We opted for a change in scenery and made the drive to visit the Festival of Lights at Castel Grisch Winery!
The light display was really beautiful but the best part was the life size dinosaurs at the end. A lot of the displays move and the dinosaurs make realistic noises. My kids loved it and we're not afraid!
The cost is $20 per vehicle (up to 6 people) and tickets must be purchased in advanced at https://castelgrisch.com/festival-of-lights. The winery is in Watkins Glen which is about 1.5 hours from Rochester. The display is happening now until January 31.
So, is it worth the drive? I would say it depends! We reserved the 6:30 time slot along with dozens upon dozens of other visitors so it took about 20 minutes of stop and go traffic just to reach the lights. The light display loop itself was fairly small and took another 20 minutes to drive through. With that said, the 5:30 time slot didn't have any line so it went by much faster. It sounds like the earlier you go the less likely there will be a long wait; At least on a Friday night!
Because of the drive, we decided we would make a fun road trip out of it and get food along the way. Unbenounced to us, many of the restaurants in that area are closed so it took some searching. We ended up getting some pizza for the road which worked out well for the long wait once we arrived to the winery!
To the adults, the trip kind of felt like a flop because our dinner plans fell through and we were a bit taken back by the long wait. However, the kids (ages 2 and 5) were completely overjoyed, unaware of the change of plans, and very much in awe of the dinosaurs and lights. So if you ask them, they would say it was totally worth the drive and the wait