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, January 20, 2016

Searching for the Stars at UpYonda Farm

starlabMy kids are always searching the sky for various constellations. We are so fortunate to have a dark evening sky so readily available to us. Though the Adirondacks may have less ambient light, the January 23rd full moon will make observing familiar constellations a bit more difficult. Don’t worry. The staff at UpYonda Farm in Bolton Landing is using their indoor StarLab to bring the night sky to us.

According to Naturalist Peter Olesheski the portable planetarium is not a new activity for UpYonda Farm. The StarLab unit was purchased with the Glens Falls Pubic School through a grant and is shared throughout the year. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Long Lake Winter Carnival Set For Saturday

BroomballAdirondack summers seem to bring festivals while Adirondack winters bring  carnivals. Spread throughout the Park, towns and villages take out the stops to celebrate the season.

Long Lake is no exception. On January 16, 2016 the community will bring together wacky and wild activities as part of their 15th Long Lake Winter Carnival.

Moonlighter’s Snowmobile Club member Paula Piraino says: “This year the town has formally taken over the coordinating of Winter Carnival from the Moonlighter’s Club though they have been heavily involved in the past. The Moonlighter’s Club is still involved as we sponsor the Broomball Tournament and  the traditional crowning of the king and queen.”

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Author Robin Wall Kimmerer At The Wild Center

robin-wall-kimmerer-braiding-sweetgrassOne of my family’s favorite year-round Adirondack museums is Tupper Lake’s Wild Center. The combination of trails and outdoor space mixed with live exhibits and multi-media shows satisfies a wide range of ages from grandmother to granddaughter.

Though the creative hands-on learning opportunities are a good part of its appeal, the Wild Center continues to grow with its audience through award-winning films, the Youth Climate Summit and other special programming. Saturday’s visit by Robin Wall Kimmerer, whose latest book is, Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants, is another of those occasions.

According to Exhibits and Programs Manager Rob Carr, Kimmerer’s reading is open to members and those with a paid admission to The Wild Center on January 9 at 1 pm. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, December 30, 2015

First Night Celebrations In Saranac Lake, Saratoga

SONY DSCThere is no right or wrong way to ring in the New Year, unless it involves an altercation with the police. For my family, a  multi-generational event remains the most memorable New Year’s Eve celebration.

According to First Night Saratoga Coordinator Alex Jones this year will be the 20th anniversary for First Night Saratoga. After wrapping up last year’s celebration the First Night Saratoga Committee asked participants what they wanted to see “more of” for the 20th anniversary celebration. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, December 24, 2015

Polar Plunging Into The New Year!

Long Lake residents and visitors take part in the annual Polar Bear Plunge at the town beach in Long Lake, NY.After a month of hearing about Christmas lists and about what my children want, I’m turning their focus to what other people need.

It’s always nice to start the New Year off thinking about someone other than ourselves. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Christmas At The Adirondack Carousel

LZ2A0096There are plenty of wonderful Christmas holiday celebrations happening around the Adirondacks, but only one year-round carousel. On December 20 from 2-4 pm, Saranac Lake’s  Adirondack Carousel is celebrating its third Christmas party for children and adults alike. Admission for the Adirondack Carousel Christmas Party is $5 per children or $20 for a family.

“The admission caps off at $20 no matter how many members in the family,” says Executive Director Jennifer Hunt. “We are having the same structure as we’ve had in the past. Each participant will receive a token for a carousel ride, make a candy house and visit with Santa.” » Continue Reading.


Thursday, December 10, 2015

Christmas Plays Around The Adirondacks

12295332_970312599681712_8661386587782439186_nThere is more to the Adirondacks than being on a mountain, though that is certainly one way my family plans on spending the holidays. We also look forward to relaxing together during a classic Christmas performance. It sounds corny, but with our kids being pulled in one direction for school sports and my husband and I going in another direction for work, we find it best to meet somewhere in the middle. Thankfully there are plenty of wonderful theatre performances around the Adirondacks that will help us get into the holiday spirit. » Continue Reading.


Friday, December 4, 2015

An Old Fashioned Christmas in Warrensburg

IMG_1018All around the Adirondacks, different communities celebrate the holiday season in a variety of ways. This Friday through Sunday, December 4-6, Warrensburg continues to bring an old fashioned Christmas to visitors and locals alike with its 27th Christmas in Warrensburgh.

According to Christmas in Warrensburgh Chairperson Teresa Whalen the event started when she was decorating her husband’s building for the holidays in downtown Glens Falls. She realized that she wanted to bring the same holiday cheer to her own hometown. Now the event has grown over the years, but the focus is still to highlight all the talented local artisans and activities found around the area. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, November 25, 2015

9 Local Performances Of The Nutcracker Ballet

photo-16Throughout the Adirondacks and beyond, one holiday tradition that our family and many others look forward to each year is “The Nutcracker” ballet. This family-friendly ballet signals the holiday season with its period costumes, magic and adventure and this year there are several opportunities to see “The Nutcracker”  in the Adirondack region.

According to North Country Ballet Ensemble board president Scott Tuller, their production this year features significant scenic and choreographic changes. They will awe patrons, Tuller said, whether they are new to “The Nutcracker” or have seen the ballet before. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, November 19, 2015

Black Friday At Indian Lake’s Country Christmas Tour

10830913_856048784415422_2293941662937184655_oSince my children’s Christmas lists consist mostly of electronic devices made in Asia,  I understand the appeal of Black Friday. I’m being realistic in knowing that going completely Internet free isn’t going to happen, but it doesn’t mean that I can’t balance the electronic waves with some handmade Adirondack goods and services.

Theatre tickets and museum memberships are always a go-to favorite, but we also look for those “made in the Adirondacks” products that come from the talented artists and crafts people that make the Adirondacks their home. One place to make a local Black Friday and Small Business Saturday count is the 18th Annual Indian Lake Country Christmas Tour November 27-28. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, November 12, 2015

Lake Champlain Film Festival Starts Friday

Screen Shot 2015-11-10 at 2.41.28 PMFor the second year the Lake Champlain International Film Festival (LCIFF) is bringing attention to new films and filmmakers working in any and all genres and forms of film.

According to the Lake Champlain International Film Festival’s Artist Director Jason Torrance, the November 13-15 event is even bigger and better than the inaugural year. There are 11 countries being represented: USA, France, Germany, India, Ghana, Serbia, Sweden, Canada, Spain, Iran, and Japan providing a mixture of shorts and feature length films. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Fall Festival at Essex’s Lakeside School

Fall-Fun-Festival-2015When I first moved to the Adirondacks I found a wonderful Waldorf-initative called  Northern Lights School, now located in Saranac Lake. My children were constantly shown the importance of play in the natural world.  At that time, Northern Lights was the only Waldorf School located within the Adirondack Park.

Nine years ago The Lakeside School at Black Kettle Farm in Essex, NY joined the Adirondack Waldorf community and continues to grow and expand while providing a creative learning environment for young children. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Last Weekend for Fort William Henry Museum Ghost Tours

Ghost Tour - 2013There are some things that are out of my comfort zone and actively seeking all that is terrifying leads the list. Recently I attended Fright Night at Tucker’s Great Adirondack Corn Maze and did my best to look brave around a bunch of 12-year-olds. My daughter didn’t need my moral support and soon let me catch my breath at the bonfire and ponder my fears.

Though there are still haunted wagon rides and Fright Fests to be found around the Adirondacks this Halloween weekend, Fort William Henry’s Ghost Tours offer scary stories tied to paranormal experiences. It isn’t the shock treatment that some people crave, but a trip through history that is weaved with people’s real experiences with ghosts. Whether you believe in the hauntings is completely up to you! » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Halloween Fun: Adirondack Corn Mazes

CornMaze_newThis weekend seems to be the Adirondack kick-off for all things spooky. For my household of scaredy-cats, I look for a range of events that we can enjoy a thrilling adventure without sacrificing my dignity.

One activity that seems to hold the attention of every age is a trip to the corn maze. Getting lost through those corn stalk twists and turns provides hours of fun. Now with Halloween around the corner these various locations are upping the thrills with evening scares and flashlight nights. Here are a few of my family’s favorite spots. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, October 14, 2015

CATS, DaCy Meadow Farm Opening New Trail

12087818_10153419335194843_300363278908098642_oIt really is mind boggling to think that not too many years ago hiking routes around the Adirondack Coast were slim to nonexistent. Now six years later Champlain Area Trails (CATS) and a host of volunteers have built over 35 miles of trails and improved dozens of existing paths. This Saturday CATS will open a newly expanded trail and join forces with a Westport family farm to celebrate trails and local food. » Continue Reading.


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