a peek inside the fishbowl

13 Oct, 2009

Road trip to Syracuse NY

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Giveaways and product reviews|travel talk

Our mini-getaway to Syracuse has been in the works for a few months. But before I get into the nitty gritty you should know that our accommodations in Syracuse were covered by the Syracuse Convention & Visitors Bureau. We were also given a $50 gift certificate to put towards dining at Dinosaur BBQ, free tickets to the Rosamond Gifford Zoo and the Museum of Science & Technology, as well as a $20 gift certificate to redeem at the Carousel Centre.

I am under no obligation to post a positive review (or any review for that matter!) and my thoughts are totally my own.

As you know, my goal is always to be genuine and absolutely honest about everything I write about here at the Fishbowl. I hope you know (and I hope that my track record speaks for itself) that my loyalty is always with YOU, my readers, and I always give it to you straight. Ok?

So let’s begin:


I’ve been curious about Syracuse for some time. I’ve known a lot of people who head down there to shop, especially in the months leading up to Christmas. Mark has been to Syracuse to golf so I knew he could give me the inside scoop. So when I first got the email about Syracuse I turned to him for advice:

“Hey Mark, what’s in Syracuse,” I asked.
“Um, nothing. Why?”

Oh dear. That’s not what I wanted to hear.

Mark golfed in Syracuse in the early Spring when the courses here in Ottawa were still soggy. It’s cheap to stay, cheap to play, all in all a pretty good trip for a gaggle of guys who crave a good game after a very long golf-free winter.

So when I sat down to meet with the kind folks from the Syracuse Visitors Bureau and their PR agency I was already thinking of framing my experience as a golf widow’s guide to Syracuse. But then we decided that it might be interesting to time our visit for the fall to coincide with an art exhibit at the Everson Museum of Art (I will get to that later).

Based on our conversations, my Syracuse contacts drew up an itinerary and made suggestions about some activities they thought we might enjoy. It was a long list. And I quickly discovered that we weren’t going to have time to cover everything. As it turned out we stuck with a lot of indoor activities due to the weather… which was too bad, because there are some really pretty parks and trails in that part of New York.

If you’re able to catch some sunny weather, fall is a great time to visit New York State. It’s quieter, all traces of oppressive heat are gone, the leaves are turning and there’s still a lot to see and do.

We arrived at the Sheraton Syracuse University Hotel & Conference Center early Friday evening. It was drizzling and grey, not exactly “get outside and explore” kind of weather, so we checked in to our room and went to the Carousel Center. This is the mall that everyone talks about.

The first thing we had to do was eat. Sarah and I shared some food-court Chinese food – which featured a handful of the very few vegetables we’d see during the whole weekend. I was a little disappointed in our choice of eating in a food court, but our timing was bad. We had to eat and we were all too tired to explore the options.

The main feature of the Carousel Center is the carousel. It’s a gorgeous 100-year old antique, only a dollar per ride on a hand-carved horse which travels at a satisfyingly quick clip. I wish I had more photos of it!

We poked around a few familiar stores (Banana Republic, Children’s Place, Old Navy) to comparison shop. I’m not a professional shopper, so I can’t tell you if the prices were markedly better but many of the things we looked at seemed to be a few dollars cheaper. We bought the girls some Christmas dresses at Old Navy and I bought myself an amazing pair of cozy slippers.

The big draw for me, as a shopper, isn’t necessarily saving a few bucks in stores I already know, it’s shopping in the stores we don’t have here in Ottawa.

As much as I love to support our local businesses I can’t tell you how much I love Pottery Barn and Pottery Barn kids. (I’m still hoping someone will develop a Pottery Barn Tweens.) There’s a Macy’s and a JC Penney at Carousel too, among many other stores to which we poor Ottawa folk don’t have easy access.

Totally exhausted and shopped out, we later fell into our beds (the rooms were very nice, the beds were awesome) and slept. The next morning we awoke to a hubbub in the hotel. We walked into the elevator and a kindly lady looked at the girls and asked, “are you here for the game?”

Uh, what game?

At breakfast I asked an older couple wearing Syracuse sweatshirts at the table next to us “what kind of sporting event was going on today.” I think they got a good chuckle out of that one.

It was college football weekend, who knew? (Mark was mortally embarrassed, but I had to ask, didn’t I?) Ha. Go Orange!

American enthusiasm for college sports totally fascinates me. We just don’t have the same rabid excitement here in Canada. There were babies wearing orange, toddlers with orange ribbons in their hair, people young and old all festooned with orange. The couple we spoke to at breakfast had a son who went to Syracuse and a daughter who went to West Virginia (the opposing team) and there they were, supporting their children’s college teams. Wow. Where does all this excitement come from?

Oh, and the hotel was setting up a tailgate party right outside the front lobby.

We escaped to the Everson Museum of Art:

Everson Museum of Art

… to catch a special travelling  exhibit of a group of nineteenth- and early twentieth-century paintings collected between 1908 and 1923 by sisters Margaret and Gwendoline Davies. Apparently they had quite the eye for art. By 1914 the Davies sisters had assembled one of the finest collections of European modern art in Britain which included works by  Paul Cézanne, Edouard Manet, Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Joseph M.W. Turner, Vincent van Gogh, and James Abbot McNeillWhistler. And I think Syracuse is one of five stops on the U.S tour.

The girls were interested to see the painting of the “blue dress” and Monet’s water lilies. I think they liked the children’s area the best, where they had an opportunity to sit and draw, sculpt with clay and play dress up while their parents got their bearings:

playing dress-up at the Everson Museum of Art

Afterwards we took the opportunity to explore a bit of the city. Syracuse has some amazing architecture. I found myself wondering if there was a special bus tour of Syracuse which highlighted the historical buildings. I would have really liked to hear more about what we were looking at:

shot from the car window


Niagara Mohawk Building

Clinton Square

Clinton Square

The girls at Clinton Square

Clinton Square

Syracuse is an interesting city on many levels. The mix of grand old buildings, stunning contemporary ones and the occasional abandoned one with boarded up windows was rather telling. I found myself wondering if this is a typical American city, and if it’s on the rise or on the decline. (According to Wikipedia its population is on the decline.)

The downtown core was very quiet, I’m guessing, because life moved out to the ‘burbs and there’s nothing going on here during the weekends.

What’s the solution? This trip reminded me of how important it is for a city to find the right balance of residential and business interests. It takes long-term planning to make a city walkable, develop partnerships between the city and private businesses, introduce mixed-use buildings which include resident-friendly businesses like butchers, bakers, and candlestick makers, as well as bike lanes and great public transportation. The heart of the city requires care and nurturing.

But there I go getting off track! What you need to know is that (a) there is stuff to see and do and (b) although everything you’ll want to see and do is fairly close together you will still need a car to get around.

Lunch on Saturday was at the Dinosaur Barbeque. It is a must – sticky and delicious – and  we left feeling happy and ready to take whatever Syracuse had to offer.

Here’s the take-out side, where we picked up some famous Dino sauce for the in-laws:

Dinosaur BBQ

In the afternoon we went to the Rosamond Gifford Zoo, a sweet little place that was totally manageable for our poor tired feet. Happy news, the sun came out and we had the place nearly to ourselves:

Rosamond Gifford Zoo

We enjoyed the aviary and the penguins. I just wished the lions had more room to roam. Here’s a close-up:

Lions at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo

And THEN we went to Target, where we dropped $450 dollars on what we declared to be “assorted household goods.” (I can hardly believe it. We went a little crazy.)

We spent so long shopping that we lost track of time and left dinner a little too late AGAIN. So we grabbed a pizza at Domino’s and brought it back to our room.

The pizza was so cheap compared to what it costs here, only $7.50 for a large pepperoni, but that seems to be true for a lot of fast food and chain-restaurant meals.

Our late lunch at Cracker Barrel on the way home, for example, was absolutely massive and only cost $28.00. It’s clear that the way to stay slim here is just to avoid eating out. Anywhere! It’s practically cheaper to eat out than make it at home. But that’s a whole different post altogether.

Sunday we had breakfast at Starbucks and explored the Syracuse University campus, which was regal and gorgeous and had it been a little warmer we would have hung out a lot longer than we did:

Syracuse University

Syracuse University

on campus at the University of Syracuse

We spent most of our last afternoon in Syracuse at the Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Technology (MOST):

Museum of Science and Technology

… located in a cool little neighbourhood called Armory Square:

Armoury Square

MOST is a great example of how Syracuse is slowly reinventing itself as a city. By repurposing heritage buildings for contemporary use they are holding on to their history as well as making something out of it for everyone to enjoy. I wish we could do more of that here too.

We misjudged how big the museum was and found ourselves finding more and more stuff to look the farther we went along.

The girls loved it. One of the highlights? Introducing our children to the first computer game we ever played:

Does this look familiar to you too?

I am not sure the girls were very interested in this particular exhibit.

They spent a lot of time in this:

climbing around at the MOST

Once again, we totally messed up our own lunch plans – entirely because of poor planning on our part. Not only was it way past lunchtime by the time we left the museum (it was around 1:30) but we quickly realized that all of the stores and restaurants in the neighbourhood were closed on Sundays (mental note!) and so we slowly made our way homeward, stopping only to fill up our tanks along the way.

On the way home

Looking back, I can totally see why so many people head down there sans children to shop and why the guys like to go to golf. My perfect long weekend getaway would probably include a parenting switcheroo in which Mark plays golf for a half day while I hang with the kids at the science museum, and then the next day he could take the kids for half a day while I shop at Carousel (because it is entirely possible to spend half a day just shopping).

All in all another good road trip!

As for my next trip is coming up rather quickly and it’s something a little different. Tomorrow (Wednesday) I’m be heading to Disney World for the day with an organization called Dreams Take Flight. But more about that later. :)

Right now: laundry calls.

34 Responses to "Road trip to Syracuse NY"

1 | karen

October 13th, 2009 at 10:30 am


I’ve never been to a Target. I hope to get to one this fall. I’ve already figured out that the cloest one to me is in Watertown. What kind of things did you buy there? Is it really better than Walmart or Zellers?

2 | Joy

October 13th, 2009 at 10:51 am


Thanks for the really interesting read on Syracuse. Never been there, but now it feels like i have! The shopping and cheap eats sound great; my husband would love the golf. Have a fun, and safe, trip to Disney. Lucky you!!

3 | Ginger

October 13th, 2009 at 10:58 am


College football season! One of the best seasons ever. But if you think people are crazy over college football you would never believe the craziness over Texas High School Football season. High School football in Texas is intense and is what our family life revolves around for 4 months of the year (mainly because of Nathan’s job as a high school athletic trainer). Some high school athletic facilities rival small university facilities around here. When I lived in another state I was shocked by the differences in high school sports. It is such a part of our life and world that I forget that elsewhere it is different!

4 | andrea

October 13th, 2009 at 11:27 am


Ginger, I forgot that football is such a major part of your life! I would love to hear your point of view about why collage sports are such a huge part of U.S. culture.

I graduated from a specialized program here at Carleton University in Ottawa yet I never attended any football games and never wore it on my sleeve (or on my hat, for that matter). I liked my school very much, but still, I’m quiet about it … as are most people. That fierce loyalty to our alma mater just isn’t in us, yet in the U.S so many people define themselves by their school.

What gives? :) Anyone else like to chime in with their thoughts?

5 | andrea

October 13th, 2009 at 11:33 am


karen: I don’t shop at WalMart so I can’t make a fair comparison. I used to think that Target was like our Zellers but it is definitely a notch above. There’s better stuff, better design, and pretty good prices. I found a great deal on children’s bedding this time around. I was looking for contemporary designs and colours (nothing branded) which are hard to find here in Ottawa!

The seem to have nice seasonal things too. I found a cool green Halloween t-shirt with “good witch” written across the front. :)

6 | Alison in Ottawa

October 13th, 2009 at 12:59 pm


While it isn’t at the crazy level of the US schools (having witnessed the siutation first hand at both Princeton and Harvard), Queen’s University in Kingston has some pretty amazing spirit and excitment for their football games. McGill University in Montreal gives a pretty good try at it, but doesn’t quite get to the Queen’s level of excitement (and I went to both schools and feel I can be objective). Football games were alot of fun as an undergrad but lost their excitement as a grad student (mostly as I no longer knew anyone playing). I can’t say I would go to a game as an adult, but my husband does go down to Montreal and catches a game every year.

7 | Jennifer

October 13th, 2009 at 1:13 pm


I went to Queen’s and although I don’t wear Queen’s colours regularly I still have my Queen’s ring and I think my tam is still around somewhere.

Although I don’t watch football today I went to every Queen’s football game – just because it was the thing to do.

I have fond memories of visiting places after I graduated – out west in Jasper, Alberta and out east in New Brunswick where I’d meet strangers who had gone to Queens and we’d end up locking arms and do a “bid walk” down the main street singing Queen’s songs.

Queen’s College colours we are wearing once again,
Soiled as they are by the battle and the rain,
Yet another victory to wipe away the stain!
So, Gaels, go in and win!


Oil thigh na Banrighinn a’Banrighinn gu brath!

8 | Jen_nifer

October 13th, 2009 at 1:13 pm


It is entirely possible to spend ~two~ full days shopping! I did a road trip to Syracuse with some women about ten years ago (when we still didn’t have Old Navy in Ottawa) and we spent two days at the Carousel Mall.

And yes, Target is better than Zellers.

Shopping in Watertown is good for a day trip, but not nearly the selection that is in Syracuse.

9 | Chantal

October 13th, 2009 at 1:56 pm


Amazingly I have never been to Syracuse, ever. Sounds like a weekend is in order. I have been considering it with our dollar getting close to par and Christmas on its way :)

Sounds like you guys had a blast. And Disney for the day! WHOO HOO, can’t wait to hear about that one. Your life just rocks woman!

10 | Lorrell Walter

October 13th, 2009 at 2:46 pm


Hi Andrea,

Thanks for visiting the Zoo (in full disclosure to your readers, I am the director of public relations). I hope your kids enjoyed their stuffed animals from our gift shop.

I wanted to address your comment about the lion exhibit. Lions are cats, and like domestic cats they spend 20+ hours a day sleeping or resting. They do not require as much space as one might think. When they feel the need to stretch their legs, they will run and jump through the exhibit — it’s quite a sight!

Additionally, the staff provides enrichment to the animals, which provides stimulating environments for the zoo’s animals in order for them to demonstrate natural behavior and enhance their well-being. Enrichment is an important part of zoo animal welfare and it’s an integral part of the daily care of our animals.

Again, thanks for visiting and I hope you’ll come back again!


11 | MaryAnne

October 13th, 2009 at 3:11 pm


Thank you for a very interesting post. I am headed to Syracuse on Thursday of this week with my son; my husband accepted a job there and moved ahead of us. We will be moving there over the Christmas holidays and I am so looking forward to it.

12 | andrea

October 13th, 2009 at 3:33 pm


Hello Lorrell,
Thank you again for the tickets (and for the stuffies!) We did notice the signs which outlined which steps are being taken to enrich each each captive animal’s experience.

We got a kick out of watching the river otter, for example, playing with his ball. So cute.

In terms of the space afforded the lions, I suppose I was drawing a parallel (perhaps unfairly) between the your zoo and the Toronto Zoo, which we’ve visited many times. I appreciate your explanation, but it’s still hard not to see such big creatures in captivity and wonder if they’re wishing for more room to stretch!

13 | Rob

October 13th, 2009 at 3:40 pm


From a Syracusan, thanks for the nice review. Glad you had some fun. Great pictures. I’m not sure what day you were in Armory Square, Sunday’s not a good day, but every other day there are great little shops and restaurants open, many women’s clothing and accessory shops. You can read more about this area at their website, http://www.armorysq.org. We also recently wrote a book on the history of Armory Square, you can purchase a copy at many stores, including Target online: http://www.target.com/Armory-Square-Then-Now-Paperback/dp/B002MD3AKK . The architecture is the best part of the city for many and Armory Square has a very rich history.

14 | Laurie

October 13th, 2009 at 4:11 pm


Thanks for the story! I’m from Syracuse and am currently living in FL (bleh!). I MISS Syracuse so much!! This gave me a nice taste of “HOME”. I’m glad you enjoyed your trip — next time hopefully you can see even more :) (Beaver Lake Nature Center, etc)

15 | SARAH!

October 13th, 2009 at 4:14 pm


What stunning shots of a somewhat mundane city to those who live there. It’s always interesting to see a new comers perspective on a city.

I enjoy the rounded edges on your images. Nice angles too.

I personally love Ottawa! Nice post, thank you!

16 | Roseann

October 13th, 2009 at 4:31 pm


I am originally from Syracuse, born/raised. I was interested in your story as I have not been home (Syracuse) since 1992. I was surprised that you never mentioned “Hydes”… cooney/hotdog (original landmark) in Liverpool, NY / subsect of Syracuse, driveable from 690 in minutes. Your weekend getaway was a nice walk down memory lane for me. Thank you for that.
I recall growing up with the most beautiful snowy winters. Going downtown with my aunt to shop during the winter. I also recall Syracuse’s downtown life (day/night) going down, bit by bit. I can see the population decreasing due to the limited opportunities. It is a shame, it was such a beautiful city. The history of the Erie canal, going right through the city, to the big event of it being re-routed and filled in… it’s (Syr) history is elegant!
ps… I loved Ottawa… visited many times…
If you would like another trip… try Louisville, KY for the Derby or better yet if you do not want over priced hotels, dinners, come for ” Thunder over Louisville”. The most beautiful, heart pounding, breath taking fireworks display you will ever witness! ( that kicks off the month long celebration …leading to the Derby!).

17 | Tammy

October 13th, 2009 at 4:54 pm


Thank you for the wonderful review of Syracuse. We live in Nebraska now, but for 37 years my husband called Syracuse HOME. I grew up about an hour and a half North in a little tiny town called Copenhagen.

We moved (as a family) to Syracuse in 1994. It’s the only ‘big city’ life I’ve ever experienced. Even though I lived there for 9 years, I’ve never seen it the way your photos envisioned. It’s really a beautiful city…and I feel like I took it for granted. :(

Our kids always enjoyed the MOST and Rosamond Gifford zoo trips. Funny…we always went on Sundays; I liked it quieter I guess. Ha! They have some awesome ‘hangouts’ on the outskirts of town also…(we lived in Liverpool, a close suburb) like the Onondaga Lake Park (Lights on the Lake in December was one of our family traditions that we looked forward to each year) and Beaver Lake Nature Center was also a favorite. Heid’s hot dogs was always a treat on Sundays after church.

We’ve been away for 5 years now and surprisingly… you’ve made me miss it. We’ll be visiting family and friends next summer there. I’ll see it with fresh eyes this time. Thanks!

18 | Rebecca

October 13th, 2009 at 5:01 pm


I only know Syracuse because my sisters like to go shopping there! Who knew there was other stuff to do ;)

sounds like a great trip

19 | Cicero Laser Engraving

October 13th, 2009 at 5:15 pm


One of my customers posted a link to your blog on my Facebook page…it was a very fair assessment of Syracuse. Nice job.

20 | Mark

October 13th, 2009 at 5:47 pm


BTW: Golf in the spring can be cheap. I have paid as little as $15 for green fees and some of the “highway” hotels are reasonably priced if you just need a place to sleep. The real jewel in golf in the area is at the Green Lakes State Park Golf course. It’s a gorgeous Robert Trent Jones Sr. designed golf course set within the park and the green fees will run you around $25 to $35. It’s a course I would easily pay $75 to play.


21 | Anna

October 13th, 2009 at 10:03 pm


Haven’t been to Syracuse, how long did it take you to get there?

While there isn’t a PB tween, the PB Teen is pretty good:

22 | Nadine C.

October 13th, 2009 at 10:39 pm


I went to Bishop’s University as an undergrad and College Football WAS the main way of life there . Our team which was the greatest ever , of course, was the Purple Gaiters (although we would actually draw purple alligators on our face and other body parts !) but bottom line I can totally relate to the folks in the Syracuse Hotel. We also had the silly songs and went to every single game dressed like fools… 18 years later and 13 spent living abroad, I still have not lost the “Purple Pride” but fortunately for my husband and daughter I am way too busy to continue the ritual !
Your trip sounds and looks amazing. Those buildings are incredible ! I absoluetly adore Pottery Barn , Lucky you ! Love the picture with the two `kitties“!

23 | Steven Kern

October 14th, 2009 at 9:40 am


Hi Andrea!

I’m Steven Kern, director of the Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse. I’m glad to read that you and your family had a good road trip to our city.

Thanks for visiting the Everson Museum of Art to see “Turner to Cezanne.” You’re right, Syracuse is one of just five cities in the US hosting this world-class exhibition from the National Museum Wales. In fact, Syracuse is the only city in the Northeast to host it, so this is an incredible opportunity for our neighbors in Canada to see masterpieces like Renoir’s “La Parisienne” or a Monet “Water Lilies just a coouple/few hours drive away. The Davies Collection, from which “Turner to Cezanne” has been selected is one of the National Musem Wales’s greatest treasures and one of the most important collections in Great Britain.

I’m thrilled that your daughters enjoyed the museum’s children’s area, The Art Zone. It’s a great place where children (and adults!) are encouraged to let art inspire their imaginations. In “Turner to Cezanne,” we also had family guides for kids and their parents. Did your daughters take a guide? If not, I’ll be happy to send you one.

Thanks again for visiting Syracuse. You hit many of my favorites and I hope that you and your readers visit us often.


24 | Danica Bryant

October 14th, 2009 at 10:18 am


Hi Andrea,

Thank you so much for bringing your family to Syracuse. I’m thrilled that you all had a great time. Also, thanks to all of your followers for their positive comments on our city. I did want to let your readers know that our Web site, http://www.VisitSyracuse.org, is a fantastic resource for planning a trip to Syracuse. There you can find information for our Canadian visitors, complete with value-added overnight packages and deals. We’re always updating and adding giveaways to our Web site, so feel free to visit it often.

Thanks again – and let us know when you want to make your next trip to shop and golf.

Syracuse Convention & Visitors Bureau

25 | Anna

October 14th, 2009 at 3:35 pm


I’m not sure how I came across your website, but it is great!
I will be travelling to Ottawa in a couple of weeks. My husband will be there on business. I was wondering if you had any tips to give me on where I should spend my time. (alone, without kids, just me, all by myself!!!!) I don’t get away that often so I am very excited to be going on this little adventure!
Thanks so much!
Anna from Saskatchewan

26 | LO

October 14th, 2009 at 6:00 pm


oh mY GOSH! We were at the hotel at the same time! Wish I would have known you were there-we were club floor/lounge. We could have had drinks Friday night and introduced you to the lounge staff (Yup, that’s how long we’ve been going there)!!!! AND next time, don’t get Domino’s -get Cosmos pizza in the University area. Did you get to the Saturday market? The weather wasn’t the best for it!:)

27 | LO

October 14th, 2009 at 6:00 pm


p.s. Target is my other lover:)!

28 | LO

October 14th, 2009 at 6:01 pm


p.p.s. at Macy’s if you say you are Canadian you get an extra 10 % off card to help with our taxes!

29 | LO

October 14th, 2009 at 6:04 pm


Okay, last post-just read all the other comments and as a fellow Queen’s alumni I have to agree that Queen’s football games create a frenzy I miss!

30 | Clare

October 15th, 2009 at 1:57 pm


“As much as I love to support our local businesses I can’t tell you how much I love Pottery Barn and Pottery Barn kids. (I’m still hoping someone will develop a Pottery Barn Tweens.)”

You do know there’s is a TEEN version called PBteen?? They are opening stores right now – but their online business is huge.

31 | Sarah

October 16th, 2009 at 9:45 am


Another great place to shop near Syracuse is the Waterloo Premium Outlets (apprx. 45 mins beyong Syracuse) Great shopping for the whole family. You could easily spend an entire day there.


32 | Giveaway alert! Care to take a trip to Syracuse NY? >> a peek inside the fishbowl

October 20th, 2009 at 10:10 am


[…] As part of a large-scale marketing initiative to encourage Canadians to visit Syracuse and its surrounding areas, the Syracuse Convention & Visitors Bureau invited me and my family to visit the Greater Syracuse area for a weekend getaway in the fall. You can read about my visit here. […]

33 | Carl

January 21st, 2010 at 10:15 am


Domino’s??? You were two blocks from the best pizza in the world – The Varsity!!!

Every year a group of us guys go to a Syracuse and this coming weekend we are off again. We go to the basketball game, then off to our hotel, and finish the day at Armory Square. We have a great time walking around the various bars and meeting new people.

I graduated from Syracuse U. in the 70’s. The picture of the building with the steps (Crouse Hall?) is where we walk every year to go to the basketball game, and I spent a lot of time sledding there when I was in school.

I love the city – never had a bad time!!!

34 | Carole

April 20th, 2012 at 12:09 pm


On a tip-off from a coworker, I schlepped my family down to Syracuse last summer to check out the zoo. We stayed at the new Comfort Inn Suites in Cicero, which happened to be in close prominity to the Target, etc… My children are young (three girls under 4) and the size of the zoo was perfect for us. Even though we went on a long weekend and it was certainly busy, it did not feel crowded or dirty. The girls expecially enjoyed the monkeys and the penguins. The price is right, too, at only $7 each as I recall. We had such a good time that we are heading back again this summer with grandparents in tow, and in addition to the zoo we are going to check out the science museum (MOST). I’m really looking forward to it!

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