A Wonderful Winter Weekend in Corning, New York
I am so excited to share with you our weekend visit to Corning, New York in collaboration with Finger Lakes Wine Country. Corning, New York is such a darling area. In fact, it is so picturesque, the Hallmark Channel deemed the Gaffer District of Corning one of five Hallmark worthy towns to live stream on their webpage! Of course we just had to get on camera so we could see ourselves on the Hallmark Live Streaming! So fun!
In this post I am going to share all about Corning, New York under the categories: Eat, Sleep, and Play with an added bonus category: Drink, since we are talking about Finger Lakes Wine Country here!!
This darling little counter service bakery is the perfect spot for breakfast! Our kids split the large banana, Nutella crepe, while I had a veggie & cheese omelette and Matt had a breakfast sandwich. It’s located right on West Market street in the middle of the hustle and bustle, so it’s the perfect spot even just for a quick cup of coffee while you are out and about!
Atlas Brick Oven Pizzeria:
This popular pizzeria was packed when we visited. And it’s no wonder because everything was amazing! Our kids love pizza so it was the perfect place to visit for dinner. The pizza is prepared right behind the pizzeria’s front counter and our kids were so entertained watching the chefs throwing the dough in the air and preparing all the pizzas with so many selections of toppings. Brick oven pizza is always so yummy and we were all very pleased with our orders! Matt chose the “Atlas”, a variety of veggies and meats, on his pizza and I ordered a delicious Caesar salad. Prices were very reasonable: $24 for a large pizza.
Nine Elephants on West Market Street serves some of the most authentic Thai food we’ve ever tasted, besides when we actually were in Thailand. Looking around at all the plates on tables, it is evident how fresh and tasty every meal off the menu truly is! Prices were reasonable and the atmosphere was perfect for a date night, girls night, or family dinner.
Dimiti’s Treats Confectionery:
This brightly colored little candy shop is a kid’s dream with all the bulk candy you can imagine. They also have specialty sweet treats and even a few little toys for purchase! Our kids loved filling a bag with all their sweet treats and getting a special souvenir from Corning, NY!
Hilton Garden Inn Corning Downtown:
The Hilton Garden Inn is the perfect accommodation for families visiting Corning, NY. It’s located a short walk over the bridge to Market Street for Sparkle and all the shops and restaurants you can imagine, and it has over the top accommodations provided for you at the hotel. There are standards Matt & I have when rating a hotel for our family and generally we first find hotels with a living space for our kids to sleep and a separate master bedroom for us. We love having two spaces so we can stay up later than the kids, watch a separate movie, and just have extra space in general. Our room at the Hilton Garden Inn had it all: two rooms, two bathrooms, a jacuzzi bathtub, two tvs, microwave, refrigerator, Keurig coffee maker. It had everything on our “list”. The hotel also has a HEATED indoor pool! Swimming in the winter is always a big hit for our kids and they
could have spent all day in the very warm and large hotel pool. The hotel lobby itself was so well decorated and welcoming with coffee and hot chocolate in the morning and lemon ice water in the afternoon and evenings. During Sparkle, the hotel provided Christmas cookies, candy canes, and hot cocoa with chocolate, caramel, and whipped cream. The hotel also has a great restaurant and bar. The restaurant is open for breakfast and dinner. Overall, I would HIGHLY recommend Hilton Garden Inn Corning Downtown!
Sparkle occurs every year the first weekend after Thanksgiving weekend! The roads close, shops stay open late, venders set up their tents for the big evening and EVERYONE from near and far pack the streets for the fun! Free live shows with a variety of performers such as singers, musicians and dancers perform on stage in the town square, Santa sits in a snow globe for families to come visit and get a picture, and there are vendors and businesses passing out food and drinks up and down the street. We were impressed by all the free handouts our kids received: a local church had a tent set up with a s’more station for the kids to make a yummy treat, another church passed our candy canes that told a story with a message of the gospel, a realtor firm passed our popcorn, and the US army tent had cookies. It really was a special evening for our kids to see all the action and get into the Christmas spirit!!
Corning Museum of Glass:
We had visited the museum last winter and the kids remembered it and couldn’t wait to go back to their favorite exhibits! Even our oldest exclaimed that the Corning Museum of Glass is his favorite museum!!
This time we had the kids signed up to do sandblasting, which they absolutely loved. It’s available for any age, costs $14 per person and is simple for anyone to complete: using a number of different shaped stickers available, you place stickers all over the glass provided by the museum. After, you observe a museum worker sandblast your glass design. When it’s finished, you can remove the stickers and you get a frosted glass with different shaped clear spots from where your stickers were placed! It was such a cute souvenir to bring home from the museum!
After sandblasting, we went on a scavenger hunt throughout the museum (scavenger books and pencils are provided by the museum)! Matt and I were so surprised by how much time the kids spent in the glass gallery, looking for items from the scavenger book and checking them off as we found them. It really was such a special thing for them that they were all very engaged in! At the end of the booklet, there was a spot where they could draw a picture of their favorite glass piece and the kids decided to turn that into a fun game for the parents to find the glass pieces they drew! We definitely had a hard time figuring out what they drew, but they loved giving us hints and it just made for a really special family day! The best part: the museum admission was free during Sparkle!
The Rockwell Museum:
The Rockwell Museum is right in town and it’s a beautiful little museum with all the art gifted by Bob and Hertha Rockwell. Admission costs are $11.50 for adults and children under 17 are free, but everyone is free for Sparkle! The Rockwell Museum also provides a scavenger hunt booklet for guests to search for paintings around the museum!
Wagner Vineyards Estate:
We arrived at Wagner Vineyards Estate just as the sun was setting over Seneca lake. It was breathtaking. The whole drive to the Vineyard was beautiful, we really enjoyed all the views just getting there and it was the perfect stop on our weekend road trip to Corning, NY. The highlight of Wagner Vineyards Estate for the kids was the kids flight the winery offers! They each sampled apple cider, cranberry juice, and root beer. It was just so cute for them to be a part of the experience as Matt and I sampled our favorite glogg and four samples of wines that we split: Fathom 107, Bubbly Rose, Pinot Nior Guirace House, and Cabernet Franc. Everything was so yummy and it was the perfect stop on our drive!
We had such an amazing time in Corning, it was the perfect little weekend getaway! I say this all the time, but I always feel like our family grows closer when we travel. And travel doesn’t have to be an extravagant trip. A simple two hour drive is all we needed to get away and bond as a family! Making these special memories as a family is always worth the effort! And our trip to Corning, New York did just that!
This post is sponsored by Finger Lakes Wine Country , all opinions are my own.