Summer Fun List

We were kids here and now we're parents here.  If it's local, fun, and family friendly, we probably know all about it.  Here's the official guide to a satisfying summer in our neck of the Finger Lakes.  Visit Tour Cayuga for more fun ideas in the greater area. 


Finger Lakes Adventure Gear Summer Fun List

a work in progress...

* Free
$ Inexpensive
$$ Moderately expensive
$$$ Costly, but if it made the list, worth every penny

Lake Access

1-5 pm M-Th, 1-7 pm Fridays
There's a small sandy beach for the kids, free drop-in swimming lessons for several weeks, and friendly lifeguards.  Kids who want to swim deep take the raft test - a local tradition and a point of pride for the 8 and older set.  

* Village of Aurora Public Access Points
Daylight Hours
These hidden gems are sprinkled along Main Street.  There's one at the base of Dublin Hill Rd (we rent kayaks and SUPs there on Saturdays from 11-7), one next to the United Ministry church, and one at the bottom of Lafayette Street.  Look for the paved paths and feel free to jump in or bring a paddle boat of your own.  

Daylight Hours, ticket window closes at 6 pm
You pay $7 to get in, but once you're there you've got access to a guarded beach, a huge and beautiful playground, bathrooms with showers and changing stalls, and plenty of picnic tables and space to spend the day.  The park is full of mature trees, and if you're up for it, there are hiking trails that extend up and away from the lake for hours worth of wandering through wood and meadow.  This also happens to be the local lucky stone capital, so grab your glasses and start looking.  Fossils from this area date back to the Devonian period (3-4 MILLION years ago).  

Motor boats can launch at Long Point and of course, paddle boats are welcome as well.  The area extends out into the lake in a way that makes water rougher here than at other locations in the village.  It's not a big deal most days, but is something to pay attention to.

Snacking

1258 Rt. 34B King Ferry
2-10 pm in July and August
Soft serve chocolate and vanilla, plus about 30 flavors of hard icecream, served in cones, or as an endless number of sundaes, milkshakes, flurries, etc.  This is the place to go when you want to celebrate a soccer win, your kid's birthday, a hot job well done, or to reward great behavior at the lake (just us?).  Avoid the long lines by stopping in the middle of the afternoon.  If you wait until after dinner you might be in for a wait.  Outdoor seating and shaded areas available, dog friendly.  


$ - $$ King Ferry Corner Store
Mon - Sat 6 am - 8 pm
Sun 6 am - 6 pm
Combining history with modern convenience, and with an emphasis on local goods, the Corner Store is a must stop when you're vising the area.  Cookies, gluten free brownies, sandwiches, soups, salads, and a variety of grocery basics fill the shelves while local artisanal goods like pottery, candles, soaps, and more line the far wall.  Stop in an use the free WiFi to get some work done while sipping great local coffee and enjoying a snack.  Did I mention they carry gasoline and have beer and wine coming?  It really is a one stop shop!

Hanging Out

370 Main Street, Aurora
M, W, F, Sat.  Check their hours here.  
This large and historic building houses a library on the first floor and an old opera house on the second.  WiFi, computers, books, magazines, movies and CDs all for FREE with a library card (also free) and no late fees.  The library is air conditioned and has a big and comfy window seat for hours of reading and lounging outside of the hot summer sun.  There's a play corner for the youngest and free coffee for the adults.  

2487 Rt 34B, Poplar Ridge
T, Th, Sat.  Check their hours here.  
With alternating days, our two local libraries work well together!  Small and compact, this library has a great selection of movies and plenty of books, CDs, a couple of computers, and WiFi for all patrons.  Free with a library card, but late fees do apply here (though you can't get mad because they offset the operational costs - it's like making a donation).  There's a nice little play area for the kids with lots of great puzzles and hands-on learning activities.  

*Southern Cayuga Central School
2384 Rt 34B, Poplar Ridge
Daylight hours
It's like recess all over again!  Drive into the Elementary lot (on the south end of the building) and park below the tennis courts.  The playground is big and has paved paths, perfect for young bicycle and scooter riders.  The enclosed tennis courts are available, and there's a shaded pavilion full of picnic tables for picnics.  Don't stay long enough to need a bathroom, and be sure to behave as if the principal is watching (who knows, he works all summer, and just might be!).