Archive for the ‘spring activities’ Category

Spring’s Wild Water Derby

April 28, 2011

It’s true.

Wild Water Derby pirates

It’s happening.

Spring is coming to the Finger Lakes. The buds are popping, the grass is now really, really green and growing and we have had our fair share of April Showers*.  Looking for one more sure sign of spring? That would have to be the Shortsville/Manchester Wild Water Derby – one of the largest paddling events in the northeast.

The Wild Water Derby is a local tradition in the spring. It all takes place along the Canandaigua Outlet  which flows north from the outlet of Canandaigua Lake all of the way to the Erie Canal. [get directions to the event]

The Wild Water Derby includes two days of (cold) water, racing, food, music, paddling, kayaks, rafts, some pirates and having a ton of fun. Teams can put in hours planning and constructing their rafts, because many ‘water vehicles’ at this race are home-made.  The homemade raft portion of the weekend is where the teams get “extra” points for creativity and humor, and it is a spectator favorite. Although it is considered a “racing” event, the number one priority is having a good time.

* SPECIAL NOTE: The Wild Water Derby is RESCHEDULED for MAY 21 & 22, 2011 – in the interest of participant and spectator safety.

Click here to see a short video created two years ago at the Wild Water Derby. “AJ checks out Manchester and interviews some of the teams before and some after ‘the Run’.”

Great New Overnight Getaways-Podcast2thePast

May 26, 2009

PODCAST_LOGO_v8Visitors to the Finger Lakes area can take advantage of one of four travel packages developed around the Podcast 2 the Past program. You can customize the package to fit your travel interests and needs depending on time of year, accommodations preference and budget.  Choose from one of these four themes:

 Wine & Women Rock – With A Podcast!  Sit where history was made… on the steps of the Ontario County Courthouse  where Susan B. Anthony was tried for treason. Tour and taste at Widmer Wine Cellars  in Naples, where the winery dates back 100+ years. Tour Sonnenberg Gardens  & Mansion State Historic Park – learn of Mary Clark Thompson’s legacy. Tour and taste at Bully Hill , one of the most eclectic wineries in the Finger Lakes.  Package includes: Tour and tasting at Widmer Wine Cellars and Bully Hill, tour of Sonnenberg Mansion & Gardens State Historic Park.  

prouty1Stretch Yourself – With A Podcast!  Expand your mind and body – relax at the Springs of Clifton , and visit two  of the following historic sites. Choose from: the Foster Cottage  in Clifton Springs, the Granger Homestead and Carriage Museum, Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion State Historic Park in Canandaigua, the Geneva Historical Prouty Chew House or the Rose Hill Mansion. Tour and taste at Bully Hill, one of the most eclectic wineries in the Finger Lakes. Package includes: Therapeutic mineral bath spa experience, tickets for 2 history experiences, and wine tasting for 2. 

Historic Valentown Museum

Historic Valentown Museum

Shopping, Then & Now – With A Podcast!  Tour historic Valentown – Ontario County’s first 19th century indoor mall. Here you will find thousands of artifacts and heirlooms. Now jump ahead and visit neighboring Eastview Mall featuring over 100 upscale stores, enjoy a $25.00 gift certificate to spend as you like. Gaffer District  is your next stop in Corning, enjoy this historic district for it’s shopping and entertainment center. Package includes: $25.00 gift card to Eastview Mall, shopping coupons from the Gaffer District. 

Elizabeth Blackwell Statue
Elizabeth Blackwell Statue

Leaders of the Past – With A Podcast!   

Discover the Glenn H. Curtiss Museum – Learn how this Hammondsport native thrilled the world with his exploits featuring early motorcycles, airplanes and seaplanes. Next on this fabulous history tour, taste the wines that revolutionized New York’s wine industry at Dr. Konstantin Frank Vinifera Wine Cellars. Enjoy a walking tour of Hobart and William Smith Colleges’ campus in Geneva.  Here you can admire Jacobean and gothic architecture and lovely landscaping. Elizabeth Blackwell was the first woman in the United States to receive a medical degree, and she did so from this location.  Package includes: Wine tasting for two, admission for two to the Glenn H. Curtiss Museum.

All Podcast 2 the Past travel packages include use of GPS unit and are based on double occupancy and availability. They include one night’s accommodation, $50.00 dinner voucher, breakfast for two and all taxes. Call 877-FUN-IN-NY today for more information on these and more Finger Lakes overnight getaway packages.

Flowers and Gardens Everywhere

May 9, 2009

 

Trees are in spring bloom at Sonnenberg

Trees are in spring bloom at Sonnenberg

Sonnenberg Gardens and Mansion  State Historic Park is now open for the season and this year’s garden season promises to be outstanding.  Perhaps the most well-known gardens in the Finger Lakes, Sonnenberg Gardens and Mansion shares the legacy of Frederick and Mary Clark Thompson and their beautiful summer home, “Sonnenberg” or sunny hill.  After Mr. Thompson’s death in 1899, Mary Clark Thompson traveled throughout Asia and Europe and returned home to create her exquisite gardens from ideas she gathered around the world.  There are nine formal gardens in all.  From the elegance of the Italian Garden, the solitude of the Japanese Garden or the mystique of the Moolight Garden you’ll experience the art, the beauty and unique architecture  of Mrs. Thompson’s vision.

Tulips in full bloom at Sonnenberg

Tulips in full bloom at Sonnenberg

Throughout the estate, the trees and spring flowers are in bloom now. Mid-June  brings the annual Rose Week event as more than 4,000 rose bushes will be in full bloom in the Rose Garden.

Tour the 40-room mansion, stroll at your own leisure or take a guided tour of the grounds and gardens at Sonnenberg.  Finger Lakes Wine Centeris also located on the grounds at Sonnenberg where you can enjoy wine tastings from more than 40 Finger Lakes wineries.  There’s a gift shop and small outdoor cafe too.  

The Rose Garden at Sonnenberg

The Rose Garden at Sonnenberg

Events are held throughout the garden season at Sonnenberg:  Mother’s Day Tea, Rose Week, Father’s Day car show, Friday night Moonlight Stroll Music series, Arts in the Garden and more. 

Sonnenberg Gardens and Mansion State Historic Park is a Great Finger Lakes Find!

Bird Watching in the Finger Lakes!

May 1, 2009
The Baltimore Oriole

The Baltimore Oriole

Spring in the Finger Lakes is a fun season of the year as we watch the earth come back to life with brightening skies, beautiful flowers in bloom, leaves and early spring buds on the trees. But it also means the  the migrating birds return.  I love to see the first colors in the trees (before the leaves actually come out). You’ll see the finches change from brown to a vibrant yellow, orange of the oriole, the blue birds are bright blue, the red of the cardinals, and perhaps most anticipated is the return of the hummingbirds as a sure sign that spring is here.

There are many natural parks and trails, bird watching can be done anywhere in the Finger Lakes, but here are a few great locations to view our feathered friends:

The Blue Bird is the official NYS bird.

The Blue Bird is the official NYS bird.

In Victor, you’ll find two favorite bird watching places. The Maryfrances Bluebird Haven has a trail of approximately one mile which circles the property traveling through open fields and through woods allowing visitors to see bluebirds in their natural habit.  Also the Ganondagan Native American Historic Site  provides several nature trails where you will see not only the birds, but many varieties of wildlife, plants and historic memorabilia about the Native Americans who lived there.

Can you tell?  Coopers Hawk or Sharp-Shinned Juvenile?

Can you tell? Coopers Hawk or Sharp-Shinned Juvenile?

On Canandaigua Lake,  you’ll find Kershaw and  Lagoon Park located at the north end of the lake and Cumming Nature Center  at the south end of the lake.  A variety of Hawks as well as the Bald Eagle have been sighted many times on Canandaigua Lake.

 

The Rose-Breasted Grosbeak returned in mid-April

The Rose-Breasted Grosbeak returned in mid-April

Upcoming bird watching events  in May include: All About Bluebirds at Cumming Nature Center; Eagles at Hemlock (annual watch for the returning Eagles) or Tails and Trails narrated walk at Ganondagan. Get your binoculars out and your cameras ready to go and enjoy the spring colors of the birds.

Place Your Bets! Finger Lakes Opens today!

April 16, 2009

Finger Lakes Thoroughbred Racing Opens Today!

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Thoroughbred racing begins in the Finger Lakes today!  Finger Lakes Gaming and Racetrack opens April 17th for the 2009 horse racing season. 2009 marks the 48th consecutive year of thoroughbred racing at Finger Lakes. Located in the heart of the Finger Lakes region in Western New York, Finger Lakes Gaming & Racetrack has hosted over 62,000 horse races and entertained over 19 million fans since opening in 1962.  The horse racing season begins in mid-April and continues through November, Finger Lakes offers approximately 160 horse racing programs each season and simulcasting.   Getaway Gaming Packages are available.  Call your friends and place your bets!

Finger Lakes Fun~Go Fly a Kite!

April 13, 2009

kitemonth11Did you know that April is National Kite Month? Remember the fun of making your own kite and flying it high in the sky?  Bring the whole family–get out and enjoy the spring breezes at the Cumming Nature Center .  The  “Go Fly a Kite!” program is being held on Saturday, April 25 from 1pm–4pm.  You can bring your own kite to fly, or make and decorate one to take home. 

Join the fun in the Finger Lakes:

1–2pm: “Make a Kite” craft activity
2:30–4pm: “Fly a Kite” (weather permitting)
The kite-flying fun will be in the nature center meadow.

 

Cumming Nature Center

Cumming Nature Center

The Rochester Museum and Science Center’s Cumming Nature Center is a 900-acre preserve located 40 minutes south of Rochester, New York in the Finger Lakes Region near the village of Naples.

In spring, summer, and fall, walk six miles of gentle hiking trails through woods and wetlands. Bring a snack or lunch to enjoy in the Visitors Center where restrooms are available.

The Best of Routes 5 and 20

April 7, 2009
What are your local favorites?

What are your local favorites?

Tell us your favorite things to see and do along Routes 5 & 20 in New York’s Finger Lakes.

Join in on the fun as the Routes 5 & 20 tourism promotion team (Genesee, Livingston, Ontario, Seneca, Cayuga counties and the Skaneateles Chamber of Commerce)  reaches out to our locals to tell us the “best of” along Routes 5 & 20. From Darien to Skaneateles, there’s 135 miles of history, fun, architecture, food, art, music and more.  Tell us what you like most.  Take the short survey which enters you to win a $100 gas card.  Inquiring minds want to know!  Take the survey today!  Call 877-FUN-IN-NY for more information.

And They’re Off! Finger Lakes Race Track Opens

April 3, 2009
They're Off and Running at Finger Lakes

They're Off and Running at Finger Lakes

Thoroughbred racing begins in the Finger Lakes in less than two weeks.  Finger Lakes Gaming and Racetrack opens April 17th for the 2009 horse racing season. 2009 marks the 48th consecutive year of thoroughbred racing at Finger Lakes. Located in the heart of the Finger Lakes region in Western New York, Finger Lakes Gaming & Racetrack has hosted over 62,000 horse races and entertained over 19 million fans since opening in 1962.  The horse racing season begins in mid-April and continues through November, Finger Lakes offers approximately 160 horse racing programs each season and simulcasting.  

Take your chances on 1,200 video games at Finger Lakes

Take your chances on 1,200 video games at Finger Lakes

 But there’s more!  When the horses are done, you can take your chances in the Racino with more than 1,200 video lottery games to play!  Nickels, dimes, quarters…whatever your pleasure, that’s all it takes to start the fun and the wins.

 

 

All You Can Eat Buffet
All You Can Eat Buffet

For sure you’ll work up your appetite. It’s not just the games at Finger Lakes – there’s a dining experience to match!  Enjoy the Tuscan atmosphere at  the “All You Can Eat” Vineyard Buffet!  Go back for more with so many delicious selections to choose from including: Mediterranean and Southwest cuisines, All American and regional favorites, fresh carved selections, and tempting salad and dessert bars. 

Thoroughbred Racing runs through November, but Gaming is yours all year long, seven days a week.  Don’t miss the fun!

Finger Lakes Golf Trail~Hit the Links

March 18, 2009
Bristol Harbour Golf

Bristol Harbour Golf

Golfers, are you ready for some serious GOLF?  The snow is gone and spring is in the air.  Don’t wait! Get your clubs and shoes out and head to the Finger Lakes Golf Trail.  Four great courses here in the Finger Lakes are just waiting for you and your golfing buddies to start the season.  

Ravenwood Golf Course

Ravenwood Golf Course

Bring your friends to explore the world famous Finger Lakes Region, and enjoy four of the most challenging golf courses available to the public. Bristol Harbour, Greystone, Ravenwood and Mill Creek—each course delivers a truly unique, memorable experience. Play them all for the immersion of a lifetime.  Golfing doesn’t get much better than this.

The Lodge at Bristol Harbour

The Lodge at Bristol Harbour

Overnight stays are available at these trail lodging properties: The WoodCliff in Victor, Bristol Harbour Resort, Holiday Inn Express or the Radisson Rochester.  

What are the most popular packages?  You can choose from the Standard Package which includes, three 18-hole rounds of golf at the courses of your choice, carts, range, and two-night accomodations or the Fabulous Finger Lakes Foursome and you get to play one round of golf at all four courses with cart and range balls included!  Get on the phone now and call 1-866-969-3548.  The Links are waiting.

March is Maple Sugar in the Finger Lakes

March 6, 2009
Sugar House at the Loomis Barn

Sugar House at the Loomis Barn

The temperatures are rising and the sap is flowing in the Finger Lakes.  March is Maple Sugar month in New York.  Did you know that New York is the third largest maple sugar producer worldwide and the second largest producer of maple sugar in the United States?  There’s nothing that tastes any better than warm, home-made maple syrup over pancakes for breakfast. You can enjoy this too.  Maple Sugar Weekend is coming on the weekends of March 21 &  22, and March 27 & 28 with plenty of fun activities planned.  You’ll see demonstrations of collecting and boiling the sap, the production of the final maple sugar products and of course be able to taste too! 

Pancakes and fresh warm maple syrup

Pancakes and fresh warm maple syrup

Click here for some of the local places you can go to see Maple Sugaring and for a scrumptious taste treat, there’s also pancake breakfasts galore on Maple Sugar Weekend.   Bring your family and your friends and experience the Maple Sugar tradition of the Finger Lakes.