School is in, and your family is looking for a weekend fall getaway, a refreshing change of scenery that’s not too far from home. Pack your bags, load the kids into the car, and drive to Syracuse, NY, about a three-hour drive from the Ottawa area, to make some wonderful family fun memories.
Rosamond Gifford Zoo
Time to get wild! The zoo is one of the top attractions for the Syracuse area, filled with great animals like lions, penguins and elephants. While you’re there, don’t miss the adorable baby snow leopards and small fennec foxes.
Museum of Science and Technology (MOST)
Right in downtown Syracuse, you’ll find a fantastic science museum, the MOST. Climb into the cockpit of an American F-16 jet, sit in the planetarium and watch the stars, or take a journey through the human body – this museum is a hands-on experience for learners of all sizes.
Erie Canal Museum
The Erie Canal Museum is a great place to learn about the foundation of the city you’re visiting. Why did people come here? What’s so important about a “big ditch?” What kind of people lived here? All can be answered with a quick tour through this historic museum, housed in the last remaining weighlock building on the Erie Canal.
WonderWorks and Adventure Canyon climb
WonderWorks takes family fun to new heights, with the world’s largest suspended indoor ropes course. Standing 70 feet (about 21 metres) tall, visitors can explore three levels of ropes as they encounter more than 80 different obstacles and activities, including swinging steps, lily pads, a tremor bridge and more. Conquer your fears and get a major adrenaline rush at this top Syracuse family fun attraction.
Onondaga Lake Park
It’s affectionately dubbed “the Central Park of Central New York.” With over one million visitors annually, Onondaga Lake Park is the most popular park in Central New York. Experience fall foliage amid the best paved, vehiclefree trails in the region, a legacy of history reflecting 500 years of community growth, as well as many special events, sporting competitions and festivals. Kilometres of shoreline nooks and crannies offer tremendous options for family picnics, including the very popular areas of Willow Bay and Cold Springs.
Fun fact: There’s a Salt Museum at Onondaga Lake Park because until 1900, the majority of the salt used in the United States came from Syracuse.
Everson Museum of Art
The Everson is a renowned art museum with a unique family appeal – the Art Zone. In the Art Zone, kids can create objects with clay at the ceramic station or dress up in costumes.
And of course, Syracuse is renowned for its world-class shopping. You’ll want to spend some time leisurely exploring Syracuse shops for some fall fashions or back to school supplies.
Be sure to visit the spectacular Destiny USA, a six-storey super-regional shopping and entertainment complex on the shore of Onondaga Lake. It is the sixth largest shopping centre in the United States, and the largest in the state of New York, with six above-ground floors and one underground floor, featuring a 19-screen Regal Cinemas, great family restaurants, and many other entertainment and family fun options.
Photo: depositphotos.com © Claudio Gedda