The unofficial start to summer means burgers fresh from the grill, patriotic displays and friendly cornhole games with the ones you love.
We’re here to help you plan a fun-packed weekend for you and your family. Keep reading for a list of family-friendly activities, at-home escapes and tasty BBQ for your three-day weekend.
Please Note: If you and your family plan on attending any in-person events this Memorial Day weekend, please remember to celebrate responsibly by adhering to each establishments' COVID-19 protocols.
REVEL IN THE RETURN OF LIVE MUSIC
Who's ready for live music?! Cortland County venues are working hard to fill their calendars with the best local and regional artists, and a few spots are ready to rock right now. Here's a sample of Memorial Day weekend music in the county:
- Jess Novak at Homer Hops Brewing (5/28 at 6 p.m.)
- Short Change at Cortland Beer Co. (5/28 at 7 p.m.)
- Patrick Young at Homer Hops Brewing (5/29 at 6 p.m.)
- Mike Aiken at Cortland Beer Co. (5/29 at 7 p.m.)
- Farmers Union at Cortland Beer Co. (5/30 at 7 p.m.)
EAT GOOD BARBEQUE
You'll never need an excuse to indulge in good barbeque, but a long holiday weekend practically demands it. Luckily Cortland County has Bob's BBQ to satisfy your cravings. The joint is serving up generous portions of ribs, brisket, pulled pork and chicken with sides that range from mac salad and salt potatoes, to baked beans and corn bread. You can enjoy picnic seating under cover in their pavilion or in their beautifully landscaped grounds.
TEST YOUR MINI-GOLF SKILLS
Enjoy 18 holes of friendly competition at Shipwreck Amusements, which includes their Guinness World Record holding Longest Miniature Golf Hole (459 feet and 6 inches). The outdoor pirate course will make you feel like you're on a treasure hunt. If golf isn’t your thing, they also offer outdoor Paintball Target Shooting. Don't forget to treat the winner to an ice cream cone at their snack shop.
SPLASH YOUR WAY INTO SUMMER
Even if Mother Nature isn't cooperating, you can enjoy perfect 84 degree weather at Cascades Indoor Waterpark at Hope Lake Lodge of Greek Peak Mountain Resort. Kids can splash away in the kiddie pool, wave pool and slides (Rapids 4 and 5), while the adults relax in the outdoor pool. Please note, features can be enjoy in 3 hour scheduled sessions to maintain social distancing. You need to make a reservation to - purchasing a ticket establishes an RSVP. Tickets may be purchase here or by call 855-950-7233.
TRAVEL THE ICE CREAM TRAIL
If you're looking for ice cream, you're in luck! The area is home to an ice cream trail, featuring nine places and loads of delicious flavors. Try one of 52 soft serve flavors from Footies Freez, grab a frozen yogurt at the Little Treat Shoppe, savor homemade hard ice cream from Super Cream Dairy Bar or enjoy the perfect a banana split sundae at Country Flavors. Check out the full list of ice cream stops in Cortland County.
TEST THE WATERS
Virgil's Hope Lake Park is slated to open on Saturday, May 29. You can rent out everything from canoes to row boats, stand up paddle boards and fishing poles. If you just want to enjoy the sunshine, pack a picnic to relax by the water, and walk the trails that surround Greek Peak Mountain Resort.
The park is open 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., and the beach is open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Looking for more socially distant activities? Check out this list of socially distant activities, at-home escapes and BBQ to go for your three-day weekend.
THANK A VET
If there is an active or retired military member in your life, pick up the phone to thank them for their service. Even if you don't know anyone, enlist your kids to create red, white and blue signage to display in your windows or lawns, or send supportive mail to an active service member via Support Our Troops (SOT). Visit the website to learn how to write to a soldier and how to address your cards or letters.
EXPLORE THE OUTDOORS
Winter seemed to last longer than usual this year, so take full advantage of the upcoming beautiful weekend. Dust off the bike, kayak, fishing rod or hiking boots and spend the day enjoying Cortland County's natural beauty. For a list of hiking destinations for you, your family and your four-legged friends, click here.
HAVE A MINI COOKOUT
Party of four? Fire up the grill, set up lawn games to play with the kids and . Stop by one of the county's markets like Anderson's Market, Trinity Valley Farm and The Local Food Market for fresh produce and meat.
If grilling isn't in the cards this weekend, order takeout from one of Cortland County's great restaurants. Not only will you be supporting local, but there will be no dishes to clean. Please remember that hours and services vary based on location, so we recommend checking out the restaurant's website or Facebook page for details, or call ahead in the event that the location has an adjusted schedule. For a full list of restaurants, click here.
GO (BACKYARD) CAMPING
Until you feel comfortable visiting one of Cortland County campgrounds, there's no reason why you can't turn your backyard into the great outdoors! Set up your tent and sleeping bags, and camp outside for the weekend. Spend time playing cards, making s'mores, popping popcorn and telling scary stories. If it's a kid's only camping trip, it's a great time for adults to relax on the porch with a cocktail (see below).
GRILL WITH YOUR NEIGHBORS
You may not be able to throw a big bash at your house this weekend, but you can still grill with friends and cheers to the unofficial start to summer. Encourage your neighbors to move their grills, picnic tables and lawn chairs to the front yard and enjoy a socially-distant cookout! While the adults swap grilling tips, kids can create patriotic chalk art on the sidewalks. Don't forget to take photos of the celebrations and tag @experiencecortland.
BRING THE COCKTAILS TO YOUR LIVING ROOM
For those 21 and over, several Cortland County restaurants are offering cocktails to go—Margaritas, Moscow Mules, Bloody Mary's or a classic Old Fashioned, anyone? If you're not a fan of mixed drinks, Cortland Beer Company has their fresh brews available in cans and growlers, and the Finger Lakes Tasting & Tap Room has a variety of NYS wines, ciders, spirits and beer, as well as wine slushies. Sit on the front porch, sip on your drink and watch YouTube videos of the ocean.
Share your Cortland County photos and videos with us for a chance to be featured! Tag @experiencecortland and use hashtag #experiencecortland.