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Events help families enjoy the holiday spirit

‘Tis the season, and there is always plenty of fun leading right up to Christmas. Here are some ideas to help get us in the spirit.

The Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum (180 Thompson St., North Tonawanda) begins its holiday season of fun with Santa on the carousel. Kids can dance, sing, make arts and crafts and even have lunch with Santa Claus. The annual event will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 28, Dec. 5 and Dec. 12. It's great fun for kids of all ages. $10 per person with lunch. $6 per person without lunch. Registration and prepayment are required. Info:

The annual Festival of Trees is running through Dec. 3 at the Hyatt Regency (2 Fountain Plaza) in downtown Buffalo. Volunteers create amazing displays of gorgeously decorated trees for your viewing pleasure. Funds raised will benefit the new John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital. It's also a great place to take some family Christmas pictures. The event is free.

The Fairgrounds Festival of Lights will sparkle at the Hamburg Fairgrounds beginning Nov. 27. The holiday event for the entire family is $25 per carload. It runs every weekend from 5 to 9 p.m. through Dec. 28. Drive through a nearly 2 mile festival with more than 75 displays. You can also walk through the new North Pole Experience featuring even more scenes that lead you right to Santa and Mrs. Claus. Info:

As you make your list and check it twice, don’t forget about Christmas in Ellicottville. Your entire family can enjoy the unique shopping experience. The streets will be lined with white lights, a three-story-tall Christmas tree, live reindeer, horse and wagon rides and plenty of children’s activities. Christmas in Ellicottville is from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Nov. 28; all of the events are free.

Don’t forget about a great way to get your child’s list to Santa and help make wishes come true. You can support Make-A-Wish by participating in the Macy’s Believe campaign all the way up until Dec. 24. Believers of all ages can bring their stamped letter to Macy’s addressed to Santa at The North Pole, and drop it into the special Santa Mail letterbox. You also can create a letter online at For each letter received, Macy’s will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish to help grant wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions. It is a great way to show your kids what the Christmas spirit is all about.

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