The Ultimate 2020 Buffalo Holiday Bucket List

By Karen Fashana

Published on | Last Updated

That festive feeling is in the air all around Buffalo. That means the coming hours, days and weeks are the time to get out, drive-thru, visit safely and fill up on holiday cheer! Here’s a few ways to get into that holiday spirit this year.

Merry Mask-mas!

Festive Events

Fairgrounds Festival of Lights

The Hamburg Fairgrounds have decked their halls with over 2 miles of Christmas lights! Take a drive through over 60 illuminated holiday displays and over 1 million lights. Open every night in December except Christmas Eve & Day. Gates open 5-9pm.

More information here: Fairgrounds Festival of Lights

Canalside Drive-Thru

It’s the season of giving at Canalside! On select dates in December, head to Buffalo’s waterfront to visit the Frontline Worker Holiday Tree and receive a free themed holiday gift package like cookie kits, craft kits and holiday meals!

More details can be found here:

Christmas Movies at the Drive-In

Bundle up and catch a classic Christmas flick at the Transit Drive-In. Two weekends remain to try out the Drive-In in December. Elf, A Christmas Story, Christmas Vacation, The Croods, The Grinch and Die Hard are all on-screen!

More information here:

Poinsettia & Railway Exhibit, Gardens After Dark & Santa’s Workshop at Botanical Gardens

A nod to the holiday’s famous plant can be found bursting with festive hues at the Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens. Make your reservations in advance and then safely stroll inside the Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens’ conservatory (with the thermostat set at 72 degrees year-round) for this classic holiday display of hundreds of festive plants. New this year, their ‘Gardens After Dark’ series, Magical Poinsettias, will be held on select nights in December to complement the Poinsettia exhibit. Enjoy this series from 5:00-8:30pm.

More information can be found here: Poinsettias, Gardens After Dark, Santa’s Workshop

Dinners & Drinks To-Go

Salvatore’s Family Dinner To-Go & Visit with Santa Drive-Thru

Your holiday memories with Salvatore’s continue with their Dinner To-Go & Visit with Santa. Your meal purchase includes a drive-through visit of their outdoor Christmas display featuring a scavenger hunt and letters to Santa all done in the comfort of your vehicle. At the end of your experience, you will find Santa! You can take pictures with Santa and put your letters in their North Pole mailbox!

More information here:

Family Drive-Thru Christmas Spectacular(ish)?! at Resurgence Brewing

Throw on your ugly sweater and head down to Chicago St. for Resurgence’s Christmas Drive-Thru on Saturday 12/11. Santa’s reindeer will be on hand for the kids to check out, along with a visit from the Big Man himself. Mom and Dad can grab some beers and enjoy the live tunes from Tim Britt and Stephen Babcock. Drive-thru as many times as you’d like!

More information here: Family Drive-Thru Christmas Spectacular(ish)?!

Tom & Jerry’s to-go

The only thing better than a boozy drink is a WARM boozy drink!  A traditional Christmastime cocktail, the Tom & Jerry is a hot take on eggnog with brandy and rum. Savor a warm sip of this classic cocktail at one of our favorite spots serving them to-go this holiday.

Check out our blog here: Where to Get Tom & Jerry’s To-Go This Winter

Santa Parade at the Roycroft Inn

Santa is coming on Monday, December 14th! Decorate your car and drive up to The Craftsman Lounge at the Inn. Shout out to Santa, give him your wish list all while his masked elves deliver a special family dinner to your car. $35 and feeds a family of four!

Find more information here: Santa Parade at the Roycroft Inn

Virtual Concerts & Plays

Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra

The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra is offering their annual holiday concert virtually this year. Tune in to JoAnn Falletta’s Classical Christmas (12/15) by purchasing access for only $10.

More information here: JoAnn’s Classical Christmas

Shea’s Performing Arts Center

Experience A Christmas Carol in a unique way this holiday, while supporting Shea’s. Staged exclusively for this production and captured live with breathtaking clarity, this must-watch streaming event conjures up the spirit of Christmas and brings all the magic of live theatre home for the holidays. A Christmas Carol is available for unlimited viewings within a 24-hour period, on or after the opening stream date of Nov 28, 2020 through January 3, 2021.

Find more information here: A Christmas Carol

MusicalFare Theatre

Your favorite MusicalFare performers present a spectacular Holiday Cabaret and share some of their favorite songs and holiday memories. Purchase a digital pass between 12/16 and 1/4) for only $10 to give you and your family That Holiday Feeling!

More information here: MusicalFare’s That Holiday Feeling

Alleyway Theatre’s ‘A Christmas Carol: The Radio Play”

Their 38th season is more intimate than ever in this special radio adaptation of A Christmas Carol. Purchase your digital access today for $20 and listen as many times you’d like throughout December.

More information here: Alleyway Theatre’s A Christmas Carol

Christmas Stores

Deck your halls with ornaments and collectibles from WNY’s largest Christmas shoppe, Woyshner’s Christmas Shoppe. It’s over 16,000 square feet of pure joy, located in Lackawanna just seconds from the Botanical Gardens and OLV Basilica.

Check out our blog here: Step Inside a Winter Wonderland at Woyshner’s

Karen Fashana headshot

Karen Fashana

Lifelong Buffalonian with a crazy passion for this city. My job as the Senior Director of Marketing at Visit Buffalo Niagara is a match made in heaven. Go Bills!