Almanack Contributor Diane Chase

Diane Chase

Diane Chase is the author of the Adirondack Family Activities guidebook series, Adirondack Family Time. She writes about ways to foster imaginative play through fun-filled events and activities in the Adirondack region.

From her home in Saranac Lake, Diane also writes a weekly family-oriented newspaper column for the Adirondack Daily Enterprise and keeps her own blog Adirondack Family Time. Her writing and photography has appeared in numerous newspapers, magazines, marketing companies and advertising agencies.

She even finds time to assist her husband with Adirondack Expeditions guiding families and young adults in the High Peaks.



Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Diane Chase: Learning About Tahawus

Adirodac_CottageUsually a trip to the Upper Works in Newcomb for my family doesn’t include an extended history lesson, but I always have a few interesting facts to tell our visitors while driving this seemingly endless stretch of County Route 25 to the southern entrance of the High Peaks. We are usually there to hike, though the area’s history is just as vast and interesting as its trails.

I share that the McNaughton Cottage is where Vice President Theodore Roosevelt and his family were staying in 1901 when he took his “midnight ride” after receiving word that President McKinley had taken a turn for the worst from an assassination attempt six days before. The Roosevelt family » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Climbing The 46 High Peaks For Suicide Prevention

1655411_937586852924816_1346376351805800120_oSuicide, depression and the effects of both are challenging and frightening subjects to discuss. I know. I was in my early 20s when I stumbled upon a friend during her attempted suicide. What transpired was tragic and emotional, but she eventually received the help she needed. Not everyone is so lucky.

This week, September 8-14, is National Suicide Prevention week and two Clarkson students are trying to do their part to raise awareness and funds by climbing all 46 High Peaks.



Wednesday, September 3, 2014

A Kids Farm Festival In Peru

IMG_0457_newThere are numerous opportunities to continue to education children and families on the importance of local food. The success of the recent Farm2Fork Festival, farm tours and farmers’ markets as well as farm to school initiatives indicate that people are interested in what happens to their food. One place to visit that is continuing that farm to table education is the Babbie Rural and Farm Learning Museum in Peru.

According to Babbie Museum Secretary Carol Rock this weekend’s 4th annual Kids Fair and Festival is a fun educational way to keep families interested in the importance of rural farming traditions.



Friday, August 29, 2014

HoboFest And Farm2Fork: Fresh Food, Fresh Music in SL

HoboFestThe term hobo means different things to different people conjuring up images of the Depression, freight jumping, and an independent spirit. For my family it brings up my grandfather’s stories as an orphaned runaway immigrant living on the streets of Brooklyn. His stories were colorful and glossed over a hard street life. After spending a brief time on the rails, he lied about his age to join the military where he would recall the first time he ate a meal until he was full. Years later he was able help others and always fed anyone that passed by or knocked on the door.

With Farm2Fork and the HoboFest, Labor Day weekend in » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Diane Chase: Introducing Adirondack Architecture

IMG_5418My family has spent the last month showing off the Adirondacks to a young friend visiting from Holland. In a week he’ll be off to study architecture in Prague. We’ve hiked, canoed and camped as well visited Olympic sites, outdoor concerts and museums.

He has been fascinated by the amount of green space we have, off-grid living and sustainable landscapes. The last segment of his whirlwind Adirondack tour will be White Pine Camp in Paul Smiths and Great Camp Sagamore in Raquette Lake.



Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Free Lake George Music Festival A Big Hit

LGMF pictureFor the fourth year the Lake George Music Festival is providing guests and residents live concerts, workshops and outreach events throughout the Lake George community this August 14-21.

According to Lake George Music Festival President Alexander Lombard there will be a variety of events over the August 14-21 festival. This year Lombard has brought in over 70 young professional musicians to participate in the open rehearsals, chamber concerts and workshops around Lake George. In addition there are new activities such as a formal collaboration at The Sembrich in Bolton Landing on August 16 and a late (9-11 pm) casual show at the Lake George Boathouse Restaurant on the 18th.



Thursday, August 7, 2014

Adirondack Color Fun Runs Planned

timelinebannerfinalArt and athletics may not seem to go hand in hand, but Lake Placid Center for the Arts (LPCA) Executive Director James Lemons wants people to look at art in a new light. For the first year LPCA will be hosting a popular “color run.” On August 16, LPCA welcomes one and all to their first annual “Run the Colors of the Arts” 5K (3.1-miles) at the Lake Placid Horse Show Grounds.

Color Fun Runs are not to be confused with Holi, the Festival of Colors. Color Festivals started in India as a celebration of spring. Color races are also not new with such foot races as Rainbow Race, Color Me Red » Continue Reading.



Thursday, July 31, 2014

Unique Adirondack Theatre Opportunities

ADKCenterArts_ShakespeareThe mountains, nature and waterways are just part of what makes our time in the Adirondacks so unique. The other part is the artists, musicians and performers that make the Adirondacks their home while sharing their creativity with the rest of us. Though the numerous Adirondack professional and regional theaters are offering a variety of entertainment, it’s the unique opportunities that these theaters have on the docket that I’d like to highlight.

Pendragon Theatre and the Lake Placid Sinfonietta are presenting “A Soldier’s Tale” on August 3 at 2 pm on the Pendragon stage and a 7 pm showing at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts. In additional to their amazing main » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Ironman Isn’t The Only Adirondack Triathlon

MiniTri_JenniMcGrewDuring the summer triathlon season my family spend a lot of time watching for athletes on local roads. It makes for great people watching. My children are trained to look for weaving bicyclists around sharp corners. Though participating in a triathlon isn’t for everyone, spectating and cheering on the athletes that do, is a sport in itself.

We have volunteered at one Lake Placid Ironman, passed out water at a Tupper Lake Tinman and managed to cheer on a few friends dedicated to finishing both courses. While some Adirondack triathlons have concluded, the 2nd oldest Ironman Triathlon in North America is gearing up to be held once again in Lake Placid on July » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Learning To Keep Our Distance From Nesting Loons

2003-WFS Turtle Pd loon-7+t300There is a loon on Lake Placid’s Mirror Lake that seems almost tame. Sometimes when my family and I are out canoeing it seems to follow us. It is that very familiarity and comfortableness with nature that causes a conflict between humans and nesting loons.

Though Dr. Nina Schoch, Wildlife Veterinarian with the Biodiversity Research Institute (BRI) assures me that particular loon isn’t nesting if it’s in the center of the lake and not issue warning signs. According to Schoch there are specific ways for humans to tell if they are distressing loons.



Wednesday, July 9, 2014

‘Here One Day’ Movie Screening at LPCA and The Grange

Though most of us don’t talk about experiences regarding suicide, Producer and Film Director Kathy Leichter is bringing her film, Here One Day to Lake Placid and Whallonsburg. She hopes that her own family’s personal tragedy about her bipolar mother’s suicide will help end the stigma of mental illness and suicide.

The film Here One Day is told through the intimate, emotional audiotapes left by a bipolar Nina Leichter (the filmmaker’s mother) after her suicide. This raw film unearths the effects of mental illness, family relationships and the indelible mark that suicide leaves on those left behind.

According to Director/Producer Kathy Leichter the Here One Day screenings are combined with community education nights to » Continue Reading.



Thursday, July 3, 2014

Adirondack Independence Day Fireworks

fireworks_newThere is certainly a lot to do in the Adirondacks around Independence Day and a lot of choices to make on how you will spend your time. One activity that is a constant when celebrating July 4th is the evening fireworks display.

My family likes to keep things simple. We browse Farmers’ Markets and enjoy the fireworks from the lake.  Many towns around the Adirondacks have full day celebrations with face painting, live music and even barbeques. Some towns have live music preceding the firework display while others have parades to celebrate our heroes of war.


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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Free Fishing Weekend Around New York State

fishing_inlet_newNew York State Free Fishing Days will take place this weekend, June 28-29 allowing anyone to fish in NYS waters without a license. This annual event started in 1991 to encourage people to try fishing. Since my husband already has his fishing license and my children aren’t required to have one, we use the annual Free Fishing Days as an opportunity to introduce visitors or our non-fishing friends to the sport.

Annually the Department of Environmental Education holds a series of free fishing clinics that not only allow all ages to experience fishing, but also participate in workshops that assist with fish identification, equipment, techniques, angling ethics and aquatic ecology.



Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Stand-Up Paddling Festival in Saranac Lake This Weekend

Modern stand-up paddling (SUP) has become one of the fastest growing water sports. This weekend Adirondack Lakes and Trails Outfitters is giving everyone an opportunity to see what all the fuss is about June 20-21 at the Lake Colby beach in Saranac Lake.

The history of SUP is long and convoluted with references found thousands of years ago of ancient cultures using boards and sticks to propel themselves through the water to fish or travel. The modern stand-up version is most often attributed to surfing because of the similar board shape. Around the Adirondacks, SUP is becoming a popular alternative to canoeing and kayaking.



Thursday, June 12, 2014

Celebrating Father’s Day In The Adirondacks

d8318bd2-ce67-275d-7a457cecb603a4e6Celebrating Father’s Day is easy in the Adirondacks.  My children  plan on honoring their father with a day highlighting his  favorite things. With numerous mountains to climb and streams to fish, the ability to have fun is around every corner.

It’s nice that my children don’t have to opt for the stereotypical new tie or coffee mug to show their appreciate to the man who gave them life. That doesn’t mean my husband won’t get another hand-painted mug and a few crazy ties. Whatever my husband is gifted I know he will appreciate , but he would rather be outside and active.

Here are a couple of events happening this weekend that are all about spending quality » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Celebrate The Northville-Placid Trail On National Trails Day

On the first Saturday of June the American Hiking Society celebrates National Trails Day. Now commemorating its 22nd year, National Trails Day continues to bring attention to the extensive network of outdoor trails across the Unites States as well as the wide array of activities those trails provide.

This year the Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK) has designated the historic Northville-Placid Trail (NPT) trail as its main volunteer project this Saturday, June 7. Paired with the Northville Merchants Association and Fulton Montgomery Regional Chamber, ADK will have over 100 volunteers installing rock steps, retaining walls and rerouting the Northville section to a new archway at Northville’s Waterfront Park.

According to » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Trade In Adirondack Invasives for Native Plants

My backyard has a mixture of wildflowers and cultivated plants with an eye toward native perennials. I gently move the spring foamflowers, bunchberries and bluets that always manage to pop up in the middle of my kids’ baseball field. I protect the trillium from the puppy and neighborhood kids while making sure nothing invasive has traveled perhaps by squirrel, bird or child. Yes, my child.

I’ve had to educate my daughter that picking roadside plants, (which sometimes includes the roots, which is not a good way of keeping our garden and property safe from Adirondack invasives). Since she is also a fan of gardening, I’ve limited her transplanting to items already located to » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Opening Weekend for the Adirondack Museum

The Adirondack Museum will be opening for its 57th season this Friday, May 23, at its home in Blue Mountain Lake. After a calm winter of Cabin Fever Lectures and special programs, the museum is bringing back favorite exhibits and hosting specials exhibitions for the 2014 season.

Though all the new exhibits sound exciting, one in particular that I’m looking forward to celebrates Arto Monaco’s whimsical art and the Land of Makebelieve. A few years ago my family and I had been able to visit and help the Arto Monaco Historical Society on a few of its work weekends in Upper Jay. The organization was doing its best to resurrect parts of » Continue Reading.



Thursday, May 15, 2014

Adirondack Paddlefest and Kayak Demos

With springtime finally here in the Adirondacks, it is time to think about water sports. My family is in the market for a few kayaks, but our pocketbook doesn’t always match our expectations. I do what research I can, test friends’ kayaks and ask question upon question.

This past weekend I was fortunate to be able to go to Adirondack Lakes and Trails Outfitters Kayak and Canoe Free Demo Days at the Lake Flower boat launch in Saranac Lake. Though most of the kayaks were out of our budget, it was with welcome relief when a representative started by asking very specific questions regarding my family’s supposed usage and what my expectations » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Third Annual Newcomb Loon Race

DSC_0105One of the first programs my family attended at the Adirondack Interpretive Center (AIC) was a Leopold Bench workshop. The day was devoted to learning  about Aldo Leopold, listening to a reading from A Sand County Almanac and walking the AIC trails. It was a full day of activity that my children still speak about fondly.

Though the agenda for the 3rd annual Loons and Logs Day on May 24th doesn’t include making a Leopold Bench, there is a full schedule of events that includes an  Adirondack chair workshop.



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