With Mother Nature
We began the game by tossing our sticks into a pile near the
center of the makeshift rink. Skaters traced laps around the
boundaries, acclimating themselves to the uneven surface of
the frozen reservoir and clapping their hands together to
keep warm. A friend’s father drifted over to the jumble of
sticks and began wordlessly tossing them to one side or the
A neighbor explained to me that this was a tradition for hockey
games played on that alcove—the oldest player would always
divide the pile in half, creating two teams from the group.
Years later I would relate this tradition to one of that neighbor’s
sons, on the same makeshift hockey rink. That was the way
it was done on our alcove, ever since the first time I bundled
up and trudged to the game, a pair of borrowed ice skates
dangling from my shoulder and some secondhand gloves draped
around an old Sherwood hockey stick.
Since that first game, for me, pond hockey has been synonymous
with winter. In the years since, I’ve witnessed countless
variations on the traditions those impromptu games introduced.
In their most fundamental sense though, pond-hockey games
have always remained the same, year after year. And the comfort
found in that repetition is, in a sense, why I’ve found myself
sharpening up my skates whenever winter draws near.
There is always a routine in pond hockey. The time-consuming
preparation necessary to create a makeshift rink is as much
a part of the game as the contest itself. The four corners
of the playing area must be marked off first, and then the
boundaries drawn between them. Depending upon the size of
the rink, shoveling off the excess snow can be as long a process
as the game itself—more so when shovels are left at home.
And only after all of this is done—trudging through the snow,
preparing the playing area, and strapping on equipment with
fingers numbed by exposure—can the game officially begin.
For some, there is a certain stoic beauty in the game. The
hard work that precedes the contest, the crisp silence of
a winter day broken by the rhythmic sound of an ice skate’s
blade as it etches a record of your motion—these are some
of the most fundamental elements of the brand of hockey played
upon frozen neighborhood watering holes each winter. Pond
hockey is a reminder of what the game was like before it became
a business, and a nostalgia trip to the sport’s earliest days.
When informal groups of skaters gather on frozen ponds, it
is as much an act of rebellion as it is athletic—a stubborn
refusal to let nature push us indoors. In hauling heavy bags
of equipment through snowdrifts and forest paths, we consciously
seek out a cold environment and turn it into our playground.
Simply finding the time and energy to trek out to that lonely
pond is an achievement, and it is one that can be shared by
everyone who makes the journey, from rugged old-timers to
pink-faced children and pampered suburbanites.
The inherent level of disorganization in pond hockey gives
the entire affair a particularly Norman Rockwell flavor. Games
are played until the rosters dwindle past the point of sustaining
a worthwhile competition, often leaving the last few skaters
runny-nosed, red-cheeked and reluctant to call the game to
a close. There are few satisfactions in the world comparable
to a warm room after a day spent on the ice—and in this case,
the comfort becomes something earned, and as such, appreciated
all the more.
Without a doubt, I’ll be plodding through the snow again this
winter, a bulky equipment bag slung over one shoulder, and
my trusty Sherwood propped on the other. Certain aspects of
the game may have changed through the years—the empty cardboard-box
goals have been replaced by expensive, regulation-sized hockey
nets—but in its most important elements, it is still the same
game I played more than a decade ago. Like a sting in the
wind that signals the beginning of a new pond-hockey season,
that familiar pile of hockey sticks begins every game. And
I’m quite certain that it always will.
been aware of that curious sport of cold-water swimming for
some time. My thoughts on the subject have changed as have
my experiences, but my first encounter with winter bathers
is burned in my memory.
It was my first time traveling across the Atlantic, and I
spent three wonderful January weeks traversing Ireland. An
evening in a crowded disco the size of a Las Vegas casino
gave me my first peek into the inevitable cultural differences
I would encounter. As I was there in 1989, it was far too
soon for this ill-fated genre to make a popular comeback (as
it since has—appropriately timed), so what goes on in Tralee,
I wondered, that would render disco desirable?
I took an early walk along a (I’m guessing here) Galway beach
mulling it over when I came upon my second doe-eyed-vacationer
moment. The beach was filled with swimmers, on the sand and
in the sea. They were all in bathing suits, splashing and
lolling around like it was a dog-day afternoon. Oh, the things
I have yet to discover about the Irish are many, I mused.
I have since learned that this was not an Irish Wonder of
the World, nor only an ancient Finnish tradition that followed
a sauna (my brother lived in Helsinki and spun yarns of the
butt-naked ice-swimming that was prevalent there), but paddling
around in water a third one’s body temperature is popular
wherever water freezes—and most common on New Year’s Day.
(Some metric-system citizens joyously report that by beginning
the new year at zero—degrees Celsius—there’s nowhere to go
but up. Others claim that the cold-water shock repels evil
spirits that would otherwise wreak future havoc.)
Others claim that a heart-stoppingly cold dip is healthy—and
proponents of this theory brag that they’re rarely, if ever,
sick. Many overseas organizations (based mainly in Russia
or Finland) conduct ice-bathing research to discover its possible
health benefits, as well as to provide training and emergency
tactics for people who are liable to accidentally end up in
frigid waters—or help those who do. “Our results will help
to save the lives of thousands and thousands of people,” claims
the Web site for the Moscow Regional Centre of Human Adaptation
in Extremal Conditions of Water Immersion (a roughly translated
site, it seems).
So while many blue-lipped backstrokers form clubs such as
the Polar Bear Club, and others form research communities,
no one, it seems, goes it alone.
gotta make a whole day of it,” onetime ice-swimmer Kyle Chick
says, voicing a unanimous sentiment among those who live to
tell the tale. Without the enthusiastic spectators and the
celebratory atmosphere, the adrenaline rush—a universal motivation—similarly
experienced during skydiving and bungee jumping, just ain’t
worth it. “You can’t just go by yourself and jump into a lake,”
Two years ago, Chick decided to brave the icy waters of Lake
George for a New Year’s Day swim. He did so out of peer pressure
mostly—“so many people talk about doing it,” he admits—and
to put an end to one friend’s constant yammering about Chick’s
compromised manhood so long as he remained plungeless. “It’s
a rite of passage,” Chick says.
Steering clear of the manhood principle, Chick has warm feelings
about his chilling experience. “Before jumping in you’re thinking,
‘I hope I don’t lose my breath and drown,’ he admits. “But
once you hit the water your instincts take over and you head
for the shore.”
Chick recommends a bit of training prior to the swim, though
he had none. “Running around outside in your underwear” will
acclimate one to colder temperatures and remove the dread
of becoming a human Popsicle once you hit the water—which
Chick admits he feared.
one of those things that makes you feel human, feel alive,”
Chick says about the experience. (His chest must have heaved
along with his heartbeat in a unique manner). Along those
lines, participants feel as though they’re cheating death
in some way—having momentary power over that which cannot
be controlled. It’s like eating puffer fish in a sushi place:
It may kill you if it’s cut wrong. Who doesn’t know that hypothermia
can kill you? Stay in a few seconds too long, and you’ve crossed
that line between clever and stupid.
Stay alive and you win. Your prize: feeling alive. It’s all
I have a distinct feeling that Chick tempts fate daily—“I’m
into electrocution,” he reveals, and his job as an electrician
offers him myriad opportunities for such—but he still gained
some thank-God-I’m-alive-and-speaking-of-God-he’s-a- mysterious-and-wonderful-force
perspective on that winter’s day of 2000. But the outcome
wasn’t completely rosy, Chick says. “I look back on it and
get really upset that I didn’t get a T-shirt.”
Mountain, New Ashford. (413) 738-5500. There is no skiing
or snowboarding for the 2003-2004 season. There will only
be snowtubing. Snow phone (413) 443-4751. www.skibrodie.com.
Ski Area, Pittsfield. (413) 442-8316. Vertical drop 750
ft. 21 trails, 5 lifts, snowboard park. Ski/snowboard/snowblade
rentals available. Adult lift ticket: $25 weekday and weekends.
Snow phone (413) 442-2436. www.bousquets.com.
Peak, Hancock. (413) 738-5500. Vertical drop 1,150 ft.
40 trails, 8 lifts, snowboard terrain park with half-pipe.
Ski/snowboard rentals available. Adult lift ticket: $39 midweek,
$52 weekend/ holiday. Snow phone 888-4-JIMINY (454-6469).
Butternut, Great Barrington. (413) 528-2000. Vertical
drop 1,000 ft. 22 trails, 10 lifts. Ski/snowboard/ski-board/snowblade
rentals available. Adult lift ticket: $32 midweek, $45 weekend/holiday.
Snow report (800) 438-SNOW. www.skibutternut.com.
Mountain, Highmount. (845) 254-5600. Vertical drop 1,404
ft. 38 trails, 8 lifts, snowboard park. Ski/snowboard rentals
available. Adult lift ticket: $33 midweek, $42 weekend/holiday.
Snow phone (800) 942-6904. www.belleayre.com.
Hillsdale, 325-3200. Vertical drop 1,000 ft. 29 trails, 8
lifts, snowboard park. Ski/snowboard/snowblade rentals available.
Adult lift ticket: $30 midweek, $45 weekend/holiday. Snow
conditions (800) 342-1840. www.catamountski.com.
Mountain, North Creek. 251-2411. Vertical drop 2,100 ft.
79 trails, 11 lifts, snowboard park, half-pipe. Ski/snowboard/snowblade/snowshoe
rentals available. Adult lift ticket: $47 midweek, $56 weekends.
Snow conditions (800) 342-1234. www.goremountain.com.
Mountain, Hunter. 263-4223. Vertical drop 1,600 ft. 53
trails, 11 lifts, terrain park. Ski/snowboard/helmet rentals
available. Adult lift ticket: $41 midweek, $51 weekend/holiday.
Snow conditions (800) HunterMtn. www.huntermtn.com.
Mountain, Glens Falls. 793-6606. Vertical drop 1,010 ft.
22 trails, 6 lifts. Ski/snowboard rentals available. Adult
lift ticket: $30 midweek, $40 weekend/holiday. www.skiwestmountain.com.
Mountain, Wilmington. 946-2223. Vertical drop 3,430 ft.
72 trails, 11 lifts, snowboard park, half-pipe. Ski rentals/snowboard
rentals available. Lift ticket prices not available at press
time. Snow conditions (800) 462-6236. www.whiteface.com.
Mountain, Greenwich. 692-7337. Vertical drop 505 ft. 14
trails, 5 lifts. Ski/snowboard rentals available. Adult lift
ticket: $20 midweek, $27 weekend. Snow conditions (800) 457-SNOW.
Mountain, Windham. 734-4300. Vertical drop 1,600 ft. 39
trails, 7 lifts, snowboard park, tubing park and terrain trails.
Ski/snowboard/snowshoe rentals available. Adult lift ticket:
$40 midweek, $50 weekend/holiday. Snow info (800) SAY-4SNO.
Peru. (802) 824-5522. Vertical drop 1,334 ft. 43 trails, 10
lifts, snowboard parks, half-pipe. Ski/snowboard rentals available.
Adult lift ticket: $46 midweek, $54 weekend. Snow report (802)
Mountain, Wilmington. (800) 245-SNOW (7669). Vertical
drop 1,400 ft. 44 trails, 7 lifts. Ski/snowboard rentals available.
Adult lift ticket: $45. Snow report (802) 464-2151.
Ski Area, Killington. (800) 621-MTNS or (802) 422-6200.
Vertical drop 3,050 ft. 200 trails, 32 lifts, snowboard park,
half-pipe. Ski/snowboard/ski-board rentals available. Lift
ticket prices not available at press time. Snow report (802)
Snow, West Dover. (800) 245-SNOW (7669). Vertical drop
1,700 ft. 130 trails, 23 lifts, snowboard park and 2 half-pipes.
Ski/snowboard rentals available. Adult lift ticket: $57 midweek,
$64 weekend/holiday. Snow report (802) 464-2151. www.mountsnow.com.
Ludlow. (802) 228-4041. Vertical drop 2,200 ft. 113 trails,
18 lifts, 5 terrain parks, 2 half-pipes. Ski/snowboard/snowblade/snowshoe/helmet
rentals available. Lift ticket rates change daily. Snow phone
(802) 228-5222. www.okemo.com.
Bondville. (800) STRATTON (787-2886). Vertical drop 2,003
ft. 90 trails, 16 lifts, snowboard parks, half-pipe. Ski/snowboard/snowblade/helmet
rentals available. Adult lift ticket: $59 midweek, $72 weekend/holiday.
Snow report (802) 297-4211. www.stratton.com.
Warren. (800) 53-SUGAR (537-8427). Vertical drop 2,650 ft.
115 trails, 18 lifts, snowboard park, half-pipe. Ski/snowboard/snowblade
rentals available. Adult lift ticket: $48 midweek; $59 weekend,
$61 holiday. Snow phone (802) 583-SNOW. www.sugarbush.com.
are located in New York state; telephone area codes 518 unless
Park Visitors Center, Paul Smith’s. 327-3000. 17 km. No
trail fee; no rentals. (Snowshoe trails also). Building open
9 AM-5 PM daily except Christmas and Thanksgiving; trails
Loj, Lake Placid. 523-3441. More than 20 km of wilderness
trails (not groomed). Rentals available at the High Peaks
Information Center. No trail fee. (Snowshoe trails also; snowshoe
rentals available.) Open daily. $9 parking for nonmembers
for full day; $3.50 after 1 PM.
Ski Touring Center, Lake Placid. 523-9605. 20 km tracked.
Rentals available. Trail fee $8, $4 children, $6 evenings.
Lessons available. Open daily. Full-moon parties. Ski shop,
Bar and restaurant. (Snowshoe trails also; snowshoe rentals
Ski Barn, North Creek. 251-3215. 40 km (25 km tracked;
15 km wilderness) Rentals available. Trail fee $14, 18 and
under $12. (Snowshoe trails also, snowshoe rentals available.)
Open daily 8 AM-6 PM.
Lake Inn, Chestertown. 494-4751. 20 km groomed wilderness
trails (snowshoe trails also), Tubbs demo rentals available.
Trail fee $10. Open Sat-Sun, and special holiday weeks.
Rivers Environmental Center, Game Farm Road, Delmar. 475-0291.
10 km. No trail fee. No ski rentals. (Snowshoeing areas also;
snowshoe rentals available afternoons and weekends). Trails
open daily, visitors center open Mon-Sat 9 AM-4:30 PM, Sun
1:30-4:30 PM, closed holidays.
Hill, North River. 251-2821. 55 km groomed and tracked
trails. Rentals available. (Snowshoe trails also; snowshoe
rentals available.) Trail fee $14. Lessons available. Retail
shop. Open daily, 8 AM till dusk. Lodge open till 9 PM. www.garnet-hill.com.
Mountain, North Creek. 251-2411. 24 km tracked. (Snowshoe
trails also.) Rentals available. Trail fee $8. Lessons available
with reservations. Open daily.
Lake Cross-Country Ski Center, Benson. 863-4974. 50 km
(38 km track set and skating lanes, 12 km dedicated to snowshoeing).
Rentals available. (Snowshoe rentals also.) Trail fee $11
weekdays; $14 weekends/holidays; junior/senior discounts available.
Lessons daily. Open Sun-Fri 9 AM-4:30 PM; open 9 AM-9 PM Sat
Mountain, Old Forge. (315) 369-3225. 10 km groomed/tracked,
10 km back-country. Rentals available in town. Lessons available.
(Snowshoe trails also, snowshoe rentals available in town.)
Trail fee $6. Closed Tuesdays, except holiday during holiday
Van Hovenberg, Lake Placid. 523-2811. 50 km tracked. Rentals
available. (Snowshoe trails also; snowshoe rentals available.)
Trail fee $12, half-day and children’s discounts. Lessons
available. Open daily.
New Course at Albany, 56 O’Neil Road, Albany, 438-2208.
No trail fee. No rentals. Open daily.
Hill Farms, Esperance. 875-6700. 30 km groomed. Rentals
available. Trail fee $9 weekends, $7 weekdays; junior discounts
available. Lessons available on weekends by appointment. Open
East Poestenkill. 283-3652. 35 km groomed/tracked, 15 km ungroomed
for snowshoeing and skiing. Rentals available. (Snowshoe trails
also, snowshoe rentals available.) Trail fee $12. Open daily;
night skiing available by prior arrangement, when a group
is scheduled to ski, or in the case of really good snow. Call
ahead to find out if night skiing will be available on a particular
Spa State Park, off Route 9, Saratoga Springs. 584-2535.
7 km No trail fee. Open daily dawn to dusk. (Snowshoe trails
also.) No rentals.
Haven Trails, West Galway. 882-9455. 43 km. groomed/tracked.
Rentals available. Trail fee $4 weekdays, $5 nights, $8 weekends/holidays,
$5 for kids. Open daily (open at noon Mon-Fri; open 9-5 weekends;
night skiing 5:30-9:30 PM Tue, Thu-Sat).
At some rinks, public skating occasionally is preempted by
special events. Rinks typically post schedule changes monthly.
County Hockey Facility, 830 Albany Shaker Road, Colonie.
452-7396. Public skating Mon-Fri noon-2 PM; Sat-Sun 2-3:45
PM. Adult skate Tue, Thu 11-noon. Open hockey Wed, Fri 10-11:30
AM. Admission $3; seniors $2; children under 5 $1. Rentals
B.I.G. Arena, 900 Delaware Ave., Delmar, 439-2211. Public
skating Mon noon-3:50; Tue 3-4:20; Wed noon-2:50; Fri 1-3:50,
7:30-9:20; Sat 1-3:50, 8:9:20; Sun 3:30-5:20 PM. $4; $3 ages
6-12; $2 age 5 and under/seniors. Rentals $3.
& Girls Club of Pittsfield, 16 Melville St., Pittsfield,
Mass. (413) 448-8258. Public skating Sat-Sun 2-3:45 PM. Admission
adults $4 nonmembers, $3 nonmember kids, $1 members. Rentals
Park Arena, 16 Clifton Commons Blvd., Clifton Park. 383-5440.
Public skating Mon-Fri, noon-2 PM; Sat 1:30-3:30, Sun 2-4
PM. Admission $3 during week; $4 weekend, $3 kids. Open hockey
Sat $10. Rentals $2.
Park, 2701 Lavin Court, Troy, 266-0023. Public skating
Tue, Wed and Fri 2-3:20 PM. Free. No skate rental.
Field House, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 1900 Peoples
Ave., Troy. 276-6262. Public skating Mon-Wed 11:30 AM-1 PM.
Admission $3 adults, $2 children/seniors. RPI students free
with ID. No rentals.
Ice Facility, 183 Eighth Ave., North Troy. 235-7761. Public
skating schedule is subject to change and posted weekly, call
for times. Admission $3 adults ($2 lunch hour), $2 children,
$1 seniors. Rentals $3.
M. Conway Jr. Ice Arena, Hudson Valley Community College,
80 Vandenburgh Ave., Troy. 629-4829. Public skating Mon-Fri
noon-2 PM; Sat-Sun 4-6:15 PM. Call for additional hours during
holidays. Admission: $3 adults, $2 children/seniors/alumni.
Students with current ID free. Group discounts available.
Avenue Ice Rink, Weibel Avenue, Saratoga Springs. 583-3462.
Public skating hours vary throughout the season; please call
for times. Admission $4 adults, $3 seniors/children 13 and
under; $3 member adults, $2 member seniors/children 13 and
under. Rentals $4.
Ann Lee Pond, Adjacent to the Albany County Airport, Colonie.
Pond, Near the junction of routes 2 and 66, Troy.
rinks, 261 Elm Ave. 439-4131.
(“Rafts”) Pond, Berkshire Boulevard between Western and
New Scotland avenues, Albany.
Park, off State street, Schenectady. 382-5152. Skating
when Iroquois Lake is frozen to a depth of 12 inches. Call
for times. Free.
Park, Schenectady. 382-5152.
rinks, 783-2760. 12 tennis-court rinks, call for location
Greenbush rinks, 477-4194.
State Plaza, Albany, 474-8860. Free public skating on
the plaza rink beginning December; schedule to be announced.
No skate rental.
Lapland Lake, Northville. 863-4974. Admission to the 280-acre
winter-sports facility is $14 adults ($11 non-holiday midweek);
$7 juniors, $9 seniors (non-holiday midweek). Kids under 6
free. Age 75 and up are free on Mon-Fri (non-holiday). Ice
skating rentals $5. Snowshoe rentals available.
rink, Fort Hunter Park. Free. 355-7450.
Spa State Park, off Route 9, Saratoga Springs. 584-2000.
Two rinks. Free. Open 8 AM-midnight.
Skating Rink Clinton Avenue (next to Bleeker Stadium),
Albany. Call for skating prices, times and hours. $1 adults,
50 cents under 18, 25 cents seniors. $2 skate rental. 438-2406
Park Lake, Washington Park, Albany. Skating daily when
lake is frozen to a safe depth. Free.
note: This is not a complete listing of all winter events.
of events for weekly updates and be sure to check with
your favorite mountain for an updated list.
Nov. 15-Dec. 31: 19th Annual Festival of Trees. The
Berkshire Museum, 39 South St., Pittsfield, Mass. A forest
of beautifully decorated trees and arrangements set amid the
art of the museum’s galleries. Open Mon-Sat 10 AM-5 PM; Sun
noon-5 PM. (413) 443-7171.
Nov. 15-Dec. 21: Annual Holiday Craft Sale. Spencertown
Academy, Route 203, Spencertown. Opening reception, Nov. 15,
4-6 PM. 392-3693.
Nov. 21-23: Annual Ski and Snowboard Swap and Sale. Okemo,
Ludlow, Vt. Three-day sale featuring some incredible bargains
on new and pre-owned ski and snowboard equipment, clothing
and more. (802) 226-8092.
Nov. 22: 43rd Annual Winter Sports Sale. Burnt Hills
United Methodist Church, 816 Saratoga Road, Burnt Hills. 9
Nov. 22-Dec. 11: Festival of Trees. Bennington Museum,
West Main Street, Bennington, Vt. Community celebration featuring
more than 80 holiday trees, wreaths and other seasonal decorations.
Daily 9 AM-5 PM. Free with museum admission. (802) 447-1571.
Nov. 22-Jan. 9: Holiday Shopping Showcase. LARAC, Lapham
Gallery, 7 Lapham Place, Glens Falls. 50 artists and artisans
offering unique, handcrafted items. 798-1144.
Nov. 23: Albany Berkshire Ballet presents The Nutcracker.
Consolati Performing Arts Center, Mount Everett Street,
Sheffield, Mass. 1:30 and 4:30 PM. Call for prices. (413)
Nov. 26-30: Annual Holiday Showcase. Proctor’s Theatre,
432 State St., Schenectady. Featuring more than 60 trees each
decorated for the season, live music and refreshments available
in the Holiday Café. Closed Thanksgiving. 346-6204.
Nov. 29: 33rd Annual Christmas Parade. Schenectady.
Nov. 28-30: Stratton Mountain School Ski Sale. Stratton
Mountain, Bondville, Vt. Fri 6-9 PM, Sat 9 AM-4 PM, Sun 9
AM-3 PM. (800) STRATTON (787-2886).
Nov. 26-30: Festival of Trees 2003. Albany Institute
of History and Art, 125 Washington Ave., Albany. The 20th
year for the annual kick-off to the Capital Region’s holiday
season. Wed 10 AM-5 PM; Fri-Sat, 10 AM-8 PM; Sun, noon-5 PM.
Nov. 24-Dec. 31: Sixth Annual Capital Holiday Lights in
the Park. Washington Park, Albany. More than 50 illuminated
displays and screens. Opens at 6 PM. Lakehouse open most evenings.
$10 per car, $15 per limo or 15-passenger van, $50 per bus.
Sun-Thu 6-9 PM; Fri-Sat, 6-10 PM. 446-4000.
Nov. 29: Holiday Jumbo Fireworks and Torchlight Extravaganza.
Mount Snow, West Dover, Vt. Annual nighttime show which
officially kicks off the Mount Snow Valley’s “Nights Before
Christmas” celebration. (800) 245-SNOW (7669).
Nov. 29: Lapland Lake Cross Country Ski and Vacation Center
Annual Open House. 139 Lapland Road, Northville. The new
season opens with an open house featuring a pre-holiday sale
of ski and snowshoe equipment, ski packages, clothing and
winter accessories. 863-4974.
Nov. 29: Stars on Ice. Olympic Center, Lake Placid.
Features Scott Hamilton, Oksana Baiul, and others. 8 PM. Tickets
start at $25. 523-3330.
Dec. 1: Nebraska Theatre Caravan presents A Christmas
Carol. Proctor’s Theatre, 432 State St., Schenectady.
The musical version of Dickens’ classic. 7 PM. $29.50, $25.50,
1-5: The Jim Cardenali Ski Camp. Stratton Mountain,
Bondville, Vt. Three- and five-day camps designed to develop
and improve skiing and racing skills. $100 per day. (800)
Dec. 2-4: Albany Berkshire Ballet presents The Nutcracker.
Boland Theatre, Berkshire Community College, Pittsfield,
Mass. Tue-Wed 7:30 PM, Wed also at 11 AM, Thu also at 4:30
PM. Call for prices. (413) 445-5382.
Dec. 4-7: 47th Annual Holiday Greens Show. Hart-Cluett
House, Second Street, Troy. This year’s theme is Twas the
Night Before Christmas, and the decorations will be inspired
by Clement Clarke Moore’s story. Open noon until 5 PM daily;
$5, $4 seniors and children 5 and older, children under 5
Dec. 5: Candlelight House Tour. Saratoga Springs. Tour
festively decorated private homes in the city of Saratoga
Springs, followed by a reception at the Canfield Casino. Tour,
5:30-9 PM; reception, 7:30-10:30 PM. $40-$50; put on by members
of Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation. 587-5030.
Dec. 5-7: 14th Annual Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas.
Full range of activities including a holiday performances,
exhibits and events. Commemorative button, $4; admission for
different performances varies. (413) 298-5200 or www.stockbridgechamber.org/christmas.html
Dec. 5-19: Holiday Candlelight Tours. Clermont State
Historic Site, 1 Clermont Ave., Germantown. The Livingston
mansion will be decorated for the holidays. Admission charged.
Dec. 6: Winter Walk on Warren Street. Warren Street,
Hudson. Performances in shops, strolling carolers and more.
5-8 PM. 822-1438.
Dec. 6: Norman Rockwell Museum Open House. Norman Rockwell
Museum, Route 183, Stockbridge, Mass. Come celebrate the season
with an evening of treats for all the senses., 4-7 PM. $4,
free for children and members.
Dec. 7: Sugar Plum Day. Bennington Museum, W. Main
Street, Bennington, Vt. Annual children’s holiday event. (802)
Dec. 6-7: Holiday Walk Weekend 2002. Downtown Williamstown,
Mass. Two days of holiday events beginning with a parade on
Spring Street at 3:30 PM. (413) 458-9077.
Dec. 6-7: Northeast Ballet’s The Nutcracker. Proctor’s
Theatre, 432 State St., Schenectady. Sat 2 PM, 7 PM; Sun 2
PM. $27.50, $22.50. 346-6204.
6: Ten Broeck Mansion Holiday House Viewing Days. See
the mansion fully decorated for the holidays and an appearance
by Santa Claus. 10 AM-4 PM. 436-9826.
6-14: Festival of Trees. Old Stone Fort Museum, 145
Fort Road, Schoharie. 295-7192.
Dec. 6-14: Gallery of Wreaths and Holiday Craft Boutique.
Columbia County Museum, 5 Albany Ave., Kinderhook. Silent
auction of wreaths made by local artisans and civic organizations
and hand-made crafts for the holidays. Mon-Sat 10 AM-4 PM;
Sun noon-4 PM. 758-9265.
Dec. 7: 15th Annual Breakfast with Santa. Junior Museum,
Eighth Street, Troy. A hands-on craft, musical entertainment
and a Victorian display from the museum’s collection are highlights
of this annual event which kicks off the Victorian Stroll.
Santa Claus will be on hand for the buffet breakfast along
with his live reindeer. $15, $10 children advance; $18, $13
door. 9-11:30 AM. 235-2120.
Dec. 7: 20th Annual Troy Victorian Stroll. Downtown
Troy. Annual tradition which transforms the historic streets
of downtown Troy into a magical stage of song, dance and family
enjoyment with more than 100 attractions including musicians,
dancers, magicians, storytellers, crafters, riders and refreshments.
Noon-5 PM. www.troyvictorianstroll.com.
Dec. 11: Festival of Trees Grand Finale Gala. Bennington
Museum, W. Main Street, Bennington, Vt. The conclusion of
the festival featuring a silent auction of trees and wreaths,
as well as the Ultimate Gift Givers silent auction with gift
packages. Hors d’oeuvres and libations in a holiday wonderland
setting. $25. 5-8:30 PM. (802) 447-1571
Dec. 12: Chicago City Limits in Revenge of the Reindeer.
The Egg, Empire State Plaza, Albany. 8 PM. $24. 473-1061.
Dec. 12: Candlelight Night in the Village of Kinderhook.
Kinderhook. Businesses open with refreshments, music,
wagon rides and a visit from Santa. 6-8:30 PM. 758-9265.
12-14: Greens Show at the James Vanderpoel House. Route
9, Kinderhook. View the house decorated for the holidays by
local garden clubs. Fri noon-8:30 PM, Sat 10 AM-4 PM, Sun
noon-4 PM. 758-9265.
Dec. 13: 26th Annual Reindeer Roundup Pursuit Race. Lapland
Lake Cross Country Ski and Vacation Center, 139 Lapland
Road, Northville. 10 AM: 5 km classic technique followed by
a 5 km freestyle technique at 1 PM. The event is an Empire
State Winter Games qualifier. 843-4974.
11: Simply Christmas. Pepsi Arena, 51 S. Pearl St.,
Albany. Holiday spectacular with Amy Grant and Vince Gill.
7:30 PM. $76, $51, $41, $25.50. 476-1000.
Dec. 21: Poland Spring Winterfest. Hunter Mountain,
Hunter. Product samplings, giveaways and interactive games.
Dec. 21: Albany Berkshire Ballet presents The Nutcracker.
The Egg, Empire State Plaza, Albany. 4 and 7:30 PM. $17-$30.
473-1845 or 426-0660.
Dec. 22: Poland Springs Winterfest. Windham Mountain,
Windham. Product samplings, giveaways and interactive games.
Dec. 24: Santa Is Coming to Valatie. Village Square,
Valatie. A party and parade for Santa Claus. 2 PM. 758-1656.
Dec. 27: Holiday Jumbo Fireworks and Torchlight Extravaganza.
Mount Snow, West Dover, Vt. (800) 245-SNOW (7669).
Dec. 28: Torchlight Parade and Fireworks Display. Okemo,
Ludlow, Vt. A spectacular display of dancing lights and fireworks.
7:30 PM. (802) 228-4041.
Dec. 31: First Night Albany. Features performances
in beautiful indoor venues in downtown Albany and the Last
Run 5K Road Race. Events 3 PM-midnight. Buttons go on sale
Dec. 1. 434-2032. www.albanyevents.org.
Dec. 31: First Night Saratoga. Features performances
in indoor venues in downtown Saratoga and the annual First
Night Saratoga 5K Run. Buttons go on sale Dec. 1; $10, $12
after Dec. 24. 594-8262. www.firstnightsaratoga.org.
Dec. 31: New Year’s Eve Gala Snowball. Hunter Mountain,
Hunter. Torchlight parade and fireworks. 263-4223.
Jan. 10: BLADES Monster Park Battle. Hunter Mountain,
Hunter. Annual snowboarding competition including halfpipe
and big air contests. 263 4223.
Jan. 11: Poland Spring Winterfest 2003. Okemo, Ludlow,
Vt. Product samplings, giveaways and interactive games. (802)
Jan. 17: Fireworks Display. Okemo, Ludlow, Vt. A spectacular
display of dancing lights and fireworks. 7:30 PM. (802) 228-4041.
Feb. 8: Battle for the Berkshires—Boardercross and Skiercross.
Ski Butternut, Route 23, State Road, Great Barrington,
Mass. (413) 528-2000.
Feb. 14: February Festival. Bromley, Peru, Vt. A presidents’
weekend celebration featuring fireworks, torchlight parade,
live music, dancing, dessert tasting and more. (802) 824-5522.
Feb. 14: Torchlight Parade and Fireworks. Hunter Mountain,
Hunter. Featuring a nighttime big air contest and a Burton
SnowSkate Jam. 263 4223.
Feb. 14-20: Snickers Snowfest Week. Okemo, Ludlow,
Vt. Presidents’ week celebration featuring Snickers
and M&M/Mars candy. (802) 228-4041.
Feb. 15: Torchlight Parade and Fireworks Display. Okemo,
Ludlow, Vt. A spectacular display of dancing lights and fireworks.
7:30 PM. (802) 228-4041.
Feb. 15-16: Budweiser All-Star Aerial Show. Mount Snow,
West Dover, Vt. Big air exhibitions featuring top pro ski
and snowboard aerialists. Fireworks on Sat. (800) 245-SNOW
Feb. 21: Mega Mother Hucker. Mount Snow, West Dover,
Vt. Big air competition featuring the top skiers and snowboarders
on the East Coast. (800) 245-SNOW (7669).
March 6-7: Annual Anti-Gravity Grail. Mount Snow, West
Dover, Vt. The first freeskiing event in the East features
skiers and snowboarders competing in halfpipe, ridercross
and big air competitions. (800) 245-SNOW (7669).
March 8-9: Budweiser All-Star Aerial Show. Killington
Resort, 4763 Killington Road, Killington, Vt. (802) 422-1700.
March 10-16: US Open Snowboarding Championships. Stratton
Mountain, Bondville, Vt. The sport’s oldest and biggest contest
draws the world’s best athletes. (800) STRATTON (787-2886).
March 12: Stars on Ice. Pepsi Arena, 51 S. Pearl St.,
Albany. Features Olympic medallists Jamie Sale and David Pelletier,
Kurt Browning, Todd Eldredge and others. 7 PM. $56, $46, $26.