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, July 7, 2016

Blacksmith Demonstrations And More At Adirondack Folk School

blacksmith_AdkFolkSchoolOnce again the Adirondack Folk School is hosting evening blacksmithing demonstrations at its Lake Luzerne school in addition to all its other traditional Adirondack art classes.

Since its founding in 2010, the Adirondack Folk School has provided artisan classes with the core idea to keep Adirondack crafts alive.

My family was fortunate to be able to attend one of the free evening blacksmithing demonstrations years ago. At that time the pavilion and blacksmith forge were new. The opportunity allowed us to watch Blacksmith Steve Gurzler create beautiful forged objects while teaching his students. Gurzler is once again back for the Open Forge Nights. The monthly events take place on Wednesdays at 6:30 pm. Bring a picnic or just stop by to watch. For those wishing to learn the art of blacksmithing there is a $20 materials fee. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, June 30, 2016

Goose Drive at Wilson Hill Wildlife Management Area

Geese - Diane Chase PhotoFor the past 50 years the New York State Department of Environment Conservation (DEC) Region 6 has been gathering a team of volunteers and staff to collect data on the resident Canada Geese population. According to Regional Habitat Manager Christopher J. Balk, the data collected helps manage the flock and provide pertinent information to tailor bag limits during hunting season. This June 30, 8 am – 2 pm, is another opportunity to corral and handle some geese.

“The volunteers get to reach over the top of the enclosure and help hand the goose to a staff member,” says Balk. “We are usually banding at least 400-500 geese at this event and use the information to primarily report on the bird’s location at two points of time.”

These geese are resident, not migratory, Canada Geese so the distance between their wintering and summering habitat is usually only a few hundred miles. Hunters report the band numbers when they harvest the birds in the fall. The data allows Balk and his colleagues to track to see if a flock is intermingling or not, track growth and movements of the resident population and and to establish annual hunting regulations. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, June 23, 2016

Adirondack Lakes Center for the Arts Summer Season

ALSTF flyer 2016Renowned Bass-Baritone George Cordes has performed with numerous operatic companies from the Metropolitan Opera and New York City Opera to Opera Boston and Houston Grand Opera to name (drop) a few.

Around the Adirondacks, Cordes brought the Demon Barber of Fleet Street to life in Pendragon Theatre’s performance of “Sweeney Todd” as well as Don Quixote in Man of La Mancha. His other regional performances through High Peaks Opera, the Northern Lights Choir and the Lake Placid Sinfonietta helped broaden the regions exposure to opera. Now Cordes is putting on a different hat and bringing his vast experience to spearhead the 2016 Adirondack Lakes Center for the Arts Summer Theatre Festival. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, June 16, 2016

Frog Jumping and Ugly Ties: An Adirondack Father’s Day

2008615 Frogs #17My children have always embraced the nontraditional when it comes to gift giving. There have not been a lot of crazy ties or Old Spice that has crossed our door in anticipation of Father’s Day. Instead, my husband has endured his fair share of incompatible food tastings and inedible breakfast sandwiches. Like most fathers, he doesn’t really care what comes on the plate as long as he can spend time with his family.

According to the Town of Webb Publicity Director Mike Farmer, the Old Forge Frog Jumping and Ugly Tie Contest is about as nontraditional as one can get. For the past 44 years Old Forge has been the gathering spot for longest jumping frogs in the area. This event pits frog against frog in a series of categories like size, speed and longest jump.

“All frogs are safe and welcome here for Father’s Day,” says Farmer. “We make sure that the frogs have plenty of water and that they are released back into the wild. Annually over 30 frogs compete at the Old Forge Lakefront starting Sunday at noon. We run three heats of eight frogs each.” » Continue Reading.


Thursday, June 9, 2016

Fort Ticonderoga Focusing Season Around The Year 1777

Fort Ticonderoga SoldiersMy family makes a point of going to Fort Ticonderoga every summer. Tri-corner hats, fife and drum corps, cannons and muskets surround us. Overlooking a beautiful backdrop of Lake Champlain, Fort Ticonderoga is where every day is re-enactment day.

According to Fort Ti President Beth Hill, the curators choose a year from the fort’s history and focus the season’s interactive exhibits, events, and activities around that singular year. This year when we step through the doors of Fort Ticonderoga it will be 1777. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, June 1, 2016

The US National Fly Fishing Championships Kicking Off

Fly Fishing on the Ausable River - photo by John WarrenThe US National Fly Fishing Championships begins Wednesday, June 1st, when some of the best anglers in the country check-in at the Lake Placid Olympic Training Center at 7 pm. There will be three days of competition for spots on the National Fly Fishing Team.

According to event organizer Ken Crane, this is the first year the nationals have come to the area. Two regional qualifiers were held in the area last June. “We have 55 anglers: 11 teams of five guys, at five venues: three rivers and two lakes,” says Crane. “The competitors each get a beat, a section of the river or lake and have a three-hour catch and release session.” » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Festival, Remembrance At Old Forge’s Memorial Weekend

OldForgefireworksMemorial Day weekend celebrations are starting on Friday, May 27, in Old Forge with yoga, gallery openings and the monthly Moose Comedy Night. There are also a plethora of specials from food coupons to lodging discounts. As fun and festive as the weekend plans are going to be, Old Forge has carefully separated their celebration to maintain the integrity of Memorial Day.

According to Town of Webb Tourism Director Mike Farmer this is the second year that the Old Forge Red, White and Blue Memorial Celebration weekend. For first year, organizers worked to get the event off the ground, never realizing how popular the weekend would be. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, May 18, 2016

In Lake Placid, Dinner And A Show

LittleMermaidLPCAADK Restaurant Week kicked off last weekend in Lake Placid with 25 fine dining establishments offering prix-fixe menu with prices of $15, $25, $35 or $55. The special 10-day event wraps up this weekend and there are still wonderful menu options to explore with added benefits such as signature cocktails and beer pairings. I like the simplicity of a three-course meal at a fixed price, once in a while. It gives the chefs room for creativity and a price point for the customers. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, May 12, 2016

Third Annual Champlain Area Trails’ Grand Hike Saturday

IMG_3961This is the third year that my friends and I will be participating in the Champlain Area Trails Grand Hike (May 14th). Not only has it been a fun event, it has lead us through towns and trails in the Champlain Valley in a leisurely way. Our group is small, but we represent a variety of hiking expertise. The Grand Hike provides us an opportunity to walk together, converse and know that the end of the trail a cold beer and massage at the Essex Inn will be waiting for us. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Saranac Lake’s Daffest Coincides With Mother’s Day

IMG_6423Springtime in the Adirondacks can get a bad reputation sometimes, thanks to the black flies and muddy trails. For my family, spring is an opportunity to witness change, even if that change comes with some bug bites and dirty shoes.

We have played hard during the winter. Now we’re looking for some colorful indicators that the cold weather is behind us and summer is around the corner.

Native wild flowers, like marsh marigolds or the trout lily, are part of Mother Nature’s subtle approach to brightening spring.  The thousands of bright yellow daffodils planted for Saranac Lake’s Daffest are the much bolder approach by humans. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, April 28, 2016

Lake George Land Conservancy Volunteer Day

IMG_9254Just when I thought winter was over, Mother Nature decides to put me in my place with a late dumping of snow around the High Peaks. Though we may be dragging out the shovels and breaking out the skis, some places in the Adirondacks are getting ready for a bit of spring cleaning.

This weekend, on Arbor Day, The Lake George Land Conservancy (LGLC) office in Bolton Landing is requesting some volunteer help from anyone willing to put in a little elbow grease. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, April 21, 2016

A Children’s Passport to Earth Day in North Creek

IMG_8246For the second year North Creek is focusing children ages 3-10 on Earth Day during a event April 23 from 10 am to 1 pm that features over 15 activities around the village. Children will have the chance to solve everyday problems and learn how to leave the world in a better place.

According to Johnsburg Youth Committee Organizer Kate Hartley the Earth Day Passport activities are within walking distance and teen volunteers will be on hand as guides. » Continue Reading.


Friday, April 15, 2016

Friends of Camp Santanoni Welcome DEC Management Plan

IMG_3836The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) recently finalized a management plan dedicating more restoration and maintenance to Newcomb’s historic Great Camp Santanoni.

According to Adirondack Architectural Heritage (AARCH) Executive Director Steven Engelhart the preservation of Camp Santanoni was one of the first issues that helped to form the nonprofit preservation organization. Now, 25 years later, AARCH continues to provide historic outreach, education and advocacy around the Adirondack Park. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, April 7, 2016

Hadley’s 12th Annual Maple in April Planned

HadleyMapleinApril_horsesNew York Maple Weekends may have passed by but the maple celebration continues April 30- May 1 as part of the 12th annual Hadley Maple in April Festival. With live music and local food, Maple in April has people lining the streets of Hadley.

According to Festival Committee Chairperson Susan Wilder one reason their festival is such a success is that it takes place after the rush of maple sugaring season. When the sap first starts to run, most producers are busy boiling so holding the event later in the season allows area maple producers to participate with visitors and locals. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, March 31, 2016

Maple Weekend At Parker Family Maple Farm

ParkerMapleWagonRideThis weekend New York State maple producers are opening their doors again for visits, tastings and pancake breakfasts. This celebration of spring can be found throughout the state with many producers offering a wide range of activities as well as samplings of their tasty maple products.

According to owner Pat Parker there are five generations of her family involved in her maple business. With almost 50,000 taps on 1,000 acres, the Parker Family Maple Farm in West Chazy proudly makes their local maple syrup while creating a year-round business. » Continue Reading.


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