Day : Genesee Grande Hotel Pizza And An Evening Walk Around Syracuse University
We booked a room at the Genesee Grande Hotel. It was nice and included parking downtown. Typically we like to stay at a hotel that offers breakfast in the morning but we had plans to stop at a few doughnut shops during the weekend.
The hotel room we had was the Road Warrior suite. It had a king bed and pull-out sofa. The room was spacious for our family. For the weekend the sleeping arrangements were good, but for a longer stay you may want more space.
Our first stop of the night was dinner. My husband did a lot of food research for this trip and he planned out where we would eat for most of the weekend. We ordered pizza and Dilunas from DiLauros Bakery.
Not only did we order Dilunas we also picked up a cinnamon raisin loaf for breakfast in the morning. The bakery was delicious and I wanted to try everything.
We returned to the room for dinner and then decided to walk around Syracuse University. Syracuse University was a 10-15 minute walk from our hotel. I had never visited the school and I was really happy we did for two reasons.
After the walk we went back to the hotel for the night. We had a full day planned for Saturday!
Things To Do With Kids In Syracuse
Syracuse is all about family with endless nature, dozens of county and state parks, children’s museums, fun centers, family and toddler activities, it’s easy to find things to do with kids in Syracuse.
Explore the hands-on educational exhibits at the Museum of Science and Technology in Downtown Syracuse. Enjoy all kinds of outdoor recreation at Four Seasons Golf & Ski Center and at one of the many state, local and county parks in the area, like the Rosamond Gifford Zoo at Burnet Park. They’ll love showing mom and dad the ropes at the Wonderworks Canyon Climb Adventure in Destiny USA. And at the end of the day, relax and unwind with the family at one of the many kid-friendly restaurants in Syracuse. The fun starts here.
The Gem Diner Syracuse
We had lunch at The Gem Diner on the second day of the trip. There were a mix of positives and negatives here. Now, I don’t like to write negative things about the places that we go. J and I worked in the restaurant industry at various levels for a combined 27 years so we try to be understanding of many things when we dine out, because we know what goes on behind the scenes. At the same time, it’s really important to me to always be honest and transparent with you guys. So bear with me here and keep an open mind.
Our lunch at The Gem Diner was right after our visit to the zoo. As I mentioned above, this day was unseasonably hot, with temperatures over 90 degrees and muggy. J and I seriously love diners and after being outside all morning, we were all excited to sit down in a cool restaurant and eat. Although the central air at this diner seemed to be on, it was almost as though it was just barely on and it was pretty hot in the entire place.
The diner is definitely your classic fifties diner, with all the decor and finishes that you’d expect for this style, which is a lot of fun. It also had a few different spaces for seating, each one with interesting art on the walls.
Now I’m not sure if our server went on break, but after she took our orders we really didn’t see much of her. she stopped by once, a a while after we had gotten out entrees and asked how everything was. But in general we didn’t see much of her and also didn’t really see her at the tables around us either.
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Central New York Regional Farmers Market
The Central New York Regional Farmers Market hosts hundreds of vendors selling local produce, fresh baked goods, flowers, honey, handmade soaps, arts and crafts, and more. Come just to indulge in the hundreds of samples of everything from donuts, to mustard, to summers best peaches. On Sundays theres more of a flea market vibe, so be sure to plan your trip accordingly.
Day : The Wild Animal Park A Bit Of Oz Green Lake State Park And Destiny Usa
With weekend getaways I always try to pack in a lot of activities. There are so many things to do in Syracuse and we had a big day planned. We even added some surprise stops in along the way.
Our first stop was The Wild Animal Park in Chittenango, New York. It is about a 30 minute drive from downtown Syracuse and is a fun place to visit for families. We arrived at opening and I am glad we did, there was a line forming to enter and when we left a few hours later it was busy.
When you purchase tickets you have the option to add-on bounce house passes as well as purchase feed for the animals. We added the bounce house passes and food for the giraffe feeding. The other food we purchased inside the park.
As you enter there are places to feed the goats, but we quickly walked passed it to start with the giraffe feedings. I am so happy we did. We were the only family on the platform feeding them. This made it so much easier and made for great pictures!
After the giraffes we followed the path around the park and visited the other animals and spend some time in the bounce house area. Overall we spent about 2 hours exploring.
At this point we were ready for lunch. We picked up a picnic from the local grocery store and then made our way to Green Lake State Park.
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Warm Weather Outdoor Attractions
Syracuse’s network of state and county parks is open to visitors all year. Spring through fall, you can take kids to Beaver Lake Nature Center, where nature staff routinely lead programming targeted toward kids. Rent a canoe or kayak and take the kids out on the lake.
During summer, head to Clinton Square, where festivals are held during most weekends. Attend the annual three-day hot air balloon festival in Jamesville, where amusement park rides are set up. But no festival compares with the New York State Fair, held each year in Syracuse at the end of August. It’s a massive, 12-day event that includes rides, games, animal demonstrations, food, live music and dedicated areas for little kids to play.
If you’re lucky enough to visit Syracuse during the height of autumn, keeping the kids entertained is as easy as driving just 15 minutes from downtown. Apple-picking and pumpkin patches circle the city. Many of them, like the famed Beak & Skiff Apple Hill Orchards in Lafayette, have dedicated areas where kids can climb, ride ponies and play games.
See One Of The Wonders Of The World
Located just 2.5 hours from Syracuse, Niagra Fall is a great place to enjoy an exciting day trip. This iconic group of three waterfalls sits between the border of Ontario, Canadia and the State of New York.
The best way to experience the falls waterfall is Youll get an up-close and personal and see the true power of nature. The Niagra Falls State Park is located on the brink of the falls and is the oldest state park in the United States. Its filled with miles of hiking trails, an observation deck, a trolley ride service, and more!
This day trip will be fun for the whole family and you can visit the falls at any time of year.
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Fun Things To Do In Syracuse With Kids Family Friendly Activities
- David Reeve
Theres always something fun to do wherever you visit in New York, and Syracuse is no exception.
This NY city is a great vacation destination for families who love history, art, and beautiful landmarks.
You can even enjoy fun attractions for kids that will keep them entertained throughout the day.
So pack your bags and get ready for a fantastic trip.
Here are some fun things to do in Syracuse with kids.
Fun For The Family: Indoor Places To Take The Kids In Upstate Ny
Gallery: The National Museum of Play at The Strong in Rochester, N.Y.
Trampoline parks. Water slides. Aquariums. Ropes climbing courses and go-kart racing.
There are plenty of opportunities for indoor fun for the whole family when cabin fever sets in this winter, or any time of the year.
Here are some of the top Upstate New York destinations for indoor family fun:
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Visit The Citys Charming Historic Square
Clinton Square is located in downtown. Its characterized by stunning buildings that beautifully display the historic architecture of the city. This charming square offers many local Syracuse attractions. Youll find a great selection of local bars, cafes, shops, and eateries.
The square also contains several important monuments. The Soldiers and Sailors Monument was created in 1910 to honor the Civil War veterans from the area. The Jerry Rescue Monument commemorates the rescue of a fugitive slave by citizens in 1851.
In winter, theres a large ice rink set up in the middle of the square. During summer, the citys buzzing farmer market takes center stage. There are also plenty of local festivals that are held throughout the year in Clinton Square.
Everson Museum Of Art
Explore various paintings, ceramics, and sculptures with your kids at the Everson Museum of Art. Then, head to the Art Zone on the lower level where kids can create pottery and other works of art before dressing up in costumes to have their pictures taken in front of various scenery. Look for weekend family workshops that take place every few weeks.
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Best Hotel In Syracuse Quality Inn & Suites Downtown
This Syracuse hotel offers loads of great perks and is great value for money. Its conveniently located close to many Syracuse attractions as well as restaurants and bars.
Guests will enjoy free breakfast, free coffee, and free parking. Each room is spacious and includes a flat-screen TV, refrigerator, microwave, and safes.
Daniel Parrish Witter Agricultural Museum
This museum is located on the New York State Fair grounds, and is dedicated to the heritage of the states agricultural development.
It was built in 1928, and has undergone a series of changes over the years.
Daniel Parrish Witter was a farmer and politician, who was very closely affiliated with several dairymens and farmers association.
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Do You Need Travel Insurance
Dont forget to sort your travel insurance! Weve put together a roundup of Travel Insurance for backpackers check it out here, or if youre low on time, get a quote from World Nomads, our favorite travel insurance provider.
Getting an estimate from World Nomads is simple just click the button or image below, fill out the necessary info, and youre on your way!
Explore A Museum Dedicated Solely To American Art
The Everson Museum of Art was the first museum to dedicate itself entirely to American art and artists.
Housed in the museum youll find a permanent collection with over 11,000 unique works of art, including sculptures, paintings, ceramics, graphics, and photographs. It also hosts rotating seasonal and temporary exhibitions. Here youll find works of art from artists around the world.
The museum is open from Wednesday Sunday. Every Wednesday there is a policy of pay-as-you-wish admission. On the third Thursday of every month, admission is free from 5:00 pm 8:00 pm.
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Day : Soak In The Syracuse Culture
Start your day at the gorgeous Onondaga Lake Park. Hike along a trail next to the lake and take in the fresh open air outside of the busy city center.
The Salt Museum is right next to the park. Make sure to check out the local history of Syracuse while in the area and discover an important part of the citys history. When youre finished, drive about seven minutes to Destiny USA. Make sure to visit the Central New York Welcome Center and discover more about the popular attractions in the area.
This is a great place to do some shopping on your trip. If youre traveling with kids, they can burn off some energy in one of the malls child-friendly entertainment areas.
When youre done at the mall, drive less than a mile to The Buried Acorn Brewing Company. End your night with a few social drinks and mingle with the locals!
Things To Do In Syracuse
Experience all of the activities, attractions and events that Syracuse, NY has to offer. Step out into the scenic outdoors, embrace the urban vibrancy of Downtown Syracuse or explore one of our many unique neighborhoods. Find your next big adventure whether it’s kayaking in the summer, hiking through autumn or chasing frozen waterfalls. Let your inner foodie lead the way to restaurants offering everything from the best brunches to farm-to-table eats. Sip your way through craft breweries, wineries and cideries. Immerse yourself in the rich history of the region or enjoy the expansive arts & culture scene. No matter the season, stay inspired on things to do in Syracuse.
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Family Fun Things To Do In Syracuse Ny For A Weekend Getaway
Planning a family weekend getaway is a great way to reconnect as a family and take a break from the distractions at home. I started researching things to do in Syracuse, NY for families and found lots of great activities to choose from. We spent a weekend exploring Syracuse and enjoying a weekend getaway for our family.
We picked up our rental car Thursday night so that we were ready to leave for Syracuse after work on Friday. The drive to Syracuse is under an hour and a half and we wanted to arrive for dinner and to have a bit of time to enjoy the evening. Scroll to the end of the post for a list of everything we did during our Syracuse family weekend.
I love planning day trips and weekend getaways because they can be last minute and meet our family travel goals of connecting together while having life adventures. I partnered with Expedias Add-On Advantage program to book our Syracuse weekend and shared my experience in my post on 11 family weekend getaways from Rochester. It was easy to use the Add-On Advantage program and it saved us money on our stay.
Enjoy An Intimate Evening At The Syracuse Stage
The Syracuse Stage is a performing arts venue. Its one of the best places to go in the city for wholesome entertainment. Enjoy a show and experience New Yorks local performing arts culture. The theater is intimate and comfortable there isnt a bad seat in the house!
The ticket prices are also very reasonable. But most importantly, the quality of the performances are top-notch. If youre looking for Syracuse activities all ages will enjoy, you cant go wrong seeing an exciting show at this local theater.
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Free Things To Do In Syracuse Ny
Activities in the City of Syracuse that won’t cost you money.
The Creekwalk extends 2.6 miles from Armory Square in downtown Syracuse to the shore of Onondaga Lake. It follows the course of Onondaga Creek to the Syracuse Inner Harbor, then on to the lake. Future plans are to extend the creek south through the city and to build a viewing platform at the lakeshore terminus.
Learn more about the Creekwalk here.
Webster Pond is a 95-acre sanctuary in the Valley neighborhood, off the 2000 block of Valley Drive. Open daily, it’s a popular spot to unwind or feed the ducks. The Anglers Association of Onondaga, a non-profit group, is based at the pond through a long-term lease with the City of Syracuse. The association offers a variety of programs, including fishing instruction for kids and adults.
The land originally belonged to Revolutionary War veteran Ephraim Webster, reputedly the first white settler in Onondaga County. Wildlife common to the area include ducks, Canada geese, heron, purple marten, deer, fox, mink, raccoon, squirrel, woodchuck, opossum and turtles. More info here.
Ellen M. Blalock
OK, you’re bound to spend money here, but in theory you could just walk around the region’s largest shopping mall. You won’t be alone. With more than 250 retail and entertainment venues, Destiny USA gets 26 million visitors per year.
E.M. Mills Memorial Rose Garden
Best Things To Do With Kids In Syracuseview All
Your time in Syracuse is sure to be packed full of family-friendly fun. Explore the 43-acre Rosamond Gifford Zoo or bounce and jump to your hearts content at Sky Zone. Take a look at the list below for more things to do with kids in Syracuse:
- Rosamond Gifford Zoo: this 43-acre zoo is home to many species of animals including lions, penguins, and elephants
- Clark Reservation State Park: take a guided nature walk through many different landscapes
- WonderWorks Destiny: a play-education hybrid where kids can learn about topics including outer space, light and sound, and physics
- Sky Zone Trampoline Park: come here for high-flying fun for the whole family
- Great New York State Fair: a showcase of agriculture, entertainment, education and technology with rides, games, and a whole lot of fun
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