iloveny-stack1.jpgBig Happens Inside and Out at New York State's Shopping Destinations   Albany, N.Y. --  Here are ten ideas to make this season's holiday shopping fun and frantic-free while snagging delightfully original New York State gifts for everyone on your list. Whether strolling the streets of historic towns or shopping at one of the world's largest malls, you'll feel embraced by the warmth of the season-inside and out-throughout the state. 1. Start early. That nip of chill in the air is a signal to savvy shoppers that it's time to start thinking of holiday gifts. Make your list and then plan scenic drives through the forests and farmlands of New York State to shop in small towns and at festivals and special spots along the way. Inspiration will come!   2. Get into the Holiday spirit. Historic villages and towns across the state don their holiday finery and carolers take to the streets for shopping celebrations. Among the grandest is the 30th annual Victorian Stroll in Troy (in the Capital-Saratoga region) on Sunday, December 2, when musicians, dancers, magicians and storytellers perform along the town's historic streets. In the Finger Lakes region, candle-lit historic buildings, carolers, children's choirs and riverside fireworks set the scene for downtown Owego's "Lights on the River Festival", on Friday evening, December 7, while Skaneateles shoppers enjoy an old-fashioned Dickens Christmas every weekend from now until Christmas downtown. Other standout holiday shopping celebrations include the Adirondack Christmas on Main Street in Old Forge (in the Adirondack region), November 23 to 25 and December 1 and 2, complete with horse-drawn wagon rides and a breakfast with Santa and Hanukkah House Museum, a celebration of the traditions, tools, and artwork of Hanukkah in Binghamton November 23 to December 31 3. Deck the Halls. Hand-crafted ornaments, wreaths and other decorative items make great gifts. Once Upon A Christmas and Red Sled Christmas Shoppe, both open year round, are among the many shops selling holiday items in Port Jefferson, located on Long Island. Plan to come November 30 to December 2 when the 17th Annual Charles Dickens Festival livens up the streets with a parade, choral groups and a Santa's workshop. Set on a 65-acre farm in Aurora in the Finger Lakes region, MacKenzie-Childs, Ltd features country-chic holiday décor, including nutcrackers, and quality tree skirts, chair cushions and table toppers as well as exquisite menorahs with shops in Manhattan and Long Island. And at the Sugar Loaf Art & Craft Village in the Hudson Valley, seasonal favorites include hand-crafted holiday ornaments, pottery and wreaths as well as handmade furniture, art and leather goods. 4. Learn the Craft of Giving. Hand-made items and original pieces of art are by definition unique, and each region of New York State offers opportunities to buy exceptional works at their source. For example, known for its comfy chairs and distinctive furnishings, singular jewelry pieces, hand-dipped candles and other traditional crafts, the Adirondacks provides scenic routes to the workshops of local craftspeople and collective venues like the Adirondack Artists Guild Art GalleryThe Catskills region, which features specific trail maps for antiques, pottery and other specialty items, also abounds in crafts. One standout is the Byrdcliffe Art Colony in Woodstock, selling works by local ceramic artists, jewelers, woodworkers, metalworkers, textile designers, glass blowers, and visual artists. And at the Corning Museum of Glass in the Finger Lakes region, visitors can sign up in advance to make their own glass items. 5. Discover timeless treasures. The joy of discovering that just-right object from the past makes antique-hunting so exciting. Hudson Valley is always a picturesque place to go antiquing and gallery-hopping in towns like Hudson, with more than 80 businesses, along with Beacon and Hyde Park. And in the Finger Lakes area, Corning's Gaffer District is rich in antique shops and glass studios, while historic Canandaigua is known for its delightful boutiques and art galleries. More excellent antiquing beckons in Binghamton, in the Central New York region, with its enchanting Antique Row; and in Buffalo's Allentown National Preservation District in the Greater Niagara region, known for its fine antique shops; as well as in Angelica (in the Chautauqua-Allegheny region), and in Lake George (in the Adirondacks).  6. Fashion the perfect fit. Hand-crafted items, often made to order, can be the perfect fit for someone special. In the Chautauqua-Allegheny region, have a desk made to order or select a homemade rug or quilt along the Amish Trail or pick up some  pottery, woodwork and furniture in the studios of Ellicottville. For hard to fit feet, consider made-to-order shoes from Aurora Shoe Company in Aurora, a charming town in the Finger Lakes area brimming with antique and craft shops. At alpaca, goat and sheep farms throughout the state, kids of all ages can often pet farm animals and select from sweaters, hats and other hand knit items. 7. Please the palates. From artisan cheeses to fine wines and beer, special interest "trails" across the state offer fun ways to sample and purchase tasty gifts. Holiday season tours include Wreath Finery at the Wineries, December 1 to 2, where participants receive a grape wreath and ornaments as they winery-hop the Shawangunk Wine Trail in the Hudson Valley region. The Finger Lakes, Long Island, Greater Niagara, and Chautauqua-Allegheny are also among New York's many regions with winery trails. Cheese lovers will enjoy edible treasures from the state's creameries, sheep and goat farms, where visitors can often sample and send the delicious cheeses to friends and family around the country. And for the cook in your circle, the Culinary Institute of America in the Hudson Valley region and the  New York Wine & Culinary Center in the Finger Lakes are great places to pick up cooking supplies and cookbooks while savoring a world-class meal. 8. Peruse the Malls. Shopping malls throughout the state make finding name brand gifts a breeze. Many offer valet parking and concierge services, but one of the most indulgent shopping experiences awaits at the upscale Americana Manhasset on Long Island. With shops such as Prada, Gucci and Chanel, this center offers complimentary personal shopping and concierge services. Here, shoppers can relax and sip tea in a cushy private lounge while reviewing the custom selections of their personal shopper. A destination in its own right complete with its own raceway and amusement park, the spanking new Destiny USA mall in Syracuse is already a top attraction with more than 215 luxury outlets and retail stores-and more coming all the time. The center is also home to Pole Position Raceway, an indoor kart race track, and a number of restaurants and entertainment venues. The much anticipated WonderWorks, an educational amusement park, opened the first week in November. Here, visitors can experience being blown away by 84 mile per hour hurricane-force winds, design and ride a 360-degree virtual roller coaster, and interact with more than one hundred entertaining and educational exhibits. In the northern part of the state, Canadian and U.S. visitors enjoy malls such as Champlain Centre in the Adirondack region, and Buffalo's Walden Galleria and Amherst's Boulevard Mall in the Greater Niagara region. In fact, all across New York, fashionable malls offer shoppers enticing combinations of popular brand stores, dining and often, on-site entertainment venues. 9. Shop for Savings. Bargain seekers can find most of their favorite brands at outlet malls across the state. Woodbury Common Premium Outlets in the Hudson Valley region boasts the world's largest collection of luxury designer and name brand outlets with 220 stores, including Chanel, Versace, Wedgwood, and Williams-Sonoma Outlet. The Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls also combines an upscale ambiance with outlet pricing, presenting 150-plus top designer names including Brooks Brothers, Banana Republic Factory Store, DKNY, LeCreuset, and Eddie Bauer. In the Adirondacks, the Factory Outlets of Lake George comprises four area outlets, while Tanger Outlet Centers has two factory outlet centers on Long Island: the Riverhead center with over 165 designer outlets, and the Deer Park center with 85. 10. Find inspiration at museum shops. Visiting a museum? Be sure to check out the shop for quality reproductions of jewelry and other collection pieces. For example, the Akwesasne Cultural Center museum shop in the Adirondacks specializes in high-quality Mohawk black ash and sweet grass basketry. Appealing to lovers of the American Arts & Crafts movement, the Copper Shop Gallery, at the Roycroft Campus Corp. in East Aurora in the Greater Niagara region, sells handmade works in a variety of mediums along with exotic wearable art and jewelry. And in the 1000 Islands-Seaway region, the shop at the Jefferson County Historical Society Museum in Watertown's Paddock Mansion offers a changing stock of items such as folklore books, reproduced coverlets, and Depression era glass.  For more shopping ideas, please visit    About New York State New York State features 11 beautiful vacation regions. New York's attractions span from landmarks such as Niagara Falls to the wine trails of Hudson Valley and treasures like the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. Whether it's wide-ranging outdoor activities for the whole family like ice-fishing, snowmobiling, skiing and snowboarding, culinary wonders and farm-to-table fresh foods, or the rich history and culture of one of the 13 original colonies, New York State offers big excitement and tons activities for all travelers. Big Happens Here in New York State. For more information, visit in late November for all of our winter activities. Media can find press releases and more at  

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CONTACT:       Melanie Klausner M. SILVER ASSOCIATES (212)-754-6500, ext. 243   Eric Scheffel Empire State Development (518) 292-5274