Parks Department Encourages Community to Embrace Winter

Sledding resumes at Burnet Park with a new “bunny hill” at Sunnycrest

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – As the temperatures continue to dip and the snow keeps falling, take advantage of opportunities to stay active. This year, the Department of Parks, Recreation, and Youth Programs will offer sledding, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and ice-skating at several locations throughout the city.

“Winter is our time of year and we want people to enjoy it. We’ll continue to have sledding at Burnet Park and are thrilled to open another location at Sunnycrest,” said Mayor Ben Walsh.  “We’re proud to offer fun and affordable options for our community to embrace Syracuse’s most famous season.”

“Our city parks offer so many ways for our community to get outside, enjoy the snow, and make memories with family, friends, and neighbors,” said Julie LaFave, commissioner of the Parks Department. “My team and I work hard to staff our facilities on weekends and school breaks, and many of us participate in winter sports when we’re off the clock.”

Winter Recreation

The ski lodges at Burnet and Sunnycrest Parks are open for winter activities on Saturdays and Sundays as well as weekdays during December and February school breaks from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.All activities are offered weather permitting. Please check the city’s website at http://www.syrgov.net/parks/  or the “Syracuse Parks & Rec” Facebook page for information.Both ski lodges have bathrooms and provide a comfortable space to warm up. Payments at all locations must be made in the form of cash or check.

Sledding

In addition to Burnet Park, the City will designate another sledding site at Sunnycrest that is a lesser incline and well-suited for families with young children. Sledding hills are designated areas marked with official signs and snow fencing. Please note that sledding is not allowed outside of the designated areas or outside of designated hours. A list of sledding guidelines is included on page 3.

Snowshoeing

Snowshoes are available at Burnet and Sunnycrest Parks. A rental package is offered during ski lodge hours. The cost is $3 for adults and free for children (12 and under) with the purchase of an adult rental.

Cross-Country Skiing

Cross-country skiing is only available at Sunnycrest Park. A rental package is offered during ski lodge hours. The cost is $5 for adults and $1 for children (12 and under). An adaptive sled, designed to be used on ski trails, is available for rent for $3.

For those new to cross-country skiing, there will be free, introductory ski lessons offered each Sunday from 1 to 2 p.m. at the Sunnycrest Lodge.

Ice-Skating

The City offers ice-skating at three locations. The Clinton Square Ice Rink is open every day through March 9. Hours of operation, skating specials, and early closings or cancellations for Clinton Square can be found on the city’s website or by calling 315-423-0129.

The Sunnycrest Ice Rink is open every day through March 30. Hours of operation, skating specials, and early closings or cancellations for Sunnycrest can be found on the city’s website or by calling 315-473-4696.

The Meachem Ice Rink is open Tuesday through Saturday, year-round. Hours of operation, skating specials, and early closings or cancellations for Meachem can be found on the city’s website or by calling 315-492-0179.

Children ages 12 and younger must always be accompanied by an adult. All children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult after dark. There are a limited number of skate-aids available to assist skaters on a first-come, first-served basis.

The general admission fee is $3.00. The admission fee for children (12 and under) and seniors (55 and older) is $2.00. Skate rentals cost $3.00.

Special Events

Skating with Santa

Santa Claus will be skating at Clinton Square Ice Rink on Dec. 14 and 15, and again on Dec. 22 and 23 from 12 to 3 p.m. each day.

Holiday Hay Ride

December 14 and 15 is last weekend to enjoy the annual Holiday Hayride at Burnet Park, which runs from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m each night. Admission is free and no reservations are required, but space is limited.

Attendees should gather at the warming room at Burnet Park where Santa awaits to visit with youngsters. Free holiday treats are available while families wait to board the horse-drawn wagons for a ride through the snow covered Burnet Park.

Sledding Guidelines

The City of Syracuse Parks, Recreation & Youth Programs Department reserves the right to enforce all rules. Failure to abide by sledding hill rules may result in dismissal from the site. The list of rules are included below and onsite at Burnet and Sunnycrest Parks.

  • Children must be supervised at all times by parents.
  • Sledding is a hazardous activity and presents substantial risk. Use of the sledding hill is at your own risk.
  • Only plastic saucers, sleds, and inner tubes are allowed. No metal edges, wooden toboggans, skis, or snowboards are permitted.
  • Sledding is only permitted during daylight hours when the open sign is posted. For official hours of operation, check the “Syracuse Parks & Rec” Facebook page.
  • Use the designated walking lanes to return to the top of the hill.
  • No alcoholic beverages.
  • No standing, kneeling, or interlocking of sleds. Must sled facing forward.

Park Locations and Information

Burnet Park is located on the westside, bounded by Avery Avenue, Coleridge Avenue, and Grand Avenue. Directions and more information are available at http://www.syracuse.ny.us/Parks/burnetPark.html.

Sunnycrest Park is located in Eastwood, bounded by Robinson Street, Sunnycrest Road, and Caleb Avenue. Directions and more information are available at http://www.syracuse.ny.us/Parks/sunnycrestPark.html.

Clinton Square is located downtown at the intersection of Erie Boulevard West and North Salina Street. Directions and more information are available at http://www.syracuse.ny.us/Parks/clintonSquareEvents.html.

Meachem Park is located in the Valley, on West Seneca Turnpike. Directions and more information are available at http://www.syrgov.net/Parks/MeachemIceRink.html.