Summer break is only days away, but not everybody will be leaving Binghamton when the spring semester comes to a close. For those of you staying in Binghamton for the summer session, here are a few ways to keep busy.
The Greater Binghamton area is home to the largest collection of carousels in the world. With six in the area, Binghamton has been nicknamed “The Carousel Capital of the World.”
But most Binghamton University students have probably never seen one in action, since the carousels only operate during the summer months. The six carousels are located in parks in Johnson City, Binghamton, Endicott and Endwell and are only open from Memorial Day to Labor Day. They’re free to ride.
If riding porcelain horses isn’t your thing, the parks that house the carousels each have attractions of their own. For example, Recreation Park, located between Beethoven and Seminary Streets on Binghamton’s West Side, is also home to a community swimming pool, and the Ross Park Zoo is the fifth-oldest zoo in the nation.
4. Movies at Loews
After the massive success of “The Avengers” last weekend, the people at Rotten Tomatoes are predicting a record-breaking summer at the box office.
New installments of the Batman and Spiderman franchises, another Pixar flick, Ridley Scott’s return to the “Alien” universe and new films from auteurs Woody Allen, Wes Anderson and Oliver Stone are just a snippet of the popcorn fare that will be hitting screens this summer.
What better way to enjoy them than in the cushy red recliners at the AMC Loews in Town Square Plaza?
3. Rec Park Music Fest
Every July, local musicians take to the Greek rotunda in Rec Park to perform for the Rec Park Music Fest. The event was founded 16 years ago by members of the local rock group Rhythm Gypsys and has been a “flying success ever since,” according to the event’s website.
Last year’s festival featured local musicians of all styles, including folk, country, blue grass, rock & roll and ragtime. The event will be held from 1 to 8:40 p.m. on Sunday, July 17.
2. Swimming in the Ithaca gorges
Less than an hour away, the gorges in Ithaca and the Finger Lakes, if you are willing to drive a little bit further, offer many scenic swimming locations if you’re looking to escape the summer heat.
Buttermilk Falls State Park offers some of the nicest trails and swimming holes in the area. But for the thrill seekers, there are plenty of spots for gorge jumping off the beaten path.
After a day in the gorges, Ithaca Commons is a great place to grab lunch. I would recommend Viva Taqueria, but there are plenty other places to choose from.
The New York Mets’ double-A affiliate has been playing at NYSEG Stadium in Binghamton since 1992. Their season began in April and will be running through the summer.
Tickets are only $7 for students and the stadium is walking distance from plenty of pre- or post-game entertainment. The Art Mission Theater, the best place in Binghamton to catch recent indie or foreign films, is only two blocks east of the stadium, and Tranquil Bar & Bistro, owned by Binghamton University professor Sean Massey, is just a block south.