Finger Lakes Family Vacations
Summer Activities Including the New York State Fair, Eastman House & More
For an unforgettable summer in New York that both you and the kids will love, plan a Finger Lakes family vacation! From splashing at a waterpark, picking fresh fruit, farm tours to boat tours and beach play, the Finger Lakes offers something for everyone. All season long there are plenty of family things to do including the Strong Museum of Play, an old-fashioned drive-in move, fairs and festivals, museum tours, outdoor adventures and more!
So many events are being held throughout the summer. The Finger Lakes region is in bloom, and to celebrate, the area hosts some of the most prestigious spring and summer festivals. The Rochester Lilac Festival (May 10-19) welcomes spring with fragrance and festivities and Williamson Apple Blossom Festival (May 15-19) celebrates juicy apples to come.
While flower festivals may treat the nostrils, the Finger Lakes also holds events to satisfy your taste buds. Foodie families adore Taste of Syracuse (June 7-8), the Owego Strawberry Festival (June 14-15), and Big Rib BBQ & Blues Fest (July 11-14), which features renowned rib masters & blues artists. Imagine RIT: Innovation and Creativity Festival (May 4) is all about cutting-edge, hands-on fun, and if you visit George Eastman House’s April 6 screening of Jefferson in Paris, you can meet director, James Ivory. Rochester International Jazz Festival returns June 21-29 to celebrate its 11th year.
Jumpstart a summer family vacation with a good ol’ fashioned camping trip! Camp or rent a cottage at Cayuga Lake and Sampson State Parks, Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge, or Seneca Lake. Learn to kayak at Paddle the Palisades (June 16), or meet farm animals at Farmland Animal Park.
The Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival begins May 29 with Singin’ in the Rain; other shows include Legally Blonde and Cats. And who doesn’t love family movies under the stars at Finger Lakes Drive-In? Batter up! Watch the A-League Auburn Doubledays at Falcon Park (June through August) or the Newark Pilots, who host the PGCBL All-Star game July 24. The Wayne County Fair takes place August 12-17.
Love things that go? Finger Lakes Live Steamers features creators and their grand old trains at its Open House June 22-23. Get revved up at The Walnut Hill Carriage Driving Competition (August 14-18) and the Wayne Drumlins Antique Car Show (August 18). Kids five and up can go-kart at Genesee Valley Kart Club; visit the Family Zone and Grandstand during the GRAND-AM Road Races at Watkins Glen International (June 28-30).
And yes, history can come alive! Enjoy medieval performers and feats of strength at Sterling Renaissance Festival (July 6-August 18), take a ride on a man-powered twirly, wander the grounds whilst enjoying the taste of a freshly roasted turkey leg and a taste of sassporilla or mead! Roseland Waterpark helps families get cool! Or beat the heat with a visit to the Dancing Wings Butterfly Garden at the National Museum of Play. The New York State Fair was our country’s first in 1841, and it’s still going strong (August 22-September 2) - what a way to end the summer!
• 36th Annual Wayne Drumlins Antique Car Show, Marion
• Auburn Doubledays
• Big Rib BBQ & Blues Fest, Rochester
• Cayuga Lake State Park, Seneca Falls
• Dancing Wings Butterfly Garden, National Museum of Play
• Farmland Animal Park, Chemung
• Finger Lakes Drive-In, Auburn
• Finger Lakes Live Steamers, Clyde
• Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival
• Genesee Valley Kart Club, Avon
• George Eastman House/International Museum of Photography and Film
• Imagine RIT: Innovation and Creativity Festival
• Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge, Seneca Falls
• New York State Fair, Syracuse
• Rochester Lilac Festival
• Roseland Water Park, Canandaigua
• Sampson State Park, Romulus
• Seneca Lake State Park, Geneva
• Sterling Renaissance Festival
• Taste of Syracuse
• Walnut Hill Carriage Driving Competition, Pittsford
• Watkins Glen International
• Wayne County Fair, Palmyra
• Williamson Apple Blossom Festival
For more information, visit the Finger Lakes region and Finger Lakes alliance.