Coming to Buffalo for Thanksgiving means so much more than turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes. Some of the city’s most cherished traditions take place during the Thanksgiving week. Whether you’re an ex-pat coming home for the holidays or a newcomer to Buffalo, you’ll be living like a local when you tick off these events on our ultimate Buffalo Thanksgiving week checklist:
Wednesday, November 27th
✓ Buffalo Sabres vs. Calgary Flames:
Don your best blue and gold apparel, hop on the subway downtown toward KeyBank Center and team up with thousands of screaming hockey fans as the Buffalo Sabres take on the Calgary Flames during their 50th season of raucous, lamp-lighting fun.
Thanksgiving! Thursday, November 28th
✓ The Turkey Trot:
While availability to run in the race sold out weeks ago, the Turkey Trot is still very much a spectator-friendly event. Set your alarm for the early morning on Thanksgiving Day to witness thousands of runners proactively burn off some calories before the big feast. Watch as Superman, Cinderella, sprinting canoers and 14,000 others dash through the beautiful streets of Buffalo as they partake in this Thanksgiving tradition. We recommend getting a vantage point at the 198 footbridge or Niagara Square.
✓ Watch the Buffalo Bills vs. Dallas Cowboys:
Wear your favorite Bills jersey to Thanksgiving dinner and cheer on the Buffalo Bills as they take the national spotlight for the annual NFL Thanksgiving games. Dallas is going down!
Friday, November 29th
✓ Poinsettia Show:
Nature’s festive beauty will be in bloom at the Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens for their 2019 Poinsettia Show. Shades of red, floral scents and holiday music will fill the warm air of the newly-renovated conservatory.
✓ Fairgrounds Festival of Lights:
Walk the illuminated paths of a 10,000 square foot winter wonderland at the Fairgrounds Festival of Lights. Bring the little ones for a tour of the North Pole and a visit to the residence of Mr. and Mrs. Claus. Stick around and chill out for the holiday magic show, Winter Wonderland Workshop and cookie decorating.
✓ Train Day!:
All aboard for Train Day! at the Buffalo History Museum. Locomotive lovers will rejoice at 1900s replica trains running on over 200 feet of track along with live music, train-themed crafts and a letters to Santa train delivery.
Saturday, November 30th
✓ Small Business Saturday:
SBS kicks the local shopping scene into high gear. Along with fashionable boutiques and stores lining Elmwood, Hertel and our other great shopping districts, several locations will be hosting pop-up markets highlighting Buffalo’s creative hometown makers.
Stop by Makers + Shakers: Boozy Artisan Market, Small Business Saturday at Market Arcade, Queen City Pop-Up, 100 Acres Holiday Brunch & Market and Buffalo Women’s Gifts Holiday Market for made-in-Buffalo gifts.
✓ Zoo Lights at the Buffalo Zoo:
Welcome to a new Western New York holiday tradition — Zoo Lights at the Buffalo Zoo! Enjoy the Buffalo Zoo after hours and witness dazzling light displays, holiday music, live performances, warm winter treats and a visit with Santa!
✓ The World’s Largest Disco:
As much a part of the Thanksgiving holiday as turkey, the World’s Largest Disco is a celebration of 70s fashion, culture and, of course, music. Join celebrities and thousands of disco divas for a night of shaking your groove thing.
Sunday, December 1st
✓ Elf: The Musical at Theatre of Youth
Get your tickets for the 2pm showing of Elf: The Musical. Everyone’s favorite overgrown elf, Buddy, takes the stage at Buffalo’s best children’s performance company, Theatre of Youth, in this hilarious adaptation of this new classic Christmas movie.
✓ Downtown Ice Skating (weather dependent):
Lace up your skates as Canalside and Rotary Rink open the ice for the first skating of the winter season. At Canalside, you’ll find curling, skating, ice bumper cars, Buffalo-born ice bikes, and your own personal igloo to hang out in (new for 2019). Down at Rotary Rink, skating is totally free (plus the cost of skate rentals) and you’ll be joined by dozens of others in the winter wonderland of Downtown Buffalo.