No worries! There’s so much fun stuff to do in the Syracuse area, active families will stay busy for the entire conference weekend.
1 Conservation Place, Syracuse
Admission: Children under 2 free; Youth $4; Adults $8; Seniors $5; Veterans/Active Military free
A perennial winner in local “Best of Syracuse” voting for Best Kid-Friendly Attraction, the Rosamond Gifford Zoo prides itself on providing families with “The Best Day Ever.” Animal favorites include African elephants, penguins, red pandas (above), and Joshua the lion.
Onondaga Lake Park
106 Lake Drive, Liverpool
Featuring the Wegmans Playground (left), a Boundless Playground for children of all abilities and needs, Onondaga Lake Park is one of Central New York’s top family parks. The East Shore Trail provides 2.5 miles of vehicle-free paved space to walk, run, stroll, bike, or rollerblade.
Liverpool Public Library
310 Tulip Street, Liverpool
For calm and quiet family time, visit the Liverpool Public Library. The children’s room features a train table, computers, and activity kits. Outside, visit the family of Protoceratops dinosaur statues.
Syracuse Regional Market
2100 Park St, Syracuse
Spend a morning walking through the Regional Market to check out local produce, baked treats, handmade goods, and more.
Barnes and Noble Dewitt
3454 Erie Blvd East, Syracuse
On November 7 at 7:00 pm, visit the store for a pajama story time featuring the beloved picture book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie—and a special visit from the Cookie Mouse himself.
Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science and Technology
500 South Franklin Street, Syracuse
Admission (IMAX and Planetarium additional): Adults $10; Children (2-11) $8; Seniors $8
Geared toward children in elementary school and up, the MOST features hands on-exhibits and entertainment. Currently featured is the DinoMania! travelling exhibit. There's also the Science Playhouse (right), an indoor playground for children of all ages (those under 5 must be accompanied by an adult).
Open Hand Theater
518 Prospect Ave, Syracuse
Admission: 10:00 am "World of Puppets: Up Close – A Look Inside the Story" $5 per child (ages 3 and up, parent is free); 11 am "Robin Hood" $6 per child, $10 per adult
Celebrating the human experience through theater, mask, and puppet traditions from around the world, Open Hand Theater Is a magical castle, theater, and mask and puppet museum. On Saturday, November 8, join the theater for a hands-on story hour before a performance of “Robin Hood.”
Beaver Lake Nature Center
8477 East Mud Lake Road, Baldwinsville
Admission: $4 per car
Featuring nine miles of unpaved winding trails, Beaver Lake Nature Center offers weekend guided walking tours at 2:00 pm (included with your admission). On November 8 and 9, join a naturalist for a walking tour focused on “Birds that Stick Around.” Seasonally, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing are available.
Everson Museum of Art
401 Harrison Street, Syracuse
Admission: $5 per person suggested donation
The Everson Museum of Art (left), designed by world-renowned architect I.M. Pei, features the Art Zone, a place to get hands-on with clay or to dress up in costume. Other activities in the Art Zone include blocks, computers, videos, and games. Borrow a Family Fun Pack from the museum gift shop to make touring the museum a more hands-on experience, with scavenger hunts, objects, games, and books.
9090 Destiny USA Drive, Syracuse
One of Upstate New York’s premier shopping, dining, and entertainment centers, Destiny USA houses luxury outlet shopping (Michael Kors, Coach, Saks Off Fifth), dining options such as PF Chang’s and The Cheesecake Factory, and a wide variety of family-friendly entertainment, including WonderWorks (exhibits and active games for ages 5 and up), 5 Wits (puzzle adventures for ages 7 and up), Billy Beez Indoor Playground (toddlers through elementary school), the Amazing Mirror Maze (all ages), and more. Admission charges vary.
Syracuse Crunch Hockey
War Memorial Arena
515 Montgomery Street, Syracuse
The Syracuse Crunch is the local AHL hockey team. On November 7 and 8, the team takes on the Norfolk Admirals at home. Ticket prices start at $20.