Top 10 Finger Lakes Family Activities

If your family is looking for a fun-filled vacation, look no further than New York’s stunning Finger Lakes. Go fishing, boating, swimming, hiking, or paddleboarding for plenty of water fun. There are many vacation rentals in Finger Lakes to choose from, and you can find a place to stay on the water or close to one of the many attractions in the area. In this region, you can explore waterfalls, shop for Legos, ride a train, take a cruise, or experience Eurobungy. And if you need some indoor time, check out the opportunity to play glow-in-the-dark miniature golf. With so many options, the biggest challenge is going to be narrowing them all down to fit into your schedule. Here are our picks for the top ten things for families to do when visiting the Finger Lakes area.

1. Try Eurobungy

cliff jumping

Source: Flickr/Aspen Snowmass

Indulge your adrenaline needs with the exciting Eurobungy Zone experience at Greek Peak Adventure Center in Cortland, New York. It’s bungee jumping onto a trampoline, with every leap launching you up to 25 feet back into the air.

2. Go Standup Paddle Boarding

paddle boarding

Source: Flickr/ John Coley

Give your best little buddy an adventure on a paddle board. Most members of the family can learn to use the equipment either sitting, kneeling or standing for a splashy good time on the lake. You can find rentals that include boards, paddles, life vests, and instructions at the marinas around the lakes in the area.

3. Cruise Skaneateles Lake

lake cruise

Enjoy a leisurely lunch or dinner cruise on the lake on the Judge Ben Wiles boat. Grab some takeout, and take the kids for a picnic on the boat during your sightseeing tour. The kids might prefer the dinosaur BBQ dinner cruise, so be prepared.

4. Putter Around at GlowGolf

glow golf

Source: Flickr/Sasha Lynn

Take your putt-putt game to a new level at GlowGolf, and play indoors on a glow-in-the-dark miniature golf course. Experience the vibrant colors and surreal atmosphere that titillate the senses for a different kind of fun. The golf balls and background elements glow eerily, making this, unlike any regular miniature golf you’ve tried before.

5. Build Something at the Lego Store

Source: Flickr/Dan Previte

Adults like to shop, so why not give the kiddies a chance to enjoy a trip to the mall by visiting the Lego Store at the Eastview Mall in Victor, New York. Experience 2,000 square feet of pure joy with hands-on play and building events that kids of all ages can enjoy.

6. Swim Under a Waterfall

Source: Flickr/Brook Ward

Here’s something you can’t do at home: swim in a waterfall, especially one as beautiful as the one at Taughannock Falls State Park near Ithaca, New York. You can also experience the hiking trails or plan a picnic near the playground for the kids, and you’re close enough to enjoy swimming or boating at Cayuga Lake if you prefer.

7. Watch a Movie Under the Stars

Source: Flickr/Timothy Vollmer

After a day of hiking, climbing, boating, swimming and bouncing around, change the pace and give the family a rare experience at the Finger Lakes Drive-In Movie Theater in Auburn, New York. It’s been entertaining families after dark since 1947 with popular feature films and some older movies at times.

8. Go on a Train Ride

train ride

Source: Flickr/Dennis Jarvis

Take a ride on the Finger Lakes Railway, especially if your kids have never been on a train. Special seasonal trips take you to look at autumn leaves or ride with Santa. Show the kids the majestic wonders along the way, just outside their windows. They might even see some deer or a bear.

9. Fry Some Perch

fried perch

Source: Flickr/Hungry Dudes

If you have a cook in the family, put those skills to use preparing some fresh lake trout, bass or perch. The trick is, someone must catch dinner first. Take the clan to the lake shore with some bait and tackle, and help the kids catch some fish. If the fish aren’t biting, there are plenty of places to dine out, so just enjoy the day.

10. Take a Hike

finger lakes hike

Source: Flickr/Visit Finger Lakes

Make the hike a family adventure that everyone can enjoy by creating games along the trail. Encourage the kids to look for wildlife signs such as scat or tracks. Plan for rest stops to re-energize everyone with some drinks and nutritious snacks to keep everyone in a better mood for enjoying the scenery.