If you saw our instagram post that went up yesterday, you know that a new post series has started! I’ve selected a ton of places around the Finger Lakes, so if you’re just looking for something to do while you’re somewhere, you have a little guide! These posts won’t include any food/coffee places,
mostly because those get featured throughout each month as events or holidays happen, but they will include the top museums and activities to do!
The first blog post associated with this series is a day trip to Syracuse! It’s one of my personal favorite places and somewhere I spent a lot of time as a kid (so I’m a bit biased, I’ll be honest). However, I did do my best to select a variety of things to do regardless of my own interests, so don’t worry, these are all places worth a visit if they pique your interest at all! 🙂
(These are listed in no particular order!)
The Everson Museum of Art
The Everson Museum of Art is the first museum dedicated to collecting American art, regardless of what form it’s in. They have one of the largest collections of ceramics in the US, but they also collect paintings, drawing, sculptures, videos, and graphic art. It was also the first museum to be designed by I.M. Pei, an internationally known architect. They hold over 10,000 pieces of American art, but they are constantly hosting events and workshops to display new exhibitions.
Their website allows you to see what is currently on display and what will be on display if you miss the current exhibit. At the time of writing this, the Raymon Elozua exhibition titled “Structure/Dissonance” is on display and I highly recommend going to see it if you can! It’ll be on display until the middle of December. If you like to plan ahead, in February one of the exhibits is sculptures made of basketballs. How cool is that?
If you’re looking for an event to plan for, there is a free admission event on 11/17, but there’s also countless artist talks throughout the rest of the year. There’s also a festival in the beginning of December that they’re hosting! It should be a fun time! 🙂
Admission to the Everson, when you don’t go during a free admission event, is $10 for Adults, $8 for Seniors and Students, and free for members, children under 12, and anyone with Military ID. They’re open Wednesday through Sunday starting at 11am, and it’s truly a wonderful experience! (Especially if you have a soft spot for art. Ergo: me)
To get there, the Everson is located at 401 Harrison St in Syracuse, almost right across from the Oncenter.
(The Oncenter is not featured in this post, mostly because it’s an event/convention space rather than something you can visit on the daily. If you want to check out what is happening at the Oncenter in the coming months, you can check out their events page here )
All photos from destinyusa.com/film
Ah, Destiny USA. The eighth largest mall in the US. When I was a kid it was referred to as “The Carousel Mall” and I’m not sure if it was actually called that or if that’s just what it was dubbed. Either way, I remember when the mall was getting the expansion, that would create what is now Destiny USA, and being very adamant that I would only call it the Carousel Mall and not Destiny. It didn’t stick.
This mall could be very overwhelming if you’ve never been in it before, so, prepare yourself. The “new” section, which is the part that got added on during the expansion, is full of restaurants and stores considered part of the outlets
(even though there isn’t a huge difference between them and stores not considered an outlet), and they created WonderWorks which is literally an amusement park inside this mall. It’s truly a sight to behold. This place is so big it has it’s own zip code.
Inside, aside from the amusement park, there are 250 stores to choose from, plus restaurants like The Cheesecake Factory, Texas De Brazil, or Margaritaville, entertainment like a Dave & Busters, glow in the dark mini golf, a movie theatre, a bowling alley, and so much more I’m sure I’m forgetting. There really is a lot to choose from, and there’s something for everyone inside! It would be easy to spend a whole day just inside this mall alone, so if you have an extra day and really can’t think of something to do, this is the place to be.
Many of the entertainment venues and restaurants also hold their own events, and you can take a look here to see what’s up!
The Erie Canal Museum
All photos from the Erie Canal Museum
The Erie Canal Museum depicts the last weighlock building in the US. The purpose of weighlock buildings was very similar to the weigh stations that we have on highways today, where they would weigh the boats that came in in order to calculate the toll they owed.
If you don’t know a whole lot about the Erie Canal, it was established in 1817 by the New York State Commission and officially opened for business in 1825. The canal was an important development because inland transportation severely needed improvement, and the canal was going to do that. Once it was completed settlers moved west almost immediately, and New York became the busiest port – and it was busier than New Orleans, Baltimore, and Boston combined. If you were to look at a NYS map the success of the canal is pretty obvious. All of the major cities in Upstate sit along the canal: Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, and Albany. Syracuse, fun fact, helped drive the construction of the Erie due to how profitable it was before the canal. They helped fund the project!
Syracuse was at that point dubbed “Salt City” because it was the number 1 producer of salt in the country thanks to Onondaga Lake* (not one of the finger lakes tho, still, shoutout to Onondaga lake for being legendary)* And, as an added bonus to this post, there’s a museum about it!
I’m getting sidetracked – my point is that there is a ton of history in Syracuse, and if the Erie Canal and the stories around it is of any interest to you, this is a great place to visit. Plus, they’re open every day and there’s no admission charge!
The M.O.S.T. (short for the Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science & Technology) is full of hands on exhibits for kids. So if you’ve ever had an intrusive thought in a museum where you want to stick your hand out and grab whatever it is you’re looking at, this is one of the places you can do that! This building is 35,000 square feet of hands on learning! And, it doesn’t matter what you (or, presumably the child that you’re probably also bringing) are interested in because this place has everything. The list of exhibits on their website is lengthy. Here’s just some of them:
Dino Zone, Earth Science Discovery Cave, Powering Our Future, Flight and Space, (regular) Space, Model Gallery, Motion and Matter, Science Playhouse, Technotown, the World of Pollinators
I cannot describe how much is within each of these spaces either. The last time I went there was a space (probably in the earth science cave) where you could dig up your own fossils and examine them.
I was always covered in sand afterwards but that doesn’t matter
This is another place that you could spend the whole day at if you wanted to. I remember there being an eating area and we would bring picnic food to munch on, so you don’t have to rush through the museum in order to go eat after!
The museum is open Thursday through Sunday 9:30 – 5, and admission is $12 for adults and $10 for kids 2 – 11!
The Carrier Dome (JWA Wireless Dome)
All photos from Syracuse University Athletics
The JWA Wireless Dome, or the Carrier Dome, or just “The Dome”
whatever you want to call it is the home of Syracuse University Athletics. Here you’ll find Football, Men’s and Women’s Basketball, and Men’s and Women’s Lacrosse. However, this is not the only thing you’ll find here, because the Dome hosts all sorts of events. Including an event ( that I just found while writing this post) Monster Jam which is a monster truck competition and I didn’t even know we could hold those events in this area.* I don’t know why I assumed that those only existed in movies or something* That’s happening in April of 2023 and presale tickets are open now so if you’re into monster trucks now is definitely the time to get them!
If you go to The Dome for a sports event, be prepared for the onslaught of orange that is Otto’s Army and the Syracuse Orange. Their colors (if you haven’t guessed), are orange and blue, and everyone attending is always thrilled to be part of the crowd. Otto’s Army specifically is a student lead organization that brings students together to cheer on the SU Athletics. But don’t worry! If you’re attending and you would like to be part of the Syracuse Orange for the day, it’s incredibly easy to find Syracuse-themed merchandise, just walk into Walmart!
Yes, even Walmart is proud to be part of the Syracuse Orange. Everyone is very enthusiastic
Attending a game at The Dome does require a little bit of prior planning, because you need to either buy the tickets ahead of time, or arrive early enough that you ensure there are still tickets available at the door. However, that doesn’t make it impossible to do a spontaneous day trip! (Just make sure your day trip has a little bit of planning too 😉 )
Okay, that’s the end of my list.
That’s all for the things to do in Syracuse if you’re spending a day! There is definitely much more than the things I’ve listed, but if you’re looking for a variety of things to look out for, this gives you a little insight! (Besides, I’m always posting more things to do on our instagram 🙂 )
Keep your eye out for the next installments of this day trip series, because there’s plenty more to come! And they all have blog posts attached to them!!
Have a great trip!