The digital version of the 2014-15 Explore Greater Rochester is now available! To access it, click on the image above. 

BEST BETS: Dec. 5 to 11, 2014

A Rochester holiday tradition
Join Santa Claus and Rudolph at the Sibley Building and the Liberty Pole at 4:30 Saturday afternoon. Vocal Point and Prime Time Bass will perform as Mayor Lovely Warren switches on the lights of the Liberty Pole outside the Sibley Building around 5 p.m. Afterward, the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park Ice Rink opens for the ice-skating season. Visit Also this weekend, the Rochester Public Market's Holidays at the Market continues from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. Vendor tables will be filled with holiday-related art, crafts, decorations, food, gifts and stocking stuffers. You can also buy a tree, wreaths and fresh garlands, visit with Santa and enjoy a free horse-drawn sleigh ride. It's also planned for Dec. 14. Visit

Holiday Tour of Homes
Several homes and other buildings in historic Corn Hill will open their doors during the Holiday Tour of Homes Saturday. Among the walking tour stops is the Immaculate Conception Church, a Rochester landmark founded by Irish immigrants in 1849. Tours are at 10 a.m. and 1 and 4 p.m. All tours are $25 and offer light refreshments, such as coffee and cookies. Visit

Play Pals at Strong
An original, permanent exhibit dedicated to play opens Saturday at The Strong Museum. Play Pals is a 4,000-square-foot exhibit dedicated to exploring the evolution of dolls, action figures, toy soldiers, plush animals and other toys of the imagination through three centuries of American history and encourages creative role-play at interactive stations. Billy Kelly (pictured), a nationally recognized children's performer, takes the stage at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Saturday and at 1 and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Visit

On the big screen
"Still Alice" stars Julianne Moore as a 50-year-old professor who receives a diagnosis of early-onset Alzheimer's disease. "Dying of the Light" is about a veteran CIA agent who retired, but then uncovers evidence that his nemesis has resurfaced. Nicolas Cage stars. Find movie times.

Winter Dance Gala
The Hochstein School dance department presents its Winter Dance Gala at 7:30 Friday evening at Hochstein Performance Hall. The performance includes multiple dance genres, including modern, ballet, Latin-Caribbean, jazz, tap and flamenco. It's a family-friendly performance. Visit

Garth Fagan Dance
Herbie Hancock of American jazz fame and Jacob Karlzon, a Swedish improviser, created the music for a new work that Garth Fagan Dance is unveiling during its home season through Sunday. "After Hours," by principal dancer and rehearsal director Norwood Pennewell, was seen as a work in progress in September at the Rochester Fringe Festival. Pennewell has been with the troupe since 1978 and previously choreographed "Gin," "Liminal Flux" and "Hylozoic" for the company. Two new productions are "Roots," with music by Babatunde Olatunji and the Ingoba Drums of Burundi, and "Two Pieces of One: Green," with music by the late Tony Williams and Cristobal De Morales, a 16th century Spanish composer. Audiences will also have a chance to see last year's lauded "No Evidence of Failure" and excerpts from Fagan's celebrated collaboration with Wynton Marsalis, "Lighthouse/Lightning Rod." Based in downtown Rochester, Garth Fagan Dance performs all over the world. Once a year, the company brings it all home for five days of performances at Nazareth College Arts Center, its home stage. Visit

Roycroft Winter Festival
The Roycrofters-At-Large Association holds its annual Roycroft Arts and Crafts Winter Festival, a juried holiday show and sale, Saturday and Sunday at the East Aurora Middle School. Holiday music and refreshments will be available. Members of the Roycrofters-At-Large Association, founded in 1976, are local and national artists who carry on the handcrafted ideals of the original Roycroft community, an early 1900s American version of William Morris' English crafts complex that flourished in a time of increasing mass production. Visit To find information about other day trips in our area, see the digital edition of Explore or visit the Explore website.


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