7 New York state food destinations you and your family can visit
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7 New York state food destinations you and your family can visit

Apr 12, 2022

New York state is full of attractions and activities for the entire family — and many of those involve food. From authentic Buffalo chicken wing tours, farmers' museums to chocolate-making experiences, there are options for everyone.

Here's a list of some destinations in New York to visit, especially if the kids are home for spring break.

  1. The Farmers' Museum in Cooperstown

The Farmer's Museum in Cooperstown offers a window into rural and village life from the 19th century through exhibits and interactive workshops.

The museum has a baking in the Lippit Farmhouse event happening between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday, April 16. People can learn how to bake traditional breads and cakes using the brick bake oven, a bake kettle or the Dutch oven. The event requires advance registration and is limited to six participants. The price for members is $95 and for nonmembers it is $105, which includes lunch. Participants also will be given home cookbooks with historical recipes.

The museum has a recreated historic village with homes, an 1840s school, the Empire State Carousel and a Colonial Revival stone barn. Founded in 1943, the museum highlights upstate New York architecture, 19th century agricultural tools, equipment, heritage and livestock, according to the website.

From April 1 until May 6, the Farmers' Museum is open from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.

  1. Buffalo wing trail

The tour is a pilgrimage to the birthplace of Buffalo chicken wings. People can visit more than a dozen restaurants, pubs and bars and taste their popular wings while learning about the history of the city and this classic American dish.

Anchor Bar is one of the many stops on the trial and is considered the bar that created the recipe for Buffalo chicken wings in 1964. Every restaurant has its own unique way of making chicken wings. Other stops include Elmo’s Bar & Restaurant, Duff’s Famous Wings and Glen Park Tavern, among others.

A 25-minute drive from Niagara Falls, Buffalo also offers many restaurants and activities to visitors.

  1. Critz Farms and Critz Farms Brewing & Cider Co. in Cazenovia

This family-friendly farm offers makes its own maple syrup as well as more than 10 different hard ciders and eight craft beers, which people can try at the tasting room. One of their signature products is the non-alcoholic maple syrup that is aged in a brandy barrel.

While maple season is over, people still can try and purchase their maple syrup year round. The farm also has two playgrounds and animals such as goats, a llama and ponies, which are popular among children.

It's located near Cazenovia at an hour drive from Utica, three and a half miles from Route 20.

  1. Ithaca Farmers Market

At Ithaca's Farmers Market, people will find products from local farms and artisans that are produced within 30 miles from the market. Vendors are divided into three categories: agriculture, food and artisan.

The market has a variety of eat-in and take-out foods, baked goods and beverages, fresh produce, free-range eggs, meat and cheese, specialty foods and fine art and craft, according to the market's website. The market also has space for picnics.

Run by a cooperative of 165 local vendors, the market is open on Saturdays between April until December and Sundays from May until November. It is located in a park on the Cayuga Lake waterfront, two hours away from Utica.

While in Ithaca, people can also take the year-round Ithaca Is Foodies tours, which takes visitors around the town's restaurants and bars and shows its culture, history and architecture.

  1. Jell-O Gallery Museum in Le Roy

For lovers of Jell-O and antiquities, this gallery museum is dedicated to exhibits about Jell-O, which many people may not know it was invented in Le Roy in 1897. The museum offers a trip back in time through original advertising art, collectibles, recipe books and other memorabilia of "America's most Famous Dessert."

The Jell-O Gallery Museum is operated by the Le Roy Historical Society and it is open from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Tickets for adults cost $5.50; for children up to 12 years old it is $1.50; and children 5 and younger enter for free.

A 30-minute drive from Rochester, the area also has numerous restaurants as well as a replica of the Statue of Liberty at the Le Roy Historic House.

  1. Corning’s Chocolate Trail

For those that don't mind the drive, the Chocolate Trail is a self-guided tour through the walkable streets of Corning's Gaffer District, which stops at different businesses that offer chocolate delicacies such as handcrafted chocolates, chocolate-scented soap, and more.

People can take a look at the list of businesses on the Gaffer District's website or by downloading the Explore Steuben app. The tour itself is free and people can purchase products from the different stores. A 20-minute drive from Elmira a, Corning has other destinations such as the glass museum and was voted the most fun small town in America in 2013.

  1. Barkeater Chocolates in North Creek

For people who have a sweet tooth, the Barkeater Chocolates is a candy store that makes gourmet all-natural chocolates in the Adirondacks. Besides chocolates, truffles, peanut butter cups and other sweet treats, the candy store also offers chocolate-making experiences for people of different ages.

Chocolate-making sessions at Barkeater Chocolates in North Creek.

Families can learn how to make chocolate confection and learn about the history of chocolate cultivation or can go on their Haunted Factory Chocolate Session, where people can learn about the store's haunted history and finish with making sweet chocolate ghosts, among other activities and workshops. All experiences are pre-paid and reserved ahead of time with a minimum of four and a maximum of eight people and no walk-ins are accomodated. Barkeater Chocolates does public and private sessions, which are very popular in the summer and fall.

The candy store is located in North Creek at an hour and 48-minute drive from Utica.


Maria M. Silva covers food, drink and culture in the Mohawk Valley for the Observer-Dispatch. Email her at mariamsilva@gannett.com

By Maria M. Silva, Observer-Dispatch

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