5 Apps and Websites To Help You Find Local Things To Do


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Whether you’ve lived in the Capital Region for much of your life or recently relocated here, finding new things to do can sometimes be a challenge. The great news is that Troy, NY is brimming with exciting activities!

Looking for a great restaurant? Feel like going to a concert or festival? Trying to plan a fun weekend with out-of-town guests? These helpful (and free!) sources will help you discover all there is to do nearby!

Gravy/FindGravy.com

The cool thing about Gravy is that it suggests activities based on your mood. The mood options are: Whatever, Classy, Lively, Playtime, or Brainy.
Here’s how it works: Select a Mood, a Location, and When you’d like to do something, then Gravy will conjure activities accordingly. For example: If you select “Classy Troy, NY September 12,” Gravy will suggest the Riverfront Jazz Festival, the Saratoga Wine and Food Festival, and an exhibition at the New York State Museum, among other options. It will also indicate how many miles away the activity is from the city you have chosen.

Bonus: Gravy will provide recommendations once you select 10 events.

FYI: The free mobile app requires you to sign up in order to use it, but this is not required on the website, unless you’d like to save events.

TripAdvisor/TripAdvisor.com

TripAdvisor always comes to mind when planning a vacation, but it’s also a valuable tool when looking for local activities. All you have to do is type in your location and then click Things to Do. This search will populate a list of attractions such as nightlife, museums, nature and parks, fun and games, and theaters/concerts. Not only will you be given an overview for each activity (including website, address and directions), you will also have access to photos and helpful reviews.

AroundMe

The AroundMe app identifies your location and then provides a pretty extensive list of everything around you. Each business is grouped by category: coffee shops, bars, concerts, restaurants, theaters, supermarkets and hotels. Click on the desired category and you will be given a directory of nearby businesses within that category, including the address, phone number and distance away for each. Conveniently, most of the restaurants listed have a link to their menus.

To see how to get to your desired destination, click Show Route, and directions will be displayed via Google Maps. If you need to stop for gas or cash, don’t worry, because the app even tells you where to find the nearest gas stations and ATMs. It also provides a local weather report so you can plan accordingly.

Oh, Ranger! ParkFinder Mobile App & Website

This app will find national, regional and local parks in any U.S. location based on your specific areas of interest. After plugging in your address or zip code, you have the option of clicking Select Things To Do or Find Parks (a more general search).

Selecting Things To Do brings up a slew of options, such as Activity Center, Baseball, Dog Run, Caving, Fishing, Birdwatching and Hiking. Select the activities that most interest you and then click Find Parks. For example, if you choose Birdwatching and Boating, a host of options come up, such as Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor, Overlook Park, and Grafton Lakes State Park. Detailed information is provided for each park, including the history, things to do, address and phone number, and a link to the website.

LivingSocial/LivingSocial.com

LivingSocial not only informs you of local activities, but it also offers discounts, as well. You have the option of using the search tool to type in a specific interest or utilizing one of the listed categories.

Here is just a handful of the types of Featured Deals available in the Capital Region: a full-day pontoon boat rental in Saratoga, souvenir wine glasses and cheese plate at Hummingbird Hills Winery, discounted tickets to Oktoberfest in Windham, and one hour of unlimited zip-lining at Engelke Farm in Troy, half-price. Besides excursions like these, there are also plenty of coupons for restaurants, fitness classes, spas and hotels in the upstate NY area.