Main menu Open search menu

Things To Do In Syracuse

New York State pride certainly extends south of NYC to Syracuse. The geographic heart of New York State, this city is defined by three things: basketball, barbecue, and bodies of water. The nearby Erie Canal and the southern tip of the Onondaga Lake extend into Syracuse. This makes it a hotbed for boating, kayaking, swimming, and sightseeing. Travelers will enjoy the adventurous spirit of this northern city. Here are some of the best things to do in Syracuse.

Adventure is around every corner in Syracuse. Count down the 24-second shot clock at a basketball game. Bike the greenway at a local park. Tour a museum to better understand the unique culture of Syracuse.

Here are some of the best things to do in Syracuse:

  • Experience great American adventure at the Erie Canal Museum
  • Put on your thinking cap at Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science & Technology
  • Discover a masterpiece at the Everson Museum
  • See a film at Landmark Theatre, which was once one of the first silent movie theaters in the country
  • Watch as birds take flight at the aviary inside the Rosamond Gifford Zoo

Hoping to make new memories without dipping into savings? Syracuse has all you need for travels that are both thrifty and memorable.

Cheap or free things to do in Syracuse include:

  • Venturing south to Clark Reservation State Park
  • Exploring theater, music, and independently owned shops at Armory Square
  • Descending into the depths of Onondaga Cave State Park
  • Discovering one of the nation’s largest regional art collections at Onondaga Historical
  • Listen to a Salt Museum guide reveal how the museum once supplied the entire nation with salt
link

5 Outdoor Activities for Kids that Are Fun and (Surprisingly) Educational

Groupon Editors

From roller-coaster physics to zipline safaris, our list of outdoor activities proves you don't have to be stuck at a desk to learn something.

Read More

Trips to Syracuse are only complete after attending a basketball game. Once done, devour steamy barbecue brisket at a local festival. Cheer on the home team from stadium seats.

Popular attractions near Syracuse include:

  • Cheering on the Syracuse Orange basketball team at the Carrier Dome
  • Partying on the block downtown at a local arts festival
  • Checking out the vast ceramics collection at the Everson Museum
  • Finding the only existing upside-down traffic light and learn its story in the Tipperary Hill neighborhood
  • Exploring more than 240 retail options at the Destiny USA shopping center

There is always something fun happening in Syracuse. Museums, bars, parks, and historic homes are open for business each day.

Try these exciting activities near Syracuse:

  • Ride the carousel at Long Branch Park
  • Get your fill of unusual artifacts at the Muzium
  • Tour the historic Gage home, where the Wonderful Wizard of Oz was written
  • Watch pups frolic at Wegmans Good Dog Park
  • Sip a cold beer at Eastwood Brewing Company

Whether you’re a night owl or just looking for a night on the town, Syracuse has a plenty of things to choose from. Spend the night dancing at a trendy lounge downtown. Test your wits at a local trivia event.

Nighttime activities near Syracuse include:

  • Dance from dusk till dawn at Orbis Lounge
  • Share fresh plates of meats and veggies at Laci’s Tapas Bar
  • Hang out at Empire Brewing Co. with a flavorful craft beer in hand
  • Play trivia at Coleman’s Irish Pub
  • Groove to a night of live jazz at Bistro Elephant

This weekend, pack a week’s worth of memories into those couple days in Syracuse. See a live show or take a dip in the river.

Weekend activities near Syracuse include:

  • Cool off on the shore of Butternut Creek at Jamesville Beach Park
  • See a live show in a converted speakeasy at Museum of Intrigue
  • Explore the 7.5 mile greenway at Onondaga Lake Park
  • Take a horseback ride through Highland Forest
  • Learn a new skill at a class at the Everson Museum of Art

Travelling with kids is a special kind of adventure. Luckily, there are plenty of things to do with kids in Syracuse, such as museums, science exhibits, and zoos. The city offers many area attractions for families with varied interests.

Family-friendly things to do near Syracuse include:

  • See a live puppet show at the Open Hand Theater International Mask & Puppet Museum
  • Explore over 100 hands-on science exhibits together at Wonderworks Destiny
  • Become best friends with a lion at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo
  • Fish for rainbow trout at one of five privately owned ponds at Spring Ponds Fishery
  • Discover area arts and culture at the Community Folk Art Center at Syracuse University

Love is in the air tonight in Syracuse. From delicious eateries to sultry concerts, there’s always something to bring you closer to your date in this romantic lakeside city.

Here’s a list of romantic things to do in Syracuse:

  • Take a sunset stroll through the gardens at E.M. Mills Rose Garden
  • Eat your heart out together on a Sampling Syracuse Food Tour
  • Enjoy gourmet pub grub and live music at Al’s Wine & Whiskey
  • Picnic on the grassy hillside at James Pass Arboretum
  • Go for a romantic swim on the north shore of one of the 11 finger lakes

Have a BBQ-eating contest at a local restaurant. Race to the finish against friends at a go-kart attraction.

Things to do with your friends near Syracuse include:

  • Sampling the barbecue that’s local to the area for over 30 years at Dinosaur Bar-B-Que
  • Exploring the finger lakes with wine in hand along the Keuka Lake Wine Trail
  • Satisfying your need for speed in a personal go-kart at RPM Raceway
  • Renting a pontoon boat and take it for a spin at Wagoner’s Marina
  • Painting a collective work of art while enjoying dinner and drinks at a Paint Nite event

There’s plenty of things to do in Syracuse, even when it rains. The city offers indoor golf, movie theaters, and plenty of delicious restaurants to explore on a day in.

Syracuse things to do indoors include:

  • Thrilling yourself with an IMAX showing at the Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science and Technology
  • Spending an afternoon rock climbing at the indoor Central Rock Gym
  • Playing a simulated game of golf at Par’s Indoor Golf
  • Sipping on a classic milkshake in retro digs at Modern Malt Syracuse
  • Relaxing your muscles with a swedish massage at Anthony’s Bodyworks Studio

Lace up those hiking books and hit the trails in Syracuse. There’s an outdoor activity for every season and plenty of places to enjoy it. Swim in the lake or snowshoe through the forest.

Here are some active things to do in Syracuse:

  • Tee off at Green Lakes State Park’s 18-hole golf course
  • Stop and smell the roses at Thornden Park
  • Walk the lush courtyard and admire the fountain at Columbus Circle
  • During winter, snowshoe through 660 acres of snowy wonderland at Beaver Lake Nature Center
  • Soak up the sun and swim in the Schiller Park community pool

If looking for lesser known adventures, Syracuse is full of things to see and a well of secrets is waiting to be discovered. Venture to its hidden quarries and find zany architectural gems.

Must-see places near Syracuse include:

  • Touring the historic home of Harriet May Mills, a well-known leader in the women’s suffrage movement
  • Exploring the cultural heritage of New York State’s Native American communities at Skä•noñh - Great Law of Peace Center
  • Marveling at a tree that grows stone fruit of all kinds at the Tree of 40 Fruit
  • Mountain biking along the bluffs at Skytop Quarry
  • Exploring the Niagara Mohawk Building, an art-deco fortress complete with towering spires and light features