Winters in central New York make the perfect backdrop to every holiday celebration, and Syracuse is no stranger to holiday festivities. The entire month of December is full of celebrations. Live music, light festivals, decorated mansions, gingerbread houses, and more — there’s something for everyone this holiday season. Check out our curated list of holiday festivals in Syracuse and enjoy the season with your family and friends.


Ongoing Events


Christmas on the Farm

Weekends December 2023 
Abbott Farms

Enjoy different activities for the whole family every weekend through Christmas — the Christmas Bazaar (12/3), breakfast with Santa (12/9), family game night (12/16), Christmas concerts, Lights on the Farm and more at Christmas at Abbott Farms. Adults can sample some of the farm-fresh wine and cider while the kids enjoy varying Christmas events throughout the holiday weekend!


Festival of Trees and Lights

December 2 - 16, events / activities vary
Everson Museum

Now in its 38th year, walk among hundreds beautifully decorated Christmas trees on display throughout the museum during Everson’s annual Festival of Trees and Lights. Live performances and more activities than ever, this beloved Central New York tradition celebrates the season with a wide variety of trees, wreaths and other seasonal items available for purchase, and the Museum Gift Shop has plenty of selections for your holiday gift-giving. View the full festival calendar here.


Gingerbread Gallery

November 17, 2023 - January 7, 2024 @ 10a - 4p daily
The Erie Canal Museum

This year celebrates the 38th anniversary of the gingerbread gallery at the Erie Canal Museum. Each year the museum transforms into a festive 1800s canal town street scene with gingerbread creations on display in storefront windows. Kick off the holiday season better than ever: this year the Erie Canal Museum's Grand Opening occurs Friday, November 24 with music from Merry Mischief from 4 - 6p, coinciding with the City of Syracuse's Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony downtown in Clinton Square. Entry is $10 for adults, $7 for seniors (65+), and $4 for children 3-17 (children 2 & under free). Be sure to explore the rest of the museum before or after your visit to the Gallery. 


Lights on the Lake

November 13, 2023 - January 12, 2024 @ 5 - 10p daily
Onondaga Lake Park

Another classic Syracuse tradition is Lights on the Lake in Liverpool. Enjoy the two-mile-stretch of lights and holiday music along historic Onondaga Lake. Admission is $10 per car Monday-Thursday, $20 Friday through Sunday. 


Dickens Christmas in Skaneateles

Saturdays & Sundays, 12 - 4p, November 25 - December 23, (Bonus days : Fri., Nov. 24, 12 - 4p  /  Sun., Dec. 24, 12 - 2:30p)
Village of Skaneateles

A charming and popular tradition with more dates added this year, Dickens Christmas in Skaneateles features Charles Dickens and his cast of over 40 characters, interacting with residents and visitors in the streets, shops and restaurants. Don't miss performances at the Gazebo, visits with Old Saint Nick, live music, shopping and horse and wagon rides around the Village. 


Celebrating the Holidays at the Lorenzo State Historic Site

Guided Christmas Tours, December 5 - 8, 1 - 4pm
Lorenzo's Christmas Celebration, December 7 + 8 , 7 - 9pm  /   December 9 + 10, 1 - 4p
Lorenzo State Historic Park & Mansion

Enjoy a traditional tour of the Cazenovia historic state park mansion, complete with holiday decorations, carriage and sleigh displays and other festive decorations. Lorenzo State Historic Site is the 1807 Federal style home of John Lincklaen, Holland Land Company agent and founder of Cazenovia. With support from the "Friends of Lorenzo" group, visitors can tour the grounds and celebrate "The 12 Days of Christmas" at the Lorenzo Mansion with an annual festival featuring live music, refreshments and horse-drawn sleigh and wagon rides. $6 per person,12 and under $2.


Holiday Nights presented by Amazon

Fridays & Saturdays, December 1 - 16, 5 - 8p
Rosamond Gifford Zoo

Enjoy a festive and fun after-hours stroll amid sparkling displays of holiday lights that transform the zoo into a winter wonderland. Warm up by the fire pits and enjoy hot chocolate, s’mores, live performances of holiday music, ice carving, roving entertainers and animals on evening exhibit. Advance sale member tickets $7, Advance sale general admission tickets $8, children 2 & under are free. View the schedule and get your tickets here.


Additional Holiday Events in December


Community Chanukah Party!

Sunday, December 10, 12:30 - 3p 
Schayes Family Gymnasium partnering w/ JCC of Dewitt

Families are welcome to join for a fun-filled afternoon — the eyes of the children will brighten as soon as they walk through the doors and see bounce houses, inflatables, crafts, face painting, entertainment, balloon artists, a photo booth and more. Refreshments will be provided and delicious food will be offered including latkes and everyone’s favorite sufganiyot (jelly donuts). Learn more here.


Holidays at Hendricks

Sunday, December 3, 4:30 & 7:30p  /  Virtual Show available Sun., Dec. 10, 7p
Hendricks Chapel at Syracuse University

Hendricks Chapel and the Setnor School of Music at Syracuse University invite you to the ongoing tradition anchored by the Hendricks Chapel Choir under the artistic direction of José “Peppie” Calvar. All events require registration.


Ted & Amy’s 93Q Christmas Spectacular

Saturday, December 9 @ 10a - 2p
Destiny USA

Get in the holiday spirit with everyone's favorite local radio personality duo Ted & Amy! Broadcasting live music from top local bands, this free event features Santa's Workshop where children can receive a free toy (while supplies last), arts and crafts, ornament making, coloring contest, free photo booth and more holiday fun for the whole family!


Sensory-Friendly North Pole Pajama Party @ The M.O.S.T.

December 2, 8, 9 + 16, 5:30 - 7:30p
Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science and Technology

Celebrate the season with the MOST – pajamas encouraged! Join us for your classic favorites like the Hot Cocoa Bar, as well as new and exciting activities exploring the North Pole, from arctic animals to snowflakes and more sensory-friendly activities. End the evening in the National Grid ExploraDome with an exclusive showing of the 2023 Night In The Arctic planetarium show. Grab your tickets before they're gone!


Holiday Movie Screenings & Shows

Movies and live theatre galore this holiday season. Check out Syracuse Stage as they ring in the holidays with their dazzling and magical live performance of A Christmas Carol (Nov. 24 - Dec. 31). Go all out with the Syracuse City Ballet's presentation of everybody's favorite festive holiday tradition, Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker" at The Oncenter Crouse Hinds Theater, December 1 - 3, 2023. And Syracuse's own world-renowned Symphoria! lights up the holiday season at The Landmark Theatre and The Oncenter Crouse-Hinds Theater with tons of holiday shows including Nutcracker Twist: An Enchanted Journey, Home For The Holidays and more.  And Christmas is ON at the Landmark Theatre — experience the Nutcracker! Magical Christmas Ballet, Christmas At The Landmark With the Desantis Orchestra & more!


More Holiday Festivals

Of course there are many more events not listed here. Check your local churches, libraries, and schools for more breakfasts with Santa, cookie exchanges, theatrical performances, holiday music, and Christmas shopping. Plus, if you venture a little bit outside of Syracuse, you’ll find several more holiday festivals to enjoy.