Christmas and the holiday season officially kicks off in Albany this Friday with a weekend of festivities at the Empire State Plaza.

Hopefully last weekend you got your tree up and decorated your house, because your weekends are about to get busy with fun holiday stuff to do with the whole family. The biggest of those weekends kicks off tomorrow in Albany with a whole lot going on at the Empire State Plaza.

Empire State Plaza Ice Rink Returns For 2021-22

After taking a year off due to the pandemics, one of the Capital Region's favorite winter destinations reopens this Friday, December 3rd at Noon. The Plaza website says there will also be a "rock-n-skate" featuring DJ T.G.I.F from 6 to 8 pm. Free skate Saturdays will also kick off this weekend with skating open from Noon-2 pm, 3 - 5 pm, and 6 - 8 pm.

Great Train Extravaganza

If you or your kids love model trains, the Great Train Extravaganza is back on the Plaza Concourse starting at 10 am featuring several working model railroads, the roaming railroad offering rides around the concourse, model railroad vendors, and more! You can buy tickets here.

Empire State Plaza Tree Lighting

The highlight of this weekend will be the lighting of the Empire State Plaza Christmas tree on Sunday, which will include an afternoon of full of holiday fun. Santa Claus will be there from 1 to 5 pm, there will be a rock-n-skate with local country favorite Skeeter Creek performing live from 1 to 5 pm, followed by the official tree lighting ceremony and fireworks at 5:15 pm.

Get out there and get in the spirit of the season this weekend - and Merry Christmas!

Capital Region Christmas Tree Lighting Guide

Looking for local tree lightings to celebrate the start of the Christmas season? Find one in your town of near you here!

Capital Region Complete Guide To Holiday Shows, Movies, & Events

The holiday season is here which means there is no shortage of Christmas shows, events, holiday movie screenings, and more. Here is a list of all our holiday happenings to plan your next Christmas outing.