SUNY logo Apply to SUNY
 
 
Blog of The State University of New York
General
0

The Season of Adventure – 30 Things to Do This Summer Near SUNY Campuses

For most students, summer is the season to put the books away and go to all your favorite places at home. It is a time to reconnect with old friends and visit sites you haven’t seen in a while. But the summer season is also a time to try new things and explore new places. With so much to see and do in New York, everyone needs help narrowing down their options. As we’ve done in the past (check out the 2015 list of recommendations), we’ve rounded up a series of recommendations for activities and adventures scattered throughout New York State this summer, arranged by region, that are a short hop away from a nearby SUNY campus.

Take advantage of some of these and have fun this summer!

New York City | Long Island | Capital Region | Mid-Hudson | Mohawk Valley | North Country | Central NY | Finger Lakes | Southern Tier | Western NY


SUNY Pride float surrounded by students and parade watchers at the 2016 NYC Pride Parade

New York City

  1. Pride Parade: The annual NYC Pride Parade attracts people from all over the state to celebrate diversity and equality. It’s one of the largest LGBTQ pride events in the world. For the second year in a row, SUNY will participate by designing a float that celebrates our commitment to inclusion and equality. The march is on June 25th and begins at noon. You can join us and walk with SUNY in the march for equality!
  2. Shakespeare In The Park: “Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears!” You can go see a show at Central Park for free! Shakespeare In The Park is a professional theatrical performance that you can see for no cost. This summer, you can choose from a performance of Julius Caesar or A Mid Summer Night’s Dream. Just reserve your tickets from their link to be immersed in a night of culture, under the stars.
  3. Smorgasburg: From kabobs to ice cream to juice in a whole fruit, the Smorgasburg is Brooklyn’s version of a gigantic farmers market. that runs from April to October on Saturdays in Williamsburg and Sundays in Prospect Park. The Smorgasburg was dubbed “The Woodstock of Eating” by the New York Times. It is free to enter and has all different kinds of food accomodating all food allergies/restrictions. Follow their social media accounts for different examples of what they have to offer!

Back to top

People ride the zip line through the trees at Adeventure Park on Long Island.

Long Island

  1. Zip line at the Adventure Park: Get adventurous outdoors! Adventure Park has over 15 different zip lines to choose from! There are walking trails of over 5 different difficulty levels and zip lines of all different heights to choose from that provide fun for all ages, from kids to adults.
  2. Jones Beach: One of the greatest sites on Long Island is Jones Beach. A NYS Park, visitors have the opportunity to relax on the beach, swim in the ocean, stroll along the boardwalk, go fishing, hiking, and so much more. Jones Beach also offers a great concert calendar throughout the summer with all kinds of popular music.
  3. South Bay Music Festival: July 13 through 16 are bound to be quite the adventure at Shorefront Park in Patchogue, NY. With over 50 bands (311, Gov’t Mule, Taking Back Sunday and more!) performing throughout the event, there is music for everyone to enjoy. Grab some of your best friends and hit the South Bay for this epic event.

Back to top

Exterior view of the Thatcher Park visitor center

Capital Region

  1. Thatcher State Park and Visitor Center: Set in the Helderberg Escarpment, Thatcher State Park is a scenic outdoor location that offers fun, adventure, and some breathtaking views of the surrounding Capital Region. Take advantage of all the park land for picnics and games, campgrounds, or hiking trails before you end the day with a sunset view of the nearby Adirondack Mountains and Hudson Valley. Also, you can visit the brand new Thatcher State Park Visitor Center that opened this spring to unwind after a long day outdoors.
  2. Saratoga Race Track: Saratoga is known as “The Summer Place to Be”, and this year, there’s a bigger SUNY connection than before. Horse trainer Chad Brown is making his way to the top of the sport. The alum of Cornell CALS, has already claimed a win in the Preakness Stakes this year with his horse Cloud Computing. At Saratoga, the biggest race of the year is the Travers Stakes and Chad will likely be preparing Cloud Computing for the mid-summer derby in front of 50,000 screaming fans. Make your way to the races to see what these amazing athlete horses are all about, and then follow it up with a trip downtown for some shopping and dining.
  3. Huyck Preserve and Biological Research Station– The Huyck Preserve has over 12 miles of trails available for the public to use. Open year-round, the winter months allow for skiing and snowshoeing while the summer months allow for hiking and exploring. There are various stations to learn about vegetation, wildlife, and other living organisms in our ecosystem.

Back to top

nighttime view of Lyndhurst Mansion at Sleepy Hollow NY

Mid-Hudson

  1. Sleepy Hollow: Sleepy Hollow is known for their cemetery tours. There is a two-hour tour of the cemetery that includes the resting place of William Rockefeller. Cemeteries not your thing? There are also concerts at Tarrytown Music Hall, Lyndhurst Mansion, and other cultural events that bring history to you. Along with the activities, there are many different places to eat and shop so this is a great place for an overnight excursion!
  2. Walk over the Hudson State Historic Park: The bridge over the Hudson is the world’s tallest pedestrian bridge. It is 212 feet above the water and 1.28 miles long. Throughout the summer, the Walkway Over the Hudson organization hosts different events to raise money to maintain the safety and upkeep of the bridge. Activities allowed on the bridge include picnicking, walking, running, walking bird watching, and roller skating.
  3. West Point Academy: West Point Academy is the United States Military Academy. Located in West Point, NY, the Academy offers tours of its facilities for those of us wanting to know more about the history and future of our military. In addition to the tours, there is a Museum and Cemetery as well as Cadet Parades that allows you to learn and see all things about our armed forces past, present, and future. Finally, there are live shows from comedy to theater to music throughout the season to round out all of the offerings at this historical location.

Back to top

Aerial view of Fort Stanwix in Rome, NY.

Mohawk Valley

  1. Fort Stanwix: Visit history at this National Monument in Rome, NY. Nestled in Oneida Indian territory, this landmark was once a major outpost for the transport of goods to the north and west as early settlers were getting familiar with the surrounding areas. Known as “the fort that never surrendered,” Fort Stanwix played a critical roll during the time of the American Revolution against the British. Take a guided tour, visit the museum, or walk the trails to be transported back in time.
  2. Brewery Ommegang Tour and Concerts: Brewery Ommegang in Cooperstown is a full day event. There is a cafe, brewery, and a summer concert schedule outdoors in the large field adjacent to the brewery that give you plenty to see and do. The Brewery has attracted people from all across the state and is open year-round. Not too far away is SUNY Cobleskill that offers two different degrees in Fermentation Science which would enable someone to make their own beer! If brewing is an interest or passion, check out the degree programs and you could run your own brewery like the Ommegang crew one day!
  3. Arkell Musuem: Located in Canajoharie, NY, the Arkell Museum “collects, preserves, researches and presents American Art and Mohawk Valley History, and promotes active participation in art and history related activities, to enhance knowledge, appreciation and personal exploration by all.” Current exhibits include the Canada Lake Portraits and the Animals in Bronze. During the summer months, the walkway and garden are a great place to take in the scenery of the Mohawk Valley. There is also a library on site for all the book lovers!

Back to top

Boldt Castle exterior, from the water.

North Country

  1. Boldt Castle: Boats galore! The only way to access this castle is by sea. Boldt Castle is a popular place for life events such as weddings, but more than that, it is also a huge tourist attraction in the North Country. Located on Hearst Island, this castle makes for the perfect backdrop. There is a place to eat lunch as well as picnic tables so pack up your favorite foods and have an afternoon picnic on one of New York’s most scenic islands.
  2. Lewis County Fair/Parade: July 18th marks the first day of the Lewis County Fair. The fair opens with a parade highlighting school bands, politicians, and local companies in Lewis County. The parade starts at 7:00 pm and has an expected turnout of over 15,000 people. You have from July 18th-July 22nd to get all your county fair essentials in the beautiful North Country.
  3. NYS Zoo at Thompson Park: Lions, and tigers, and bears, oh my! The Thompson Park Zoo has animals of all different species and is a fun day for everyone! Located in Watertown, NY, it is the place to go to learn about aquatic life, birds, and land animals in the North Country. There are educational programs for children, teens, and adults so you can make this fun experience educational as well.

Back to top

Exterior entry to Destiny USA mall in Syracuse at night.

Central NY

  1. Oz-Stravaganza: This festival highlights Frank L. Baum, the man who would go on to write the American fairy tale “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” which has had many adaptations, including a Broadway play. This festival has grown in size through out the years and will be held June 2nd-4th this year. There are crafts for sale, costume and coloring contests, as well as a singing competition. You’re not in Kansas anymore, so come one, come all to this extravagant event!
  2. Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science and Technology: Want something fun AND educational? The Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science and Technology in Syracuse features an IMAX movie, exhibits about space, the planet Earth, and medical life science. The IMAX movie opening June 3rd is about space and is narrated by actress Jennifer Lawrence. Take a few hours to go out of this world and explore the solar system in a fun and exciting way.
  3. Destiny USA: Shop the day away at New York’s largest shopping destination. With more than 250 places to shop, eat, and play, there’s more than enough to keep you occupied at this six-story megaplex. In between your activities, you can visit the carousel for a nostalgia trip. And if shopping isn’t your thing, a full calendar of events and activity zones like go-kart racing, music, and comedy clubs give you plenty of options for fun.

Back to top

A view of the Rochester Jazz fest from the stage as a band performers for hundreds of fans at night.

Finger Lakes

  1. Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival: The summer thing to do is go to a concert. But exploring different kinds of music is a great way to try new things on your summer vacation. The Jazz Festival runs from June 23rd- July 1st this year and features over 35 different artists. Whether you go for one day or a few, it is a great way to hear new artists in a widely tossed-aside genre. Don’t worry, pop music is felt at this event as one artist that will be present this year is Sheryl Crow!
  2. Corning Museum of Glass: Ever thought of making your own glass? Well that is one activity you can do at the Corning Museum of Glass. There are events, exhibits, and live demonstrations of how to make glass throughout the year. This museum has everything you need for a full day of activity and learning.
  3. Greek Peak Adventure Center: Want some thrill? The Greek Peak Adventure features four Dual Zip Lines, a High Peaks Challenge Course, Twin Creeks Team Challenge Course, a Eurobungy Zone (half trampoline/half Bungee jumping), and a 9-lane winter Tubing Center. The Nor’Easter Mountain Coaster allows you to control the speed in the two-person car, up to 28 mph, as you climb the mountainside, cruise over the peak, navigate pitches and turns, and enjoy an exciting descent through the forest. Whether you do the coaster or not, this adventure center allows you to explore nature with some thrills those who enjoy the adrenaline rush!

Back to top


A putting green surrounded by fans at The Dicks Sporting Goods Open golf tournament in Endicott, NY.

Southern Tier

  1. Dicks Sporting Goods Open: The PGA Champions Tour comes to Endicott, NY in August, and SUNY will be right there with them. Come to the Dicks Sporting Goods Open at the En-Joie Golf Club to see some of golf’s greatest names and past winners compete against one another. In addition to the golf, SUNY will be on hand on Thursday, August 17 to grow the SUNY’s Got Your Back initiative with an effort to fill 5,000 comfort bags for domestic violence support shelters in the region. And to top it all off, Bon Jovi will be performing live in concert too!
  2. Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum and Center for Comedy: Everyone loves Lucy! The mission of the Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum is to preserve the legacy of two beloved actors and enrich the world through the healing powers of laughter through its commitment to the development of the comedic arts. Take a stroll through the history of this comedy and learn a thing or two about the history of comedy. Fun fact: this museum is located in Lucille Ball’s hometown!
  3. Panama Rocks Scenic Park: Explore a half-mile long ridge of 60-foot high rock forming crevices, passageways, and caves hidden in an ancient forest! Located just 15 minutes from Chautauqua Lake, Panama Rocks has been the #1-rated attraction in Chautauqua County based on independent reviews on TripAdvisor for over five years! Explore the beauty of the Southern Tier for at this park for under $10!

Back to top

Student from UBuffalo raises his hands after the College Wing Eating contest at Buffalo Wing Fest.

Western New York

  1. 2017 National Buffalo Wing Festival: Hot, mild, extra crispy, honey barbecue… whatever your style, you can sample them all in Buffalo, the birthplace of the chicken wing. This event, over Labor Day weekend, features food, music, physical events like a 5k and Ninja Warrior challenge, and much more. You can also take a nearby detour to the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute to see if any students have their own twist on the chicken wing.
  2. Erie Basin Marina: A premier waterfront destination. Whether you’re going out on a boat or want to learn how to kayak, the Erie Basin Marina is the place to go. You can walk along the path, check out the boats, and get great food at the marina. Meet some new people who know their way through the water and sail the day away!
  3. Attica Rodeo: Voted the #1 rodeo by the cowboys and cowgirls, this is the place to go see a good show. Whether it is your first time or 20th time, the Attica rodeo is always a good afternoon. From racing to penning and even horse shows, check out the incredible skills of these cowboys and girls in the ring.

 

Whether you have been to one of these events before or are trying something new, there’s plenty to do this summer around New York. And while you’re out, don’t forget to check out the SUNY campus nearby!

    Written by Sarah Petrak

    Sarah Petrak is a student assistant with the Office of Communications and New Media for SUNY System Administration. She is a studying Public Policy at the University at Albany.

    Tags: , ,

    Similar:

     

    Join the Conversation:

     

    There are 0 comments

    Leave a comment

    Leave a Reply

    SUNY - Be Part of Something Bigger