Dear Readers,
In this newsletter, you'll find a compilation of news, events, holiday-related happenings and #DealAlerts in Downtown Syracuse through Sunday, December 5. The next Downtown News & Events Newsletter will be sent out on Monday, December 6. Please note, the content below is up-to-date as of 9:00 am on Tuesday, November 23. Be sure to follow your favorite retailers, restaurants and cultural institutions on social media for more information!

Downtown News
Holiday Events & Activities
Plan Your Week in Downtown Syracuse
Looking Ahead
Deal Alert

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Dash and Dot’s Holiday Gift & Activity Guide

Starting this Friday, November 26 through Friday, December 24, Dash and Dot – the Downtown Committee’s seasonal staff members – will resume their mission of highlighting all of the great gift options, services, traditions and holiday experiences found throughout Downtown Syracuse. The elves will take over the Downtown Committee’s social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) to share their adventures, special promotions and holiday tips. And, new this year, the elves’ Downtown expertise has been put to good use through two newly created guides designed to package the holiday experience in Downtown Syracuse. Building on the popularity of Dash and Dot, the Downtown Committee has introduced two new holiday guides: Dash and Dot’s Holiday Activity Guide and Dash and Dot’s Holiday Gift Guide. The Holiday Activity Guide includes a variety of traditions that Downtown Syracuse is known for. The Gift Guide features six categories packed with suggestions to help you find thoughtful, meaningful gifts for loved ones this season.

Downtown Businesses: If you would like to submit an item or an activity to be included in Dash and Dot’s Holiday Gift and Activity Guides, please send the elves a message via email at
Window Wonderland Walk & Contest

The popular Window Wonderland Walk and Contest returns for its 6th Annual season this Friday. A record number of businesses (43!) will transform their ground-floor windows into engaging winter and holiday scenes to celebrate the season and vie for prizes. The community is invited to stroll through Downtown Syracuse and check out the businesses identified on a Window Wonderland map, accessible by clicking here, and then go inside these businesses - behind the windows - to see what’s inside! On Friday, November 26, the Downtown Committee will share a link on its website where you can vote for your favorite displays. Voting continues through Sunday, January 2. The top three displays to earn the most votes will receive prizes: $500 for First Place, $250 for Second Place and $100 for Third Place. Winning displays will be announced in the Downtown Committee’s newsletter on Tuesday, January 4. The promotion was designed to boost holiday spirit, entertain visitors, and attract new customers to experience Downtown Syracuse’s variety of retail, restaurant and cultural offerings.

Welcome Back, Floridella!

Floridella Boutique has returned to Downtown Syracuse! The women’s clothing store celebrated a soft opening on Saturday at 406 S. Franklin Street (map). With a flair for trendy and classic styles, Floridella offers a variety of apparel, handbags and accessories. The retailer is known for its sophisticated, yet funky style, and selections are curated with comfort and quality in mind. The retailer is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm.

#DealAlert: Follow Floridella on Facebook and Instagram and tag Floridella in a post to receive 15% off. Show proof when you visit this week (through Saturday, November 27) to enjoy 15% off your purchase!
DGX Syracuse to Open Next Week

The shelves are stocked at DGX Syracuse, located at 301 S. Salina Street (map), as the store prepares to open next week. Right now, DGX is on target to open on Monday, November 29. It will be open from 7:00 am to 10:00 pm every day. DGX is a new store geared toward millennial shoppers. A division of Dollar General, DGX offers grab-and-go items, as well as fresh fruits and vegetables, health and beauty items, pet supplies, snacks and candy, cleaning supplies and more. The Syracuse location will be one of 27 other DGX stores in the United States, and the chain’s second location in New York State. The building that houses DGX was home to Woolworths from 1941 to 1979, then Rite Aid until 2019.

Additional Funding Announced for The MOST

The Museum of Science and Technology (The MOST) has received an $80,000 grant through support from Senator John Mannion to help fund state-of-the-art upgrades to its Omnitheater and planetarium. The on-going renovations include the installation of new high-resolution digital projectors, new carpeting and energy-efficient lighting, all to enhance the visitor experience.

Limited Edition T-Shirts to Support Downtown Beautification Efforts

Show your love for the City of Syracuse with a “Welcome to Syracuse” t-shirt, designed to coincide with the new community-sourced gateway sign, entering Downtown Syracuse from West Genesee Street. This limited-edition t-shirt makes a great addition for holiday gifts! The new gateway sign, “Downtown Syracuse Welcomes You,” came about because of community partnerships. David Has (of @SyracuseHistory), @DigitalHyve, Kelly Wise, a local gardener, the Downtown Committee, Elevators Interiors Inc. and Laser Focus PDM were all involved. Syracuse Tomorrow’s Neighborhoods Today (TNT) provided the funding for plant materials, and local advocates Ed Griffin Nolan and Councilman Joe Driscoll helped champion the efforts. The t-shirt is only available until Friday, December 10th. All proceeds benefit Downtown Syracuse beautification efforts.

Last call for resumes for Director of Operations position

If you want to be the Downtown Committee's next Director of Operations, send in your resumes and cover letters now. The Downtown Committee is a downtown management organization that prioritizes Downtown's revitalization through improving its image, strengthening its economic base, increasing its attractiveness and assuring that Downtown remains clean, safe and accessible. The Director of Operations directs and participates in the daily operating duties of multiple buildings and ground sites throughout Downtown Syracuse to ensure the completion of maintenance activities and related projects within schedule and time constraints. The position is open because the current Director of Operations, Chuck McFadden, is retiring after 44 years of service.

Steely Dan Absolutely Normal Tour '21
at Landmark Theatre (map)
(Tonight!) Tuesday, November 23, 8:00 pm

There's still time to purchase tickets to see three-time Grammy award-winning rock band Steely Dan at The Landmark Theatre tonight! The band blends rock, jazz, Latin and R&B elements to deliver an unforgettable music experience.

Cost: $55+
Syracuse Crunch Home Games
at Upstate Medical University Arena at The Oncenter War Memorial (map)

Cheer on the Syracuse Crunch with tickets for you and your crew! There are five opportunities to watch the action in the next two weeks.

First, The Crunch take on the Belleville Senators this Wednesday, November 24. The puck drops at 7:00 pm.

Then, The Crunch face off against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms on Friday, November 26 at 7:00 pm.

The Crunch will take on the Rochester Americans Saturday, November 27 at 7:00 pm.

After a short break, The Crunch return to meet the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on the ice next Friday, December 3. The puck drops at 7:00 pm.

Then, on Saturday, December 4, the Rochester Americans return to Syracuse to face-off against The Crunch. The puck drops at 7:00 pm.

Cost: $18+
Pre-Tree Lighting Celebration
at Marriott Syracuse Downtown (map)
Friday, November 26, 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Kick off the City's Tree-Lighting Celebration at the Marriott Syracuse Downtown and enjoy complimentary holiday refreshments, photos with Santa and music by local performers.

Cost: Free
Tree Lighting Treats
at Glazed and Confused (map)
Friday, November 26, 5:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Fuel up with donuts and hot chocolate at Glazed & Confused before heading over to watch the Tree Lighting in Clinton Square. Flavors include Cinnamon Sugar, S'mores, Peppermint Bark, Christmas Carnival and Rainbow Cookie!

Cost: Varies
Downtown Tree Lighting Ceremony
at Clinton Square (map)
Friday, November 26, 6:00 pm

The “Home for the Holidays” Tree Lighting, presented by The City of Syracuse and Cumulus Media returns this Friday. Enjoy hot chocolate, ice skating, games, music and a visit from Santa! Festivities start with a choir from Onondaga Middle School performing at 6:00 pm, with the Tree Lighting taking place by 7:00 pm. The presentation will conclude with a performance by Brownskin Band at 7:00 pm. If neighbors would prefer to celebrate virtually, a link will be posted at the Syracuse Tree Lighting's website on Wednesday, December 8th.

#DealAlert: Parking will be free on Friday, November 26th throughout Downtown Syracuse. And, throughout the holiday season, starting Saturday, November 27 through Sunday, January 2.

Cost: Free
Night Market at SKY Armory
at SKY Armory (map)
Saturday, November 27, 3:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Enjoy holiday shopping in a festive atmosphere on Small Business Saturday as Night Market returns to SKY Armory! The festive pop-up holiday shopping experience features 60+ artists, makers and retailers spread across three floors. Patrons may enjoy live music by local musicians, bistro-style foods, plus sip on funky cocktails, wine and/or beer while shopping.

Cost: $5 per person | In-advance or at the door
Polar Express Pajama Parties Returns to The MOST
at The Museum of Science and Technology (map)
Saturday, November 27, 5:30 pm - 8:00 pm

The first of seven Polar Express Pajama Parties is this Saturday at The Museum of Science and Technology (The MOST). Activities include live storybook reading, various science-themed games and activities including making snow crystal snowflakes, steam train origami, a sticker station and more. The Polar Express will be screened on live screens throughout the museum for attendees to enjoy. The event is FREE to attend with museum admission. Attendance will be capped at 220 participants. Additional pajama parties are planned for December 3, December 4, December 10, December 11, December 17, and a sensory-friendly edition will be held on December 18.

Cost: $10-12
Native Heritage Month - Art Sale & Event
at The Museum of Science and Technology (map)
Sunday, November 28, 9:30 am - 5:00 pm

Celebrate Native Heritage Month at The MOST with various activities to learn more about Native American culture. Throughout the day, attendees can engage with Native American leaders and, browse 15 art vendors that demonstrate the beauty and complexity of Native culture. A schedule of the day is provided below:

9:45 am: Tadodaho Sid Hill, the spiritual leader of the Six Nations, will open the event with a traditional Haudenosaunee Thanksgiving.
11:00 am: Traditional Lacrosse (dehoñtjihgwa’és) stick making demonstration by Alfie Jacques
12:30 pm: Faithkeeper Oren Lyons speaks on the roots of democracy
1:30 pm: Native Dance exhibition led by smoke dance champion Chris Thomas
3:00 pm: Art Sale begins

Cost: Free with museum admission
Coach's Corner: College Student Edition
at The Ice Cream Stand (map)
Sunday, November 28, 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Attention college students! Stop into the Coach's Corner at The Ice Cream Stand this Sunday for free ice cream and success coaching from Michael Sgro Leadership Coaching! Sign up for (in-person) 15 to 20 minute sessions at the register.

Cost: Free
West Africa on a Plate: Asempe Kitchen
at The Salt City Market Test Kitchen (map)
Sunday, November 28, 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Finish the weekend on a high note and treat yourself to a cooking class featuring the flavors of West Africa at the Salt City Market Test Kitchen! Chef Kuukua, a native of Ghana, will show attendees how to make traditional Ghanian dishes. Enjoy a beverage from the Salt City Coffee + Bar or a purple-red-hibiscus-ginger cocktail infused with spicy cloves and grains of Selim and sweetened with cane sugar made by Chef Kuukua.

PS: Take home a colorful hand-sewn apron made by Ghanian women to help you remember your trip to the West African coast for $10!

Cost: $55
A Festival of Lessons and Carols for Advent
at St. Paul's Syracuse - The Downtown Episcopal Church (map)
Sunday, November 28, 4:00 pm

St. Paul's Syracuse will hold a traditional service featuring many favorite carols of the season.

Cost: Free
Menorah Lighting
at Clinton Square (map)
Sunday, November 28 - December 2: 4:30 pm
Friday, December 3: 3:37 pm (Shabbat)
Saturday, December 4 and Saturday, December 5: 6:30 pm

The Menorah has been installed in Clinton Square for the Chanukah celebration, to begin on Sunday, November 24 through December 5. Join Rabbi Yaakov Rapaport of Chabad House and leaders from the community for the first nightly lighting of the Menorah this Sunday at 4:30 pm.

Cost: Free
Executive Leadership Development Series 2022: Informational Session (virtual)
via CenterState CEO
Wednesday, December 1, 9:00 am - 10:00 am

CenterState CEO's Executive Leadership Development Series helps executives and rising managers take their skills to the next level by enhancing critical thinking, communication and empowerment skills. The seven-month series combines academic expertise with real world insight and experiences. If you're interested in learning more, tune in to an information session next Wednesday.

Cost: Free

Navigating the Return to Normal (virtual)
via CenterState CEO
Thursday, December 2, 9:00 am - 10:00 am

The next installment of the six-week series, "Eyes on the Future," will focus on how to navigate the return to normal with perspectives from professionals who work in human resources.

Cost: $20
The Everson Film Series Presents:
Kusama: Infinity
at Everson Museum of Art (map)
Thursday, December 2, 6:30 pm

The Everson Museum of Art will screen Kusama: Infinity by Heather Lenz. The film explores the life and work of artist Yayoi Kusama, who battled issues of sexism, racism, and mental illness while on her path to become one of the top-selling living female artists in the world. After the screening,Paul Phillips and Sharon Sullivan, will host a discussion, providing a close-up look of Kusama's rarely seen mixed-media sculptures from the Everson's permanent collection.

Cost: Free
Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith
at Landmark Theatre (map)
Thursday, December 2, 7:30 pm

Multi-platinum and Grammy award winners Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith are reuniting to co-bill a popular Christmas Tour, which stops next week at The Landmark Theatre. The concert features selections that span both artists’ Christmas repertoires and are featured on their critically-acclaimed holiday albums. Both Grant and Smith are contemporary Christian artists who have also experienced success in the Pop Music realm. This year, Grant’s Heart in Motion album – which features Baby, Baby, Every Heartbeat and I Will Remember You – is celebrating its 30th anniversary. Smith may be best known for his Change Your World album, which included the #1 contemporary hit, I Will Be Here for You.

Cost: $33.50 - $100
Holiday Shops at Ecodessa
at Ecodessa (map)
Friday, December 3, 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Saturday, December 4, 11:00 am - 3:00 pm

Throughout December, Ecodessa will partner with other women-owned businesses in the area to showcase the best products for holiday gift-giving – and treating yourself – this season! The pop-up shops kick off Friday, December 3. On Saturday, December 4, Crave Dessert Studio will “pop up” in the Ecodessa Showroom. Meet owner Tykemia Carman (who was featured on the Food Network’s Christmas Cookie Challenge) and stock up with goodies while supplies last!

Cost: Varies
NightLab: RetroGameCon!
at The Museum of Science and Technology (map)
Friday, December 3, 5:30 pm - 9:30 pm

Are you ready for a night of games, contests, craft vendors, raffles, and museum exploration? RetroGameCon and The MOST are partnering to support Extra Life & the Upstate Golisano Children's Hospital with a one-night-only event, featuring video games, computer gaming, trivia contests and more. The event is designed for those 21 years old and older. $5 from each ticket, a portion of each vendor fee, and 100% of raffle proceeds will benefit Upstate Golisano Children's Hospital via Extra Life.

Cost: $15
Author's Reading Series: Poet Kofi Antwi (virtual)
via CNY YMCA | Downtown Writers Center
Friday, December 3, 7:00 pm

The next installment of the author's reading series will feature poet Kofi Antwi. Antwi is an African American writer, English professor and graduate of the Writers Foundry MFA Creative Writing Program. His work has been published in Great Weather For Media, Agbowo, No, Dear, NYSAI, Ninalem and Rigorous. His poem "Vintage" was nominated for Best Poem on The Web by Rise Up.

Cost: Free
Erie Eats: A Deeper Dive with Mark Kurlansky
via Erie Canal Museum
Friday, December 3, 7:00 pm

In order to understand how New York City became an economic empire, it's critical to understand the role that the Erie Canal played. Next Friday, Mark Kurlansky, the best-selling author of Salt, will discuss how the canal helped establish economies and foodways that made New York prosper.

PS: Keep an eye out for upcoming events from The Erie Canal Museum including The Erie Canal and the Western Door and a Lunchtime Lecture by Charles Albee, covering Benjamin Baum, the father of L. Frank Baum (author of The Wizard of Oz) and his use of the Erie Canal.

Cost: $15 Members | $25 Non-members
Sister Act
at The Redhouse Arts Center (map)
Friday, December 3 – Sunday, December 19

The curtain goes up for Sister Act next week at The Redhouse Arts Center! Tickets are on sale now for all performances, which run Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through Sunday, December 19. The powerhouse musical was adapted from the popular 1992 film and follows a woman who (after witnessing a murder) is put in protective custody in a convent. See – and hear – how she helps the nuns find their voices as the director of the choir, and how they help her find her own.

Cost: $35
Festival of Trees & Light
at Everson Museum of Art (map)
Begins Saturday, December 4,
10:00 am - 5:00 pm

For the first time, the family-favorite tradition, the Festival of Trees & Light, expands to three weeks. The Festival of Trees & Light is chock full of programs and activities. In addition to seeing stunning displays of seasonal items and trees for purchase, there will also be live performances, art-making and storytelling activities for kids. New this year, the Festival of Trees also includes a Holiday Marketplace, featuring artist-made wares and locally sourced products to help you cross items off of your Holiday Shopping lists.

Cost: $10 Non-Members & Adults (Please note, the maximum cost per household is $25) | $5 Members & Students | Free for Children 12 years old and under
Winter Wonderland Weekends
at Everson Museum of Art (map)
Saturday, December 4, 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sunday, December 5, 11:00 am - 2:00 pm

On Saturdays throughout December, families are invited to participate in art-making and group activities led by talented teaching artists, storytellers and musicians in the Danial Family Education Center.

On Sundays throughout December, the Winter Wonderland fun includes drop-in art-marking with a variety of decorative materials and crafts provided. Create your own holiday and winter-themed cards for family and friends!

Cost: $5 per child
Syracuse City Ballet Presents The Nutcracker
at The Oncenter Crouse Hinds Theater (map)
Saturday, December 4: 11:00 am & 3:00 pm
Sunday, December 5: 5:00 pm

Celebrate Syracuse City Ballet’s return to theater with the whimsical reimagined version of the beloved story, The Nutcracker. Follow Clara as she explores the World of Sweets and meets new characters including Duke Candy Cane, Countess Mint Truffle and Empress Macaron.

Cost: $20+
Sketch and Paint Along with Robert Carsten (virtual)
via Everson Museum of Art
Saturday, December 4, 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm

Sign up for a fun and engaging workshop with artist Robert Carsten, using a combination of pencil, pen, and watercolor to recreate a photo. Carsten's award-winning work is widely collected and has been published in Strokes of Genius, The Best of Drawing, and Pure Color.

Cost: $52 Members | $65 Non-members
30th Annual New Beginnings Gala (hybrid)
at The Oncenter Nicholas J. Pirro Convention Center (map)
Saturday, December 4, 6:00 pm - 11:00 pm

Attend (in-person or virtually) the 30th Annual New Beginnings Gala to help fundraise for the programs and services of Vera House. The gala invites attendees to celebrate the season and support the agency's mission to end domestic and sexual violence. The gala will feature a silent auction, a "wine pull," and live music by the Silver Arrow Band. In addition, the event will commemorate John and Kim Huhtala, the 2021 Gala Honorary Chairs, for their commitment to Vera House's mission.

Cost: $210 In-Person | Free for Virtual Attendees (Donations Appreciated)
at The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception (map)
Saturday, December 4: 8:00 pm

Symphoria presents Handel’s Messiah, featuring the talents of the Syracuse University Oratorio Society, Symphoria and spectacular soloists.

Cost: $30 Adults / $25 Senior Citizen / $5 College Student (with ID) / Free for Children 18 years old and under
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical
at Landmark Theatre (map)
Sunday, December 5, 3:00 pm

The holiday classic, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, jumps to life on stage at The Landmark Theatre. Watch as Rudolph, Hermey the Elf, Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster and Santa and Mrs. Claus remind us that what makes us different can also be what makes us so special.

Cost: $22.50+
This compilation of weekly events includes food specials, trivia, live music, wellness opportunities and more!
at Landmark Theatre (map)
Tuesday, December 7 - December 12

In two weeks Waitress begins its run at The Landmark Theatre! The musical features Jenna, a waitress and expert pie-maker who aspires to leave a difficult marriage and her small town for big dreams. Featuring music by Grammy Nominee Sara Bareilles, this performance will delight attendees with "a little slice of pie!"

Cost: $30+
The Bear Tree Book Talk & Holiday Sale
at Onondaga Historical Association (map)
Friday, December 10, 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Attend a book talk with the authors of The Bear Tree, highlighting the history of Cazenovia. Attendees will meet the authors, have the opportunity to pick up a copy and receive 20% off your purchase at the Gift Gallery!

Cost: Varies
A Kwanzaa Karamu: A Community Celebration
at Everson Museum of Art (map)
Saturday, December 18: 11:00 am – 2:00 pm

Celebrate Kwanzaa with Vanessa Johnson, a griot (storyteller) and artist at the Danial Education Center located in the Everson Museum of Art. During this interactive experience, children will create traditional rattles and hear animal stories. Together, they’ll bring stories to life in an original installation. There will be three candle lighting ceremonies throughout the day at 11:30 am, 12:30 pm and 1:30 pm.

Cost: $10 Non-Members & Adults (Please note, the maximum cost per household is $25) / $5 Members & Students / Free for Children 12 years old and under
Urban Sketchers Social Gathering
at Epicuse (map)
Saturday, December 18: 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

The Urban Sketchers group will meet at Epicuse for a holiday sketch and meet! Bring your sketchbooks and preferred drawing utensils for a send-off before the new year! Also, bring your favorite drawings from the past year to share with the group over a glass of wine or coffee!

Cost: Varies
#DealAlert: Enjoy 50% off an Everson Museum of Art membership if you sign-up before the end of November!

#DealAlert: In the spirit of the season, Antique Underground will provide each customer – free with a purchase – with a handmade, hand-painted box, while supplies last. The boxes are 35+ years old and were made in Kashmir.