Our site has moved to: familytimescny.com


The Heat Is On!

Michael Davis Photo


June 2

Ice Cream Social. Enjoy a yummy strawberry or chocolate sundae at this annual party at Northern Onondaga Public Library at Cicero, 8686 Knowledge Lane, Cicero. $1.50 per sundae. 699-2032.

June 3 & 4

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, with Gregg Allman headlining on Saturday. Clinton Square, downtown Syracuse. Free admission. Samples start at $1 each. 471-9597.

June 3-5

Oz-Stravaganza. Chittenango celebrates the work of L. Frank Baum with a costume contest (Stickles Park, before the parade on June 4), fun run for kids, parade, amusement rides and more. Village of Chittenango, various locations. Free admission; fee for food, rides and certain events. 687-6250 or 687-5366. www.oz-stravaganza.com.

June 4

Paige’s Butterfly Run. 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 to $35 to register 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.

June 5

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. Participants raise donations, minimum $25. (800) 475-2430.

Hope for Japan. A festival filled with activities, demonstrations and live music, all to benefit the International Red Cross. Tully Junior/Senior High School, 5848 Route 80, Tully. Free admission. 696-8410 or 440-5190.
Miss Central New York Scholarship Pageant. Young women compete in areas including academic achievement, communication skills and beauty for four scholarships. Palace Theater, 2384 James St., Syracuse. $10 admission. (727) 741-3901.

June 9-12

St. Sophia’s Greek Cultural Festival. Get a taste of life in Greece, with a village selling crafts, plus folk dances, music and special food, some only prepared for this event. St. Sophia’s Greek Orthodox Church, 325 Waring Road, DeWitt. Free admission. 446-5222.

June 10 & 11

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

June 10-12

Syracuse Polish Festival. Live music, including groups such as the ever-popular Fritz’s Polka Band and Jimmy Sturr and His Orchestra, exhibits, children’s entertainment and amusement rides, Miss Polonia and scholarship awards, and Polish food. Clinton Square, downtown Syracuse. Free admission. 687-1076.

Balloonfest. 4-11 p.m.; through June 12. Amusement rides daily, balloon flights, weather permitting. Live music acts and arts and crafts fair. Jamesville Beach Park, Apulia Road, Jamesville. Admission: $10, general admission, $15 for a three-day advance sale pass, and free for age 12 & under (some attractions additional cost). 703-9620. www.syracuseballoonfest.com.

June 11

Family Fishing Clinic. Learn to fish 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 689-9367.

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. 449-3552.

June 11 & 12

Peterboro Civil War Weekend. Experience the mid-1800s, with re-enactors filling the village, period music and wealth of historical detail. Village green, Peterboro. $7, adults; $3, ages 6 to 12; free, under 6. 684-9022.

June 17

Community Health and Family Safety Day. In the fourth annual event, cheerleaders show their spirit and exhibitors educate visitors about various aspects of health and safety, including bicycle helmet sizing and car seat inspections. Shoppes at Driver’s Village, 5885 E. Circle Drive, Cicero. Free. 452-1556, Ext. 2762.

June 18

Juneteenth. In this annual celebration of African-American heritage and culture, highlights include a parade along South Salina Street and festivities at Clinton Square. Clinton Square, downtown Syracuse. Free. 422-9400.

June 18 & 19

Civil War Re-enactment. This year’s encampment activities are enhanced by a period wedding with renewal of vows, brunch and dance. Jamesville Beach Park, Apulia Road, Jamesville. $5 per vehicle admission. (716) 934-7605.

June 19

Father’s Day Strawberry Fest. This event celebrates both dads and strawberry season at the historic 19th-century Octagon House, 5420 W. Genesee St., Camillus. Fathers accompanied by kids eat free; others pay a small fee for ice cream, biscuits and strawberries. 488-7800.

June 24 & 25

Syracuse Jazz Fest. The longtime free jazz festival features headliners the Robert Cray Band and Return to Forever IV, as well as the local All County High School All Star Jazz Band on Friday and a fireworks display at the end on Saturday. Onondaga Community College, 4941 Onondaga Road, Syracuse. Admission is free, but parking costs $5 per vehicle. 437-5627.

June 25 & 26

Cherry Festival. If you can’t get enough of cherry season, this is the festival for you. Besides consuming cherries in many forms, from raw to sorbet, families can go on hay rides, play old-fashioned carnival games with prizes and browse arts and crafts for sale. Cobblestone Farm Winery & Vineyard, 5102 Route 89, Romulus. Admission is free. 549-8797.


July 1

City of Syracuse Independence Day Celebration. Families can hang out and eat, ending their evening with a fireworks display over the Inner Harbor, Kirkpatrick and Solar streets, Syracuse. Free. 473-4330.

July 5-26

Pops in the Park. Tuesdays through July 26. The four-week series offers samples of music in styles from blues to Motown to pops. Kids can take part in special activities. Onondaga Park gazebo, next to Hiawatha Lake, Upper Onondaga Park, Roberts Avenue, Syracuse. Free admission. 473-4330.

July 6

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.; Glenn Colton opens the series with rousing songs from America’s past. Corning Museum of Glass, 1 Museum Way, Corning. $12.50 includes adult admission; free for age 19 and younger. (607) 438-5113.

July 6, 9, 27 & 30

Wild Berry Ice Cream Hike. Search for raspberries and blackberries to pick, then make some ice cream with them. Beaver Lake Nature Center, East Mud Lake Road, Baldwinsville. $5 per person. Registration is required at 638-2519.

July  8 & 9

Seneca River Days. A weekend of festivities including live music, model boat displays and demos, a children’s tent and the Anything That Floats contest culminates with the Great Seneca River Duck Race. Mercer Park, Baldwinsville. 638-1507.

July 8-10

New York State Blues Festival. The three-day event showcases blues artists from around the area. Clinton Square, Syracuse. Free admission. 473-4330.

July 9 & 10

Gemworld. The 45th annual show features hands-on education exhibits and demonstrations plus gems, fossils, minerals and more for sale. State Fairgrounds, Geddes. $6, adults; free, children under 12. 673-1891. www.gmss.us.

July 9 & 23, Aug. 6 & 20

Summer Street Hockey Series. The Syracuse Crunch introduces kids age 14 and under to the sport of street hockey. Pay $10 per event or $30 for all four dates. Alliance Bank Stadium, 1 Tex Simone Drive, Syracuse. 473-4444. www.syracusecrunch.com.

July 9-Aug. 21

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

July 11

Harry Potter Event. People of all ages can mix potions with Snape, transfigure with McGonagall or take part in another Hogwarts activity. Costumes are heartily encouraged. Liverpool Public Library, 310 Tulip St., Liverpool. Free. Registration required: 457-0310.

July 13-17

Valley Field Days. The time-honored tradition continues. Presented by Valley Men’s Club at Meachem Field, West Seneca Turnpike and Midland Avenue, Syracuse. Free admission. 473-4330.

July 15

Sock Hop Under the Stars. Live music, and dance contests and demonstrations, with MC services performed by Channel 3 meteorologist Wayne Mahar. A benefit for the Centers at St. Camillus and the Solvay Fire Department. $10, advance; $15 at the door. 703-0731.

July 15-17

St. Elias Middle Eastern Cultural Festival. Eat Arabic cuisine and watch the kids perform traditional dances. Don’t forget to stop by the souk for jewelry, oriental rugs, homemade pastries or a cookbook compiled by the ladies of the church. St. Elias Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church, 4988 Onondaga Road, Syracuse. Free admission. 488-0388.

Syracuse Nationals. See thousands of hot rods, classic and custom cars. (Buy tickets in advance and pay $12 for adults, $6 for kids.) State Fairgrounds. $17, adults; $8, children. 668-9703. www.rightcoastcars.com.


July 16

Ride for the Rescue. Collect donations and ride 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 age 11 or older. Registration fee $25 day of event. 701-3891.

July 17

Penguin Palooza. You’re invited to a wild party for kids ages 2 to 12. There’ll be entertainment, costumed characters, ice cream tastings, jugglers, magicians and more. Rosamond Gifford Zoo at Burnet Park, 1 Conservation Place, Syracuse. Admission is $12—required for both children and adults; it’s free for age 2 and under. Advance registration required: 435-8511.

July 25 & Aug. 5

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

July 28-31

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. This year’s cultural theme is Great Britain, leading up to the 2012 celebration of the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812. Free admission. 343-6858.

July 29-31

Northeast Jazz and Wine Festival. Great music and food, and a new feature—Blues Sunday, with the best in blues, zydeco, reggae and more. Clinton Square, downtown Syracuse. Free admission. 479-5299.

Blue Rain Ecofest. New festival and exhibition gives families a chance to check out exhibits on green technology and wellness. Hanover Square and City Hall Commons, Syracuse. 479-5299. www.bluerainecofest.org.

Arts and Crafts Festival. More than 150 artists, entertainers and craftspeople make their mark on Columbus Circle. 422-8284.

July 30

Syracuse New Times and Family Times Street Painting. See art appear before your eyes! Artists, young and old, decorate squares of sidewalk with chalk and compete for prizes on the 200 block of Montgomery Street in Syracuse. The rain date is July 31. Free for spectators; fee to participate. 422-7011.

ARISE and Ride at the Farm. Cycle a variety of distances, from 7/8 mile to 25 miles, or just take in the festival fun in a benefit for ARISE at the Farm, 1972 New Boston Road, Chittenango. $25 per cyclist, $5 for farm festival only. 671-4643.


Aug. 4, 11, 18 & 24

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

Aug. 5

Canine Carnival. Pet-related vendors, rescues, demonstrations and more, all where the dogs love to go. Wegmans Good Dog Park, Onondaga Lake Park, Onondaga Lake Parkway, Liverpool. Free admission. 451-7275.

Aug. 7

Bavarianfest. An event filled with German food and drink, folk dancing and music. Long Branch Park at Onondaga Lake Park, Long Branch Road, Liverpool. Free. 451-7275. www.bavarianclubalmenrausch.org/.


Aug. 8-Sept. 3

Skaneateles Festival. Chamber music by the lake, with the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, the Marcus Roberts Trio, So Percussion (who will perform at the Aug. 24 FamilyFest event) and many other performers. Skaneateles. 685-7418.

Aug. 11-14 & 18-21

Shakespeare in Thornden Park. Thursdays through Sundays on two succeeding weekends, the Syracuse Shakespeare Festival performs the comedy The Two Gentlemen of Verona, an early Shakespeare play with a lot of slapstick, tomfoolery and even romance. Bring a picnic and lawn chairs. Free admission. 476-1835.

Aug. 13

CNY Scottish Games. Enjoy Scottish and American food and immerse yourself in the culture of pipes, drums, dancers and unusual athletic competitions. Long Branch Park, Liverpool. $10, adult; $7, seniors; $4, ages 5-12; free, age 4 and younger. 463-8876.

Aug. 20

Asian Elephant Extravaganza. Learn all about the zoo’s resident pachyderms—Indy, Siri, Romani and Kirina—and others of their kind with activities and demonstrations. Rosamond Gifford Zoo at Burnet Park, 1 Conservation Place, Syracuse. Free with zoo admission: $8, adult; $5, senior; $4, ages 3-18; free, age 2 and under. 435-8511.

Aug. 25-Sept. 5

New York State Fair. Now’s the time for chocolate milk at the Rainbow Milk Bar and a view of the new butter sculpture. Don’t forget to visit the Midway rides (has your child hit 42 inches yet?) and the animal displays. For more high-brow entertainment, visit the displays of photography and other art at the Art and Home Center. New York State Fairgrounds. $10, general; free, age 11 and younger. Parking: $5. (800) 475-FAIR.


Sept. 9 & 10

Irish Festival. This celebration of Irish heritage focuses on music and dance. The Glengarry Bhoys and The Elders are slated to perform. Clinton Square, downtown Syracuse. Free admission. 473-4330.

Sept. 10 & 11

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. Join the celebration of tomato season’s end—with crafts for sale, activities for kids, terrific food, and fresh produce, of course. Proceeds benefit local food agencies. Emerson Park Pavilion on Owasco Lake, Auburn. $3, adults, $1, children; kids under 12 get in free with the donation of a canned good. 252-2225. www.cnytomatofest.org.

Sept. 16-18

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

Sept. 18

Westcott Street Cultural Fair. Artists, hipsters and belly dancers converge on a few blocks of one of the city’s most diverse neighborhoods for a day that begins with a parade and includes children’s activities, a book sale, entertainment, food, crafts and terrific people watching. Westcott Street between Concord and Dell streets, and on side streets, Syracuse. Free. 703-6848.

Sept. 24

Tipp Hill Music Festival. A celebration of the neighborhood’s diverse heritage, with local entertainers, kids’ activities and plenty of food. Pass Arboretum, across from the Avery, Salisbury and Whittier avenues Burnet Park entrance, Syracuse. 299-4415. www.tipphillmusicfest.org.

Sept. 25

Jewish Music and Cultural Festival. Kosher food, ethnic arts and crafts, music, dancing (the giant hora in 2010 was a highlight) and all kinds of activities for children. Jewish Community Center campus, 5655 Thompson Road, DeWitt. Free admission. 682-8489.

Junior Fishing Program. Saturdays, through Sept. 24. Webster Pond, 2004 Valley Drive, Syracuse.  For ages 7 to 15; $10 for the season. 469-8027.

Canoeing & Kayaking. On weekends and holidays, through June 26; then daily, through Sept. 5. 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, $2 for each additional 30 minutes. $3 for each vehicle park admission. Call to check conditions: 638-2519.

Syracuse Chiefs Baseball. Alliance Bank Stadium, off Park Street, Syracuse. $4-$20. 474-7833.

Water Safari Enchanted Forest. Rides and attractions. Opens for the season June 15. Route 28, Old Forge. 369-6145.

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

Darien Lake Theme Park Resort. Lots of entertainment throughout the summer including Thomas & Friends Full Steam Ahead Live show, which runs three times a day from May 28-Sept 5. Exit 48A off Thruway, 9993 Alleghany Road, Darien Center. (585) 599-4641.

Seabreeze Amusement Park. Water park and amusement park overlooks Lake Ontario. End of 590 N., Rochester. All attractions dependent on weather. Call ahead: (800) 395-2500.

Fort Rickey Children’s Discovery Zoo. Open daily, through Labor Day; weekends only in September and October. 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.
—Compiled by Reid Sullivan


© Family Times: The Parenting Guide of Central New York