pm and gates will be open until 5:00pm.

2nd    Downtown Christmas Tree Lighting Celebration
Rotary Rink at Fountain Plaza, Downtown Buffalo
Main & Chippewa Streets
(716) 856-3150
This annual event marks the official opening of the free ice-skating season in Downtown Buffalo. The celebration begins at 5pm with free ice-skating. At 6pm, Buffalo Place representatives and local elected officials will countdown the lighting of the tree and Santa Claus will light a fireworks display over Fountain Plaza. Immediately following these events, the fun will continue with Santa visits, horse and wagon rides, ice-skating & holiday gifts. Skate rental is available.

2nd & 3rd   Totally Buffalo 716MAS Festival
Buffalo RiverWorks
359 Granson Street, Buffalo
(716) 342-2292
From 11am-6pm - join us for this incredible - TWO DAY SHOP LOCAL event featuring dozens of vendors selling their amazing Buffalo inspired crafts, jewelry, apparel, shirts, and more! Live music, crafts for kids, SANTA and even an appearance by some Disney Princesses. Shop local and help the local WNY economy! Find unique gifts handmade with love by Buffalo artisans. Buffalo FOOD, DESSERTS and GIFTS! $5 admission, 5 & under free. Only $8 for a two-day pass. Click here for tickets.

2nd & 3rd    The Annual Lewiston Christmas Walk
Center Street, Village of Lewiston
(716) 754-9500
Watch Santa arrive by helicopter in Academy Park then follow him down Center Street. Free horse-drawn carriage rides, open house events at local businesses, boutique shopping & much more!

2nd & 3rd    Lewiston Tour of Homes
Various Homes & Locations in Lewiston, NY
(716) 754-4214 (for more information) (event organizer)
The 13th Annual LEWISTON TOUR OF HOMES is from 10am-5pm. Celebrate in style and see the latest holiday inspired decor. Each home will feature Christmas tablescapes, offering innovative entertaining ideas. Don't miss the bonus stops: The Lewiston Museum, First Presbyterian Church & The Old Stone Church and the Lewiston Stone House. Back by popular demand ... a special dessert sampling and cocktail reception (included in ticket price) at the luxurious Niagara Crossing Hotel featuring holiday pastries from DiCamillo Bakery and The Niagara Falls Culinary Institute! Get your tickets now! Visit the website for further details.

2nd-3rd, 9th-10th, 16th-17th, 23rd-24th, 30th-31st    Holiday Happenings on the Niagara Wine Trail|
(every weekend in December)
Several Wineries along the Niagara Wine Trail (visit website for locations & map)
Between the Niagara Escarpment & Lake Ontario
Collect a different ornament at each of the wineries for a complete set. Tickets are valid for each event, so you can spread your wine tasting out over two weekends. Tickets include 3 tastes of wine, cookie tastings, an ornament from each winery and a commemorative wine glass from your starting winery. See our website for more info.

3rd    Secrets of Allentown - Holiday Tour of Homes
Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site (Tour begins here)
641 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo
(716) 881-1024 (TO PURCHASE TICKETS)
The Allentown Association and the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Historic Site present the Secrets of Allentown Holiday Tour of Homes, an interior tour of private homes in Buffalo’s Allentown National Historic District. Making the tour even more special, all of the properties will be fully decorated for Christmas. The tour begins at the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site, 641 Delaware Avenue. Due to the nature of touring private homes, a limited number of tickets are available so advance purchase is strongly recommended. Visit the website for details.

3rd & 4th    Yuletide in the Country
Event Center at the Hamburg Fairgrounds
5600 McKinley Parkway, Hamburg
(716) 649-3900
Buy locally and with meaning! Find those unique handcrafted gifts for everyone on your list from spa quality bath products to hand poured aromatic candles, holiday décor to trendsetting jewelry, hand-blown glass sculptures to gourmet foods, elegant florals to pet gifts, and handcrafted furniture to original wall art. This event features over 150 artists and artisans and highlights those from the Western New York area. Enjoy live holiday music and get great holiday cooking and decorating ideas during artisan demonstrations throughout the day.

3rd, 10th & 17th    Holiday Brunch with Santa
Salvatore's Italian Gardens
6461 Transit Road, Depew
(716) 683-9000 for reservations
Reserve your table at Western New York’s Premier Holiday Brunch. There is a special menu planned for 2017. Santa will be available for fun and photos. He’s making a list and checking it twice. Best behavior is encouraged. Reservations start at 10:30am. Make your reservations now before this favorite event sells out! Call or visit Salvatore's website.

4th thru March 5, 2018    Healthy Buffalo Co-Ed Broomball at Canalside
The Ice on Canalside
44 Prime Street, Downtown Buffalo
 (716) 574-1537
Every Monday evening at 6:30pm thru March 5th! Broomball is a recreational ice game. In a game of broomball there are two teams, each consisting of six players: a goaltender and five others. The object of the game is to score more goals than the opponent. Goals are scored by hitting the ball into the opponent's net using the broom. Brand new to broomball? You can join the recreational division. Expert level broomball enthusiast? Join our competitive division. Register now! No skates required! Just lace up your shoes and head down to the ice at Canalside!

6th & 17th    The Kerfuffle Before Christmas - A 3 Night Concert Event
Buffalo RiverWorks
359 Granson Street, Buffalo
(716) 342-2292
Don’t miss Alternative Buffalo's The Kerfuffle Before Christmas 2017, a 3 Night live concert event on Thursday November 30th (featuring New Politics, Bishop Briggs & Barns Courtney), Wednesday December 6th (featuring Jimmy Eat World, Borns, Saint Motel) and Sunday December 17th (featuring Cold War Kids, AJR, Lovelytheband)! The 3 Night Combo tickets are already sold out. Get your general admission tickets NOW.

8th    M & T Second Friday at The Center
Burchfield Penney Art Center
SUNY Buffalo State
1300 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo
(716) 878-6011
On the Second Friday of every month, thanks to the support of M&T Bank, the Burchfield Penney hosts something great! From openings and happy hours, programs, concerts, screenings or other special events, visitors experience the best of the Burchfield Penney from 10am-8p! Members always receive free or discounted admission to special programs.

9th    Kissmas Bash 2017
KeyBank Center
1 Seymour H. Knox III Plaza, Buffalo
(888) 223-6000  Tickets by phone
Kiss 98.5 presents Kissmas Bash 2017! Artists scheduled to perform: Kesha, Why Don’t We,
PRETTYMUCH, Julia Michaels, Max and Astrid S! Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at the KeyBank Center Box Office, online at, or by calling (888) 223-6000.

9th    Santacon Buffalo 2017
Chippewa District
W. Chippewa & Franklin Streets, Downtown Buffalo
Dress up like Santa and enjoy this bar crawl from 1:30-6:30pm.  Hundreds of Santas parade the streets and bars spreading cheer and goodwill. Gather with your friends and strangers to sing Christmas carols around the streets of Buffalo and party! Must be 21+ to enter the bars. Registration will be held Downtown at VENU & D'Arcy McGees at 1:30pm or register online to be automatically entered to win a 20 passenger party bus for you and your friends to and from SantaCon Buffalo at: . BRING A NEW TOY DONATION for the Boys & Girls Club and receive a special treat from our sponsors!

9th & 10th    'Tis the SEAson at the Aquarium of Niagara!
Aquarium of Niagara
701 Whirlpool Street, Niagara Falls, NY
(716) 285-3575
Santa Clause is coming to the Aquarium of Niagara ... nice little boys and girls can visit with Santa, Mrs. Clause and Beeker! Photos are $5. Sing along with Santa during our new Christmas Sea Lion Show, enjoy story time with Mrs. Clause, make your own snow and visit Holiday Harbor for Zara's first Christmas celebration! For $5. you can make your own hot chocolate from the hot chocolate bar and enjoy it with a holiday cookie. It comes with a souvenir mug!

9th-10th & 16th-17th    Breakfast with Santa at the Zoo
Buffalo Zoo
300 Parkside Avenue, Buffalo
(716) 837-3900

Celebrate the holiday spirit with Santa and the zoo animals. Enjoy crafts and face painting fun! Visit the website for times and more info.

9th & 16th    The Castle by Candlelight
Old Fort Niagara
2 Scott Street, Youngstown
(716) 745-7611
Tour the French Castle decorated for the season and lit entirely by candles. Meet historical characters and witness the firing of the grand "feu de joie". The festive atmosphere will include music of fifes and drums and popular historical songs. Cooks will prepare and discuss traditional holiday fare, while period characters entertain visitors with tales of winter in the 18th century.

10th    Jazz on 2nd Sundays at The Buffalo History Museum
The Buffalo History Museum
One Museum Court, Buffalo
(716) 873-9644
The Buffalo Jazz Collective Sextet returns to Second Sunday's, featuring Buffalo's top names in jazz. Swing into the holiday season with us - Bobby Militello even sings a carol or two. 2:30-4:00pm. Visit the website for further information.

10th    100 Acres Holiday Brunch and Market
Hotel Henry
444 Forest Avenue, Buffalo
(716) 882-1970
Join Hotel Henry and 100 Acres: The Kitchens at Hotel Henry in celebration of the Holidays! Every Sunday in December leading up to Christmas, Hotel Henry will be hosting a variety of different vendors each week for a Holiday Market from 10am-2pm! Secure your holiday shopping all in one place with prepared or packaged foods, art, small housewares, decor, flowers, clothing, jewelry, and more. Additional family-friendly events will change weekly, including cookie decorating, hot chocolate, and more! Go to brunch and shop, or explore the many uncommon spaces at Hotel Henry.

16th    Trans-Siberian Orchestra

KeyBank Center
1 Seymour H. Knox III Plaza, Buffalo
(888) 223-6000  Tickets by phone
For a second year, by popular demand, the enchanted Yuletide tale is "The Ghosts of Christmas Eve". Based on TSO's multi-platinum DVD and long running PBS fundraiser, the story follows the journey of a young runaway who, on Christmas Eve, breaks into an abandoned vaudeville theatre seeking shelter from the cold and ghostly visions she experiences from that concert hall's past.

21st    M & T Third Fridays at the Buffalo History Museum
The Buffalo History Museum
One Museum Court, Buffalo
(716) 873-9644 ext. 301
On the third Friday of every month admission to the Buffalo History Museum, the Resource Center and select events are free for everyone.  Visitors will experience new programs, family events, happy hour entertainment, docent-led tours and more.
- Free admission HOURS OPEN on M & T THIRD FRIDAYS at the Resource Center at 459 Forest Ave.  10am-5pm.
- Free admission to the History Museum at One Museum Court 10am-5pm.
Call or visit the website for the M & T Third Friday event schedule. Members always receive free or discounted admission to special happenings.

28th    Dollar Day at the Botanical Gardens!
Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens
2655 South Park Avenue, Buffalo
(716) 827-1584
That's right, it's only $1. to visit the Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens all day (10am-5pm)! Enjoy warm, balmy temperatures and garden fun. Members and kids under 3 are free.

31st    New Year's Eve Ball Drop & Fireworks Display Downtown Buffalo!
Roosevelt Plaza, Iskalo Electric Tower
Intersection of Main, Huron and Genesee Streets, Downtown Buffalo
(716) 856-3150
Events in the plaza will begin at 10:30pm with live performances and festivities. Video walls are set up showing images of the ball drop here in Buffalo and New York City's Times Square. A fireworks display will follow the ball drop. This is a family-friendly, alcohol-free event.

31st    First Night Buffalo
Buffalo Convention Center
153 Franklin Street, Buffalo
(716) 635-4959 For more information
Celebrate the new year with the whole family in a safe, festive, fun, drug-and alcohol-free way! Stay warm inside the Buffalo Convention Center and experience an affordable night of fun with carnival rides, bounce houses, game shows, music, acrobats, jugglers and much more. The event runs from 5:00-10:00pm, with a grand finale balloon drop at 9:45pm. Ages 2 and Under FREE. $10 tickets presale at Wegmans, $12 at the door.

31st   New Year's Eve Celebrations at Salvatore's' Italian Gardens!
Salvatore's Italian Gardens
6461 Transit Road, Depew
(716) 683-7990
New Year's Disco - Get dressed up and get your groove going! Meeting in Salvatore's Venetian Ballroom, enjoy a premium open bar, fresh fruit & cheese display, hot hors d'oeuvres, dinner, a DJ rolling out those far out disco tunes, and a groovy midnight celebration!
New Year's The Great Gatsby Style - Meeting in Salvatore's Grand Bellamore Ballroom, enjoy open bar, hors d'oeuvers, dining, live music and a midnight celebration!
Visit Salvatore's website to purchase tickets and obtain more info.