Things to do & see
Watertown’s illustrious past is evidenced by the many stately mansions and dignified buildings of the historic downtown district. You can learn more about Watertown’s unique history by touring the extensive collections of the Jefferson County Historical Society Museum, which is housed in the 19th century Paddock Mansion. The Flower Memorial Library is another historic building worth visiting. It was built in 1904 to honor the late New York Governor, Roswell P. Flower.
A great family attraction to visit while in Watertown is the New York State Zoo at Thompson Park. The historic 355-acre Thompson Park, designed by the Olmsted brothers, has been a gathering place for locals and visitors. Stone pavilions and picnic areas are available for public use or private reservation with the city Parks & Recreation Department. Aside from the zoo, the park is home to an elaborate wooden playground, tennis courts, large open fields used for sports, several hiking and biking trails and the 18-hole Watertown Golf Club.
If you visit in the spring, summer or fall, arrange for a whitewater rafting adventure on the Black River, home to world-renowned whitewater play areas, and a rafting run that includes 14 sets of challenging rapids rated Class III and IV. Or, enjoy the River from a riverside park or trail.
Black River rafting video
Detailed events list from Watertown Daily Times
The Dry Hill Ski Area offers affordable family skiing, night skiing, snowboarding and snowtubing. Snowboarders and skiers alike flock to this quaint hill just south of Watertown each winter. The lake effect snow off Lake Ontario helps cover its nearly dozen trails with fresh-packed snow, while snow-making equipment provides a good base down the hill. The resort offers ski instruction and rentals, a food court and lounge, and a snow tubing park that is enjoyed by both young and old.
Call or check website to confirm hours of operation
18160 Alpine Ridge Road, Watertown, NY 13601
315-782-8584 or 1-800-379-8584
Become a speciman in a giant kaleidoscope, leave your glowing shadow on a wall, create laser patterns or see the world through a microscope. The sciece museum on Stone Street offers more than 40 hands-on exhibits, focusing on light, vision, sound and general science. Fun for all ages!
Check out Thompson Park Vortex at
New York's Haunted History Trail
New York Path Through HIstory
Northern New York's premier sports and entertainment facility. It recently underwent a $10 million upgrade, providing more seating and modern amenities. The building hosts ice skating events in the winter as well as concerts, trade shows, festivals and other community events in the spring and summer.
An indoor family play center that focuses on healthy fun. Toddler and children's activities are designed to develop muscle coordination and motor skills. An arcade, climbing wall, lazer tag and more activities round out the fun. Fun Xcape includes an in-house cafe for food and drinks.
Hackers delight with more than 80 holes spread across four distinct courses!
Watertown's golfing season extends from early April's spring buds, through the ideal summer temperatures and well into spectacular fall vistas.
The city has borne out some scratch golfers and it's easy to see why. There's no shortatge of options to make your next golf outing a hole-in-one!