By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant
Why hibernate until spring? As you embrace the season, take some time for these activities to make your season more fun.
1. Take a sleigh ride. At Highland Park in Fabius (www.onondagacountyparks.com/highland-forest), horse drawn sleigh rides are available all weekend December through February.
2. See The Nutcracker. Whether in Syracuse (www.syracusecityballet.com), Rochester (www.rbtl.org), Lake Placid (www.lakeplacidarts.org/performances/nutcracker) or Clinton (www.kacny.org), bring your children — they’ll love the music, story and live action on stage of this ballet about a child and her very special gift — and her very special dream.
3. Tour Lights on the Lake at Onondaga Lake Park, lit throughout December and early January. The lights never fail to impress. The show always elicits “ohs and ahs” from youngsters and their parents alike.
4. Hear a Beatles tribute band. Beatlemania Now in Verona (www.turningstone.com, Dec. 1) or Beatlemania in Waterloo (https://dellagoresort.com, Dec. 13) will bring back memories of the Fab Four’s best tunes.
5. Experience the Empire State Winter Games (www.empirestatewintergames.com). Running Feb. 1-4, it offers an amazing winter sports venue and as many winter sports to watch as the most zealous enthusiast can handle.
6. Attend your local winter carnival. Syracuse Winterfest (www.syracusewinterfest.com, Feb. 15-25) and Warm-Up Oswego (www.facebook.com/wuoswego, Feb 3-4) bring out neighbors and friends for winter fun, but other smaller, community-based festivals such as Dickens Christmas in Skaneateles help you get out and mingle–and start tackling that gift list.
7. See a comedian. Tim Allen: Stand Up in Rochester (Dec. 2) or, in Syracuse, Gabriel Iglesias Fluffymania World Tour (Dec. 29) are sure to bring on the laughs.
8. Ride a holiday train. Adirondack Scenic Railroad in Utica (www.adirondackrr.com), Stony Creek Ranch Resort in Cooperstown (www.sncrr.com/train-to-christmas-town) and Charlotte Valley Railroad in Milford (www.lrhs.com) offer rides all December.
9. See Dancing with the Stars Live! at Turning Stone Resort & Casino in Verona (www.turningstone.com, Jan. 19). Whether you have two left feet or could cut a rug with Fred Astaire, this show is sure to entertain.
10. Visit a sugar shack during a Maple Weekend event March 17 to 18 and March 24 to 25. If you check www.nysmaple.com, you can find a list of maple syrup producers. The whole family can see how maple syrup is made. Sugar houses will demonstrate tapping and boiling. Many host pancake breakfast and other activities, as well as sell maple syrup, candy, condiments and more.