Summer in Syracuse is more than basking in the sun at Green Lakes State Park, spending the day out exploring trails and parks and skipping out of the office for easy access day trips — it’s also for family-friendly, kid-centric events & activities. Whether you’re visiting Syracuse this summer or making plans for the fast-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.
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 2 for Tuesdays, Family Fun Night (every Friday 8-10 pm), Little Leapers, Skycamp 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. Currently the Fun Wearhouse operates with limited hours open Friday- Sunday.
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.
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 NEW National Grid Exploradome – A multi-million dollar planetarium and theatre that allows visitors an immersive experience in space with vibrant colors, out-of-this-world surround sound, and a screen spanning beyond your vision. Tickets for the Dark Space and Dinosaurs of Antarctica can be purchased online today. The MOST also hosts a handful of must-see seasonal and permanent exhibits, including their new Philip Cooper Hewlitt Gem and Mineral Gallery that is now open!
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...and beware of Big Foot.
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, Apex Entertainment, 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.