Monthly Archives: February 2013

59. OptiGolf at DesiNY

Today is the last day of February, we’re a mere 20 days away from Spring, it’s time to get ready for it.

OptiGolf at DesiNY is a great way to practice your golf swing and get in a round while there’s still snow on the ground.



It’s on the 3rd level of the new addition to Carousel Mall, next to Pole Position.

OptiGolf is designed with every level golfer in mind. You can hone your skill at the fairway, or you can play a round with a few friends. There are also 95 different courses to choose from! You can never get bored here. And, just like a real golf course, there is beer available while you play….I’m not much of a golfer, but I’d love to try this out…it’d be a great way to learn how to golf without actually losing my ball in the water, or in the woods, or wherever else you can lose it.

Tee-times are available Sunday-Thursday from 9am-10pm and Friday-Saturday 9am-11pm. Rates are here

Tip: Clubs are available at OptiGolf.

58. Syracuse Improv Collective

Deep in the heart of Syracuse lies an inner circle of people. Within this inner circle are creative minds, pro-active local artists, inspirational individuals, hysterical comedians, and more.  These people are the beating heart of this wonderful city. They support local initiatives, they seek to inform people of their hobbies and passions, they are dedicated to the betterment of this wonderful community.  And every so often, you learn about what these people are doing, and you can’t help but want to learn more.


I learned about the Syracuse Improv Collective through a few friends and knew immediately that it was something I needed to learn more about. My first thought was, there is no way I can’t feature something this great on 365 Things Syracuse. My second thought was, how on earth have I not learned about this sooner? As an endless lover of comedy; I am always laughing. I surround myself with people who are hysterical. I tend to toot-my-own-horn (but only sometimes…) by telling people I’m the funniest person they’ve ever met… some agree, some roll their eyes with a slight sarcasm. It’s become my schtick.

The Syracuse Improv Collective seeks to highlight improv artists through workshops and shows. They support local comedians, area troupes, and also people just interested in getting into the sport of comedy through improvisation. They offer workshops, that’ll teach you the art of improv and help hone your technique.

Friday, March 1st at 8pm there is a show at the Syracuse Playhouse, which is located in the Shoppingtown Mall…yes, that place is still around. For $5, you can get an inside look to the art of hysterically funny improv. This is something that is worth checking out. It’s a great date idea for those who are looking to switch it up from the same old dinner & a movie, it’s a great event to grab friends and go…it’s fun for everyone.  My friends and I will definitely be attending this event.

If you’d like to learn more about possibly taking an improv class or getting involved with SIC in general, there will be a mixer from 6:30-7:30, before the show, where you’ll meet some of the members of previous workshops and get a chance to learn more information about SIC.

Tip: Like them on Facebook to learn more about improv events in and around Syracuse!

57. Artful Yoga

Believe it or not, Art Museum’s are not just for art.

I recently learned about a program at the Everson Museum that incorporates yoga and art. Artful Yoga at the Everson is the art of practicing yoga amongst the artwork. This is so cool. Art museums have a calming effect anyway, so what better place to practice yoga than in an Art Museum?!

Saturday Morning’s from 10:30-12pm, the Everson Museum hosts their Artful Yoga series. For $10 (non-members) or $5 (members) you get a 90 minute yoga session led by a certified yoga instructor in the Rosamond Gifford Sculpture Court.










This is yoga for all skill levels, and yoga mats are available for free at a first come first serve basis. It is bound to fill up so make sure you register before your class! To register, contact Kimberly Griffiths.

Location: 401 Harrison Street. Parking is available in lots surrounding the museum (for a fee) or at metered spots on Harrison or State street.


Tip: Your first class is free!

56. Tipp Hill Shamrock Run

This saturday celebrates the 8th annual Shamrock Run on Tipp Hill. At 11am, thousands of local runners will gather at Burnet Park and run the 4 mile hilly course through historic Tipperary Hill.

tipp hill

This is a great run for those who are willing to be challenged and rewarded.  Last year, the conditions for the run were cold and gloomy but the live music and neighborhood support made the run a lot of fun, and despite the difficulty of the course and the weather there was nothing that would stop me from registering again this year.

The hills provide for a challenging course while running up and down Avery Avenue, Tompkins, Coleridge, etc, etc… local bands and organizations come out to support and distract runners with live music and cheering.

Register here, it’s $30 through March 1st and $35 the day of the race.

This run is a great way to prepare for the even harder Mountain Goat race.

Like them on facebook to get up-to-date info regarding the race. Even if you’re not interested in running, they’re always looking for Volunteers to help pass out water and cheer on the runners!

Tip: After the run, head to Coleman’s for a green beer!

55. Winterfest – Chowder Cookoff

I am so excited for this event. A little fact about me is that clam chowder is my favorite food. I like to think of myself as a clam chowder connoisseur of sorts. Whenever it’s on the menu, I have to order it. I’ve spent countless meals going over the ingredients and the flavors, I don’t know what it is but I love clam chowder.


Of the clam chowder I have tried, and I’ve tried a lot, I am still looking for a bowl to beat The Bville Diner’s clam chowder. I know, right?! The Diner?! But I’m telling you…it is so good!

Today’s event for winterfest was designed with me in mind. The Chowder Cookoff! Area restaurants will compete for the best clam chowder in Syracuse. Same as yesterday’s event, this is from 11-3 in Hanover Square

Tip: There’s also a Bloody Mary mix off today too!

54. Winterfest – Chili cookoff


Words synonymous with winter: hot chocolate, snow, and chili.

The Chili Cookoff portion of winterfest is one of the most anticipated events of the entire 2 week festival. People in attendance get the chance to sample some of the finest chili in all of Syracuse from some of the best restaurants and organizations. The winner gets the best prize of all, not the money but the bragging rights that they’ve got the best chili in town.

They set up and have their chili ready by 11am and the public tasting starts at 2:30pm. Just that perfect time of day when you’re ready to warm up after being outside with a nice bowl of chili. Then you vote and the winner walks away with the chance to say “we’ve got the best chili in Syracuse.” Not a bad gig.

Find out more information here.

Tip: There are also other really fun events for winterfest today like the sandwich stroll and the Margarita mix-off.

53. Downtown Dining Week – bc

Downtown dining week has had some really awesome restaurants involved…and despite the armory square water main break of 2012, there’s been a lot of really fun and exciting menus to try out. From Anthony’s and Bull and Bear in Hanover Square, to The Mission and Empire Brew Co they’ve all offered a lot to the people of Syracuse, and it’s been a lot of fun! Check out the full list of restaurants here.


bc is the last restaurant we will be featuring during Downtown Dining week, which sadly is coming to an end. Downtown Dining week ends on the Monday, February 25th.

bc is one of those places that seems like it could be a little intimidating. Inside, it has the ambiance of a posh restaurant, with linens on the tables and a professional staff. They’re regular menu is full of variety and delicious flavors. One of my favorite things to do here in Syracuse is grab lunch at bc, in the summer they’ve got one of the coolest, quietest, quaintest patios in town. I am 100% certain their BLT is the best in town.

Their downtown dining menu this week features some of their most popular dishes including the lobster mac & cheese. Anything with lobster and mac & cheese in the title basically means delicious. For $25 you can enjoy an appetizer, entrée and dessert. Reservations are suggested. Find out more info on the bc blog about dining week!

Tip: bc has live music on Friday’s!


52. Downtown Dining Week – Bull and Bear

I like to think Hanover Square is in itself, the overall largest hidden gem in all of Syracuse. It is almost always quiet…something that is much appreciated by myself. It reminds me a lot of Old Town in Fort Collins, which if anyone knows me holds a (very) special place in my heart. And, it’s also home to some of the best bars and restaurants in Syracuse.  Among the places to dine & drink in Hanover Square, Bull and Bear is the best bang for your buck.

bull and bear
During downtown dining week, Bull and Bear has their regular menu. You get to choose any 2 entrees, 1 appetizer & 2 drinks for $30 per couple. Grab your parents, your siblings, your friends, your roommates, your boyfriend or girlfriend…grab them now and go to Bull and Bear. They’ve got delicious burgers, generous portions and tons of variety!

They’ve also got one of the best happy hour specials in town. Every Monday-Saturday from 4-6 when you buy one drink you get the other for 25 cents and sliders for $1 each. When I heard about this special I could not believe it…in fact, I had to call to verify with the bartender. I thought I was hearing things wrong…now it really sounds like Fort Collins! They’ve got over 75 beers and an even bigger variety of spirits behind the bar.

They’re also participating in a lot of the Winterfest activities. Check here for more details.

The only qualm I have with Bull and Bear is that they’re not open on Sunday’s. But they are open Monday-Saturday 11:30am-2am.

Tip: Throughout the week they’ve got a lot of activities for people, including trivia (Tuesdays), Open Mic Night (Wednesday), Karaoke (Wednesday) and Live Music (Friday).


Follow them on facebook for more information on specials and events!

51. Downtown Dining Week – The Mission

Located on the corner of East Onondaga Street sits a lone red building that resembles a church. It’s quiet, it’s quaint, its perfect.

As I’ve mentioned before I am all about history…I studied it in college and I get really excited when learning new and exciting facts. So imagine my delight when I learned that not only was The Mission an old church in Syracuse, but it was also an imperative stop on the underground railroad. It’s things like this that make this city so cool!


For downtown dining week The Mission is featuring some of their specialities. For just $25, you can taste one appetizer, one entree and one dessert. They’re known for their delicious Mexican food and on the menu they’ve got some of everyone’s favorites. It’s hard to pick just one thing I’d suggest because it all sounds so good!

I recently had a delightful experience at The Mission. My friend and I got there early, we were promptly seated, our server Derrick was quick to offer great advice about the menu and made sure our complimentary chips and salsa were always overflowing. I like to think that by living in Colorado and Texas I have become somewhat of a pro when finding the right guacamole, and The Mission is no joke. I’d say it might be my favorite yet!


Tip: If you’re looking for one of the best margaritas in town head here! Plus, are only $5.50!

They also serve Brunch from 11-3pm on Sunday’s!


50. Downtown Dining Week – Empire Brewing Co.

When it comes to dining downtown there are a few go-to places I will always agree upon. There’s hardly a chance I’ll say no to Kitty Hoynes or Black Olive and there’s hardly a chance I’ll say no to Empire Brewing Co.

It wasn’t until last year that I had tried Empire for the first time, and I was immediately sold on it. I especially love the ambiance at Empire. The exposed brick highlights a certain coziness that makes you feel right at home. It’s situated below the sidewalk on Walton Street; so you feel like you’re walking into some secret establishment rather than a restaurant.


The downtown dining menu for Empire highlights all of my favorite things they have to offer. From the lobster bisque to soft pretzels and burgers you can choose from 3 courses and a beer or glass of wine for just $25.

The neat thing about Empire is that they’re especially known for their micro-brews and their “buy local” initiative. Many of their food comes straight from local farmers, and they’re always looking to highlight local ingredients whenever possible. They’ve got a wide variety of beers on tap that will accommodate anyone’s palate, from light and airy to strong and hoppy they’ve got something for you.

They also host a variety of local bands for live music throughout the week and on (almost every) Sunday host Los Blancos during their Brunch, which needs it’s own post for how awesome it is!

Tip: If you like a lighter beer, I suggest trying the Skinny Atlas!

Follow them on Twitter for more information about upcoming specials, bands and brews.