Thanksgiving for as long as we can remember is the official kick off to the holiday season. Once the turkey and stuffing leftovers have been packed away, it is time to take advantage of the deals, markets, and festivities around WNY. Not sure where to start with entertaining your friends and family? Let us be your guide! Here’s 9 of the best things to do on Thanksgiving weekend this year:
1. Shop ’til you drop at Fall Makers + Shakers: Boozy Artisan Market
Step Out Buffalo’s annual Makers + Shakers: Boozy Artisan Market is back! This year the market will take place over three full days on Thanksgiving Weekend from Friday to Sunday, and will feature 120+ local vendors, a Bloody Mary bar and cash bar, food, music, free booze samples, and exclusive giveaways where you can enter to win free stuff as you shop!
2. Feel the magic of the season at one of WNY’s light displays
Now that the holiday season has begun, light displays around WNY are officially up. Head to the Buffalo Zoo for Zoo Lights, the Hamburg and Niagara County fairgrounds for displays, and The Stony Brook neighborhood in Lancaster for Stony Brook Legendary Lights. Also, if you plan on going all out with your own light display this year, you can enter our contest with The Festival of Lights here!
3. See world-class ice skating with Christmas On Ice
Head just over the border to Fallsview Casino to see the production of Christmas On Ice. This show features a winter wonderland of national championship ice skaters, dancers and singers as they perform a Christmas spectacle.
4. Visit the Arctic | A Man Under the Ice Exhibit
Explore the world of the Canadian Arctic through this captivating exhibit which takes viewers on a journey of never-before-seen photos and videos captured on the expeditions of Mario Cyr. Cross paths with polar bears, walruses, narwhals, sea angels, and large marine mammals, learn about the team’s expedition base camp, diving equipment, and the challenges they faced, and virtual dive under the ice with Mario Cyr in a breathtaking 360-degree projection space.
5. Go on a holiday-themed train ride
If you have kiddos to entertain, these train rides are the perfect excursion to ring in the holiday season. From meeting Santa to visiting the North Pole, gifts for children, and hot chocolate, these train rides are like the real life Polar Express.
6. Attend Christmas in Ellicottville
Christmas in Ellicottville is a weekend long event that includes activities for the whole family to enjoy. Visitors can anticipate holiday music throughout the village streets, real live reindeer, visits with Santa (including fire truck rides with the big guy), horse and wagon rides, as well as kid’s crafts, cookie decorating, and more.
7. Celebrate the season at Jingle Falls USA
Head to Old Falls Street in Niagara Falls for a variety of holiday activities. Festivities include complimentary horse and carriage rides, outdoor fire pits, outdoor tree lighting ceremony, the LiveNF Makers Market, and more.
8. Visit the Gingerbread Wonderland
Ever seen a life-sized gingerbread house IRL? Here’s your chance. The Niagara Falls Culinary Institute goes all out for the season with decorations by creating a massive gingerbread house. The event also includes a gingerbread competition, visits with Santa, cookie and craft kits, and more.
9. Attend the 15th Annual Christmasville Fire Truck Parade
Perfect for kids, the Christmasville Fire Truck Parade takes a light-up parade to a whole new level. Over 200 trucks from 7 counties and 2 states have participated in the past. The parade starts at Lancaster High School and will proceed down Central Avenue trough the Village of Lancaster, turning right onto West Main Street.