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Continuing a new tradition launched last year, Chautauqua Institution will host the 2018 Winter Village at Chautauqua on selected weekends starting Nov. 23 through New Year’s Eve, Dec. 31. The festivities will highlight on-grounds shopping and dining, and include special events such as musical performances, wine and food pairing dinners, Breakfast with Santa, horse-drawn carriage and sleigh rides, and other seasonal activities.
The 2018 Winter Village kicks off at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 23, when the holiday lights and displays on Bestor Plaza will be illuminated for the first time of the season. On-ground shops and restaurants will be invited to stay open late that night, and holiday music will fill the plaza. Santa will arrive on a horse-drawn carriage to signal the launch of Chautauqua’s Winter Village and the holiday season. Highlights of opening weekend include wine tasting and small plates, Holiday Story Time at the Smith Memorial Library and Lloyd’s Food Truck and holiday beer selections.
The lineup throughout the series will include some of the most popular events and features of its inaugural year — kids can visit with Santa and write him letters in the new Poetry Makerspace, and pups will sport their holiday best for the Reindog Parade. Exciting new events and vendors include Coffee & Canvas, snowshoeing across the grounds, holiday movies, caroling from Fredonia Elementary School students, and holiday concerts featuring La Bella Voce Trio on Dec. 8, and Spiro Piano on weekends from Dec. 8 to Dec. 16. Families can also register for Tea with Clara from The Nutcracker on Dec. 9, presented in partnership with the Chautauqua Regional Youth Ballet. Some events require advance tickets or registration; see winter.chq.org for details.
Shopping experiences each weekend include: books and gifts at the Chautauqua Bookstore; clothing and gifts at the Chautauqua Wearhouse and Pat’s at Chautauqua; services by appointment at the St. Elmo Spa and various promotions, including cookies and cocoa for children after Breakfast with Santa at La Familia on Dec. 8 and Dec. 15; and services and gifts at Vincenza Salon & Spa. Open restaurants during the Winter Village include the Plaza Market, La Familia and Afterwords Café, all on Bestor Plaza.
The 2018 Winter Village festival is made possible in large part by a gift from the Branch family, in memory of Paul and Toni Branch. Admission and parking are free, and overnight accommodations are available. Visitors can sign up to receive email updates about Winter Village 2018 at winter.chq.org. Holiday party reservations are being accepted now via email at email@example.com.
Winter Village at Chautauqua is proud to partner with the Annual Mayville Merchants Holiday Open House Weekend Nov. 30 to Dec. 2, when nearly 20 area merchants will offer sales and prizes to holiday shoppers. Visit them on Facebook at @MayvilleMerchants.
The Chautauqua Institution grounds are open to the public with no entry or parking fees until our 2019 summer season begins on June 22. Some shops and restaurants, including the Chautauqua Bookstore, will keep regular hours throughout the winter and spring. Visit our Year-Round Dining and Shopping page for more details.