News & Announcements

Chautauqua Institution Launches Winter Village at Chautauqua

Regional Community Invited to Five-weekend Series of Holiday Events Beginning Nov. 24

CHAUTAUQUA, N.Y. — Chautauqua Institution today announced the Winter Village at Chautauqua, set to launch Nov. 24 and running on weekends through New Year’s Eve. A new family-oriented initiative, the Winter Village showcases Chautauqua’s picturesque grounds and boutique shops, restaurants, spas and other businesses in a celebration of the joy and fellowship of the holiday season. Highlights include a holiday lighting display across Bestor Plaza, activities for children including visits from Santa, holiday shopping, treat-decorating classes, food and drink, outdoor fire pits and special events every weekend.

WinterVillageLogo outlinesThe Winter Village at Chautauqua will be held over five weekends from Nov. 24 to Dec. 31 (excluding Dec. 22 to 24) on the Institution's grounds, from 4 to 8 p.m. on Fridays, and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Admission and parking are free for all weekends. A special “Light the Plaza” opening-night event will commence the festivities — and showcase the enhanced lighting display — at 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 24.  

“Our grounds are a tremendous but underutilized year-round destination, and the Winter Village is a major first step as we seek to expand Chautauqua’s reach and world-class offerings beyond our usual summer season,” said Michael E. Hill, president of Chautauqua Institution. “We are excited to invite and welcome our friends and neighbors to help write a new chapter in the Chautauqua story, and to create new family traditions and memories.” 

Each weekend’s activities will be centered on Bestor Plaza, the Institution’s town square, including the holiday lighting display, beverages and snacks with outdoor fire pits, horse-drawn sleigh or wagon rides, and opportunities to meet or write letters to Santa. 

In addition to the standard offerings, on selected dates, patrons can partake in Breakfast with Santa, Holiday Treat Decorating Classes with award-winning chefs, Wine Tastes and Small Plates pairing events, a Holiday Wreath Auction and Men’s Holiday Shopping Nights, along with a number of Chautauqua community events. See for more details; pre-registration is required for some events. 

Shopping experiences each weekend include: books and gifts at the Chautauqua Bookstore; stocking stuffers at the Pop Up Candy Shop; regionally sourced and organic products at Biodome Project; clothing and gifts at Chautauqua Wearhouse and GG My Love; salon and spa services and products at Vincenza and the St. Elmo Spa; and original fine art and photography at Gretchen’s Gallery. 

Lunch and dinner will be served at the restaurants 2 Ames and La Familia, with lighter fare and hot beverages available from vendors on the plaza and the Full Moon Rising Bakery. 

Overnight accommodations can be reserved at the St. Elmo Condominiums, Maple Inn or Spencer Hotel and Spa, on or just steps from Bestor Plaza, or at private accommodations around the grounds (viewable at

Chautauqua and its restaurant partners are also able to accommodate catered office parties and other holiday social gatherings in several centrally located spaces around Bestor Plaza. Weekday and weekend dates are still open — contact 716-357-6306 or for availability and pricing.

For more information on the Winter Village at Chautauqua, or to register yourself or your family for special events, visit Admission is free for all weekends; free parking will be available in the South Lot on the Institution grounds, accessible via South Avenue at Route 394. A complimentary shuttle service to Bestor Plaza will be provided.

About Chautauqua Institution

Chautauqua Institution is a community on the shores of Chautauqua Lake in southwestern New York state that comes alive each summer with a unique mix of fine and performing arts, lectures, interfaith worship and programs, and recreational activities. As a community, we celebrate, encourage and study the arts and treat them as integral to all of learning, and we convene the critical conversations of the day to advance understanding through civil dialogue.