The late arrival of Thanksgiving this year means that we’re already bubbling over with holiday spirit even though we’ve barely finished giving the turkey his day. There’s just so much to celebrate and so little time.
We’ve put together a list of some of our favorite upcoming holiday events around Buffalo, so you can start mapping out your extracurricular activities in between all the shopping and wrapping and caroling you already have planned.
Best Special Event for Building Team Spirit
We, of course, have to give top billing to the event that so perfectly combines the old and the new in Buffalo. Christmas Spirits (Dec. 4 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at 500 Pearl) will celebrate the city’s best new venue with the sharing of traditionally festive holiday libations.
Guests at Christmas Spirits will receive drink tickets to sample up to 20 different tastes from local breweries, distilleries and wineries.
The event promises to be a feast for the all the senses, not just for the tastebuds. Along with the beverage tastings, revelers can participate in events throughout 500 Pearl, including:
- Get hands-on with a cookie decorating activity and a build-your-own-hot-cocoa bar
- See the beauty of the Forbes Theater ballroom’s impeccably renovated space
- Take a selfie with the man himself, Santa Claus
- Listen to fresh beats from a local DJ and live music from the Wednesdays at Aloft series
- Indulge in a little holiday shopping from a variety of local vendors, including Finishing Touches by Caitlin Krumm; Jocelyn Mahina; Bkindcity; Hubbardroadfarms; @buffalobraidbabes; @thatpopcornshack; Dragonfly Jams & Jellies; @NilandCandles; JustBeachyOBX; @travelinggrowler; @nelledesign and Predmore Creations
Those who are feeling nice and want to treat themselves can also pay a minimal additional fee to indulge in passed hors d’oeuvres and a dessert bar.
There’s no better way to kick off the holiday season than a merry gathering with friends or coworkers, or maybe a date night with your not-so-Secret Santa. If you’re really getting into the holiday spirit, you might even want to grab a room at Aloft to be able to fully partake in all the beverages on offer during the events (that is, if you’re not lucky enough to live at the 500 Pearl Apartments and be right at home right where all the action is)!
Best Special Event for Kids
“If you have a princess there, they will come” seems to be a truth universally acknowledged among parents of the preschool and elementary set (and even of older kids too!).
The Wonderland Ball (Saturday, Dec. 4, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., Forbes Theatre) brings together the magical mystique of Cinderella and friends with the only other guy who can compete as a crowd pleaser – Santa.
This event is a perfect way to spend a cold day indoors and still have your kids burn off some energy. Fun activities include a bouncy castle, as well as face painting, sing-a-longs, story time and royally delicious snacks.
Best Opportunity to Soak Up Some Holiday Sound
There are almost too many amazing musical events scheduled with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra to choose just one. Between the traditional holiday pops show and the annual favorite, Joann’s Classical Christmas, there’s a full slate of musical delights to enjoy and to get you into the holiday season.
This year, we’re also looking forward to two other fun events.
One is the Jingle Bell Jam, featuring the BPO playing some of the best pop culture holiday classics. The other?
Hearing the orchestra play the score from the holiday classic Home Alone in sync with the movie. The best part about it – this event totally gives you an excuse to squeeze in a movie night, and to feel cultured because you’re doing it while listening to a performance by some of the most talented artists in our area.
Best Way to Connect with Your Neighbors During the Holiday Season
Elmwood Village has the coolest vibe, so it’s no wonder that they have great holiday events scheduled so the cool people of their area can enjoy each other’s company.
The great thing about the residents of Elmwood Village is – they’re open to sharing their beautiful community with all of us.
The Holidays in the Village event is meant to bring the community together and encourage people to love their neighborhoods and to shop local.
During the weekend of Dec. 13 and 14, neighbors and friends will gather to browse the local shops and the Winter Farmers Market (Saturday, Dec. 13, Bidwell Parkway, 12 noon to 5 p.m.). Then the festivities will be taken up a notch with caroling, a visit from Santa, and the tree lighting at Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church (lighting scheduled for 7 p.m.).
We recommend grabbing a hot cup of SPoT Coffee, then heading over in plenty of time to write your letter to Santa before he arrives – they’ll have supplies available on-site. For our residents at 722 W. Delevan, we think a perfect evening might include walking down to the festivities and enjoying the lights, then grabbing a cozy bite to eat at JT’s Restaurant on your way home.
This is just a small sampling of all the good stuff that’s happening in the Buffalo area during the holiday season. This doesn’t even include the many other must-dos of the holiday season, like finding and decorating the perfect tree, attending the annual performance of The Nutcracker ballet, and, of course, indulging in your own favorite holiday traditions.
So, what do you plan to do to celebrate the holidays. Let us know if there are any of your favorites that we’ve missed!