A “must-do” list for making the most out of the fall in Syracuse
Capacity limits, social distancing, mask mandates and campus outbreaks of COVID-19 left few opportunities for Syracuse University students to explore the city and the surrounding areas last year. With over 90% of Syracuse University students and over 70% of New Yorkers now vaccinated, restrictions are slowly lifting as we move toward a new normal. If you’re craving a “normal” Syracuse University fall semester, here are three things that might bring you a step closer to normalcy.
Attend the New York State Fair: Aug. 20-Sept. 6
The New York State Fair is an affordable 18-day celebration of delicious food, eye-opening exhibits, captivating entertainment and great fun. If you don’t have a car, don’t worry; Syracuse University typically provides transportation to the fair, and Centro, Syracuse’s transportation service, provides shuttles to and from the fairgrounds. Entrance to the fair is only $3 for adults!
Here are some of things to do at the state fair:
Attend a concert: There is a concert every day of the fair, with notable performances this year being from Nas, Nelly, Train, CNCO, The Beach Boys, Jesse McCartney and Joan Jett. And guess what? They’re all free.
Eat, eat, eat! The fair has dozens of food vendors, ranging from ice cream, staple carnival foods like hot dogs and burgers, fried oreos and caramel apples, blooming onion and full meals like chicken tenders, sausage and peppers, pizza and barbecue chicken. Every year, there are also crazy concoctions, like the donut burger or deep-fried anything. Wash it all down with wine slushies, fun cocktails or beer… if you’re over 21.
Butter sculptures: You read that right; since 1970, the NYS Fair showcases a butter sculpture exhibition in the Dairy Products Building. Dairy artists Jim Victor and Marie Pelton have crafted every butter sculpture at the Fair since 2003. Their creations take approximately 10 days to complete and almost 800 pounds of butter! Plus, the building is freezing to keep the butter from melting, so it’s a great place to cool down.
Hang out with the animals: The fair has dozens of animal-related events, such as pig race competitions, petting zoos and adoption centers. At the petting zoo, you can feed animals like giraffes and goats, and at the adoption centers, you can play with bunnies.
Go to the first games of the season.
The first home football game is Saturday, September 11 at 2 p.m. against Rutgers. You can buy tickets online or at the Carrier Dome.
The Syracuse men’s basketball team will have their first exhibition game October 27, 2021, against Pace University. The first home season game is against Lafayette College on Tuesday, November 9th. Any changes to the schedule can be found on the Cuse sports website.
The women’s basketball team has yet to announce their schedule for the 2021-22 season. Stay tuned to cuse.com for more information!
Go apple or pumpkin picking!
Central New York is beautiful in the fall, and one of the best ways to experience the beauty of nature is through apple or pumpkin picking.
Beak and Skiff Apple Orchards: Student favorite Beak and Skiff is more than just apple picking. Through their store, 1911 Established, they sell wines, hard ciders and spirits, all paying homage to their apple flavors. After picking apples, head over to the distillery, tavern, tasting room or bakery. Their newest products even feature CBD, including tinctures and sparkling water.
Tim’s Pumpkin Patch: Locally owned and operated, Tim’s offers the perfect pumpkins for decorating or eating. The farm offers a day full of activities with a petting zoo, tractor rides, corn maze, bakery and brewery. They open for pumpkin picking September 4th, but are open every Friday in August from 6-10 pm with live music, drinks and food.
Navarino Orchard: A family owned pick-your-own farm, Navarino offers a variety of fruits and vegetables like apples, peaches, plums, strawberries and raspberries. They also have delicious treats like fritters made out of in-season fruits. They’re open weekdays 8-7 and weekends 8-6.
Abbott Farms: In addition to your fall apple picking activities, check out Abbott Farms for berry and pumpkin picking, too. They offer fun activities like a corn maze, cider press, petting zoo and winery. Their market supports New York farmers, food servers and retail outlets. Check out their fudge, ice cream and warm apple fritters at the bakery! Abbott Farms is open 8-6 Monday-Saturday and 10-6 on Sundays.