GUILDERLAND, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Ready to usher in the holidays? Stuyvesant Plaza is hosting a tree-lighting ceremony outside of Jean Paul Spa & Salongs on Saturday, November 18.

The tree lighting ceremony kicks off with a welcome address by Stuyvesant Plaza General Manager Rachel Ferluge and a check presentation to the Guilderland YMCA. There will be live performances by acapella groups Lost in Sound from Siena College, and Girls Next Door from Saint Rose. Stores and restaurants will be open during and after the ceremony.

Beginning on Sunday, the annual Holiday Strolls will return from 1 to 4 p.m. There will be horse-drawn carriage rides by Bowman Carriages, activities with Santa, and more! For those with learning differences, there will be sensory-friendly interactions during select Holiday Strolls. These sessions include time with Santa, dimmed lighting, little to no music, no flashing toys or decorations, touchable Christmas trees, and sensory-friendly toys and trinkets.

“We’re thrilled to welcome our loyal guests to our tree lighting and Holiday Stroll, and we can’t wait to celebrate this wonderful time of the year with them,” said Ferluge. “Excitement is in the air as our merchants prepare for the chance to help guests select the perfect holiday gift for everyone on their list. We are also grateful to be able to introduce sensory-friendly visits with Santa this year, thanks to a partnership with Transitions USA, Albany.”

Santa and his Elf Helper will be available for photos every Sunday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. (excludes Dec. 3; schedule subject to change). Santa’s schedule from 3 to 4 p.m. is as follows:

  • Nov. 26: Snowflake-making and coloring with Santa at BARE Blends for $5 per person to benefit Guilderland YMCA. Sign up at
  • Dec. 10: Sensory-Friendly Santa Hour in partnership with Transitions USA. Select a time slot at
  • Dec. 17: Sensory-Friendly Santa Hour in partnership with Transitions USA. Select a time slot at

There will also be a special Elf Story Hour on December 3. Elves will read “Elf: The Classic Illustrated Storybook” at 1:15 p.m. and 2:15 p.m. The event is free to the public. Space is limited so tickets are required. Santa will not be available on this day.