Embrace the Essence of Winter 

Call us old fashioned. And maybe it comes from living in small towns where winter is nostalgic and filled with memories of childhoods spent tobogganing and making snow angels.

Snow Angels

Here in Corning and the Southern Finger Lakes, winter is a special season with magical qualities you just can’t find any other time of year.

Winter is snowball fights (unless you’re an adult and then, well, what the heck) and watching your breath fog the air and catching snowflakes on your tongue (and, yes, we may have even tested out the theory about getting your tongue stuck on a frozen metal pole once or twice). 

It’s also a great time to just be outdoors taking in the beauty of the landscape. 

Magical Centerway Square Winter Evening Clocktower
Magical Snowy Centerway Square in Corning courtesy Brian Maloney

It’s about that warm wonderful feeling like being hugged that you get from bundling up. It’s about the cool crisp air and the way the sundry challenges of the day seem to melt away, especially when you come back inside for marshmallowy hot chocolate.  

In a way, the essence of winter can be found in those magnificent rosy sunsets or the shimmery morning icicles that hint about the wonders of a new day. 

Centerway Pedestrian Bridge and Chemung River Corning
Winter Sunset Over Corning's Pedestrian Bridge and Chemung River courtesy Luke Petrinec

Awaken the Senses

Winter is a time of warm baked cookies and scones and of steamy cocoa. It’s a time of footie-pajamas and onesies (yes, even as adults), and snuggling up with a good book or a good movie or just good company. 

Hot Chocolate Soul Full Cup
Hot Chocolate at Soul Full Cup courtesy Cagwin Photography

Maybe it’s sipping a little bourbon or other spirits to warm your bones (we have a couple distilleries specializing in this type of cheer). It’s the scent of cinnamon or chili. The satisfaction of soup and sandwiches

Craft Your Adventure Krooked Tusker Distillery
Craft Your Adventure at Krooked Tusker Distillery courtesy Stu Gallagher

Winter is that cozy-comfy feeling you get from wearing sweaters and enjoying wine and a fabulous meal with family or friends.

It’s about keeping things simple and authentic.

Snowy winter landscape vineyard
Snowy winter landscape vineyard courtesy Bill Banaszewski

Heartwarming Charm

Winter is a time for winter strolls (that’s why it’s in the name). It’s about ice skating or getting friends together for a bit of outdoor adventuring. 

Friends playing in the snow
Friends Playing in the Snow

While we’re at it, let’s get back to the small town thing. 

It’s about walking beneath those old-time lamp posts in the park and leaving snowy footprints on brick sidewalks. 

Soul Full Cup Winter Charming Small Town
Soul Full Cup Winter Charming Small Town courtesy Brian Maloney

It’s about stepping out the car and ducking into your favorite craft brewery or hometown bar for a refreshing pint (or two). And laughter with friends. 

Keuka Brewing Beers
Keuka Brewing courtesy Cagwin Photography

Restoring the Soul

Winter here is about quiet time. That nourish-your-soul-and-recharge kind of tranquility you can’t find just anywhere. Winter is a time to catch your breath, to relax the mind, to renew your focus.

Winter Snowfall Red Church Door
Winter Snowfall Red Door courtesy Brian Maloney

It’s also about taking a moment to yourself. And those closest to you. Maybe over a coffee or pizza or a work of world-class art.

Love Birds Couple on Market Street Centerway Square Corning in Winter
Winter Romance courtesy Robyn Baty

Trying Something New 

In the Southern Finger Lakes, the lines fade in wintertime. The experiences feel more intimate, more personal, more just about you. 

There are unique opportunities to watch master artists make snowmen and other wonderful wintery works or art. 

Vitrix Snowman
Artist Making Snowman at Vitrix Hot Glass Studios courtesy Cagwin Photography

You can even try your hand at making your own glass masterpiece. 

Hands-on Glass IMG_6735
Hands-on Glass Studio Workshop courtesy Cagwin Photography

There are also a variety of other hands-on activities typically available, like Wine & Design, throwing pottery, and even special workshops at local art centers (like this one making winter wreaths at 171 Cedar Arts).

Winter Wine & Design Hands-on Painting
Wine & Design Winter Hands-on Painting

Believe it or not, even world-class museums, like world-renowned Corning Museum of Glass and The Rockwell Museum, offer fun hands-on activities that are perfect for the whole family. 

Kids Rockwell Art Lab Workshop
Kids Rockwell Art Lab Workshop courtesy The Rockwell Museum

A Whole Other World

Winter offers a new and fresh perspective with regards to a sense of place (and all the fun you can have exploring it). 

Snowshoeing Winter
Snow Shoeing Winter Fun courtesy Bill Banaszewki

The great outdoors never looked so cool. We don’t just jean frosty, but we’re also talking about the various outdoor leisure activities you can only do during winter. 

ice fishing
Ice Fishing courtesy Bill Banaszewski

Whether it’s ice fishing, ice skating, snowmobiling, or sipping cool, delicious ice wines, winter changes the appearance of the landscape and the ways you can enjoy it, while also providing some of the yummiest ways to get a real taste for the region. 

Ice Sailing
Ice Sailing Keuka Lake courtesy Bob Magee

Put Some Magic in Your Winter

With quaint town squares, charming boutiques, locally-owned restaurants, and easy-going peaceful nature of things, those picturesque small towns we mentioned before offer the sort of moments you’ll remember forever.

Riverfront Park Corning Winter
Wintery Riverside Park in Corning courtesy Brian Maloney

Here you’ll also find timeless B&Bs and country inns providing an authentic sense of place, as well as being simple, heartwarming places to stay.

For more ideas on how to put some magic into your winter with a fun winter escape, request an official Experience Guide today or contact Corning and the Southern Finger Lakes today.