9 Activities to Enjoy the Holidays in Binghamton

Posted by Madeline Loiaconi on December 13, 2021

The days have gotten shorter, the stars now stay out longer, and mornings are coated in a gentle layer of fresh snow, meaning it is officially holiday season here in Binghamton. It truly is the most wonderful time of the year, with downtown streets decorated in beautiful lights and wreaths, while Mariah Carey once again dominates the charts. You can make the most of December right here in Binghamton with festivities and celebrations happening throughout the month.

Walk through the Jungle Bells

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Animal Adventure hosts the biggest light display in the area. This year there are half a million additional lights, making this the brightest walkthrough experience you can get. Head on over to Harpursville to marvel at the dazzling displays and drink hot cocoa with your friends. Surrounded by penguins and reindeer, this holiday adventure will truly make you feel like you’ve entered the North Pole!

Tour the Roberson Mansion

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Nothing is more magical than decorated mansions around the holidays. Returning this year is Roberson’s Home for the Holidays, one of Binghamton’s most beautiful traditions with wonderfully decorated trees and sparkling holiday displays. Make a reservation and tour the International Forest, a unique display of trees that celebrate holiday traditions of cultures throughout the world. 

Ride a carousel

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Binghamton is still the Carousel Capital of the World. Recreation Park is celebrating the holiday season with Holiday Carousel Rides. Hay rides, horse rides and hot chocolate are also available, as well as the chance to meet Santa! Be sure to bring a pair of skates and check out the brand-new ice skating rink while you’re there.

Learn Christmas traditions of the past

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A tour of the Phelps Mansion Museum is the perfect way to celebrate a traditional Christmas in the past, present and future. While aweing at the beautiful Christmas-themed decorations, you can learn how the Phelps Family would have celebrated Christmas in the 19th century over a candlelight tour. 

See a light show

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Driving around to see the neighborhoods’ lights while listening to holiday music is one of my favorite things to do with my family during the holiday season. If this tradition is high on your list as well, make sure to check out Otsiningo Park’s BC Festival of Lights, featuring over 100 additional animated displays. The lights will be on display until January 2, but if you come before December 19, be sure to drop off a gift for the Toy Drive!

Watch ‘A Christmas Carol’

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The best way to spread holiday cheer is singing loud for all to hear! Listening to holiday music is one of my favorite ways to get into the festive spirit of the season. In its 41st anniversary production, A Christmas Carol returns to Endicott this year at the Cider Mill Stage through December 19. Relive your holiday memories in the past, the present and the future as you watch this holiday musical. 

Buy homemade pottery

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If you’re like me, you’re the type to wait until the very last second to go holiday gift shopping. However, with the Holiday Pottery Sale with unique gifts from the Roberson’s Clayworks Pottery Studio, finding a gift for a loved one will be easy! Pottery is the perfect gift for moms everywhere, so be sure to check it out if you’re in need of the perfect gift.

Be an elf!

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Whether you’re bringing a kid or just hoping to relive your childhood imagination, come work at Santa’s Craftshop at the Roberson Museum. Feel like an elf for the day as you help Santa make holiday crafts that celebrate all cultures and traditions. 

Attend a Binghamton Black Bears hockey game

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The Binghamton Black Bears will be playing games every weekend in December! Whether you’re a devoted fan or have never seen a hockey game, it is the perfect sport to cheer on while also getting into the holiday spirit. There is even a game on New Year’s Eve if you are looking to end 2021 on a high note. 

Happy Holidays to all Bearcats! 

Madeline Loiaconi is a junior at Binghamton University, majoring in English literature and creative writing and cinema. On campus, she is a member of the Alpha Phi Omega Community Service Fraternity and a content creator on Binghamton's TikTok account. 

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