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Summer’s Here!


June 4-6
Oz-Stravaganza. Chittenango celebrates the work of L. Frank Baum with hot air balloons, a costume contest (Stickles Park, before the parade), fun run for kids, parade, amusement rides and Munchkin movie stars. The 2 p.m. parade grand marshals will be Bert “Cowardly Lion” Lahr’s daughter, Jane Lahr, and granddaughter, Maya Gottfried. Village of Chittenango, various locations. Free admission; fee for food, rides and certain events. 430-0765 or www.oz-stravaganza.com.

June 4 & 5

Taste of Syracuse. Sample foods from area restaurants and wineries and hear live music. Kids Zone features a bounce castle and other activities. Live music on three stages. Clinton Square, downtown Syracuse. Free admission. Samples start at $1 each. 471-9597.

Saturday, June 5

Family Fishing Clinic. Learn to fish in either a morning or afternoon session with Department of Environmental Conservation staff; gear provided but bring a rod if you have one. Carpenter’s Brook Fish Hatchery, Route 321, Elbridge. Free. Registration is required at 451-7275.

Paige’s Butterfly Run. Fourteenth annual event features Caterpillar Crawl, 40-foot scramble for children age 5 and younger, as well as 3K walk/run and a McLane 5K certified and timed race. The event’s proceeds benefit Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital. James M. Hanley Federal Building, 100 S. Clinton St., Syracuse. $30 for most events (except the crawl, which is free). 635-0099 or www.pbrun.org.

Rocket Team Challenge.
See rockets designed, built and launched by teams of students in grades 4 to 12 blast off and compete for awards. Skytop Field, South Campus, Syracuse University, Syracuse. Free for spectators. 425-9068, Ext. 2163.

June 6
AIDS Walk/Run. A 5k walk and 10k run benefit AIDS Community Resources’ client support services and youth HIV prevention programs. Beaver Lake Nature Center, 8477 E. Mud Lake Road, Baldwinsville. Donations (minimum $25). (800) 475-2430.

Everson Community Day. Learn papermaking, create an accordion book and hear music. Everson Museum of Art, 401 Harrison St., Syracuse. Free. 474-6064.

June 10-13
St. Sophia’s Greek Cultural Festival. Go Greek—with special Hellenic food, music, a children’s booth and more. St. Sophia’s Greek Orthodox Church, 325 Waring Road, DeWitt. Free admission. 446-5222.

June 11 & 12

Cicero Community Festival. Annual event features a kids zone, parade (Saturday, noon), farmers market and fireworks at 10:15 p.m. Saturday. Field behind Sacred Heart Church, Route 11, Cicero. There is an admission fee on Friday, and Saturday admission is free. 422-9400.

June 11-13
Jamesville Balloon Fest.
More than two dozen hot air balloons launch daily, and there is an exhibit on the history of ballooning. There’s also live music from John Waite, April Wine and Taylor Hicks; an arts and crafts fair; and amusement park rides. Jamesville Beach Park, Apulia Road, Jamesville. Admission $7; free, age 10 and under. Balloon rides, $125 to $150 (call 727-9000 to reserve). 703-9620 or www.syracuseballoonfest.com.

Syracuse Polish Festival.
Polish culture is more than just polkas and pierogis (although those are part of it). Go downtown to get in touch with your Polish heritage! Proceeds benefit the Polish Scholarship Fund. Clinton Square, downtown Syracuse. Free admission. 687-1076 or www.polishscholarship.com.

June 12
Syracuse Regional All-American Soap Box Derby. Boys and girls ages 8 to 17 compete to qualify for the All-American Soap Box Derby in Akron, Ohio. 2100 block of South Geddes Street hill, Syracuse. Free for spectators. 382-7629.

Duck Race to End Racism.
Lots of children’s entertainment and games, face painting and a harbor filled with rubber ducks raise awareness about cross-cultural understanding. Inner Harbor, Solar and Kirkpatrick streets, Syracuse. Free admission; $5 to race a duck. 449-3552.

June 12 & 13

Peterboro Civil War Weekend. Re-enactors in costume descend on the village. Skirmishes at 2 p.m. each day. Village green, Peterboro. $7, adults; $3, ages 6 to 12; free, under 6. 684-9022.

June 18-20

Syracuse Hydrofest. Watch exciting hydroplane races! Willow Bay, Onondaga Lake Park, Liverpool. Free. 676-2496.

June 19
Juneteenth. African Americans celebrate their heritage and culture with a parade along South Salina Street and festivities at Clinton Square. Clinton Square, downtown Syracuse. Free. 422-9400.

Unity Arts and Crafts Festival. At the ninth annual festival, the creative spirit is celebrated with craft vendors and children’s activities—this year with even more tables. Unity Church and Spiritual Center of Syracuse, 300 W. Seneca Turnpike, Syracuse. Free admission. 492-0330.

Family Fun & Safety Day. Exhibitors will demonstrate techniques for keeping kids safe and offer fun activities. Check out the Family Times table! Shoppes at Driver’s Village, 5885 E. Circle Drive, Cicero. Free. 952-1113.

June 19 & 20
Civil War Re-enactment. See the encampment, period-dress re-enactors, and a battle re-enactment. Jamesville Beach Park, Apulia Road, Jamesville. $5 per vehicle. (716) 934-7605.

June 20
Father’s Day Canoe Tour. Dads and their families can celebrate the day with a canoe tour of Beaver Lake. Young and old can drift across the water looking out for painted turtles and other wildlife. Beaver Lake Nature Center, 8477 E. Mud Lake Road, Baldwinsville. $13 includes canoe rental. Call 638-2519 to register.

Canal Fest. A celebration of the Chittenango Landing Canal Boat Museum’s founding, with children’s games, a magic show, demonstration of canal boat building. 7010 Lakeport Road, Chittenango. Admission is $5, general; free for age 12 & under. 687-3801.

June 21-25
Grandparent/Grandchild Fishing Days. Grandparents and (at most) two children each can vie for the largest fish per session. Bait and poles are provided. $3 per child. Carpenter’s Brook Fish Hatchery, Route 321, Elbridge. Free. Registration required at 451-7275.

June 25-28
Syracuse Jazz Fest. Twenty-eighth festival features local youth jazz ensembles—including the Stan Colella All Star Band and the Liverpool High School Jazz Ensemble—in addition headliners Jeff Lorber Fusion, Boz Scaggs and Natalie Cole. Fireworks on Saturday. Onondaga Community College, 4941 Onondaga Road, Syracuse. Free; on-campus parking, $5. 437-5627.

June 26 & 27
Cherry Festival. Families can eat cherries and cherry treats, go on a hay ride, play carnival games or browse the arts and crafts show. Cobblestone Farm Winery & Vineyard, 5102 Route 89, Romulus. Free admission. 549-8797.


July 2
City of Syracuse Independence Day Celebration. Patriotic music and family activities begin the evening, and a dazzling display of fireworks concludes it. Inner Harbor, Kirkpatrick and Solar streets, Syracuse. Free. 473-4330.

July 3-Aug. 15
Sterling Renaissance Festival. The whole family can experience a Renaissance village with jousts, street theater, costumed actors and slapstick comedy. Saturdays and Sundays only. $24.95, adult; $14.95, ages 6-12; free, age 5 and younger. Off Route 104A, Sterling. (800) 879-4446.

July 4
Fourth of July with Syracuse Symphony Orchestra. Program of patriotic songs followed by fireworks. State Fairgrounds. Free. 424-8222.

July 6

Pops in the Park. Tuesdays through July 27. Enjoy a variety of performers playing in styles including Broadway and contemporary. Kids can take part in special activities. Onondaga Park gazebo, next to Hiawatha Lake, Upper Onondaga Park, Roberts Avenue, Syracuse. Free. 473-4330.

July 7
Wild Berry Ice Cream Hike. (Also July 9, 28 and 30.) Search for raspberries and blackberries, pick them, and make some ice cream with them. Beaver Lake Nature Center, East Mud Lake Road, Baldwinsville. $5, person. Registration is required at 638-2519.

Little Gather.
Summer series for age 3 and up introduces little ones to the museum with storytelling, music and magic shows. Every Wednesday in July and August, 11 a.m.; kicks off with Merry Mischief, a duo singing of dragons, centaurs and spells—subjects illuminated in the exhibit Medieval Glass. Corning Museum of Glass, 1 Museum Way, Corning. $12.50, adult admission; free for age 19 and younger. (607) 974-3306.

July 10 & 11
Seneca River Days. A weekend of festivities culminates with the Great Seneca River Duck Race. Mercer Park, Baldwinsville. 638-1507.

July 11
Penguin Palooza. A special party for kids ages 2-12 and adults, with ice cream tastings, jugglers, magicians and more. Rosamond Gifford Zoo at Burnet Park, 1 Conservation Place, Syracuse. $12, general; free, age 2 and under. Call 435-8511, Ext. 113 to register.

July 14-18

Valley Field Days. Presented by Valley Men’s Club at Meachem Field, West Seneca Turnpike and Midland Avenue, Syracuse. 473-4330.

July 16
Habitat Picnic Fund-Raiser. Syracuse Habitat for Humanity offers an all-you-can-eat barbecue and numerous kid-friendly activities including relay races, face painting, and arts and crafts. Long Branch Park, Longbranch Road, Liverpool. $10 per person, advance; $12 at the gate; free for those under 5. 422-2230. 

July 16-18
St. Elias Middle Eastern Cultural Festival. Eat Arabic cuisine, browse the souk for some treasures and join hands for a fun debkee dance. St. Elias Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church, 4988 Onondaga Road, Syracuse. Free admission. 488-0388.

Syracuse Nationals. A celebration and display of amazing, outrageous, artistic and classic autos, more than 7,000 of ’em. (Buy tickets in advance and pay $12 for adults, $6 for kids.) State Fairgrounds. $17, adults; $8, children. 668-9703 or or www.rightcoastcars.com.

July 17

Ride for the Rescue. Collect donations and ride one of five bike routes ranging from 2 miles to 62 miles to raise money for Rescue Mission’s charitable work. Inner Harbor, Syracuse. Pledge minimum $100 per individual, $250 per family. Registration fee $25 day of event. 701-3891.

July 22-25

Oswego Harborfest. Crafters, rides, and music in the parks (including special children’s and family stages) and along the shores of Lake Ontario; don’t miss the fireworks over the harbor. Free admission. 343-6858.   

July 29-31
Northeast Jazz Festival. Performers make beautiful music on three stages while other musicians stroll about, and local music students get to play with nationally known artists. Clinton Square, downtown Syracuse. Free. 479-5299.

July 30-Aug. 1
Arts and Crafts Festival. More than 150 artists, entertainers and craftspeople make their mark on Columbus Circle (422-8284). Syracuse New Times and Family Times Street Painting competition takes place July 31 (rain date is Aug. 1) on the 200 block of Montgomery Street. 472-4669.



Aug. 1
Bavarianfest. An event filled with German food and drink, dancing and music. Long Branch Park at Onondaga Lake Park, Long Branch Road, Liverpool. Free. 447-3268.

Aug. 5
Jazz in the City. Jazz heads to the neighborhoods on Thursdays in August, beginning with a concert at Dunk & Bright Furniture, 2648 S. Salina St., Syracuse. For other locations, visit www.cnyjazz.org or call 479-5299.

Aug. 7
Family Friendzy. Arts and entertainment for the whole family, including hands-on activities. Family Times will be there! Free. 473-4330, Ext. 3006.

Aug. 8
Syracuse Opera. Local company performs opera in one of the city’s most beautiful parks. Bring lawn chairs or blankets. Thornden Park Amphitheatre, Ostrom Avenue entrance, Syracuse. Free.  473-4330.

Aug. 11-Sept. 4.

Skaneateles Festival. Chamber music by the lake, with Hilary Hahn, the Ying Quartet and many other performers. Skaneateles. 685-7418.

Aug. 12
Shakespeare in Thornden Park. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays through Aug. 22, the Syracuse Shakespeare Festival performs the comedy Much Ado About Nothing. Bring a picnic and lawn chairs. Free. 476-1835.

Aug. 14

CNY Scottish Games. Find your clan and celebrate your culture with pipes, drums, dancers and unusual athletic competitions, all at Long Branch Park, Liverpool. $10, adult; $7, seniors; $4, ages 5-12; free, age 4 and younger. 463-8876.

Aug. 21
Asian Elephant Extravaganza. Meet Indy, Siri, Romani and Kirina and try to guess an elephant’s weight. Or watch an elephant get traditional face paint. Learn all about these mammals through activities and demonstrations. Rosamond Gifford Zoo at Burnet Park, 1 Conservation Place, Syracuse. Free with zoo admission: $7, adult; $5, student or senior; $4.50, ages 3-15; free, age 2 and under. 435-8511.

Aug. 26-Sept. 6
The Great New York State Fair. Check out the Midway rides; competitions for crafts, art, livestock and agriculture; entertainment. Don’t forget your favorite foods. Bloomin’ onion, anyone? New York State Fairgrounds. Daily, 10 a.m.-midnight. $10, general; free, age 11 and younger. Parking: $5, car; $3, motorcycle. (800) 475-FAIR.



Sept. 10 & 11
Irish Festival. Get jiggy with two days devoted to Irish music, dance, food and beverages. Clinton Square, downtown Syracuse. Free admission. 473-4330.

Sept. 11 & 12
Golden Harvest Festival. Arts and crafts, live music, storytelling, a petting zoo, puppet and magic shows and seasonal foods. Beaver Lake Nature Center, East Mud Lake Road, Baldwinsville. $5, adult; $1, ages 6-17; free, age 5 and under. 638-2519.

Central New York Tomatofest. Celebrate the end of tomato season and help local food agencies. Emerson Park Pavilion, Auburn. Donation; also bring canned goods for local food pantries. 237-8066 or www.cnytomatofest.com.
Sept. 17-19

La Festa Italiana. Entertainment, food, children’s activities and a bocce tournament. In front of Syracuse City Hall, downtown Syracuse. Free admission. 463-5134 or www.festaitaliana.bizland.com.

Sept. 19
Westcott Street Cultural Fair. One-day event celebrates the diversity of the neighborhood with visual and performing arts, food, craft and service organization tables, and children’s activities. Westcott Street between Concord and Dell streets, and on side streets, Syracuse. Free. 703-6848.

Sept. 24 & 25
The Great Syracuse Oktoberfest. Bavarian folk dancers, live bands and local choruses fill three days. Central New York Regional Market, Park Avenue, Syracuse. Free admission. 675-8321.

Sept. 26
Jewish Music and Cultural Festival. Kosher food, ethnic arts and crafts, music, and all kinds of activities for children. Jewish Community Center campus, 5655 Thompson Road, DeWitt. Free admission. 682-8489.


Summer Reading Program. Onondaga County Public libraries join New York State program. The 2010 theme for children is “Make a Splash at Your Library”; the teen program’s theme is “Make Waves at Your Library.” Young people earn rewards, and keep their skills sharp, while reading everything from books to magazines and graphic novels. Contact your local library (find it at www.onlib.org) or call 435-1900.

Strathmore Saturdays. 7 to 11:30 a.m.; May 29 through Sept. 4. The roadway around Hiawatha Lake is closed to vehicles to create the perfect place to walk or run. Upper Onondaga Park, Syracuse. Free. 473-4330.

Parkway Sundays. July 11 through Aug. 29, 9 a.m.-noon. Skate, walk, bike or jog along 2-mile stretch as Liverpool’s Onondaga Lake Parkway closes to vehicular traffic. Free. 453-6712.

Junior Fishing Program.
Saturdays, through Sept. 25. Webster Pond, 2004 Valley Drive, Syracuse. For ages 7 to 15; $10 for the season. 469-8027.

Time Out to Fish.
Sessions June 1-17, June 29-July 22. For senior citizens, persons with disabilities and children with special needs. All equipment and bait supplied; reservations required. Carpenter’s Brook Fish Hatchery, Route 321, Elbridge. $3 per person. Registration is required at 451-7275.

Canoeing & Kayaking. On weekends and holidays, through June 27: 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; then daily, through Sept. 6. Paddle around Beaver Lake searching for beaver lodges, turtles and herons. Beaver Lake Nature Center, about 3 miles west of Baldwinsville off Route 370. $8 for first hour of rental. $3 for each vehicle’s park admission. 638-2519.

Drive-In Movies. Family-friendly flicks at Auburn’s Finger Lakes Drive-In (Route 5, Auburn; 252-3969) and the Midway Drive-In, (Route 48, Minetto; 343-0211). Call ahead to see what’s playing.

Syracuse Chiefs Baseball. Alliance Bank Stadium, off Park Street, Syracuse. $4-$11. 474-7833.

Auburn Doubledays Baseball. Falcon Park, 130 N. Division St., Auburn. Home opener is June 20. $4-$7. 255-2489.

Ryder Park Butterfly House.
Learn about the life stages of these flying flowers. 5400 Butternut St., DeWitt. Free admission. Call ahead weekdays: 446-9250.

Water Safari Enchanted Forest.
Rides and attractions. Route 28, Old Forge. 369-6145.

Sylvan Beach Amusement Park, daily. Traditional park with 21 rides, on the east shore of Oneida Lake, Main Street, Sylvan Beach. Check out the Screamer speedboat thrill ride. 762-5212.

Seabreeze Amusement Park. Water park and amusement park overlooks Lake Ontario. End of 590 N., Rochester. All attractions dependent on weather. Call ahead: (800) 323-1900.

Fort Rickey Children’s Discovery Zoo, daily. Water play area, petting zoo, pony rides. Route 49, 3 miles west of Rome. 336-1930.

Santa’s Workshop.
Timeless fantasy village features rides, live reindeer and a chance to meet the jolly old elf himself. Route 431, 324 Whiteface Memorial Highway, North Pole. (518) 946-2211.

© Family Times: The Parenting Guide of Central New York