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2020 / 2021 Winter Guide

CNYWINTER.COM

Contents Snow Days… and the Memories They Bring......................... 5

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How to Have Fun During a Socially Distant Winter............. 10

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COVID-19 Winter..................................................................... 12 Winter Photography................................................................. 4 Winter Birding......................................................................... 16 How to Make Birds Feel at Home Around Your Home........ 18 Winter Night Skies.................................................................. 20 We’re No. 2: Maple Sugaring in New York............................ 23 Hot Chocolate Mix to Give..................................................... 22 Top Snow Toys....................................................................... 24 Skiing in Upstate New York................................................... 44 Winter Gear for Dogs............................................................. 45 Ice Fishing in Upstate New York........................................... 50

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Snow Days… ...and the Memories They Bring By Sandra Scott

C

OVID-19 has changed many things but I felt sad when my grandson heard all his classes would be online and said, “Does that mean there will be no snow days?”

Snow days conjure up some of my favorite memories. Nothing made me hop out of bed faster than hearing my mother yell up the stairs. “School’s closed.” I would rush to the window to see the wonderland that had been created while I was sleeping. I would huff on the window to melt the thin layer of ice and scratch away the icy frost, eager to see just how much snow had fallen while I was asleep. The trees were weighted down with a thick layer of snow, clumps dropping off at the slight stirring. There was a heavy quietness to the morning as the cold blanket of

snow wrapped the world in warmth and security. Determined not to miss a minute of the day, I would dress in my warmest clothes and drawn by the smell of bacon rush downstairs. My mind would be racing deciding on what to do first. The snow brought a wonderful assortment of fun things to do. After gulping down my breakfast, I dressed for the occasion. Gone forever are the bulky wool snowsuits that collected miniature snowballs and the black metal-clasp boots. To keep my feet warm and dry in boots, I would wear socks over my shoes and then a

plastic Wonder Bread bag. A multicolored handmade hat, mittens and muffler completed my outfit. I needed help to put on the finishing touches. My mother knew just how to fix my mittens and cuffs of my snowsuit to keep the snow out. Stepping outside — shaped like a Pillsbury doughboy — I was ready. The brightness of the sun made me squint and cold air hit my lungs like a sharp knife. Snow diamonds sparkled in the sun. The world had no sharp edges; the snow sculpted everything into gentle curves and swirls. Rooflines were softened by a layer of white fluff that

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curled down over the edges. Mother Nature had put her special frosting on the world. When my eyes adjusted to the bright light I looked for the perfect spot to make angels; a mantel of unbroken snow, one that wouldn’t be in way of my other projects. Found it. I took step back, turned around and flopped down in the snow. I moved my arms to create the wings and then feet to make the robe. The next part was the hardest, getting up without making a deep sit spot in the middle of my angel. Finished, someone to watch me while I played. Next I checked the garage roof to see if there was enough snow on one side so I could climb up and slide down the other side. The crimped edges of the tin roof made a perfect sliding spot. It was not an approved activity so I only did it a few times but it was hard to get away with it. Who else would have made the tracks on the roof? Time to build a fort. I rolled huge snowballs to make the walls. Smaller one went on top. When I ran out of fresh snow I used my sled to transport the snowballs. The finished project kept me from the wind. When the noon whistle blew I was tired and hungry. The house seemed too warm. My snowsuit was hung in the cellar stairway not far from the big old coal furnace. I put my mittens on the hot air vent. I could smell the fresh baked bread. Lunch was ready: tomato soup, bread and butter, and hot chocolate. After lunch, I got out the scissors, the summer Sears catalog, and an empty cardboard box and created my own dream home using flour and water paste to place the cutout furniture in the right place. I created my own paper dolls and clothes from pictures in the catalog ignoring the fact that they had no feet. If I was lucky, when my father came home we could go sliding down the nearby hill and maybe after dinner make sugar on snow. Snow days were a wonderful gift. Sadly the students who have online classes will not get to experience them — not this winter.

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CNY WINTER GUIDE

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CNY WINTER GUIDE Published every year by Local News, Inc.

Editor & Publisher: Wagner Dotto Associate Editor: Lou Sorendo Writers: Deborah Jeanne Sergeant, Melissa Stefanec, Mary Beth Roach Calendar of Events Editor: Deborah Jeanne Sergeant Advertising: Peggy Kain, Roxanne Seeber, Richard Annal Layout: Dylon Clew-Thomas  Cover Design: Jillian Meisenzahl Office Manager: Nancy Nitz

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How to Have Fun During a Socially Distant Winter By Melissa Stefanec

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taying connected during the winter is a challenge for many people, even under normal circumstances. This year will inevitably be even more isolating. With social distancing in place, this winter could be emotionally debilitating for many people. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. Staying connected may look a little different than it has in years past, but there are ways we can connect even when we are physically separated. We just have to get a little creative in how we gather. If you want to stay connected and safe this winter, here are some unconventional ways to socialize.

Virtual book club A book club is easy to conduct remotely. Find a group of friends who love reading. You can take turns picking titles. Then, set a start and end date for reading the book. Set video conferences to discuss the book. It doesn’t have to be high pressure. You can just plan to meet when everyone finishes and discuss the book then.

Garage cookout Much like campfires, who says

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grilling is just for the summer months? As long as you keep your grill covered and dry, there is no reason you can’t break it out in the snow. Just make sure to keep the grill outdoors for proper ventilation. Then, you and yours can enjoy time outside and delicious food.

Virtual brunch A virtual brunch might be more fun than you think. You can still take turns hosting, and the host still gets to pick the menu. The host can send the menu out ahead of time, and people can make what they want from it. Then, meet at a set time and enjoy your creations together via an online meeting. You may not actually be able to toast mimosas, but you can enjoy each other’s company.

Virtual trivia games Trivia games lend themselves very well to virtual events. If you are really motivated, find a group of friends and buy the same trivia game. Then, plan a virtual meet and enjoy the game together. There are also virtual trivia teams, and they often support good causes. Put some feelers out on social media and join a team.

CNY WINTER GUIDE

State/county/local parks Parks aren’t only for summer enjoyment. A lot of people visit parks during the colder months. This means many of the trails remain accessible, even if you’re just wearing a pair of winter boots. Many parks also rent snowshoes and cross-country skis. Some also hold winter festivals. There are plenty of ways to get fresh air and exercise at parks, and a mask is a great cold-weather accessory.

Campfires The more you think about it, the more it seems campfires were made for winter. They keep you warm. You can cook food on them. Keep your fire pit out this winter. Just find a dry place to store your wood and make winter fires a new and beloved tradition.

Yardwork Who wants to spend the first nice days of spring doing yard work? Wouldn’t it be better to get it out of the way? You can form a yard-work club where you travel to a few people’s homes and help each other with yard clean up during the winter. You will get


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fresh air, exercise, company and help. Then, when spring rolls around, you don’t have to spend your days off working; you can enjoy the warm weather instead.

Find a pen pal Sometimes, old-fashioned pastimes are the best. If you like writing, find yourself a pen pal. It could be someone you know very well or someone whom you would like to reconnect with. Then, sit down and write letters to each other. It will feel authentic and thoughtful. It’s also something you can do on your own time.

Online swap Spring cleaning is wasted on the spring. You can get ahead of your spring cleaning by doing it in the winter. Find a group of people who are willing to gather their items by a certain date. Then, you can virtually meet and have an online swap. You can even make a game out of it. Which of your castaways will be someone else’s treasure? Which will be fun to laugh at together? Which will end up in a donation bin?

Group DIY projects You may not feel comfortable going to an indoor craft event, but there’s no reason you can’t host a virtual one. Find a few people who want to paint, sew, craft or knit together and set times to meet virtually. If you plan ahead, you can even work on the same projects. As the winter sets in, all it takes is a little extra effort to stay connected. Your efforts won’t be wasted. Spending safe time with friends and family will help us stay well and happy. 2020 / 2021

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COVID-19 Winter Tourism promoters are turning to outdoor activities and non-event attractions By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

I

n ordinary times, winter can elicit feelings of cabin fever. During the pandemic, when many types of events and gatherings aren’t possible, people have much fewer choices for getting out of the house. Nineteen chambers of commerce and tourism organizations across Upstate New York were asked to share what activities their areas are planning for the 2020-2021 winter season. Two replied. That bespeaks the tough times faced by the entertainment organizations in our region. Planning large events that gather many people at the same time indoors together can increase the risk for transmission of the coronavirus.. Gillian Sears, administrative and project coordinator for the Cayuga County Office of Tourism in Auburn, said that as of press time, no concerts are permitted because of the pandemic. “Many of the large craft fairs during the holiday season likely will be canceled,” she added. “We typically get confirmation details in mid-November. Cayuga Community College has an excellent one, though I expect this will not take place due to the volume of patrons it attracts.” Events that do not gather large number of people at a specific time are more likely to continue this winter, such as the Festival of Trees at Ward O’Hara Ag Museum in Auburn through the end of January. At sites such as this, visitors may be admitted in family groups to avoid crowds gathering and sharing germs.

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Tourism promoters are also turning to outdoor activities and non-event attractions. Beverage trails are ramping up their promotion efforts, for example. “Ninety percent of the wineries are open year-round,” said Liz Salamendra, events and member partner engagement manager for Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce. “A lot of people don’t realize this. That goes for the other craft beverage purveyors, our breweries and distilleries.” Visitors should still check with each location before they go out and consider using a transportation service to tour the trails. But Salamendra warned that tourists should dress for the weather, since some locations may have limited indoor seating and use fire pits or outdoor fireplaces to warm additional guest space on a patio, for instance. Salamendra also encourages guests to enjoy recreation any time in the Finger Lakes National Forest and Catherine Valley Trail, which are open

CNY WINTER GUIDE

for cross country skiing and snowshoeing. Many other trails and parks across the state also offer winter recreational opportunities. Since these are outdoors and do not tend to gather big groups at a time, these are considered low-risk activities. Of course, because a venue hosts an event does not mean that COVID-19 guidelines are set aside. The same protocols apply as any other public place. You know the drill: do not go out if you have COVID-19 symptoms such as fever or have been near someone who is sick. Stay 6 feet apart from those not from your household, wear a face covering and wash your hands and use hand sanitizer often. Pay attention to the changing COVID-19 guidelines for the town of the place you want to go. An outbreak may cancel the event or close the venue. Check the venue’s social media and call before heading out. Some venues may require pre-registration to keep the crowds thinned to permittable numbers.


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John Kucko stands by a frozen building in Webster near Lake Ontario. Courtesy of John Kucko.

Winter Photography By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

O

utdoor winter photography offers its own challenges and opportunities. Nature photographer John Kucko of Penfield likes winter best of all the seasons for the dramatic images wintertime provides for his art photography. “I’ve had some of my biggest viral hits in the winter,” he said of the photos he posts to social media. “I love shooting ice and showcasing ice. Winter is when we see the most beauty. I love seeing waterfalls in their frozen state.” He also shoots the frozen shoreline along Lake Ontario. In addition to the dramatic scenery, Kucko enjoys shooting in winter because it’s peaceful and more solitary as he’s outdoors seeking shots. “In winter, people generally don’t like to brave the cold and elements,” Kucko said. The glare of sun on snow or lowering clouds full of snow bring plenty of contrast to wintertime photography. A self-taught photographer, Kucko advises trial-and-error for finding the best angles and lighting during the winter

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months. “For every one that’s good, there’s five or six that aren’t so good,” he said. “Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. I learn by those mistakes and try to do better.” As you discover something you want to photograph, like a tree or body of water, try taking shots from different angles and at different times of the day to see how the light affects the subject. Photographing all-white landscapes can prove difficult, since the brightness can cause the camera to overexpose the photo. While rays of sun shining across a sparkling, snowy field can create a pleasing effect, photographers don’t want the entire shot to appear washed out. To prevent this, adjust the camera’s settings to warn if the shot will be over exposed. Then increase the shutter speed accordingly. While a fancy camera may seem essential equipment, Chris Kenyon, freelance outdoor writer and photographer in Wayne County, believes it’s not just about the equipment. “The new camera phones have really come close to matching regular

CNY WINTER GUIDE

cameras with their tiny lenses which give you high resolution pictures,” he said. Since it’s always with you, your phone’s camera also allows you to snap those serendipitous shots that often make the best photos. But Kenyon warned that sometimes the autofocus features can be wonky. That great shot of a bald eagle might have the focus on the evergreen needles nearby instead of the bird. Only the very newest, most expensive models offer impressive zoom range. Kenyon places 80% of the creation on what is seen through the lens — and how the photographer feels inspired to take it — and the remaining 20% on the quality and use of the equipment. “That’s why I cringe when I see people holding a camera at arm’s length, high in the air trying to capture images,” Kenyon said. “You cannot compose photographs unless you look through the lens. You need to feel the shot.” He feels that nature photography requires blending into the environment


and taking enough time. “If you are waiting for an action picture with birds, animals, or dogs retrieving, set your camera for a fast shutter speed,” he advised. “Digital single lens reflexes (SLR) have that capability, just like the old film cameras. If your subject is stationary, use slower speeds.” Use a tripod if you cannot hold the camera steady. Kenyon also recommended image stabilizing lenses. If that is not possible, hold your breath as you take the image. That may reduce your movement. The cold will affect your equipment. “If you are driving around during winter looking for the prefect picture, remember your camera sitting next to you in a heated vehicle will fog up as you step outside,” Kenyon said. “Give it time to acclimate with temperatures.” Before he heads out, Kucko packs extra batteries. Webster near Lake Ontario. Courtesy John Kucko. “Batteries lose their power more quickly in the cold, especially when it’s subfreezing,” he said. “Keep them as warm as possible, maybe in a pocket up against your body.” It’s also important to dress properly to keep yourself warm, especially if you’re waiting a long time in the cold for the perfect shot. Fingertip gloves can give you better dexterity while handling equipment. Some gloves include fingertips that work on touch screens, which can help you as you review photos you have taken. “If you’re walking on ice, wear boots with spikes that allow you to walk on ice safely,” Kucko said. “A lot of people get seriously injured in the winter because they slip. I’ve taken a tumble or two and it’s not pleasant.” Although public parks and spaces such as this are This icy railing is in Watkins Glen at south end of Seneca Lake. fine, always ask first to photograph on private land. Courtesy John Kucko.

The pier on Lake Ontario in Webster. Courtesy John Kucko. Chris Kenyon, is a freelance outdoor writer and photographer in Wayne County. “The new camera phones have really come close to matching regular cameras with their tiny lenses which give you high resolution pictures,” he says. 2020 / 2021

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One red northern cardinal bird perches on a tree branch during heavy winter snow. Getty Images

Winter Birding By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

A

lthough many birds have migrated to warmer climes for the winter, birding can still provide hours of activity outdoors. Penfield-based photographer John Kucko calls birding “fascinating because there are so many varieties” but warns, “you have to have paramount patience to sit there and capture different birds. It’s addicting.” Though many died-in-the-feathers birders look through binoculars to observe birds and then record in a notebook where and when they spotted what, Kucko prefers to capture the memory on his camera. He enjoys the plumage of cardinals so much that a male cardinal adorns the January page of the 2021 calendar of his photos that he designed. “It was in a snowstorm when I got this,” he recalled. “I think everyone loves cardinals and seeing them in the snow is so special.”

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He also likes photographing snowy owls and bald eagles. “Bald eagles are one of the great success stories of New York,” Kucko said. “In the early to mid-’70s, there was one nesting pair in New York state; now there’s dozens all over the state. It never gets old photographing them.” Alison Kocek, Ph.D. candidate and graduate research assistant with the Department of Fish and Wildlife Biology & Management at SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry in Syracuse, calls wintertime “an excellent time to birdwatch in Central New York.” She listed waterfowl, gulls and raptors among the major species groups that winter here. Luckily for birders, these species tend to spend a lot of time in the open. Kocek added that this winter is expected to be a major winter finch interruption year, which we have not

CNY WINTER GUIDE

experienced since 2013. “Large flocks of purple finch, pine siskin, and red-breasted nuthatch — I know, not really a finch – and some red crossbills have already come through and evening grosbeaks are just starting. We are hoping that we will see common redpolls joining soon as well. Head to a nearby lake or just check your backyard feeders for a fun activity to do safely with your family.” Winter is a good time to spot hawks, too. “Spring hawk migration starts the last week of February and runs into June,” according to Onondaga Audubon. “Peak migration is between the second and fourth week of April. Most other north-bound birds reach our area at the beginning of April, with peak being the middle of May. Fall migration starts in late August and runs through the end of November. However, you can bird all year round. Eagles can be seen in the area in Janu-


Alison Kocek, a Ph.D. candidate and graduate research assistant at SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry in Syracuse, calls wintertime “an excellent time to birdwatch in Central New York.”

ary and duck migration gets started in February.”

Try these venues for winter birding: • Beaver Lake Nature Center in Baldwinsville is “always a great place to go for a winter hike,” Kocek said. Beaver Lake boasts dozens of bird species among its nine miles of trails, including winter finches, common redpolls and evening grosbeaks. Bring along your snowshoes or cross-country skis to transverse the park while spotting birds. – www.onondagacountyparks.com/ parks/beaver-lake-nature-center • Derby Hill Bird Observatory in Mexico,) is an Audubon site. Many visitors go there for the opportunities to spot hawks and waterfowl. – https://onondagaaudubon.com • Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge is another habitat that draws waterfowl, short-eared owls, roughlegged hawks, northern harrier and it also boasts several bald eagle nests. The sizable park spans Wayne, Seneca and Cayuga counties. – www.fws.gov/refuge/montezuma • The National Audubon Society has designated the Great Swamp Con-

servancy in Canastota as an important bird area as it is a resting place for spring and fall migration. Explore the park’s seven miles of nature trails. – www.greatswampconservancy.org • As New York’s largest wildlife refuge, Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge in Basom, Western New York, is home to 266 species of birds. – www.fws.gov/refuge/iroquois • Wellesley Island State Park in Fineview )Thousand Island region) provides both birding opportunities, including bald eagles, and hiking trails. – https://parks.ny.gov/parks/52/details. aspx) • Wild Center and Wild Walk in Tupper Lake offers 115 acres of birding opportunities, including the treetops trail, which includes a four-story tree house, swinging bridges, a “spider’s web” big enough for people and a fullsized bald eagle nest at the pinnacle. – www.wildcenter.org • Onondaga Lake in Liverpool/ Syracuse is designated as an important bird area. Look for wintering waterfowl, gulls, and bald eagles. – www.onondagacountyparks.com/ parks/onondaga-lake-park

“Over 100 eagles can be observed on the lake at one time in the winter,” Kocek said. “Check out these birds from the Destiny USA parking lot or the newly opened southern portion of the West Shore Trail.” • Oswego Harbor offers another place for wintering waterfowl and rarities. Kocek said to look for long-tailed ducks, goldeneyes, and mergansers, and occasionally wintering loons, scoters, and harlequin ducks. Note that these venues may not have their visitor’s centers and other indoor attractions open. Some may require online ticket purchase and mask wearing, even though you are outside. Call before heading out to confirm you comply with any COVID-19 guidelines. Kocek said that even backyard feeders attract northern cardinals, black-capped chickadees, blue jays and downy woodpeckers. “These birds will be extra appreciative of a snack during the long, cold winter,” Kocek added. “Put out suet feeders to give an extra energy boost to migrating birds and woodpeckers during early and late winter. Also, keep an eye out for winter finches this year as they love to snack at feeders.”

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How to Make Birds Feel at Home Around Your Home By Melissa Stefanec

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hen the cold sets in, some animals hibernate. Others migrate to warmer locations. Instead of leaving their homes or entering stasis, many birds in New York state stay put and active throughout the coldest times of year. These birds can offer us some much needed vibrance and stimulation during the long, cold winters of CNY. If you’re interested in attracting and admiring birds this winter, here are some helpful tips regarding food, feeder placement and safety. Humans can unintentionally harm birds by creating scenarios for them to crash into glass, be preyed on by predators or feeding them unsafe foods, so learning the basics will help you turn your yard into a true bird haven. The CNY Winter Guide compiled information from the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation; Audubon New York; and The Cornell Lab of Ornithology. If you create a safe and healthy environment for our feathered friends, you can truly enjoy the beauty and the peace they offer.

• Birds that spend winter with us Birds that don’t migrate during the colder months are called over-wintering birds. In New York, we have many over-wintering songbirds. When you are winter birdwatching, here are some of the species you may encounter: the Northern cardinal, black-capped chickadee, tufted titmouse, American tree sparrow, darkeyed junco, downy woodpecker, pileated woodpecker, blue jay, oriole, and various nuthatches, finches, grosbeaks, wrens, pigeons and doves. • How to attract birds to your yard without food Although a birdfeeder is likely the first thing that comes to mind when trying to attract birds to a yard, there are many things you can do to make your yard more appealing to birds. You can plant certain plants that will attract birds, even during the winter months. Planting native trees and shrubs is ideal (for the birds and the environment at large). Fruit and berry trees, as well as shrubs such as

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• Feeder basics: keep it clean and location, location, location Feeding birds is a sure-fire way to lure birds to your yard (and have them stick around long enough for you to observe them). There are some best practices for feeder placement that will keep your bird curiosity sated and birds safe. Many birds die after colliding with

Pileated woodpecker.

Northern cardinal.

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dogwoods, hollies, chokeberries, elderberries and cherries, can provide birds with the winter forage they crave. If you have any nest boxes, you should clear them of any sticks or debris. You can also maintain a pile of leaves in your yard. Leaf piles serve as compost. These piles attract insects that birds love to eat. Brush piles can perform similar functions and give birds a place to roost or hide. If you like a more decorative approach, heated bird baths are a bird favorite. It can be difficult for birds to find unfrozen water in the winter. A heated birdbath provides them with life-preserving water.

CNY WINTER GUIDE


windows or glass doors. However, perhaps counterintuitively, you should keep feeders close to windows. Birds are more likely to notice the window if the feeder is close to it. Also, they will not be flying at top speed as they fly away from the feeder, so a collision is less likely to be lethal. If you can’t place your feeders right next to your windows, place them close to structures (such as fences or tree lines) but not directly next to them. You want at least a 10-foot buffer. This allows birds see predators while using the feeder and gives the birds time to flee. You also want to keep your birdfeeder and bird feed clean and free of pests. Make sure your feed is free of insects and rodent droppings. Regularly clean the feeder and areas around the feeder where seed debris collects. Decomposing hulls can harbor bacteria or mold that can harm birds. • Certain types of food attract specific types of birds When you shop for bird food, there are a lot of options. That’s because different birds have different diets and favorite foods. Here are some over-wintering birds’ favorite foods: • Woodpeckers, wrens, and chickadees: suet and peanut butter • Nyjer or thistle: goldfinches • Millet (placed on the ground): doves and pheasants Cracked corn (places on the ground): doves, pheasants, quail and turkeys

These tips can help you enjoy birds in your own backyard. Taking precautions to safely attract birds will

make sure you can take joy in them for months to come.

Dark-eyed junco.

• The “Wonder Food” Many ornithologists (bird experts) recommend one, simple bird feed to attract the largest variety of birds: black oil sunflower seeds. These seeds have a high meat-to-shell ratio. They are high in fat and therefore a favorite food for birds trying to survive the winter. These seeds are relatively small and have thin shells. These characteristics make it easier for birds, large and small, to handle and crack the seeds. Perhaps, best of all, the seeds are relatively inexpensive. If you can spend a little more on seeds and don’t like the mess, hulled sunflower seeds leave less mess under the feeder. • All set to gaze

Black-capped chickadee. 2020 / 2021

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Winter Night Skies Cold winter air tends to be drier with lower humidity than the summer, which makes it easier to observe stars By Mary Beth Roach

I

f you are looking for a new activity to pass the winter months in Central New York, you only need to look up. The skies can provide you and your family with hours of viewing and learning of constellations and astral phenomenon that will have you over the moon. Bob Piekiel, a member of the Central New York Observers and Observing group, offers some tips for beginners — how best to see the stars and planets and what can best be seen in the winter skies. Born in 1961, he was captivated by the Apollo space program during

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its heyday in the 1960s, and his love of the skies has not dimmed over the years. Pre-pandemic, Piekiel has led public programs at Beaver Lake Nature Center, Baltimore Woods and Green Lakes State Park, for example, and has written as many as 10 books and publications on telescope design, telescope history and certain accessories. To start your journey of the heavens, Piekiel suggested a book titled “The Stars,” by H.A. Rey, who was famous for his “Curious George” series. Rey illustrates the constellations in the sky by drawing lines between the stars so that they look what they’re actually named for, Piekiel said. The book also

CNY WINTER GUIDE

During the winter, the most popular group of stars we can observe is the Orion constellation. “No other constellation has as many bright stars as it does,” said Bob Piekiel, a member of the Central New York Observers and Observing. shows you how to find them in the night sky during any season; it provides charts for year-round skywatching, and its publisher reprints every several years to keep the information updated. “That’s your guidepost right there,” he said. To view the skies, you’ll want a telescope or binoculars. Each instrument has its advantages. Binoculars have a wider field of view than telescopes, he explained, so you can actually see several objects or several types of objects better, such as star clusters and star fields that are so vast. The telescope will zoom in on a small object and make it appear bigger, brighter and more detailed, he noted. If you want to see the rings of Saturn, the moons of Jupiter, the surface features on mars or craters on the moon, you’re going to need a telescope with higher magnification than binoculars can pro-


Bob Piekiel, a member of the Central New York Observers and Observing, has written as many as 10 books and publications on telescope design, telescope history and certain accessories. vide, he added. When selecting telescopes, Piekiel suggested avoiding those that are too small with a flimsy tripod. “Get something at least six inches in diameter,” he continued. “The bigger the telescope in diameter, the more light it gathers and the more the objects in the sky look like what they’re supposed to.” He recommends a website called telescope.com, which is owned by a company called Orion, a manufacturer and vendor of telescopes in a variety of sizes. The cold winter air tends to be drier with lower humidity than the summer, which makes the skies a little bit more transparent, Piekiel said. This means that you can sometimes see fainter stars and fainter objects more consistently in the winter than you can in the summer. To view the skies, you might not even need to leave your backyard, if you have a good open view. The farther away from the center of a brightly-lit city, and the darker the sky, the more visible things are. A full moon can impact your viewing, too, since it will blot out the faint stars. “Don’t ever think that the only way to enjoy stargazing is to go to an open field or park, as any area with a

view overhead is better than none,” Piekiel noted.

Gazing the stars Now, you’ve got your guidebook, your telescope, and your viewing spot, so what can you look for over the winter months? The constellations you see in the winter are different from those in the summer, Piekiel noted. As the earth orbits the sun, the night side of the earth is pointed at different directions in the sky, according to the season. The constellations will stay the same every season. The positions of the planets and the moon will change positions because they orbit the sun, he explained further. During the winter, the most popular would be the Orion constellation. “No other constellation has as many bright stars as it does,” Piekiel said. Its most significant landmark are the three stars that mark its belt. Below that is the Great Orion Nebula, “a big gas cloud giving birth to stars which is

visible to the naked eye,” he added. Above Orion is Taurus the Bull, with the Pleiades star cluster, which looks like a tiny, tiny dipper. Specific astral events include opportunities to view meteors, Jupiter, Saturn, Venus, and to glimpse at Mars. Piekiel pointed out that each week, Jupiter and Saturn will get lower and lower before sunset, and Venus will be coming up in the western sky after sunset, starting about the middle of December and remaining through the rest of the spring. And according to the American Meteor Society, the Quadrantids will be active from Dec. 27 through Jan. 10. They don’t usually produce trails but have bright fireballs. And you may even be able to view to a galaxy far, far away without leaving your backyard! A book titled “The Stars,” by H.A. Rey, who was famous for his “Curious George” series, is a good way to start your space exploration, according to Bob Piekiel, a member of the Central New York Observers and Observing.

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We’re No. 2: Maple Sugaring in New York By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

A

t 820,000 gallons of syrup in 2019, New York ranks second in the nation behind Vermont for maple syrup production. Beyond producing a sweet commodity, the maple sugaring industry also provides an opportunity for a fun and educational family outing. While many venues for family entertainment have closed during the pandemic, most farms offering tours and agritourism have remained in operation because of their easy ability to space out visiting groups to thin crowds and because they are largely outdoors. Compared with many venues, maple farms are likely among the safest places to go. Maple farms usually offer farm tours and outdoor demonstrations of how they turn sap into syrup. Producing maple syrup relies upon when sap begins to flow. That is usually in late winter/early spring — sometimes as early as January. The state’s official Maple Weekend dates for 2021 are March 20-21 and 27-28. During these weekends, numerous farms throughout the state welcome visitors to watch sap boiling and tapping presentations, tour their sugarhouse, check out their evaporators and reverse osmosis equipment, and perhaps join in hands-on activities, such as tree tapping. Many farms also provide pancake breakfasts for sale, free samples and a fully loaded gift shop for picking up treats from the tree. Like most other activities since the pandemic began,

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Hot Chocolate Mix to Give expect your visit this year to be a little different from other sugarhouse visits you may have experienced in the past. Call well in advance to ensure that the sugar house is participating in Maple Weekend or is otherwise open to visitors. Many agritourism businesses have begun selling tickets online or taking reservations to ensure that they can safely accommodate that many visitors at a time. This strategy also allows them enough time to clean commonly touched areas between household groups. Of course, wear a mask. Although many of the activities could be outdoors, you should be prepared to cover up. Wear appropriate clothing and footwear. Usually, these events carry on rain or shine, so dress for the weather and wear non-skid boots. Maple farms often have uneven ground and slick, wet leaves underfoot. Support the business by picking up a few items at the gift shop. In addition to maple syrup, most maple farms also sell maple cream, maple candy, maple sugar, pancake mix and other local goods. Snap a few photos of your family on the farm to post on social media. This kind of promotion helps farms generate more interest in their operation. Plus, you can relive the memories made on the farm. To learn where to go to tour a maple farm and to learn more about the state’s maple industry, visit the New York State Maple Producers Association website at https://nysmaple.com.

By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

A

rich cup of hot chocolate is the perfect way to warm up on a frosty day. During the winter months, give a festive jar of homemade cocoa mix for any occasion, from a holiday to a birthday. In a pinch, you can dress up store-bought mix by adding a couple of stir-in ingredients for a welcome present someone of any age would enjoy. The Mix: 2 cups nonfat dry milk powder (name-brand milk dissolves better) 2 cups confectioner’s sugar 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder ⅛ teaspoon salt Mix all ingredients in a blender or food processor until thoroughly combined. Place the mix in a canning jar with stir-in ingredients on top. For the stir-ins, pick miniature chocolate chips and/or marshmallows with one other stir-in item per jar. (More than one would be overpowering, unless they share the same flavor, such as crushed candy canes and mint flavored chips or peanut butter chips and miniature peanut butter cups.) All of these are available in the baking aisle: • Crushed Andes mint candy • Crushed Heath candy • Crushed candy canes • White chocolate chips • Butterscotch chips • Mint flavored chips • Peanut butter chips • Miniature peanut butter cups • Miniature M&Ms candies

er

• Chocolate or other sprinkles • Flavored powdered coffee cream-

• Cinnamon candies (look among the sprinkles) You may find some other tasty mix-ins, but the key to success is using small items that melt in hot liquid. You could also enclose in a plastic bag and tie to the side of the jar with a ribbon: • Chocolate “spoon” formed by pouring melting coating chocolate wafers into a spoon shape on waxed paper (allow to completely harden before bagging). You can also add sprinkles to the bowl of the spoon before it hardens. • Five-inch lengths of cinnamon sticks dipped in coating chocolate. • Candy canes dipped in coating chocolate. • Large marshmallows dipped in coating chocolate. You can also add sprinkles to the chocolate before it hardens. Doll up your jar by inserting a photo, pretty fabric, wrapping paper between the jar ring and lid. Or upcycle used greeting cards, postcards or toy circular photo. Tie a ribbon around the jar below the jar’s rim. Don’t forget to include the directions. Copy them onto a small notecard and tie to the side with a ribbon: Combine ¼ cup of mix with 1 cup of hot water. Stir well. Consider giving the jar in a basket with a pair of mugs or a set of coasters. You could also box it up with a whole bag of extra marshmallows, which can help cushion the jar against breakage. Enclose the above recipe printed on a card so your recipient can make his own to enjoy and make for someone else.

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Top Snow Toys By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

P

laying in the snow is fun, but with the right snow toys, it’s even more fun. Fortunately, snow toys abound to make your family’s foray into the snow the best time ever, from small children through teens. • Outfit your snowman in its very best with the Dress Your Own Snowman kit (www.amazon.com, Item: 1131. $14.95). The kit includes buttons, coal eye and mouth pieces, carrot nose, and a pipe, all made from painted wood, plus a knit hat. The prongs on the back side of the pieces helps them stay securely pressed into the snowman. Mini Sno Markers (www.amazon.com, Item: OC8338BL. $8.50) make snow play colorful. Write messages, draw or scribble colors in the snow. Recommended for children five an older, the squirty markers are refillable twice with the included powder mix for more coloring fun. For more artsy expression, get the Ideal SNO Toys SNO Scapes Activity Set (www.amazon.com, Item: 400220-2. $17.95). Spray bright colors onto the snow to dress up a snow fort or snowman or use the enclosed stencils to make whimsical shapes. Ideal Sno-Stompers (www.amazon,com, Item: 0C88327BL. $26.95) strap on right over children’s boots to leave animal prints bear or dinosaur — in their wake. While not actual snowshoes, the Stompers give kids aged 5 to 15 years the feel of Arctic explorers in their own backyard. For smaller explorers, consider the Flexible Flyer Snow Prints Kids Foam Snowshoes (www.amazon.com, Item: F15. $19.95). Made for smaller children, the snowshoes make monster footprints to add to the fun. Since they are made of dense foam, they are lightweight yet sturdy. Simple elastic straps are easy on, easy off. Lots of kids to entertain outside? Go for the Unplugged Explorers 6 pc. Ultimate Snow Toys kit (www.amazon.com, Item: B07KY1Z32N. $27.97.). It comes with a “scoot” style sled for one, snow brick mold, snow digger and two snowball Makers, plus a storage bag. If your children are all about the snowball war, check out the Joyin Toy Snowball Maker (www.amazon.com, Item: B0773VJFZ4. $16.95). The hinged design allows users to scoop and pack a perfectly round snowball in one movement. The set of three comes with a storage bag. Kids who love to build snow forts need the ESP Kid’s Snow and Sand Castle Play Kit (www.amazon.com, Item: 52051. $21.45). The polyresin molds help kids build perfect bricks and parapets for the corners and doorways. The kit comes with a child-sized shovel. To sculpt a snow friend, try the Obecome Penguin Snow Mold SNO-Buddy Penguin (www.amazon.com, Item: B08JGJ29RL. $9.99). Just pack with snow and pop open the mold to

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make a penguin. Bored with sleds? Try the LED Ski Skooter (www.amazon.com, Item: B00P8J6AN4. $49.99). For children and adults up to 220 lbs, the Skooter works both on sledding hills and flat ground. It features a LED light in the front and folds for storage.


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CNY Winter Guide Calendar 2020-2021 Since the pandemic may change organizations’ plans, we strongly encourage you to check each event’s website or social media page or call before purchasing tickets or making other plans to attend. For many organizations, the social media page is updated more regularly than the website.

Events Calendar The Best of Upstate New York

DECEMBER DAILY

Fulton. Light Up the Pratt House. Friends of History in Fulton invites the community to remember, honor or celebrate a family member, loved one or even a special occasion by lighting up the Pratt House Cupola this holiday season. To purchase, visit http://www.pratthousemuseum.org/ light-up-cupola-fill.pdf and complete the form. Email the completed form to friendsofhistoryinfulton@gmail.com or mail form to Friends of History, PO Box 157, Fulton. Liverpool. Lights on the Lake. Drive through a two-mile long holiday lights show featuring Land of Oz, North Pole Station, Twinkling Fantasy Forest, colorful section arches, Fairytale Magic Grand Finale and animated scenes. Drive through only. Tickets

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must be purchased in advance online at www.showclix.com/event/lightsonthelake. 5 –10 p.m. $6 per car Monday & Tuesday; $10 per car Wednesday & Thursday; $20 per car, Friday-Sunday. Onondaga Lake Park, 106 Lake Drive. www.lightsonthelake.com. 315-4719597. carrie@galaxyeventscompany.com. Virtual. Quarantined Studio Visit Series. Join Schweinfurth Art Center virtually in the studios of artists from all over the country. Artists’ studio spaces can be as creatively designed as their own artwork, whether they are at home, in another location, or even just at a desk. This video series is interested in the places where art is made. https://schweinfurthartcenter.org. 315-255-1553. www. facebook.com/MyArtCenter. Virtual. Gala Holiday Pops with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. Enjoy favorites including Joy to the World, Silent Night, and the Chanukah Suite. Jeff Tyzik, conductor, Juliana Athayde, violin, Ahrim Kim, cello, Erik

CNY WINTER GUIDE

Behr, oboe, W. Peter Kurau, horn, Jim Tiller, percussion. One-time digital access available anytime Dec. 5 through Jan. 19. $25. www. myrpo.org. Youngstown. Festival of Lights. See more than 75 lighted displays and an illuminated shrine. Climb to the top of the Basilica and enjoy an “angel’s view” of fifteen acres of holiday lights. The lights will be illuminated 5–9 p.m. daily through Dec. 20; Friday through Sunday Dec. 21 through Jan. 3. The schedule is subject to change. Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima, 1023 Swann Road. https://fatimashrine.com. 716754-7489.

SUNDAYS Oswego. Throwing on the Potter’s Wheel – Intro. This class is suitable for those who have never worked with clay before and for


those who wish to hone their basic skills a little further before moving onto a more advanced class. Pre-register. 1–4 p.m. Art Association of Oswego, Inc. 20 Barbara Donahue Drive. www.oswegoarts.org.

SUN., TUES. and SAT. Oswego. Public Ice Skating. 3–5 p.m. Tuesdays; 6:30 to 8:30 Saturdays; 7:30- 9:30 p.m. Sundays. Crisafulli Rink, 32 Fort Ontario rd.

SUN., THUR., FRI. AND SAT. Ballston Spa. Artisan’s Market. The 20th annual Artisan’s Market will be held at Brookside Museum in Ballston Spa through Dec 24. Shop a unique selection of locally crafted goods, including, soaps and lotions, cutting boards, ornaments, jewelry, dog treats and more. Each purchase supports local artisans and Brookside Museum. Thursdays, noon –4 p.m.; Fridays 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturdays 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sundays 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free. Saratoga County Historical Society at Brookside Museum, 6 Charlton St. Rhinebeck. “A Christmas Carol” at Center for Performing Arts at Rhinebeck. Enjoy Dickens’ classic “A Christmas Carol” with all the traditional characters like Ebenezer Scrooge, Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim and the various ghosts as a live, drive-in only experience. Directed and adapted by Lou Trapani with musical direction by Paul & JoAnne Schubert, this performance is appropriate for all ages. Pull into the Grand Lawn and enjoy the show drive-in style. This is a rain or shine event. Advanced tickets are required. 7 p.m. $20. Center for Performing Arts at Rhinebeck, 661 Route 308. www. centerforperformingarts.org/whats-playing/ item/a-christmas-carol-2020.

WENSDAY - SUNDAY Rochester. Sweet Creations Gingerbread Display and Silent Auction. Through Dec. 13, view 45 cleverly designed and decorated gingerbread houses filling the George Eastman Museum. All the gingerbread creations are available in an online silent auction. Tues., Wed., Fri., and Sat., 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thur. 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sun. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free to members; included with museum admission. Advance tickets required for nonmembers via eastman.org/ tickets. George Eastman Museum, 900 East Ave. www.eastman.org/sweet-creations-gingerbread-display.

WEEKENDS

MONDAYS AND TUESDAYS

Arcade. Train Ride with Santa. Enjoy a 30-minute round trip train ride with Santa Claus. At the station, take pictures in Santa’s sleigh, meet Santa’s reindeer, mail a wish list to Santa, and more. While on the train, the children will get to meet Santa and receive a present from him. This is not “The North Pole Express” because of COVID-19 restrictions. Children will not be permitted to sit on Santa’s lap. Face masks required for anyone over age 2. No ride Dec. 25-26. Limited seating. Reservations encouraged. Check website for complete schedule of available rides and to purchase tickets or call to purchase. $14; Free for children under age 1. www.aarailroad.com. 585-492-3100. Mumford. Yuletide Pancake Breakfast. Celebrate the holiday season alongside family and friends with a pancake breakfast in the museum’s holiday-decorated meeting center. Each child will receive a small gift and can write a letter to St. Nick and mail it in the special North Pole mailbox during breakfast. St. Nick will make an appearance (socially-distanced, of course) on the great meadow at the end of each seating time. To comply with New York State COVID-19 capacity restrictions, the Museum is offering the Breakfast with St. Nick pancake breakfast six times over the first three weekends of December: 5-6, 12-13 and 19-20. Reservations are required for all museum holiday events and are non-refundable and non-transferrable by date or by time. The email confirmation serves as the ticket and each party’s name will also be at the admissions check-in table. Event is rain, snow, or shine. Visitors should dress accordingly for the weather since St. Nick’s appearance will be outside. There is no guest transportation available during Yuletide events. Flint Hill gift store is open 11– 6 p.m. The breakfast seating times are at 11 a.m., noon, or 1 p.m. $10 adult; $8 ages 2-12; free for children 1 and younger. Genesee Country Village & Museum, 1410 Flint Hill Road. www.gcv.org. 585-538-6822.

Aurora. Kitchen Dinners. Extremely limited to eight seats, this is an exclusive and socially distant opportunity to spend time in the kitchen with Grace as she serves a prix fixe three-course feast featuring the best of Finger Lakes bounty. Each dinner starts with a toast of local sparkling wine in the kitchen or on the lakeview deck. With opportunity to chat with Grace about each dish throughout dinner, you may find yourself incorporating some of these ingredients and techniques in your own kitchen. 6 – 8 p.m. $100 plus tax and gratuity per person. Wine and beer included. Reservations required. 283 Main St. www.auroracooks.com/kitchen-dinner. 315-364-8888. experiences@ innsofaurora.com.

MONDAYS Lake Placid. Olympic Spirit Workout. The workouts are a mix of mobility, neurological training, strength, cardio and flexibility. The sessions are held by a four-time Olympic medal winner; however, you don´t need to be an Olympic athlete to join. All abilities are welcome. Bring your own mat. Disinfected fitness tools will be provided though not shared during the session. Rain or shine. 7:30–8:30 a.m. $20. Lake Placid Golf House, 88 Morningside Drive. 518-637-6349. trainer@andrea-burke.com.

WEDNESDAYS Fair Haven. Damdog Duo will perform music. 6 –9 p.m. Turtle Cove Resort & Marina, 356 King St.

THURSDAYS Liverpool. Teen Art Class. Liverpool Art Center art classes offer guidance and a peaceful space for to explore art mediums. The class offers instruction, a relaxing studio environment and plenty of options. Students choose the medium, style and subject. All painting and drawing mediums offered. Most supplies are included in the monthly fee. Beginners welcome. Ages 12 to 18 years. 4–6 p.m. The four-week trial is $60 and decide during the third week if it is a good fit. 101 Lake Drive. www.liverpoolartcenter.com. 315-234-9333. Oswego. Wind n’ Wave Tai Chi & Qigong with Geoff Baer. Bring a chair or blanket and non-street shoes if you choose to wear footwear as you participate. 8:15 a.m. to 10 a.m. First class is free. Three free classes to a current student bringing a guest. Free for registered Peaceful Remedy clients and caregivers. Many pricing options available. Sunset Yoga Studio, 138 E. Second St. (park in the East Second Street lot). Pulaski. Young Artist Experience (YAE). The Salmon River Fine Arts Center is launching their YAE “yay” program Saturday mornings to encourages personal growth through art. Because of the age range, art projects may be modified or challenges offered to suit each student’s age and ability. Weekly signup required and early registration encouraged. No class on Dec. 26. $5; $1 additional for each sibling. Salmon River Fine Arts Center, 4848 N. Jefferson St. https://salmonriverfineartscenter.square.site/classes.

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SATURDAYS Aurora. Chocolate Tasting at Aurora Cooks. In this decadent tasting, explore the “bean to bar” process of refining gourmet chocolate while nibbling on samples from all over the world—including some local food. The chocolates are carefully paired with a glass of wine or tea, ending with a warm cup of sipping chocolate. 1 p.m. $40. 283 Main St. www.auroracooks.com/tastings. 315-3648888. reservations@innsofaurora.com. Aurora. Cheese Tasting at Aurora Cooks. Taste the fresh flavors of Finger Lakes cheese in this guided experience. Accompanied by a glass of local wine or a cup of tea, learn about different varieties of cheese and explore varieties in texture, taste, and color. 5 p.m. $40. 283 Main St. www.auroracooks. com/tastings. 315-364-8888. reservations@ innsofaurora.com. Baldwinsville. Weekend Guided Walks. Join a naturalist for an exploration of what the season has to offer. Each weekend features a different topic. Advance registration is required on the day of the walk. Masks are required. 2 p.m. Free with nature center admission. Beaver Lake Nature Center, 8477 E. Mud Lake Road. http://onondagacountyparks.com/beaver-lake-nature-center. 315-638-2519. blnc@ongov.net. Oswego. Art Association of Oswego, Inc. 5th Annual Holiday Art Sale. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays; 1–4 p.m. Sundays. Free admission. 20 Barbara Donahue dr. Syracuse. Crafted Underground series. Crafted Underground is a safe shopping experience, showcasing local talent. Shop a curated collection of 21 local crafters per

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weekend. Treats, live local music and art installations. Masks and spacing between shoppers required. Hand sanitizer stands available. Maximum 50 guests allowed in at a time. Event runs through Dec. 24. The McCarthy Mercantile, 217 S. Salina St. 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Free. 315-546-4919.

FIRST AND SECOND SATURDAYS. Canandaigua Winter Farmers Market. The Canandaigua Farmers Market is an association of farmers and small-scale food processors consisting of approximately 30 vendors who live within a limited radius of Canandaigua. Agricultural vendors produce a wide variety of quality vegetables, fruits, flowers, meats, and eggs. Small-scale food processors offer a variety of freshly baked goods, sauces, pickles, jams, maple products, specialty mustards and honey. Vendors are required to sell only what they produce. 34 Antis St. http://canandaiguafarmersmarket.com. 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Dec. 1 Oswego. Small Business Week – Stroll Oswego County. This week-long program, presented by Novelis, is designed to drive traffic into local Oswego County businesses and eateries. Shop. Eat. Save. Troy. Stained Glass Jewelry Workshop. Bring two fabulous art forms together to make pendants, earrings, and more. Beginners will learn introductory stained glass and metalsmithing techniques, while experienced students will expand their horizons in these mediums. All students will leave with new skills and pieces of jewelry. noon –4 p.m. $80, +$25 studio fee. The Arts

CNY WINTER GUIDE

Center of the Capital Region, 265 River St. www.artscenteronline.org/class/12-01-20stained-glass-jewelry-workshop. Troy. Brush Calligraphy Basics. Learn basic tools and techniques, including how to properly hold and use a brush pen, how to create the distinctive thick and thin strokes that make up each character, and how to build an alphabet of minuscule (lower case) letters. 6–8 p.m. $25, +$20 studio fee. The Arts Center of the Capital Region, 265 River St. www.artscenteronline.org/class/12-0120-brush-calligraphy-basics. Virtual. Chef Du Jour with Chef Adam Goetz. Chef Goetz from Craving in Buffalo teaches how to cook a delicious meal. The ticket comes with all of the ingredients needed for dinner for two, plus the chance to learn cooking skills from a professional chef. 7–8:30 p.m. $120 to $150. The virtual event is hosted by The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Children’s Museum, 130 Main St. https:// store.exploreandmore.org/Events.aspx. 716655-5131. Virtual. Festival of Trees. Fully decorated Christmas trees and holiday decor items for sale. All proceeds benefit residents of the nursing home. 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wayne County Nursing Home, 1529 Nye Road., Lyons. https://waynecountynursinghome. org. 315-946-5673. Virtual. St. Peter’s Cardiac & Vascular Center’s 2020 Albany Last Run 5K. The City of Albany and St. Peter’s Cardiac & Vascular Center present the 24th annual Albany Last Run 5K virtually this year. Runners can complete their run during the month of December and then submit their time. Awards for the race will be mailed to the winners in January after the race is completed. Preregister online. $15 to $35. T-shirts are available to


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Naples. Eco-Book Club and Hike. If you are an outdoor enthusiast and book lover, this reading and hiking combo is for you. During each session, a book about an aspect of the natural world will be discussed followed by a bring-your-own brown bag lunch. Participants can then head out into the woods for a guided hike tailored to the theme of the book. Book discussions start at 11 a.m. Book copies are available through OWWL, STLS, and Monroe County Libraries. 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Free. Cumming Nature Center, 6472 Gulick Road. https://rmsc.org/cumming-nature-center/nature-center-programsand-events/item/717-eco-book-club-hike. 585-374-6160. Oswego. Small Business Week – Stroll Oswego County. See Dec. 1. Oswego. Tamar Greene: What is a Legacy? ARTSwego and Ke-nekt’ Chamber Music Series present SUNY Oswego Alumnus (‘09) Tamar Greene, in a live virtual concert featuring songs that reflect the

substantial impact on the African American presence in theater. Selections include “Rain” from Once on this Island, an original arrangement of “Make Them Hear You” from Ragtime, and an original song titled “In My Arms.” 7–8:30 p.m. $10; $8 SUNY Oswego faculty/staff/ alumni; Free for SUNY Oswego students. Waterman Theatre at SUNY Oswego, 7060 NY Route 104. 315-312-4581. Schenectady. MINI-Art Enrichment Class (Preschool Age): MINI-Art Collage. See Dec. 2. The MINI-Art curriculum is centered around literature and a variety of interesting, open-ended materials. An interactive story time will be followed with exploring a variety of art media, which will inspire creativity. During each class, your child will design a unique project that they will take home. Parents may drop off or join in. 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. $48/month (two dates, Dec. 2 and Dec. 16). Art In Mind Creative Wellness Studio, 123 Saratoga

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Road. https://artinmindstudio.com. Virtual. Winter Painting for Beginners: Evergreens at Sunset. Using a variety of painting techniques, students will learn how to create a beautiful winter scene. Through a step-by-step process, students will learn how to paint evergreens covered in snow and washed in color through the reflection of the sunset. Students must provide their own painting surface, brushes, and paint that can be found online or at a local craft or art supply store. 6–8 p.m. $50. Virtual event hosted by The Arts Center of the Capital Region, 265 River St. www.artscenteronline. org/class/12-02-20-online-workshop-winter-painting-for-beginners-evergreens-atsunset. Virtual. St. Peter’s Cardiac & Vascular Center’s 2020 Albany Last Run 5K. See Dec. 1. Virtual. Festival of Trees. Dec. 1. Virtual. Live from Hochstein – Madrigalia: A Physically Distanced Cup of Good Cheer. Hochstein’s annual celebration of the holiday season with musicians from the choral chamber ensemble Madrigalia, Cary Ratcliff, artistic director. The Hochstein School’s lunchtime Live from Hochstein concert series will be broadcast live on WXXI Classical 91.5/90.3 FM and hosted by WXXI Classical 91.5’s Mona Seghatoleslami. 12:10–12:50 p.m. Free. The concert will not be hosted at the concert hall. Listen live online at www. classical915.org. 585-454-4596. michelle. scaglione@hochstein.org.

Dec. 3 Oswego. Small Business Week – Stroll Oswego County. See Dec. 1. Syracuse. Festival of Trees & Light. The 2020 Festival blends time-honored traditions, including a selection of decorated trees, wreaths, and holiday décor, with public performances and a new multi-day online auction. The Festival culminates with a virtual Festival Finale packed with performances, special appearances, prize drawings, and final auction bidding. Enjoy with friends from the comfort of home and share a Sensational Swag Bag of goodies delivered to your door (included with premium ticket) or attend in-person. All funds raised support the Everson throughout the year. noon–8 p.m. Thursday; noon–5 p.m. Friday through Sunday. Special hours for members and high-risk individuals, Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to noon $8; $6 seniors/students; free for children under 12. Everson Museum of Art, 401 Harrison St. www.everson.org. 315474-6064. Troy. Creative Process for the Terrified Workshop. In this class participants will explore the creative art making process by

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using paint, a variety of paper, gel mediums, journaling, and much more. Each student will take home two completed art pieces and learn the techniques to build confidence in making art in a fun and friendly environment. This class is also great for those looking to make a unique creative gift for the holidays. 6–9 p.m. $75 + $25 studio fee. Arts Center of the Capital Region, 265 River St. www.artscenteronline.org/class/ creative-process-for-the-terrified-workshop. Virtual. Majestic Seasonal Trees. Deanna Weinholtz will guide participants to create their own masterpiece they could use for their holiday cards, give as a gift or just enjoy at home. Class will be offered via Zoom Meeting, a free online audio-visual platform. Participants must review the supply list to purchase before the start of class. 6:30–8:30 p.m. $25. Virtual event hosted by Buffalo Botanical Gardens, 2655 S. Park Ave. www.buffalogardens.com/collections/classes-and-workshops/products/majestic-seasonal-trees-art-workshop-online-dec-3. 716-827-1584. Virtual. Trail Tales. Preschoolers can enjoy one of their favorite Beaver Lake programs from home. A naturalist will read stories and lead the group on a virtual hike. This program can be viewed on Beaver Lake Nature Center’s Facebook page. 1 p.m. Free. www. facebook.com/beaverlakenaturecenter. 315638-2519. Virtual. St. Peter’s Cardiac & Vascular Center’s 2020 Albany Last Run 5K. See Dec. 1. Virtual. Festival of Trees. Dec. 1. Williamson. 4th Annual Christmas Potpourri. Sponsored by the Williamson Pultneyville Historical Society. 7–8:30 p.m. 4130 Mill St. Further details forthcoming at www.w-phs.org.

Dec. 4 Albany Area. Princess Holiday Caroling Visits. Bring the magic right to your home with a Holiday Caroling visit from four of your favorite princesses. Characters from Hill City Ice Queen will be visiting homes in the capital region every weekend in December to sing holiday songs and bring smiles to little faces. Each 15-minute visit includes a special holiday gift and a selection of Christmas and winter carols performed live in your front yard. After the singing, make sure you get a photo too. Pre-register your date online based upon the different regions. If you do not live in the Capital Region, fill out the request form and select “I’m not in the scheduled service areas.” The princesses will try to fit you in if possible. Once three families in the same region are interested, you will receive an invoice. Otherwise, you

CNY WINTER GUIDE

will need to add your visit to another date. The day before the visit, you will receive a text with your approximate arrival window. Visits for private household parties. Request party appearances in advance. Possible characters include: The Snow Sisters, The Little Mermaid, Princess Beauty, Princess Rapunzel, The Arabian Princess and JustLike-Me Cinderella. Princesses will remain outside and six feet apart from guests during visits. Schedule of Appearances: Dec. 4, 5–7 p.m. Troy/Cohoes/Watervliet; Dec. 5, 4–6 p.m. Ballston Spa/Malta/Saratoga; Dec. 6, 4–6 p.m. East Greenbush and surrounding areas; Dec. 12, 4–6 p.m. Clifton Park/Mechanicville/Halfmoon; Dec. 13, 4–6 p.m. Albany/Rensselaer; Dec. 18, 5–7 p.m. Latham/Colonie/Loudonville; Dec. 19, 4–6 p.m. Schenectady/Rotterdam/Scotia; Dec. 20, 4–6 p.m. Delmar and surrounding areas. $80 per household; $5 extra per additional gift. www.hillcityicequeen.com. 435-5905556. Alexander. Drive Thru Country Christmas. Bring the family out for a festive holiday experience. This is a fundraiser for the Western New York Gas & Steam Association. 5–9 p.m. $10 per car. Western New York Gas & Steam Association, 10294 Gillate Road. www.facebook.com/wnysteamshow. 585567-7525. Auburn. First Friday. Museums, galleries, restaurants and shops host open houses with free live music, art exhibits & refreshments. Downtown venues include Auburn Public Theater, A.T. Walley’s, Cayuga Museum of History and Art, Good Shepherd’s Brewing Co., Harriet Tubman National Historical Park, Moondog’s Lounge, Next Chapter Brewpub, Osteria Salina, Prison City Pub & Brewery, Seward House Museum, Schweinfurth Art Center, Underground Bottle Shop more. Genesee St. http://www. auburndowntown.org/events. 315-2527874. Glens Falls. Hometown Holidays Celebration in Glens Falls. Area stores are open with special deals and a window display competition while carolers and costumed characters stroll the shopping district. Tree lighting at 5:45 p.m., visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus, refreshments and cocoa, live reindeer, trolley rides, musical performances, horse and wagon rides, children’s activities, and more. 5 to 8 p.m. Free. Downtown Glens Falls. Oswego. Small Business Week – Stroll Oswego County. See Dec. 1. Romulus. 27th Annual Wine & Herb Festival on Cayuga Lake Wine Trail. Cross items off your gift list as you sample before you buy. Save money with your Holiday Shoppers Card, only valid during the event dates. Each ticket includes a souvenir wine glass, a grapevine wreath, an ornament at each


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stop, a shopper’s card attached to your ticket, wine tastings and food. Friday, 1–5 p.m., Long Point, Montezuma and Six Mile Creek are included. On Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., all 14 wineries are participating. $45 per person; $65 per couple, plus tax and processing fee. Discounted designated driver tickets are available. The DD gets all the same perks as a regular ticket, minus the wine. They also get a DD mug, rather than a wine glass. $22.50 for a single (plus tax and processing fee) and $52.50 for a couple (plus tax and processing fee). A couple’s DD ticket consists of one person who drinks and one person who does not. Packages that offer tickets, transportation and accommodations will also available. Cayuga Lake Wine Trail, 2770 Ernsberger Road, Suite 200. http://www. cayugawinetrail.com/events/category/trail. 800-684-5217. katherine@cayugawinetrail.

3S ist ers com. Syracuse. Festival of Trees & Light. See Dec. 3. Syracuse. DWC Author Readings-Poet Cathy Linh Che. Cathy Linh Che is the author of “Split” (Alice James Books), winner of the Kundiman Poetry Prize, the Norma Farber First Book Award from the Poetry Society of America, and the Best Poetry Book Award from the Association of Asian American Studies. Her work has been published in “POETRY”, Los Angeles Review of Books, and “Gulf Coast’” For Zoom link, email pmemmer@ymcacny.org before the day of the event. YMCA of Downtown Syracuse, 340 Montgomery St. 7 p.m. Free. 315-474-6851. Ticonderoga. Holiday Shopping & Dining Night in Ticonderoga. Enjoy local merchants’ specials and promotions, live music and the Parade of Lights. 5–8 p.m. Free. Montcalm

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See Dec. 4. Alexander. Drive Thru Country Christmas. See Dec. 4. Alexandria Bay. Christmas Craft Fair. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Macsherry Library, 112 Walton St. www.visitalexbay.org. Auburn. Holiday Craft Fair. Visit the annual Fingerlakes Mall Holiday Craft Fair and see what unique vendors and stores have to offer. 1579 Clark St. www.fingerlakesmall.com. 315-255-1188. marketing@ fingerlakesmall.com. Auburn. Small Business Saturdays. Octane will host and feature a small business. This week is Young Living with Kim Guzalak; Dec. 12 is Suzy Q’s Gifts; and Dec.19 is Pink Zebra. Octane Social House, 41 Genesee St. www.facebook.com/OctaneSocialHouse/ posts/940187396390896. 315-370-9795. octane.social.house@ gmail.com. Batavia. Christmas In The City & Holiday Parade. Festive events and activities throughout the downtown area and inside several local businesses with a parade at 6 p.m. Free. 2–6 p.m. Downtown Batavia. www. downtownbataviany.com. 585-344-0900. director@ downtownbataviany.com. Canandaigua. A Homestead Holiday. Enjoy a tree lighting on the front lawn, socially distant photo opportunities with Santa, carriage rides, hot chocolate, and more. 5 p.m. Granger Homestead and Carriage Museum, 295 N. Main St. www.grangerhomestead.org. 585394-1472. info@grangerhomestead.org. Cazenovia. Guided Christmas Tours at Lorenzo. Traditional tours of the Mansion and decorations will be available. Group tours of 8 or more may also be scheduled by prior arrangement. $6; $2 children 12 and younger. Lorenzo State Historic Site, 17 Rippleton Road. www. friendsoflorenzo.org. 315-655-3200. Clyde. Christmas in Clyde. Parade of lights, park tree lighting, an appearance by Santa and fireworks. Village of Clyde, Park St. 6 p.m. Free. Glens Falls. Hometown Holidays Celebration in Glens Falls. See Dec. 4. Marion. Holiday Market. Stroll through town and visit businesses. Crafters and live music available. Museum open house. Tree lighting at 6 p.m. Town of Marion. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. events@townofmarion.


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of virtually hosted fun and fundraising benefits Vera House, a Syracuse-based organization that serves victims of domestic violence and other forms of abuse. 315425-0818 x2271. hfuller@verahouse.org. Virtual. St. Peter’s Cardiac & Vascular Center’s 2020 Albany Last Run 5K. See Dec. 1. Virtual. Festival of Trees. Dec. 1. Virtual. Family Time with the Johnson: Sing Along with John Simon. Join local songwriter and school performer John Simon as he and Taylor the Guitar perform songs about school, animals, family, and imagination, including some songs from the Children’s Reading Connection’s “Sing Me a Story, Read Me a Song” project. There might even be a special guest or two. Get out some crayons and paper and plan to have fun. Free registration is required to attend this virtual event via Zoom. 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Free. https:// cornell.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJMqcOmoqzwoE9PU1x0R7tuDmWwBH4onei5f. museum@cornell.edu. Warrensburg. 32nd Annual Christmas in Warrensburgh. See Dec. 4.

Dec. 6 Albany. Princess Holiday Caroling Visits. See Dec. 4. Auburn. Holiday Craft Fair. See Dec. 5. Cazenovia. Guided Christmas Tours at Lorenzo. See Dec. 5. Oswego. Small Business Week – Stroll Oswego County. See Dec. 1. Sackets Harbor. Whoville in the Harbor.

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FOR HOME • FARM • INDUSTRY Since 1937 913 Phillip St. Fulton 315-592-5450 See Dec. 5. Troy. 2020 Troy Victorian Stroll Presented By the Rensselaer County Regional Chamber of Commerce. Visit and enjoy beautifully decorated storefronts as you shop, sip and stroll your way through downtown. Costumed characters, live entertainment and vendor promotions. Free. Downtown Troy. www. albany.com/holiday/annual-events/victorian-stroll. 518-274-7020. Virtual. Storytime with Miss Sandy. Join Miss Sandy online for stories, songs and other fun every Wednesday. Put your name in the comments or email aurorafreelibrarycny@gmail.com by 9 a.m. that day and she will be sure to greet your child. 315-3648074. Virtual. Fresh Boxwood Arrangement. Create your own boxwood tree from your home. All supplies and fresh materials are provided. Participants are encouraged to decorate their Boxwood Tree after the class using their own small ornaments, bows, lights and more. Curbside pick-up for materials will occur on Friday, Dec. 4 from 4:30–6:30 p.m. The class will be offered via Zoom Meeting, a free online audio-visual platform. 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.; noon–2 p.m. $50. Virtual event hosted by Buffalo Botanical Gardens, 2655 S. Park Ave. www.buffalogardens.com/collections/ events/products/decorated-boxwood-tree. 716-827-1584. Virtual. Festival of Trees. Dec. 1. Warrensburg. 32nd Annual Christmas in Warrensburgh. See Dec. 4.

2020 / 2021

CNY WINTER GUIDE

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Since the pandemic may change organizations’ plans, we strongly encourage you to check each event’s website or social media page or call before purchasing tickets or making other plans to attend. For many organizations, the social media page is updated more regularly than the website. Dec. 7 Cazenovia. Guided Christmas Tours at Lorenzo. See Dec. 5. Fair Haven. Let’s Talk. See Dec. 7. In this open forum, with ground rules for respectful interaction, a wide range of ideas for discussion is invited. During each session, the hosts will generate a list of possible topics and vote on one to discuss for that week. Due to social distancing, participation will be limited to 11 people each session. Registration prior to each session is recommended to ensure inclusion. When not seated, masks are required. Facilitated by Nancy Hale, retired director of SUNY counseling center. Email to register. 1–2:30 p.m. Suggested donation $2 for members; $5 for non-members. Fair Haven Arts Center, 562 Main St. www.fairhavenarts.org/classes.html. 315-947-2144. nhale48@frontiernet.net. Fulton. Card Making Workshop. Each

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guest will leave with four handmade cards constructed using paper, stamps, ink and a few helpful tools. This class is welcoming to guests at all experience levels. Ages 10 and older. Fee includes materials. 6:30–8:30 p.m. $15. CNY Community Art Center, 121 Cayuga St. Sackets Harbor. Whoville in the Harbor. See Dec. 5. Troy. 2020 Troy Victorian Stroll Presented By the Rensselaer County Regional Chamber of Commerce. See Dec. 6. Virtual. Festival of Trees. Dec. 1.

Dec. 8 Cazenovia. Guided Christmas Tours at Lorenzo. See Dec. 5. Clifton Park. Snowman Fun: Painted Wine

CNY WINTER GUIDE

Bottle. Relax and enjoy a drink as local artist Jennifer Claire Hockford gives step-by-step instructions on painting a wine bottle. All materials, refreshments and one glass of wine or craft beer included. 6–8 p.m. $45. Enter promo code MOCHALISA2020 and get $5 off. MochaLisa’s Caffè, 22 Clifton Country rd. www.mochalisa.com. Sackets Harbor. Whoville in the Harbor. See Dec. 5. Troy. 2020 Troy Victorian Stroll Presented By the Rensselaer County Regional Chamber of Commerce. See Dec. 6. Troy. Stained Glass Jewelry Box Workshop. Create a beautiful stained-glass box in an afternoon. Beginners will learn introductory stained-glass techniques, and experienced students will expand their technical ability in this medium. Every student will leave with a beautiful box and new skills. Noon–5 p.m. $85, plus $30 studio fee. The Arts Center of the Capital Region, 265 River St. www. artscenteronline.org/class/12-08-20-stainedglass-jewelry-box-workshop. Troy. Wire Wrapping Crash Course: Caged Wire Wrapped Pendant. Build a little ‘cage’ made of metal wire to hold natural gemstones in to make a pendant. Participants will leave with a pendant made of a real natural gemstone. 6–9 p.m. $75, plus $40 studio fee. The Arts Center of the Capital Region, 265 River St. www.artscenteronline.org/class/1208-20-wire-wrapping-crash-course-cagedwire-wrapped-pendant. Virtual. Online Workshop: Holiday Lettering. Learn how to decorate your own greeting cards and envelopes for a more personal touch. Follow along with Jessie as she shares


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Moravia. Winter Wreath Watercolor Tutorial. Create a piece of original watercolor pencil art to hang on your wall at home this holiday season or give as gift. Instructed by Kalee Doeing of Wine and Blooms. 6 p.m. $40. 2846 Route 38, Fire Lane 1. https://wineandblooms.com/events/winter-wreath-watercolor. 315-497-1055. driftersonowasco@ gmail.com. Sackets Harbor. Whoville in the Harbor. See Dec. 5. Troy. 2020 Troy Victorian Stroll Presented By the Rensselaer County Regional Chamber of Commerce. See Dec. 6. Virtual. Festival of Trees. Dec. 1.

Dec. 10 Auburn. SpotLight Showcase. A talent show that repeats the second Thursday of the month. Light refreshments provided. 6:30 p.m. Free. Seneca Cayuga ARC, 39 Genesee St. http://www.arcofsenecacayuga.org. 315252-7016. Cazenovia. Guided Christmas Tours at Lorenzo. See Dec. 5. Sackets Harbor. Whoville in the Harbor. See Dec. 5. Troy. 2020 Troy Victorian Stroll Presented By the Rensselaer County Regional Chamber of Commerce. See Dec. 6. Virtual. Jim Brickman Comfort & Joy at Home 2020. Grammy Nominated Songwriter and piano sensation Jim Brickman presents this live, virtual event. A portion of each ticket purchased to benefit the RBTL’S Auditorium Theatre. Brickman will blend yuletide memories and holiday carols with his own hit songs such as “The Gift,” “Sending You A Little Christmas,” “Angel Eyes” and “If You Believe.” 7–10 p.m. $40 to $125 with virtual meet-and-greet available. RBTL’s Auditorium Theatre, 885 E. Main St. http://www.rbtl.org. 585-222-5000. mail@rbtl.org. Virtual. Baroque Fireworks. Baroque is front and center as JoAnn Falletta conducts Handel’s Water Music Suite No. 2, Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 6, and Marcello’s Oboe Concerto in C minor played by principal oboist Henry Ward, which echoes the lyricism of an aria. Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra Brass plays a work by the influential 16th century organist Giovanni Gabrieli, and Wagner’s Siegfried Idyll, a delicate musical love letter to his new wife on her Christmas birthday, complete this Baroque program. This performance is part of the BPOnDemand video-streamed series. There will be no live audience for this performance. 7 p.m. $10. https://bpo.org/event/baroque-fireworks. Virtual. Joyful Poinsettias Art Workshop. Join instructor Deanna Weinholtz for this a

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two-hour watercolor workshop. Some experience with working in watercolor is required. In order to maintain the safest environment possible, the class will be offered via Zoom Meeting, a free online audio-visual platform. Participants should review the supply list to purchase before the start of class. 6:30–8:30 p.m. $25. Buffalo Botanical Gardens, 2655 South Park Ave. 716-827-1584. Virtual. Festival of Trees. Dec. 1.

Dec. 11 Alexander. Drive -Thru Country Christmas. See Dec. 4. Batavia. Meredith Wilson’s “Miracle on 34th St.. See the classic Christmas movie as a staged musical. Book, music & lyrics by Meredith Wilson. The young daughter of a department store executive assistant tries to find the true meaning of Christmas. Based on the 20th Century Fox Picture of the same name with story by Valentine Davies and Screenplay by George Seaton. Directed by Patrick D. Burk. 7:30 p.m. $18 adults; $17 students/seniors. Batavia Players, Inc., Harvester 56 Theater 56 Harvester Ave. Box #15. http:// www.bataviaplayers.org. Cazenovia. Guided Christmas Tours at Lorenzo. See Dec. 5 Cortland. Christmas Extravaganza at Hope Lake Lodge. See Dec. 11. Enjoy sleigh rides, breakfast & dinner buffets, photos with Santa, a tree lighting ceremony, carolers, arts & crafts, games, and letters to Santa. Weekend stay packages available. Hope Lake Lodge, 2177 Clute Road. Old Forge. Snodeo. 44th Annual Snodeo Weekend in Old Forge. All four major manufacturers will present with new models on display, plus a vintage snowmobile show and swap, youth snowmobile races, and snowmobile raffle, and fireworks. 3–6 p.m.; Dec. 12, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Dec. 13, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Free. George T. Hiltebrant Recreation Center, North St. www.adirondack.net/winter/annual-events/snodeo. 315-369-6983. Sackets Harbor. Whoville in the Harbor. See Dec. 5. Troy. 2020 Troy Victorian Stroll Presented By the Rensselaer County Regional Chamber of Commerce. See Dec. 6. Virtual. Festival of Trees. Dec. 1. Virtual. It’s a Wonderful Life. Celebrate the “real Bedford Falls” in a virtual event this year. Seneca Falls is touted as the inspiration for the setting of Frank DiCapra’s 1946 Christmas classic “It’s a Wonderful Life” starring Jimmy Stewart. Event websites include https://itsawonderfulrun5k.com to register

CNY WINTER GUIDE

for the Virtual Run and www.wonderfullifemuseum.com and https://therealbedfordfalls.com for presentations and events. Virtual. 2020 Jingle Bell Run 5K. Whether you want to run your favorite 5K route, challenge yourself to something new, or get moving on your treadmill, you can strut your stuff and benefit the Arthritis Foundation. Fundraising dollars are put to work immediately and enable the Arthritis Foundation to continue critical programs and services in the community. Every runner will receive an exclusive Jingle Bell Run short sleeve T-shirt, unique medal, and sticker. Registration fees and donations cannot be refunded. Registration closes Dec. 13. $35. https://events. arthritis.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.event&eventID=1090.

Dec. 12 Albany. Princess Holiday Caroling Visits. See Dec. 4. Albion. Albion Hometown Holiday. Finish your shopping while enjoying special holiday activities, performances, characters, treats and fun. This event is sponsored by the Albion Merchants Association. Downtown Albion. Alexander. Drive Thru Country Christmas. See Dec. 4. Alexandria Bay. 1000 Islands River Santa Festival. Bring your believers to meet Santa and celebrate Christmas on the St. Lawrence River. Santa will arrive in the Village of Alexandria Bay by boat with a USCG escort bringing gifts for all children 12 and under along the St. Lawrence River Valley from Ogdensburg to Cape Vincent and inland. There will be hay wagon rides and hot chocolate. Stores will be open for eating and shopping in the village. 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Free. Upper James St. www.visitalexbay.org. Auburn. Small Business Saturdays. See Dec. 5. Batavia. Meredith Wilson’s “Miracle on 34th St.. See Dec. 11. Binghamton. Home for the Holidays. Live music performed by the Binghamton Philharmonic, including the theme from “Home Alone,” “The Nutcracker Suite,” and “The Polar Express.” Daniel Hege conducting. 7:30 p.m. $20; 10 students with ID. 236 Washington St. www.binghamtonphilharmonic.org. Cape Vincent. Christmas Parade with Lights. The Annual Christmas in Cape Vincent Celebration will feature businesses serving holiday treats and the Christmas Parade with lights, beginning at 5:30 p.m. Floats will be decorated with holiday lights. After the parade, the children can visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus and hot chocolate and donuts will be served. 5:30 to 6 p.m. Free. 315-654-


2533. Cortland. Christmas Extravaganza at Hope Lake Lodge. See Dec. 11. Hamburg. Our Famous Holiday Flea Market. This unique antiques and collectibles market has long been considered Buffalo’s Favorite with unusual gifts in a large, roomy hall. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Free. 4737 Lakeshore Road. www.facebook.com/famousflea. 716-6273619. Old Forge. Snodeo. 44th Annual Snodeo Weekend in Old Forge. See Dec. 11. Sackets Harbor. Whoville in the Harbor. See Dec. 5. Saratoga Springs. Seth Warden Trio Xmas Show. Singer/songwriter Seth Warden, percussionist Brian Melick, and fiddler/vocalist Doug Moody will perform holiday music. Reservations are encouraged; limited seating available. 7–9:30 p.m. Donations appreciated. The Parting Glass, 40-42 Lake Ave. 518-583-1916. Ticonderoga. Riot! Yankees vs Buckskins. Although coined the “United States” when the Declaration of Independence was written, the states were anything but united by the end of that year. Feuds persisted between states from private soldiers all the way up to gentlemen officers. See how the cold and lonely existence on this forward post would lead soldiers to fight, nearly erupting in a riot at the end of 1776. Witness the altercation between Pennsylvania and Massachusetts men go sour as swords blow and musket fire explodes in the camp. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. $12; free to members. Fort Ticonderoga, 102 Fort Ti rd. http://www.fortticonderoga.org. www.facebook.com/fortticonderoga. 518-585-2821. info@fort-ticonderoga.org. Troy. 2020 Troy Victorian Stroll Presented By the Rensselaer County Regional Chamber of Commerce. See Dec. 6. Virtual. Festival of Trees. Dec. 1. Virtual. It’s a Wonderful Life. See Dec. 11. Virtual. 2020 Jingle Bell Run. See Dec. 11.

Dec. 13 Albany. Princess Holiday Caroling Visits. See Dec. 4. Auburn. Octane Social House Gingerbread House Contest. The inaugural event will benefit local food insecurity through Community Action Programs Cayuga/Seneca. Bring your gingerbread houses into Octane Social House along with either $10 or 6 items of non-perishable food between Sunday, Dec. 13th at 9 a.m. and Wednesday, Dec. 16 to enter. Winners will be announced on Thursday, Dec. 17. Gingerbread houses entered into the contest must be all edible. Entries into the contest should be created prior to entry.

Each house will be given an entry number for judging by patrons. $20 gift certificates will be awarded to the winners of the following categories: Most Creative, Most Delicious-Looking and Most Festive. Creator’s names will not be displayed. Octane Social House, 41 Genesee St. www.facebook.com/ events/3136816446429760. 315-370-9795. octane.social.house@gmail.com. Batavia. Meredith Wilson’s Miracle on 34th St. See Dec. 11. Old Forge. Snodeo. 44th Annual Snodeo Weekend in Old Forge. See Dec. 11. Troy. 2020 Troy Victorian Stroll Presented By the Rensselaer County Regional Chamber of Commerce. See Dec. 6. Virtual. Festival of Trees. Dec. 1. Virtual. It’s a Wonderful Life. See Dec. 11. Virtual. 2020 Jingle Bell Run. See Dec. 11. Wallington. Community Holiday Fireworks. Refreshments at 5 p.m. followed by fireworks at 6 p.m. Free. Wallington Fire Department, 7863 Ridge rd. www.wallingtonfd.com.

Dec. 14 Auburn. Octane Social House Gingerbread House Contest. See Dec. 13. Batavia. Meredith Wilson’s Miracle on 34th St. See Dec. 11. Troy. 2020 Troy Victorian Stroll Presented By the Rensselaer County Regional Chamber of Commerce. See Dec. 6. Virtual. Festival of Trees. Dec. 1.

Dec. 15 Auburn. Octane Social House Gingerbread House Contest. See Dec. 13. Batavia. Meredith Wilson’s Miracle on 34th St. See Dec. 11. Troy. 2020 Troy Victorian Stroll Presented By the Rensselaer County Regional Chamber of Commerce. See Dec. 6. Virtual. Joann’s Classical Christmas. Sal Andolina presents a special saxophone rendition of holiday favorites, and the BPO Brass shine in Darin Kelly’s Of Nights and Lights, a sparkling Hanukkah composition. Perennial classics including selections from Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors, Respighi’s “The Adoration of the Magi,” Vaughan-Williams Fantasia on Greensleeves, and more bring the spirit of the season to life. The performance is part of the BPOnDemand video-streamed series. There will be no live audience for this performance. 7 p.m. $10. https://bpo.org/event/joanns-classical-christmas.

Dec. 16 Auburn. Octane Social House Gingerbread House Contest. See Dec. 13. Batavia. Meredith Wilson’s Miracle on 34th St. See Dec. 11. Schenectady. MINI-Art Enrichment Class (Preschool Age): MINI-Art Collage. See Dec. 2. Troy. 2020 Troy Victorian Stroll Presented By the Rensselaer County Regional Chamber of Commerce. See Dec. 6.

Dec. 17 Auburn. Octane Social House Gingerbread House Contest. See Dec. 13. Batavia. Meredith Wilson’s Miracle on 34th St. See Dec. 11. Troy. 2020 Troy Victorian Stroll Presented By the Rensselaer County Regional Chamber of Commerce. See Dec. 6. Virtual. Holiday Family Talent Show. The Adirondacks’ best and brightest are given the spotlight to showcase their hidden skills and shocking tricks in this virtual talent show where you will be voting live for the night’s big winner. You will receive everything you need to root for your favorite act and celebrate in style. So, don your fancy Saturday night getup then log in to join your hosts for a family-friendly evening of glitz, glamour, and showbiz. Got a winning talent of your own? Join in the show and submit your best act to see if you could be the Adirondacks’ next big star. 7:30. $40 per household. www. ATFestival.org. Virtual. Fresh Holiday Arrangement. Design an arrangement for a dinner table or craft a unique gift. Class will be offered via Zoom Meeting, a free online audio-visual platform. Participants must review the supply list to purchase before the start of class. 6 p.m. $50. Virtual event hosted by Buffalo Botanical Gardens, 2655 South Park Ave. www.buffalogardens.com/collections/events/products/ fresh-holiday-arrangement. 716-827-1584.

Dec. 18 Albany. Princess Holiday Caroling Visits. See Dec. 4. Alexander. Drive Thru Country Christmas. See Dec. 4. Batavia. Meredith Wilson’s Miracle on 34th St. See Dec. 11. Troy. 2020 Troy Victorian Stroll Presented By the Rensselaer County Regional Chamber of Commerce. See Dec. 6. Virtual. Holiday Pops. Celebrate the Season with Symphoria Pops Conductor and holiday

2020 / 2021

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tunes performing on a live stream. Guest vocalist Ronnie Leigh and some of community groups join Symphoria on stage for Central New York’s favorite tradition. 7:30 p.m. and 12/19, 1:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. $20 individual; $35 family. Virtual event hosted live by Symphoria from Crouse Hinds Concert Theater, 421 Montgomery St. http://experiencesymphoria.org.

Dec. 19 Albany. Princess Holiday Caroling Visits. See Dec. 4. Alexander. Drive Thru Country Christmas. See Dec. 4. Auburn. Small Business Saturdays. See Dec. 5. Batavia. Meredith Wilson’s Miracle on 34th St. See Dec. 11. Troy. 2020 Troy Victorian Stroll Presented By the Rensselaer County Regional Chamber of Commerce. See Dec. 6. Virtual. Holiday Pops. See Dec. 18.

Albany. Princess Holiday Caroling Visits. See Dec. 4. Barre. Barre Tractor Light Parade. Enjoy a Christmas Tractor Parade from East Barre Road to the Barre Town Park. Hot cocoa, cookies and caroling at the Barre Town Park following parade. 5:30–7:30 p.m. Barre Town Park, Rte. 98. Fair Haven. Kimo & Anna Christmas Singa-Long. Live music. 4–7 p.m. Free. Colloca Estate Winery, 14678 West Bay Road. www. facebook.com/events/193964291887161. 315-947-2069. drc100@aol.com Sterling. Cider Jam. Sunday. Fully acoustic jam with social distancing. 1–5 p.m. Sterling Cidery, 14451 Richmond Ave. Troy. 2020 Troy Victorian Stroll Presented By the Rensselaer County Regional Chamber of Commerce. See Dec. 6.

Dec. 22 Virtual. John Morris Russel’s Holiday Pops. Celebrate the holidays with Maestro John Morris Russell with festive Pops favorites from the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and an eclectic variety of seasonal music from popular song, film, musical theatre, gospel, and jazz. The event features guest appearances by soulful Buffalo singers Zoe Scruggs and George Brown. This performance is part of the BPOnDemand video-streamed series. There will be no live audience for this perfor2020 / 2021

Check before you go Since the pandemic may change organizations’ plans, we strongly encourage you to check each event’s website or social media page or call before purchasing tickets or making other plans to attend. For many organizations, the social media page is updated more regularly than the website.

mance. 7 p.m. $10. https://bpo.org/event/ holiday-pops.

Dec. 27

Dec. 20

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Call Before

Sterling. Cider Jam. Ukulele Jam. The first hour focuses on beginners and at 2 p.m., others may join. 1–5 p.m. Sterling Cidery, 14451 Richmond Ave.

Dec. 28 Buffalo. BOGO Day at the Botanical Gardens. Enjoy buy-one-get-one admission. Visitors will have a chance to enjoy the Poinsettia & Railway Exhibit a discounted rate. Botanical Gardens’ members and kids 2 and under are always free and tickets can be purchased online. Use coupon code BOGO. Pre-purchased timed e-tickets are highly recommended due to capacity limitations and walk-ins may be turned away if capacity is surpassed. Please choose your time slot by selecting “Other times.” For everyone’s safety, tickets will be available in specific time slots to limit the number of people inside the Botanical Gardens at any given time. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. $12.50. Buffalo Botanical Gardens, 2655 South Park Ave. www.buffalogardens. com/collections/events/products/dollar-day-2. 716-827-1584.

Dec. 31 Buffalo. First Night. Enjoy a family-friendly, festive New Year’s Eve celebration with carnival rides, bounce houses, acrobats, exotic animals and more. The event includes

CNY WINTER GUIDE

a grand finale balloon drop at 9:45 p.m. 5–10 p.m. $10 to $15. Buffalo Niagara Convention Center, Convention Center Plaza, 153 Franklin St. http://www.firstnightbuffalo.org. LeRoy. First Night. Welcome the New Year. Shops will be open, purchase warm drinks, enjoy entertainment and watch the fireworks which will start at 9 p.m. Village of LeRoy. 585-768-2527. Virtual. New Year’s Eve Special with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. Enjoy Bizet’s Carmen Suite and Smetana Dance of the Comedians, conducted by Music Director Ward Stare. One-time digital access available anytime Dec. 31 2 p.m. through Feb. 14. $25. www.myrpo.org.

JANUARY DAILY Virtual. Gala Holiday Pops with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. Enjoy favorites including Joy to the World, Silent Night, and the Chanukah Suite. Jeff Tyzik, conductor, Juliana Athayde, violin, Ahrim Kim, cello, Erik Behr, oboe, W. Peter Kurau, horn, Jim Tiller, percussion. One-time digital access available anytime through Jan. 19. $25. www.myrpo. org. Virtual. New Year’s Eve Special with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. Enjoy Bizet’s Carmen Suite and Smetana Dance of the Comedians, conducted by Music Director Ward Stare. One-time digital access available anytime through Feb. 14. $25. www.myrpo. org.

TUES., THUR., SAT. & SUN. Oswego. Public Ice Skating. 3–5 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays; 6:30 to 8:30 Saturdays; 7:30 to 9:30 Sundays. Crisafulli Rink, 32 Fort Ontario rd.

WEDNESDAYS Fair Haven. Open Mic Night. Larry Kyle hosts. 6–9 p.m. Turtle Cove Resort & Marina, 356 King St.

THURSDAYS Liverpool. Teen Art Class. Liverpool Art Center art classes offer guidance and a peaceful space for to explore art mediums. The class offers instruction, a relaxing studio environment and plenty of options. Students choose the medium, style and subject. All painting


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and drawing mediums offered. Most supplies are included in the monthly fee. Beginners welcome. Ages 12 to 18 years. 4–6 p.m. The four-week trial is $60 and decide during the third week if it is a good fit. 101 Lake Drive. www.liverpoolartcenter.com. 315-234-9333.

SATURDAYS Oswego. Wind n’ Wave Tai Chi & Qigong with Geoff Baer. Bring a chair or blanket and non-street shoes if you choose to wear footwear as you participate. 8:15 a.m. to 10 a.m. First class is free. Three free classes to a current student bringing a guest. Free for registered Peaceful Remedy clients and caregivers. Many pricing options available. Sunset Yoga Studio, 138 E. Second St.(park in the E. second St. lot).

FIRST AND SECOND SATURDAYS. Canandaigua Winter Farmers Market. The Canandaigua Farmers Market is an association of farmers and small-scale food processors consisting of approximately 30 vendors who live within a limited radius of Canandaigua. Agricultural vendors produce a wide variety of quality vegetables, fruits, flowers, meats, and eggs. Small-scale food processors offer a variety of freshly baked goods, sauces, pickles, jams, maple products, specialty mustards and honey. Vendors are required to sell only what they produce. 34 Antis St. http://canandaiguafarmersmarket.

com. 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Jan. 1

Old Forge, NY • 315-369-6138 www.ChristysMotel.com

Auburn. First Friday. Museums, galleries, restaurants and shops host open houses with free live music, art exhibits & refreshments. Downtown venues include Auburn Public Theater, A.T. Walley’s, Cayuga Museum of History and Art, Good Shepherd’s Brewing Co., Harriet Tubman National Historical Park, Moondog’s Lounge, Next Chapter Brewpub, Osteria Salina, Prison City Pub & Brewery, Seward House Museum, Schweinfurth Art Center, Underground Bottle Shop more. Genesee St. http://www.auburndowntown.org/ events. 315-252-7874. Fulton. Light Up the Pratt House. Friends of History in Fulton invites the community to remember, honor or celebrate a family member, loved one or even a special occasion by lighting up the Pratt House Cupola this holiday season. To purchase, visit http:// www.pratthousemuseum.org/light-up-cupola-fill.pdf and complete the form. Email the completed form to friendsofhistoryinfulton@ gmail.com or mail form to Friends of History, PO Box 157, Fulton, NY 13069. Lake George. Polar Plunge. Every year, hundreds gather on the frosty shores of Lake George for a daring New Year’s Day swim, known as the Polar Plunge. About 1,000 participants are expected to take part in the Lake George Polar Plunge, plus spectators. Shepard Park Beach. 518-668-5323. www. lakegeorge.com/polar-plunge.

Liverpool. Lights on the Lake. Lights on the Lake. Drive through a two-mile long holiday lights show featuring Land of Oz, North Pole Station, Twinkling Fantasy Forest, colorful section arches, Fairytale Magic Grand Finale and animated scenes. Drive through only. Tickets must be purchased in advance online at www.showclix.com/event/lightsonthelake. 5–10 p.m. $6 per car Monday & Tuesday; $10 per car Wednesday & Thursday; $20 per car, Friday-Sunday. Onondaga Lake Park, 106 Lake Drive. www.lightsonthelake.com. 315-4719597. carrie@galaxyeventscompany.com. Pittsford. Live Music with Vince and Joe Jazz Duo at Via Girasole Wine Bar. Enjoy a blend of live jazz, soul funk and pop music by the Vince Ercolamento and Joe Chiappone Duo, members of Prime Time Funk. Call for reservations, which require one drink per person minimum. 7–10 p.m. No charge for live music. Via Girasole Wine Bar, 3 Schoen Place. www.facebook.com/ events/293406391610404. 585-641-0340. vgwinebar@gmail.com. Rochester. Step It Up! Cure Pancreatic Cancer Indoor 5K and Family Fun Day. Includes food, raffles, entertainment, purple merchandise and kids activities. Walk the track or just enjoy the entertainment. Special guest appearance by Buffalo Bill’s Fan Dick DeGroat, aka “Bills’ Dad,” who will perform a special

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song along with XOXO Pop Band. noon –4 p.m. $35 adults; $15 students ages 13-21; $5 children ages 4-12; free for aged 3 and under, pancreatic cancer survivors/fighters. RIT Gordon Field House, 1 Lomb Memorial Drive. http://www.pcawny.org. dnavarrolindsay@ pcawny.org. Rochester. Empire Film Music Composition Department Recital. Mark Waters, director. This concert will feature the compositions of students, Andrew Karbovski, Benjamin Magruder, Jacob Denny, and Seth Wright performed live to picture by Eastman Conducting Orchestra and Empire Film and Media Ensemble. This live to picture event features media from short films, silent films, and video games with live orchestral accompaniment. 7:30–9 p.m. Free. Kilbourn Hall, 26 Gibbs St. http://esm.rochester.edu. 585-2741000. concerts@esm.rochester.edu. Warrensburg. First Day Hike. Join family and friends and start the New Year with a guided hike up Prospect Mountain. The hike is 1.5-miles and climbs 1,630-feet from the trailhead to the 2,030-foot summit. At the top, enjoy a 360-degree, 100-mile view of Lake George, the Southern Adirondack Mountains, the Green Mountains of Vermont, the White Mountains of New Hampshire, the Adirondack High Peaks of New York and on a clear day the Laurentian Mountains of Canada. All hikers must have appropriate clothing and footwear. Snowshoes or crampons are required. Weather conditions may make this trail extremely icy and require additional traction. Bring water, snacks or anything else you may need for a hike. Hikers will be notified by Dec. 31 if the hike is cancelled. Pre-registration is required. 10 a.m. Free. New York State DEC Region 5, 232 Golf Course rd. 518-623-1268.

http://VOCROC.ORG. 585-295-7824. kim. osur@vocroc.org.

Jan. 5 Liverpool. Lights on the Lake. See Jan. 1.

Jan. 6 Liverpool. Lights on the Lake. See Jan. 1. Naples. Eco-Book Club and Hike. If you are an outdoor enthusiast and book lover, this reading and hiking combo is for you. During each session, a book about an aspect of the natural world will be discussed followed by a bring-your-own brown bag lunch. Participants can then head out into the woods for a guided hike tailored to the theme of the book. Book discussions start at 11a.m. Book copies are available through OWWL, STLS, and Monroe County Libraries. 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Free. Cumming Nature Center, 6472 Gulick Road. https://rmsc.org/cumming-nature-center/nature-center-programsand-events/item/717-eco-book-club-hike. 585-374-6160.

Jan. 8 Liverpool. Lights on the Lake. See Jan. 1.

Jan. 9 Liverpool. Lights on the Lake. See Jan. 1.

Jan. 10 Liverpool. Lights on the Lake. See Jan. 1.

Jan. 2 Fulton. Light Up the Pratt House. See Jan. 1. Liverpool. Lights on the Lake. See Jan. 1.

Jan. 3 Liverpool. Lights on the Lake. See Jan. 1.

Jan. 14 Auburn. SpotLight Showcase. A talent show that repeats the second Thursday of the month. Light refreshments provided. 6:30 p.m. Free. Seneca Cayuga ARC, 39 Genesee St. http://www.arcofsenecacayuga.org. 315252-7016.

Jan. 4 Liverpool. Lights on the Lake. See Jan. 1. Virtual. Pound the Ground 5k Walk/Run. Virtual event helps Veterans Outreach Center provide housing placement services, legal and employment services, suicide awareness and prevention support, wellness services at the Morale Center and more to thousands of veterans annually. $25. 447 South Ave.

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Lounge, also known as the Sagamore Ice Bar, includes a frozen bar carved from 18,000 pounds of crystal-clear ice. Guests are welcome to belly up to the bar and enjoy a frosty cocktail. A variety of signature, winter-inspired cocktails will be served. Break out your fedora hats and pinstripe suits, cloche hats and flapper dresses because this year The Roaring ‘20s will be revived at The Sagamore Resort. Tables and benches, couches, ice luges, and more made of ice form a lounge around the bar, creating an immersive glacial watering hole. Other ice carvings provide perfect photo opportunities for your entire group. The Sagamore Resort, 110 Sagamore Road. http://www.thesagamore.com/icebar-lounge. 518-644-9400. emily.zybert@ oceanprop.com.

Jan. 23 Waterloo. Napoleon Dynamite Live. The movie screening featuring Jon Heder, Efren Ramirez, and Jon Gries. Appealing to the inner teenager in each of us, the indie classic “Napoleon Dynamite” was made 15 years ago. Also, a Meet and Greet Package is available, which includes: meeting Jon Heder, Efren Ramirez, and Jon Gries; photo opportunity; specialized merchandise. Ticket sold separately. Limited availability for Meet and Greet. Line-up and Meet and Greet time subject to change. Must be 21 or older to attend. 8 p.m. $25 to $55. The Vine at Del Lago Resort, 1133 Route 414. https://dellagoresort.showare.com.

Jan. 29 Bolton Landing. Glacier Ice Bar & Lounge at The Sagamore. See Jan. 22.

FEBRUARY TUES., THUR., SAT. & SUN. Oswego. Public Ice Skating. 3–5 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays; 6:30 to 8:30 Saturdays; 7:30 to 9:30 Sundays. Crisafulli Rink, 32 Fort Ontario rd.

Jan. 18

WEDNESDAYS

Virtual. Pound the Ground 5k Walk/Run. See Jan. 4.

Fair Haven. Open Mic Night. Larry Kyle hosts. 6–9 p.m. Turtle Cove Resort & Marina, 356 King St.

Jan. 22 Bolton Landing. Glacier Ice Bar & Lounge at The Sagamore. The Glacier Ice Bar and

CNY WINTER GUIDE

THURSDAYS Liverpool. Teen Art Class. Liverpool Art Cen-


ter art classes offer guidance and a peaceful space for to explore art mediums. The class offers instruction, a relaxing studio environment and plenty of options. Students choose the medium, style and subject. All painting and drawing mediums offered. Most supplies are included in the monthly fee. Beginners welcome. Ages 12 to 18 years. 4–6 p.m. The four-week trial is $60 and decide during the third week if it is a good fit. 101 Lake Drive. www.liverpoolartcenter.com. 315-234-9333.

SATURDAYS Oswego. Wind n’ Wave Tai Chi & Qigong with Geoff Baer. Bring a chair or blanket and non-street shoes if you choose to wear footwear as you participate. 8:15 a.m. to 10 a.m. First class is free. Three free classes to a current student bringing a guest. Free for registered Peaceful Remedy clients and caregivers. Many pricing options available. Sunset Yoga Studio, 138 E. Second St..(park in the E. Second St. lot).

FIRST AND SECOND SATURDAYS. Canandaigua Winter Farmers Market. The Canandaigua Farmers Market is an association of farmers and small-scale food processors consisting of approximately 30 vendors who live within a limited radius of Canandaigua. Agricultural vendors produce a wide variety of quality vegetables, fruits, flowers, meats, and eggs. Small-scale food processors offer a variety of freshly baked goods, sauces, pickles, jams, maple products, specialty mustards and honey. Vendors are required to sell only what they produce. 34 Antis St. http://canandaiguafarmersmarket. com. 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Feb. 1 Virtual. New Year’s Eve Special with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. Enjoy Bizet’s Carmen Suite and Smetana Dance of the Comedians, conducted by Music Director Ward Stare. One-time digital access available anytime through Feb. 14. $25. www.myrpo. org. Virtual. Pound the Ground 5k Walk/Run. Virtual event helps Veterans Outreach Center provide housing placement services, legal and employment services, suicide awareness and prevention support, wellness services at the Morale Center and more to thousands of veterans annually. $25. 447 South Ave. http://VOCROC.ORG. 585-295-7824. kim. osur@vocroc.org.

Feb. 2

Feb. 6

Virtual. New Year’s Eve Special with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. See Feb. 1.

Saranac Lake. Winter Carnival. See Feb. 5. Virtual. New Year’s Eve Special with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. See Feb. 1.

Feb. 3 Naples. Eco-Book Club and Hike. If you are an outdoor enthusiast and book lover, this reading and hiking combo is for you. During each session, a book about an aspect of the natural world will be discussed followed by a bring-your-own brown bag lunch. Participants can then head out into the woods for a guided hike tailored to the theme of the book. Book discussions start at 11 a.m. Book copies are available through OWWL, STLS, and Monroe County Libraries. 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Free. Cumming Nature Center, 6472 Gulick Road. https://rmsc.org/cumming-nature-center/nature-center-programsand-events/item/717-eco-book-club-hike. 585-374-6160. Virtual. New Year’s Eve Special with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. See Feb. 1.

Feb. 4 Virtual. New Year’s Eve Special with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. See Feb. 1.

Feb. 5 Auburn. First Friday. Museums, galleries, restaurants and shops host open houses with free live music, art exhibits & refreshments. Downtown venues include Auburn Public Theater, A.T. Walley’s, Cayuga Museum of History and Art, Good Shepherd’s Brewing Co., Harriet Tubman National Historical Park, Moondog’s Lounge, Next Chapter Brewpub, Osteria Salina, Prison City Pub & Brewery, Seward House Museum, Schweinfurth Art Center, Underground Bottle Shop more. Genesee St. http://www.auburndowntown.org/ events. 315-252-7874. Saranac Lake. Winter Carnival. 2021 Saranac Lake Winter Carnival. The theme this year is “Mask-erade.” Check the website for schedule, times and prices. www.adirondack. net/winter/annual-events/saranac-lake-winter-carnival. Virtual. New Year’s Eve Special with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. See Feb. 1.

Feb. 7 Saranac Lake. Winter Carnival. See Feb. 5. Virtual. New Year’s Eve Special with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. See Feb. 1.

Feb. 8 Saranac Lake. Winter Carnival. See Feb. 5. Virtual. New Year’s Eve Special with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. See Feb. 1.

Feb. 9 Saranac Lake. Winter Carnival. See Feb. 5. Virtual. New Year’s Eve Special with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. See Feb. 1.

Feb. 10 Saranac Lake. Winter Carnival. See Feb. 5. Virtual. New Year’s Eve Special with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. See Feb. 1.

Feb. 11 Auburn. SpotLight Showcase. A talent show that repeats the second Thursday of the month. Light refreshments provided. 6:30 p.m. Free. Seneca Cayuga ARC, 39 Genesee St. http://www.arcofsenecacayuga.org. 315252-7016. Saranac Lake. Winter Carnival. See Feb. 5. Virtual. New Year’s Eve Special with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. See Feb. 1.

Feb. 12 Saranac Lake. Winter Carnival. See Feb. 5. Virtual. New Year’s Eve Special with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. See Feb. 1.

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Feb. 13 Saranac Lake. Winter Carnival. See Feb. 5. Virtual. A De-Lovely Valentine’s Day. Central New York’s own Nick Ziobro and Julia Goodwin perform favorite romantic tunes. 7:30 p.m. $20 individual; $35 family. Virtual event hosted live by Symphoria from Crouse Hinds Concert Theater, 421 Montgomery St. http:// experiencesymphoria.org. Virtual. New Year’s Eve Special with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. See Feb. 1.

Feb. 14 Saranac Lake. Winter Carnival. See Feb. 5. Virtual. New Year’s Eve Special with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. See Feb. 1.

Feb. 15

as Happily Divorced, 30 Rock, Grey’s Anatomy, and CSI Miami. He performs through a variety of theatrical mediums, including hidden-camera magic, which he later showcased frequently on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.” VIP Meet & Greet Ticket includes: one reserved ticket; exclusive meet & greet with Michael; personal photo opportunity with Michael; one personal item to be signed by Michael. This is the previously scheduled March 27 show. Guests who purchased tickets for this show will be able to use their current ticket for the new date. Tickets do not need to be reprinted or exchanged. For further information or questions please contact the box office at 315-946-1695. Must be 21 or older to attend. 8 p.m. $15 to $215. The Vine at Del Lago Resort, 1133 Route 414. https://dellagoresort.showare.com.

MARCH TUES., THURS., SAT. & SUN.

Virtual. Pound the Ground 5k Walk/Run. See Feb. 1.

Feb. 18

Oswego. Public Ice Skating. 3–5 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays; 6:30 to 8:30 Saturdays; 7:30 to 9:30 Sundays. Crisafulli Rink, 32 Fort Ontario rd.

Feb. Waterloo. Johnny Rivers. Singer, songwriter and producer, Rivers has 17 gold records, 29 chart hits and two Grammy Awards. See him perform live. Must be 21 or older to attend. 8 p.m. $25 to $85. The Vine at Del Lago Resort, 1133 Route 414. https:// dellagoresort.showare.com.

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Virtual. Pound the Ground 5k Walk/Run. Virtual event helps Veterans Outreach Center provide housing placement services, legal and employment services, suicide awareness and prevention support, wellness services at the Morale Center and more to thousands of veterans annually. $25. 447 South Ave. http://VOCROC.ORG. 585-295-7824. kim. osur@vocroc.org.

March 3

Liverpool. Teen Art Class. Liverpool Art Center art classes offer guidance and a peaceful space for to explore art mediums. The class offers instruction, a relaxing studio environment and plenty of options. Students choose the medium, style and subject. All painting and drawing mediums offered. Most supplies are included in the monthly fee. Beginners welcome. Ages 12 to 18 years. 4–6 p.m. The four-week trial is $60 and decide during the third week if it is a good fit. 101 Lake Drive. www.liverpoolartcenter.com. 315-234-9333.

SATURDAYS

March 5

Oswego. Wind n’ Wave Tai Chi & Qigong with Geoff Baer. Bring a chair or blanket and non-street shoes if you choose to wear footwear as you participate. 8:15 a.m. to 10 a.m. First class is free. Three free classes to a current student bringing a guest. Free for registered Peaceful Remedy clients and caregivers. Many pricing options available. Sunset Yoga Studio, 138 E. Second St.(park in the E. Second St. lot).

Auburn. First Friday. Museums, galleries, restaurants and shops host open houses with free live music, art exhibits & refreshments. Downtown venues include Auburn Public Theater, A.T. Walley’s, Cayuga Museum of History and Art, Good Shepherd’s Brewing Co., Harriet Tubman National Historical Park, Moondog’s Lounge, Next Chapter Brewpub, Osteria Salina, Prison City Pub & Brewery, Seward House Museum, Schweinfurth Art Center, Underground Bottle Shop more. Genesee St. http://www.auburndowntown.org/ events. 315-252-7874.

THURSDAYS

Feb. 27 Auburn. David Bromberg Quintet. His musical journey spans five-and-a-half decades and includes adventures with Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Jerry Garcia, and seminal blues guitarist Reverend Gary Davis. Bromberg is a master of several stringed instruments (guitar, fiddle, Dobro, mandolin), and multiple styles. 8 p.m. $40 advance; $45 door; $10 student. Auburn Public Theater, Main Stage. 8 Exchange St. https://auburnpublictheater. org/events. 315-253-6669. paula@auburnpublictheater.org. Waterloo. Michael Carbonaro Live! Best known as the star and executive producer of the hit series, “The Carbonaro Effect” on truTV, Michael Carbonaro has also made frequent television appearances in shows such

March 1

Naples. Eco-Book Club and Hike. If you are an outdoor enthusiast and book lover, this reading and hiking combo is for you. During each session, a book about an aspect of the natural world will be discussed followed by a bring-your-own brown bag lunch. Participants can then head out into the woods for a guided hike tailored to the theme of the book. Book discussions start at 11a.m. Book copies are available through OWWL, STLS, and Monroe County Libraries. 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Free. Cumming Nature Center, 6472 Gulick Road. https://rmsc.org/cumming-nature-center/nature-center-programsand-events/item/717-eco-book-club-hike. 585-374-6160.

Binghamton. 6th Annual Mac & Cheese Fest. 6–8 p.m. $25. Holiday Inn, 2 Hawley St. 607-723-3931 ext. 1

Feb. 26

The Canandaigua Farmers Market is an association of farmers and small-scale food processors consisting of approximately 30 vendors who live within a limited radius of Canandaigua. Agricultural vendors produce a wide variety of quality vegetables, fruits, flowers, meats, and eggs. Small-scale food processors offer a variety of freshly baked goods, sauces, pickles, jams, maple products, specialty mustards and honey. Vendors are required to sell only what they produce. 34 Antis St. http://canandaiguafarmersmarket. com. 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.

FIRST & SECOND SATURDAYS. Canandaigua Winter Farmers Market.

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More events on page 49


Winter Gear for Dogs By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

M

ost dogs stay pretty warm in their own natural coats and do not require anything else all winter. But others do not grow coats thick or long enough for extended walks in winter weather. Or the hair around their ears is thin and short enough that they don’t stay comfortably warm. The salt used on walkways can cause painful cuts on dogs’ pads. That is why dog coats, hats and boots can keep your pal more comfortable this winter. Many dogs dislike wearing clothing — at least at first. With some time, patience — and maybe a few treats — your dog will forget about his outerwear and it will become part of his winter walking routine. To find the right fit, carefully measure your dog, compare it to the manufacturer’s size chart and make sure you order the correct size. Many pet clothing items may be adjusted to fit. It is usually better to go up a size rather than ordering something too snug. Many manufacturers allow returns and exchanges for clothing that does not fit. Walkee Paws (www.amazon.com, Item: B08GQDNM4M. $29.99) not only protect your pooch’s feet, but also his legs, which can help keep slushy messes out of your house. Typically, dog boots are easy to kick off—and often fall off on their own. Walkee Paws extend higher on the legs, like built-in leggings, and then their straps fasten together on the dog’s back. The outsole has treads to ensure no skidding and the boots are machine washable. The Kuoser British Style Plaid Dog Winter Coat (www.amazon. com, Item: B07Y537V92. $12.99) gives your dog snazzy style and extra warmth with polyester fiber filling and a water-resistant inner layer. It fastens with a hook and loop closure at the neck and chest and even has a small pocket on the back. The seven avail-

able sizes should fit most dogs. The coat also comes in solid red. The Dogo Trapper Hat (www. amazon.com, Item: B01M23NN1X. $250.1) keeps the dog’s ears completely covered for optimal warmth. The denim hat is lined with faux fur. With a broad closure under the throat, the hat stays on better than those with a thin strap. The Scheppend Original Adidog Pet Sweatshirt (www.amazon.com, Item: WL-13. $9.48) looks like the similarly named human brand but is sized and styled for fashionable dogs who need an extra layer. The cotton material is lined with Sherpa fleece. The hooded shirt snaps underneath the chest and the pants have an open underside. Choose from a variety of

colors to coordinate with your dog’s fur. In addition to the cold and sidewalk salt, winter dog walking also means fewer hours of daylight. When walking in poor lighting, stay visible by wearing clothing with reflective elements or use a flashing clip-on safety light. Stay on the sidewalk or if that is not possible, walk against traffic for safety. The BSEEN LED Dog Leash (www.amazon.com, Item: B0723CLFFJ. $16.99) offers a bright light to make drivers aware of your presence. The three modes allow you to set it for slow flash, quick flash or steady flash. Charge with a USB cable in two hours for 12 hours of illumination.

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Snow tubing at Four Seasons Golf & Ski Center in Fayetteville. The facility also offers skiing, snowboarding and tubing, making it a good place to go for families that want a variety of winter recreation. Photo provided

Ski Central New York By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

T

hough not as mountainous as other regions of the state, Central New York offers a few places to ski that can keep locals on the slopes more regularly and offer a novel skiing experience to tourists.

Resort

Ski resorts allow you to stay where you play. With on-site dining, ski shops and more, they offer the ultimate in convenience. While CNY has only one ski resort, it is an excellent family destination. • Greek Peak is an all-inclusive family resort with more than just great skiing, cross country skiing, snow tubing and snowshoeing. Its indoor waterpark provides a balmy break from the cold and a fun option for any non-skiers in your group (although some features may not be open because of the pandemic). Cascades Waterpark includes a wave pool, indoor pool and the kiddie pool. (Its hot tub, slides and splashing water features remain closed because of the pandemic.) To further entertain the children, Greek Peak has an arcade and the Bearfoot Den Activities Center, which offers Wii games, creative crafts, board games, books, and puzzles. Greek Peak’s children’s programing includes daily events, such as pajama parties, movie nights, scavenger hunts and more. The facility offers a fitness center and kick sled rentals for all ages. The

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full-service spa on the grounds is an ideal way to unwind and rejuvenate after a day’s skiing adventure. Greek Peak also offers dining on the grounds at Edgewater, its poolside café, Trax Pub & Grill ski-side, Acorn Grill, and Bobcat Lounge (temporarily closed) at Hope Lake Lodge. Directions: 2000 state Route 392, Cortland. 800-0955-2754. www.greekpeak.net

Ski Centers

Oriented toward beginning skiers who have much to learn and more advanced skiers who want to stay active in their sport between ski trips, local ski centers can make skiing more accessible to all. • Song Mountain Ski Resort offers onsite dining, but not lodging. Nevertheless, Song Mountain’s two dozen trails in a variety of levels of difficulty make it a worthy ski trip. It also provides an inter-mountain passport for access to Labrador Mountain at no additional fees. Directions: 1 Song Mountain Road, Tully. 315-696-5711. www.skicny.com • Labrador Mountain provides 20 trails and a restaurant. Stay at a place of lodging nearby and enjoy both Song Mountain and Labrador for a ski weekend. Directions: 6935 Route 91, Truxton.

CNY WINTER GUIDE

607-842-6204. www.skicny.com • Cazenovia Ski Club is a private ski club; however, its 100 acres represent a broad spectrum of skiing terrain. For frequent skiers in the area, it may be worth joining to ensure constant and close access to skiing opportunities. Directions: 5251 Rathbun Road, Cazenovia. 315-655-8368. http://skicaz. com • Camillus Ski Club offers beginners an introduction to skiing and snowboarding; however, the nonprofit also benefits the community through a variety of outreaches involving food justice and volunteering. Directions: 401 Blackmore Road, Camillus. 315-487-2778. https://camillusskihill.com • Toggenburg Mountain Winter Sports Center has 21 trails at all levels of difficulty, lessons, a ski shop and an on-site restaurant. A family ski center, Toggenburg is a great choice for locals who frequently ski together. Directions: 1135 Toggenburg Road, Fabius. 315-683-5842. www.skitog.com • Four Seasons Golf & Ski Center offers skiing, snowboarding and tubing, making it a good place to go for families that want a variety of winter recreation. Four Seasons has recently added more warming areas. Discount season passes, one-time passes and lesson packages are available online. Directions: 8012 E. Genesee St. Route 5, Fayetteville. 315-637-9023. www.fourseasonsgolfandski.com


Ski the Adirondacks By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

T

he Adirondacks region provides New Yorkers plenty of opportunities to stay close to home with their ski vacation. Some of the state’s oldest skiing areas are among those in the Adirondacks, which offers both topnotch ski resorts and skiing centers. Resorts offer a winter vacation that include places to stay and dine. Resorts also typically have a larger variety of ski runs and other activities and amenities on-site. Here are some of the option: • Gore Mountain allows skiers to reload their existing SKI3 frequent skier card or season pass from last season or choose to have a new card mailed to them. The first and sixth day are free, with the first day pre-loaded on the frequent skier card valid at Gore, Whiteface, or Belleayre Mountain in the Catskills region. The resort features two new ski lifts with access to all four peaks and the Straight Brook Valley. The Cutoff Trail has been lengthened and dubbed Pete’s Paradise with more beginner-friendly options. Gore Mountain has also expanded its snowmaking capacity. Directions: 793 Peaceful Valley Road, North Creek. 518-251-2411. https://goremountain.com. • White Face Mountain Ski Center & Gondola offers a frequent skier card that provides a 50% savings off mid-week, non-holiday lift tickets and 25% off weekends and holidays. As with Gore, cardholders also get their first and

sixth day free. White Face is adding a new Midstation Lodge this season, a new quad at Bear Den and, to keep the season white, increased snow making capacity. Directions: 5021 Route 86, Wilmington. 518-946-2223. https://whiteface. com

Ski Centers

Whether it is a daytrip or part of a longer, overnight getaway, these ski centers offer a variety of skiing experiences in the Adirondacks. Check the website of each ski center for tips on where to stay in the area, which includes hotels, motels and B&B accommodations. Some may offer stay-andplay packages and dining deals.

Some options:

• McCauley Mountain Ski Center is a 633-foot vertical drops and double black diamond runs. The center was voted No. 1 for 2020 Nordic and downhills skiing by Adirondack.net. Three Olympic skiers started out skiing McCauley Mountain: John “Louie” Ehrensbeck, Hank Kashiwa and Maddie Phaneuf. Directions: 300 McCauley rd., Old Forge. 315-369-3225. www.mccauleyny. com • Oak Mountain Ski Center gives the feel of a big mountain ski adventure with its 650-foot vertical drops, but on a smaller scale. This is the center’s 70th anniversary year.

Directions: 141 Novosel Way, Speculator. 518-548-3606. www.oakmountainski.com • Snow Ridge Ski Area has renovated its former Candlelight Restaurant and rebranded it as Tavern230 with a new menu and improved dining area. Directions: 4501 West Road, Turin. 315-348-8456. https://snowridge.com • Titus Mountain was named “Best in Snow” by Liftopia.com. The center now offers a slope-side “skibana” for additional comfort for guests. Directions: 215 Johnson Road, Malone. 518-483-3740. www.titusmountain.com

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Holliday Valley is home to numerous ski trails and offers tubing, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, snowboarding, mountain coaster and “secret” fort for children. It’s located near Buffalo.

Ski the Finger Lakes and Western New York By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

W

hile the Finger Lakes and Western New York regions’ ski venues are more spread out, these areas provide some unique properties worth visiting by locals and tourists alike.

Resorts

• Bristol Mountain is a must-do for any diehard skier. Its trippy 1,200-foot vertical rise is the highest between the Adirondacks and the Rockies. Plus, Bristol’s 34 trails and snowmaking system offer plenty of powder. Bristol also provides several dining options, including Rocket Lodge, Satellite Lounge,

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Morning Star Café, Sunset Lodge and Summit Grille. Though Bristol offers no ski lodge in the traditional sense, its North Star Village rents two-bedroom townhouses at the base of the mountain for convenient access. Numerous other lodging is nearby as well. Directions: 5662 Route 64, Canandaigua. 585-374-6000. www.bristolmountain.com • Peek ‘n Peak Resort & Spa provides 27 trails, a tubing hill and ski and snowboard lessons. Non-skiing activities include the indoor pool, basketball court, fitness center and indoor play-

CNY WINTER GUIDE

ground. The resort features a variety of lodgings, Serenity day spa and six dining options: The Market at the Inn, The Sports Bar, Sugar Shack, Starbucks, The Retreat, Bistro 210, and the Main Ski Lodge. Check the website for a variety of getaway packages. Directions: 1405 Olde Road, Clymer. 716-355-4141. www.pknpk.com • HoliMont Ski Resort. Billed as America’s largest private ski area, HoliMont offers eight lifts servicing over 50 slopes and trails, as well as the Terrain Parks and Halfpipe. Fatbiking is also available, plus skiing and snowboarding


Calendar of Events

holidayvalley.com

Ski Centers

• Powder Mills Park allows beginner skiers to learn experience skiing in the park. The gentle slope is accessed by a single rope tow. There’s also a small lodge, rental equipment and instructors available. Powder Mills is perfect for those possibly interested in skiing who do not want to invest a lot up-front and also those who live locally and want to sneak in a quick ski session. Directions: 154 Park Road, Pittsford. 585-753-7275 or 607-545-6511. www.facebook.com/PowderMillsPark/?fref=ts • Brantling Ski Slopes is a family-owned ski center with nine trails served by lifts and tows. Brantling also offers lessons, a small café and, for outside food, a picnic area on the second floor. Directions: 4015 Fish Farm Road, Sodus. 315-331-2365. www.brantling. com

lessons and equipment rentals. HoliMont does not operate a traditional ski lodge but does provide long-term rental units adjacent to the slopes. Directions: 6921 Route 242, Ellicottville. 716-699-2320. https://holimont. com • Holliday Valley is home to numerous ski trails and offers tubing, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, snowboarding, mountain coaster and “secret” fort for children. Skiing lessons and daycare are available. Multiple lodging and rental opportunities offer something for every guest. Check the website for getaway packages. Dining options include John Harvard’s Brew House, McCarty Café, Marketplace in the Yodeler Lodge, Mountainside Grill at the Holiday Valley Lodge and Tannenbaum’s Seven Headwalls Cafe. Directions: 6557 Holiday Valley Road, Ellicottville. 716-699-2345. www.

• Hunt Hollow Ski Club boasts 80 acres of trails. Though a private club, it opens to the public on weekends. Hunt Hollow provides childcare, equipment rental, dining, fire pit and grills, and mountainside residences. Directions: 7532 County Road 36, Naples. 585-374-5428. www.hunthollow.com • Buffalo Ski Center offers 43 trails from beginners to expert. Snow making equipment keeps the action going all season. Buffalo Ski Center provides childcare, lessons and dining on-site, but not equipment rentals. Directions: 7707 Lower East Hill Road, Colden. 716-941-5654. www. buffaloskicenter.com • Kissing Bridge is meant for beginner through intermediate skiers. Its 26 trails are served by two base lodges and two complete rental facilities. Lessons are available. Kissing Bridge’s snow making equipment keeps the hills covered all season. Dining options include Central Café, The Harvest Room, Lake Effect Saloon and Willies Smokehouse. Directions: 10296 State Road, Glenwood. 716-592-4963. www.kbski.com

Old Forge. 2021 SnoFest in Old Forge. Get a sneak peek at 2022 snowmobiles and equipment from some of the biggest dealers. Check website for more details. Free. www.adirondack.net/winter/annual-events/snofest. 315-369-6983.

March 6 Old Forge. 2021 SnoFest in Old Forge. See March 5.

March 11 Auburn. SpotLight Showcase. A talent show that repeats the second Thursday of the month. Light refreshments provided. 6:30 p.m. Free. Seneca Cayuga ARC, 39 Genesee St. http://www.arcofsenecacayuga.org. 315-252-7016.

March 20 Statewide. Maple Weekend. Visit any of numerous participating maple farms across the state for their annual open house. Tour the farm, see educational exhibits, witness tapping and boiling demonstrations, shop and sample maple wares. Most farm stores include items such as maple candy, cream, cotton candy, popcorn, and syrup in a variety of functional and decorative containers. Some include other local products for sale. Some farms provide pancake breakfasts. Wear appropriate clothing, outerwear and footwear for visiting a farm. Many activities are outdoors and on uneven ground. Call participating farms listed on the New York Maple Producers website before visiting to ensure COVID guidelines, times, dates, and acceptance of cash or credit card. https:// nysmaple.com.

March 26 Buffalo. Sass Jordan with Special Guest Jessie Galante. Juno Award-winning artist Sass Jordan has made a living singing, performing, writing and recording music internationally for the past thirty years. She is an internationally recognized singer/songwriter who has sold over one million CDs worldwide. 7 p.m. $25. Showplace Theater Event Center, 1065 Grant Street. www. theshowplacetheater.com/sass-jordan.

2020 / 2021

CNY WINTER GUIDE

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Ice Fishing in Upstate New York Hotspots for ice fishing beyond Lake Ontario and Oneida Lake By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

L

ooking for another family activity for winter? Consider ice fishing. “Ice fishing is an enjoyable winter activity that anyone can enjoy,” said Mike Crawford, owner of Upstate Guide Service in Auburn. “With proper clothing, good ice and moderate weather conditions, ice fishing is a great way for family and friends to get outside together during the winter months.” His company has provided guided ice fishing trips since 2003. These are just a few of the more popular places to drill a hole and drop a line. • Lake Champlain offers both cold water and warm water fish species. Look for perch, pike, salmon, lake trout and crappie. • Saratoga Lake provides a variety of fish, including pike, bluegills, and crappies in the shallow areas and in deeper waters, walleyes and perch. • North of Old Forge, Fourth Lake offers trout, yellow perch and landlocked salmon.

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• Lake George boasts abundant lake trout, landlocked salmon, yellow perch and black crappie. The scenery is also postcard perfect. • Tupper Lake is the place to go for northern pike, large walleye and lake trout. If big fish are your wish, this is where to head. • Lake Colby has been stocked with landlocked salmon, brown trout, and rainbow trout. The St. Lawrence River is popular summer and winter. Catch bluegills, sunfish and crappies here. It is a popular ice fishing venue, so if you want to get away from the crowds, you might need to look elsewhere. • Lake Ontario’s bays and shoreline offers many opportunities for access. At the east end in Oswego County at Sandy Pond, anticipate pike, perch, bluegills, sunfish and crappies. • On the south shore, Sodus Bay is an ice fishing hotspot with a variety of water depths for a good variety of fish species, such as pike, perch and panfish.

CNY WINTER GUIDE

• Oneida Lake is where you will find many anglers fishing for walleyes and bass in the spring, but it is also popular for ice fishing. • Touted as the largest of the Finger Lakes, Cayuga Lake’s 400-foot depth causes it to never totally freeze; however, a shallow area at the north end becomes solid enough to fish for perch and panfish. • By contrast, shallow Honeoye Lake offers walleyes, perch, bluegills and pickerel. • Anglers in western New York like Chautauqua Lake for its abundant walleyes, along with perch and crappie. To learn the latest on conditions, visit the website of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) — www.dec.ny.gov The site offers the following ice safety tips: “This guide is based on new, clear ice on non-running waters. Slush ice is about 50% weaker. Clear ice over running water is about 20% weaker. Double the recommendations for white ice. Many ice anglers do not like to fish on less than five inches of ice, and do not like to drive a pick-up truck on less than 15 inches of ice. Use common sense! “Be cautious in areas where “bubblers” are used to protect docks. They can produce thin, unsafe ice some distance away. Be especially alert in areas near shore, over moving bodies of water, and where streams enter and exit lakes and ponds. Remember, use the buddy system while ice fishing — it saves lives.”

How Thick? Ice Thickness What can accommodate • 2 inches or less – Stay off • 4 inches – Ice fishing or other activities on foot • 5 inches – Snowmobile or ATV • 8-12 inches – Car or small pickup truck • 12-15 inches – Medium truck


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