Historic Tours To Take This Holiday Season

By Brian Hayden

Published on | Last Updated

A lot has changed in Buffalo Niagara over years, but year-end holiday celebrations have remained a constant and been passed down from generation to generation. Several of our top historical attractions and tour companies are recreating Christmas past with holiday tours transporting you to another era. Here are five of our favorites, broken down by the era each tour will be celebrating:

Castle by Candlelight – Photo courtesy of Old Fort Niagara

18th Century: Old Fort Niagara was an integral part of Western New York as the region changed hands from French to British and ultimately American control. The fort’s centuries-old buildings and grounds are decked out for its Castle by Candlelight Tour on Dec. 11 & 18 and Living History for the Holidays event from Dec. 27 to Dec. 31, complete with a rifle salute and historically accurate characters.

19th Century: Early settlers built homes and communities across the Niagara frontier, including the countryside of the town of Amherst. Homes and businesses from that era now form the present-day Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village. On Dec. 14, don’t miss their Holiday Market with special appearances Christmas characters local 40+ local vendors, food trucks, caroling and live music, children’s stories read aloud, giveaways, and more!

Victorian Luncheons at the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site

1901: President Theodore Roosevelt took the oath of office in Buffalo at the Wilcox Mansion. For the last 40+ years, the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site has decorated the mansion as it would have appeared in that Victorian era. Take one of the regularly offered tours to see the home decked out for the holidays during the site’s Victorian Christmas from Dec. 1 to Dec. 12.

1907: Buffalo’s boom of magnificent American architecture was in full swing with the completion of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Martin House Complex. Stop by the recently restored Martin House and Barton House to see the “Tree of Light” on in the plaza adjacent to the house. Enjoy holiday treats, and explore the house which will be open for walk-throughs. Plus, the Museum Store will be fully stocked for holiday shopping.

Brian Hayden headshot

Brian Hayden

Brian Hayden served as Visit Buffalo Niagara's Communications Manager from 2014 to 2020 after working as a newspaper reporter and social media manager in Northern New York. Tweet to him @brian_hayden.