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Thursday, April 14, 2016

10 Great Upstate New York Places to Take Your Kids This Spring


Upstate New York offers families a plethora of places to explore. Here are 10 great spots to check out as the weather warms up.

1. Adirondack Mountains
The Adirondack Mountains encompass an astounding 6 million acres of upstate New York. This protected area is a paradise for outdoor sports year-round. While the snow is still deep on the ground, take your kids to the Whiteface Mountain Ski resort, which offers slopes for beginners and experts alike. As spring warms up, you can spend a day bicycling along the winding coastal trails of Lake Champlain. If your family is up for a real challenge, you can tackle one of the Adirondack’s 46 peaks and enjoy unparalleled views of the forested hills.

2. National Museum of Play
Rochester's National Museum of Play is sure to entertain children of all ages. It is the world's largest toy museum and features countless interactive exhibits. While the kids are off exploring the Sesame Street or Comic Book Heroes rooms, parents can relax at the beautiful Discovery Garden or indoor aquarium. The Museum offers special events daily, so be sure to check out their calendar to plan your visit.

3. Corning Museum of Glass
Don't worry about taking your kids to a place filled with fragile glass artwork. The Corning Museum of Glass offers several child-friendly events throughout the year including glassblowing demonstrations, scavenger hunts, and glass jewelry-making workshops. Be sure not to miss the Student Art Show in May for a collection of more than 2,000 local students' artwork.

4. Taughannock Falls State Park
Niagara Falls may get all the hype, but Taughannock Falls towers over it in comparison. This breathtaking 400-foot waterfall is located in a state park that includes numerous hiking opportunities. Take your younger kids on the easy Gorge Trail that leads right up to the bottom of the falls. Afterwards, enjoy a pleasant spring barbecue on the shores of Cayuga Lake.

5. The Sciencenter
Located in Ithaca, the Sciencenter offers a great treat for families who are feeling the cold-weather blues. Start your journey of discovery with the Sagan Planet Walk, a scale model of the solar system that extends from downtown Ithaca to the entrance of the center. Next, take your kids on a unique mini golf experience at Galaxy Golf where they can learn math and science while having fun. The Sciencenter has special events for young children several times a week, so be sure to check their schedule often.

6. The Wild Animal Park
Located on 12 acres just north of Chittenango is the Wild Animal Park. This privately run zoo is home to hundreds of exotic animals. They have daily presentations on alligators, tigers, and bears, where the staff feed the animals and talk about their natural habitats. In addition, the park has Hopper's Bounceland: a village of five bouncy houses featuring a 23-foot slide. There is also a special birthday package available with outback or African-safari themed adventures.

7. Cascades Indoor Water Park
This massive 41,000-square-foot water park lets your kids make a splash regardless of the weather outside. The water is kept at a perfect 84 degrees, and there are different sizes and depths of pools suitable for children of all ages. Parents will also love relaxing in the outdoor hot tubs. The Cascades Water Park is conveniently located off Interstate 81 in Cortland, New York.

8. Albany Tulip Festival
Celebrate Mother's Day at the 68th annual Albany Tulip Festival. This event is free to the public and is set in Washington Park. More than 100,000 tulips are in full bloom, offering a spectacular celebration of spring. The festival has plenty of children's activities, craft vendors, and great local food. Additionally, there are multiple live music performances, and the event culminates in the 18th Annual Mother of the Year award ceremony.

9. Beaver Lake Nature Center
Located just outside of Syracuse is the Beaver Lake Nature Center. Here you can find more than 400 annual programs that are sure to keep your kids busy year-round. Every weekend the Center offers guided walks that focus on local animals and plants. While the schedule changes frequently, be sure not to miss out on the late-April Spring Adventure Week. This free event includes a scavenger hunt and children's crafts.

10. Niagara Falls
Spring is the best time to visit the world-famous Niagara Falls. Not only are the flowers in full bloom, but the main tourist season has yet to begin. Niagara Falls is America's oldest state park and has been featured in countless books, TV shows, and movies since its inauguration in 1885. It continues to be a must-see attraction today thanks to its unique location on the American/Canadian border. In addition to the spectacular views, the park offers the Aquarium of Niagara, which features interactive marine exhibits for kids.

If you’re ready to explore communities in upstate New York, let a HUNT Real Estate sales professional help you find the right location for you.

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