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Summer Events Calendar 2012


July 7
City of Syracuse Independence Day Celebration. Families can enjoy an afternoon of activities and hear a concert by the Stan Colella Orchestra. The festivities conclude with a fireworks display over the Inner Harbor,         Kirkpatrick and Solar streets, Syracuse. Free. 473-4330.

July 7-Aug. 19
Sterling Renaissance Festival. The whole family can experience a dramatic recreation of an Elizabethan village at festival time, with jousts, street theater, costumed actors and slapstick comedy. Saturdays and Sundays only. Tickets: $25.95, adult; $15.95, ages 6-12; free, age 5 and younger. Off Route 104A, Sterling. (800) 879-4446.

July 8
Onondaga Lake Park Skate Jam. $10 to participate; preregistration is recommended. 453-6712.

July 10-31
Pops in the Park. Tuesdays through July 31. 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 11
Little Gather. Every Wednesday in July and August. Summer series for age 3 and up introduces little ones to the museum with storytelling, music and magic shows. Corning Museum of Glass, 1 Museum Way, Corning. $15 includes adult admission; free for age 19 and younger. (800) 732-6845.

July 13 & 14
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. The weekend’s activities conclude with the Great Seneca River Duck Race ($5 per duck). Mercer Park, Baldwinsville. www.rotarydistrict7150.org/Baldwinsville.htm.

July 14 & 15
Gemworld. The 46th annual show features hands-on education exhibits and demonstrations plus gems, fossils, minerals and more for sale. SRC Arena, Onondaga Community College, 4585 W. Seneca Turnpike, Syracuse. $6, adults; free, children under 12. 673-1891. www.gmss.us.

July 14 & 28, Aug. 11 & 25
Summer Street Hockey Series. The Syracuse Crunch introduces kids age 14 and younger to the sport of street hockey. Pay $10 per event or $30 for all four dates. Alliance Bank Stadium, 1 Tex Simone Drive, Syracuse. Register at 473-4444, Ext. 30, or by email to Mark Hayes at mhayes@syracusecrunch.com.

July 15
Penguin Palooza. You’re invited to a wild party for kids ages 2 to 12. There’ll be entertainment, ice cream tastings, and animal demos. Rosamond Gifford Zoo at Burnet Park, 1 Conservation Place, Syracuse. Advance admission is $15 ($17 at the door)—required for both children and adults; it’s free for age 2 and under. Call 435-8511 to register or for more information.

July 18
Marshmallow Madness Challenge. Kids in grades 7-12 can compete on teams of four to build structures out of marshmallows and toothpicks. Liverpool Public Library, 310 Tulip St., Liverpool. Free. Registration is required: 457-0310.

July 18-22
Valley Field Days. Presented by Valley Men’s Club at Meachem Field, West Seneca Turnpike and Midland Avenue, Syracuse. Free admission. 473-4330.

July 20-22
St. Elias Middle Eastern Cultural Festival. Immerse yourself in Arabic culture, including young people dancing and a souk selling crafts and pastries. St. Elias Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church, 4988 Onondaga Road, Syracuse. Free admission. 488-0388. www.steliasny.com.

Syracuse Nationals. See thousands of hot rods, classic and custom cars and trucks. This year John Schneider and Catherine Bach, stars of television’s Dukes of Hazzard, will sign autographs during all three days of the event. (Buy tickets in advance and pay $12 for adults, $6 for kids.) State Fairgrounds. $17, adults; $8, children. (800) 753-3978. www.rightcoastcars.com.

July 21
Canoe Beaver Lake. A naturalist leads a canoeing tour of the lake for kids in grades 1 through 5 and accompanying adults. Get a chance to see northern water snakes, painted turtles, great blue herons and other wildlife. Beaver Lake Nature Center, East Mud Lake Road, Baldwinsville. $15 per family. Registration is required; call 638-2519.

July 25 & 28
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. Register at: 638-2519.

July 26-29
Oswego Harborfest. A children’s parade (on July 27), crafters, rides, and music in the parks (including a family stage) and along the shores of Lake Ontario; don’t miss the fireworks over the harbor. This year, the festival’s 25th, also recognizes the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812. Free admission. 343-6858.

July 27-28
Stage of Nations. Get a chance to sample Haudenosaunee food and experience live music and dance demonstrations. At the Blue Rain Eco-Fest see an exhibition of eco-friendly products and services. Hanover Square, Syracuse. Free admission. 422-7011.  

July 27-29
Northeast Jazz and Wine Festival. Jazz, blues and wine. As part of the Scholastic Festival segment, students perform with national guest artists. Clinton Square, downtown Syracuse. Free admission. 479-5299. Arts and Crafts Festival. Nearly 200 artists, entertainers and craftspeople make their mark on Columbus Circle in Syracuse. 422-8284.

July 28
Syracuse New Times and Family Times Street Painting. Artists, young and old, decorate squares of sidewalk with chalk and compete for prizes on Montgomery Street near City Hall in Syracuse. This year there’s also a figure drawing competition and a paper box painting contest. The rain date is July 29. Free for spectators. Participants: $10 for age 17 and younger; $20 for adults; $25 for masters. Add $5 for registering after July 12. 422-7011. www.syracusenewtimes.com.

ARISE and Ride at the Farm. Cycle 10 or 25 miles, or just take in the festival fun (including games, a petting zoo, hay rides and antique tractor show) in a benefit for ARISE at the Farm, 1972 New Boston Road, Chittenango. Child care for kids under 14 is available for parents who are cycling. $25 per cyclist, $5 for farm festival only. 671-4643.


Aug. 2, 9, 16 & 29
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. 4
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. 5
Bavarianfest. An event filled with German food and drink, folk dancing and music. Long Branch Park at Onondaga Lake Park, Longbranch Road, Liverpool. Free. 451-7275. www.bavarianclubalmenrausch.org/.

Aug. 8-Sept. 1
Skaneateles Festival. Chamber music by the lake, with Four Nations Ensemble, ECCO (East Coast Chamber Orchestra), Imani Winds and many other performers. Skaneateles. 685-7418.

Aug. 11
CNY Scottish Games. Enjoy Scottish and American food and immerse yourself in culture of pipes, drums, dancers and unusual athletic competitions. Long Branch Park, Liverpool. Admission is $10 for adults; $7, seniors; $4, ages 5-12; free, age 4 and younger. 463-8876.

Aug. 18
Asian Elephant Extravaganza. Learn all about the zoo’s resident pachyderms while enjoying guessing games, crafts and activities. 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. 23-Sept. 3
New York State Fair. Where else can you experience an extravaganza that features circus entertainers, all manner of fried foods and rides that range from mild to terrifying? That’s not even counting the numerous agricultural, animal, and arts and crafts displays. New York State Fairgrounds. $10, general; free, age 11 and younger. Parking: $5. (800) 475-FAIR.


Sept. 7 & 8
Irish Festival. This celebration of Irish heritage focuses on music and dance. Clinton Square, downtown Syracuse. Free admission. 473-4330.

Sept. 8 & 9
Golden Harvest Festival. Arts and crafts, live music, storytelling, a petting zoo, puppet and magic shows and seasonal foods. Beaver Lake Nature Center, 8477 E. 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. Proceeds benefit local food agencies. Emerson Park Pavilion on Owasco Lake, Auburn. $3, adults; $1, age 10 and under or free with the donation of a canned good. 252-2225. www.cnytomatofest.org.

Sept. 9
Jewish Music and Cultural Festival. Kosher food, ethnic arts and crafts, music, dancing and all kinds of activities for children. Jewish Community Center campus, 5655 Thompson Road, DeWitt. Free admission. 682-8489.

Sept. 14-16
La Festa Italiana. Celebrate Italian culture, including food and music, and watch some really good bocce players in the tournament. In front of Syracuse City Hall, downtown Syracuse. Free admission. 463-5134. www.festaitaliana.bizland.com.

Sept. 23
Westcott Street Cultural Fair. The neighborhood also known as Westcott Nation puts artists, crafts-people, musicians and other performers on display. Children’s performances and activities take place at the Petit Branch library on Victoria Place. Westcott Street between Concord and Dell streets, and on side streets, Syracuse. Free. 703-6848.

Sept. 22
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.



Parkway Sundays. July 22 through Aug. 26, 9 a.m.-noon. Skate, walk, bike or jog along the 2-mile stretch while Liverpool’s Onondaga Lake Parkway is closed to vehicular traffic. To get to the Salt Museum parking area, take Lake Drive or Willow Street in Liverpool, or use Old Liverpool Road to gain access to the park. Free. 453-6712.

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 24; June 25-Sept. 5, daily. 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.

Drive-In Movies. Family-friendly flicks at Auburn’s Finger Lakes Drive-In (1064 Clark Street Road, Aurelius; 252-3969) and the Midway Drive-In, (Route     48, Minetto; 343-0211 or 593-0699).

Syracuse Chiefs Baseball. Alliance Bank Stadium, off Park Street, Syracuse. $12-$20. 474-7833.

Auburn Doubledays Baseball. Falcon Park, 130 N. Division St., Auburn. Home opener is June 19. $5-$8. 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. Opens for the season June 13; last day is Sept. 3. 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, plus Halloweekends in October. 762-5212.

Darien Lake Theme Park Resort. Theme park and water park open daily through mid-September. Lots of entertainment throughout the summer including Mutts Gone Nuts, a circus style comedy dog act, which runs June 7-Aug. 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. New in 2012: Hydro Racer racing water slides. (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.

© Family Times: The Parenting Guide of Central New York