By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant
The weather’s great and it’s time to get out and enjoy some sun. Try these activities to make the most of your summer and fall.
1. Farmers’ market/farm stand.
Even small towns and rural communities have at least a farm stand or possibly a farmers’ market. They provide the best way to savor summer’s flavors if you don’t grow your own fruits and vegetables. Visit www.nyfarmersmarket.com to search a database of local farm markets. Frequent your market or farm stand all season.
2. Historical site.
You visited as a kid with your school. Now it’s time to take a day trip and visit with your children. New York abounds with historic sites. Take along a picnic and make a day of it. Or perhaps plan to visit a local restaurant for take-out to enjoy al fresco. Find one at www.iloveny.com/things-to-do/history.
3. Ethnic festival.
So what if you’re not Greek, Polish, German, Irish, Jewish or what-have-you. Attend an ethnic festival that’s different from your own background to try something new. Search at www.iloveny.com/events and click on “Fairs and Festivals” under the “Categories” tab.
4. Water park.
Whether you want to zip down a waterslide or peacefully float down a lazy river ride, chill out at a water park near you. It’s easy to find one at www.iloveny.com/things-to-do/outdoor-adventures/waterparks. But don’t let bad weather stop you. You can splash the day away inside at any of the state’s indoor water parks, found at www.iloveny.com/things-to-do/amusements/indoor-water-parks. (See related story in this issue)
5. Free concert.
Usually held outdoors, free community concerts provide a great way to introduce small children to live concerts. No one cares if your little ones need to get up and wiggle. The casual atmosphere fits summer’s vibe perfectly.
6. Drive-in theater.
Why not see a flick under the stars? Though not as popular as they used to be, drive-ins still dot the state. Check www.driveinmovie.com/NY for a location near you, but call the theater directly for show times and details before you head out.
7. Live show.
Whether community theater or a big production, live stage shows offer an experience quite different from recorded entertainment. If you’re bringing along children, choose something appealing to their maturity level.
8. Community carnival.
Sometimes less is more. You could spend your whole day and budget at a resort-style theme park. But your local community, church or organization carnivals are fun, too. You’ll save on travel time and expenses and most of these small events are free. You may also bump into a few friends.
9. Hit the beach.
You don’t have to go to the ocean to find waterfront. Many of New York’s lakes provide recreational beaches. Search at www.iloveny.com/things-to-do/outdoor-adventures/beaches, where you can narrow results by location and amenities.
10. Spray park.
If your children (and budget) are small, a spray park may be all you need to chill out. Enjoy a spray park in the cities of Rochester (www.cityofrochester.gov/sprayparks), Geneva (www.parks.ny.gov/parks/125/hunting.aspx), Greece (www.greeceny.gov/departments/cscparks/splash-park), Camillus (www.camillusrecreation.com), Webster (www.ci.webster.ny.us/Facilities/Facility/Details/31), and New Hartford (www.townofnewhartfordny.gov/park-information), to name a few. Most charge nominal fees, allow picnics and provide bathhouses, restrooms and grills.