Must Try Winter Events in Albany, NY

Posted in Albany, New York, Events, Holiday, Seasonal

At points, the long winter months in Albany, New York can feel endless. The days are short and the temperatures are low. But have no fear – there are still plenty of ways to keep busy and make the most of your time! Here are some of our favorite winter events in and around the Capital Region.

Winter Events in Albany, NY

You don’t have to go far from your Downtown Albany apartment to be a part of the holiday cheer. Check out three activities that are within the city limits.

Annual Holiday Light Show

Get in the holiday spirit with the Market 32 Capital Holiday Light Show. Since the event’s debut in November 1997, it has brought holiday cheer to over 2 million visitors. Although there is no in-person show in 2022, as the show transitions to its new home, a special virtual experience can be found online.

Empire “Skate” Plaza

Grab your family, and friends, and don’t forget your hat and mittens as Empire State Plaza is transformed into a winter wonderland waiting for you to explore! This free ice rink is open Tuesday-Sunday with free skate rentals on Saturdays. The 2022-23 season runs from early December to early March.

Albany Chef’s Food & Wine Festival

Enjoy a full weekend of food-related events and competitions at the Albany Chefs’ Food & Wine Festival! This annual event highlights local restaurants, chefs, and their cuisine, while also raising funds to support the city’s arts organizations.

Highlights include:

  • Mayor’s Reception and Kickoff
  • Grand Tastings and Slider Slam,
  • Grand Gala dinner

The 2023 event will take place at the Albany Capital Center on Thursday, January 26 through Saturday, January 28, 2023.

Winter Events Near Albany, NY

The popular destinations of Saratoga Springs and Lake George make perfect day trips. They may be known for their summer draw, but their winter activities are nothing to snub at.

Saratoga New Year’s Fest

New Year’s Eve in Saratoga – formerly known as First Night and now officially called the Saratoga New Year’s Fest– is New York’s largest New Year’s Eve event outside of New York City. This affordable and accessible event is a great way to spend New Year’s Eve in the region.

Festivities run from 1pm on Saturday, December 31st, 2022 until 1am on January 1st, 2023.

Kids 16 and under are free, adult general admission tickets start at just $25.

Lake George Winter Carnival

If you don’t mind the trip, drive just one hour north of Albany to Lake George to enjoy their popular winter carnival. This annual family-friendly festival is a month-long celebration of all things winter and takes place each weekend throughout February.

Relish the warmth of tasty samples, witness hilarious outhouse races, participate in polar plunges, enjoy fireworks, and more!

Ice Castles

It’s official – the extremely popular ice castles are back! These actual ice structures are a hit for all ages and are returning to the Charles R Wood Park in Lake George for the second year in a row. Explore ice caverns, squeeze through tunnels, and take a trip down icy slides. Those 21+ can even get a drink at the chillest bar in town!

The ice castle is open 7 days a week and prices start at just $22 for adults ($15 for children).


The best way to stay warm in the cold winter months? Lots and lots of hot chowder! Saratoga Chowderfest is one of the most popular and highly anticipated events of the year and it returns on February 11, 2023. Mark your calendar and look forward to tasting all kinds of delicious chowder, and enjoying live entertainment and family-friendly activities all day long at participating venues and restaurants.

Live Near the Action in Downtown Albany

When you live in Albany Lofts at One Broadway you never have to wonder about what to do in Albany in the winter – your home base is always just moments away from the best the Capital Region has to offer!

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