By Jennifer Weber
I made the list and checked it twice, now it’s your turn to check out at least one of these not really naughty, but mostly nice, 12 Events of WNY Holiday Season!
1. Start out with a train ride on the North Pole Express at the Attica and Arcade Railroad located at 278 Main Street, Arcade. Enjoy a 2-hour and 20-minute round trip ride and meet Santa, Mrs. Claus the elves and reindeer at Santa’s Workshop. Rides take place every weekend from now through Christmas. For more information visit www.aarailroad.com.
2. Take some time out for “Walking in a Winter Wonderland” during Christmas in Ellicottville from Friday, Nov. 24 to Sunday, Nov. 26. The entire Village will be filled with the sounds of the season with carolers and Christmas lights, reindeer and house/wagon rides and activities for children including breakfast with Santa and fire truck rides! For more information visit www.ellicottvilleny.com.
3. Treat yourself and your family to a night at the Largest Holiday Festival in WNY at the Hamburg Fairgrounds Festival of Lights located at 5820 South Park Avenue, Hamburg. Drive through a wonderland of LED light displays or park the car and visit the Christmas Tree Forest and visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus! The Festival begins the weekend of Nov. 24 and goes through Dec. 23 from 5 – 10 p.m. For more information, visit www.the-fairgrounds.com/festival-lights.
4. The Nutcracker Ballet collaboration between the Neglia Ballet and Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra live at Shea’s Performing Arts Center located at 646 Main Street, Buffalo is a performance you need to see at least once in your lifetime. Performances are held on Saturday, Nov. 26 and Sunday, Nov. 27. For more information, visit www.sheas.org.
5. You don’t want to miss the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus performing Handel’s Messiah on Sunday, Nov. 26 at 7:30 p.m. at the Our Lady of Victory Basilica & National Shrine, 767 Ridge Road, Lackawanna. The breathtaking views inside the church serve as a gorgeous background and reminder of the reason for the season. For more information, visit www.bpo.org.
6. The Festival of Trees is celebrating its 40th year and takes place from Dec. 1 – 5 at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center, 153 Franklin Street, Buffalo. Proceeds from this event benefit the John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital . For more information visit www.fotbuffalo.com.
7. And now for something new, check out the Totally Buffalo 716mas Festival happening Dec. 2 –3 at Buffalo RiverWorks, 359 Ganson Street, Buffalo. This shop local event will feature over 100 vendors, live music, crafts for kids. Santa Claus and food and desserts a plenty! For more information, visit www.totallybuffalo.com.
8. Is it really the Christmas season without a viewing of It`s A Wonderful Life? For a twist on this holiday tradition, check out It`s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play on stage Nov. 30 – Dec. 10 at Shea’s 710 Theatre, 710 Main Street, Buffalo. For more information, visit www.710theatre.org,
9. How many Santas can fit in Downtown Buffalo at once? Find out at SantaCon Buffalo 2017 on Saturday, Dec. 9 from 1:30pm – 6:30pm. You have to see it to believe it. Bring a new toy to spread Christmas cheer to the children of the Boys and Girls Club. For more information, visit www.santaconbuffalo.net.
10. Kissmas Bash 2017 takes place on Saturday, Dec. 9 at 6 p.m. at the KeyBank Center, 1 Seymour H. Knox III Plaza, Buffalo. This year’s headliner is Kesha along with Why Don’t We, Sabrina Carpenter, Julia Michaels, PRETTYMUCH, Max and Astrid S. For more information, visit www.kiss985.com/events/kissmas-bash-2017.
11. Make time this year for a wee drive up north to Old Fort Niagara in Youngstown, NY for Castle by Candlelight on Saturday, Dec. 9 and Saturday, Dec. 16 at 6:30 p.m. Wander around the French Castle decorated for the season by the Youngstown Garden Club and lit entirely by candles. Meet historical reenactors and watch the firing of the grand feu de joie. For more information, visit www.oldfortniagara.org
12. The Trans-Siberian Orchestra has two stops in Buffalo this season on Saturday, Dec. 16 at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. at the KeyBank Center, 1 Seymour H. Knox III Plaza, Buffalo. Don’t miss out on the Ghosts of Christmas Eve: The Best of TSO and More! A portion of the proceeds will benefit the John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital and Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of WNY. For more information, visit /www.trans-siberian.com