The Best Things in Life are Free

Your Finger Lakes getaway doesn’t have to break the bank

Discounts are great. Affordable is important. Inexpensive is nice…But FREE? That’s a word that commands attention. The peaceful nature and stunning vistas of the Finger Lakes are always free (some might say “priceless”), but here are a few manmade attractions that invite you in with or without your wallet.

The world-renowned Corning Museum of Glass  as well as the Rockwell Museum of Western Art  both admit kids and teens (19 and under) for free all year round. Both museums have family-friendly programs happening throughout the year.

The International Motor Research Racing Center at Watkins Glen is a treasure trove of information for racing fanatics. This library/archival museum devoted to collecting, preserving and presenting the history of motor sports.

Rochester’s Lilac Festival, named a Top 100 event by the American Bus Association in 2009, is a celebration of springtime suitable for all ages. The festival includes hundreds of vendors, free entertainment including performances by international recording artists, daily special events, a parade, and of course beautiful lilacs in full bloom. May 14-23. Various other festivals in the Finger Lakes are also free, including the Corning GlassFest, the Keuka Arts Festival, the Palmyra Bird Fest, Fairport Canal Days, and the Canandaigua Wine Walks - to name just a few!

From suffrage to civil rights, many great men and women have made history in the Finger Lakes. Their legacy can be explored at historic sites around the region, some of which are open and free to the public. For living history, the annual Hill Cumorah Pageant is also free. This outdoor theatrical production depicts stories from the Bible and the Book of Mormon with a cast of 650, special effects, and music. July 9-10, 13-17.

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