New York State

It took a mere nine months to build the impressive New York Wine and Culinary Center in Canandaigua. The $7.6 million, 19,000-square-foot center on South Main Street, flanked by gardens and overlooking Canandaigua Lake, offers culinary classes, wine tasting and educational tours. There is a concierge desk; a Taste of NY Lounge for light meals and wine-and-food pairings; and an exhibit hall showcasing New York agriculture.

There is a fee to register and attend any of the several demonstrations presented by guest chefs and for the hands-on cooking classes; however, admission is free.

Speaking of wine, the trail is growing ever stronger and longer in Western New Yorks grape growing region along Lake Erie. Word is three new wineries are joining the Chautauqua-Lake Erie Wine Trail. Specializing in sparkling and ice wines, the Sparkling Pond Winery in Ripley is now open for tasting and tours. Sparkling Pond joins 13 other wineries in time for the trails annual Holiday Weekends event, taking place during two consecutive weekends in November.

The National Purple Heart Hall of Honor opens in November in New Yorks Hudson Valley, about 10 miles from West Point. It occupies the site where George Washingtons army camped toward the end of the Revolutionary War, where in 1782 Washington created the award, decreeing it be designed as the figure of a heart in purple cloth. The Hall of Honor pays tribute to those killed or injured defending the nation. Visitors can search out facts and stories about Purple Heart recipients. Officials estimate 1.7 million soldiers are eligible for inclusion in the memorial.

The Farmers Museum near Cooperstown celebrated its new acquisition earlier this season-the Empire State Carousel. The whimsical contemporary folk art was created by more than 1,000 volunteer artisans from across the state, featuring original carvings, paintings and quilts, each specially designed for the ride. The carousel depicts a colorful cultural history of the state. It includes 25 hand-carved riding animals indigenous to New York and 23 portrait panels of famous New Yorkers, including Susan B. Anthony, Jackie Robinson, Grandma Moses and Theodore Roosevelt.

The Farmers Museum offers visitors a first-hand look at rural and village life in New York circa 1845 through authentic demonstrations and interpretive exhibits.

Madame Tussauds, the famous wax attraction, in the heart of Times Square in NYC, announces new additions to its strange and fascinating exhibits. Over the years the museum has found novel ways for visitors to interact with the life-like figures carved from wax. The latest? Visitors can now check out Lindsay Lohans latest bling, practice movie lines with Will Smith, decide whether or not to vote for Hillary Clinton for President, and audition for American Idol Judge Simon Cowell.

Heading to the Big Apple? Companies like NYC Group Tours and NYC Vacation Packages offer groups amenity-loaded packages to see this years Macys Thanksgiving parade Groups can watch the annual event in style at a parade party and enjoy all the city has to offer!


Starting in November, Christmas blooms at Longwood Gardens near Kennett Square. Thousands of red poinsettias, snapdragons and paperwhite narcissus signal the holiday season. After dark, the night blooms bright with 400,000 lights strung on nearly 40 miles of wire throughout the gardens. Groups are welcome to make reservations for the Yuletide Buffet, a bountiful spread amid the festive gardens.

The Quality Inn Gettysburg Motor Lodge now offers groups of 20 or more Gettysburg and Washington, D.C. Overnight in Gettysburg amid the attractions and day trip to the nations capitol, just 90 minutes away. Soak in Gettysburg history with a visit to the American Civil War Museum and the Gettysburg Diorama. Visit the Eisenhower National Historic Site and dine with President Lincoln at the historic Dobbin House. Spend time shopping and dining at Boyds Bear Country. The day trip into Washington, D.C., includes stops at the World War II, Korean War Veterans, Vietnam Veterans memorials, and more.

Over in Lancaster, the curtain is lifting for the 07 Theatre season, with the Dutch Apple Theatre presenting the regional premieres of two just-released contemporary shows, The Full Monty, February through April, and Swing, July through September. While the theatre will continue to offer their most popular performances like Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Cabaret, show organizers also say future schedules will show, This is not your grandparents dinner theatre experience!

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