Nestled in the heart of New York State, the Finger Lakes region is a treasure trove of natural beauty, history, and cultural attractions. With its stunning glacially-formed lakes, rolling hills, and charming towns, the Finger Lakes region is famous for families looking for a fun-filled getaway.
The Finger Lakes region has several attractions and places to visit, including natural wonders like Taughannock Falls and Watkins Glen State Park, as well as cultural destinations like the Corning Museum of Glass and the Women’s Rights National Historical Park. With so many options, there is something for everyone to enjoy in the Finger Lakes.
We have compiled a list of the XX best family attractions in the Finger Lakes to help you plan your next adventure.
1. Visit The Corning Museum Of Glass
The Corning Museum of Glass is a world-renowned museum dedicated to glass art and history. With over 50,000 objects in its collection, the museum showcases the beauty and versatility of glass. The museum offers a variety of interactive exhibits, demonstrations, and workshops that are perfect for families with children of all ages.
Kids can make their glass creations, blow glass ornaments, and explore the museum’s extensive collection of glass art.
2. Go On A Wine Tour
The Finger Lakes region has over 100 wineries, making it one of the top wine-producing regions in the country. Many wineries offer tours and tastings, which provide an excellent opportunity for families to learn about the wine-making process and sample some of the region’s best wines.
Some wineries also offer activities for children, such as grape stomping, farm tours, and wagon rides.
3. Visit Watkins Glen State Park
Watkins Glen State Park is a breathtaking natural wonder that attracts visitors worldwide. The park features a series of stunning waterfalls, scenic hiking trails, and spectacular views of the surrounding gorge.
Families can stroll along the Gorge Trail, which follows the path of the park’s main waterfall, or explore the park’s many other hiking trails.
Watch this video of visitors traveling to the Watkins Glen State Park:
4. Take A Boat Tour Of Seneca Lake
This lake is the deepest of all the Finger Lakes, and a boat tour is an excellent way to see its beauty. Families can choose from various boat tours, from sightseeing cruises to wine and cheese tours.
Kids will love seeing the lake’s many islands, lighthouses, and historical landmarks from the water.
5. Visit The Strong National Museum Of Play
The play is a one-of-a-kind museum dedicated to the history of play. The museum’s interactive exhibits, games, and activities encourage families to play and learn together. Kids can explore a life-sized dollhouse, climb a giant kaleidoscope, and play with vintage toys and games.
6. Explore The Finger Lakes National Forest
A huge wilderness area, the Finger Lakes National Forest provides countless outdoor opportunities. Families can hike, bike, camp, and fish in the forest’s beautiful landscapes. The forest also has various wildlife, including deer, black bears, and bald eagles.
7. Visit The National Women’s Hall Of Fame
The National Women’s Hall of Fame is a museum dedicated to honoring the achievements of American women. The museum shows exhibits and displays that portray the accomplishments of over 300 women, including famous figures like Susan B. Anthony, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Oprah Winfrey.
Kids can learn about the women who have made significant contributions to American history and be inspired by their stories.
8. Visit The Rosamond Gifford Zoo
The Rosamond Gifford Zoo is a popular family attraction in Syracuse, New York. The zoo features over 700 animals worldwide, including lions, tigers, and bears. The zoo offers a variety of exhibits and educational programs that are perfect for families with children of all ages. Kids can meet the animals up close and learn about their habitats, behaviors, and conservation efforts.
9. Explore The Finger Lakes Trail
The Finger Lakes Trail is a 560-mile hiking trail that spans the entire Finger Lakes region. Families can hike, backpack, or camp along the trail and explore some of the region’s most beautiful landscapes.
The trail passes through various ecosystems, including forests, wetlands, and grasslands, and offers stunning views of the lakes, hills, and valleys.
10. Visit The Erie Canal Museum
The Erie Canal Museum is a fascinating museum that tells the story of the Erie Canal, which played a vital role in developing New York State and the United States. The museum features exhibits, artifacts, and interactive displays that explore the history and impact of the canal on the region’s economy, culture, and society.
Kids can learn about the engineering and construction of the canal, as well as the lives of the people who worked and lived along its banks.
11. Visit The Rochester Museum And Science Center
It is a popular family attraction in Rochester, New York. The museum features interactive exhibits, science demonstrations, and educational programs perfect for families with children of all ages.
Kids can learn about dinosaurs, space, robotics, and more and participate in hands-on activities encouraging scientific exploration and discovery.
12. Go Skiing Or Snowboarding
The Finger Lakes region offers excellent skiing and snowboarding opportunities during the winter months. Families can hit the slopes at a region’s ski resorts, such as Bristol Mountain or Greek Peak, and enjoy downhill skiing, snowboarding, and tubing.
Many resorts also offer lessons and equipment rentals for beginners.
13. Go Horseback Riding
Horseback riding is a fun and unique way to explore the Finger Lakes region’s beautiful landscapes.
Families can take guided trail rides or lessons at one of the region’s many horseback riding stables, such as Painted Bar Stables or Rocking Horse Ranch, and enjoy scenic views of the lakes, hills, and valleys while on horseback.
The Finger Lakes are beautiful and diverse, offering many family-friendly attractions and activities. From hiking and camping to museums and zoos, there is something for everyone to enjoy in the Finger Lakes. Whether you’re a nature lover, history buff, or foodie, the Finger Lakes region is the perfect destination for a family vacation.