Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday to spend quality time with family, relatives visiting, close friends, and a reminder to slow down to embrace the little things. Syracuse is full of events and activities to kick-off the holiday season. Check out this list of what to do in Syracuse and Onondaga County throughout Thanksgiving weekend!


The Holiday Lovers

Tree Lighting Ceremony

The annual Christmas tree lighting will be live in Clinton Square once again this year, on its usual day-after-Thanksgiving date, this year falling on November 25th, 2022.  Ice skating at the Clinton Square Ice Rink will be available, weather permitting, before and after the actual event. 

Gingerbread Gallery Opening

The 37th Annual Gingerbread Gallery returns to the Erie Canal Museum for 2022, showcasing the best ornate gingerbread house creations in the Greater Syracuse Area. Tickets are available at the door and not available for pre-purchase. Visitors will also have access to explore the entirety of the Erie Canal Museum, including the full-size canal boat replica and 200 years worth of Erie Canal history. The Gingerbread Gallery will open daily from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. beginning November 18th, 2022 and running through January 8th 2022. The Museum will be closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas days as well as shortened hours on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve.

Lights on the Lake

Another classic Syracuse tradition is Lights on the Lake in Liverpool. This holiday drive-thru light display is a favorite for both first-timers or annual visitors. This year's event runs daily from November 14th, 2022 through January 13th, 2022 from 5pm - 10pm . Tickets are available online only, sold by the day and must be purchased in advance. So after the whole family is completely stuffed with turkey, plan to enjoy lights on the lake, an easy, fun and accessible experience for all.


For the Family

Discover the M.O.S.T

Bring the whole family down for an afternoon at the Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science and Technology. Experience the age of the dinosaurs with Dino Zone, their permanent life-sized dinosaur exhibit, check out the Lockheed Martin Flight and Space exhibit or expend some energy in the Science Playground, a five-level indoor playground. While the Museum is closed on Thanksgiving Day it is open the remainder of the weekend. On Saturday, November 26th, the popular Polar Express Pajama Party returns for the first of six event nights. Activities include a hot cocoa bar, exploring the arctic skies in their new planetarium program, salt crystal snowflakes and more! These events sell out so get your tickets today. Note that unlike years past, the Polar Express Film is no longer available for viewing at The Most.

The Syracuse Stage | Disney’s Little Mermaid

Syracuse Stage welcomes Disney’s Little Mermaid to the stage beginning the day after Thanksgiving this year on November 25th 2022. The show kicks off that night at 7:30 pm and runs throughout the holiday season until January 8th, 2023. Featuring a spectacular Ariel… and aerial and acrobatic stunts provided by 2 Ring Circus, this production promises enough thrills and delights for landlubbers of all ages. Secure your tickets to the show today.


For the Sports Fan

 Syracuse University 

Football: The Syracuse Orange go head to head with Boston College in this to be determined match-up to end their 2022 regular season schedule.

Basketball: The Orange take on the Bryant Bulldogs on their homecourt at 7:00 pm. Grab your Orange best and get your ‘Cuse tickets for the contest today.  

Syracuse Crunch | Upstate Medical University Arena

Thanksgiving Weekend, The Syracuse Crunch host regional opponents the Providence Bruins with games on both Friday and Saturday nights. The Series begins on Friday at 7pm. If you can’t attend that game, Saturday’s contest will also face off at 7:00 pm. Here’s where you can check out the entire Syracuse Crunch season


For the Foodies

Thanksgiving Dinner

Let someone else do the holiday cooking this year! Discover Thanksgiving dinner in Syracuse and see which restaurants offer dine-in or take-out with all your favorite turkey day classics. Make sure to pre-order or make reservations now before it’s too late! Just looking for dessert? Order up pies, cookies and more from bakeries like Sweet Praxis, Exhale Cafe & Bake Shop and others! 


For the Shoppers

 Small Business Saturday

From local boutiques to sweet treats, the Greater Syracuse Area has something for everyone on your list this holiday season. Find the perfect gift for your family or friends, or just treat yourself, with our list of some of the top Syracuse spots to shop.

SKY Armory Night Market

Sky's Night Market is back the Saturday after Thanksgiving on November 26th from 3:30pm - 10pm. Enjoy drinks, food and live entertainment while you shop. The market features 70+ local and regional makers, artists, designers, and retailers. Pick up some unique holiday gifts, gourmet foods, home decor, jewelry and more!

Black Friday Farmers Market

The CNY Regional Market is back with their annual Black Friday Farmers Market event. Locally produced fresh food, crafts, candles, masks, art, vintage products, holiday decor, and more will be available for purchase. The Market will run from 7:00 am - 2:00 pm on Friday, November 25th at the CNY Regional Market. 


A Happy Thanksgiving from the Visit Syracuse team!