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This Months Feature Story

In search of an evergreen for the holidays

By Laura Livingston Snyder

Of all the traditions a parent could follow while raising children, getting the annual Christmas tree is probably one of the most memorable.


Lights on the Lake

Lights on the Lake 2017. Photos by Dylan Suttles

Lights on the Lake continues through Jan. 7. Visitors can drive through the illuminated wonderland along Onondaga Lake every evening from 5 to 10 p.m.  The entrance is via Onondaga Lake Parkway in Liverpool. Admission is $10 per vehicle, Mondays through Thursdays, and $15 per vehicle, Fridays through Sundays. On Mondays and Tuesdays, visitors who show a Wegmans Shoppers Club card can get in for $6 per vehicle. For more information, call (315) 453-6712. And children can enter the Lights on the Lake Coloring Contest by going to this page, printing out the image, and coloring and posting the picture:


For more details on this and other December events, see the Calendar.





© Family Times: The Parenting Guide of Central New York

Fall Finds

Jell-O facts and other fun sights on Routes 5 and 20

By Lewes Kunda

Editor’s note: We received a delightful letter and essay from Lewes Kundas in July, describing a day trip his family made inspired by an August 2010 Family Times article.

Have you ever had Jell-O? I’m sure you have! My mom was talking about going to Routes 5 and 20 for a day trip. She got the idea from the August 2010 issue of Family Times magazine. She told me that the Jell-O Museum is located on Route 5 in LeRoy, New York. I was anxious to go. It almost seemed like forever until we left that Tuesday in August. Then, we got in the car and, well, I had to wait two hours to get there. The ride seemed eternal.

First, in LeRoy, we spotted a pizza shop and decided to pay them a visit. Pontillo’s served the best subs on warm crusty rolls. My mom remembered the name Pontillo’s Pizza from her college days. After lunch, we traveled a very short distance to the Jell-O Gallery. I was amazed at its small size. First, here is some Jell-O Museum history. Jell-O was invented in 1897 and was made in the LeRoy factory starting in 1900. Bill Cosby worked for the Jell-O company for many years. There is even a National Jell-O Day! The museum has a wide variety of exhibits. You can vote for your favorite Jell-O flavor. They post the results several times a year. During our guided tour, we learned that the Jell-O Factory is now located in Dover, Delaware.

There are also some other fun places to visit on the same routes. Once in the car, we took a short drive to Oliver’s Candies and Adam Miller Toys and Bicycles. Oliver’s was a great place to get candy! Adam Miller’s small shop sold many unique toys.

Routes 5 and 20 is the trip of a lifetime. The Jell-O Museum is truly an amazing place. I hope I visit there again. If you travel toward Buffalo, you, too, will find Jell-O on Route 5 and 20!


Lewes Kunda is a sixth-grader who lives in Syracuse. His article is adapted from an essay he wrote for his fifth-grade English class at Bishop’s Academy at St. Charles last year.