5 Fun Things For The Kids!
This one’s for all you kids who are about to let go of summer and enter the halls of learning for yet another school year. The end of summer means no more warm nights or lazy days. Soon there’ll be homework and teachers and less time for friends and fun. Before you say goodbye to summer for good, here are five ways to squeeze a little more fun out of your final days of freedom.
Make friends with lemurs and llamas and hold tiny baby goats at Fort Rickey Children’s Discovery Zoo. When you’re done bonding at the petting zoo, wade through an enormous ball pit or play a family-friendly game of Water Wars at the Wild Creatures Playland. And don’t worry—the fun here runs long past Labor Day with the Fall Fun Festival. From late September through the end of October, you’ll be able to ride a pony, get lost in a hay bale maze, and sample hot cider and homemade fudge. See here for rates.
Make memories at Pixley Falls State Park. The 50-foot waterfall along with scenic nature trails and trickling mountain streams make this one of the most pleasant, photogenic spots in the region. So pack a picnic lunch—or bring a fishing pole and catch your own—and plan to spend the final dog days of summer cooling off at Pixley Falls. Admission to the park is free.
Spend a day of leisure tubing down West Canada Creek. Your trip can last from 1-4 hours and since there are no rapids, the journey is peaceful and suitable for the whole family. West Canada Creek Tubing is a family-owned business and they’ll take care of you from start to finish—tube rentals are available and come with life jackets and drop-off and pick-up shuttle service. Kayak and canoe rentals are also available. This is one activity to act on now. Once Labor Day arrives, the fun is over until next year. See here for rates.
Let your curiosity run wild at the Utica Children’s Museum. If you’re age 10 or under, you’ll love the different ways the exhibits can push your imagination, no matter where your interests lie. The museum includes exhibits on space exploration and model trains and planes, an art studio, Central New York History Dioramas, a music area, and much more. The museum is open outside of school hours, so there’s plenty of time during the year to visit, too. Children under the age of 2 get in free. Children ages 2-17: $6. Adults: $8.
Visit the Utica Zoo, one of the region’s most beloved destinations for all ages. The zoo is home to over 200 animals, many of them on the protected or endangered species list. Wander the grounds along with the zoo’s free-roaming peacocks, watch daily feedings of camels and sea lions, and learn all about the world of the animal kingdom as you visit everything from cotton top tamarins and Burmese pythons to lions, hyenas, tropical frogs, and more. Don’t worry if you don’t make it to the zoo by Labor Day—they’re open all year and even host several holiday-themed events. Children 2 and under: Free. Children 3-12: $4.75. Adults 13-61: $8.00. Seniors, Military/Veterans, College Students with ID: $6.75.
By Michele DeBella