Tag Archives: outdoor

345. Highland Forest

Guys, it’s cold out.

26 degrees with the threat of snow on the horizon…winter is coming.

However, grab your winter jackets & go outside to Highland Forest! There are tons of winter-esque activities at that park, which is awesome!

They’ve got cross country skiing, snowshoeing, sledding and the famous sleigh rides! How fun!

sleigh ride

It might not be the time to go cross country skiing just yet….but, don’t worry…it will be soon. Highland Forest has tons of trails and you can even rent skis there!

Doesn’t make the pending snow storm sound all that bad, huh?

Tip: Sleigh rides run from December 14th-March 16th from 11am-4pm, $6 per person.

Location: Highland Forest, 1254 Highland Forest Rd, Fabius


323. Before I die…

There’s a movement happening around the world.  It’s quite simple, embrace what you love, be happy, do everything you’ve ever wanted; don’t let anything stop you.

A couple weeks ago I was driving home from work and noticed a giant black wall with spray paint all over it. It was organized and neat and each line on the wall was preceded by the phrase: “Before I die…”

As the days went on people began filling things in on those lines. “Travel the world,” read one of the lines. Others followed seeking help for addiction, declaring love and marriage for girlfriends and boyfriends.  The list was fascinating.


It’s free to do. You just have to walk right on up to it and pick up some chalk. After it rains, the wall is refreshed with new “things to do before I die…”

I love this kind of stuff! Go on over to the corner of West Fayette & Geddes and write what you want to do before you die.

Tip: Check out the facebook page for the Gear Factory, the site of the “Before I die…” wall. It’s got tons of pictures of what’s been happening on that wall since the beginning!

location: Gear Factory, 200 S Geddes St. Syracuse, NY

280. Lafayette Apple Run

I apologize if we’re on apple overload, but really…we’ve got to embrace this!

The Lafayette Apple Run is an outdoor 5k or 15k (depending on your level of fitness!) held during the Apple Fest (more on that later!)


It is Sunday October 13th in the scenic Tully Valley. It’s going to be really beautiful to run a 5 or 15k on a brisk fall day with the leaves all burning colors and the scent of apples in the air!

Tip: Sign up for the race here. Registration is $25 w/o a tshirt


201. Dining with Candlelight

candlelightThis particular event is important to me…it was basically the reason I decided to do this blog! This time last year, I was down in Armory Square with a few friends and we noticed Walton St. was closed… the closer we got the cooler this particular event looked.

There were tables scattered throughout the street, a live band, lots of people — friends, couples, first dates, neighbors gathering… it was really something quite amazing. But, I had never heard about it, and I didn’t know what it was… I thought it was a rally of some sort or something. It was then that I realized that Syracuse needed a blog like 365 Things Syracuse that would tell us what the heck that event really is!

I eventually learned it was an event called the Candlelight Series…and this year, the first one is tonight!

PS_74823_Candlelight series poster.indd

Tables and chairs are set up right in front of The MOST, Starbucks, Freedom of Espresso (that general area).

There are 3 specific weekends for the Candlelight Series…(and how they’re into the 29th annual & this is just my 2nd year of knowing it just goes to show how little informed I used to be!)  The 3 specific weekends for the Candlelight Series are July 20th, August 10th and August 17th. With live music performed by local musicians. This is 100% worth checking out.

This is FREE too..which is even better. There will be lots of tables set up, go with some friends, reserve a spot and enjoy the warm summer night with some candlelight and live music!

Tip: The events will move indoors to Benjamin’s if it rains!

location: Corner of West Jefferson and West Franklin Streets

196. Mackenzie Childs Barn Sale


Women of Syracuse…this is the weekend you’ve been waiting all year for…

The Mackenzie Childs Barn Sale starts Thursday and runs through Sunday. July 18-21 8am-6pm.

It’s your one chance to get these very expensive but also unique and decorative creations for more than 1/2 the cost. Seriously, so worth it!

The Mackenzie Childs Barn Sale takes place every year, and every year there’s a lot of people who show up for the event and walk away with some real gems! There will also be food and live music too, 100% worth it!

I plan on going, and I’m going to have a heck of a time!

Tip: Get there early, there’s always a lot of people and merchandise goes fast!

location: 3260 State Route 90, Aurora, New York 13026

193. Onondaga Lake Park

I love the parkway.

Simple as that. It’s perfect for outdoor activities.


When I was younger my friends and I would strap on our Rollerblades and skate the length of the parkway a few times, it was where I qualified for my black belt back in 1997…loonnggg time ago, it’s where high school teams meet to row crew, it’s where I go to get in a good solo run, it’s where people enjoy some light spectaculars in the winter… it’s an all around fantastic spot, I’m shocked I haven’t featured it yet.

There is so much to do there, You can rent bikes and boats, you can ride your own bike, jog or run, you can stop at one of the many food truck vendors and get a bite to eat. You can bring a skateboard or a trick bike and play at the skate park (!!!), play Irish road bowling or bocce ball, You can play some archery, you can go to a music festival, you can sign up for a color run, there’s a butterfly park and even a museum…endless options at Onondaga Lake Park.

One of my favorite events this park holds is every Sunday. They close down Onondaga Lake Parkway on Sunday’s from 9am to noon and allow bikers, runners, walkers, joggers, etc… to enjoy an extra 2 miles of fun along the Onondaga Lake shore. It’s actually really cool!

Admission is free, as well as parking. Stop by The Retreat or Cobblestone after an afternoon at the park for a cool drink, or even Heid’s!

There’s also lots of free parking around the park, just watch out for that construction off of 370.

OLP map

Tip: Here’s a map of Onondaga Lake Park that outlines all of the fun activities at the park!

Hours change when the seasons change:
April-October: 6am-sunset plus 1/2 hour
November-March: 6am-sunset


181. Jazz Fest

More Jazz, please!



The 31st annual Jazz Fest is next weekend, July 4, 5 & 6th. What a great way to celebrate my favorite holiday! Heading to the Jazz Fest at Jamesville Beach!

Jazz Fest is awesome, it’s really unique. They bring in tons of local and national acts, this year’s big ticket is The Doobie Brothers (!!!!)

This is a fantastic way to spend the 4th of July holiday weekend, especially if you’re currently sitting around wondering, “what the heck am I going to do next weekend?!” This is it guys!

You can bring a cooler, some chairs, a blanket…or you can buy all your food & drinks at the Jazz fest from some of the vendors they’ll have there. You’ll be able to enjoy some live jazz music, catch up with friends, and peruse the various local artisans at the festival.

This is free to attend!! (Parking is not free though…)\

Tip: Bring some cash, there’s no free parking around.

location: Jamesville Beach

180. Film Under the Stars

Alongside Flicks on the Crick, there’s also a series presented by the Everson Museum throughout the months of July & August.

Film Under the Stars is an event held outside at the Everson Museum of Art.  A movie is projected onto the side of the building. Pretty spectacular.

everson under the stars
First of all, this is awesome.

Second of all, you can never have enough outdoor activities.

Once the snow is gone and the rain has subsided, Syracuse comes alive. We do everything we can to do as much as we can outdoors before we get stuck back inside.

The first screening was Wednesday –so we’ve missed it…but for the rest of July, and through August the movies are outside on Friday evenings. How awesome is this? How great to be able to enjoy a movie outdoors before headed to dinner in Armory Square, or even before! Dinner & a movie. This is a great great event!

The movie line-up is fantastic. Breakfast at Tiffany’s is one of my all-time favorite flicks, and you can absolutely guarantee I will be there. Who wants to come with me?! Did I mention this is free?!

Friday July 12: Breakfast At Tiffany’s
Friday July 26: Toy Story
Friday August 15: The Blob

Like the Everson Museum on facebook, in case of rain they will update from there!

Tip: Bring lawn chairs and blankets and food with you to enjoy during the movies!

171. Bocce Blast

The community in Syracuse is thriving, and with word getting out about really fun and awesome events and activities for people of all ages, more and more really cool things keep happening.

Bocce Ball is starting to take a huge leap forward here in the community. It’s a great way to meet new people, have some fun during the week and learn a new sport!

The Bocce Blast this weekend is just that!


The folks over at NOexcuses & SyracuseGuru have teamed up with the folks over at Turbo Bocce and local food truck vendors to put on a really fun event! The Bocce Blast. It’s combining the sport of bocce with the burgeoning food truck industry here in Syracuse.

When I lived in Austin, food trucks were everywhere. You could grab a gourmet hotdog on your lunch break, you could pick up a burrito at my favorite bar in the world, gourmet donuts…you name it, they had it. The trucks were parked all over the city, they were a mainstay for locals and an attraction for tourists. It’s REALLY exciting to see more popping up here in Syracuse.

Saturday from 6-10pm, partake in the 1st annual Bocce Blast. They’ll have people there from the Turbo Bocce league if you want to sign up for the season, they’ll have local food trucks, beverages, and more!

Tip: Grab a partner and buy your tickets! Tickets are $15, well worth it! Buy yours here!

location: Pine Grove Country Club, Camillus

163. U-Pick at Abbott Farms

The great thing about Syracuse, besides it’s sports teams, restaurants, bars, activities…is the fact that about 10 miles out of the heart of downtown there are communities that farm local produce. Much of this produce goes straight to the regional markets and grocery stores…the farm-to-table initiative thrives here.

One of my favorite things to do when I was younger, and still now, is strawberry picking.

Fortunately, there are plenty of farms in the area that offer this adventure, but my favorite to go to is at Abbott Farms.

Abbott Farms offers a variety of picking options throughout the year. From strawberries and cherries in the summer to apples and pumpkins in the fall, you can basically pick your own fruit from here until Halloween.


The berries are sold by the pound on a first come first serve basis, and judging by the strawberries I ate this morning for breakfast, they’re in season right now and they’re delicious! The farm opens at 10am and stays open until 6 Monday – Saturday.

Do yourself the service of learning first hand the reward of really working for your food! Here are a few tips when picking your strawberries.

Tip: No need to bring your own container, they have wax boxes available for all fruit.

location: Abbott Farm