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.


Thursday, February 16, 2017

Raquette Lake Winter Carnival February 17-19

It’s still playtime and for those visitors and Adirondackers on the Winter Carnival tour, Raquette Lake is the next stop for some wintertime fun, whether for a brief layover or a long stay.

According to the Long Lake Parks and Recreation Department’s Cindy Black, the Raquette Lake Winter Carnival has grown over the years with locals and visitors joining in the fun. Snowmobile season is still in full swing so people make Raquette Lake a destination for the February 17-19 weekend.

“Most of the events are centrally located around the Raquette Lake Library,“ says Black. “The events are set up so » Continue Reading.


Friday, February 10, 2017

Peoples Pixel Project: Lake George Arts Center’s Free Film Contest

Once again the Lake George Arts Center is accepting submissions for The Peoples Pixel Project (P3), a contest celebrating original short films. In its eighth year, P3 continues to be a vehicle for local professional and emerging videographers. The subject matter is open though contestants must live within a 100-mile radius of Lake George.

According the Lake George Arts Center Executive Direction John Strong, the contest receives about 50 submissions each year. The general categories are Tunes, U14, Documentary, Animated, Experimental, Narrative, Short Shorts (less than 60 seconds) and Bermuda Shorts (no longer than 10-minutes.) The categories are general and Strong encourages videographers to just » Continue Reading.


Friday, February 3, 2017

Pendragon Theatre’s Young Playwright Deadline Approaches

My family always feels so fortunate to be able to attend live theatre across the Adirondack Park. We’ve seen incredible shows at the professional stages of Saranac Lake’s Pendragon Theatre, Adirondack Lakes Theatre Festival, Westport’s Depot Theatre and ADK Shakes, to name a few. We’ve attended regional productions by Our Town Theatre Group, Community Theatre Players and Essex Theatre Company.

Each group provides a variety of wonderful experiences for children and community members to be part of the action, but Pendragon Theatre has a unique opportunity that fosters a different creative outlet.


Friday, January 27, 2017

Artists Making Animal Masks For Winter Carnival

Saranac Lake is getting ready for its 120th Winter Carnival this February 3rd to 12th with an appropriate carnival theme: Adirondack Animals. To help get everyone in the mood, BluSeed Studios is conducting a mask decorating contest with the proceeds benefiting a new public art installation. This weekend is the final chance to be involved.

According to Organizer Edward DeLeon Saranac Lake ArtWorks and BluSeed Studios has formed a partnership and the mask making contest and exhibit is one of the first collaborations for the two art establishments.


Thursday, January 19, 2017

Vintage Snowmobile Races Set for Long Lake Sunday

Long Lake is continuing their Winter Carnival celebration with the annual Vintage Snowmobile Races. Known for speed and agility, the Vintage Snowmobile Races take place right on Jennings Pond with plenty of spectator viewing for all.

According to Long Lake Lion’s Club President Robert Keough this event was originally scheduled as part of the Long Lake Winter Carnival, but was postponed because of the amount of ice on Jennings Pond. Now, one week later, there is already 12 inches of ice on the lake, the track is being maintained and the Sunday event is a go.


Thursday, January 12, 2017

Night Skiing in the Adirondacks

My family has been enjoying all the fresh snow at some our favorite downhill ski resorts. Sometimes it can be disappointing, after a great day of skiing, to have to call an end to the day. It’s those times that we are grateful for these local mountains that let the fun continue through the night.  These family- style ski resorts have special nighttime events or dedicate the week to extended skiing under the lights.

Saranac Lake’s own Mount Pisgah offers night skiing during the week until 8 pm. This multipurpose recreational area also offers tubing and adjacent cross-country ski trails. The » Continue Reading.


Thursday, January 5, 2017

A Guided Snowshoe Hike At Bolton Landing’s UpYonda Farm

It has been a few years since Bolton Landing’s UpYonda Farm has offered guided snowshoe hikes at the 75-acre property. According to UpYonda Administrator Matt Sprow there is currently more snow on the trails than was available at this same time last year.

“We have a calendar full of public programing,” says Sprow. “Our hikes go on, regardless of the weather. Right now the snow is okay. Snowshoes are included in the fee for the hike or people can bring their own. If the weather changes we will still hold our guide hike, but it may turn into more of » Continue Reading.


Friday, December 30, 2016

First Night Celebrations To Ring In The New Year

There are so many different ways to ring in the new year. Each Adirondack town has special celebrations from Lake George cruises to Long Lake’s Little Bus festivities. There are even ski mountain extravaganzas like Oak Mountain’s Torch Light Parade or Titus Mountain’s free 1st Tracks Bash.

My family has always chosen to bring in the new year with a First Night Celebration in Saranac Lake or Saratoga Springs. Both events offer an alcohol-free, family-friendly tradition for welcoming in the new year.


Thursday, December 22, 2016

Visiting the North Pole’s Village of Lights

It’s always with great excitement that my family gets to tell visitors that we live near the North Pole. I have photos of Rudolph on my phone and my Christmas cards are all postmarked with the North Pole seal. There are not many places in the Adirondacks that celebrate Christmas all year long.

Since 1949, Santa’s Workshop has been keeping the Christmas spirit alive year-round. Designed by Arto Monaco (Land of Make Believe) Santa’s Workshop, near Wilmington NY, provides us with a direct portal to “the jolly o’ elf.” Though Friday, December  23rd, from 4:30- 8 pm, Santa’s Workshop Village of Lights is open » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Nordic Ski Fest In North Creek This Weekend

Gore Mountain found the silver lining when last year’s light snow conditions didn’t provide enough coverage for Nordic events to the south of the Adirondacks.  Instead of cancelling these longstanding Nordic venues, organizers moved the events to the ski area.  Now, due to the demand, a full-service Nordic facility has been created at the North Creek Ski Bowl.

According to Gore Mountain Marketing Director Emily Stanton, this weekend Gore Mountain will be opening its Village Chair for the season.  This 4.24K network of cross-country ski trails offers a variety of terrain with 3.19K fitted with snowmaking and lights.


Thursday, December 8, 2016

Adirondack Holiday Events This Weekend

holiday strollThere are a variety of ways to ring in the holidays with quaint Adirondack charm. It can be as simple as viewing the holiday lights throughout Long Lake or as active as this weekend’s Lake Placid Holiday Stroll and Christmas in Essex. With fresh snow in the mountains and holiday bazaars on every corner, it is beginning to look a lot like an Adirondack Christmas.

Over the past 20 years Christmas in Essex has evolved to include a mixture of traditional activities and new events. The event kicks off with a preview party, tree lighting and holiday concert. Adults can learn how » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, November 30, 2016

World of Nativities Returns to Parks-Bentley Place

img_2505The Parks-Bentley Place is once again bringing a “World of Nativities” to South Glens Falls.  Due to an anonymous donation and loan, the Historical Society of Moreau at Parks-Bentley Place has close to 300 nativity scenes from around the world to display and alternate throughout the upcoming years.

This year’s exhibit will highlight 125 of those 300 nativities. Many of the sets use unique materials from hardware to hand-blown glass while other pieces highlight characters that are traditional to the nativity’s country of origin. One set from Germany has a St. Bernard included since that dog is traditionally used for rescue » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, November 23, 2016

An Adirondack Thanksgiving Tradition: The Nutcracker Ballet

ncbenutcracker_keeganphotographyThis weekend kicks off my family’s Thanksgiving tradition and it doesn’t involve standing in a queue or waking up early to nab a coveted online prize. Our Black Friday tradition involves a performance of the North Country Ballet Ensemble’s (NCBE) The Nutcracker.

Therese Wendler, principal dancer with Rebecca Kelly Ballet and Dances Patrelle, will once again dance the role of the Sugar Plum Fairy in the NCBE’s 31st Annual Nutcracker performance. Mikhail Ilyin, a sololist and principal dancer with the Boston Ballet, Miami City Ballet and American Ballet Theater, will perform in the role of Cavalier alongside local and » Continue Reading.


Friday, November 18, 2016

Delmoni-McCarty-Thomas String Trio Sunday in Saranac

delmoni-mccarty-thomas-string-trio-2In its 21-year history, Saranac’s Hill and Hollow Music has brought over 200 professional chamber music ensembles to the Adirondacks. Their community outreach has included presentations in schools, churches, senior residences and community centers. I am always so grateful for such organizations that float into our communities with seemingly little effort and bring international musicians to our door.

This Sunday, November 20 at the Saranac United Methodist Church on Rt. 3, Hill and Hollow Founder and Director Angela Brown has brought together an outstanding trio to perform at the Saranac “Little Church in the Hollow.”


Thursday, November 10, 2016

Free Fishing Veterans Day in New York State

fishing pier at eighth lake campgroundLast year, New York State added President’s Weekend and Veterans Day to the existing June free fishing weekend, allowing guests and residents to enjoy angling on the any of the state’s numerous lakes, waters and streams.

Typically, a  one-day fishing license for New York State is $5 for residents, and $10 for non-residents – an inexpensive option for the infrequent angler. Other licensing options range from a full week to a year, and priced accordingly.


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