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Summertime Fun in CNY

Updated on April 12, 2014

Summer Fun in Central New York

As soon as it gets warm, and school is out for the summer; families are looking for fun things to do. So whether you live in Central New York or maybe you are planning a trip to the region I wanted to share a couple of places that are fun to visit in the area. This is my list of fun places to visit in no particular order. I hope you get the chance to experience them for your self. Have fun, and DO NOT forget the sunscreen.

Midway Drive In
Midway Drive In

The Midway Drive In

One of the last few drive in movie theatres that still shows movies is found in the town of Minetto, NY. It got it's name the Midway, because it is actually halfway between Minetto, and Fulton. This is one of my families favorite summer activities, as you get to see 3 movies for the price of $7 for each adult, $2 for kids 7-12, and kids under 7 are free. If you have never been to a drive in movie you have to experience it at least once in your life. There is nothing like seeing a film projected on a big screen outside. Don't be fooled into thinking that it is out of date, as they have upgraded the lot, and the films are digitally projected onto the screen. The image is one from a video I made about drive in theatres.

Butter Sculpture
Butter Sculpture

The Great New York State Fair

Having grown up in the Syracuse area I have been to the NY state fair more times than I can count. No matter how many times I have been I always find it exciting going at least once a year. There are always different things to see, and it's so much bigger than any county or town fair.

The Fair has so many sites to see, such as a butter sculpture in the Dairy building where you can also get a 25 cent milk. In another building you can see a giant sand sculpture. There are plenty of farm animals to see just like any other fair. The midway has plenty of rides that the whole family can enjoy. There are always national acts at the grandstands, and plenty of free perfoming acts in the Chevy Court. So much food to sample all around the fairgrounds, and do not forget to try a wine slushie while you are there. Experience different cultures in the Native American Village or the Pan African Village. There are just so many examples of things to experience that I cannot name them all.

green lakes state park
green lakes state park

Beaches in CNY

While there are so many lakes in the Central New York region I am only going to mention just a few of the more popular beaches.

Green Lakes State Park. Located in Manlius, and east of Syracuse has not only beautiful wooded area, but one of the prettiest turquoise coloured lakes. There is a section of beach for swimming. But if swimming is not your thing you can also use the campgrounds, and the golf course.

Fair Haven Beach State Park - Located in Fair Haven, which is west of Syracuse. This beach is on Lake Ontario. There is a 600 foot area of beach for swimming. There is also a campgrounds, and pets are welcome in most areas.

Sandy Island Beach State Park - Located north of Syracuse in the Pulaski. A very long beach, as it is 17 miles, and features one of the few freshwater dunes in Northeastern United States.

If it is sunny make sure to arrive early as these places can fill up quickly.

Thunder Island

CNY's Waterpark

Located just outside the city of Fulton is CNY's water park, Thunder Island. This is one of the best ways to pass the day when it is very hot. What more fun can you have then sliding down super slides into pools of cool water. This is one of my son's favorite places to go during the summer, as he loves pools, and slides. They also offer mini golfing, and other amusements, such as an arcade,go carts, and a zip line.

Animals and Nature

Onondaga Lake Park - While you cannot go swimming here they do have many things to offer. The Wegmans park offers a place for kids to play safely in a soft area. There is plenty of pavement walkways for people to roller skate, bike, or walk. There is also a skate park for people who like to skate board. The Salt Museum is located within this park if you are wondering about the "Salt City" historical side. You can ride the tram, and picnic in one of the many pavillions located thru out the park. The city is working on restoring the lake to it's once beautiful state, and hope to reopen swimming areas in the near future.

Beaver Lake Nature Center - Located in Baldwinsville, NY. This lake offers many nature paths to walk/hike, and just experience nature. You can also rent a canoe or kayak, and paddle out onto the lake. Can you hike the Lake Loop?

The Wild - Located just outside Chittenango, NY. They feature exotic animals, and sometimes do animal demonstrations. They have also have a bounce house area, so that when kids get tired of seeing the animals they can play. For more info about this please see my lens about Fun Places To take Kids in CNY.

Rosamund Gifford Zoo - This is the official zoo located within the city of Syracuse. They have a variety of animals, a bird room, an ape building, aquariums,a barn with a few farm animals and many outside environmental areas with animals, such as penguins, tigers, wolves, bison, flamingos, etc. For more info please see the same lens as mentioned in the wild paragraph.

Syracuse themed items on Amazon

Have you been to any of these places? - any suggestions?

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    • Dusty2 LM profile image

      Dusty2 LM 

      4 years ago

      Bucket List! It sounds as though there are a lot of fun things to keep you busy the entire summer. Thank You for stopping by my Eggnog Snickerdoodle lens and giving it a "thumbs up" as I appreciate it. Hope you have a Safe & Happy New Year, 2014!

    • CaztyBon profile image


      5 years ago

      I have never been to any of the places mentioned. I would love to go to the Midway Drive In. I really enjoyed learning about some places to visit in Central New York.

    • gadgetking1 profile image


      5 years ago

      Great info. Definitely on our list of places to visit. Thx

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I have never been to NY but will get there one day. Thanks for giving me some great idea`s.

    • Arod17 profile image


      5 years ago

      I have always wanted to visit NY

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Great lens!


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