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It's Time to Start Your Holiday Shopping in Corning & the Finger Lakes!


The Corning Museum of Glass
The Corning Museum of Glass

Well, I am officially nervous. I flipped to the next page of my calendar this morning and realized... it's November! Of course I knew it was coming, but I can't believe it's actually here! I even heard a radio DJ say we have 54 days until Christmas. Christmas! Halloween was just yesterday, and we still have Thanksgiving to look forward to. Yesterday, I went to a local supermarket to find a last-minute Halloween costume, and noticed that right above the picked-over Halloween candy sat Christmas goodies, just waiting to claim their spots on the shelves this morning, no doubt. I don't know why it surprises me, but every year, it seems the Christmas season arrives earlier and earlier.

As much as I love decorating the house and baking cookies, it's hard to wrap my head around the fact that I should start buying gifts. It's always such a struggle. In today's world... what do you get for people who have everything?

Winter Wine Country
Winter Wine Country

Luckily for me, I live in Corning & the Finger Lakes, where unique gifts abound! Nothing says "Happy Holidays" quite like a gift basket complete with award-winning Finger Lakes wine. I always make the rounds to all the Keuka Lake wineries, like Dr. Frank Vinifera Wine Cellars, Heron Hill Winery and Bully Hill Vineyards, to do some serious shopping a few weeks before Christmas. If you're thinking along the same lines this year, make the most of the experience and go during Keuka Holidays, an event on the Keuka Wine Trail. On the weekends of November 10 and 11, as well as 17 and 18, visit participating wineries and taste their finest wines complemented with hearty winter foods. Ticket holders receive a handmade grapevine wreath at their starting winery and collect an ornament at each winery along the way. Get your holiday shopping off to a great start! Click here to purchase event tickets.

For some absurd reason, I've always been a rather big fan of Black Friday. I'm not quite sure what the appeal is - I certainly don't like standing in line, or watching people wrestle each other over the last hot-ticket item. But somehow it has always ushered in the holidays for me. Until last year, that is. Sure, I still headed to the nearest shopping center last Black Friday, but the next day, I discovered Small Business Saturday. I strolled along historic Market Street in Corning's Gaffer District, stopping in all kinds of charming stores where I discovered unique gifts for everyone on my list! Unlike the Wal-Mart I had visited the previous day, every shop was filled with smiling faces, genuinely excited to find special gifts for their loved ones - and support local businesses in the process.

Heron Hill Wine
Heron Hill Wine

If you still want to head out on Black Friday this year, however, why not go to Hornell, where Hornell Partners for Growth is having their annual Holiday Aglow, complete with carriage rides down Main Street from 5 - 8:30 p.m., a tree lighting ceremony and parade, and the opening of Santa Land at 6:30 p.m. Shop in the morning and enjoy the festivities in the evening! The next day, make sure to venture out to Hammondsport's Village Square or Corning's Gaffer District to find everything from specialty chocolates to beautiful works of art - literally something for everyone. Imagine getting all your shopping done in one day. Trust me, it's possible!

Rockwell Museum of Western Art
Rockwell Museum of Western Art

If you are hoping to get a jump on holiday shopping this year, Corning's Gaffer District will be kicking off Crystal City Christmas with the Holidazzle Shopping Weekend, November 9-12. Enjoy a long weekend of special incentives and promotions at participating businesses, as well as dining promotions and holiday samples. You'll collect stamps at each business you visit and enter to win a gift basket filled with merchandise from Gaffer District business owners. For more information, visit

Check out our special getaway packages, designed to help ease your shopping experience! Browse our list of holiday happenings to help you plan the perfect time to visit.

Get your loved ones something unique this year. Shop in Finger Lakes Wine Country - where the wine is chilled and the deals are hot!

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Holiday Season Open Houses
This time of year is all about spending quality time with family and loved ones. Whether you are traveling to visit family or sightseeing in your own hometown, getting out to explore during the holidays can create wonderful lifelong memories. To help with making those...
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