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“Charles Dickens Winter Festival”
Review of Skaneateles Lake

Ranked #1 of 17 things to do in Skaneateles
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: This clean, serene lake is the easternmost of New York's Finger Lakes.
Rochester, New York
Level Contributor
2,990 reviews
907 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 966 helpful votes
“Charles Dickens Winter Festival”
Reviewed December 24, 2012

We went to the Charles Dickens Winter Festival at Skaneateles Lake yesterday, and had a grand time. The entire town dresses up like "Olden Day England," with most people being in costumes of the period. Many of these same people were also play actors, performing skits and acting out scenes around the town. Yet others were singing Chirstmas carols on the street corners, and merchants were also involved in the whole scene.

This is a wonderful activity for the whole family, and I highly recommend it. However, if you go, remember that it only runs from 11 AM until 4 PM, so get there early. Also, remember to bring along some change (quarters) for the parking meters!

Visited December 2012
2 Thank Larry W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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430 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Penfield, New York
Level Contributor
76 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed December 20, 2012

The water is crystal clear. In warmer weather boat/dinner cruises around lake and beautiful, expensive homes to see surrounding the lake. The downtown area has great little shops with unusual items.

Visited December 2012
Thank ellenkfz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
1,016 reviews
384 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 518 helpful votes
“Charlie's Angelic Setting”
Reviewed December 12, 2012

Through out December, Skaneatelas picks up another citizen, Charles Dickens, for whom the entire lovely little town is themed, with "Christmas Carol" readings breaking out on a humbug's notice... Best of all, the Chamber invites visitors, at no charge, to visit its costume shop and, at no charge, get into the mood... Always wanted to play Scrooge... and the day after Thanksgiving, Skaneatelas made this dream come true

Visited December 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Skaneateles, New York
Level Contributor
19 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Honest advise on food, hotel & activities from a local”
Reviewed December 11, 2012

Hotels: The appeal of Skaneatles village is you can walk to everything stay at The Sherwood Inn which manages a ton of properties right in the village; if you don't mind walking a couple of blocks the Mirbeau Spa/hotel is very shi shi and great for adults...a new sidewalk was installed this summer and now you can take a pleasant and safe walk to the village from the western fringe of the village which is where the Mirbeau is.
Food: The village is mobbed 24/7, 365 ...ok maybe there are no lines in February but it gets busy so be prepared. For the best fried (although there are a few healthier options) seafood go to Dougs. Haddock and scallops are incredible as are the onion rings and milkshakes. Kids will love the train and aquarium...Sushi---Kabuki. Expensive but all good sushi is. Soup and nachos and a cold beer? Bluewater Grill. Take the 8 minute drive to the Mandana Inn for classic fare and 15 minutes to Balloons in Auburn for an unbelievable italian chop house...I LOVE Balloons! Old style and really good...looking for "farm to table" and a romantic spot...Elderberry Pond is absolutely incredible...atmospher, food...just a great spot. It's 5 minutes from the village. Take the time to go there! Pizza? The kids like Marks. I say drive to Syracuse and go to Twin Trees, Pavones or Varsity...the latter is at SU so you can maybe catch a game and then a pie...unfortunately Skaneateles just does not have great pizza in my opinion. Burger? Johnny Angels. Coffee? Vermont Green Coffee if you are in a rush and Creekside if you have time to wait for it.
Activities: rent a pontoon boat down at the marina in Mandana and bring a cooler and snacks and tour the lake...it's amazing and the kids can swim in the lake if you anchor the boat in many of the coves...drive down to Ithaca (40 minutes) and go to Buttermilk Falls and walk the campus of Cornell and then go to Purity Ice Cream...go shopping in the village of Skaneateles and then go to Lakeview Pub and enjoy some coctails and forget how much $$ you just spent; sit on a bench in the park and take a tour of the lake on one of the Mid-lake boats (not in winter of course). Go bowling at Hilltop with the kids. Kids need to burn off some energy? Bring them to the Y up at Austin Park and let swim in and slide at the water park..it's amazing! If you are a sports enthusiast there are always races/triathalons taking place and you should visit the chamber of commerce websit e for more info. Ski mountains are within an hours drive as are many wineries.
Enjoy your visit!!

Visited December 2012
2 Thank Lakeeffectfamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Freeville, New York
Level Contributor
16 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“busy place in the summer”
Reviewed December 9, 2012

Skaneateles is a busy town in the summer with very high priced shops. A nice park in town on the lake that has a small swimming area that I did not try. It was nice walking around the park.

Thank Amy V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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