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New York Culture & Arts

Radio City Music Hall During the HolidaysHoliday traditions run deep – and kick high – in New York City: Radio City’s Christmas Spectacular with the Rockettes is one of the best ways to get into the spirit of the season.

Ring in the New Year at Times Square or in Chinatown, with a cultural tour-de-force, plenty of music, color and firecrackers. For a festive upstate First Night celebration (one of the oldest in America), celebrate in Saratoga. There’s even a 5K race so you can get an early start on those New Year’s fitness resolutions.

For a rush of big stadium culture, Nassau Coliseum has it all going on, from monster trucks to Grammy-winning artists to NY Islanders hockey and live Disney productions.

In the depths of winter, New YoWoodstockByrdcliffeGuildrkers know how to survive: with the arts! Winter is a wonderful season to attend openings and to visit art galleries. Dia:Beacon cuts a wide swath through contemporary arts. At Woodstock’s Byrdcliffe Guild, you can get to know the art that emanates from this longstanding artists’ colony, and sometimes even meet the artists too. Niagara University, Neuberger and Plattsburgh State University have extensive galleries and collections that span the centuries and styles for a satisfying visit.

Long Island’s six-week wine and music celebration and Buffalo Botanical Gardens’ “Night Lights in the Gardens” beckon with bright artistic invitations straight through the darkest weeks of winter. At Griffis Sculpture Park, a moonlight snowshoe tour offers a unique view of the massive metal sculptures at this beautiful rural park. Stay for the dancing and music while warming up back inside!

Alvin Ailey performances celebrate African-American culture and modern dance with signature style, and concerts presented by the Long Island Philharmonic, Binghamton Philharmonic and Eastman School of Music will nourish you until the spring thaw. If you get the winter blues, chase them away in Ellicottville at the Winter Blues Weekend – even catch a few runs down the ski slopes while you’re there.

CorningMuseumofGlass 120Why shouldn’t you take up a painting class or learn digital photography this winter? The Arts Center in Troy focuses on creativity in all the arts for people of all ages. Adirondack Folk School has the same mission, with the idea of preserving and passing along the traditional arts and culture that makes the North Country so distinctive. You can make your own glass object-d’art at Corning Museum of Glass, while taking a break from admiring all the exhibits and interactive displays about the art of glassmaking.

All over New York State, there are many fine community arts centers, concert venues, galleries and landmark theaters. Support local arts and culture, and they’ll support and enliven you, all the way through the winter season.


Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater 
NY City Center
131 W 55th Street
New York, NY 10019
Celebrating the uniqueness of the African-American cultural experience and the American modern dance heritage

Chinatown Lunar Year Parade, Firecracker Ceremony and Cultural Festival 
Various locations in Lower East Side, New York, NY
Massive and colorful, annual celebration 

Radio City Christmas Spectacular Starring the Rockettes
1260 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10020
Since 1939, classic extravaganza


Live on the Vine Winterfest (February – mid-March)
Locations throughout Suffolk and Nassau Counties, NY
Annual six-week mid-winter music festival in East End vineyard region

Long Island Philharmonic
Tilles Center for the Performing Arts
720 Northern Boulevard
Brookville, NY 11548-1300
Professional symphony orchestra founded in 1976 by folksinger Harry Chapin performs at Tilles Center and throughout Long Island; September through May

Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum
1255 Hempstead Turnpike
Uniondale, NY 11553
Everything from major performing groups to top-rated reality show auditions


Dia:Beacon, Riggio Galleries
3 Beekman Street
Beacon, NY 12508
Collection spans 1960’s to present; special exhibitions, new commissions, education programs

Hudson River Museum
511 Warburton Ave
Yonkers, NY 10701
Changing exhibits explain how this major waterway helped to settle the northeast; exhibits include marine life, art; lectures & seminars

Neuberger Museum of Art
Purchase College
State University of New York
735 Anderson Hill Road
Purchase, NY 10577-1400
6000+ works of uncompromised quality and variety; prestigious examples of modern, contemporary and African art


Catskill Mountain Foundation’s Doctorow Center for the Arts
Route 23A
Village of Hunter, NY 12442
Multi-arts complex with three-screen cinema, exhibition of period pianos, performance hall

Bright Hill Literary Center 
94 Church Street
Treadwell, NY 13846
Writing & visual arts; readings, publications, image gallery, programming for all ages, more

Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild
34 Tinker Street
Woodstock, NY 12498
America's oldest continuing arts & crafts colony; year round events & programs


First Night Saratoga Festival (New Year’s Eve)
Downtown Saratoga
Saratoga, NY 12866
One of oldest First Night celebrations in US; 70+ performing acts at over 30 venues; 20,000+ attendees; 5K Run; safe affordable fun for all ages

Palace Theatre 
19 Clinton Avenue,
Albany, NY 12207
Opulent setting, built at height of Depression, diverse popular acts and cultural events; annual New Year’s Eve Comedy Blast

The Arts Center of the Capital Region
265 River Street
Troy, NY 12180
Distinctive hands-on venue for all ages; encourages creativity and development of untapped talents; performances, programs & services for 35,000+ people annually


Adirondack Folk School
51 Main Street
Lake Luzerne, NY 12846
Only school of its kind in US dedicated to teaching arts, crafts & culture of Adirondacks

Charles R. Wood Theater
207 Glen Street
Glens Falls, NY 12801
300 seat theater, year-round performing arts facility; traditional to cutting edge programming

Plattsburgh State Art Museum
Plattsburgh State University of New York
101 Broad Street
Plattsburgh, NY 12901
Over 4,600 works of art & artifacts ranging from antiquities to contemporary art; one of the most complete collections of works of Rockwell Kent; year-round exhibitions 


Clayton Opera House
405 Riverside Drive
Clayton, NY 13624
National Register of Historic Places; former vaudeville theater; year-round performance & community center

Jefferson County Historical Society Museum
228 Washington Street
Watertown, NY 13601
Founded in 1886; collects artifacts & county historical materials; located in the 19th century Paddock Mansion

Safe Haven Museum and Education Center
2 East 7th Street
Oswego, NY 13126
Dedicated to keeping alive the memory of 982 WWII refuges who were allowed into the US as “guests” of President Roosevelt; exhibits, store, events


Binghamton Philharmonic
168 Water Street
Binghamton, NY 13901
Professional symphony orchestra performs live classical music for broad regional audience; pops & chamber concerts also

Earlville Opera House
18 E. Main Street
Earlville, NY 13332
Since 1892, now theater performances, tours, exhibits

Rome Capitol Theatre
220 W. Dominick Street
Rome, NY 13440
Downtown gem since 1928; silent & classic movies, live theatrical productions, musical concerts, dance


Corning Museum of Glass
1 Museum Way
Corning, NY 14830
Visit the Holiday Ornament Tree; view live demonstrations; make your own glass; 35 centuries of glass art, from ancient to contemporary works

Eastman School of Music
University of Rochester
26 Gibbs Street
Rochester, NY 14604
Founded in 1921; one of the world’s most renowned professional music schools; presents concerts, recitals and numerous creative endeavors

Willard Memorial Chapel
17 Nelson Street
Auburn, NY 13021
The only complete and unaltered Tiffany-designed religious interior in the world


Buffalo Botanical Gardens
Night Lights at the Gardens (January-March)
2655 South Park Avenue
Buffalo, New York 14218
Illuminated during evening hours; advancing appreciation for and knowledge of plant life and its connection to people and cultures

Castellani Art Museum of Niagara University
5795 Lewiston Road
Niagara University, NY 14109-1938
Exhibitions of nationally known & emerging artists & traditional artists; permanent collection of over 5,700 works of art including Picasso, Miro, Calder, others

Kleinhans Music Hall
3 Symphony Circle
Buffalo, NY 14201
National Historic Landmark; one of the finest concert halls in the US; opened in 1940; eclectic performance offerings


1891 Fredonia Opera House 
9 Church Street
Fredonia, NY 14063
Concerts, movies and “Live at The Met” 

Griffis Sculpture Park
Moonlight Snowshoe Tour (February)
6902 Mill Valley Road
East Otto, NY 14729
Annual event, snowshoeing to various sculptures, food and music; dancing afterwards

Winter Blues Weekend (early January)
Town of Ellicottville, NY 14731
Two days of blues music in historic ski village


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