In upstate New York, just shy of an hour and a half’s drive from both Buffalo and Syracuse, the city of Rochester celebrates Christmas with a vast number of indoor and open-air occasions to delight and excite its visitors.
If you’re looking to spend the festive season, then you really are in for a treat. Book a stay at our Hotels Near Rochester, NY – the Rochester Riverside Hotel – to start your celebrations in style. Whether you need 2 Bedroom Suites in Rochester NY for the whole clan or just one room for a romantic getaway, we have everything you need.
To also help get you started with another reason why tourists flock to this area at this time of year – for Christmas shopping! – we’ve put together some tips and tricks.
Make sure you check out the lighting of the Liberty Pole
No trip to Rochester during Christmas would be complete without a twirl and glide on the icerink beside a 30-foot Christmas tree at one of the area’s most popular skating destinations. This is where the crowds gather to see the Liberty Pole – the city’s most iconic landmark, which is lit up to mark the holiday season’s start and is a must-photo opportunity before you start shopping!
After all that skating, relax in our serene surroundings with a deliciously decadent meal at our top downtown Rochester Restaurant.
Visit the Market Place Mall
The absolute haven of Christmas shopping in Rochester, this is your one-stop-shop for all your festive goodies.
Here, many shops showcase the very best of local craftsmanships for everything you could possibly need to stuff your stockings. And they’re all about the overall experience, too – take a free horse-drawn carriage ride with Santa, enjoy some festive sweet treats, and peruse a wide range of trees, wreaths, and more in this noteworthy area.
Other shopping spots
Since it first opened back in 2013, the yearly Brainery Holiday Bazaar brings in an excess of 40 local merchants together for a two-day pre-Christmas shopping event, including local specialties. Complete with wrapping stations and gift basket stations, the bazaar is contained within an interesting space that has a modern vibe – at 176 Anderson Avenue in Rochester’s Neighborhood of the Arts.
Another institution in the city founded in 1970, the yearly Holiday Bazaar Arts and Crafts Sale includes over 200 fine craftsmen sharing the best earthenware, decorations, glass, woodwork, photography, artworks, prints, design and more. As one of the longest-running expressions and special celebrations in the Rochester area, it draws in a huge number of customers to the Rochester Museum and Science Center during the week before Thanksgiving. Heading there for Thanksgiving? Join us at our AAA Rochester hotel for something truly to be grateful for!
One of Rochester’s most pleasant neighborhoods is spruced up in seasonal joy for Park Avenue Holiday Open House on the last Thursday evening in November. Here, over 80 organizations take part, providing entertainment, horse-drawn carriage rides, broiled chestnuts, and extra treats for the kids.
The trendy South Wedge neighborhood is also famous for its holiday celebration on the first Saturday of December. Known as “It’s a Wonderful Life in the South Wedge: A Handmade Holiday,” here there are holiday art and gift vendors, live musical shows, holiday-themed competitions and food trucks in the streets. Vendors share their goods at a market in the Historic German House and St. Boniface Church located at 315 and 330 Gregory Street.