We drove through a blizzard around last Christmas to get to the adorable town of Skaneatles (pronounced “skinny-atlas” unless the locals were lying to me), New York at the northern tip of Skaneatles Lake, of course. This beautiful part of Upstate NY is called the Finger Lakes for its 11 long skinny lakes that were created by Glacier movement or the Goddess’s fingernails, depending on where you get your information.
The Finger Lakes in winter from above. Seneca (L center) and Cayuga (R center) are the largest, central ones. Skaneatles is the 2nd lake East of Cayuga. That’s Lake Ontario to the Northwest.
Skaneatles is home to the Dickens’ Festival and we just had to check it out. We also found beautiful architecture there and the snow – and I love snow, especially around Christmas. We don’t always get much snow in the city, so sometimes we have to go find it!
with Father Christmas (top) and A Christmas Carol
The town has actors wandering the streets dressed in Victorian-era clothing. The actors walk around in character and interact with visitors, also there was a reading of A Christmas Carol outside with a narrator, Jacob Marley, and a Scrooge volunteer from the audience. We heard a choir and ate roasted chestnuts. There was a magician show in the historic library in a beautiful room with restored wood floors and cabinets, and there was an antique miniatures display in the Sherwood Inn, which was built as a stagecoach stop in 1807.
Truly with the magician (top) and the library from outside
The town was just lovely in the snow with little shops lining the streets and costumed actors walking around. There are stations for free warm snacks such as the chestnuts, hot chocolate, and hot cider. The different activities are listed on a flyer, but it is more fun to ask the actors, or often they will announce when the shows are starting.
We stayed in Ithaca, NY, about an hour south of Skaneatles. We spent some time there seeing the waterfalls, hiking a little on the Finger Lakes Trail, and also went to a Christmas tree farm.
Really and Truly hiking, Cleverly with an icicle
There was less snow in Ithaca, but it was cold and the kids had fun finding icicles and climbing the gorge rocks.
a bench at the Southview Christmas tree farm, Really at the outhouse
Hiking on the Finger Lakes Trail