Blake Walsh

16 Free Things to Do in Binghamton, NY

  • Published 2022/12/16

Binghamton is the seat of Broome County, located in the south-central part of New York.

It belongs to the “Triple Cities” together with Johnson City and Endicott.

This city was initially named Chenango Point and was later changed to Binghamton in commemoration of William Bingham.

Its total land area comprises 10.48 square miles of land and 0.65 square miles of water.

Its surrounding rolling hills also attract many people looking for a beautiful and relaxing city where they can settle down.

It is also famous as the “Carousel Capital of the World” due to its unique and exciting festivals and traditions.

It is home to two wood-carved carousels from the 1920s.

Binghamton is also at the junction of the Susquehanna River and Chenango River, making it a popular tourist destination.

Besides these attractions, Binghamton has many famous destinations you shouldn’t miss.

You won’t have to spend a dime to enjoy this city.

Here are the free things to do in Binghamton, New York.

Let Your Kids Have Fun at Recreation Park

A carousel at Recreation Park

Wirestock Creators /

Recreation Park is a public urban park on Beethoven St. and Seminary Ave.

This park measures 24 acres.

Bring your kids to Recreation Park and let them enjoy a nearly four-acre play space accessible for children of all abilities.

Recreation Park’s play areas are wheelchair-friendly and suited for those with other mobility impairments.

The grounds of Recreation Park

debra millet /

One of the park’s highlights is its carousel which features 60 jumping horses, an original two-roll frame Wurlitzer Military Band Organ with bells, four-abreast, and chariots.

It was installed in 1925 and is integral to every local’s childhood.

Recreation Park also has ball fields, tennis courts, a pool, and accessible bathrooms.

Paved trail at Recreation Park

Yagna Theja Daggupati /

Take a Breather at Otsiningo Park

Otsiningo Park operates under the Broome County Department of Parks & Recreation.

A visit to this park is like a breath of fresh air amid the busy city life.

You can spend your day here biking, running, or simply walking while appreciating the beauty of the surroundings.

Otsiningo Park is a family-friendly destination that also features playgrounds for kids and athletic fields for loved ones who want to play some sports.

There are also four soccer fields, four sand volleyball courts, and a softball field that is free to use.

Remarkably, Otsiningo Park has playgrounds that are handicapped-accessible features.

If you’re not into sports, you can explore its community gardens that feature a variety of plant and flower species.

Otsiningo Park also has picnic shelters, tables, grills, water taps, and fountains.

Choose the Freshest Fruits at Apple Hills

Apple Hills is nestled on Brooks Rd.

This over 150-year-old farm is open all year round and welcomes everyone who wants to look around their fruit and vegetable farms.

Besides, this 300-acre hilltop farm also offers a spectacular landscape view of the nearby cities.

Apple Hills also has a cafe and farm where you can buy freshly made cider, baked goods, cheeses, jams, syrups, and more.

Some fruits Apple Hills grows are berries, apples, and citruses.

Aside from fruits, this farm is also open for sunflower picking.

Ride the Historic Ross Park Carousel

Interior of Ross Park Carousel

Ammodramus, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Ross Park Carousel is on Morgan Rd.

This carousel was built in 1920 and featured 60 jumping horses, four abreast, two chariots, and a 51-key Wurlitzer Military Band Organ.

Ross Park Carousel is one of the six carousels donated by Endicott Johnson Corporation’s late President George F. Johnson.

Horse sculptures of Ross Park Carousel

Ammodramus, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Allan Herschell Company constructed the Ross Park Carousel and retained the original Wurlitzer #146-A Band Organ.

Your family can also explore the Discovery Center of the Southern Tier, playground, and picnic areas.

Ross Park Carousel is also home to the 5t oldest zoo in the country.

Learn to Protect the Environment at Cutler Botanic Garden

Cutler Botanic Garden is a botanical garden found on Upper Front St.

Miss Frances Cutler established the garden.

Cutler Botanic Garden is one of the centers in the country that teach horticulture and environmental appreciation and issues.

It displays All-American Selections.

Visit Cutler Botanic Garden’s 13 themed gardens, including Rock Garden, Native Habitats, Shade Garden, and more.

You will be amazed by Cutler Botanic Garden’s collection of herbs, shrubs, roses, perennials, ornamental grasses, and much more.

Cutler Botanic Garden is also home to a bird sanctuary, composting center, and vegetable garden.

Due to its captivating beauty and relaxing atmosphere, Cutler Botanic Garden is also a top-choice venue for soon-to-be-wed couples.

Visit Broome County Public Library

Broome County Public Library is located on Court St.

It opened in October 1904 and was called the Binghamton Public Library.

Broome County Public Library is home to 300,000 books of different genres and topics, periodicals, records, microfilm, and films.

Take a quick visit to this vast public library to learn about the city’s history.

It also aims to educate, energize, and entertain the locals and visitors.

Broome County Public Library also serves as an events place for clubs, meetings, workshops, film nights, and readings.

Go Fishing at Confluence Park

The waters at Confluence Park

Tom Vazquez, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Confluence Park is a landscaped park located on North Shore Rd.

Two of the city’s most beautiful rivers, the Susquehanna and Chenango Rivers, meet in this park, making this a favorite destination for locals and tourists.

You can unwind on one of the park’s benches while appreciating the relaxing view of the waters.

Confluence Park is also open for fishing.

Its paved trails are perfect for running, biking, and walking.

It is also filled with luscious trees for a more refreshing nature vibe.

Take a Look at the Christ Episcopal Church

Christ Episcopal Church is the oldest church in Binghamton, located on Henry Street.

You’ll easily recognize Christ Episcopal Church through its unique Neo-Gothic architectural style.

It was built between 1853 and 1855 with designs from church architect Richard Upjohn.

Christ Episcopal Church boasts a 110-foot steeple and purple slate roof.

This one-story bluestone church is also decorated with Gothic Revival elements.

Enjoy a Picnic Date at Sandy Beach Park

Sandy Beach Park is a peaceful and serene park on Conklin Ave.

This is a relaxing place where you can go on a picnic date with friends and family.

Sandy Beach Park is surrounded by tall and luscious trees, which adds to the already calm and peaceful atmosphere of the area.

You can also play some sports here at Sandy Beach Park using its adult softball field, two basketball courts, and soccer field.

Fishing is also allowed here.

It has a boat launch where you can watch the boats start their journey toward the waters.

Cross the South Washington Street Parabolic Bridge

Entryway of South Washington Street Parabolic Bridge

Doug Kerr from Albany, NY, United States, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

South Washington Street Parabolic Bridge is a historic lenticular truss bridge located on South Washington St.

This isn’t just a standard bridge, as it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.

South Washington Street Parabolic Bridge is popular with runners and cyclists as it passes the Susquehanna River.

Structure of South Washington Street Parabolic Bridge

Jtpurdom, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

You can distinguish South Washington Street Parabolic Bridge from others due to its three identical through trusses measuring 484 feet.

It was constructed by the Berlin Iron Bridge Company and rehabilitated between 2014 and 2017.

Bring Your Furry Friend to Canine Commons Dog Park

Canine Commons Dog Park is on Lewis Rd.

This off-leash dog park is where your furry friend can enjoy bonding with other dogs.

You’ll easily spot this park between the United Methodist Church and Airport Corporate Center.

Canine Commons Dog Park features separate fenced areas for small and large dogs.

Moreover, a creek runs along Canine Commons Dog Park so the dogs can play in the water.

You can sit back and relax on one of this park’s benches while letting your furry friends have the best time of their lives.

Hike or Bike at Wolfe Park

Wolfe Park is a 182-acre park on Dorman Rd.

It has a 3.5-mile hiking trail which you can explore by walking, running or biking.

A spectacular waterfall welcomes you as you go further into the trail of Wolfe Park.

It also overlooks Dorman Creek, making your visit here worthwhile.

Other activities allowed here are bird watching and wildlife spotting, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and nature study.

You can also bring your camera to Wolfe Park and practice your nature photography skills.

Catch a Big Fish at the Aqua-Terra Wilderness Area

Scenic view of Aqua-Terra Wilderness Area

JWCohen /

Aqua-Terra Wilderness Area is a 466-acre of undeveloped natural area on Maxian Rd.

It features a six-acre pond perfect for secluded fishing and wildlife watching.

Aqua-Terra Wilderness Area was once the site of the Aqua-Terra Sportsman’s Club and Innsbruck USA ski area.

You can also challenge yourself to a hike on its five-mile trail and climb at the summit of the old ski slope on the southeast side of this area.

Dogs are allowed here at Aqua-Terra Wilderness Area if you keep them on a leash no longer than eight feet.

Swimming, camping, and wading are prohibited here at Aqua-Terra Wilderness Area.

Bring Your Kids to Binghamton NY Pumpkin Farm

Binghamton NY Pumpkin Farm is on Pierce Creek Rd.

This farm produces fresh fruits and vegetables available which you can buy.

Binghamton NY Pumpkin Farm is also famous, especially during the pumpkin patch season!

You can also visit Binghamton NY Pumpkin Farm if you want to look at its giant pumpkins.

Besides fruits and vegetables, Binghamton NY Pumpkin Farm also has artisan cheeses, jams, honey, jellies, pastries, and more.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Ride the C. Fred Johnson Park Carousel

Exterior of C. Fred Johnson Park Carousel

Tkeator, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

C. Fred Johnson Park Carousel is a historic carousel located on the right side of Lester Ave. in Johnson City, New York.

You can reach this C. Fred Johnson Park Carousel after a five-minute drive from Binghamton.

The carousel is inside a pavilion built in 1923.

The two-story pavilion comprises wood and is topped with a six-sided cupola.

Meanwhile, the carousel itself has 72 jumping horses.

Allan Herschell Company constructed the C. Fred Johnson Park Carousel.

This carousel is also included in the six carousels donated by George F. Johnso to Broome County.

Take a Look at the Highland Park Carousel

Exterior of Highland Park Carousel

Kfbill08, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Highland Park Carousel is located on Harder Rd., Endwell, New York, 14 minutes from Binghamton.

Highland Park Carousel goes by the names En-Joie Park Carousel and Ideal Park Carousel.

This carousel was bought sometime between 1920 and 1925.

Highland Park Carousel features 36 figures, 34 horses, a pig, a dog, and two chariots.

Allan Herschell Company constructed this carousel.

Besides, Highland Park Carousel also features a swimming pool, wading pool, tennis and volleyball courts, picnic area, and ball fields.

Final Thoughts

The city of Binghamton is exciting and attractive, which is genuinely worth a visit any time of the year.

Are you ready to visit new places and collect new memories without spending money?

Plan your next vacation today!

Experience the free things to do in Binghamton, New York!

© All rights reserved.