Are you looking for a new way to celebrate the holidays? From light displays to ice skating to a gingerbread gallery, these are some of the best activities in Central New York.
Festival of Trees & Light (Dec. 4-19)
Everson Museum of Art, 401 Harrison St., Syracuse. Admission: $10/adults; $5/students (ages 13-22); free/children ages 12 and under (except Winter Wonderland – $5). everson.org/connect/fotl2021.
Extended to three weeks in 2021, the Everson Museum of Art’s annual festival features decorated trees, wreaths, table-top décor, and wall art – all of which are donated by members of the community. Make sure to stop by during Winter Wonderland (Dec. 4, 11 and 18) for art making activities, storytimes, and music.
Holiday Nights (Dec. 3, 4, 10, 11, 17 and 18)
Rosamond Gifford Zoo, 1 Conservation Place, Syracuse. Admission: $8/non-members (advance); $9/non-members (at door); free/ages 2 and younger. rosamondgiffordzoo.org/zoo-events.
During the first three weekends in December, the Rosamond Gifford Zoo will become a winter wonderland. Families can view light displays, visit with Santa, and enjoy performances by carolers. Hot cocoa and s’mores stations will also be available.
Dickens’ Christmas (Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 19)
Genesee, Jordan, and Fennell Streets, Skaneateles. Admission: Free. skaneateles.com.
After a one-year pause due to COVID-19, Charles Dickens and his characters will once again fill the streets of Skaneateles. This annual event features horse-drawn carriage rides, sing-alongs, and A Christmas Carol trunk shows.
Gingerbread Gallery (through Jan. 9)
Erie Canal Museum, 318 Erie Blvd. E., Syracuse. Admission: $10/adults; $7/seniors (65+), $4/children ages 3-17; free/children ages 2 & under. eriecanalmuseum.org.
Did you know the Gingerbread Gallery began as one-day event in 1986? Today, families can walk through a festive 1800s canal town and view gingerbread creations in storefront windows. Before you leave, make sure to check out the museum’s eight permanent exhibits, including a full-size replica boat and children’s area.
Clinton Square Ice Rink (daily)
W. Genesee St. & S. Clinton St., Syracuse. Admission: $5/adults; $3/children ages 12 and under. $3/seniors (55+). Skate rental: $5. skatesinthecity.com.
The Clinton Square Ice Rink first opened in 2001, and has become one of Syracuse’s most popular winter attractions. The rink is open daily until mid-March (hours are weather-dependent), but if you visit during the holiday season, you can take in the city’s Christmas tree as you skate.