Sparkle is the name of Corning’s biggest Christmas event. Every year the second weekend of December all the museums in town hold open houses. This year we chose not to take advantage of these open houses because of our long night on Friday. But since I wasn’t blogging last year at this time I will share a little of what we did.
We started at the Benjamin Patterson Inn . The Benjamin Patterson Inn was an old hotel set in 1796 for people traveling West from New York City while trying to find land to settle. It is now a historical site in which hosts/tour guides dress in period clothing and share about how the Inn ran back in the 17-1800’s. We first toured the grounds watching the black smith, then the hearth cooking (with samples) then went upstairs to check out their Christmas crafts fair. Here they were selling both second hand items and those made by workers at the Inn including candle holders made from old horseshoes and handmade quilts.
After this we took a tour of the Corning Museum of Glass for free. When we entered we were given a list of all their Christmas Open House activities. This included where and when local musicians would be preforming, the sales at the glass shop, free snacks, cookie decorating, children’s Christmas crafts, and glass making demonstrations. To add to this you can take pictures with Santa in front of their Christmas tree made completely of blown glass ornaments.
We wandered around taking it all in for awhile then headed over to the Studio. The studio is the active portion of the museum . At the studio you can take classes or with no experience needed create make-your-own glass items. Only for Sparkle the Studio is open for making many Christmas themed items for half the cost or less. These items include glass flowers, blown ornaments, and hanging icicles.
Last year Luke and I both made blown glass ornaments for only 24$ total!! It was a wonderful experience. Guided by a professional you blow air into the long mental tube used to inflate your ornament while your professional helper at the other end of the pipe shapes the ornament. You can pick up your ornament several days after it cools or have them shipped to friends/family for 4 bucks. This year we went and made ornaments as gifts.
We didn’t check out the Rockwell Museum of Western Art last winter, instead we went to their open house on Memorial Day weekend. But I know for Sparkle they also have craft opportunities for the children, live musicians, a Cowboy Santa photo op, vintage toy display and much more. Maybe we will go another year . . .
On top of all of this, on Saturday night Market St. closes down to traffic and vendors open for a street fair. Stores stay open late and offer sale deals, many also have live musicians preforming in their stores. In the Center way Square the local concert band, dance troops, and more preform throughout the day by Santa’s grotto where again pictures can be taken. Everyone can get in their Christmas shopping, enjoy local goods, drink hot coco, and listen to holiday music.
What winter holiday traditions do your cities celebrate?