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.



Friday, January 23, 2015

Adirondack Museum Cabin Fever Sunday Series

Screen Shot 2015-01-20 at 2.38.32 PMOn our visits to the Adirondack Museum, my family has always found that there really isn’t enough time to see it all in one day. That is why the Adirondack Museum Cabin Fever Sundays present a different way of learning about the vast information tucked within the museum’s buildings in Blue Mountain Lake.

According to Adirondack Museum Marketing Assistant Paige Doerner the second Cabin Fever event will feature Adirondack Life Senior Editor Niki Kourofsky’s tales of “Adirondack Outlaws.” Kourofsky is bringing the Adirondack’s criminal element to light and is highlighting just a few of the historical scallywags, bandits and fiends from her recently published book, Adirondack » Continue Reading.



Friday, January 16, 2015

Adk Cardboard Sled Circuit Kicks-Off Saturday

Adk Cardboard Sled Racing Circuit HeatLong Lake is ready to celebrate the snowy season with its annual Winter Carnival this Saturday, January 17. The town will be flooded with royalty, bonfires and fireworks, with other events tucked in between. The Long Lake Winter Carnival also kicks off the first leg of the Adirondack Cardboard Sled Race.

According to Indian Lake’s Events Activities Coordinator Vonnie Liddle , the Adirondack Cardboard Sled Circuit is in its third year. Participates need to race in three out of the five local venues with a trophy going to the overall winner. The races are free to all and the sleds can be assembled ahead of time. Please check » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Second Annual ADK Winterfest Saturday

AdkWinterfestLoj_newLast year my family attended the ADK Winterfest held at the Adirondack Mountain Club’s Adirondack Loj property and had a blast. We spend quite a bit of time at this “gateway to the Adirondacks,” but thought that ADK Winterfest was the perfect opportunity to introduce a one-stop venue of winter activities to our guests.



Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Free, Safe Rides On New Year’s Eve

218737_210356059004270_7993250_oI’ve participated in my fair share of New Year’s Eve ball drops and celebrations. I’ve certainly taken my champagne toast in the New Year.  I have also witnessed family and friends make their share of poor decisions. Thankfully no one was ever hurt.

The concept of taking keys from party-goers and being a designated driver is not a new concept, though drinking and driving is still prevalent. Not to get too preachy, but once the celebration starts the decision on how you are getting home should already be made. So to help with the process, below are a few of the free public ride share options available.



Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Family Tips For Ringing In The New Year

NoonYearsEveThere are a lot of decisions to make about how to spend New Year’s Eve. There is the traditional party with a countdown to that first kiss or the ever popular First Night celebrations. Some families tend to stay home while others attend fancy parties. The focus is on fun.

Plattsburgh’s Imaginarium Children’s Museum will be taking a different approach to the New Year celebration with a mid-day event that is focused on the family. The event allows parents with young children to celebrate Noon Year’s Eve celebration that allows parents to focus on family with plenty of time to get the kids home to a sitter for later, adults oriented year-end celebrations.



Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A Trip To Moody’s For The Perfect Christmas Tree

MoodyFarm_newOur Christmas tree tradition always involves sturdy boots, a saw, braving the cold and most likely a snowball fight that ends with someone crying.

There are many places around the Adirondacks to find the perfect Christmas tree. Every year my family has an open invitation to explore our neighbor’s property, but most of the time we enjoy walking the fields of one of the nearby tree farms.



Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Christmas in Essex, Where Santa Arrives By Ferry

TaylorHaskins_newThere are many ways to spend the holidays, or those few frantic weeks just before, that truly ring in the year with quaint Adirondack charm. Schroon Lake’s Olde Tyme Christmas, Lake Placid’s Holiday Stroll and Christmas in Essex are just three celebrations that are prepared to make everyone’s countdown to Christmas just a little more merry.

Though Friday nights do hold a few scheduled happenings, the main events take place over the weekend for most locations. According to Christmas in Essex Co-Organizer Kenneth Hughes, this year’s festival on December 13th is a mixture of traditional activities and new events.

“Christmas in Essex has been happening for at least 20 years so » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Giving Tuesday Can Happen Anytime

Now that we’ve survived Black Friday and supported local businesses with Small Business Saturday, it is time to look at the really big picture and make sure that giving remains a major part of the holiday season. Since 2012, #GivingTuesday has celebrated the importance of generosity and giving back.

Giving Tuesday was conceived in cooperation with the New York’s 92 Street Young Men and Young Women’s Hebrew Association (92Y), the United Nations Foundation and a team of founding partners that understood the importance of fostering kindness.

The concept is simple. We have numerous days for getting, now we have a international day for giving. If you are sitting at your computer or visiting a favorite Adirondack location, please take » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Supporting Food Pantries: The Canadian Pacific Holiday Train

IMG_7718We have taken our family to the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train since my children were little tykes. Not only is the event a fun way to dance off that Thanksgiving meal, it is a community-wide opportunity to give back.

It is always important for my kids to remember while making that second turkey sandwich; some families may not have had enough food for firsts.

Since 1999 the Holiday Train has offered free concerts and a festively decorated train to help raise food and cash donations to local food banks. This year Tracey Brown, formerly of award winning country bank The Family Brown, has taken on the US section of » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Black Friday: Christmas On Main Street

OldForgeChristmas_newPersonally I feel that all decorations have their time and place. Just because chain stores decided on Christmas merchandising before my kids had even pulled together Halloween costumes, does not mean I have to succumb. I need some distance between my holiday celebrations. Christmas won’t happen in our house until the turkey is considered a leftover.

Around the Adirondacks local stores and businesses aren’t feeling the pressure to celebrate early. They are saving their energy and pulling out all the stops for a Black Friday weekend that is uniquely Adirondack.



Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Lake Champlain Inaugural International Film Festival

filmfestivalbannerThis isn’t the first time that Plattsburgh has held an international film fest, but after an 11-year absence, the city by the lake is bringing back the Lake Champlain International Film Festival November 15-16 to the recently renovated Strand Theatre.

According to The Strand Center for the Arts Executive Director Jessica Dulle, the festival producers were pleasantly surprised by the number of countries responding to the film festival as well as the quality of the films received.



Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Lake Placid Film Forum Series Continues with ‘Red Army’

RED_ARMY_-_5_Line_©_2014_Polsky_Films,_Courtesy_of_Sony_Pictures_ClassicsIt is poignant that the Adirondack Film Society and Lake Placid Film Forum have chosen “Red Army” as part of its inaugural monthly film series. Directed by Gabe Polsky, “Red Army” goes behind the Iron Curtain and tracks the Soviet Union’s hockey team domination to its unraveling at the Lake Placid 1980 Winter Olympic Games to its ultimate demise.

Executive Producers Werner Herzog and Jerry Weintraub helped bring Polsky’s vision to life in this documentary that has received rave reviews from the Cannes, New York, Telluride and Toronto Film Festivals. In “Red Army,” Polsky tracks the Russian hockey dynasty through the eyes of its captain Slava Fetisov. The film reveals how Fetisov fell » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Donate That Excess Halloween Candy

IMG_4472Right now I have three oversized bags of candy hidden on a shelf in my kitchen, waiting to be opened on Halloween. I’m sure my children are thinking that they will be eating everything that remains after I pass out most of it to the waves of tiny princesses, goblins and super heroes on Friday night. My kids don’t get a lot of candy, but they aren’t feeling neglected either. I’ve always asked my kids to divide their candy into a pile to keep and a pile to give away.

I understand the logic that there is no such thing as “leftover candy.” I do think there is something as too much. I also understand » Continue Reading.


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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Learning About Bones In Newcomb

skeleton_anatomy__deer_by_omgshira-d3gfz9jHalloween is ripe for haunting, ghosts and ghouls. My son is weighing his options between being a zombie groom or part of a ghostly orchestra for his art club’s Haunted High School in Saranac Lake this Friday. He knows that I am not the person to ask whether a fake severed arm looks real or if he should go with a gaping head wound.

I am not the family thrill seeker when it comes Halloween. If I were to look at bones I’d rather it be part of Mark Lawler’s program “Bones I Have Known” at Newcomb’s Adirondack Interpretive Center (AIC). An instructor in anthropology, geology and environmental science, Lawler is leading an » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, October 15, 2014

North Country Junior Iron Chef Competition Planned

Super Chefs-ActionMy daughter has brought the same sandwich to school everyday since the 1st grade: turkey on 12-grain, with an occasional side salad. My son not only brings his lunch, but sometimes manages to eat a second school lunch. His school food isn’t the stereotypical cafeteria lunch however, but part of the Adirondack Farm to School Initiative that is making quality food while supporting local farms and local food.

The North Country Jr. Iron Chef competition is another resource that is bringing students and commercial cafeterias together in a fun, educational environment that mimics the television show “Iron Chef” with a local twist.

Inspired by Jr. Iron Chef VT, middle and high school students » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Essex County Cheese Tour Offers Local Dairy Treats

asgaardfarm_newI’ve made my own yogurt for years and recently started experimenting with fermented food. I’m now struggling to produce Kefir without a grainy taste.

I just can’t seem to get the balance right. With a cupboard full of sourdough starter and ginger beer plant grains, my pantry looks like a science experiment.

With everything else bubbling and brewing, the one product I have no desire to make is cheese.



Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Adirondack Kids Day in Inlet On Saturday

IMG_5773Inlet’s Adirondack Kids Day will be held this Saturday, October 4 from 10 am to 3 pm. Organized by the Adirondack Kids book series authors Gary and Justin VanRiper with the assistance of Kiwanis of the Central Adirondacks, Adirondack Kids Day offers a chance for families to meet children’s authors and illustrators, learn new skills and enjoy a day of free activities.

The day kicks-off with a pancake breakfast at the Inlet Fire Hall benefiting the Inlet Common School Parents/Teacher Partnership. It’s a delicious way to start off a day full of activities. There are only a few activities that have a fee and food is one of them. Two other activities that require » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Easy Ways To See This Year’s Brilliant Foliage

IMG_5684There are all sorts of festivals this time of year but as much as I love a good get-together, sometimes it’s the simple things my family appreciates the most. When we get bogged down with school openings and away games, we have to stop and take a moment to look around us.

My daughter’s favorite autumn color is pink. You may think that the trees don’t really become pink, but if you look at the blending of some of the yellows, oranges and brilliant red, the leaves do indeed have a pinkish cast to them.


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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.



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