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, July 19, 2011

Adirondack Family Activities: Diane Chase: Getting Kids Hiking

The most common thing I am asked is how do I get my children to go hiking without complaining. The easiest answer is to make the attention about being outside and in nature not having to finish things.

Recently we completed the trail-less Adirondack High Peaks of Street and Nye with my seven-year-old and eleven-year-old and other family members in tow. My elder child ran up the mountain leaving his sibling behind. My daughter dragged in the back, overwhelmed with the responsibility of climbing a much touted 46er.

Having a father as a 46er (10x over) and Adirondack guide specializing in family and young adult trips for over 25 years, our children have grown up climbing, hiking and exploring the Adirondack Park. That does not mean that they do not complain, drag their feet or would rather look for frogs instead of spending a day hiking over rocks and fallen logs.

One thing that families can do to introduce young children to the joys of being out in nature is to take a smaller nature walk.

Children and adults can be easily overwhelmed with the idea that miles of trail are before them. There are many opportunities in the Adirondacks to take a “mini-hike.” Mini-hikes can be any length but I usually think of it as being a hike or walk that is a mile or less one way. By the way, mini-hikes are a great way for any age hiker to stretch his/her legs.

Let children help with the planning. Our children help pack “The Travel Bag.” Each person in our family has his/her own bag or backpack and updates the contents according to the season. No matter how young the children are, if they can walk they can carry something even if it’s an old purse with a granola bar in it. It is just one way to make them about the process.

If they are too young to help make lunch have them help mix up some GORP. (I always learned the high-energy snack as “good old raisins and peanuts.”) Mix a box of raisins and tin of peanuts into one container and shake. Add a favorite cereal, dried cranberries and sunflower seeds for a unique twist. When you stop to have a snack they can proudly state how they helped make it. Perhaps have a competition to name your special mix as you take your walk.

Distract and take the focus off the end result. If the focus is only on the summit the child (or adult) may start self-defeating behavior and miss the point, which is spending time together, enjoying nature and being outside.

My daughter climbed Street and Nye but we took our time. Instead of turning back, forcing her on or feeding into her behavior, all I asked of her is if she could walk until lunchtime. She agreed she could do that. Once lunch passed I asked if she would hike until she crossed a stream and so on. She soon forgot about hiking an Adirondack High Peak and just enjoyed being outside in nature.

Photo: Daughter touching top of Nye © Diane Chase, Adirondack Family Activities

This post is an excerpt from Diane Chase’s new guidebook Adirondack Family Time: Tri-Lakes and High Peaks (Your Four-Season Guide to Over 300 Activities) available for purchase online or bookstores/museums/sporting good stores July 2011. Diane is currently researching the next guidebooks in the four-book series of Adirondack Family Activities covering the Lake Champlain Region Plattsburgh to Ticonderoga and the Central Region from Long Lake to Old Forge.


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Adirondack Family Activities’ Diane Chase: Family Day at VIEW

By Diane Chase
The Art Center/Old Forge has transformed itself once again. This weekend the newly named VIEW will host its gala reception to welcome the public to their LEEDS certified green building. The VIEW originated with just one event, the Central Adirondack Art Show, where artists were presented on chicken wire displays on founder Miriam Kashiwas’s front lawn. Now in it’s 60th year it is only appropriate that the Central Adirondack Art Show will be on display for the gala opening of the new building.

From Kashiwas’s front yard, the Arts Guild of Old Forge, Inc. was incorporated in 1967 and eight years later purchased its first building, named Arts Center/Old Forge, to support year-round programming.

Jody Pritchard, graphic Design/media coordinator for the VIEW, says, “Our new name is VIEW. VIEW is reflective of the Adirondack vistas around us, and expresses the personal relationship that people can have with and through the creation of art. People come to the Adirondacks to view, when they come to VIEW arts they can observe the view of others, as well as express a view of their own. We have national exhibitions, performances and workshops that bring in visitors from other communities as opposed to only serving Old Forge, which our old name implied.”

According to Pritchard the move from the old building to the new graced them with an additional 20,000 square feet which allows for expanded workshop and classroom space, a commercial catering kitchen, a dedicated performance space with retractable seating for 200+, and the ability to stagger exhibits so there is always something fresh to see. All located within a green facility with geo-thermal heating, solar panels, recycled tire/metal roof and other energy efficient amenities.

There will be a variety of events happening throughout July 7-10, 2011 with dancing, silent auction, music, BBQ and ribbon cutting. A few highlights: for stamp collectors or those just interested there will be a special commemorative postal cancellation on Friday, July 8 from 10:30 a.m. – noon at the VIEW. On Saturday there is a nature walk hosted by Gary Lee.

Sunday is family day with a visit from the Utica Zoomobile, face painting, clown and the opportunity to tie-dye a T-shirt or pillowcase (provided) for a small fee. Each day there are ongoing workshop demonstrations but on Sunday, artist Joseph Montroy will hold an introduction to iron casting and spectators can watch his students melt iron and pour the molten ore into molds to create sculptures.

The VIEW is open Monday through Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. and Sunday noon to 4:00 p.m.

Photo and content © Diane Chase, Adirondack Family Activities ™. Diane is the author of the Adirondack Family Activities Guidebook Series including the recent released Adirondack Family Time: Tri-Lakes and High Peaks Your Guide to Over 300 Activities for Lake Placid, Saranac Lake, Tupper Lake, Keene, Jay and Wilmington areas (with GPS coordinates) This is the first book of a four-book series of Adirondack Family Activities. The next three editions will cover Plattsburgh to Ticonderoga, Long Lake to Old Forge and Newcomb to Lake George. 


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Adirondack Family Activities’ Diane Chase: Lake George Fun

By Diane Chase, Adirondack Family Activities™

Fireworks and BBQs are on the roster this weekend as our nation steps up to celebration its Independence Day. Around the Adirondack Park, there will be plenty to do this 4th of July, but in Lake George there’s a whole week’s worth of family activities.

Some activities are for a fee, like the tubing in Lake Luzerne. At Adirondack Tubing Adventures you can tube for $21.95 for adults and $18.95 for children (12 and under) “The Lazy Linx Float” is a guided tubing, rafting, or canoe trip. There are also options for a two-person inflatable kayak or the single person hard bottom kayak. There are three trips a day (10:30 a.m., 12:45 p.m. and 3:15 p.m) so reservations are recommended by calling 518-696-6133.

Adirondack Tubing Adventures is open seven days a week so don’t despair; there are plenty of opportunities to get onto the water.

Dane Morton, owner of Adirondack Tubing Adventures, says, “This is our third summer of operations. All the trips are guided but vary in distance. We take all ages from adults to young kids (one and up) accompanied by a parent.”

For a discount to Great Escape & Splashwater Kingdom call 518-681-7452. If you prefer adventure, then try one of the ropes courses at Adirondack Extreme Adventure or perhaps a pleasant ice cream cruise on Lake George is more your speed where children 11 and under are free.

There are also FREE activities such as Lego Building and Sand Castle Building Contests.

Of course there are other activities around Lake George such as hiking Prospect Mountain, taking a scenic drive or just enjoying the beautiful Adirondack view!


content © Diane Chase, Adirondack Family Activities ™. Diane is the author of the Adirondack Family Activities Guidebook Series including the recent released Adirondack Family Time: Tri-Lakes and High Peaks Your Guide to Over 300 Activities for Lake Placid, Saranac Lake, Tupper Lake, Keene, Jay and Wilmington areas (with GPS coordinates) This is the first book of a four-book series of Adirondack Family Activities. The next three editions will cover Plattsburgh to Ticonderoga, Long Lake to Old Forge and Newcomb to Lake George. 


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Adirondack Family Activities: Scenic RR Summer Events

There certainly is controversy about the Adirondack Scenic Railroad being a viable tourist attraction versus the tracks becoming an interconnecting bike path through the towns of Lake Placid, Saranac Lake and Tupper Lake.

Those that believe the expense, need and usage isn’t warranted are often pitted against nostalgic train riders who want to ride the rails. For now the Adirondack Scenic Railroad is running full steam ahead for the summer season. For parents wishing for a different type of experience, perhaps this is the way to go.

I have never been sure what made my son stop in his tracks when he heard a train’s whistle. Is it a taste of magic, new destinations or a promise of adventure? For us as we board the Adirondack Scenic Railroad and hear the conductor yell “Ready to button up,” it is a bit of each. With our busy lives this is one Adirondack family activity where we really do get to sit and watch clouds go by. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Adirondack Family Activities’ Diane Chase: A Blacksmithing Demonstration

By Diane Chase, Adirondack Family Activities™

The Adirondack Folk School in Lake Luzerne will be showcasing its new pavilion and blacksmith forge this weekend with free blacksmithing demonstrations on June 18th.

The school is located at the former Town of Lake Luzerne town hall building.  Classes in traditional Adirondack arts such as basketry and twig/rustic furniture building are available as well as other folk art traditions such as weaving, ceramics, quilting and fly tying.

For families, one popular course is the “stick and hike” workshop. Parents and children can come create a walking stick and then go take their stick for a hike around the beautiful 6.8-acre Adirondack Folk School property that borders the Hudson River.

Adirondack Folk School Founder and Acting Director Jim Mandle says, “We recently had a group of high schoolers use the same techniques for the ‘stick and hike’ but instead of a walking stick created a memory stick with markings and carvings to highlight events that have influenced their lives.”

Mandle explains that a true “folk school” is based on a Danish principle in which people learn for the sake of learning, not to earn course credit. Some classes are set over a specific time frame but most classes are for a day to appeal to locals as well as visitors.

“The property is located on one of the most beautiful spots on the Hudson,” says Mandle. “It is the last free-flowing spot where the Hudson is untouched. Rockwell Falls is where we hold some of our painting classes.”

“The core idea of the Adirondack Folk School is to keep the Adirondack crafts alive,” says Mandle. “We just celebrated our one year anniversary on June 5th. We have a course catalog available. In the beginning I made a list of ideas for classes and sought out those instructors. Other people have since come to us and asked if they could teach a class. I am amazed what has happened in the past year.”

Mandle encourages people to just drop by and see the new blacksmith forge and maybe even get an opportunity to become a blacksmith for the day. With the addition of the outdoor pavilion the event will happen rain or shine.

The Adirondack Folk School is located on Main Street in Lake Luzerne. Offering over a hundred classes in traditional Adirondack folk art, there is bound to be something for everyone.
Make sure to check their schedule of events for free summer events such as Saturday Evening Campfire-Sing-Along and July 2nd Anniversary Party.

photo: students participating in Adirondack Folk School blacksmithing class
photo credit: Jim Mandle, Adirondack Folk School



content © Diane Chase, Adirondack Family Activities ™. Diane is the author of the Adirondack Family Activities Guidebook Series including the recent released Adirondack Family Time: Tri-Lakes and High Peaks Your Guide to Over 300 Activities for Lake Placid, Saranac Lake, Tupper Lake, Keene, Jay and Wilmington areas (with GPS coordinates) This is the first book of a four-book series of Adirondack Family Activities™. The next three editions will cover Plattsburgh to Ticonderoga, Long Lake to Old Forge and Newcomb to Lake George. 


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Adirondack Family Activities: North Creek Reader’s Theatre

The Our Town Theatre Group (OTTG) in North Creek has started a new outreach program to continue their focus to provide live performance to people around the Adirondack Park and beyond. Known as The Penny Readers, the group has chosen classic short stories for its upcoming staged reading June 11, 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. at the Chestertown Town Hall. With the exception of a chapter from the Roald Dahl children story, “The BFG,” all stories will be read in full. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Adirondack Family Activities’ Diane Chase: Elvis is in Lake George

By Diane Chase, Adirondack Family Activities

With an opportunity to bypass a trip to Vegas and be married by the King of Rock n’ Roll at the Lake George.com Elvis Festival, I feel it may be time to renew our wedding vows. My husband hates the idea but only slightly less than my Halloween wedding plan of dressing up as the bride and groom and being married by Beetlejuice.

In Lake George this weekend the Elvis Festival opens this Thursday, June 2 with a free tribute concert at Shepard’s Park starting at 7:30 p.m. According to Festival Director Jason Sherry the concert is family-friendly and gives a sampling of what the weekend festivities hold.

“Not only will people be able to see tributes to Elvis, James Brown, Roy Orbison, Ricky Nelson but also Johnny Cash and Neil Diamond. The musicians are all tributes,” says Sherry. “Friday night is about Rock and Roll History, which is where all the other tribute artists come in. Saturday is Elvis all day long. Elvis will be on a boat, playing in restaurants and seen all around Lake George.”

Another activity families can look forward to is the Elvis Classic Car Parade. The parade starts at 9:00 a.m. on June 4th. The parade route starts at the high school and continues to the Lake George Forum. All the performers will be showing their stuff.

“We have set up the Forum to seat 2,100 people for our event,” says Sherry. “Some of the events are only $15 so there is a lot of variety for families. We also hold the Elvis Gospel Music Contest on June 5th. The event is free but we are asking for donations for United Way. We have always held one event for charity in the eight years that we have held this event. The past four years we have raised funds for the United Way.”

Sherry recommends people to stop by the Lake George Forum and pick up the $3.00 program which includes a complete schedule and all the free events.

With the hum of gospel music in the background you can set your own stage to be married by Elvis. Perhaps you can have your own themed wedding but I will only be able to watch from the stage as Pricilla Presley beehive hairdos fill the Lake George Forum.

Call 518-681-7452 for Elvis Festival tickets and more information.

Photo: An Elvis tribute performer courtesy LakeGeorge.com Elvis Festival.


content © Diane Chase, Adirondack Family Activities ™. Diane is the author of the Adirondack Family Activities Guidebook Series including the recent released Adirondack Family Time: Tri-Lakes and High Peaks Your Guide to Over 300 Activities for Lake Placid, Saranac Lake, Tupper Lake, Keene, Jay and Wilmington areas (with GPS coordinates) This is the first book of a four-book series of Adirondack Family Activities. The next three editions will cover Plattsburgh to Ticonderoga, Long Lake to Old Forge and Newcomb to Lake George. 


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Adirondack Family Activities: Farmers’ Markets Start to Open

Like most gardeners my little plot of earth was mud until recently and now has just become the holding place for the dismal looking storm windows the insulators found hidden in the crawl space. (I am curious if whether the windows were placed there as a substitute for the lack of any insulation or for some other nefarious reason.) Thankfully struggles with the weather does not stop professional farmers and craftspeople from showcasing locally produced items at Farmers’ Markets around the Adirondacks. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Adirondack Family Time: Adirondack Museum Opens May 27

By Diane Chase, Adirondack Family Activities
One of our favorite spots, rain or shine, is the Adirondack Museum. This summer there is plenty of new as well as the familiar when opening day comes on May 27.

According to Marketing Associate Kate Moore, the Adirondack Museum will once again have plenty to entertain family and friends. One activity my family will look forward to is the “Camp Out for Families: An Overnight at the Museum.” From July 7-8 children (with adult chaperone) will explore exhibits by lantern, have dinner, participate in songs and stories by the campfire and sleep in the Woods and Waters exhibit.

“We have two new exhibits this season, The Adirondack World of A.F. Tait and Night Vision: The Wildlife Photography of Hobart V. Roberts that really showcase the region,” says Moore. “The ‘Adirondack World’ shows the region’s beauty as it pertains to the sportsman and wildlife. The second exhibit showcases the work of Hobart Roberts and his use of technology and science in the early 20th century. These early photographs made him one of the premier amateur wildlife photographers during that time.”

Moore says, “Familypalooza is one way we hope to introduce the to families and get them excited. There will be all sorts of activities like a bounce house, music show with Radio Disney, kayaking demonstrations, costumed animal characters, food vendors, face painting, and lots of arts and crafts.”

Moore also wants people to know there will be a scavenger hunt throughout the museum. How does the bounce house tie into the Adirondacks? It is a nod to the theme parks of the Adirondacks as well as a place to let the kids blow off steam. Moore reminds people that the Adirondack Museum is not a passive experience at all.

“We will have an exhibit that will include looking at art with children as well as labels targeted to children. We will also have artists-in-residence doing demonstrations and anyone can contribute to our collaborative landscape canvas. Please check out the website and click on events.”

Regular children’s program like feeding the fish, gazebo games, the Adirondack playground will continue all season as well as rustic games and crafts and The Reising Schoolhouse.

For year-round residents the pot just gets sweeter as the Adirondack Museum is opening its doors for free each Sunday during the months of June, July and August as well as any open days in May and October. There are requirements like proof of residency (driver’s license, passport or voter registration) required.

The museum is open 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., 7 days a week, including holidays, from May 27 through October 17, 2011. There will be an early closing on August 12, and adjusted hours on August 13; the museum will close for the day on September 9.

Adirondack Family Time tip: Don’t forget your ticket is good for a return trip if used within a week. Save your receipt and sign in at the admissions desk.

Wing Power” By Hobart V. Roberts, Courtesy of Adirondack Museum


Photo and content © Diane Chase, Adirondack Family Activities ™. Diane is the author of the Adirondack Family Activities Guidebook Series including the recent released Adirondack Family Time: Tri-Lakes and High Peaks Your Guide to Over 300 Activities for Lake Placid, Saranac Lake, Tupper Lake, Keene, Jay and Wilmington areas (with GPS coordinates) This is the first book of a four-book series of Adirondack Family Activities. The next three editions will cover Plattsburgh to Ticonderoga, Long Lake to Old Forge and Newcomb to Lake George. 


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Adirondack Family Activities: Diane Chase: Bluebird Education Day

“Putting a bluebird nesting box near a school or house brings wildlife closer to you,” says NYS DEC Wildlife Biologist John O’Connor, “ Children can then become interested in wildlife and that knowledge will stay with them for life.”

O’Connor says, “The New York State Bluebird Society is a good starting place. Bluebirds look like robins except the males are blue instead of grey on the back.”

The Eastern bluebird is a medium-sized thrush related to the robin and can be found in farmlands, orchards and fields. You will not find this bird at your feeder because it eats grubs (yippee), insects and berries.

In Elizabethtown this weekend (May 14) the Fish and Game Club will be hosting a Bluebird Education day at 10:00 a.m.. Kathy Linker of the NYS Bluebird Society will be on hand to lend her expertise as well as the opportunity for all registrants to build a nesting box.

O’Connor says, “It is not too late to build and put up a bluebird nesting box in the Adirondacks. The birds have most likely been in the nesting phase and are just starting to bring materials to the boxes.”

You do not need to attend this workshop to make a nesting box. Here are plans using only one plank of wood.

According to O’Connor there quite are a few places to view bluebird boxes if your own property doesn’t work out, the New Land Trust in Saranac, the Pauline Murdock Wildlife Management Area in Elizabethtown, the Route 11 Nest Trail and along the Northway.

“The bluebird is a cavity nesting bird and there are other birds out there that are more aggressive,” say O’Connor. “They nest in holes. The nesting boxes give the bluebirds a safe place to nest from urban sprawl, predators and other birds competing for the same space. House wrens and house sparrows compete with the bluebirds for nesting holes. The wrens will even go into the box and pull out the bluebird’s nest and destroy its eggs. ”

For children it is important to realize that these songbirds not only provide hours of entertainment but are a natural insect deterrent. Bluebirds are said to be tolerant of human interaction, if monitoring the nesting boxes, one can easily peek inside to check on the nest. Children can be part of the process in assuring the survival of these native songbirds.

Photo and content © Diane Chase, Adirondack Family Activities ™. Diane is the author of the Adirondack Family Activities Guidebook Series including the recent released Adirondack Family Time: Tri-Lakes and High Peaks Your Guide to Over 300 Activities for Lake Placid, Saranac Lake, Tupper Lake, Keene, Jay and Wilmington areas (with GPS coordinates) This is the first book of a four-book series of Adirondack Family Activities. The next three editions will cover Plattsburgh to Ticonderoga, Long Lake to Old Forge and Newcomb to Lake George. 


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Adirondack Family Activities’ Diane Chase: Stuart Little Free For Mothers

By Diane Chase, Adirondack Family Activities

Once again commercials are doling out advice on what to get me for Mother’s Day. Well, not just me but any mother. Jewelry and flowers seem to have a stronghold of the market share of Mother’s Day ad dollars. If I were to dog-ear each magazine ad or keep the TV on during the commercials, clearly the hints would lead to some sort of diamond tiara coming my way. Though I have been bedazzling a few items with my daughter (because everything does look better with a bit of sparkle) I feel saddened by those commercials that only indicate that buying something expensive is the way to appreciate the one who labored through birth and probably wiped a few noses as well.

Saranac Lake’s Pendragon Theatre offers a win-win situation for families. Mothers get to see the family show on Mother’s Day for free (so it’s a bit of a savings) and it is a wonderful way to spend a few enjoyable hours together.

On May 8th, Pendragon Theatre will open with the E.B. White classic story of Stuart Little adapted for the stage by Joseph Robinette. Personally I belief that seeing a family play isn’t just for people with kids. Sometimes in my hectic life I want to be reminded of magic and animals that talk and to be pulled along into a story that exercises my imagination. Stuart Little promises all of that.

Pendragon Theatre Managing Director and Co-Founder Bob Pettee says,” There will be no intermission during Stuart Little. It is a one act play. The basic story is of a couple who have an unusual son, a talking mouse. We follow the mouse on a series of adventures and meet a variety of characters along the way.”

“It is told in a story theatre where six actors play about 24-30 various characters,” says Pettee. “The actor playing Stuart Little will be altered throughout the season by two younger people (about 10 or 11) with stage experience. The play is done very simply with minimal costume and props.”

The 1:00 p.m. show is general seating only with the next performance happening on June 29. There will be a limited run of nine performances for this showing of the little mouse throughout the summer and into the fall. Admission is $10 for adults and seniors, $8 for those 6-15 and $5 for anyone 5 and under. For more information, please call the theatre at 518-891-1854.

“We are not doing our regular repertory theatre this season, that so many people have come to count on,” Pettee announces, “This season some of the shows will only be performed over a limited period of time so I urge people to not wait to the end.”

Pettee specifically mentions Sweeney Todd (opening July 13 with 12 performances) Mouse Trap (opening August 18 with nine performances) and Les Liaisons Dangereuses (opening July 27 with ten performances). Pettee wants to make sure audience members know to check the schedule and not rely on each performance traveling to the Lake Placid Center for the Arts.

I can not say what my family will do for me on Mother’s Day. I hope it has something to do with copious amounts of coffee and an activity we will all do together that includes a talking mouse.


content © Diane Chase, Adirondack Family Activities ™. Diane is the author of the Adirondack Family Activities Guidebook Series including the recent released Adirondack Family Time: Tri-Lakes and High Peaks Your Guide to Over 300 Activities for Lake Placid, Saranac Lake, Tupper Lake, Keene, Jay and Wilmington areas (with GPS coordinates) This is the first book of a four-book series of Adirondack Family Activities. The next three editions will cover Plattsburgh to Ticonderoga, Long Lake to Old Forge and Newcomb to Lake George. 


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Adirondack Family Activities: Last Chance for Maple Weekends

By Diane Chase, Adirondack Family Activities
Being able to successfully make maple syrup can reveal a lot about your personality. For our family, the credit for making our one-gallon of maple syrup goes largely to my husband. I collected the sap but he tended the fire and tested the product until we canned 4 quart jars of sticky-sweet liquid gold.

My husband and I discovered that we work well together. The tasks he willingly takes on are those that I do not care for and vice versa. Working together shows our children that the process makes the end result taste so much the better.

I enjoy hearing my children discuss with their friends how they were able to help make the syrup. It was definitely a family affair. Now they attend maple festivals and maple celebrations around the Adirondacks. Making maple was time consuming so with each taste of pancake soaked in syrup, my children have learned that some things are worth the wait.

For those that want to extend the maple season, Pok-O-MacCready in Willsboro will hold its “Last Drop” Pancake Breakfast ($6/adults, $5 (kids 12 and under) $6/seniors) from 8:00 a.m. – noon on April 30th. This event features homemade maple syrup collected and made right at the Pok-O-MacCready Outdoor Education Center.

Further south in the Hadley/Lake Luzerne area the whole community is coming together for the 7th annual Maple in April Festival. On Friday, April 29th the event will kick off with a cooking contest in which all entries have to contain maple in the recipe.

Maple in April organizer Sue Wilder says, “People should drop off their entry at 4:00 p.m. at the Rockwell-Harmon House in Lake Luzerne and then enjoy live music, stories and roasting marshmallows from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. at the new Adirondack Folk School Amphitheater, right next door.”

The Maple in April Festival started out as a scholarship fundraising breakfast by the Hadley Business Association to support local high school students interested in pursuing a degree in business. Now the event is three days packed with activities.

Sue and Ernie Wilder will be demonstrating sugaring techniques at their Wilder’s Sugar Shack, 4088 Rockwell Street in Hadley. The breakfast (8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.) featuring homemade French Toast, Oscar’s Smokehouse maple sausage and Wilder maple syrup will kick off a day of festivities.

“The breakfast proceeds still benefit the Hadley-Luzerne Scholarship Fund,” says Wilder. “In addition we have a record number of vendors coming to sell their crafts on Saturday. The Saga City Exchange Group is putting on a children carnival with all sorts of games and there will be an inflatable Bounce House.”

There are plenty of family-friendly events happening. The town of Hadley has closed off Circular Street to create a “big truck” area where children can explore local fire trucks, dump trucks and logging trucks. The Upstate Model Railroaders will set up a display at the Hadley Town Hall and allow children (young and old) to work their scaled train models. Clarke Dunham, Tony award nominated Broadway set designer, is using this weekend to show highlights from his Railroad on Parade Museum, which is scheduled to open in Pottersville this July.

There are a lot of activities for people to do,” says Wilder, “ We also have an antique car show on Saturday and a historic walking tour on Sunday. This is the seventh year for the Maple in April Festival. We will have a lot of maple goodies and just fun for everyone.”


content © Diane Chase, Adirondack Family Activities ™. Diane is the author of the Adirondack Family Activities Guidebook Series including the recent released Adirondack Family Time: Tri-Lakes and High Peaks Your Guide to Over 300 Activities for Lake Placid, Saranac Lake, Tupper Lake, Keene, Jay and Wilmington areas (with GPS coordinates) This is the first book of a four-book series of Adirondack Family Activities. The next three editions will cover Plattsburgh to Ticonderoga, Long Lake to Old Forge and Newcomb to Lake George. 


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Adirondack Family Activities: Celebrating Earth Day 2011

By Diane Chase, Adirondack Family Activities
Earth Day is every day, I get that and I do hope I live that way. That doesn’t mean that I don’t need a few nudges. Having an Earth Day celebration is like giving your own mother a card for your birthday and letting her know that you really appreciate the 22 hours of labor she went through. (So far my children only hear white noise when I mention that.)

So here are a few ideas to help make Mother Nature’s job just a bit easier.

For anyone in Essex County that wishes to “dump the pump” on Earth Day, the Essex County Transportation Bureau is offering free bus rides for everyone on April 22nd.

On April 23rd, Judy’s Computer Support will be at the Adirondack Daily Enterprise‘s parking lot from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. as part of a Community Computer Recycling Day to collect used computers, printers, laptops, monitors, faxes and computer cords.

You can spend a few hours before going on a hike and clean up a trailhead parking lot. Sadly, I am always surprised by the amount of garbage we pick up. Remember to bring gloves and a bag because some of the stuff we’ve found is just plain nasty. This activity has made such an impact on my children that they are more mindful of their own wrappers. It has even sometimes altered their purchasing decisions when they now recognize excess packaging.

Last year we made a B’ Earth Day Cake for my daughter but there is no reason why Mother Nature can’t share in the calories plus it’s an exercise in geography. It was refreshing to hear my son say ”I think we need to move South America a bit more to the right.”

In Saranac Lake, The Adirondack Green Circle continues to sponsor their Wake-Up! Film Fest with a showing of Blue Gold tonight (April 19th) at Upstairs at the Waterhole on Main Street with the next film offering being the comedic documentary How to Boil A Frog on May 3rd (same time, same location). The other dates are set but films are being decided for May 17 and 31st. Please call 518-891-7230 for more information.

Recycling electronics, computers and your grandmother’s TV (that wouldn’t sell on eBay even though you listed it as “antique”) can now be taken away for free. On May 2nd from 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m., Lake George residents and small businesses can recycle their old, used or broken electronics for free at The Sagamore Resort in Bolton Landing.

On May 3rd Cornell Cooperative Extension in Hudson Falls will offer a free lecture on ways to reduce energy bills through no-cost/low-cost actions.

A wonderful inside activity, while waiting for the last of the Adirondack snow to melt, is planting seeds. Nothing connects children more to the earth than seeing the miracle of a tiny seed growing into something they can eat. Remember that some flowers are edible, too. It doesn’t always have to be about the vegetables.

Finally, the weekend of April 29 to May 1 is the “Build a Greener Adirondacks” Expo at the Wild Center with training workshops for everyone from contractors to home owners. The Wild Center will then reopen to the public on May 1st with GreenFest, a day packed with family activities, animal encounters and green crafts for kids.

I am sure I’ve missed a few and will gladly amend this post to make sure all favorite Earth Day options are listed.

Photo and content © Diane Chase, Adirondack Family Activities ™. Diane is the author of the Adirondack Family Activities Guidebook Series including the recent released Adirondack Family Time: Tri-Lakes and High Peaks Your Guide to Over 300 Activities for Lake Placid, Saranac Lake, Tupper Lake, Keene, Jay and Wilmington areas (with GPS coordinates) This is the first book of a four-book series of Adirondack Family Activities. The next three editions will cover Plattsburgh to Ticonderoga, Long Lake to Old Forge and Newcomb to Lake George. 


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Adirondack Family Activities: Saranac Lake Daffest

There have been all sorts of numbers being bantered about regarding the number of daffodil bulbs planted for the 1st annual Daffest in Saranac Lake April 29- May 1, 2011. Organizer Cherrie Sayles knows for sure.

“Last fall volunteers and organizers planted 51,000 bulbs for the first Daffest,” says Sayles. ” There are a lot of numbers out there but we have a great start. Our goal is to plant a million bulbs.” » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Adirondack Family Activities: Starting Seedlings with Kids

Strangely enough I found myself shoveling snow and walking the dog in a rainstorm all within hours of each other. The snow quickly disappeared and neither children nor dog seemed to mind the rain as much as I did. Seeing my children spin around in the rain and stomp through puddles reminds me why I love living in the Adirondacks. Each season brings change and a variety of things to do.

At our house we have started our seeds for the summer garden. During these shoulder season days the kids constantly check the progress of their favorite vegetables. Though some seeds are best sown directly into the garden, I am not one to stop my children from willingly planting beans. We can always throw more into the garden once the danger of frost has passed. » Continue Reading.



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