We’re no strangers to winter weather in Syracuse, and no amount of cold and snow can keep us from enjoying our city this time of year. There are plenty of indoor and outdoor winter activities to brighten your day, and here are some of the best.
Go Ice Skating at Clinton Square or Sunnycrest Ice Rink
Clinton Square is located in the heart of downtown Syracuse, where the waters of the historic Erie Canal once flowed. From the last week of November until mid-March, the trickling fountain in the square is replaced by a picturesque ice rink framed by quintessential Syracuse architecture. Adults can skate for only $5, while children and seniors can for just $3. The rink is open everyday of the week, starting at 11am on Sunday through Friday and 10am on Saturdays. Skate rentals are also available for $5.
Another option for ice skating in the city is Sunnycrest Ice Rink, an enclosed rink located on the Eastside. Open through March 31, the rink offers weekly specials, including Wednesday free skate, a lunch special, Skate & Shoot Wednesdays, and Senior Skate.
Plan your next skating excursion here!
Try the Food at Salt City Market
Opening its doors January 2021, Salt City Market is Downtown Syracuse’s exciting new culinary and communal destination. Providing international cuisine and a sense of civic pride in one place, the food court is truly unique. Talented cooks from the diverse Syracuse community have come together under one roof to offer up cuisines from Burma, Iraq, Jamaica, Vietnam, and more. Visiting the food court feels like a thrilling trip around the world – without ever having to leave Syracuse.
The market also offers cooking classes, demos, and a food-history series, along with other events for wellness, entertainment, crafting, and gaming are also offered at the market. Make sure to check out all the upcoming events!
Salt City Market is located at the southern end of Downtown Syracuse, where the multicultural neighborhoods of Southside and Westside meet. Open every day of the week, the market offers information on hours of operation and ways to get there on their site.
See the Indoor and Snow-Loving Species at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo
The summer might seem like the best time to visit the zoo, but the winter is just as great! This time of year, the zoo offers half-price admission for “Snow Leopard Days” through February 28, where guests can catch glimpses of all the snow-loving animals like red pandas, elephants, wolves, and penguins frollicking in the outdoor exhibits. A large number of exhibits are also located indoors, where you don’t have to worry about the cold. Plan your visit to the zoo here!
Enjoy Winter Sports at a City Park
Syracuse is home to many hills and parks, which bodes well for winter recreation! Head to one of the City’s parks for sledding, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing. All activities are offered weather permitting, so check out the Syracuse Rec Desk or Parks & Rec Facebook page to plan your winter recreation day.
Even when the winter weather isn’t cooperating, other free recreation activities, including cornhole, disc golf, and indoor yoga, are offered at the City’s winter lodges. The lodges at Burnet and Sunnycrest Parks are open for winter activities on Saturdays and Sundays, and on weekdays during December and February school breaks between 10am and 4pm. Both ski lodges have bathrooms and provide a comfortable space to warm up!
Syracuse Orange Basketball & Syracuse Crunch Games
In this town, winter time means it’s college basketball time. There is arguably no bigger force of Syracuse pride than congregating in the Dome to cheer on the Orange. Wintertime events like Manny Breland Day make attending SU basketball games even more special for Syracusans.
And those looking to watch some fun winter sporting indoors can get their fix by attending a Syracuse Crunch hockey game downtown at the OnCenter!
Spend the Day at a Museum
Looking to get out of the house but stay indoors? Syracuse has plenty of museums to enjoy when the winter weather is less than ideal. The Erie Canal Museum is a wonderful option that offers an immersive look back at the history of Syracuse and the Erie Canal. The museum is housed in the historic 1850 Weighlock building, where canal boats were once weighed for tolls. The only remaining structure of its kind in the world, the building itself is a treasured artifact that houses . Don’t forget to check out the murals, statutes, and Locktender’s Garden outside before escaping from the cold. Visit the museum’s site to check out the special exhibits and hours of operation.
The Museum of Science and Technology (MOST) in the heart of Armory Square is another year-round family destination. And it’s not just for kids! With numerous exhibits, the IMAX theater, and the planetarium, it’s easy to spend several hours at the MOST. Loads of interactive displays let you have fun and learn at the same time.
The Everson Museum of Art offers exciting social activities for both families (like the free Winterfest on Sunday, February 20) and adults, so make sure to check the museum’s events page. And of course, don’t forget to check out the museum’s permanent and rotating fine art exhibitions.
Check all websites for current operating hours before you plan your day.