Please note that this is not an itinerary submitted by an actual family. This day was planned by one of our travel experts as a recommendation for a family of children with ages 4 through late teens, based on knowledge of the area. Factors such as time, cost and distance have been considered to make this a great day to get a sense of the city and keep the children and teens interested and engaged.
Address: 8419 New York 54, Hammondsport, NY 14840
Phone: (607) 569-2160
Hours: Summer Hours are Monday – Saturday 9AM – 5PM, Sunday 10AM – 5PM.
Getting There: A note for All Finger Lakes visitors. Public transportation is virtually non-existent in the area. The best way to get around is by car, rentals are available. Taxis and limo services also exist if you choose not to drive yourself.
Admission: Adults $8.50, Seniors $7.00, Children 7-18 $5.50, 6 and under free. Family rate of $25 is available.
Begin your Finger Lakes journey with an exploration of local history. With a primary focus of Glenn Hammond Curtiss, a pioneer of the aviation history and local hero, the museum also serves to highlight many fixtures of local culture such as boating and wine making. Dubbed “The Father of Naval Aviation,” Curtiss’ eponymous museum features a dozen military and small aircraft as well as a restoration shop open to the public where local craftsman work on historic planes. This museum has something for everyone, from local history to bold and exciting marvels of modern engineering. Currently there is also an exhibit called “Warehouse 53” featuring adventurers of the movies with real props, costumes and set ups for pictures in iconic adventure film settings. Though you have probably never heard of the man you will surely leave here wondering why the entire world hasn’t, as he and the region win you over.
Address: 111 Cedar St, Corning, NY 14830
Phone: (607) 937-5386
Hours: 9AM – 5PM daily, summer hours extended until 8PM.
Getting There: 30 minute drive from first stop via I-86 E
Admission: Adults $9, Seniors, Military, AAA Members and Students $8, Children under 19 free.
The building is a thing of beauty itself, as the Rockwell Museum is located in the historic 1893 Town Hall. The museum is a true local treasure that both showcases terrific American Art and tries to bring it out into the community. Here you will find activities for children as well as educational programs for adults. The museum features contemporary Native American art as well as a tribute to art in the era of “Cowboys and Indians.” There are great western sculptures and paintings as well as an interactive area for children. The three floors are relatively easy to navigate and one museum your family should be able to manage all of without much assistance.
Address: One Park Place, Elmira, NY
Phone: (607) 735-1941
Hours: In the Summer, Open Tuesday – Saturday from 9:30AM – 4:30 PM (Closed Sunday and Monday)
Getting There: 25 minute drive from first stop via I-86 E
Admission: Free of charge
This octagonal study was built for Samuel Clemens (AKA Mark Twain) by his sister and brother in law on the grounds of their estate in Quarry Farm. It was moved to Elmira College’s center for Mark Twain studies to be the focal point of the world’s foremost research center on the man and his works. This is the location where Twain wrote his classics The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and visitors can take in photographs as well as memorabilia related to the man and his process. Come see the site where books everyone reads were written and help children bring their past, present or future studies to life.
Address: 105 Enfield Falls Rd., Ithaca, NY
Phone: (607) 273-3440
Hours: Open year round, consult park for information regarding hours for certain activities.
Getting There: 30 minute drive from first stop via NY-13 N
Admission: $7 parking fee charged during peak season, only other fees are for camping/staying overnight.
While all the parks in the Finger Lakes region are beautiful, this one is tops on many lists and widely regarded as the most family and child friendly. Enfield Glen is its visual highlight and winding trails provide relatively easy hiking along 12 waterfalls and a variety of low rises. Swimming is available in a stream fed pool with a waterfall and lifeguards are on duty. On top of typical campground facilities, and a lot of nature to be seen, there are playgrounds for children and grills for cooking. Walk or swim the park and settle in for a family picnic among some of the regions best scenery before continuing on with the day.
Address: 2790 County Route 16, Watkins Glen, NY
Hours: From April 25 – October 19 there are daily rides at Noon and 5PM, staging begins a half hour before either slot. There are some blackout dates, consult website to confirm availability.
Getting There: 30 minute drive from first stop via NY-13 S
Admission: 3 paced laps for $25
Whether a fan of NASCAR, a lover of speed and excitement or simply someone who loves a unique experience and a good story to go home with; the renowned track at Watkins Glen International is sure to delight even skeptical visitors. This functioning race track offers the unheard of opportunity to drive your own car on an actual NASCAR track. This kind of experience is either non-existent or limited to the insanely wealthy and/or connected anywhere else. Here you can drive you personal vehicle (no motorcycles) on a real racetrack behind a pace car for three laps. You must be 18 to drive and the cost is $25 per car but as many passengers of any age that can fit in your car ride along for free. At the end you even get a special photo opportunity to commemorate the occasion. You are welcome to bring a rental car around this 3.4-mile Grand Prix circuit that will give you an appreciation for what real race car drivers experience (at a much safer 55 mph with no passing allowed). Mom and dad will love being in the hot seat while children can enjoy being along for the ride. You (and your car) will never feel the same again.