What to do in Syracuse on Thanksgiving Weekend
Thursday, November 7, 2019 4:00 PM by Danielle Benjamin - Guest Blogger
Thanksgiving weekend is about the turkey, football, family, and friends. But that’s not all! Syracuse is full of events and activities to kick-off the holiday season. Whether you’re staying here in town or coming home to visit family, check out this list of what to do in Syracuse on Thanksgiving weekend.
For the Holiday Lovers
Tree Lighting Celebration
For most people, Thanksgiving is the official start of the holiday season. And what better way to kick it off than by attending the annual tree lighting ceremony in Clinton Square? Bundle up and bring your family and friends to the ice rink to watch as the massive Christmas tree is lit for the first time this season on the Friday after Thanksgiving. This is also the first year that Syracuse will light an artificial tree in an effort to save money and avoid chopping down healthy trees. Even better? Head over to Glazed and Confused to get yourself some cocoa and a doughnut to keep warm.
Gingerbread Gallery Opening
One of my favorite things to do for the holiday season is to check out the gingerbread houses at the Erie Canal Museum. The creativity on them is incredible! See what they have on display this year. The grand opening is Friday the 29th.
Lights on the Lake
Another classic Syracuse tradition is Lights on the Lake in Liverpool. If you’ve got family or friends visiting, take them to see the lights for the first time! But don’t worry if you’re weekend is too full, you’ll have until the new year to see them.
For the Family
Beauty & the Beast at Syracuse Stage
Beauty & the Beast is hands-down my favorite Disney movie of all time. I’m not joking when I say that I was overly excited that both versions of the film were on tv last week at the same time! So you know I’m excited to go see Beauty & the Beast performed live at Syracuse Stage.
Nothing brings back the nostalgia of the holidays from your childhood quite like a performance of The Nutcracker. The ballerinas of the Syracuse City Ballet bring back their annual performance complete with the rat king and the sugar plum fairies for two performances each Saturday and Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend. They’re also holding a sensory-friendly performance the Tuesday before Thanksgiving at noon.
Syracuse Orange Football Game
In case you didn’t get your fill of football on Thanksgiving Day, you’re in luck! The Syracuse Orange take on the Wake Forest Demon Deacons Saturday the 30th at the Carrier Dome.
Syracuse Crunch Hockey Game
The Syracuse Crunch are also in town for Thanksgiving. Friday night is your chance to see them go up against the guys from Laval Rocket - and you can get tickets for less then $20.
Volunteer at the Rescue Mission
While you may be in a warm dining room surrounded by family and friends for Thanksgiving, not everyone is so lucky. Instead, choose to spend your holiday giving back to the community and those who are not as fortunate. The Rescue Mission is always looking for people to volunteer to serve food to people in need on Thanksgiving.
For the Foodies
If you’re under pressure to host the family for Thanksgiving dinner, but you’re worried about burning everything - or leaving the turkey baster in the oven to melt like my grandfather did - let someone else do the cooking! The Sheraton near campus is hosting a Thanksgiving dinner complete with all your favorite food. The Genesee Grande is doing the same, earlier in the day. Reservations are required for both.
CNY Wine & Chocolate Festival
What better way to spend a Saturday with your family - or escape from them? The wine & chocolate festival at the fairgrounds is a popular fall tradition. Sample wine, drinks, and snacks from lots of local vendors. Plus, get some holiday shopping done while you’re at it!
For the Athletes
Liverpool Turkey Trot
Looking for a way to burn off the calories you’ll be eating later in the day? We’ve got just the solution - the Liverpool Turkey Trot! Whether or not you’re wearing a turkey hat, the turkey trot is a surefire way to keep warm - and not feel so guilty going for that second slice of pie.
Ugly Christmas Sweater 5K
Ready to keep running - and show off your ugly Christmas sweater at the same time? On Saturday you can join the Ugly Christmas Sweater 5K also at the Onondaga Lake Parkway. Run and laugh with your friends during this festive event. There will be an ugly sweater contest, winter clothing drive, and part of the profits will go to the local Rescue Mission. Hang around after for a party at the Barking Gull, where runners will get a free beer and food. (General public welcome to attend and purchase food and drinks.)
Sharkey’s Polar Bear Volleyball Tournament
Beach volleyball doesn’t have to be just in the summer. Sharkey’s in Liverpool hosts an annual Polar Bear tournament where players get to compete in the snow! Grab a group of friends, get your warm clothes on, and spike the ball!
For the Shoppers
Small Business Saturday
After the madness of Black Friday is over, why not spend the day supporting all of the great small businesses in Syracuse? Stroll around downtown and check out what sales the local stores are having!
Syracuse Night Market
Finish off your Saturday of local shopping with the Syracuse Night Market. The event is unique shopping experience held at SKY Armory includes local artisans, gourmet food, hand-crafted cocktails, and live music. It’s the perfect way to get your holiday shopping started, support your local artists, and have fun all at the same time.
Now that you’ve got a handful of choices, how will you spend your Thanksgiving weekend in Syracuse? There are also lots of places hosting live music throughout the weekend. Whatever you choose, don’t forget to tag us on Instagram to share your adventures!