Here's a tip for getting acquainted with Enchanted Forest Water Safari, New York's largest water theme park: as soon as you get there, head straight to Sky Ride. The attraction's balloon-like cars soar right above the Paul Bunyan statue (which has stood tall at the park since the 1950s), cresting at a bird's-eye view of the entire grounds. More than 50 attractions, including 32 water rides, spread out in front of riders' eyes, all set amid the trees of Adirondack State Park.
A quarter-acre tidal wave pool dominates a lot of that view, as does the Amazon, a 1,000-foot slide that send families soaring along, while other slides reach speeds of up to 30 miles per hour, but not everything here requires an affinity for H2O.
Enchanted Forest Water Safari is also home to classic amusement park attractions such as squirt gun games, a scrambler ride, and a ferris wheel. But the most timeless draw here may be the park's performers, who put on circus acts, and Storybook Lane, where more than 20 classic storybook tales come to life.
Putt-putting through a pirate ship might normally result in the putter walking the plank. Not so at FunPlex Fun Park, where on the 18-hole mini-golf course, players navigate ocean-themed greens populated by alligators, a lighthouse, and one grounded speedboat. Thirteen attractions, including a bounce house and bumper boats, promise diversion for kids of almost any age. Go-karts spin around an eighth-mile track at up to 20 miles per hour, and kids aged 3?10 zip around at 6 miles per hour on the mini go-kart track. In Captain Hook's House of Fun, kids clamber inside the tunnels of a multilevel play structure, descending tube slides and diving into a pit filled with plastic balls, more fun than the ones at school that are filled with homework.
Concealed by glowing dividers, combatants creep along the AstroTurf, hunting for a clear shot at an opponent's battle suit. Inside the 6,900-square-foot arena?one of the largest in Syracuse?lasers, black lights, and shadowy corners call to mind a real-life video game or a haunted discotheque. Skirmishes typically run for 15 minutes, pitting the red team and the green team against each other in a tactical contest. During cease-fires, laser combatants can fire quarters into an assortment of arcade games.
At Fun Junction, it's okay to battle with your friends?as long as you keep it inside the laser-tag arena. In fact, you can also battle it out with up to 42 strangers during intense games that unfold beneath glowing ultraviolet lights (hint: if you don't want to be easily spotted, don't wear a white shirt). High-octane music soundtracks the action as teammates hunt down opponents and attempt to deactivate their base. After the game, keep the competition going in the arcade.
Fairmount Glen has enjoyed over 60 years of bringing Syracuse Miniature Golf At Its Best. Dubbed the Augusta National of Miniature Golf
by the Syracuse Sporting Times winner of the
Best of The Burbs and voted Best Miniature Golf Course in Syracuse by the Syracuse New Times readers Fairmount Glen is one of the areas finest
Big Don is boredom's worst enemy. Located on a large chunk of land in Cicero, Big Don's Wild River Mini Golf wipes out monotony with nine different activities, including miniature golf on an 18-hole course that weaves
through a wilderness setting. Groups can trade in their golf clubs for laser tag guns and charge into battle in a 40,000-square-foot arena, or attempt to navigate through the 5,000-square-foot Amaze'n Maze without help from GPS systems or cars that can smell their way home. Even treasure hunters can get their fix while panning for gems in the facility's mining sluice or digging through sand for keepsakes such as fossils, seashells, and exotic coins.