25 Seasonal Things to Do this December in Syracuse
Friday, December 6, 2019 12:00 PM by Elizabeth Judge
Holiday cheer reigns supreme in Syracuse each December as locals and visitors alike take in all the lights and sights of the season. Check out a few of our favorite regional events and activities that can only be experienced during the holiday season.
*Please note: Holiday dates and times may vary for businesses, events and organizations, check company websites for the most up-to-date information.
November 14, 2019 – January 5, 2020
November 22, 2019 – January 5, 2020
Be our guest for a tale as old as time as Disney's Beauty and the Beast takes to Syracuse Stage. This mesmerizing music makes for the perfect for a winter outing for celebrating the incredible Syracuse theater scene while getting a dose of classic Disney nostalgia.
Saturdays & Sundays, November 29, 2019 – December 22, 2019; December 23; December 24 (limited hours)
November 29, 2019 – January 5, 2020
View dozens of locally created Gingerbread houses built by participants of all ages. Become an active participant and vote for your favorite house during the six-week run. The 21+ crowd can enjoy the Build + Sip event on December 11th. Invite friends and work on your own gingerbread creation while listening to festive music and grabbing drinks at the cash bar. Family-friendly events include three Children's Workshop events on December 14th, 28th and 30th.
November 29, 2019 – January 5, 2020
Experience the magic of this popular holiday movie in a domed IMAX theater. The MOST offers two shows daily (closed Mondays & Tuesdays), at noon and 3pm. Or bring the kids to the special pajama party dates, December 6th, 7th and 13th and create your own snowflakes and letters to Santa before the 6pm showing.
November 29, 2019 – March 14, 2020
Visit one of the most popular winter spots in Syracuse! Bring your own or rent a pair of ice skates and take in the area’s only public outdoor skating rink. During the holiday season skate with friends and family under the glow of the Christmas tree and Menorah. Don’t forget to snap a pic while you’re here, it’s one of the area’s most popular photo spots throughout winter!
December 6, 2019 – December 15, 2019
This annual Central New York tradition fills the Museum with holiday trees, wreaths and other displays, many created by local businesses and community organizations. View the dazzling holiday displays alongside celebrated artworks, live music and dance performances. Visit on one of their specialty days for an added experience: First Friday, Santa Saturdays, or Engaging Neighbors.
Weekends, November 30, 2019 – December 22, 2019
The entire family will enjoy a day on the farm! The Santa’s Workshop area includes visits from Santa, face painting and balloon art, adults can peruse the craft vendors and sample the farm wine and cider. Food will also be available on site. Admission also includes a wagon ride to view the holiday lights on the farm after dark.
December 6-7, 2019; December 14 & 15, 2019; 6:30 – 8:30pm
Hosted by Syracuse Parks and Recreation, this free event offers horse-drawn wagon rides and a visit with Santa at Burnet Park.
December 7-8, 2019; December 14-15, 2019; December 21-22, 2019; Two sessions each day at 9am and 11am
Celebrate the season at this family friendly holiday event. Enjoy a breakfast buffet while visiting with Santa. Children also have the opportunity to create a holiday craft with Santa’s elves, write a letter and explore the zoo!
Winterloo at the New York State Fairgrounds Expo Center *Please note the second weekend of this event has been cancelled*
December 7-8 & 14-15, 2019
Stop by this brand new event at the NYS Fairgrounds for holiday shopping and family fun! Featuring merchants offering Christmas and holiday gift items, as well as ice carving demonstrations and holiday twists on fair favorite food and drinks this event is full of holiday spirit. Children will enjoy “The World’s Largest Snowman Bounce House” as well as other rides, games and crafting areas. Visit on Saturday’s and enjoy a holiday fireworks extravaganza beginning at 8pm.
December 7, 2019
A full day of festive activities! Take the free holiday trolley around downtown Syracuse as you take in some, or all, of the day’s events. From reindeer and holiday carolers in Hanover Square to three floors of family fun in the Central Library and even a chance to buy that holiday gift you’ve been searching for at Art Mar, there’s something for everyone in downtown Syracuse.
Find the full list of day-long activities and even deals at local businesses here.
December 7, 2019, 11am
CNY Arts again presents this educational and colorful performance for all ages. Take in the excitement of Santa’s workshop as Dasher, the lead reindeer prepares for the big flight. Follow Dasher as he re-discovers the magic of the holiday season and the Spirit of Christmas.
December 8 & 15, 2019
In partnership with the Everson Museum of Art, enjoy a chef prepared breakfast, holiday music, arts & crafts, photos with Santa, cookie decorating and an opportunity to win one of dozens of gift basket raffles. All attendees also receive free admission to the Everson Museum’s Festival of Trees.
December 10 – 13, 2019
From Lincoln Center Theater, this musical production tells the story of Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins. Featuring classic songs such as “I Could Have Danced All Night,” “The Rain in Spain” and “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly” take in one of the three available performances of the beloved comedy-drama musical.
December 12 – 15, 2019, various showtimes
Your favorite Disney stories come to life at this exciting family ice show. See your favorite Disney Princesses, Mickey and Minnie as well as Moana, Woody and all your Frozen friends! Enhance your experience with a VIP package and make memories that will last forever.
December 12 – 22, 2019
A new twist on the classic Charles Dickens tale of Ebenezer Scrooge, featuring Syracuse landmarks and historical figures. Come out and test your knowledge of Syracuse by trying to recognize each icon and landmark! http://www.theredhouse.org/a-syracuse-christmas-carol/
December 13 & 14, 2019
A family tradition, this performance features holiday favorites and soon to be favorites, with a “cast of thousands,” including the Syracuse Pops Chorus, special guest vocalist, broadway star and Syracuse native, Lizzie Klemperer, and dancers. Kids under 18 are always free for regular season concerts.
Saturdays & Sundays; December 14, 2019 – February 23, 2020
Enjoy a leisurely 20 minute horsedrawn sleighride, or wagon ride, through the wintery woods of Highland Forest. Warm up after with a hot chocolate at the Skyline Lodge. Visitors are also welcome to bring their own sleds to enjoy the sledding hill or rent snowshoes or skis and have your own adventure!
December 20, 2019; shows at 4pm and 8pm
Celebrate this beloved holiday performance set to Tchaikovsky’s timeless score, following the journey of Masha and the Nutcracker Prince through the Snow Forest. Dancing alongside the world-class professional artists is the local Children’s cast from Syracuse’s own Dance Centre North.
December 21, 2019, 7pm
Join fellow winter lovers for a lantern-lit hike through the woods to observe the longest night of the year. Learn about solstice traditions and explore the sights and sounds of nature at night. Snowshoes are provided.
Dates and times vary
Cheer on our favorite hometown American Hockey League team as they face-off against rivals this December. The Crunch look to earn a top spot in the Eastern Conference. Check out their December match-ups and the full schedule here.
December 30, 2019
A unique mash-up, this contemporary dance show is set to Tchaikovsky’s timeless music. The production is performed by a cast of a dozen all-star dancers, a DJ, violinist and MC Kurtis Blow.
December 31, 2019, 8pm
Gather your friends and ring in the New Year with a cirque celebration. Dance the night away with the DJ or take in live entertainment by The PopShow Band, while watching cirque-themed performances. Dinner stations, passed hors d’oeuvres and a four-hour open bar are just a few of added bonuses of this adult night of revelry!
December 31, 2019, 10am
Ring in the New Year at this family friendly Zoo event! Kids will love the dance party and a ball drop countdown at noon.