Chautauqua Institution plans for 2nd annual Winter Village festival

Santa Claus leads creative canines in the Reindog Parade Dec. 10, 2017, on Bestor Plaza during the Winter Village. Chautauqua will again host the Winter Village on weekends starting Nov. 23. DAVE MUNCH / CHAUTAUQUA INSTITUTION

Continuing a new tradition launched in 2017, Chautauqua Institution will host the Winter Village at Chautauqua on selected weekends starting Nov. 23 through New Year’s Eve, Dec. 31. The series of weekend activities will highlight on-grounds shopping and dining, and include special events such as wine and food pairing dinners, Breakfast with Santa, horse-drawn carriage and sleigh rides, and other seasonal activities.

“We launched Winter Village last year as an experiment to see whether there would be an interest in this type of programming at Chautauqua and whether we had the bandwidth to pull it off,” said Chautauqua Institution President Michael E. Hill. “We learned that the regional community was thrilled to be invited to enjoy the grounds, shops, restaurants and special environment during the winter holidays. Winter Village visitors asked us repeatedly if we were going to host the Winter Village every year.”

This winter’s program will include some of the most popular events and features of its inaugural year, and hopefully some new vendors and events as well.

“We learned a great deal last year about what worked and what did not,” said Emily Morris, vice president for marketing and communications. “The 2018 Winter Village will reflect our learning and the many creative ideas that have emerged since. We are grateful to our on-grounds businesses and Athenaeum Hotel staff, the St. Elmo Condominium Association, and visiting businesses and vendors who were the driving forces behind last year’s success.”

The 2018 Winter Village kicks off at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 23, when the holiday lights and displays on Bestor Plaza will be illuminated for the first time of the season. On-ground shops and restaurants will be invited to stay open late that night, and holiday music will fill the plaza. Santa will arrive on a horse-drawn carriage to signal the launch of Chautauqua’s Winter Village.

Activities for the remainder of the festival will take place Saturdays and Sundays Nov. 24-25 and Dec. 1-2, 8-9 and 15-16, and Saturday through Monday, Dec. 29-31.   

Details will be updated at, where visitors can sign up to receive email updates about Winter Village 2018. Holiday party reservations are being accepted now, as well as suggestions and proposals for Winter Village performances (holiday choirs, carolers), events and vendors via email at

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