Capital Region holiday events 2012

tree lighting fireworks 2009

The ESP always lights its tree with a bang. / photo: Sebastien Barre


It doesn't seem like Thanksgiving should be here yet -- but it is. And with it comes the start of all the holiday whatnot. After the jump, we've pulled together a bunch of the annual local celebrations, lightings, streetwalks, concerts, and other merriment.

This is not a comprehensive list. If there's something holiday-related that you're looking forward to, please share.

November 23: Ice skating rink on the ESP opens
The rink will be open seven days a week from 11 am-8 pm. It's free to skate. Skate rentals are $3 for kids under 12 / $4 for adults. Each Friday this season will include free skate rentals, thanks to sponsorship by Hannaford. OGS says the lockers and skate rental are now on the plaza level next to the rink.

November 23: Capital Holiday Lights in Washington Park
The annual drive-along holiday lights display in Albany's Washington Park starts Friday, November 23 and runs through January 4. It's open 6-9 pm Sunday-Thursday, and 6-10 pm Friday and Saturday. Admission is $15/car. There will also be three nights for walkers: November 20 (toy donation night), November 21 (dog walking night - $10 per dog), and January 5 ($5 person / $10 family) -- all 5:30 pm-8 pm.

November 27-December 22: This Wonderful Life at Capital Rep
Based on the film. "All the pleasure of Frank Capra's classic movie - in only 70 minutes!" $20 and up

November 29: Victorian Streetwalk in Saratoga Springs
Broadway in downtown Saratoga Springs will be closed from 5-10 pm for food, entertainment and all sorts of holiday stuff. And the downtown Saratoga tree lighting is the night before, November 28.

December 1: Hudson Winter Walk
Warren Street is closed off for festiveness, from 5-8 pm.

December 2: Troy Victorian Stroll
All sorts of holiday whatnot in downtown Troy from 11 am-5 pm, including music, food, decorated store windows, and people in costumes.

December 2: ESP Holiday Tree Lighting
The tree lighting for the Empire State Plaza, which also includes music, performances, and fireworks. And during the day is the annual train show (10 am-4 pm - $7 / kids free) and chocolate expo.

December 2: It's a Jazzy Christmas at the Massry Center
The celebration of Vince Guaraldi holiday jazz -- you know, as used in the Peanuts cartoons -- returns to St. Rose. This show sold out last year. 2 pm and 5 pm - $20 / $10 students / free for kids 5 and under

December 8: Santa Speedo Sprint on Lark Street
The annual partially-clothed dash for charity. There's still time to sign up and get pledges. 2 pm

December 8, 9: Albany Symphony Orchestra: Magic of Christmas at The Palace
Holiday tradition. 7:30 pm - $12.50 and up

December 8, 9: Northeast Ballet's production of The Nutcracker at Proctors
With two principal dancers from the New York City Ballet. There's a lunch with Santa ahead of the Sunday afternoon performance. $20 and up

December 10: The Christmas Music of Mannheim Steamroller at Proctors
"THE biggest selling Christmas artist of all time." 8 pm - $20 and up

December 13: Trans-Siberian Orchestra at the TU Center
Rock guitar holiday music -- really loud. 7:30 pm - $33 and up

December 14: Martina McBride at The Palace
The country star will be singing Christmas tunes. 7:30 pm - $50.50 and up

December 15: Cherish the Ladies at Troy Music Hall
Celtic music group playing classic Christmas carols. 7:30 pm - $20 and up

December 15, 16: Mountain Snow and Mistletoe at The Egg
Annual holiday folk show. $24

December 16: The Nutcracker at The Egg
Annual performance by the Albany Berkshire Ballet. $25 and up

December 17: A Christmas Story at The Palace
The Palace's classic movie series is showing the glowing leg lamp classic. 7 pm - $5 / $3 kids

December 20-23: Melodies of Christmas at Proctors
Annual holiday concerts featuring the Empire State Orchestra & Youth Choral. $25

December 21: West Point Jazz Knights at the Linda
West Point's jazz band playing big band holiday music. 7 pm - free

December 21: It's a Wonderful Life at the Palace
Capra's Christmas classic. If you've only seen on continuous loop on cable, it's worth seeing it on a big screen in an old theater. 7 pm - $5 / $3 kids

The Troy Music Hall and Capital Rep advertise on AOA. And AOA is a media sponsor of the Santa Speedo Sprint.


Any notes on where to hear performances of Handel's "The Messiah"?

First annual SantaCon on Dec 8th starting in Washington Park and going down Lark Street to the plaza and then to City Beer Hall. Get your Santa suit and join us at 5pm!

Any ideas on where to find a sing-along Messiah?

The Cathedral of All Saints is doing The Messiah on December 11th.
If you never been to this church, it is one of Albany's architectural gems, well worth seeing and the performance should be spectacular.

Thank you Jamie! St. Peter's on State St use to do it but I haven't seem them "advertise" it for a few years now.

@Mike Jones, I'm sure no one would mind if you joined in the "Hallelujah" chorus (if you keep to a reasonable volume and didn't upstage the choir ;-) )

@Mike Jones--apparently promusica does a singalong at St. Paul's in Albany

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