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 23, 2017

Last ‘Official’ Maple Weekend in the Adirondacks

Pancake breakfasts, wooded walks and maple tastings are all on the menu of the the last official New York State Maple Producers Association’s Maple Weekend. Maple producers have been making syrup since mid-February, and it’s shaping-up to be a banner year.

Since the mid-1990s, a one-day open house has grown across New York State into two full Maple Weekends. This weekend (March 25-26) is a great opportunity to learn more about our region’s favorite sugary treat. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, March 16, 2017

Irish Road Bowling At Indian Lake Saturday

Indian Lake won’t let a little snow emergency stop them from enjoying another year of Irish Road Bowling. Since 2006, Indian Lake has been the only consistent Adirondack town to offer a traditional road bowling competition.

According to Indian Lake’s Events and Activities Coordinator Patricia Mahoney, this St. Patrick’s Day tradition is just one stop in a weekend of Adirondack fun that includes events such as a traditional parade, Mutt Strut, and a volleyball tournament . » Continue Reading.


Friday, March 10, 2017

Old Forge Snofest: First Tour Stop for 2018 Sled Models

The snowmobile season has largely ended around the Adirondacks, but that’s not stopping Old Forge from focusing on snowmobile trails and new sleds. With major snowmobile dealers once again making Old Forge the first stop on the Sneak Peek Tour, snowmobile enthusiasts are getting the most out of the short season.

According to Mike Farmer, Tourism Director for the Town of Webb, the major snowmobile dealers pack up from the Las Vegas Manufacturer Show with transport trucks full of the latest models, demos and cut-away machines. » Continue Reading.


Friday, March 3, 2017

Wooden Ski Rendezvous, Farm Dinner at Cascade Ski Center

Cascade X-C Ski CenterThe last scheduled Farm Dinner of the season will be held this Friday, March 3, at Cascade Cross Country Ski Center outside of Lake Placid. The local farm to table feast is in its third year highlighting local food, music, and a night ski. On Sunday, a Wooden Ski Rendezvous will be held to benefit Barkeater Trails Alliance (BETA)

According to Cascade XC Ski Center Manager Jen Jubin, the Friday Night Farm Dinners are a wonderful family-friendly option. The farm dinner focuses on local farmers and the event provides a welcoming atmosphere for all ages. The theme for the March 3rd event is German fare featuring Mace Chasm pork schnitzel and Fledgling Crow’s fingerling potatoes and spring greens. Ausable Brewing Company will take over the taps at the bar and introduce three new German-style lagers. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, February 23, 2017

Art in the Public Eye 24-Hour Play Fest

This weekend Art in the Public Eye (APE) of Glens Falls is holding its 24-Hour Play Fest. Writers, directors and actors randomly form teams to produce a 10-minute play. This Saturday, February 25 at 8 pm, 10 teams will descend on the Wood Theatre where audience members will vote for a winning play, director, and actors.

According to APE Play Fest Chairperson Erin Coon the event was modeled after a similar event held while she attended Indiana University. On returning home Coon to the Lake George area, Coon helped link the local effort with national 24-Hour Play producers. » Continue Reading.


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 people can just observe and relax or pick out the events they wish to participate in. There are a range of activities to choose from that appeal to various groups.” » 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 make their video and let the committee categorize it. » 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. » Continue Reading.


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. » Continue Reading.


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. » Continue Reading.


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 lodge has an open view of the lighted trails so parents and caregivers can give children a bit of independence on the slopes while they warm up by the fireplace. » 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 a walk.” » 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. » Continue Reading.


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 to the public for those last visits to Santa and his friends. The buildings are covered in twinkle lights while holiday music surrounds the tiny village. Elves, large and small, prepare the sleigh and reindeer for their annual Christmas ride. » 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. » Continue Reading.


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