Tag Archives: winter

355. Ugly Sweater Party

It’s the first official day of Winter. Ahh, happy winter, all!

Wait…can you believe that in Syracuse, NY it snows…heavily….in the fall? Weird.


Whoever said Fall was their favorite season, they should rethink their decision!

It’s the weekend before Christmas, so I must ask…have you finished your shopping yet? If you have, congrats…you’re one of the lucky few who will not be at the mall scrambling to get those last minute stocking stuffers…that fake sand stuff at Brookstone is mesmerizing, fyi.

However, if you want to take a break from the mall and shopping, pull out Grandma’s old christmas sweater and make your way down to the Spark contemporary art space and have a good time!


I really feel like there’s nothing more amusing than a group of 20-30-somethings standing around in ugly christmas sweaters like it’s no big deal!

Tip: $5 at the door

352. Sledding at Onondaga Lake Park

On the other side of Onondaga Lake Park more technically known as Long Branch Park…away from the parkway, beyond the Lights on the Lake spectacular, sits a hill.

This hill has been home to some of the best sledding in Syracuse for years.


When I was younger, the neighbor kids would pile into the car and head to the “sledding hill” at Onondaga Lake Parkway…it’d be dotted with tons of kids exactly like us — barely able to move in our confining snow suits.  However, once you got to the top of that hill and your friend pushed you forward…it was freedom for 30 seconds!

I don’t know if it’s just because I grew up in Syracuse and I’ve grown accustomed to the snow and the freezing…but I don’t think that cold weather should stop you from having fun.

This is an “unofficial” hill, there’s no check-in guy, no one to help you up (except a friendly fellow sledder), no tube or sled rentals…it’s just…original. And that’s what I love about it! (Unlike other tubing)

Tip: The sledding hill is open from 10am-5pm daily.

Location: 3813 Long Branch Rd, Liverpool, NY 13088

349. Snowshoeing and Cross Country Skiing at Beaver Lake

The snow dumped on us yesterday…and while it’s freezing cold outside and all I’d like to do is warm up by the fire today, I know that it’s just not the most practical thing to do.

It’s time to get outside, and really enjoy the snow…if that’s even possible.

At the beginning of this year, I noted that there were a lot of things to do outdoors, including ice skating in Clinton Square and Sledding and Tubing (that was actually #1!).

Now we’ve got almost 15 days left in the year, and we’re still finding things to do outside when it’s snowing…how awesome, right?!


Today I suggest you head on over to beaver lake nature center & try out snowshoeing for the first time. We’ve got a nice amount of snow on the ground, perfect for a stroll with some snowshoes on.

So far this year, we’ve really noticed that Beaver Lake has a lot to offer, from maple syrup breakfasts to enchanted jack o lanterns and harvest fest, Beaver Lake is a spot that should be recognized as a park that’s got it all.

Their snowshoeing and cross country skiing is no different.  They’ve got over 7 miles of trails to explore. I think it’s the perfect thing to do on this chilly snowy Sunday.

Tip: Don’t own any gear? That’s alright! They rent snowshoes out for $3 an hour

location: Beaver Lake, 8477 East Mud Lake Road, Baldwinsville NY

348. Chengerian’s Tree Farm

Rumor has it we’re supposed to get bombarded with snow… but, that’s just a rumor.

We’re really narrowing down the days until Christmas, but for me…I haven’t gotten a tree yet…OOPS!!


So, today I’ll be headed to Chengerian’s to pick out a beautiful fir.

I love Chengerian’s…they make it real easy to to pick out a tree.  Wander down the aisles of homegrown local christmas trees, cut one down… you’re good to go!

They’re open daily from Noon-6 on weekdays and 10am-6pm on Saturday & Sunday

Tip: If you don’t own a saw, don’t worry…they’ve got pre-cut trees there as well.




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


256. Ski and Board Sale

It’s that time of year, people! songmountain

Anyone who skis in the upstate region will be at the Fairgrounds this weekend buying themselves some really nice new ski/snowboard equipment!

It’s annual. It’s here…and we’re ready for it!

Gathering at the fairgrounds, all the major ski and snowboard resorts, shops and more will be selling their goods at a discounted price. I remember when I was in ski club in high school, we’d buy all of our gear a few months early, at an incredibly affordable price!

It’s all weekend long, so don’t miss out!

Friday (September 13) from 5-9pm
Saturday (September 14) 10am-5pm
Sunday (September 15) 12pm-5pm

Tip: Once the gear is gone, it’s gone…get there early for the best deals!

location: New York State Fair, horticulture building

36. Song Mountain

When it comes to February, the people of Syracuse know how to do it right. They’re fully aware that there’s a possibility of 6 more weeks of winter…they’re fully aware that no matter what, they probably won’t see green grass until St. Patrick’s day (if they’re lucky…). Children go to bed wearing their pajama’s inside out and backwards with cotton balls under their pillows…we refresh the “school closings” feed on NewsChannel9…and we patiently wait as citizens of this great city for the outcome of a groundhog seeing his shadow…we’re into superstitions…we know what long dreary winters are like, and quite frankly…we’re sick of them.

However, February is a whole new ball game. With January, you’re still on that Holiday High…you’re motivated because of your new year’s resolutions…you’ve got a high spirit…come February we’re just sort of dragging, and March is never any better.

But, there’s always that optimism that the snow will melt and the weather will change and that’s what keeps us going. However, I need to commend you Syracusians…we’ve done a really great job getting through the winter together this year… and as we always say, “it could be worse.”

Today’s activity highlights exactly what mid-winter is all about. Clearly, it’s something we all enjoy. We like being outside here, we like trying to make the best of it. We like skiing.


Song mountain has everything we’re asking for…fresh powder, outdoors, reasonable prices…we can go as a group, we can go alone…no matter what Song Mountain is a great place for a day-ski-trip.

Located just south of Syracuse in the small town of Tully, Song Mountain is home to over ten trails, a few chair lifts & endless amounts of fresh snow pumped right from those great little snow makers.The conditions are perfect this time of year…it’s not too cold outside (mid 20s…not too cold..ha!) and there’s still snow coming down all over.

I personally like Song Mountain because of it’s convenience. It’s never going to be too much of a hassel to get to, you can basically see it from 81-South, and the prices are tremendously reasonable –after 4pm lift tickets are only $27! In fact, they’ve got a promotion going on now where if you buy a Season Pass for 2013 you get the Season pass for 2014 free! (F-R-E-E that spells free!).

Song Mountain is a great place to go with a bunch of friends, they’ve got tons of activities going on for the remainder of the season. Check ’em out!!

Tip: Night skiing is what Song is known for. Friday, Feb 22 Lift Tickets from 4PM – Midnight are ONLY $7


5. Labrador Mountain

30 minutes from Syracuse, Labrador Mountain is a great day/evening activity for the whole family.

lab mountain

With a variety of beginner hills (blue circle) to experienced runs (black diamond), Lab has always been one of my favorite places to Ski in Central New York.

Granted, I did go to school in Colorado so it’s hard to live up to skiing in New York when you’re used to the Rockies. However,  I have always considered Lab to be one of my favorite mountains.  I refer to it fondly when thinking of where I learned to ski and where I’ve had endless amount of good times.

The dynamic and the ability of the skiers, from students with their Ski Clubs to novice & experienced adults and families make skiing here a diverse adventure.  In the evening the lights come on and the half pipe is full of snowboarders and skiers trying out tricks and flips, it’s very entertaining.

Tip: If you’ve never skied before, check out the $25 deal!

Check out the website for ski conditions and rates: Labrador Mountain


3. Syracuse Crunch Game


With the NHL lockout in full swing, the only way to get your Hockey fix in Syracuse is to either check out the awesome high school teams, or go to a Crunch Game.

I recently went to a Crunch Game with a group of friends and had a fantastic time. Long gone are the days of a sleepy Syracuse Crunch team, but welcome the new and improved fast skating, quick stick, occasional punch throwing and all-around entertaining team.

The Crunch play at the historic War Memorial and have quite a few games left in the season! Make sure to check it out.

Tip: Their next home game is January 11th vs The Norfolk Admirals

Website: Syracuse Crunch
Price: Tickets usually cost anywhere from $12-20

2. Outdoor Ice Skating in Clinton Square

You can’t have a “things to do in Syracuse” blog without highlighting Ice-Skating in Clinton Square.  I feel like when I was asking friends of what to add to my list each one of them said this activity.

Ice Skating is a great time. When I was younger (and I mean, WAYYY younger) my friends & I used to go to the Lysander Ice Rink every Friday and we’d zip around on our skates. I have heard that there are still 7th graders doing this. Good for you, guys.

However, when the air gets brisk and the ice is frozen, Clinton Square is transformed into a gigantic outdoor skating rink. The rink is nestled between Erie Blvd and the Syracuse Christmas/Holiday Tree. The scene looks like it would be featured on some sort of movie set, and each person on the ice is the star in their own personal rom-com.



There’s something romantic about being outside in the cold Syracuse winter and skating beneath the stars, or the clouds, or the snowflakes, or whatever. And I should highlight this sooner rather than later because you never know what the weather is going to be like here, and this is always a great activity.

Tip: Wednesdays are free!

For more information visit the City Of Syracuse website: http://www.syracuse.ny.us/Parks/clintonSquareRink.html