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Things to Do in Syracuse, New York State

Things to Do in Syracuse

As a mid-sized city in upstate NY, Syracuse might not have the allure of New York City, but that certainly doesn’t mean you can’t have a great time. Check out the various fun things that you can do in Syracuse.


The Carousel Mall is now called Destiny USA, but even many locals refer to the expansive shopping center by its old moniker. The big draw, of course, is the large carousel, which is a beautifully restored carousel from 1909. With over 250 stores, restaurants, and fun centers, there’s something to appeal to almost everyone. This is a great place to take the kids when the weather’s bad. They can play games at Dave & Buster’s, drive go karts at Pole Position Raceway, or exercise their minds at WonderWorks.

For a different kind of fun, check out Dougherty’s Masquerade, which is a costume rental shop. You’ll have fun looking at the well-made costumes and accessories. It’s the perfect side trip for anyone who enjoys the theater.


Salt helped Syracuse become the large city it now is, so check out this little piece of history at the Syracuse Salt Museum. Boxing fans might want to spend a few hours at the International Boxing Hall of Fame, where you can see photos and memorabilia. Bring money or credit cards to buy autorgraphed items at the shop. Finally, Syracuse was one of the stops along the Erie Canal, and you can spend some time learning about its importance at the Erie Canal Museum. There are plenty of interactive activities to keep the kids interested.


Spend some time outside at the Onondaga Lake Park area. There, you’ll find comfortable picnic areas, playgrounds for the little kids, and a skate park for the older kids. It’s easily accessible from the Thruway, so it can be a fun break, even if you don’t plan to spend the day. Oneida Lake is in the northern part of the city, and it offers great activities throughout the year. In the summer, you can swim, boat or jetski. When the lake is frozen, you could ice skate or try ice fishing.

New York State Fair

The Great New York State Fair is held in Syracuse at the end of the summer. It features everything you’d expect from a state fair, including amusement rides and games, fun foods, livestock viewing, and other educational activities. Many New York farmers enter their animals and recipes into the contests for a chance to be named the best in the state. There’s so much to see and do here that you may want to plan to go more than once.

Editor’s Note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews of things to do in Syracuse, NY.

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