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 17, 2016

Indian Lake Irish Road Bowling

IMG_1833From green beer to corned beef and cabbage, some of the most popular St. Patrick’s Day traditions in America have little connection to Ireland. Not to downplay the importance of dressing in green, parades and brined meat, but one fun tradition that has been practiced in Ireland for hundreds of years in the counties of Cork and Armagh, is the sport of Irish Road Bowling. Indian Lake has been making this part of its St. Patrick’s Day tradition since 2006.

A few years ago my family decides to claim our Irish traditions, via family in Cork and being dabblers in green beer, with an afternoon of bowling in Indian Lake. We register as a family team and are handed a “bullet,” the official 28 ounce iron ball. Though it feels less like bowling and more like bocce, the energy is infectious. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, March 10, 2016

Plattsburgh Irish Festival This Weekend

unnamedThe City of Plattsburgh has been trying out new events every other month as well as growing its ongoing activities, according to City of Plattsburgh Events and Promotional Coordinator Sandra Geddes.  Organizing an event around St. Patrick’s Day came naturally, she said.

“We hold an event every other month and we wanted to plan this activity near St Patrick’s Day” says Geddes. “We want people to come, wear lots of green and enjoy all the games, food an music and kids and adults.” » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Reason 2 Smile World Music Festival Saturday

Reason2SmileDrummingThe Lake Placid not-for-profit organization Reason 2 Smile is hosting an its annual all-day cultural music festival with workshops, a children’s camp, and an evening performance on March 5 at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts.

According to Reason 2 Smile Executive Director Donna Rosenblum, the one-day event will be presented in the same format as previous years. A morning Kids Camp, ages 6-12, will introduce Kenyan games, crafts, African drumming and dance; younger children (ages 5 and under) are welcome to attend with an adult. The morning and afternoon adult workshops (ages 13 years and older) focus on art, music and dance with various activities from Native American Storytelling and Didgeridoo making, to Irish Step Dancing. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The 14th Annual Frozen Fire and Lights in Inlet

IMG_8425Though Inlet’s annual Frozen Fire and Lights has grown into a town-wide affair, the beginnings of this event started when French Louie ADK Sports owner Paul Chambers wanted to celebrate his birthday with fireworks. According to Inlet Tourism Director Adele Burnett, Chambers needed permission from the town and then solicited businesses to contribute toward the celebration. Now in its 14th year, Frozen Fire and Lights is a destination event for residents and visitors alike.

“Paul and his wife Reggie, who owns the Adirondack Reader bookstore, do so much for the town,” says Burnett. “Frozen Fire and Lights began with a simple request, but now focuses on all the activities that Fern Park has to offer.” » Continue Reading.


Thursday, February 18, 2016

Brant Lake Winter Carnival: Outhouse Races, Music, More

12742643_1003139253087073_6336187608282204716_nLast year my family attended the annual Brant lake Winter Carnival at Jimbo’s Club at the Point. It was a fun-filled day of activities from snowshoe softball to outhouse races. According to the Tri-Lakes Business Alliance’s Cindy Meade, this year’s event is still offering all those same events on the shoreline of beautiful Brant Lake.

“This is the fourth [year] for the winter carnival,” says Meade, who noted the lake now has over 10 inches of ice. The Lake Placid Curling Club will be offering demonstrations and there will be a $1,000 in cash prizes for the outhouse races. The rules are posted on the Tri-Lakes Business Alliance Facebook page. The winners also received an outhouse birdhouse donated by McCluskey’s Hardware in Chestertown. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Presidents’ Week Family Fun At Adirondack Museums

AdirondackMuseum-FrostFest_Snowshoeing The Adirondack Museum and The Wild Center are offering a variety of winter activities during the upcoming Presidents’ Week.

The Wild Center in Tupper Lake will be open every day from February 12 to 21 celebrating the season with a different winter theme each day. The Wild Center’s winter hours are usually Friday through Sunday, so this is indeed a special treat for everyone. The staff at the Wild Center is pulling out all the stops with special guided snowshoe walks, live animal encounters and even a winter watercolor project. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Ten Days Of Winter Fun At The Saranac Lake Winter Carnival

IMG_6522Since 1897, the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival has been a festival as unique as the community that shapes it.

According to Saranac Lake Winter Carnival Committee Public Relations Chair Colleen O’Neill, the event is a special time for everyone. It may have started as a means to relieve the winter blues, but has evolved into a venue for a variety of events. From Flowerball to Arctic Golf, the Winter Carnival has so many offerings that participants have to pick and choose between their favorite activities. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, January 26, 2016

CanAm Pond Hockey On Mirror Lake This Weekend

IMG_0020A pond hockey game brings back the simplicity of winter sport and what better place to enjoy one than the home of the 1980 “Miracle on Ice.”

For the 11th year, the CanAm Hockey Tournament has come to Lake Placid to celebrate the spirit of hockey under the backdrop of the Adirondack High Peaks. Currently 74 teams are waiting to take to the 20 ice rinks on Mirror Lake this weekend, January 28-31, 2016.

According to Tournament Director Eric Chapman this weekend’s pond hockey match-ups are only open to adults, but spectators have just as much fun watching the players hit the rinks. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Searching for the Stars at UpYonda Farm

starlabMy kids are always searching the sky for various constellations. We are so fortunate to have a dark evening sky so readily available to us. Though the Adirondacks may have less ambient light, the January 23rd full moon will make observing familiar constellations a bit more difficult. Don’t worry. The staff at UpYonda Farm in Bolton Landing is using their indoor StarLab to bring the night sky to us.

According to Naturalist Peter Olesheski the portable planetarium is not a new activity for UpYonda Farm. The StarLab unit was purchased with the Glens Falls Pubic School through a grant and is shared throughout the year. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Long Lake Winter Carnival Set For Saturday

BroomballAdirondack summers seem to bring festivals while Adirondack winters bring  carnivals. Spread throughout the Park, towns and villages take out the stops to celebrate the season.

Long Lake is no exception. On January 16, 2016 the community will bring together wacky and wild activities as part of their 15th Long Lake Winter Carnival.

Moonlighter’s Snowmobile Club member Paula Piraino says: “This year the town has formally taken over the coordinating of Winter Carnival from the Moonlighter’s Club though they have been heavily involved in the past. The Moonlighter’s Club is still involved as we sponsor the Broomball Tournament and  the traditional crowning of the king and queen.”

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Author Robin Wall Kimmerer At The Wild Center

robin-wall-kimmerer-braiding-sweetgrassOne of my family’s favorite year-round Adirondack museums is Tupper Lake’s Wild Center. The combination of trails and outdoor space mixed with live exhibits and multi-media shows satisfies a wide range of ages from grandmother to granddaughter.

Though the creative hands-on learning opportunities are a good part of its appeal, the Wild Center continues to grow with its audience through award-winning films, the Youth Climate Summit and other special programming. Saturday’s visit by Robin Wall Kimmerer, whose latest book is, Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants, is another of those occasions.

According to Exhibits and Programs Manager Rob Carr, Kimmerer’s reading is open to members and those with a paid admission to The Wild Center on January 9 at 1 pm. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, December 30, 2015

First Night Celebrations In Saranac Lake, Saratoga

SONY DSCThere is no right or wrong way to ring in the New Year, unless it involves an altercation with the police. For my family, a  multi-generational event remains the most memorable New Year’s Eve celebration.

According to First Night Saratoga Coordinator Alex Jones this year will be the 20th anniversary for First Night Saratoga. After wrapping up last year’s celebration the First Night Saratoga Committee asked participants what they wanted to see “more of” for the 20th anniversary celebration. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, December 24, 2015

Polar Plunging Into The New Year!

Long Lake residents and visitors take part in the annual Polar Bear Plunge at the town beach in Long Lake, NY.After a month of hearing about Christmas lists and about what my children want, I’m turning their focus to what other people need.

It’s always nice to start the New Year off thinking about someone other than ourselves. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Christmas At The Adirondack Carousel

LZ2A0096There are plenty of wonderful Christmas holiday celebrations happening around the Adirondacks, but only one year-round carousel. On December 20 from 2-4 pm, Saranac Lake’s  Adirondack Carousel is celebrating its third Christmas party for children and adults alike. Admission for the Adirondack Carousel Christmas Party is $5 per children or $20 for a family.

“The admission caps off at $20 no matter how many members in the family,” says Executive Director Jennifer Hunt. “We are having the same structure as we’ve had in the past. Each participant will receive a token for a carousel ride, make a candy house and visit with Santa.” » Continue Reading.


Thursday, December 10, 2015

Christmas Plays Around The Adirondacks

12295332_970312599681712_8661386587782439186_nThere is more to the Adirondacks than being on a mountain, though that is certainly one way my family plans on spending the holidays. We also look forward to relaxing together during a classic Christmas performance. It sounds corny, but with our kids being pulled in one direction for school sports and my husband and I going in another direction for work, we find it best to meet somewhere in the middle. Thankfully there are plenty of wonderful theatre performances around the Adirondacks that will help us get into the holiday spirit. » Continue Reading.


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