Getting out of town after a brutal Central New York winter is often top of mind for many of us. We’re ready to put away our snow shovels and indulge ourselves and our loved ones in the sun and sand. However, for many families, getting away during spring break can present insurmountable logistical challenges. It can be difficult for some parents to get time off during the school break, the cost of travel during peak times makes affordability a factor for others, and the crowds at popular destinations can be enough of a reason to stay home.
Fortunately, we live in an area that is rich with opportunity to explore places previously unknown, and, by the time April finally gets here, the weather is often cooperative.
Here are 10 day trips that you can enjoy over spring break with your family:
1. CORNING MUSEUM OF GLASS
This is the perfect day trip for families, and with free admission for visitors aged 17 and under, it can be a budget-friendly option too! In addition to thousands of one-of-a-kind pieces of artwork on display, there are more than 20 live glass blowing demonstrations daily. Perhaps most appealing, especially for young visitors, is the opportunity to make your own glass.
Location: 1 Museum Way, Corning.
More information: cmog.org.
2. STRONG MUSEUM OF PLAY
Located in Rochester, the Strong Museum of Play offers a number of permanent, interactive displays as well as ever-changing visiting displays. Now through April 24, museum patrons can experience Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, which is inspired by the popular show on PBS.
Location: One Manhattan Square Dr., Rochester.
More information: museumofplay.org.
3. BASEBALL HALL OF FAME
Baseball enthusiasts will love visiting the National Baseball Hall of Fame in beautiful, historic Cooperstown. With more than 40,000 meticulously preserved and displayed artifacts of America’s favorite pastime, visitors young and old will marvel at both the history and evolution of this popular sport.
Location: 25 Main St., Cooperstown.
More information: baseballhall.org.
4. THE FARMERS’ MUSEUM
While in Cooperstown, make sure to plan a stop at The Farmers’ Museum. Opened in 1944 and with more than 23,000 artifacts today, The Farmers’ Museum offers a history lesson of rural America. The sprawling property is peppered with live demonstrations and hands-on learning experiences for visitors of every age. Make sure to plan a stop at the gift shop and the carousel.
Location: 5775 State Highway 80, Cooperstown.
More information: farmersmuseum.org.
5. HOWE CAVERNS
Howe Caverns offers visitors a 90-minute walking tour that takes place 156 feet underground. Explore and learn about caves that are six million years old and a constant 52 degrees. If you’re looking for a more individualized experience, Lantern Tours are available on a limited basis with reservations.
Location: 255 Discovery Dr., Howes Cave.
More information: howecaverns.com.
6. CASCADES INDOOR WATERPARK AT GREEK PEAK
Kept at 84 degrees, Cascades Indoor Waterpark is the perfect place to get away from the responsibilities of daily life. Perfect for all ages, the waterpark offers day passes for access to their indoor and outdoor pools and hot tubs, multiple slides, a wave pool and many other fun water attractions.
Location: 2177 Clute Rd., Cortland.
More information: greekpeak.net.
7. THE NEW YORK STATE MUSEUM
Open Tuesday-Sunday, the museum showcases art, science and history in over 100,000 square feet. The museum is both the oldest and largest state museum in America. With more than a dozen permanent exhibits from Bird Hall to Black Capital and Fire Engine Hall to Ice Ages, as well as rotating exhibits, there is no shortage of sights to see and knowledge to glean from a visit to this incredible museum. Admission is free though a donation is gladly accepted.
Location: 222 Madison Ave., Albany.
More information: nysm.nysed.gov.
The Sciencenter in Ithaca is another wonderful, hands-on, interactive learning museum for visitors of all ages. With more than 250 exhibits on topics from astronomy, weather, sustainability and live animal exhibits, as well as seasonal outdoor adventures, the Sciencenter offers curious minds hours of entertainment and education.
Location: 601 1st St., Ithaca.
More information: sciencenter.org.
9. THE WOLF MOUNTAIN NATURE CENTER
While only open on Sunday afternoons until the summer, The Wolf Mountain Nature Center provides visitors an opportunity to view wolves, foxes and coyotes in their large outdoor habitats. Choose between a self-guided or a one-hour docent tour of this 64-acre facility that is home to 25 different animals.
Location: 562 Hopkins Crandall Rd., Smyrna.
More information: thewolfmountainnaturecenter.org.
10. MOUNTAIN RIDGE ADVENTURE
This is a must experience day trip! Located in Schenectady, this park offers aerial adventures such as Tarzan swings, cargo nets and a zip-line adventure, among other attractions. Explore nature as you’ve never experienced before from up to 70 feet above the ground.
Location: 300 Weatherwax Rd., Schenectady.
More information: mountainridgeadventure.com.