Monthly Archives: July 2013

212. Mission Alfresco

Pop-up dinner parties are happening in all the cool cities. Brooklyn, San Fran, Austin, etc… you get the point. So imagine my surprise when I saw that there is a pop-up dinner party happening right here in Syracuse in just a few days. I jumped for joy. No joke.

Friday August 9th be prepared to have your mind blown.

new_-how-it-works_smStep 1 & 2: Buy your tickets here along with your food & seating
There are a variety of tickets. You can buy a simple admission ticket, which will allow for you to bring your own food to the pop-up dinner OR you can purchase a basket of food for an additional cost.  You can also rent a table & chairs, and buy bottles of wine or beer, and more. It’s all on that website.

Step 3: Find some red decorations. This event helps the Rescue Mission, they’re painting the town red on August 9th!

Step 4: Pack a picnic or purchase your food (see step 1&2)

Step 5: Go shopping (preferably in Armory Square) and find something red to wear!

Step 6: Wait for the secret location to be revealed.

Honestly, this is such an innovative idea…i love every step and second of it! Once you buy your tickets you’re given an access pass that comes later on and it tells you where you’ll be dining..up until the day of the event you have no idea where you’ll be. Just that you’ll be donating to a wonderful cause here in Syracuse and enjoying an evening with friends and strangers dining!

This is seriously cool, I fully intend on participating!

Tip: What comes in must come out…bring a bag for trash removal

211. Hinerwadel’s Open Clam Bake

If you haven’t already figured it out I am a sucker for seafood. I love clam chowder, especially from The Bville Diner…(it is the best, i swear!) I recently had a delicious seafood chowder at Blue Tusk, and I have made a point to mark my calendar for Hinerwadel’s Open Clam Bake.


Hinerwadel’s is cool, it’s available for private parties,…so basically you need to know someone who is throwing a clam bake…anyone interested in inviting me, you know where to find me. You can also buy fresh seafood there if you’re looking to throw a clam bake of your own.


Every year, however, Hinerwadel’s throws an open clam bake, for people who haven’t found that invite from a friend for their private clam bake. And every year, hundreds of people show up, and clams are served in quantities so large it makes your eyes bulge. There’s fried clams, raw clams, steamed clams, clam chowder…and for the non-seafood lover, there’s hotdogs, and their famous Salt Potatoes.

Presale tickets are $67.50 through August 9th…so get them quick before the price rises the day of the event to $72.50. They’re available only at Hinerwadel’s so you’ll have to drive out to North Syracuse to get your tickets, but trust me on this one…it’s worth every penny! The food is unlimited and there’s a lot of really fun events going on, like lawn games and live music.

Did I mention you get a free mug for going?!

If you’ve lived in Syracuse for a while and you’re looking for something to do August 10th from 1-6pm and you’ve never been to the Hinerwadel’s open clam bake…or if you’re new and you have never visited Hinerwadel’s…now is the time to try it out! This is going to be one heck of a party..and they’re going to have lots of clams! YUM!

Tip: If you wait until the day of the event to buy the ticket, it’s cash only at the door.

location: 5300 W Taft Road, North Syracuse

210. Brew at the Zoo

This weekend marks one of the most anticipated events of the summer.

When I moved to Tipp Hill I was advised there were a few staple events all the neighbors attend, one being Green Beer Sunday, the other Coleman’s Block Parties and the third was Brew at the Zoo.


Brew at the zoo is a really cool concept. You essentially buy a ticket and drink beer at the zoo. Sounds fun enough, right?! A lot of people attend this event every year. It’s become a very important part of Syracuse. Knowing that we’ve got a zoo in our city is kinda cool…not a lot of places can say that. To know that the zoo collaborates with it’s neighbors is even better. It’s a joint effort. There are lots of beer on tap, including locals like Ommegang, Genessee, Empire, Ithaca and More…check it out, this is definitely a fun event! They’ll also have wine for the non-beer drinkers too!

The tickets for this event sell out, so purchase them here for $45. In the off chance that they don’t sell out, tickets are $50 at the door. The event starts at 5:30 and ends at 8. Perfect starts to an evening of fun with friends!

Tip: There’s a round trip shuttle from Armory Square (in front of the MOST) departing at 5pm & 5:15pm.

location: Rosamond Gifford Zoo, One Conservation Place, Syracuse, NY 13204

209. Thunder Island

The hottest days of summer might be behind us, but summer itself is certainly not over.

Sometimes, all you need is a cold beer, a music festival, an outdoor movie, a patio… and sometimes all you need is a water park.


Located just 20 minutes outside of Syracuse we’ve got a small water park that covers all the bases. Thunder Island has water slides, pools, and fun outdoor games. It’s perfect for a few hours, especially if you’re just dying to get in the water!

Rounding out the weekend of Oswego’ish fun and events, we’ve got Thunder Island. It might not be a Top Tier water park, but it’s definitely suitable for a day of fun in the sun. It’s kind of cool to think that we’ve got a water park so close…who would’a thought, right!?

Thunder Island is open throughout the summer every single day. Their daily rates can’t be beat with just $15 for an adult water park pass. They’ve also got very affordable season pass options if you like to ride water slides on the reg. I say it’s worth checking out! Especially on those hot, hazy & humid summer days!

Tip: You can get coupons and discount tickets at Wegmans, Nice & Easy and Taco Bell!


208. Fort Ontario

With Harborfest on everyone’s minds this weekend, we’re doing all things Oswego here on 365 Things Syracuse…have you checked out Rudy’s yet? Pardon the interruption.

As you’ve all probably figured out, I’ve got a passionate obsession with History. From museums to walking tours I’m basically down to learn about anything. It’s completely mind-boggling to me, and that’s why I love it so much.


Fort Ontario is one of those places that is jaw droppingly beautiful but at the same time completely creepy and interesting. It’s really a conundrum.

Considering the fact that in Syracuse, we only live about 30 minutes away from some pretty significant structures used during The French and Indian war all the way through WWII and on we’re pretty lucky. Not many people have this much significant history surrounding them.

As a little History lesson for you…Fort Ontario was originally constructed by the British to protect the Lake in 1755, and was used as a fort during The French and Indian War. It served as a fort for the British during the War of 1812 and during WWII it was the only refugee camp established by the United States for Jewish fleeing from Nazi Germany.

Fort Ontario is now open to the public as a part of the New York State Parks Service. They’ve done a really great job of rehabilitating the property and it is actually quite breathtaking. It even has a little spook to it! It was featured on Ghost Hunters! SEE! History CAN be fun!

It’s open to the public at varying times throughout the year, but for the summer months it’s open daily from 10am-4:30pm.  If you just want to check it out, walk around, and explore the property it’s free, otherwise it’s $4 for admission (or $3 for students!) which brings you inside the walls for some exciting history lessons, artifact admiring and guided tours.

Tip: Fort Ontario’s location is perfect for viewing the fireworks during Harborfest!


207. Rudy’s

In honor of Harborfest this weekend, we’ll be featuring some of the coolest things to do in and around Oswego…and when it comes to the coolest place to go to enjoy a bite to eat, Rudy’s is my favorite. It’s actually Rudy’s Lakeside Drive in…but tell me 1 person who calls it that….it’s Rudy’s to everyone!

rudysRudy’s is right on the water serving seafood and basic American food (mozz sticks, hamburgers, etc…) it’s menu is vast it’s meal is delicious. You walk in, overwhelmed by the amount of people and the fast pace, you walk to the counter order your meal, wait for it, head outside…easy peasy. It’s a little overwhelming but it’s all part of the experience. And the people behind the counter are super friendly!

I recently went to Rudy’s with my Sister and her boyfriend, and we enjoyed a delicious meal out on the deck right on Lake Ontario. It was really great. It’s nostalgic there, it really is one of my favorite spots in Oswego. It’s hometown feel mixed with the variety on the menu and the atmosphere make for a great dining experience.

Tip: Rudy’s is not open 7 days a week during the Fall/Winter. They open 7 days a week starting May 1-Sept 22. For the rest of the year it’s closed on Monday & Tuesday.


206. Harborfest


Every year at the end of July, Oswego throws the biggest party upstate NY has seen.

Featuring tons of live music, vendors, food, entertainment, the list goes on…Harborfest attracts a whole lot of people looking for a great time.

People can bring their boats and park them in the marina. From there, they wander the streets of Oswego looking for fun and entertainment, which is really everywhere.

I love Harborfest, when I was younger I loved it and as an adult it’s an entirely new experience. A lot of people come out for this celebration, and it’s a lot of fun.

It’s free to attend, it runs from today, July 25 to July 28th with the most exciting night being the 27th with the grand fireworks spectacular. This is a really fun weekend in Oswego, and even if it’s 30 minutes away from Syracuse it’s worth the drive… it’s going to be a really fun time with great weather! Don’t miss out! For all your harborfest information find it on their website here.

Harborfest has a tendency of becoming a big party with a lot of adult beverages, make sure you’ve got a Designated Driver. Police will be out in full force issuing tickets ranging from open container laws to drunk driving.

Tip: The best viewing for the Entergy “Fireworks Spectacular by Grucci” ranges from Fort Ontario on the east side of Oswego to the inner harbor and Breitbeck park areas on the west side.

205. Street Painting

Here’s something really cool…

Montgomery Street is one of my favorite streets in town…there’s the Masonic Temple, Parisa, The Historical Association…it’s pretty much awesome…lets just add to it’s awesomeness with some street painting!

There’s a street painting competition this Saturday! Are you an artist? Are you familiar with the art of sidewalk chalk? If you are…then this is for you!

Registration starts at 8am the contests start at 9.

Tip: There will be 3 different categories, and all you need to know is over at the New Times Website, here.

Location: Montgomery Street

204. Jazz and Wine Fest

JazzWine2013_FullLogoV_4cThis is one of my favorite festivals of the year… combining jazz and wine..does it get any better?!

This is a free event to attend, and 2 full nights of entertainment…you just buy your wine tickets and food at the various vendors and listen to the sweet sounds of jazz through the evening.

There’s wine tasting courses to sign up for as well, both Friday & Saturday. Do that quick, you don’t want to miss out on this great chance to taste some of the finest wines in Syracuse & Upstate New York.

You’ll also be able to enjoy some really great food prepared by Sophistications, Columbus Bakery, and more! Check out the vendor list here. Not to mention, some pretty awesome Jazz ensembles.

This event is great, and it attracts a lot of people. Don’t miss out! Did i mention the wine tent is air conditioned?!

Tip: Bring some chairs, there’s limited seating and you want to be able to relax!

location: Clinton Square

203. Arts and Crafts Festival

If you’ve traveled around downtown Syracuse you’ve seen many different art structures.

The buildings are works of art…have you ever seen the Niagara Mohawk building?!

There’s art in many different forms, and it’s really great.

This weekend, there’s an awesome festival the Arts & Crafts Festival from July 26-28 outside in Columbus Circle.


Find some great pieces for yourself or your friends at many of the listed vendors tables. This is definitely worth checking out! This is in connection with Artsweek which will highlight many awesome local artists and pieces of work with different activities and events, like street painting!

Tip: The Arts & Crafts Festival runs from 10am-5pm Friday, Saturday & Sunday

location: Columbus Circle