I work as an Ambassador (Tour Guide) in the Admissions Office and one of the questions I field most frequently is, “What is there to do in Utica?” My answer to that is simple, there are LOADS of things to do. Not only are there events on campus all of the time, the city itself hosts numerous fun and interesting attractions. And, the best part is, most of the activities are not too far from campus! Throughout the semester I plan on revisiting this topic and adding attractions as the season changes, and as I, myself, discover new things as well!
This posting is going to focus on things to do during the Winter season, and are all basically places you can go to get a reprieve from the cold…which is not to say you couldn’t go to these places in other seasons! Most of the attractions are year round! (I also included an estimate for cost because I know the college student “low-fund” struggle.)
Catch a Comets Game!
The Utica Comets are Utica’s professional hockey team. They play in the AHL league, and their games generate quite a bit of buzz. The city is proud of the team, and it’s a must-see for anyone near the city to go to a game! I’m not a hockey fan, but its hard to not get caught up in all of the commotion that comes with a big game. The games tend to sell out quickly, so be sure to check out their website to see when they are playing!
The Comets home arena is the Utica Memorial Auditorium, which is where the Utica College Pioneers have their own home hockey games! (For those unaware, its 610 Oriskany St) so this excursion will take you only 5 minutes from campus! This activity is the most expensive out of all of the ones listed, but it’s worth the money! Seeing a game is something everyone has to do at least once!
Grab a Cup of Coffee at Utica Roasting
Utica Roasting is a locally owned business which, according to their website is, “committed to offering the highest quality coffee available from around the world—right here in downtown Utica.” They source their beans from around the world, and then roast them right in their shop in Downtown Utica. They pride themselves on fair trade coffee, and buy local products for everything else. Even if coffee isn’t your thing they have a wide variety of teas, and juice products.
Located right on 92 Genesee Street, not too far from the Utica Memorial Auditorium, it is central and not even 10 minutes from campus. The cost is definitely affordable for a cup of coffee, and even leaves you room to buy a muffin or bagel to go with your drink!
Oogle at Art at Munson Williams
Located right up the street from Utica Roasting is one of my favorite places in Utica, The Munson Williams Proctor Arts Institute. It’s a museum dedicated to enriching the community by having various styles of art represented. The museum makes use of the space by having numerous styles and mediums represented, from sculpture to photography to water color to many other types. They also have various exhibits which come in and only stay for a brief period of time, so you can keep coming back to see new things! They also have a film series which shows movies which may not make it to mainstream cinemas; it’s my favorite way to catch a lesser known film. They also show various short and foreign films. Check out their website for more events, exhibit schedules, and films which are currently being shown.
Located at 310 Genesee Street, it is literally right in the middle of the city. Once again, it is not even 10 minutes from campus. The cost is FREE to enter the general museum, the film series is very reasonable for students, and the additional exhibits have a small cost. (Be sure to ask for the student rate!)
I hope you give all these activities a try some time soon! Since they are all located quite close to one another, you could make a day out of it and do all of them at once! But, be sure to check out my future blog posts for more fun things to do around Utica!