Top 23 Things To Do In Watertown, New York - Updated 2022

things to do in watertown new york

Watertown in New York is not short of attractions that guarantee a packed itinerary during your visit. You may not see them on the list of the most visited places in New York, but they are a gem worth discovering, especially if you love learning more about the region’s history and outdoor activities. The parks, rivers, historical centers, recreational centers, and the entertainment joints form a comprehensive package that will see to it that you have everything you need to have a comfortable, memorable and fun-filled stay in Watertown, New York. Consider staying in Airbnb vacation rentals while you’re here to make the most of your vacation. Here is a brief look at some of the activities you should not dare miss when you visit this city, but one with a vibrant modern vibe. Check out all the top things to do in Watertown, New York.

1. Enjoy rafting on the Black River

Black River, New York, Nov 2015
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Ahodges7 used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Rafting on the Black River is one of those activities you shouldn’t miss, especially if you are an adrenalin junkie. The Black River Gorge boasts of more than 7 miles (11.2 km) of whitewater rafting, thus allowing enough stretch to accommodate rafters of different experiences. The difficulty levels vary depending on the seasons with spring being the most difficult time given the higher water levels and summer being the least difficult one because of the low water levels.

Black River

Address: Black River, Watertown, NYC

Website: Black River

Opening hours: 6am - 6pm (daily)

2. Explore the historic Jefferson County Historical Society

Old City Hall and Jefferson County Historical Museum in Port Townsend
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Washington Our Home used under CC BY-SA 4.0

The initial settlers of Jefferson County arrived in 1852. Jefferson Country Historical Society was established in 1879 with the main aim of discovering, collecting, preserving, and promoting the heritage of Jefferson County. Currently, a visit to the society will tell you the history, culture and the overall way of life of Jefferson County as documented in the artifacts, documents, and books present in the society. It is a great place to visit if you love learning more about American history.

Jefferson County Historical Society

Address: 540 Water St, Port Townsend, WA 98368, USA

Website: Jefferson County Historical Society

Opening hours: Wed - Mon: 11am - 4pm (closed on Tue)

3. Go on a shopping spree on Arsenal Street

Arsenal Mall
Source: Photo by Flickr user LEONARDO DASILVA used under CC BY 2.0

As usual, no visit to a new city or town will ever be complete without doing some shopping, and a visit to Watertown is no exception. Arsenal Street in Watertown is where visitors and tourists head to when they want to get a feel of the town’s shopping experience. The street has a blend of malls and stores that deal in a variety of items from designer apparels to luxurious gifts. With the composition of the vendors on this street, you can easily spend all of your money in a couple of minutes. Though irrespective of your budget, you will find a number of stores that will adequately take care of all your shopping needs. It is a nice place to get some really nice gifts to carry back home.

Arsenal Street

Address: Arsenal Street, Watertown, NYC

Website: Arsenal Street

Opening hours: 10am - 8pm (daily)

4. Sample fresh fruits and veggies at the farmer’s market

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Watertown Farmers Market on Thursday, June 16, 2022

A visit to a farmer’s market is always a nice opportunity to sample some of the freshest produce from the region, and also to get a glimpse into the region’s food culture. Watertown Farm and Craft Market located on the Saltonstall Park Corner of White’s Avenue and Main Street is where the local farmers market is held in Watertown. In addition to sampling fresh fruits and vegetables, you will also find a humongous variety of local art and craft items that you could buy as souvenirs to help you remember your trip to Watertown. The market is open only on Wednesday between 2:30 pm and 6:30 pm.

Farmer's market tour

Address: Saltonstall Park, Main St. & Whites Ave Watertown

Website: Farmer’s market tour

Opening hours: Wed: 2:30pm - 6:30pm

5. Enjoy spectacular views from Thompson Park

Thompson Park
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Kurt Thomas Hunt used under CC BY 2.0

There is so much that you can see or do in Thompson Park depending on the time and day of your visit. Some of the common activities you are likely to find taking place in the park include games, movies under the stars, music by live performers or DJs, and a myriad of other activities. With the greenery, the ponds, flower and the well-manicured gardens, you can simply go and soak in the beauty of the park if you don’t feel like doing anything else. The views are spectacular, and it would make a great location for you to just go, reflect and think.

Thompson Park

Address: 1 Thompson Park Watertown, New York

Website: Thompson Park

Opening hours: 10am - 6pm (daily)

6. Enjoy skiing at Dry Hill Ski Area

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

What a gorgeous day to get outside and ski, snowboard or tube!

Posted by Dry Hill Ski Area on Saturday, January 23, 2021

If you are visiting during the summer, then you are likely to find Dry Hill Ski Area closed for the season. But when you visit during winter, this is one of the best skiing spots in New York. It doesn’t matter whether or not you have skied before or you are a complete beginner. You will get all the equipment you need, as well as instructors who will get you sliding on the snow as soon as possible. It is an extremely family-friendly place, and there are no reasons why you shouldn’t come along with the little ones if you were visiting Watertown with them.

Dry Hill Ski Area

Address: 18160 Alpine Ridge Rd Watertown, New York

Website: Dry Hill Ski Area

Opening hours: Wed - Sun: 5am - 10pm (closed on Mon - Tue)

7. Watch a movie at the Regal Cinema

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Regal on Tuesday, June 21, 2022

If you love movies, or you are tired of both indoors and outdoors and in need of something for a change, then you should check out Regal Cinema in Watertown. The theatre complex boasts of several screens where you can spend quality time watching new release films. The theatre is located in Salmon Run Malls, and just like most of the high-end movie theatres, it has plush seating and a concession stand, in addition to the amenities you would normally in find good theatres. The movie schedules are available online so you can always check to see in advance if there will be a movie you would be interested in watching.

Regal Cinema

Address: 21182 Salmon Run Mall Loop W, Watertown, NY 13601, USA

Website: Regal Cinema

Opening hours: Check online for movie schedules

8. Go chocolate tasting at Chocolate Cottage

Editor’s note: Establishment is permanently closed

If you love chocolate, then you will be excited to know that there is a cottage in Watertown where you can go chocolate tasting just as you normally do for wine. At the cottage, you will be given a chance to sample various types of chocolates until you find the one that tastes the best to you. The cottage has both low fat and high-fat chocolates, and this makes it ideal for anyone who may be having special dietary needs. In addition to sampling the chocolates, you will also find a variety of ice creams you can use to cool off during the hot summer afternoons.

Chocolate Cottage

Address: 301 Brainard Street Watertown, NY 13601

Website: Chocolate Cottage

Opening hours: 10am - 6pm (daily)

9. Take a stroll along the Veteran’s Memorial River Walk

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

This morning the first of hopefully many murals on the "Veteran's Memorial Riverwalk" was unveiled! Thank you to all who worked so hard to make this project possible, especially the Downtown Art Committee.

Posted by Watertown City Council on Saturday, October 2, 2021

Veteran’s Memorial River Walk is along the Black River near Newell Street. The walk is ideal for a lazy stroll for both couples and families, given that it has ample parking, picnic tables and park benches where you can take a break to enjoy lunch or snacks. With the sounds of the river, chirping of birds, and the lush greenery around, the place is scenic and guaranteed to help you have the most relaxing walks you will ever have in the city. On the banks of the river, you will enjoy watching kayaks and whitewater enthusiasts as they try to challenge the rapids. You are also free to fish if you carry your gear, or you can simply enjoy the views of the river from the observation deck.

Veteran’s Memorial River Walk

Address: Watertown, New York

Website: Veteran’s Memorial River Walk

Opening hours: 6am - 6pm (daily)

10. Explore science at the Sci-Tech Center

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

There are over 300 Sci-Tech centers around the world, and the tiny city of Watertown happens to be the home of one. These museums have been described as of the playground of the mind and if you are enthusiastic about science, this is a place you wouldn’t wish to miss visiting. The aim of the museum is to help the public have a better comprehension of science and technology. A visit to the museum will expose you to a plethora of exhibits and programs in a variety of scientific disciplines which will amaze and awe you at the same time. Whether or not you love science, this is a place you will find a lot of delight in visiting.

Sci-Tech Center

Address: 154 Stone St, Watertown, NY 13601, USA

Website: Sci-Tech Center

Opening hours: Fri - Sat: 10am - 4pm (closed on Sun - Thu)

Price: 4 USD

11. Check out the murals at the Watertown Library Association

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Watertown Library on Friday, July 15, 2022

The Watertown Library Association has an incredible wealth of information in the books contained inside. However, you don’t have to go past the doors to appreciate the creativity of the residents as displayed in some of the biographies. A look at the walls will reveal some exciting murals that will not just tell us about the creativity of the people of Watertown but will also narrate their stories, culture, and beliefs as depicted on the various works of art on the walls.

Watertown Library Association

Address: 470 Main St Watertown, Connecticut

Website: Watertown Library Association

12. Visit the historic Paddock Arcade

Paddock Arcade
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Lallint used under CC0

The Paddock Arcade has a rich history that makes a visit to it nearly irresistible. To begin with, it is the oldest covered mall in the United States of America. Secondly, ever since it was built in 1850, it has been operating continuously up to this day. It is home to several unique eateries, offices, and shops. You can visit any day of the week to enjoy live entertainment, sample the specialty sandwiches and soups, taste various Europe cakes, and enjoy home-cooked meals at affordable rates.

Paddock Arcade

Address: Watertown, NY 13601, USA

Website: Paddock Arcade

Opening hours: 8am - 2pm (daily)

13. Enjoy the amusing activities on Alex Duffy Fairgrounds

Meat Loaf: Seize The Night Tour 2007
Source: Photo by Flickr user Christie D. Mallon used under CC BY-ND 2.0

Alex Duffy Fairgrounds boasts of over 67 acres (27.11 hectares), and it is one of the biggest leisure facilities in Watertown. There is always some activity taking place on the grounds. It is, therefore, a nice place to frequent if you have time to get amused by all manner of activities. You can choose to take part in some of them, or you can just be a spectator, in which case, you will have to step back and let yourself get entertained.

Alex Duffy Fairgrounds

Address: 970 Coffeen St, Watertown, NY 13601, USA

Website: Alex Duffy Fairgrounds

Opening hours: 6am - 6pm (daily)

14. Wander down Marble Street Park

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Marble Street Park is another site ideal for a variety of outdoor activities. It may not be a large swath of land, but it is a decent place if you want to be surrounded by nature and get lost in your thoughts. You could go for biking or hiking, though the trail is a short and steep one – about 0.2 miles (0.32 km). Fishing may also be possible, given that the Black River shore is within walking distance from the park.

Marble Street Park

Address: Watertown, NY 13601, USA

Website: Marble Street Park

15. Catch a concert at Watertown Arena

Source: Photo by Flickr user Fort Drum & 10th ... used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

Watertown Municipal Arena is a humongous indoor recreational facility where you can enjoy a myriad of concerts, depending on the time of your visit. Though so many activities take place in the arena throughout the year, the most popular one is ice hockey. The small city usually comes to life during the winter when the arena becomes the venue of the Minor League Hockey.

Watertown Arena

Address: 600 William T Field Dr, Watertown, NY 13601, USA

Website: Watertown Arena

Opening hours: 8am - 11pm (daily)

16. Play golf at Ives Hill Country Club

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Ives Hill Country Club is one of the best golf courses in Watertown, and if you are a golf enthusiast, you will be tempted to check out some of the holes here. The golf course can be traced back to 1897 when it was known as the Jefferson Country Golf Club. It has gone under a series of renovations and name changes until now it is known as Ives Hill Country Golf Club. The club presents you with the best sceneries to enjoy golfing, not to mention with flexible pricing and membership options for both locals and visitors.

Ives Hill Country Club

Address: 465 W Flower Ave, Watertown, NY 13601, USA

Website: Ives Hill Country Club

Opening hours: 7am - 6pm (daily)

17. Get entertained at Fun Xcape

Editor’s note: Establishment is permanently closed

What do you do when the weather becomes boring or the kids start nagging you that they want to go and play in Watertown? Well, head over to Fun Xcape. This is an indoor family fun center, with a myriad of children entertainment options that will give your little ones all the fun they could ever hope for. Some of the amenities you will find in this place include a multi-level play space, a toddler play area, laser tag, party rooms, a climbing wall, and an arcade. The arcade comes with kid-friendly games such as Jurassic Park, life-size Angry Birds, Skee-Ball and mini-basketball among others.

Fun Xcape

Address: 223 J B Wise Pl. Ste 20 Watertown, New York

Website: Fun Xcape

18. Admire the architecture of the ancient Flower Memorial Library

Roswell P Flower Memorial
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Stephen Schweitzer used under CC BY-SA 4.0

It may not be ranked among the biggest libraries in the state of New York, but it will not miss a place in the list of architectural masterpieces of the city. The Flower Memorial Library features simple, yet intricate designs on both the inside and outside that only a master architect could have designed and constructed. The meticulous design of the pillars and the arches leaves a lot to be desired, given that the library was constructed ages ago when we didn’t have the benefits of modern technology in building and construction. If you have time, feel free to sample a few of the treasures present on the shelves.

Flower Memorial Library

Address: 229 Washington St, Watertown, NY 13601, USA

Website: Flower Memorial Library

Opening hours: 9am - 8pm (daily)

19. Dine classic fare at the historic Crystal Restaurant

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

The 2018 Tom and Jerry Season has officially begun. Come join us for this holiday tradition.

Posted by The Crystal Restaurant on Friday, November 16, 2018

The Crystal Restaurant served its first meal in 1925, and this makes it one of the oldest, if not the oldest restaurant in Watertown! Nearly a century down the line, the restaurant has continued with its timeless tradition such as serving the Tom and Jerry Cocktail which was served the first time it opened its doors to diners. It remains a gem of old Watertown, and it is a great place to visit if you want to experience the classic food that has been maintained throughout the years.

Crystal Restaurant

Address: 87 Public Sq Watertown, New York

Website: Crystal Restaurant

Opening hours: Tue - Sun: 7am - 9:30pm (closed on Mon)

20. Eat with a view at Maggie’s On The River

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

It is not just food and drinks that are good at Maggie’s On The Rivers. The views are also mesmerizing. This is where you need to visit when you desire to experience Watertown’s authentic casual dining experience. They have incredible menus, the largest beer selection, and you will also enjoy the gentle views of the river flowing right in front of your eyes. The atmosphere is always relaxed, and if you appreciate the finer things in life, then this a joint you must visit when in Watertown.

Maggie’s On The River

Address: 500 Newell St, Watertown, NY 13601, USA

Website: Maggie’s On The River

Opening hours: 11am - 1am (daily)

21. Try chicken wings at Time Warp Tavern

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Time Warp Tavern on Thursday, March 10, 2022

At Time Warp Tavern, great chicken wings, affordable drinks, a friendly atmosphere, and welcoming bartenders await you. It is a nice place worth visiting if you want to have a taste of Watertown’s chicken wings, and also to interact with the local crowds as you enjoy live entertainment. The chicken menu is huge, so don’t be worried that you will only be served with wings, though it is the main attraction to this joint. Again, the live performances may not be present every day of the week, but you are almost certain to find a performance towards the weekend.

Time Warp Tavern

Address: 302 State St, Watertown, NY 13601, USA

Website: Time Warp Tavern

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 2pm - 12am; Sat - Sun: 12pm - 2am

22. Enjoy Italian food at Cavallario’s Cucina and Art’s Jug

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Arts Jug on Friday, May 21, 2021

How about enjoying some Italian delicacies miles away from Italy? A visit to Cavallario’s Cucina and Art’s Jug will see your appetite satisfied with the most satisfying Italian delicacies in Watertown. Art’s Jug is a casual restaurant that has been owned and operated by the founding family since 1933. This is just a subtle illustration at the depth and quality of cuisines that awaits in this restaurant. It is a place worth checking out if you want the best Italian staples, pizzas, and chicken in Watertown.

Cavallario’s Cucina and Art’s Jug

Address: 820 Huntington St, Watertown, NY 13601, USA

Website: Cavallario’s Cucina and Art’s Jug

Opening hours: Tue - Sun: 11am - 9pm (closed on Mon)

23. Enjoy a rocking nightlife at Spokes

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Spokes Craft Beer & Tapas on Thursday, May 26, 2022

Finally, you should never conclude your visit to Watertown without getting a glimpse of the nightlife, and there is no better place to do this than at Spokes. Spokes is one of the most famous night spots in Watertown and the most ideal place to sample what a night at Watertown looks like. You can expect a lot of vibrancy when the sun goes down and the drinks being to flow freely. The restaurant has an exceptional variety of quality beers and a rich wine list, not to mention the flavorful menus prepared from the freshest of the ingredients. You can also expect to find live performances by various artists, as well as a great selection of music by the city’s famous DJs.


Address: 81 Public Square Watertown, New York

Website: Spokes

Opening hours: Tue - Thu: 4am - 10pm; Fri - Sat: 4pm - 11pm (closed on Mon & Sun)

Never a boring moment in Watertown

fun in Watertown
Source: Pexels

With the above events, activities, and attractions, everyone has a right to look forward to an exciting visit at Watertown. Irrespective of your age or entertainment preferences, the town has a variety to ensure that everyone’s needs are well taken care of. As such, you have no right to have a boring stay in Watertown, whether you visit in summer or winter, or whether you visit alone, with your better half or with the entire family. Don’t let your time in Watertown, New York be boring.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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No one came into this world as a writer, but everyone can become one. I love to write. It makes me share my knowledge and experiences with the rest of the world. With dreams of visiting nearly...Read more

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