Activities

Summer in CNY: Area u-pick farms, miniature golf courses and more

Thunder Island Water Park
Photo by Michael Davis

Summer has arrived in Central New York!

Whether you’re looking to pick strawberries or blueberries, play miniature golf, catch an outdoor performance, or just relax by the water, our ultimate summer guide has you covered.

Please note: Visit each website for more information about current COVID-19 guidelines.

U-Pick Farms

  • Abbott Farms – Abbott Farms offers u-pick strawberries, sweet cherries and raspberries in June, and blueberries in July. The farm’s grounds also include a country store, barnyard and tasting room, where those 21 and over can sample hard ciders and locally made wine.
    Where:
    3275 Cold Springs Road, Baldwinsville.
    More information:
    abbottfarms.com.
  • Behling Orchards– Open daily, families can choose from a variety of u-pick produce including: strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and cherries. After a visit to the orchard, stop by the barn, which includes a candy room and donut room.
    Where: 114 Potter Road, Mexico.
    More information: behlingorchards.com.
  • Burrell’s Navarino Orchard– Looking for an option south of town? Several varieties of u-pick strawberries (mid-June) and raspberries (early July) are available at this Lafayette farm. Before you leave, browse the baked goods, seasonal produce, local products and more in the country store.
    Where: 3655 Cherry Valley Turnpike, Syracuse.
    More information: navarinoorchard.com.
  • Critz Farms – During the summer months, families can pick their own blueberries or explore one of Critz Farms’ nature trails. Make sure to also check out the Blueberry Jam Festival, held annually at the beginning of August.
    Where: 3232 Rippleton Road, Cazenovia.
    More information: critzfarms.com.
  • Reeves Farms – Now in its fourth generation of family ownership, Baldwinsville’s Reeves Farms offers u-pick strawberries, organic strawberries and organic blueberries. You can also pick them up at its farm stand, along with other organic seasonal produce.
    Where:
    1220 W. Genesee Road, Baldwinsville.
    More information:
    reevesfarms.com.
  • Strawberry Fields Hydroponic Farm Families can pick strawberries from June through October – no getting down on your hands and knees required. A food truck will be available every weekend, and beginning in August, Strawberry Fields will offer a sunflower maze.
    Where:
    4240 E. Genesee St. Road, Auburn.
    More information:
    facebook.com/strawberryfields4240.

Miniature Golf

  • Big Don’s Outdoor Fun Center – Big Don’s wilderness-themed miniature golf course features wild animals, rivers and more. Guests can also compete in outdoor laser tagby reservation only.
    Where:
    8408 Button Road, Cicero.
    More information:
    bigdons.com.
  • Fairmount Glen Miniature Golf – Fairmount Glen’s obstacles include a pinball machine, windmill, barn and castle, and guests can win a free game and a pizza (or take a few strokes off their score) on the 19th hole. Children ages 5 and under are free with the purchase of an adult admission.
    Where:
    210 Onondaga Road, Syracuse.
    More information:
    fairmountglen.com.
  • Four Seasons Golf & Ski Center – During the summer months, families can take in waterfalls and the Statue of Liberty on Four Season’s Adventure Golf course or visit the driving range. Lessons are also available. If golf isn’t your thing, check out the soccer and batting cages.
    Where: 8012 E. Genesee St., Fayetteville.
    More information:
    fourseasonsgolfandski.com.
  • Gold Rush Adventure Golf – Located only a few miles off the New York State Thruway, this miniature golf course is home to astronauts, dinosaurs, pirates and more. It’s important to note, Gold Rush Adventure Golf only accepts cash.
    Where: 4853 NY-233, Westmoreland.
    More information: goldrushminiaturegolf.weebly.com.
  • Mr. Pudder’s Mini Golf & Ice Cream Mr. Pudder’s reopened at the beginning of May after undergoing renovations for two years. Families can play a round of mini golf, then grab an ice cream cone.
    Where:
    687 W. Genesee St. Road, Skaneateles.
    More information:
    mrpudders.com.
  • Shipwreck Amusements – Shipwreck Amusements offers both indoor and outdoor miniature golf (the latter holds a Guinness World Record for the longest miniature golf hole), as well as paintball, an arcade, and a treasure chest gem dig.
    Where: 759 State Route 13,
    More information: shipwreck-amusements.com.

Outdoor Entertainment  

  • Finger Lakes Drive-In The Finger Lakes Drive-In first opened in July 1947, and is the oldest continuously running business of its kind in the state. The facility also includes a snack bar, with refreshments ranging from hot dogs and mozzarella sticks to candy and popcorn.
    Where: 1064 Clark Street Road #9505, Auburn.
    More information:
    fingerlakesdrivein.com.
  • Hangar Theatre – Families can enjoy four performances outside the Hangar Theatre: Elephant and Piggie’s We Are In A Play! (June 25-26);The Little Mermaid (July 9-10); The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (July 16-17); and Stoo’s Famous Martian-American Gumbo (July 30-31). There will also be a sensory-friendly performance each Saturday.
    Where:
    801 Taughannock Blvd., Ithaca.
    More information:
    hangartheatre.org/buy-tickets/category/kiddstuff/list.
  • Midway Drive-In Theatre The Midway Drive-In Theatre is entering its 73rd During intermission each night, one customer will win a free large pizza. Keep in mind, admission for children ages 6 and under is free, and tickets are available for purchase online.
    Where: 2475 NY-48, Fulton.
    More information: midwaydrivein.com.
  • St. Joseph’s Health Amphitheater at Lakeview Music is back at the Joseph’s Health Amphitheater at Lakeview. Stars scheduled to perform this summer include: Luke Bryan (June 8); the Goo Goo Dolls (August 12); and Dave Matthews Band (August 18).
    Where:
    490 Restoration Way, Syracuse.
    More information:
    asmsyracuse.com/p/amphitheater.
  •  Syracuse Shakespeare-in-the-Park – Syracuse Shakespeare-in-the-Park will present two Shakespeare plays this summer: Troilus and Cressida (June 4-13) and The Comedy of Errors (August 6-15). Afterwards, make sure to stop by the E.M. Mills Rose Garden.
    Where: Thornden Park Amphitheatre, Thornden Park Drive, Syracuse.
    More information: ssitp.org.

Water Activities  

  • Cascades Indoor Waterpark – Open year-round, Cascades Indoor Waterpark offers something for every member of the family, including two three-story slides, a wave pool, a kiddie pool, and a café. Families can also take a ride on the mountain coaster or check out the high ropes course at Greek Peak’s Adventure Center.
    Where: 2177 Clute Road, Cortland.
    More information:
    greekpeak.net/waterpark.
  • Emerson Park – This park on the northern end of Owasco Lake offers a variety of activities: swimming, fishing, playgrounds, and disc golf. Families can also rent canoes, kayaks, paddleboards and more from Owasco Paddles. While you’re in the area, stop by the Merry-Go-Round Playhouse or the Ward O’Hara Agricultural Museum, or visit one of Auburn’s historical spots.
    Where: 6914 E. Lake Road, Auburn.
    More information: cayugacounty.us/1391/Emerson-Park.
  • Green Lakes State Park – This popular swimming spot features a playground, a concession stand, and picnic areas. If you’d rather stay dry, you can explore the park’s meromictic lakes by kayak or rowboat (rentals are available through Labor Day, depending on weather) or take advantage of more than 19 miles of trails.
    Where:
    7900 Green Lakes Road,
    More information:
    parks.ny.gov/parks/greenlakes.
  • Oneida Shores Park – Oneida Shores Park is another popular swimming spot in Onondaga County. Its grounds feature a playground, volleyball courts, horseshoe pits, and picnic areas. Families can also bring their own canoes and kayaks – or rent one. Season passes are available for purchase.
    Where:
    9400 Bartell Road,
    More information:
    onondagacountyparks.com/parks/oneida-shores-park.
  • Thunder Island Water Park – Thunder Island Water Park offers eight water slides and five pools, including two “Body Twisters,” a Tube Slide, and a mini river for younger children. While you’re there, make sure to also check out the park’s carousel, zip line, go-kart track, and jungle-themed miniature golf course.
    Where: 21 Wilcox Road, Fulton.
    More information: thunder-island.com.
  • Sylvan and Verona Beach Families can relax on the shores of Oneida Lake or explore wetlands, streams and more on Verona Beach State Park’s nine trails. A few miles down the road is Sylvan Beach, home to numerous family-friendly attractions, including a beach, amusement park, arcade, and ice cream shops. Make sure to mark your calendar for Pirates Weekend (July 15-18).
    Where: 6541 Lakeshore Road S., Verona Beach (Verona Beach State Park).
    More information: sylvanbeachny.com.

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