Ideas For Affordable Family Fun Deals In The Cuse

This past weekend we had some fun family time at the zoo and after discussing it a bit on social media, I realized a fun idea for a blog post (or maybe even a series of blog posts) was to put together a list of some family deals available in the Syracuse area. 

I know during the summer, the kids are out of school and people are taking vacations or personal days to do stuff with their kids (or heck, maybe just with a friend or spouse while the weather is warm). So below I will list 10 things I found in the area that I thought people may enjoy. Some may seem cheap and some may not but everyone has a different income level and for some even the more expensive items could be a good investment if this is something you enjoy as a family and make multiple visits. 

So below is a list in no particular order (though I am starting off with the free one first) of just some of the fun stuff I found. If there is enough interest and other businesses come to light, I will gladly put together another list in the future but for now, here are 10 to get you started.

Your Local Library

This one is a personal favorite of mine because I truly believe libraries are a great resource to our community and most activities and memberships are free so long as you are a resident. Every library is different and offer many programs and services that may be beneficial to you finding work, needing leisure time or maybe join a group with people who have something in common with you. I know growing up in Bridgeport as an awkward teen, I often spent time at the Sullivan Free Library just to escape reality with Mark Twain or Maya Angelou or sports books and magazines...and look through Syracuse University catalogs even though sadly that dream never materialized.

If you live in Onondaga County, you can click here to find out how to apply for a free card or click here to find a list of the many events on their calendar which I think may surprise some of you who think libraries are just places for books. I mean seriously, it is FREE and you and the family can do so much there without worrying about if you spent too much money.

Rosamond Gifford Zoo at Burnet Park

As I said, this list was sparked by a recent family visit to the Rosamond Gifford Zoo at Burnet Park (or Syracuse Zoo as I always call it) so it is only right to list them next I have to admit I was not expecting it to be so affordable and so fun...and offer so many shaded or indoor areas and benches on those warm days or for those who can't walk too much.  I also did not expect it to be as affordable as it was to get in. I honestly assumed it would be more but what I found was quite different than I assumed so this is why they say what they say about assuming. 

What I found was that we got in for free because I was a veteran, to which I was humbly grateful for because it came at a time when money was very low but we needed a day to do something stress free and relaxing. What I also found out was that for a little as $75, you can get a family membership that includes two adults and children between the ages of 3-18 or you can look into other membership options here. Not only does this allow you to free access to the zoo most of the year but also discounts on various items, free admission to their member appreciation event and a MyZoo magazine subscription.

.Milton J. Rubenstein Museum Of Science & Technology

I have to admit that this one is also a personal favorite that I have visited a couple times and enjoyed even though I admit that science was my worst subject as a kid. The Museum of Science & Technology (or MOST for short) is an interactive museum of sorts for the kids and family to learn more about science and have fun doing so. They also often feature fun events, exhibits and camps as well as IMAX movies and a planetarium as well as their Summer Movie Series that is going on this summer.

So if you are interested in a family package at MOST, you can find the deals by clicking here. You can sign up for the Household plan for only $99 (which covers 2 adults and children/grandchildren ages 2-17) or the Household Plus for $119 (which included that previous plan plus two guests of any age as well). This or any of their individual or duo plan include unlimited general admission as well as discounts on events like the camps or my personal favorite around the holidays : The Polar Express Pajama Party, You also get free access to the planetarium and free or discounted admission to more than 350 other museums around the world if you and the family travel for events or vacation.

Sylvan Beach Amusement Park

Instead of wishing you were on some beach somewhere else, why not head to Sylvan Beach right here in Central New York and have some fun this summer? There are plenty of places to eat, fun things to do and often events to enhance your experience as well or you can play and relax on the beach. They have bike nights and farmer's markets on Tuesdays, classic car cruise-ins on Thursdays, and later this summer you can also enjoy Pirate's Weekend, Summer Games and more (you can click the link here to see some of the events planned if you have a Facebook page).

Did you know you can also get all day or season passes (usually excluding the bumper boats) for the rides at the amusement park as well? All day wrist bands are $24.95 or $14.95 for Kiddieland or you can get a season pass good all summer long for only $99.95 per person if you plan to make multiple visits this summer. You see more details by clicking here or order them by clicking here.

New York State Parks Empire Pass

This is one I just learned about, which goes to show you how much I get outside. If you like to get out and enjoy nature at your local New York State Parks, you could consider investing in an Empire Pass.

You can get more information about Empire Pass or other park programs by clicking here. The cost is $88 a year per ID or you can do 3 year ($205), 5 year ($320) or a lifetime plan for $750. And you can also see the list of parks that you can use this pass at by clicking here.

New York State Fair

I saw that advance sale tickets (just started earlier this week) are now available so I am adding this to ensure people are prepared if they wish to attend the Fair this summer. Also many of the Chevy Court acts have been announced already and you can see the lineup here if you're interested in planning out your Fair days in advance.

There are several ticket options available if you are interested. One of those options includes the Six-Day Frequent Fairgoer Admission Passes for only $30 per person if you plan on attending multiple days. You can also get single day passes and unlimited ride wristband vouchers. For all the ticket options you can buy online in advance, click here.

Surf City Family Fun Center

If you are near North Syracuse, you may or may not know about the Surf City Family Fun Center on Thompson Road. You can ride go-carts, hit in the batting cages, play in the arcade or even plan your birthday party or family outing here.

You can get general passes starting at $19.99 plus tax or season passes for only $129.99 plus tax. There are other offers available as well like All Day Bounce Passes for $10 or the Bounce Eat and Pass deal (2 all day bounce passes, 50 tickets, a large pizza and pitcher of soda) for $44.99. For more details on what is included with these offers, you can click here.


Located in Destiny USA is WonderWorks. And right now, for only $99 plus tax per person (normally $250), you can get a VIP Annual Pass to WonderWorks, Canyon Climb and Laser Tag good for one year from the date of purchase. You can get other types of one day passes as well and for all of that information, click here.

Jewish Community Center of Syracuse

The Jewish Community Center of Syracuse has been a great friend to us back when we first started CuseCheap and remain so to this day in our effort to promote a positive vibe in our community. And you may not know this but you do not have to be Jewish to be a member or enroll in most of their programs. They offer stuff programs and fun for people of all ages from early childhood development to senior programs including affordable kosher meals to many 60 years or older.. We here at Deals in The Cuse support diversity and unification of our community and are grateful for places like the JCC of Syracuse.

Now I must warn you that while the prices here are not the cheapest offer in town however they have a lot to offer at their facilities and prices vary based on family size and whether you want to include their fitness facility or not. They do however have individual packages as well as family deals and those family deals start as low as $334. You can find all the packages and their prices by clicking the link to the actual membership forms here.

The Fun Warehouse Laser Tag

How about laser tag in Camillus for our final family deal? For a one time fee of only $10, you can become a member. Members get discounts on laser tag and events, access to leagues, tournaments and member parties and it comes with your own codename, tracking your stats, earning rewards and you can even link your account to Facebook and so much more. For all the details, click here.

You can also every Wednesday night from 5-8 PM participate in all you can play events for only $15 according to the website or plan a birthday party there starting as low as $170 for 10 players.