Christmas break for the kids will be here before you know it. Of course there's lots of stuff to around Central New York but if you're looking for some good day trip ideas, read on.

There are lots of things to see and do across the state, but we looked at the top "educational" attractions that will keep the kids happy and keep them from sitting in front of the TV all vacation long.

Via Aquarium has been open since November 2016 in the Rotterdam Square Mall. They boast over 25,000 square feet of "oceanic treasures". Their tunnel tanks give you an incredible view of sea life surrounding you on all sides. Lots of hands on stuff too - the kids can touch a live sting ray or or other aquatic life, and see some amazing creatures up close. Really close!

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The Museum of Science & Technology always has so many interesting, hands-on activities, the kids won't even know they're learning something! It's a great location too, right in Armory Square.

Their Polar Express Pajama Parties are sold out, but you can find out about other upcoming events at


You're never too old to have fun here! Kids of all ages will find something to love about the Museum of Play. From Sesame Street and lots of hands-on exhibits kids can play with, to the endless rooms of collections of every toy imaginable. And their collection of electronic games is one of the biggest in the world. You can take your kids there from year to year and still find something new every time. If you think you might want to go there more than twice a year, it's definitely worth it to get a full year family membership. You can find out more at


Sciencenter is another educational gem, just 2 hours away from Utica. It is an extremely active center with lots of special events and programs for the kids. Check out their calendar for a list of upcoming activities - most of them are included with regular admission. Find out more at


The Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, NY is a fascinating place dedicated to all things glass. The museum explores the long history of this versatile material, examining it's many uses throughout the ages, from artistic expressions of ancient cultures to scientific uses in contemporary society. The museum makes a great family day trip from Central New York, just under 3 hours from the Utica area depending on which scenic route you choose. The best part, it's free for children 17 and under.


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