The ember of Nick Coppola's fervor for fishing began years ago. While Nick studied biology in college, this passion bloomed into a full-blown vocation as he spent summers scouring the rivers of Southwest Montana. Since those early moments wading in the tides, Nick has become a New York State–licensed guide, continuing to catch trophy salmon, steelhead trout, brown trout, and runaway goldfish as the head of Slickwater Adventures.
Throughout two seasons each year, Coppola and his staff lead anglers of all levels into some of the East Coast's most picturesque habitats, including the Ausable River during summer months and the eastern Lake Ontario tributaries during winter. No matter the location, Coppola encourages participants to customize each adventure to their specific goals, whether they are honing existing skills, learning basic techniques, or luring in trophy catches with tricks and well-timed eyewinks.
Friday and Saturday evenings from sundown to 11:00 p.m., visitors can traverse the cursed trails of Swamp Road to encounter the spectral remains of its permanent residents. Paranormal sightings begin in the parking area and extend through a spirited outdoor romp down a wooded trail, guided by staffers that spook visitors by wearing skeleton costumes and spook each other by talking about their first day of middle school. Daring participants visit the twisted home of a doll maker constructing figurines from unidentified parts, and lumbering shadows of werewolves and swamp creatures lurk in one's peripheral vision. The disturbed ground of a cemetery houses the restless spirits of lost lumberjacks, and a homicidal clown endlessly searches for souls and size 31 shoes.
Affiliates of the NHL's Anaheim Ducks, the Syracuse Crunch has its second-half sights set on moving up the East Division standings and into the AHL playoffs. Cheer as left-wingers Nicolas Deschamps and Patrick Maroon cross-check opponents, hypnotically skate around mesmerized defenders, and drain three-pointers from center ice. With sharp blades and even sharper puck-manipulating capabilities, the Crunch look to give first-year head coach Mark Holick a successful inaugural campaign. From Oncenter War Memorial Arena's ice-level, Crunch Club, or lower mezzanine-level seats, fans can witness every glove-save at while reading the baroque poems that players write while in the penalty box.
Putter's and Batter's Paradise, one of upstate New York’s largest mini-golf facilities, unfurls three challenging 18-hole courses that usher visitors along plush lawns, weathered rocks, and bright tulips. Each hole tests mini golfers with different obstacles such as towering castles, cascading waterfalls, and brightly painted animals, which guests can putt around or talk their way through should they bring their therapists. Group sizes are limited to four players so others don’t have to wait between putts and club-busting tantrums. After a day of swinging the iron dowel, guests can cool off with ice cream from the new onsite parlor, which slings soft-serve cones and sixteen flavors of hard ice cream that include classic vanilla and maple walnut.
Syracuse Musketeers Fencing Center’s resident Bulgarian fencing champ, Lubomir Kalpaktchiev, guides students in the age-old art of swordplay. After warming up muscles, devotees learn the foundational moves and basic footwork required to launch an offensive attack, maintain good posture, and correctly modify the Superbowl Shuffle for fencing competitions. Students then wardrobe themselves in protective gear for practice bouts, burning calories and getting a cardio workout while putting footwork and épée jabs to use in an elegant dance that builds discipline and coordination. As pupils progress, lessons ramp up fencers’ strategy and blade work, readying students for duels against overbearing windmills.
Metric readings show highs of fun and excitement at The Fun Junction, where a live-action laser-tag arena awaits universal soldiers and a massive arcade tests button-mashing mettles. After extensive combat debriefings, laser taggers are let loose in an ultraviolet arena with dynamic battle zones and pulse-pumping music. A light haze obscures walls glowing with fluorescent paint, as nimble warriors make their way through disorienting obstacles to capture opponents’ bases. Enemy sentinels lurk around corners, eagerly anticipating laser-lit skirmishes and the perfect time to make “pew-pew” noises with their mouths.