This Is Where Your Kids Want To Be This Summer
Monday, June 17, 2019 11:00 AM by Maggy Stewart
Summer in Syracuse isn’t just for those who love the sun, swimming & skipping out of the office for easy access day trips — it’s also a city renowned for its family-friendly, kid-centric events & activities. Whether you’re visiting Syracuse this summer or making plans for the approaching end of the school year, we’ve rounded up some of the top kid-friendly activities in the Syracuse area to keep the kiddos entertained (and mom and dad, too), rain or shine.
More than 700 animals call the Rosamond Gifford Zoo at Burnet Park home. The accredited zoo’s animal collection includes Asian elephants, Amur tigers, snow leopards, Humboldt penguins, a variety of primates, tropical birds and fish and many other nurtured species, some of them endangered. The zoo has both indoor and outdoor exhibits, a fully-stocked gift shop, Jungle Café, educational programs for all ages, school break zoo camps, animal demonstrations, on-site events and catering to make any visit memorable for years to come. Check out their upcoming events and Summer Zoo Camp programs for kids of all ages here.
Say aloha to one of Central New York’s most jam packed family fun centers — Surf City in North Syracuse has more than enough attractions for the entire family, parents included. With a stocked arcade, batting cages, driving range, mini golf, bounce house, splash and slide, bumper boats, go-karts, rock wall climbing and more, this family fun center has more attractions than you can cram into one day, so it’s a good thing they’re open seven days a week. Pile the kids (and adults!) into the car and check out this fun-filled park with endless options to kick start your summer vaca.
Even as adults, who wouldn’t love to spend the afternoon jumping around in a warehouse-size building covered from top to bottom in trampolines? Sky Zone on Erie Boulevard is home to the ninja warrior course, a challenge zone to put your coordination to the test with obstacles and challenges, foam zones, freestyle jumping areas with massive wall-to-wall trampolines and more. Sky Zone also offers tons of programs for kids of all ages, including $10 Tuesdays, Kids’ Night Out, Homeschool Hop, Combined Kids Camp, Kids Warrior Camp, Toddler Time and more.
Located in Camillus, The Fun Warehouse is one of the largest indoor laser tag arenas in Central New York, boasting a near 7,000-square-foot black lit maze with lighting effects and the music to match. Kids can take a break between their laser tag missions and grab a snack or enjoy some arcade games on site. The Fun Warehouse also offers mobile laser tag for birthday parties, youth group outings and more. And make plans to book your summer youth groups by checking out their Private Lock-In parties and Single Visits for 15 players or more.
A favorite of kids’ and adults’ alike, Critz Farms offers events and fun-filled agricultural experiences all year long. This family-owned farm in Cazenovia invites visitors to enjoy their educational tours, seasonal festivals, playgrounds, animal yards, café, and even a farm brewery and cidery tasting room for mom and dad to grab a few treats for home. Check out their upcoming summer events and mark your calendars for their annual family-friendly Blueberry Jam: A Critz Farms Summer Celebration music festival in August.
Located on 14 acres just north of Chittenango, The Wild Animal Park is a unique local zoo known for their extensive animal exhibits including kangaroos, jaguars, lions, leopards, cheetahs, tigers, snakes, monkeys, exotic birds, alligators, sloths, giraffes and more. With five bounce houses on the premises, daily animal shows, education programs, and the Jungle Snack Shack, The Wild Animal Park is a place where the entire family can experience the best of what nature has to offer right in your own back yard.
Kids of all ages can explore the world of science through the MOST’s renowned hands-on exhibits, planetarium shows and captivating demonstrations in the heart of Syracuse’s Armory Square. The MOST is home to the Bristol Omnitheater, the only IMAX Dome Theater in Upstate New York – check out the upcoming IMAX exhibits, movies and planetarium shows here. The MOST also hosts a handful of must-see seasonal and permanent exhibits, including the highly anticipated Dino Zone exhibit, returning permanently in July 2019.
A complete family entertainment center with several unique attractions, Big Don’s in the Cicero suburb of Syracuse has it all. From Resort Level Mini Golf, to Battleground Outdoor Laser Tag, the Amaze’n Maze, Rock Climbing Wall, Bounce House, Treasure Digs, Beach Comber Coin Hunts, ice cream, snacks and more, Big Don’s is a sweet treat for families looking for serious multi-activity fun. Check out their current specials and activity info at bigdons.com.
There’s no shortage of child-friendly indoor options at one of the largest malls in America, and Destiny USA is your one-stop shop(s) for a full days’ worth of amusing activities for children and adults of all ages. With over 250 places to play, dine and shop, Destiny USA is home to the world’s largest suspended ropes course at WonderWorks, Billy Beez play arena, Build-A-Bear Workshop, Canyon Climb Adventure, Amazing Mirror Maze, Dave & Buster’s, 5 Wits live-action entertainment, AniMalls ride kiosk, LazerTag and much more. Just a short drive from anywhere in or around the city, Destiny USA is the perfect place to unleash the kids and your inner child.