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.


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Adirondack Family Activities: Adirondack Balloon Festival

Sometimes my husband and I take turns doing something special with the children. We each need our own one-on-one time with our son and daughter. Each child also gets that special time with a parent where he/she doesn’t have to compete for attention.

Last year my son and I attended the Adirondack Balloon Festival. Since we live outside of Saranac Lake, making the 5:00 am Big Balloon Breakfast at the Floyd Bennett Memorial Airport hanger in Queensbury was no mean feat. The biggest challenge wasn’t so much the early drive but getting my son out of bed. He agreed much later on that is was definitely worth the trip. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Adirondack Family Activities: Piano By Nature

The summer season ends and brings a close to numerous outdoor entertainments. During the summer months, throughout the Adirondack Park, there is an abundance of outdoor concerts, musicians and entertainers. My family feels so fortunate to have such professional talent at our disposal. Come autumn, the leaves change and so do the musical entertainment opportunities.

In its fifth season, Piano by Nature in Elizabethtown is one musical organization that strives to bring live music to the Adirondacks during the other months of the year. Artistic Director Rose Chancier started Piano By Nature with the concept of giving back to her community. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Adirondack Family Activities: Farm 2 Fork Festival

Eating locally and bringing attention to regional farmers is a passion of Gail Brill. As the Adirondack Green Circle Founding Director, Brill saw a disconnect between the produce farmers were bringing to local farmers’ markets and the consumer buying it. The idea for a festival to celebrate the local harvest came four years ago when Brill overhead someone ask how to use Celeriac, a celery-type root vegetable.

“The Adirondack Green Circle does a lot of bridging between the farmers and consumers,” says Brill. “We want to celebrate what the farmers are bringing to the table and educate the consumer on how to cook with it.” » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Adirondack Family Activities: Rustic Riders at St Williams

My family has never gone to St. William’s on Long Point. I am aware of its special programming and always think that I have a full summer to attend just one of the free Thursday events. As we travel around hiking, swimming and eating our way through the Adirondack Park, suddenly the end of the summer looms and only one more special event is scheduled to take place on Long Point.

I get an e-mail reminder from Lisa Meissner of the acoustic group, Rustic Riders. Lisa and her husband Klauss will be performing at St. Williams on Long Point in Raquette Lake on August 23, 7:00 p.m. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Adirondack Family Activities:
Bluegrass, Classical Music Fests

There are always plenty of festivals to choose from around the Adirondack Park. This weekend two very different musical venues will be attracting people from all over. For the second year, the Lake George Music Festival is filling a professional classical music need in the Lake George area while the Upper Hudson Bluegrass Festival is bringing a range of talent to the North Creek Ski Bowl for its ninth year.

 According to Lake George Music Festival Executive Director Alexander Lombard, Lake George is a natural fit for their festival. The week long schedule of events takes place as four different venues, St. James Episcopal Church, Caldwell Presbyterian Church, Sacred Heart Catholic Church, and Shepard Park. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Adirondack Family Activities: Hoss’s Annual Authors’ Night

Hoss’s Country Corner looms large at the junction of Routes 28N and 30 in Long Lake where the annual Authors’ Night will take place this August 14 for its 28th year. Always held the second Tuesday in August the event has grown from a few to sometimes 80 authors in attendance. According to owner Lorrie Hosley, people now plan their vacations around attending this event.

“This year there are 60 different authors gathered to meet people and sign books,” says Hosley. “It is more manageable. People can walk around and meet all the authors as everyone is always under one tent.  People don’t have to buy books. They can bring their copy and get it personalized by the author. Christopher Shaw will be there along with other Adirondack singers and storytellers.” » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Adirondack Family Activities: Adirondack Art Walks

Although I am not in the market to buy art, I am always in the market to experience it. Monthly Adirondack Art Walks are always buzzing with activity. Young people are receiving instruction as they paint on easels set up on a street corner. Musicians are tucked in gazebos and under tents. Wood carvers and other artists welcome people into galleries. The atmosphere is always extremely friendly.

My children are used to going to museums and walking through shows since this is what they have been doing since each was in a stroller. Each art galley is like a mini museum showcasing creativity. Children can also put a different perspective to everything. My daughter still can see a mermaid in practically any piece of modern art and my son is curious about the artistic process. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Adirondack Family Activities: Annual Durant Days

Raquette Lake comes together each year to celebrate the founder of the Adirondack Great Camp style, William W. Durant. Durant Days not only celebrates the history of the Adirondack architectural form, but brings people to the area that was the birthplace of the Great Camp design.

Event Organizer Donna Pohl says, “Beverly Bridger of Great Camp Sagamore and I started this event 14 years ago as a way to gain attention for the National Historic Landmarks of Raquette Lake. One of the crowning jewels during Durant Days is the opportunity for a guided tour of Camp Pine Knot.” » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Adirondack Family Activities:
BBQ, Bluegrass at DaCy Meadow Farm

DaCy Meadow Farm in Westport is once again bringing a summer of localvore living to the Adirondacks.  According to owner David Johnston the annual Blues and Burgers has been reinvented as a Barbeque and Bluegrass Pickin’ Party for July 21 and September 1 from 6 pm – 10 pm.  The two events are just a sampling of the “Farm to Table” opportunities.

“We have different events all the time with the focus always being a unique food experience,” says Johnston.  “In addition to our Sunday Brunch we have Chef Kevin McCarthy come and provide a gourmet slow food experience. The family-style meal emphasizes on the preparation of local foods. He comes out after each course and answers questions.” » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Adirondack Family Activities:
Shakespeare in the Adirondack Park

Shakespeare in the Adirondack ParkFor the fourth year the Adirondack Lakes Center for the Arts  in Blue Mountain Lake is performing Shakespeare the way it was originally intended, according to Marketing Director Anton Briones.

“Shakespeare can be perceived as a high art performance when in reality [the plays] were written for the common masses,” says Briones. “We experimented the first year at the Adirondack Lakes Center for the Arts with A Midsummer Night’s Dream and perfected the outdoor, traveling format.”

Part of the Adirondack Lakes Summer Theatre Festival, Shakespeare in the Adirondack Park is free with performances from Piseco to Lake Placid with 14 stops in between.  This year’s production is The Tempest with an Adirondack twist. Though the characters and dialog remain the same, the script is edited to an hour. The unique program is family-friendly with audience members bringing chairs and blankets to enjoy the outdoor ambiance. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Adirondack Family Activities: Fireworks for 4th of July

There 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.

Many towns around the Adirondacks have full day celebrations with face painting, contests and even barbeques. Some towns have live music preceding the firework display while others have parades to celebrate our heroes of war. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Adirondack Family Activities: Westport Model Plane Show

The International Miniature Aircraft Association (IMAA) and the Champlain Valley Flyers are once again hosting “Valley of the Giants” at the Westport Airfield this weekend, June 29- July 1. Event Director Clarence Owen brought the large model plane event back to Westport last year after a 10-year hiatus.

“We held the event last year and it was a great success,” says Owen. “We are now adding on an extra day. We had 45 pilots last year and are expecting about the same. There will be food and raffles in addition to all the model flight demonstrations. We are also going to be donating our part in the North Country SPCA.” » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Adirondack Family Activities: Free Fishing Days

Free Adirondack Fishing Days

New York State (NYS) Free Fishing Days will take place this weekend, June 23-24.  This annual event started in 1991 to encourage people to try fishing.  My husband has his fishing license and my children aren’t required to have one so he uses the annual Free Fishing Days as an opportunity to introduce someone new to the sport.

New York State doesn’t give much away for free so why not take advantage of this opportunity and relax by a stream or on a pond, casting for some of the various strains of stocked breed and wild catch.

For residents of NYS  a one-day fishing license is still $5 and remains $15 for non-residents. That may be an inexpensive option for the infrequent angler. There are other licensing options ranging from a full week to a year. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Adirondack Family Activities: Juneteenth


John Brown Farm State Historic Site will once again commemorate Juneteenth with a family-friendly celebration of freedom. The free event will take place onsite in Lake Placid Saturday, June 16th from 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Brendan Mills, Site Manager and Curator at John Brown Farm Historic Site, says,“ The first Juneteenth took place on June 19, 1865 when Union soldiers told slaves in Galveston, Texas that they were free. It was a moment of triumph. The day and celebration eventually became known as Juneteenth. I wanted to have something to celebrate here.”

Mills organized the annual celebration that will include The Lake Champlain Mass Chorus, Sombabeats African Dance Tribe, Reason2Smile African Market Place, BBQ and ice cream. All the activities are free, though the food and ice cream are available for a $2 donation. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Adirondack Family Activities: Adirondack Birding Festival

The 8th annual Adirondack Birding Festival will take place this weekend throughout Hamilton County, June 8-10, with numerous scheduled guided walks and hikes exploring boreal birds from the hermit thrush to bald eagles.

Dean Nervik, Adirondack Birding Festival promoter says, “I’ve been with this festival since its beginning eight years ago. We have boreal birds you can’t find in Albany or even nearby Johnstown. We are always promoting the open space in Hamilton County. We have hikes, walks, canoes and even a car safari to get people out and exploring this birding destination.”

According to Nervik all the guided hikes happening during the Adirondack Birding Festival are free and open to the public. He is quick to remind everyone that pre-registration is required for all events, even the free evening lecture at the Adirondack Museum. » Continue Reading.


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