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2019 Capital Region Holiday Activities for Families

The holiday season has begun and there’s no better time to get into the holiday spirit! Here are some 2019 Capital Region holiday activities that will make you feel festive.

Saratoga Springs Victorian Street Walk and Tree Lighting
Thursday, December 5, 2019 | 5 pm – 10 pm
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

There are a couple of events happening in Saratoga Springs, NY on this Thursday evening. First, the National Museum of Dance (99 South Broadway) is hosting a Kingdom of the Sweets Family Fun Night from 4:30 pm – 7:30 pm at a cost of $5 per child. There are performances to watch, craft activities, a candy bar and you can park for free at the museum and shuttle downtown for the Victorian Street Walk. The Victorian Street Walk itself is free to attend with plenty of entertainment and performances, an appearance from Santa, Mrs. Claus and the elves, and the Saratoga Tree Lighting Ceremony at Putnam Market. Here is more information.

23rd Annual Price Chopper/Market 32 Capital Holiday Lights in the Park
Friday, November 29 – January 2, 2019
Thursdays & Sundays – 6 pm – 9 pm
Fridays & Saturdays – 6 pm – 10 pm
Washington Park, Albany, NY 12203

The Price Chopper/Market 32 Capital Holiday Lights in the Park is an annual drive-through of over 125 light displays followed by Santa in the Washington Park lake house! The lake house is open for activities during the operating hours of the light show. The price is $20 per passenger vehicle. Here is more information.

Saratoga Festival of Trees – Family Day
Saturday, December 7, 2019 | 8 am – 2 pm
Saratoga Springs City Center, 522 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

Family Day and Santa’s Workshop are part of the Saratoga Festival of Trees which takes place from December 4 – December 8, 2019. The cost of a ticket for Family Day is $8 per person which covers admission, food and a photo with Santa. There are also options for a Breakfast with Santa and Sundaes with Santa for an additional charge (with reservation required). There are also Santa’s Workshop activities for $1 per activity. Here is more information.

Schenectady Festival of Trees
Saturday, December 7 – Sunday, December 22, 2019 | 10 am – 5 pm
Schenectady County Historical Society, 32 Washington Avenue, Schenectady, NY 12305
YWCA Northeastern NY (YWCA of Schenectady), 44 Washington Ave, Schenectady, NY 12305

Each year the Schenectady County Historical Society and the YWCA partner for the Festival of Trees. There are approximately 50 trees of all kinds of themes that are lit up for viewing. The cost is $8 for adults and free for all children under age 12. Here is more information.

Halfmoon Memorial Tree Lighting
Sunday, December 1, 2019 | 6 pm – 8 pm
Halfmoon Town Hall, 2 Halfmoon Town Plaza, Clifton Park, NY 12065

Every year the town of Halfmoon hosts a Holiday Memories Program where the town lights trees in memory of loved ones lost and also the town tree. Here is more information.

The Great Train Extravaganza
Sunday, December 1, 2019
Beginning at 10 am

For just $7 for adults and free admission for children under 12, you can also check out the “Great Train Extravaganza” inside the Empire State Plaza Convention Center. The day ends with the official lighting of the New York State Holiday Tree with fireworks to follow.

Troy Victorian Stroll
Sunday, December 8, 2019 | 11 am – 5 pm
Downtown Troy, NY 12180

This year is the 37th Annual Troy Victorian Stroll which takes place in downtown Troy. It is free to attend and there are performances by musicians, dancers, magicians and storytellers along with refreshments, arts & crafts and more. Here is a full list of events and more information on directions and parking.

Empire State Plaza Holiday Tree Lighting and Fireworks Festival
Sunday, December 8, 2019 | 12 pm – 8 pm
Empire State Plaza Albany, NY 12210

Also happening at Empire State Plaza on Sunday, December 8, is the 6th annual Taste NY Holiday Market at the New York State Museum from 11 am – 4:30 pm.

19th Annual Santa’s Play Land Open House
Friday, December 13 – Saturday, December 14, 2019 | 5:30 PM – 9 pm
Quick Response Restoration, 2077 Route 9, Round Lake, NY 12151

When driving along Route 9, many of you may have seen the lights on display at Quick Response Restoration. Each year, they transform their property into a winter wonderland with a “Quick Express” tractor-drawn train ride, a horse and wagon ride and a visit with Santa. Admission and refreshments are free, along with free offsite parking and round-trip bus transportation. Here is more information.

Ballston Spa Holiday Parade and Tree Lighting
Friday, December 6, 2019 | 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Milton Avenue to Wiswall Park, Milton Avenue Ballston Spa, NY 12020

The village’s annual holiday parade kicks off at 6:30 pm followed by a tree lighting by Santa in Wiswall Park on Front Street. After Santa lights the tree, kids can meet him at Ballston Spa National Bank. This festive tradition is free for all ages. Here is more information.

Downtown Schenectady’s City Hall-iday
Saturday, December 7, 2019 | 12 pm – 4 pm
143 State Street, Schenectady, NY 12303

Families can spend the afternoon enjoying free activities, crafts and a visit with Santa (along with a free photo opportunity). Check back with the Downtown Schenectady Improvement Corporation as they put out their full list of events.

2019 Altamont Victorian Holiday Celebration & Winter Market
Saturday, December 14 – Sunday, December 15, 2019 | 12 pm – 5 pm
Village of Altamont, NY, 12009

Altamont Community Tradition hosts an annual, village-wide celebration. Family events are free except for the holiday house tour, which is $10 for adults (and free for children) and includes travel in a van/trolley to visit historic village homes. Other highlights include a holiday tree lighting in Orsini Park and the arrival of the Santa Train. Here is a full list of events and more information.

Capital Region Kwanzaa Celebration
Thursday, December 26, 2019 – Wednesday, January 1, 2020
Hamilton Hill Arts Center, 409 Schenectady St, Schenectady, NY
Events take place at various locations

Since 2013, the Kwanzaa coalition (a group of Capital Region community organizations) has come together to plan the annual Kwanzaa celebration in the Capital Region. At this time, the full schedule for the 2019-2020 Capital Region Kwanzaa Celebration has not been published, but you can check back with the Hamilton Hill Arts Center’s website for updates and more information.

Check back with us soon as we’ll put together a list of low cost, family-friendly activities in the Capital Region to help beat the winter blues in 2020.

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