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


Downtown Syracuse - Clinton Square

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 24th, 2023.  Ice skating at the Clinton Square Ice Rink will be available, weather permitting, before and after the actual event. 

Gingerbread Gallery Opening


The 38th Annual Gingerbread Gallery returns to the Erie Canal Museum for 2023, 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 17th and running through January 7th 2024. 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 13th through January 12th from 5pm - 10pm . Tickets are available online only, sold by the day and must be purchased in advance. Hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year? Load up the car with your out-of-town folks and head to lights on the lake after Thanksgiving dinner. It’s the perfect way to get creative while still feeling stuffed and relaxed.


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 25th, the popular North Pole Pajama Party returns for the first of five 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.

The Syracuse Stage | A Christmas Carol


Syracuse Stage welcomes the classic play, A Christmas Carol to the stage beginning the day after Thanksgiving this year on November 24th 2022. The show kicks off that night at 7:30 pm and runs throughout the holiday season until December 31, 2023. Secure your tickets to the show today.


For the Sports Fan

Syracuse Crunch | Upstate Medical University Arena


Thanksgiving Weekend, The Syracuse Crunch will host regional opponents the Utica Comets on  Friday November 24th and the Laval Rockets Saturday November 25th. Both nights will 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 25th from 3:00 pm - 9 pm. 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 24th at the CNY Regional Market.


A Happy Thanksgiving from the Visit Syracuse team!

Syracuse for the Holidays