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, March 1, 2018

Sap is Running: Adirondack Maple Weekends

Cold nights and warm days are the perfect combination to make the maple sap flow. Though most commercial maple producers are already in full production, our family operation is a bit behind in collecting the sap.

Pancake breakfasts, wooded walks and maple tastings are all part of the menu for the two annual New York State Maple Producers Association’s Maple Weekends. In addition to these specially scheduled maple outings, some maple producers welcome drop-ins and individual tours. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, February 22, 2018

Lake Placid Film Forum Moves to October

The Adirondack Film Society (AFS) is moving the Lake Placid Film Forum from early June to late October. Through various meetings and the appointment of a new festival director, Gary Smith, the AFS board picked dates to follow three major film festivals.

The October 26-28, 2018 forum will now blend into the 2018 circuit following the Telluride, Toronto and New York Film Festivals. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, February 15, 2018

It’s Time for the Great Backyard Bird Count

Counting birds may not be for everyone, but having an opportunity to be a part of a larger project always intrigues me. My family has participated in the annual Christmas Bird Count as well as FrogWatch USA for years. We have counted loons, released monarchs, and monitored nests.

These various citizen science projects all have the same thing in common, asking the general public to provide critical data for future conservation efforts. Some projects require a bit of training while other programs just require being consistent. No matter the project, my family is always willing to learn more about conservation and animals that are indicators of environmental health. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, February 8, 2018

February Adirondack Winter Festivals

Snow isn’t just for shoveling. These snowy Adirondack days are providing the perfect weather for a February filled with winter festivals.

In all the far reaches of the Park, celebrating snow and ice is a tradition showcasing the playful aspects of wintertime. » Continue Reading.


Friday, February 2, 2018

Lake George Winter Carnival Kicks Off with Outhouse Races

For the past 57 years, the Lake George Winter Carnival has been a highly anticipated event throughout the Lake George region. Taking place each weekend in February, Lake George Village comes alive with reoccurring family-fun activities, special weekend events, as well as sanctioned snow-cross and car races. According to Lou Tokos, co-chairman of the winter carnival, mother nature has been good to them this year and the ice over Lake George is perfect.

“We had a few years with limited ice, but this year we have 11-12” of ice on the lake,” says Tokos. “This is the first weekend for the carnival and the big box event for this kick-off is the annual outhouse races. The races will take place right on Lake George, across from Shepard’s Park, which is the winter carnival headquarters. Our schedule of events is extensive.” » Continue Reading.


Thursday, January 25, 2018

Food for Thought: Cascade Ski Center’s Farm Dinners

Lake Placid’s Cascade Ski Center is known for its 20 km of ski trails, Nordic ski lodge and full service ski shop, but owner Jennifer Jubin continues to bring relevant issues to the table.

“I try to do relevant events every year from Farm Dinners to Avalanche Safety,” says Jubin. “We are doing three Farm Dinners this year and are trying to keep things fresh and interesting.” » Continue Reading.


Saturday, January 20, 2018

Adirondack Folk School Keeps Traditional Arts Alive

It may be chilly outside, but Lake Luzerne’s Adirondack Folk School is providing over 250 classes this winter to get people out of the cold. With a focus to continue to introduce and maintain traditional folk arts, the Adirondack Folk School provides a variety of classes that appeal to all skill levels.

“I started with the organization in November 2011,” says Adirondack Folk School’s Program Manager Mary Stevens. “We had only opened in June of 2010 so I’ve certainly seen change and growth throughout the years. Recently we’ve seen an uptick on registration for these traditional folk skill classes.

According to Stevens the organization has seen an uptick on registration for these traditional folk skill classes. More blacksmithing classes had to be added to the schedule as it was drawing people from a variety of locations. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, January 11, 2018

17th Annual Long Lake Winter Carnival Saturday

Since 2001 friends, neighbors, and visitors have been welcomed to the annual Long Lake Winter Carnival.

Taking place Saturday, January 13, this free celebration of winter kicks-off with a snowmobile parade and the coronation of the Moonlighter’s King and Queen at Mt. Sabattis Recreation Center. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, January 4, 2018

Adirondack Experience Offers Cabin Fever Sunday Series

If the weather is too cold, or the family is just looking for some interesting entertainment, one place we always put on the schedule is the Adirondack Experience’s (ADKX) winter Cabin Fever Sunday series. These lectures are reasonably priced with topics to keep both tweens, teens, and adults interested.

This Sunday, January 7, kicks off the bi-monthly series that reflects on the history of the Adirondacks. Though there isn’t a set theme to the complete series, there is always a connection to the mission of the formerly named Adirondack Museum. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, December 28, 2017

Chilly Polar Plunges to Celebrate an Adirondack New Year

There are all sorts of New Year’s traditions that are supposed to bring luck and prosperity for the upcoming year. From midnight kisses and fireworks to collard greens and black-eyed peas, countdowns and good wishes are all part of gesturing in the New Year. One tradition my family has volunteered for, but never managed to be a part of, is the annual Polar Plunge. Two such New Year’s Polar Plunge celebrations not only are set to shock any toxins out of the body, but to also benefit local charities. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, December 21, 2017

Remember Food Pantries This Holiday Season

I am all about shopping local. I always look for a local version rather than shopping online. That doesn’t mean that the UPS truck hasn’t made regular stops at my house. It does mean that when my children ask me what I want, I always opt for an experience or an item from a downtown Adirondack shop.

We have found that gifts that add meaning can be as simple as donating food to a local food pantry. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, December 14, 2017

Lake George Land Conservancy’s Christmas Bird Count

For the past twenty years, the Lake George Land Conservancy (LGLC) has contributed data to the annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count, a national bird census tracking the status of bird populations across North America now in its 118th year.

From December 14 through January 5, volunteers across the country brave the elements to count local birds for one day within a designated 15-mile circle. All data is then reported back to the Audubon Society. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, December 7, 2017

Lake Placid’s Holiday Stroll December 8-10

Lake Placid Holiday Stroll Adirondack Family TimeThere is always so much to do during the holidays. I sometimes feel bombarded by ads and discounts and need to ground myself with some holiday spirit.

Christmas spirit has been plentiful around the Adirondacks and this weekend is no different as Santa visits the Adirondack High Peaks. The Lake Placid Holiday Stroll – Friday through Sunday, December 8-10 – not only provides ample opportunity to finish the holiday shopping, but also offers a weekend of fun family-friendly activities. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, November 30, 2017

29th Year for Christmas in Warrensburgh Event

Christmas in Warrensburgh originally started as a one-day event for local children, but has expanded over the years to include a weekend of events and activities showcasing the old fashioned town’s historical and artistic connections.

According to Teresa Whalen, chair of Warrensburgh Beautification, Christmas in Warrensburgh is all about family and welcoming locals and visitors to the area. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, November 23, 2017

Christmas Comes Early in the Central Adirondacks

It’s a Turkey Trot here and a Turkey Trot there, but in the Central Adirondacks Santa and Mrs. Claus make it all about shopping local. Long before Small Business Saturday, Old Forge and Inlet’s Christmas on Main and Indian Lake’s A Country Christmas Tour provided a Thanksgiving holiday celebrating its unique Adirondack shops as well as a weekend of family-friendly activities.

According to Mike Farmer, Director of Publicity for the Town of Webb, there are a couple of big additions to Old Forge’s already packed schedule of events. If children forget to make their Christmas list, there are two red mailboxes, one at the Webb Visitor’s Center and another at Pointe Park, at the ready. Postcards are also on hand to jot down any last minute ideas. The Central Adirondacks Association purchased and renovated an old-fashioned sleigh so Santa will be arriving in style. For the first year, 60 area businesses contributed items for a holiday raffle basket. Shoppers spending $10 or more in participating stores will receive a ticket for a chance to win gifts ranging from motel stays to whitetail deer antlers. » Continue Reading.