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A few ways to get in the holiday spirit

“It’s Christmas time in the city,” the song chorus goes, and even as you drive past homes and stores alike adorned for the holidays, it’s hard to believe without snow on the ground. Luckily there are plenty of activities around Western New York to brighten your holiday spirit.


Snow or no snow, you can go ice-skating. If the Canalside rink is too crowded (see accompanying article), you can skate for free at the Rotary Rink at Fountain Plaza. The rink features a Christmas tree for the season. Skate rentals are available for $3. Hours are on the website

You also can skate on the rink used for the NHL Winter Classic in 2008. The Healthy Zone Rink is located in East Aurora. Admission is $5, skate rentals are $3. Visit the website, for public skating hours.


The Aurora Theatre in East Aurora is featuring free screenings of Christmas favorites on Saturdays and select Sundays at 11 a.m. The theater also is displaying a collection of props and costumes from “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”

For $5 per ticket, visit the North Park Theatre on Saturday or Sunday at 11:30 a.m. and enjoy more of your favorite Christmas classics! Go to for more information on the screenings.


The Hamburg Fairgrounds Festival of Lights features streets of buildings decorated for the holidays. The festival has holiday-themed activities, shows and displays. The One Buffalo Express takes visitors on a train ride around the grounds to see the thousands of lights. The cost is $25 per carload. Dates and hours are available on the website.

Cross the border and visit the Winter Festival of Lights in Niagara Falls, Ont. Drive your car along an illuminated 5-kilometer route and enjoy all the bright displays! The festival is open until January 31. Donations of $5-$10 per car are suggested. For hours and more details, visit

Catherine Reed is a freshman at Orchard Park High School.