You don't have to travel far to find fun things to do. The Otsiningo Farmer's market is a great place to spend a Saturday. "People usually come to Farmer's Market to get the fresher produce, the fresher eggs, to meet the people who are growing their food," Market Manager Abigail Stevens said. "It's become very important that they know how their food is grown."
The Farmer's Market is open every Saturday from 9am to 1pm in the park. It's more than just fruits and vegetables at the market. "We have a dairy vendor, we have produce, we have meat, we have people who sell fresh eggs," Stevens said. "We have people who sell spa products, herbal remedy products a little bit of everything." And not only is the produce fresh, it's very affordable. "There's a couple of different things that make it affordable for everyone," Stevens said. "Right now we are offering the EBT program so they would come in and get tokens when they slide their card. There are the senior checks that are out that the seniors get. There's
the WIC checks that the mother's get but now there's also a newer program called Fresh Checks and that program allows us to give out two extra dollars for every 5 dollars that they swipe their EBT card for so they're actually getting some free money to go and spend at market." At the end of October this year the market will move indoors and be located at the Metro Center in downtown Binghamton.
Another great place to go and bring the kids is the Discovery Center. It's been a staple in the community for 30 years, and if you haven't been there in a while you may not know that they are constantly changing and adding exhibits.
The Discovery Center is a hands-on children museum which features over 30 play and learn exhibits. "We are 30 years old this year," Martha Steed, director of marketing said.
The Discovery Center is celebrating its 30th Anniversary this year. "And we started off in downtown Binghamton in the Columbus school gymnasium." The museum is constantly updating its exhibits and has even added a new one celebrating bees. "Well this exhibit we just opened in April is called “What's the Buzz” it's a Honey of an exhibit and it's all about the cultural aspects of the bee throughout history," Steed said. "It's a small insect with a complicated story to tell so there are lots of opportunities for the kids; they can look at the microscope. We have slides of bees and bee parts. We have a live hive here. We have this large hive that the kids can go in and they can learn about the different, the worker bee the queen bee, the drones and there are even some costumes that they can wear and you know be as busy as bees here right in the exhibit.
The Discovery Center also features a beautiful outdoor area that is free to the public called the storybook garden. "It's a beautiful space there's lots of activities out there. There are books to be shared out there. There are a couple of scavenger hunts, type of learning experiences for the children." Steed said. The Discovery Center is always expanding and adding new exhibits like this Al Symme-Tree House in their storybook garden.
Country Wagon Produce is a quaint country store which has been family owned for 28 years. They make all of their baked goods fresh every day and let me tell you their cookies are to die for. The owners grow most of their own produce and say it's a great way to shop locally.
"We grow a lot of our own vegetables. We buy a lot of New York fruit to compliment it. We're open from April through Dec. 24th," Owner Andrea Eichhorn said. "We do our own hardy mums in the fall, we do a big display of pumpkins. In the summer we grow all our own sweet corn, snap beans, string beans, tomatoes."
The country store features not only produce, but pre-made jams, jellies, preserves, spices, dip and soup mixes, soaps candles, gifts and of course their baked goods. They make specialty pies, breads, turnovers, cookies and more and all of it is freshly baked daily. "We do make our own pies, we bake every day," she said. "We have apple, blueberry, triple berry, strawberry rhubarb, peach. We do pumpkin in season and mincemeat." Country Wagon Produce also has a wide assortment of gifts for all occasions.
And if you're looking for something new and exciting to do and you really like beer, you'll want to go to the Binghamton Brewfest, It will be the area's first large scale beer and wine festival celebrating all things beer. Many of the breweries are from across the country with great emphasis on our NYS brewers. There will be at least 60 beer selections that participants can sample.The Binghamton Brewfest takes place September 13th at the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena and tickets are on sale now.