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I really like the winter vacation season. I really like the snow, the lights, the festivities. Things are a bit totally different this 12 months, however I discovered that there are nonetheless methods to take in the enjoyment of the vacations and even convey a few of it again residence with you.

In truth, we discovered that taking in the vacation vibes is simple to do when in the countryside of the Finger Lakes. There aren’t any crowds, there isn’t any of the busyness of the large metropolis, and no traces to even fear about.

Here are the highlights of our favourite experiences.

The Farms

One of the issues we’ve loved essentially the most about our life in Finger Lakes Wine Country has been our proximity to so many farms. The accessibility to good, contemporary meals and wineries at reasonably priced costs has been such a life-changing expertise for us. To be capable to serve my household meals proper from the farm is just not a development right here, however a life-style. And there’s no higher time to make the most of all of it than when getting ready for vacation meals. In truth, we headed to one in all our favorites, Good Life Farm, residence to Finger Lakes Cider House, the place not solely have they got unimaginable cider but in addition serve scrumptious meals, a lot of it from the farm itself or domestically sourced close by. And in the course of the vacation season, they promote natural turkeys. We had ours for Thanksgiving and it was the most effective turkeys we’ve ever had. They nonetheless have turkeys on the market, so in case you are in search of a farm-fresh turkey for the upcoming holidays and don’t thoughts a street journey to choose it up, this can be a particular must-try.

There are additionally so many nice Christmas tree farms to select from, every providing one thing distinctive for everybody to get pleasure from. We determined to cease at VanDerZee Christmas Tree Farm. We went earlier in the season, so the farm wasn’t coated in snow – although one other factor we love about life in Finger Lakes is that it does snow in the course of the holidays and a white Christmas isn’t a far-fetched dream, making every little thing fairly beautiful and picturesque in the method. VanDerZee, like most farms in the world, is family-owned. They have tons of bushes to select from, all pesticide-free, and reduce your personal. They even have wreaths and serve sizzling cider, cocoa, and soup for these further chilly days, and on weekends you’ll be able to the additional heat of a fireplace to get pleasure from whereas taking in the gorgeous farm scene accompanied by the sounds of vacation music in the background. Like a contented dream. For an inventory of various farms, together with people who promote Christmas bushes, go to the Finger Lakes Farm Country web site.


Something else we found fairly early on once we have been solely simply visiting the world and earlier than we purchased our home, was how totally different the vibe is in the winter from the summer time. We love all of the seasons in the Finger Lakes, however winter is once we truly get to attach with locals and get to have the area “to ourselves”. This 12 months being an exception, a lot of the hotter months are busy and also you don’t get to attach as a lot as you prefer to with the winemaker, or the chef, or the shop proprietor, or the farmer. But in the course of the winter months, seasonal companies shut, issues decelerate and we get to get pleasure from our favourite spots largely by ourselves. It’s a enjoyable, non-crowded playground.

We liked going to Elf in The Oak for lunch and catching up on what’s new from a extra relaxed employees. We additionally loved having the ability to make last-minute reservations to the favored Hill Top Inn Restaurant and revel in dinner overlooking town lights of Elmira – one thing that will’ve been a bit more durable to realize in the course of the busier season.

We have been capable of benefit from the museums with out the crowds, together with the Arnot Art Museum in Elmira which can be internet hosting a vacation market that includes the work from native artists, a few of which I couldn’t resist and introduced residence with me.

Really loved taking in this candy museum.

The level is, the tempo is gradual, the winter views are gorgeous, and it’s the very best time to attach with our neighbors whereas additionally supporting their small companies.


Every 12 months my household and I take the prepare into New York City to see the vacation lights and home windows on show. It is a vacation custom we by no means miss. But, we’re additionally creating new traditions proper in the Finger Lakes. It is just not an exaggeration to say that most of the small cities in the world have typically jogged my memory of the picturesque settings seen in many Hallmark Channel vacation motion pictures yearly.

The first lights we needed to take a look at have been those displayed in Bradley Farms’ Twinkle Town. Turn on their vacation radio station (or stream your favourite vacation music), and take in over 200 individually lighted scenes from the consolation of your automobile. The complete show is a mile lengthy and you’ll go at a gradual tempo so that you don’t miss a factor.

We later headed to Corning, NY’s Market Street. The streets lined with bushes wrapped in twinkly lights, the tree on Center Way Square, and all the lovable vacation window shows are sufficient to melt the guts of even the worst Grinch.

For extra vacation enjoyable, The Rockwell Museum hosts an annual Gingerbread Invitational a gingerbread home competitors for baking fanatics and neighborhood members of all talent ranges. Museum company are invited to view the gingerbread shows and vote on their favourite.

And in fact, visiting the Corning Museum of Glass is a should for an opportunity to make your personal decoration (because of COVID restrictions, the glass studio will get booked rapidly, however it’s open year-round and you can also make your decoration or some other glass art work at any time). They even have a phenomenal glass decoration tree to not be missed.

Lastly, there are tons of vacation specials being supplied by wineries, breweries, and distilleries in the area, in addition to particular vacation dinners from native eating places. So if purchasing small and native is necessary to you, and I hope it’s, there are infinite alternatives to take action.

This 12 months will not be the 12 months you get to expertise the vacations in Finger Lakes Wine Country, but it surely undoubtedly ought to go in your bucket record. And in case you are an area, I hope this publish reminded you of how fortunate we’re to name this stunning place residence.

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