Fair Haven is about 40 minutes north/west of Liverpool and I'm guessing about 15 miles from Oswego NY. The park is located on Lake Ontario, which is almost like going to an ocean with out the salt water. The waves are generally pretty good for a lake. We got a little lost as I read my own directions wrong, and when we finally did arrive the overcast in the sky was a little daunting and we decided on a back up plan (Fort Ontario) just in case the rain hit us as hard as was predicted.
It rained a little and the sun really never did come out, but we never needed our back-up plans the kids could have cared less about any rain showers or lack of sun as they enjoyed their time spent here.
Fair Haven has two beaches, a bay; featuring diving boards, paddle boats, and kayaks, several walking tails along beautiful bluffs, ponds and wildlife. Just as we entered the park a deer walked in front of the van, we drove along with a rabbit and THOUSANDS of seagulls. There is also two playgrounds, camping, long rocky piers, a boat launch, concession stand, beach house, and store.
Basically the park has just about anything you can imagine for a park of this type, and it has always been one of my favorites for that reason. I told Mindy on our way there that I had caught salamanders here when I was younger and had those little guys as pets for quite some time. On another previous trip my oldest son, spent the entire day digging a hole on the beach that was son deep, he could stand in it!
We pretty much had the beach to ourselves and it was windy, cold and wet, but the boys were off and swimming before we could even get settled in a spot to sit.
The water was reportedly 67 degrees, warm compared to what the air felt like around us "old" people (Mindy and I) wrapped in towels and gritting our teeth most of the day. Maddy enjoyed building sand castles, and cashing the waves.
The waves were absolutely amazing too, had I been a ten year old kid all over again, I would have been just like these two who only left the water to eat lunch.
Lunch was pre-made sandwiches, chips, grapes and go-gerts (which Gavin informed me nobody eats anymore) and cheeto's that were fed to the sea-gulls!
The sea gulls were so crafty, they would actually catch the cheeto's in their mouths as the kids would throw them into the air. It was clear that Mindy was not at all entertained or thrilled that these guys were surrounding us more and more with every cheeto thrown, so I insisted that they stop. But they sure were funny.
For most of the time we were there, it only sprinkled a bit, the boys who were swimming seemed unaware, and us mommy's tolerated it so they could have fun, but when the big drops began to pelt our heads, we were beginning to think the party was over. We carried several of the beach supplies to the van, and attempted to get those boys out of the water, but they were not having it, so we walked up to the playground under the protection of tree's while her daughter played. I don't think the boys were even aware we had left or that the rain was coming down as hard as it was.
The rain ceased and the sky opened. I walked out on the shorter rocky pier, although I thought it would be fun for us to walk out along the larger one that jets well out into the lake. The waves were crashing up against the walls of the pier spraying water everywhere. I personally thought trying to dodge those would have been fun. No one else was up for the adventure, so we skipped it.
A view from the rocky pier, far off in the center you can see the waves crashing on the longer pier!
Below is a picture of the lake from the bath house. You can see for miles, you can also get a good idea about how dark and crazy the sky was for us that day.
Finally able to get the boys out of the water, we packed up and left the beach area vowing to return on a warmer day, with sun, more sand toys and a good book. I stopped at the store and the clerk told us about the bluffs, (although we never did do the trails or see the bluff on this trip) we did drive up to them. Surrounded by camp grounds along the bluff area was this amazing playground. We just had to stop and play, plus the sun was finally peeking out of the clouds.
The kids play on this merry go round.
Climbing on what could be called monkey bars.
Gavin swirls around on this contraption.
A new twist on the titter-totter.
All played out! We decided to call it a day. The park is absolutely beautiful, there seemed to be several areas for picnics as well, and each space offered something a little more charming. Although we did not search for salamanders or dig an incredibly deep hole, we made new memories of a day that might have been spent sitting at home wishing away the "yuck" of the rain once again. Defiantly a big win for the troops in the van that day, and all agreed a return trip is needed for more exploration and "swimming" (per the boys) if nothing else. I teased Gavin on the way home and pulled into the Stearling Historical Red school house and Museum. (It was closed so he lucked out). He hates it when we spend all day somewhere and I have to make one last stop somewhere on the way back. We explained that there surly was one room school houses once, and Mindy announced that her mother attended one as a child. The boys were not convinced, although I know Gavin has seen replica's of them elsewhere. Guess next time we will have to stop and educate them about such things. I know he will protest. Next time then. I would have like to have checked out our back-up plan, but grateful just the same we didn't have to resort to it just the same. Summer has just begun we have LOTS of opportunities to go on trips!