Onanda Park Dock GirlsFor the third summer in row my family is hosting a girl named Mimi from the Fresh Air Fund. The Fresh Air Fund is a program where children who live in New York City get matched up with a host family in a suburban or rural area to spend part of the summer with. My kids (Alyssa, Gavin, and Brody) and I were in search of a relaxing, fun day to show Mimi a slice of what the Finger Lakes has to offer.

Onanda Park Swimming Playing


We decided to visit Onanda Park in Canandaigua. Before we headed out the door we packed a picnic lunch, towels, swimsuits, water shoes, sunscreen, and the camera. Our drive through Manchester and Shortsville was beautiful. The streetscape of those little towns were so charming. The hanging flower baskets were some of the most gorgeous I have ever seen. In Canandaigua the drive along West Lake Road was alluring. The kids (ages 13, 11, 6, and 5) all oohed and ahhed over the breathtaking views of Canandaigua Lake.

As soon as we pulled into the park the kids were ready to go. Our first stop in the park was the beach. It is situated on the rocky shore however the rocks are smooth, small, and fun for the kids to dig in.  We were all entertained for hours playing in the water and finding cool-looking rocks. The wooden Adirondack chairs situated by the water made a perfect place for me to relax while the kids continued to swim.Onanda Park Picnic

After swimming, we decided to check out the playground.  There was a game on the playground called “Spin Racer” which consisted on three colored cars and an arrow you spun that landed on a number. The car that gets to the end first, wins. It was a favorite and even intrigued the older girls.  We walked over to the tennis and basketball courts and played on the beach volleyball court (just remember to bring your own balls). We took in the view from the dock and sat next to the lake to enjoy our picnic lunch.

Scoops Ice CreamWhat a perfect park this was for the entire family. I foresee another trip to Onanda Park in the very near future. I may even sneak away myself to read a book in an Adirondack chair overlooking the lake and rolling hills.

Of course our day didn't just end there. Who could go for an outing with the kids without stopping for a treat on the way home?  Scoops, a popular ice cream shop across the street from Canandaigua Lake, caught the kids’ wandering eyes while we were driving on Lakeshore Drive. We all ordered some ice cream from their vast variety of flavors. Part of the reason why the kids loved their ice cream so much was because they ate it while sitting on the ice cream cone seats. 

The two younger boys fell asleep on the drive back home. Even the older girls went to bed early that night. That gave me some time all to myself before I too started dreaming of our next adventure.

I would say a day in the Finger Lakes was a success!