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Thursday, August 4, 2016

Destiny USA and Syracuse Review and Giveaway

This weekend I had the pleasure of visiting Syracuse NY with my family. We immediately felt right at home and very welcome; great people, great food and lots of family friendly entertainment. We stayed at the Aloft Syracuse Inner Harbour. This brand new hotel has a great pool for the kids, a 24 hour snack bar and a game area. The staff were amazingly accommodating and friendly. The hotel offers a Camp Aloft for the kiddos which provides an air mattress and a special blanket for each child as well as a deck of cards to keep. Don't forget to sign up for their Green program and receive a $5 voucher for the cafe.  While we were there we took a beautiful walk along the Harbour and Onondaga Creekwalk which leads to Onondaga Lake where you can play on the playground, fish, bike, skateboard, boat, hike and explore many historical sites. (Giveaway at the bottom of page)

View from our hotel
Walking along Creekwalk

Day 1

Rosamond Gifford Zoo ($8 adults, $4 youth, and 2 and under FREE)
We began our visit with several indoor exhibits, nocturnal animals, birds, underwater and the monkeys. We then explored the path around the zoo with the outdoor exhibits. Elephants, bears, wolves, penguins and more. Don't forget to see the flamingos. The zoo also has a cute little cafe and a play area for the kiddos. Feeling hot? Don't worry they have misting stations throughout the zoo, which might have been my daughter's favourite part (of course ;)). We we able to do the zoo in one afternoon, however you could easily spend more time here. We were also told about movie nights at the zoo where you can enjoy a movie under the stars.

Dinosaur BBQ ($15 pp approx)
Traditional BBQ and an amazing biker atmosphere not to be missed. We sat outside and enjoyed the weather and the live music. We ordered a sampler plate so that we could have a taste of everything and WOW, it could have fed 5 people. They also had colouring for the kids and cute little dino cups. My daughter loved the music and the amazing paintings on the wall.

Day 2

Funk N Waffles ($8 pp approx)
Great little hole in the wall, as seen on Diners Drive-ins and Dives. Every kind of waffle you can think of or create your own (Vegan and Gluten Free also available). This cafe has a funky feel with awesome old gold and red couches to top it off. Weekly night entertainment as well.

Green Lakes State Park ($8/car)
One of the most beautiful parks and beaches I have ever been to. Green Lakes is a natural lake, formed by a glacier. The color is also natural. It’s called a meromictic lake; meaning the surface and bottom water don’t mix, making it a beautiful sight over looking the mountain. An impressive amount of lifeguards on duty to make your experience as safe as possible. They offer a cafe and boat rentals as well as lots of picnic tables and BBQs. The playground offers a toddler area and an area for older children to climb and explore. Before your swim make sure you enjoy one of their beautiful nature trails. You can definitely spend the whole day here with the family!


Destiny USA (Summer fun passes $48 adults and $38 children)

Choose 4 of the following with each pass (*Best options for toddlers)

Entertainment  (click for a description of each)
5 WITS: One Adventure (hands on choose your adventure)
*Amazing Mirror Maze: General Admission (get lost in a maze of mirrors)
*Billy Beez: General Admission (One Accompanying Adult is Free)
*Build-A-Bear Workshop: Lil’ Buttercream Cub or $12 towards any order
Canyon Climb: One Ropes Climb
Dave & Busters: $10 Power Card (midway)
GlowGolf: One Round of Golf
LazerTag: Three Games of Lazer Tag
OptiGolf: 30 Minutes of Golf (Includes Clubs)
Pole Position Raceway: Adult Race Package
Revolutions: Two Games (Includes Shoes)
*SkyTykes: One Ropes Climb (Must Be 48” or Less)
WonderWorks: General Admission 


NEW! Cantina Lared
NEW! Gordon  Biersch
NEW! Johnny Rockets
NEW! P.F. Chang’s
NEW! Sweet Yummy
NEW! TGI Fridays

The World Famous Carousel


Too many slides to count at Billy Beez
Sky Tykes
Fun at Dave and Busters and Riding in Style

We were able to explore 5 Wits (choose your adventure), Dave and Busters (midway and video games) , Sky Tykes (canyon climb for the littles), Build a Bear, Billy Beez (climbers and slides) as well as some yummy treats. Believe me when I tell you, this mall could keep you entertained for days! Wonderworks is a General admission that allows re-entry and I could have easily spent the day being a kid again at Dave and Busters Midway :). The pass also includes a ride on the famous Carousel and Admission to the New York State Fair. Aside from the passes this mall also has a huge food court and hundreds of stores (we almost got lost). My daughter loved the Disney Store , which has activities everyday all summer long. She also loved renting the ride on Animals (worth the look on her face at $5 for 10 minutes). Don't forget to check out Tykes Tuesdays 12-2pm, for free activities each week.

Margaritaville ($18pp approx)
Fun place to enjoy some drinks, apps or dinner. Our visit started out with the lovely Bella on stilts making balloon animals (my daughter's mind was blown). We used our passes and enjoyed some Margaritas (of course) and some yummy apps. Don't forget to stop for some fun photos ops.

Day 3 

Strong Hearts Cafe ($10pp approx)
Beautiful little vegan cafe in the heart of downtown. I would 100 % recommend this little hipster joint. The staff were friendly and helpful and you can choose from many specialty coffees, breakfast items, salads and the best part? A list of milkshakes a mile long!! For those of you who are dairy intolerant, this was one of my favourite stops!

What a great trip and we definitely will be returning in the future!!


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