Every spring she nests on the light above the office door. At first I feel terrible as every time I open the door, and it’s a lot, she flies off. Eventually, she stays put. Could be because I talk to her all the time, as she will fly off if others come and go. One day not too long ago I noticed half of a blue shell on the ground. My first thought is that I hope something didn’t get the eggs. My second thought is that they are hatching. Well, this year, she had three. I say she but I think he helps a lot as there are always two around.
It was quiet at first. I caught site of the ugly little buggers not long after birth. Then, their beaks peaking out. Then the constant activity and chirping and feeding. I’ve caught he/she will a beak full of live worms. Many, many times. And now they are off. Until next year, or maybe again this year. It doesn’t take long. Love living in the country and at the 1795 Acorn Inn. Such a wonderful time of year.
May and June are my favorite months. The weather is crisp and cool but the sun warms the air. Life is new and the flowers and trees rejoice. It’s a gorgeous time of year and not yet swelling with visitors. Here are just a few of the many things to do this month in New York’s Finger Lakes.
And they’re off to the races! The 2016 racing season has begun at Finger Lakes Gaming & Race Track! Between races check out the gaming floor with over 1,500 gaming machines. Route 96, Farmington, 14425. (585) 924-3232. In addition to the horses there are slots. Slots, lots of slots. A fun evening out, especially if you win.
It’s National Bike Month! Time to hop on a bike and ride around the lakes! Bike rentals are available at RV&E Bike and Skate and Geneva Bicycle Center. RV&E Bike and Skate, 168 S. Main Street, Canandaigua, 14424. (585) 393-5680. Geneva Bicycle Center, 489 Exchange Street, Geneva, 14456. (315) 789-5922. The Finger Lakes is such a great area to bike. Personally I love the trails around Conesus Lake and the Erie Canal but there are so many others I haven’t tried yet.
Need a cool place to unwind during the weekend? Then head to the northern shores of Canandaigua Lake and enjoy a lakeside drink at The Inn on the Lake’s Sand Bar. If you have a boat in the water, feel free to dock along the waterfront at the hotel! 770 S. Main Street, Canandaigua, 14424. (585) 394-7800. The Sand Bar is a lovely place to grab a drink. But, be warned, everyone knows it. And, the Inn is a prime wedding location during spring, summer and fall.
The Ganondagan State Historic Site longhouse is now open! Learn about local Native American history at the site of a 17th century Seneca village. Make sure to visit the self-guided hiking trails and the recently opened Seneca Art & Culture Center at Ganondagan to see exhibits on the village or catch the award-winning Iroquois creation story film. 7000 County Road 41, Victor, 14564. (585) 924-5848. Admittedly I have not been to this historic site but I will make it there soon. Promise. It’s only a 15 minute ride from the 1795 Acorn Inn Bed and Breakfast.
Bristol Mountain Aerial Adventure Park is open on weekends! Soar through the air on the seven courses Aerial Adventures offers with 100 elements including ziplines, tight rope walks, rope ladders and bridges. Some of the elements reach almost 60 ft. high. Reservations are recommended. 5589 South Hill Road, Canandaigua, 14424. (585) 374-1180. I had so much fun completing three of the four levels of this course. I can’t wait to do it again and highly recommend this to my guests. It is really such a thrill.
Grape pies are a “must taste” in the Finger Lakes Region. Take a scenic drive on Route 21 to Naples and stop at a roadside stand or go right to Monica’s Pies. 7599 Route 21 South, Naples, 14512. (585) 374-2139. Yum! Monica makes an awesome chicken pot pie too.
In the warmer weather, L.L. Bean runs kayaking and stand up paddleboarding skills workshops and guided trips on beautiful Canandaigua Lake. This season will start on Saturday, May 28. L.L. Bean’s skilled instructors will show you the ropes on a kayak or stand up paddleboard then lead you on an adventure! (888) 552-5583. Make your reservation at www.llbean.com/adventure. Kayaking is wonderful on Canandaigua Lake. Kayaks can also be rented at Canandaigua Sailboarding right on the north shore.
Geneva Night Out offers an excellent way to get out and see what’s happenin’ in and around downtown Geneva. A recurring night of fun, this month’s event takes place on May 6 from 5 – 8 p.m. Spend the evening enjoying local foods as well as the work of local artists and musicians. For a downloadable map or more information please visit www.genevanightout.org.
Courtesy of Finger Lakes Visitor’s Connection. Thank you.
Come Plant Yourself in the Finger Lakes! Spend an afternoon enjoying wine and food pairings at each of the Canandaigua Wine Trails six member wineries. You’ll also receive a wine charm and collect seed packets at each winery to take home, plus the wine trail will donate a portion of the proceeds to the Arbor Day Foundation to help plant new trees. Tickets are $20 per person or $35 per couple and can be bought online at www.canandaiguawinetrail.com or at any member winery. Saturday, April 2 and Sunday, April 3 from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. For more information call (877) 386-4669 or visit www.canandaiguawinetrail.com.
No two people see things the exact same way. This is the theme of an exhibit of 50 landscapes by 16 artists at Main Street Arts. See landscapes portrayed in a range of mediums and diverse styles. Opening reception 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday, April 2 and on display until May 13. Main Street Arts. 20 West Main St., Clifton Springs, 14432. For more information call (315) 462-0210 or visit www.mainstreetartsgallery.com.
There’s no better way to celebrate the weekend Finger Lakes style than pairing a local beverage with live music at Roots Café in Naples. Kinloch Nelson kicks things off with a solo guitar performance Saturday, April 2 at 7:30 p.m. Catch The Lonely Ones on Friday, April 8 at 8:30 p.m. or Mulberry Soul Saturday, April 16 at 8:30 p.m. The Out of The Blue Trio performs Friday, April 22 at 8:30 p.m. and Steve Grills & The Roadmasters wrap things up Saturday, April 30 at 9 p.m. $5 cover for Mulberry Soul and Steve Grills, all others free. Roots Café, 197 N Main St., Naples, 14512. For more information call (585) 374-9800 or visit Roots Café on Facebook.
Spring is finally here! Need proof? Check out the flowers on display at Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion State Historic Park. Attend the Spring Wildflower & Orchid Show and stroll through the greenhouses and mansion. Raffle baskets with a variety of items from some of the area’s favorite shops, restaurants, and more will be on sale. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 22-24.Tickets are $10 per person, $5 for ages 4-16 and free for children three and under. Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion State Historic Park, 151 Charlotte St., Canandaigua, 14424. For more information call (585) 394-4922 or visit www.sonnenberg.org.
It’s officially spring and warmer weather means more hiking! Throw on those hiking boots, get on the trails, and breathe the fresh air. Stop by Finger Lakes Visitors Connection for your free hiking and biking kit. Finger Lakes Visitors Connection, 25 Gorham St., Canandaigua, 14424. For more information call (585) 394-3915 or visit www.visitfingerlakes.com.
Two centuries of art will be on display at Hobart and William Smith Colleges until April 22. The exhibit, titled, “Audubon to Warhol: Two Centuries of American Art on Paper” features American works on paper created from 1820 to the present. It explores technical differences and progressions as well as the various art “movements” of the period, such as social realism and modernism. The exhibit is open 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. on weekdays and 1:30 – 4:30 p.m. on Saturdays. The Davis Gallery at Houghton House, 1 Kings Ln., Geneva, 14456. For more information call (315) 781-3483 or visit www.hws.edu.
Be sure to get to Sonnenberg for the Annual Orchid Show! See beautiful orchids on exhibit and for sale, or sit in on a seminar or lecture. March 6-8, 10am-5pm. Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion State Historic Park, 151 Charlotte Street, Canandaigua. 585-394-4922.
March 7, the Assembled Image Gallery opens at Main Street Arts! An exhibition featuring collage, painting, and assemblage sculpture. Come taste the Artistic Life in the Finger Lakes! Main Street Arts, 20 West Main Street, Clifton Springs. 315-462-0210.
With a wide variety of films, concerts, and live performance to choose from, head to Geneva for an exciting night at the historic Smith Opera House! 82 Seneca Street, Geneva. 315-781-5483.
Don’t miss this year’s Spring Carnival Weekend at Bristol Mountain! Greet the change of seasons with a family fun day. With an Easter egg hunt, Slush Cup, tubing for kids under 8, snow volleyball, music, and much more it’s the place to be! Kids 12 and under receive a free lift ticket with a paid adult. March 14-15,
Bristol Mountain Winter Resort, 5662 Rt. 64, Canandaigua. 585-374-6000.
Looking for new outdoor gear for the spring? Head to Victor, and visit Eastview Mall, L.L Bean and The North Face for all of your outdoor needs! Whether it’s a new backpack or some new hiking shoes, Victor is your outdoor recreation shopping destination. Looking for more great shopping ideas? Give us a call at Finger Lakes Visitors Connection at 585-394-3915.
It’s Maple month! Experience maple sugaring the old-fashioned way during March! See demonstrations and taste the season’s first maple syrup during Maple Weekends, March 21-22 and 28-29 from 10am-4pm. Select farms are also holding pancake breakfasts! With Wohlschlegel’s Naples Maple Farm, Day Brothers Dairy & Maple, Schoff’s Sugar Shack, Stoney Ridge Farms, and Cummings Nature Center all in On- tario County, there is plenty to see and do! Check out all the great farms and dates for Maple Weekend at www.mapleweekend.com
Come “Plant Yourself in the Finger Lakes” with the Canandaigua Wine Trail March 21-22 and celebrate the beginning of Spring. From 12–5pm taste 3 wines and 3 small plate tapas that pair with the wine at each winery. You’ll also receive a plant to put in your garden or give to a friend. Tickets are $20 per person or $35 per couple, enhanced experience tickets are available. 585-394-3915, 877-387-4669.
If you’re looking to get out of the house, but are waiting until the first dandelion to be outside, head to KidVenture Dome, in Geneva. Loaded with fun activities for kids, KidVenture Dome offers a great way to get out and let everyone have some fun. Kids can play as long as they would like for $8 per child, except on Wednesdays when it’s only $2! After a day of fun take a break upstairs at the KidVenture Dome and catch a movie in the Jones Theatre. 499 Exchange Street, Geneva, 585-828-6705.
Winter adventure awaits at Bristol Mountain! Enjoy the highest vertical rise between the Adirondacks and the Rockies, 1,200 feet! The resort also has 34 trails, two terrain parks and two Nordic loops, as well as two high-speed lifts and a mountainside waffle hut. Bristol Mountain Winter Resort, 5662 Route 64, Canandaigua. 585-374-6000.
Stay warm this winter at the Smith Opera House. From concerts to movies, there’s something for everyone. Smith Opera House, 82 Seneca Street, Geneva. For show details and tickets call 315-781-5483.
Step inside the Ontario County Historical Society Museum and learn about Ontario County’s rich history. Check out the exhibit “Tying the Knot,” which explores 200 years of wedding tradition between 1790 – 1990. Ontario County Historical Society Museum, 55 North Main Street, Canandaigua. 585-394-4975.
Wine is great in the Finger Lakes! This winter visit one of our local wineries and breweries for tastings and products. For a list of wineries and breweries visit www.visitfingerlakes.com or contact the FLVC office for more details, 25 Gorham Street, Canandaigua. 585-394-3915.
We think it’s the only 2-story brick outhouse in the country! We’re serious, too! Tour the Phelps Historical Society Museum to see this unique feature and to learn about many other interesting facts of local history. Call for hours. Phelps Historical Society Museum, 66 Main Street, Phelps. 315-548-4940.
Take a class and beef up your culinary skills at the NY Wine & Culinary Center. From macaroni and cheese to vegetarian cooking to chicken wings and more, there’s a class for every skill level and interest! Reservations necessary. NY Wine & Culinary Center, 800 South Main Street, Canandaigua. 585-394-7070.
Feeling lucky? Head to Finger Lakes Gaming and Racetrack and bet on some simulcast horseracing or enjoy more than 1,500 video gaming machines. The 10,000 square-foot “All You Can Eat” Vineyard Buffet is also open daily. Finger Lakes Gaming and Racetrack, 5857 Route 96, Farmington. 585-924-3232.
Explore nature while snowshoeing or cross-country skiing at the 900-acre Cumming Nature Center. Cumming Nature Center is an environmental education center with 15 miles of groomed ski trails and a 3-mile loop for snowshoeing. Cumming Nature Center, 6472 Gulick Road, Naples. 585-374-6160.
It’s difficult to believe it’s July already. Time keeps flying by. Perhaps because there is just so much to do. Here’s just a tidbit of what’s happening this month around Canandaigua in Upstate New York’s Finger Lakes.
Celebrate Independence Day in the Finger Lakes! Fireworks will be on display throughout the region. For more information on dates and times, go to visitfingerlakes.com/july-4-fireworks or call
Finger Lakes Visitors Connection at 585-394-3915.
Enjoy the spectacular views and a great meal aboard the Canandaigua Lady. Take a cruise on this 18th century replica paddleboat — a must do while you are here. Lunch and dinner cruises, afternoon excursions. Relax and enjoy a beautiful ride. 205 Lakeshore Dr., Canandaigua. 585-396-7350
Sonnenberg Gardens Moonlight Stroll series is here! The gardens of Sonnenberg are always a sight to see, but especially under the moonlight. July 4, 11, 18, 25 and Aug. 1 from 8pm to 10pm, the Moonlight Stroll Music Series features live music, wine by the glass and refreshments. Gates open at 7:30pm. Admission is required. 151 Charlotte Street, Canandaigua. 585-394-4922.
Looking for farm fresh, local juice? Swing by Red Jacket Orchards’ newly renovated farm store providing a unique culinary experience! Located in Geneva, come see what 50 years of mastering the art and science of growing quality fresh fruit and juice production tastes like! 957 New York 5, Geneva. 315-781-2749.
Be sure to check out the Hill Cumorah Pageant. Watch this beautiful religious story on an outdoor 10 level stage, twelve-tower lighting, state-of-the-art sound system, Hollywood special effects and cast of over 650. July 11-12 and 15-19, 9pm. Hill Cumorah Visitors Center, 603 State Route 21, Palmyra. 315-597-5851.
Don’t miss the Stuart Horse Trials, an Olympic-style equine event featuring dressage, natural obstacle course and show jumping. July 11-13. For a complete schedule, visit www.stuarthorsetrials.org.
Stuart Horse Trials, Murray Rd., off County Rd. 41, Victor. 585-657-6980.
Take the family for a day of water and fun at Roseland Waterpark. 58 acre waterpark with a giant wave pool, raft ride, Adventure River, two body flumes and tube slides. Roseland Waterpark, 250 Eastern Blvd., Canandaigua. 585-396-2000.
You’re invited to the 171st Ontario County Fair! Featuring a diverse line-up of events and agriculture fun! The Fair is great for the whole family and offers a variety of exciting activities for all ages. July 22-26 Tickets are sold on-site for events. 2820 County Road 10, Canandaigua.
Come experience Ganondagan’s Native American Dance & Music Festival on July 26-27 from 10am to 6pm. The two-day event features live music and dance, Iroquois dance performances, artisan demonstrations, traditional storytelling, Wegmans Family Discovery Tent, Native Arts Market, interpretive programs at the Bark Longhouse. 1488 New York 444, Victor. 585-742-1690
This little lady built this nest in less than a day. The quality of workmanship is outstanding. And, such a treat to watch her make it. After bringing materials, she wiggles out the perfect nest with her breast and then her feet. Turning a quarter each time. This is the second year she has built this nest outside the Bristol Suite window where guests will soon be able to see her beautiful blue eggs. And, then to watch them throughout their growth from ugly, featherless chicks to sweet baby red-breasted Robins taking that first flight. I assume it’s a she but don’t know for sure. Nature is simply amazing.