Play in New York’s western Snow Belt! Chautauqua County sits directly in the path of lake effect snow storms that gather strength over Lake Erie and drop more than 200 inches of snow annually. More often than not, the holidays are welcomed with a carpet of white and the winter season becomes a frozen crystal wonderland. This pocket of precipitation is precisely why winter is a perfect time to plan a visit for skiers, snowmobilers, skaters, and kids of all ages who love the cold outdoors.
Before the snow flies, celebrate the grape harvest in America’s grape country with Lake Erie Wine Country’s annual Harvest Wine Weekends, November 4-6 and 11-13. Guests will savor delicious foods prepared with local ingredients and paired with select wines at each of 23 wineries. While there, be sure to stop at the Grape Discovery Center in Westfield with a gift shop, exhibit room, and tasting bar featuring local wines and grape juice. In February, bring your Valentine for a luscious Wine & Chocolate Weekend along the wine trail.
Bundle up for charming holiday preparations, festivities, and shopping throughout Chautauqua County. On November 19 & 20, the American Association of University Woman presents the 61st annual “What’s New Fair” at Jamestown Community College’s Hamilton Collegiate Center. On December 3, celebrate Christmas Thru the Village in Findley Lake or Miracle on Main Street in Fredonia. Head to Lakewood the following Saturday for Christmas in the Village.
The Annual Holiday Exhibit at the Fenton History Center in Jamestown has been a favorite local tradition for 38 years. This season, see a “Space Age Christmas” which runs from November 25, 2016 to January 21, 2017. Make a reservation during the evening hours on Fridays from November 25th to December 16th and learn about life in the Fenton’s Victorian Mansion during the holidays when costumed actors bring the mansion to life.
President’s Day Weekend brings with it the annual Winter Festival in Mayville, February 17-19, 2017 featuring events, activities, and contests for all ages including fireworks, a flare parade, bonfire and horse drawn wagon rides. If the weather cooperates, you might see a castle made from blocks of ice harvested in the traditional way from Chautauqua Lake.
As the weather starts to warm in March and the sap begins to flow, look for details on the New York State Maple Weekends, March 18-19 and 25-26, 2017 when local sugar houses host seasonal celebrations featuring maple syrup.
For a full schedule of events and winter attractions, call the Chautauqua County Visitors Bureau at 866-908- ILNY (4569) or visit tourchautauqua.com.