July 25, 2024
mist Mist 64 °F

9 Ways to Celebrate the Holidays in Binghamton

Happy Holidays, Bearcats! The most wonderful time of the year has arrived, and what better way to celebrate than by attending festive events in Binghamton? It’s one thing to blast holiday tunes and sip on hot cocoa in the comfort of your home, and another to cherish the holidays with friends and family at a community event. Make the most of the season by exploring the local area and participating in these fun-filled activities with the people you care about!

Explore the Jungle Bells

Every holiday season, Animal Adventure transforms into its very own winter wonderland as it displays 1 million lights for friends and families to enjoy. There is nothing merrier than being surrounded by lovable animals and sparkling lights. If you come on a Friday or Saturday, you may even be lucky enough to spot Santa. Open now through Dec. 30.

Drive through a light show

One of the best ways to celebrate the holidays is by enjoying a light show from the comfort of your car. For the fourth year in a row, the Broome County Festival of Lights at Otsiningo Park returns with even more lights and out-of-car experiences, including fireworks, food and drink vendors, Santa meet-and-greets, and train rides around the park. Stop by before Dec. 31!

Celebrate Hanukkah with the community

The Jewish Community Center is hosting a community celebration. Come together and munch on homemade latkes as you honor this holiday. From the outdoor candle lighting to games and activities, there is something for everyone. Admission is free!

Donate to a toy drive

It’s a special experience to help those in need, especially during the holiday season. Take the time to give back and donate to local charities. Check out Marine Toys for Tots, which helps America’s disadvantaged children, and Demand Justice Toy Drive 2023, which aims to help children who have been negatively impacted by mass incarceration. These are just two of the countless toy drives you can donate to, whether that is in-person or online. You never know whose lives you could change.

Participate in this year’s Santa Run

2022 Santa Run

Running is one of the best activities in the world, in my humble opinion. Not only do you strengthen your mental and physical health, you open yourself up to so many opportunities to meet new people. Give this year’s Santa Run a shot!

Tour the Phelps Mansion Museum

If you ever wondered how Christmas was celebrated during the 19th century, now is your chance to find out! The Phelps Mansion Museum is offering candlelight tours most Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays in December. What can be better than seeing one of Binghamton’s most historic buildings transformed into a Christmas miracle with festive decorations galore?

Join Chabad’s annual Menorah Parade

Person smiling during Chabad's annual Menorah Parade

This parade is an unparalleled way to celebrate the holidays and Jewish heritage. Following the procession, which ends on Binghamton University’s campus, there will be an electric, musical celebration with Chanukah treats, music, and dancing!

Check out the Roberson Mansion

The Roberson Mansion embodies the magic of Christmas. It continues to be a community favorite, with countless holiday decorations and displays that will surely light up your holiday season. Admire the dazzling lights and decked-out trees and join the Binghamton tradition now through Jan. 6!

Get festive at Recreation Park

You can enjoy all things festive at Recreation Park. Ride the carousel and a horse-drawn carriage, take pictures with Santa, go on a hayride, and even ice skate (just be sure to bring your own skates!).

This short list is a good start, but doesn’t cover everything going on this holiday season in Binghamton. For more, check this out!

Brooke Gallo is an intern for the Office of Media and Public Relations, and a junior majoring in English and minoring in education. She hopes to become a high school English teacher. She can typically be found running, reading, writing and watching sports games.

Shawn Ammann is an intern for the Office of Media and Public Relations, and a junior majoring in English. He is undecided on a career path, but is interested in screenwriting and sportswriting. He enjoys playing basketball, running, watching movies and writing.


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