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Showing posts with the label year-round activity

Adirondack Coast Hikes: Pointe Au Roche State Park Nature Trail, Museum, Playground and Beach

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Pointe Au Roche State Park Trail Map We have been traveling to Plattsburgh to visit two friends of ours on a weekly basis. In order to have a calm beneficial visit I take the advice of a woman I know who raised six sons. “Run them like dogs,” she said when I would wonder how to manage two kids. So, now quite a few years later, I still think of that advice and am always looking for a place to expel their excess energy. Not so surprising it is usually the adults that need to indulge in some old-fashioned play and use the kids as an excuse to do it. Pointe Au Roche State Park is just a short drive from Plattsburgh and an easy jaunt for anyone visiting the area. With over 800 acres it is a unique combination of forest, marsh and shoreline. It has an interesting history that still can be seen skulking in the landscape. The land was first cleared and used agriculturally and then during WWI as a training site (similar to ROTC) for young men. The parcel then became a variety of businesses

Paint and Sip in the Adirondacks

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Usually I keep my art and my wine as separate events, but now there are plenty of opportunities for me to get my creative juices flowing paired with a glass of fine wine. In the Adirondacks and just outside the Blue Line there are various art organizations and dedicated businesses that encouraging all of us to dig deep for our inner artist and bring her/him along to an evening of "Paint and Sip." Combining painting a canvas among a group of friends with the commoraderie that comes with a few glasses of wine has no definitive history, but one southern artist,Wendy LoVoy, started offering an art instruction class  in 2004 which has now evolved into the Birmingham, Alabama home of Sips n Strokes, Inc.  Since that time other companies have franchised spreading the good fun across the nation.  One such company,  Painting with a Twist,  formed its earliest roots during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Formerly called Corks and Canvas , Painting with a Twist has built an emp

Adirondack Events: International Sun-Day at The Adirondack Public Observatory

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photo used with the permission of APO It is almost summer, true summer. The summer solstice, which marks the longest day in the northern hemisphere, will be celebrated on the first annual International Sun-Day this June 22 from 4-6 pm at the Adirondack Public Observatory (APO).  APO wants to celebrate Earth’s closest star, the Sun, with solar observing, educational programs, games, prizes and many activities for all ages. The free event will take place on the property and within the Observatory. Picnic tables will be set up for anyone to enjoy. According to Gordon Duval, Tupper Lake Physics and Astronomy teacher and member of the APO Board of Directors, there will be telescopes with solar filters, lectures about the sun and possibly a camera to show the telescope’s findings on a TV. (Duval warns everyone that proper equipment is needed for observing the sun. He gives an example of a child using a magnifying glass to burn leaves, which is a similar effect that can happen to a p

Adirondack Education: Children and Earth Day

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My daughter and I are bonding over our annual Earth Day celebration by cleaning up the parking lot for Ampersand Mountain. After donning her gardening hat and gloves she announces that she really doesn’t enjoy cleaning up other people’s garbage and would prefer ice cream. I tell her the ice cream will be a good treat to celebrate our job well done. She is not buying any of it. She is rather insistent with her garbage-picking protests. It’s not like I am asking her to wear the stuff like a hair shirt but just hoping to increase her awareness. She is sometimes oblivious of those little scraps of paper that escape from her hand. I finally am able to encourage her to join me, letting her know that even if she can’t go down the hill to get the garbage I need her help with the detection of it. She makes a game of “I-Spying” the trash with me retrieving it. Today she has X-ray vision for spotting cups, wrappers, bottles and bags lost under leaves and thrown over the embankment. The c

Adirondack Fun: Bowling in the Adirondacks

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Sometimes it is difficult to get children outside but it doesn't have to be challenging to keep them active. Bowling is great exercise, fun and even the smallest in the family can do it. Below is a list of bowling establishments located in the Adirondack Park and in no particular order. Riverside Bowling Lanes (518) 647-9905 2 Mcrea Street (Corner of route 9N.) Au Sable Forks Lake George Bowl-Spare Time (518) 668-5741 Lake George Rd, Lake George, NY Pine Lanes-Spare Time (518) 793-9606 166 Saratoga Ave, South Glens Falls, Adirondack Lanes (518) 585-6851 Hague Rd, Ticonderoga, Willsboro Bowling Center (518) 963-8983 3922 NYS Route 22, Willsboro, North Bowl Lanes Inc (518) 561-1690 28 N Bowl Ln, Plattsburgh Bowl Winkles (518) 523-7868 340 Main St, Lake Placid Lake View Lanes (518) 359-2234 1939 State Route 30, Tupper Lake Forge Lanes (315) 369-2631 North St, Old Forge Lake Luzerne Community Center and Bowling (518) 696-4250 Lake Luzerne Sar

Lake Placid Bicycle Ride: John Brown Farm Road Loop

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By Diane Chase One quick, on road, bicycle ride in Lake Placid is the  John Brown Road  loop. Starting at John Brown Farm and Gravesite, we park our car and hop on the bikes. Some of us need to get our bicycle legs back after a long winter free from pedaling. As John Brown Road has two entrances off Old Military, we bear left at the Y and head northwest onto Old John Brown Road for about 0.8-mile. At the end of the road we turn right onto Old Military Road, passing the North Elba Cemetery and Lake Placid Community Garden.   Read more

What to do in Lake Placid: High Falls Gorge Spring Hours

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High Falls Gorge in Wilmington has announced its spring hours.  Considered on the natural wonders of the Adirondacks, High Falls Gorge is handicap-accessible with many opportunities for families to wander in a natural environment. This family-owned and operated business is worth the trip.  Children can do the mining activity all year long. Enjoy!

Lake Placid Activities: Free tour of USA Luge Headquarters

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Lake Placid has the only indoor luge facility  The USA Luge team , headquartered in Lake Placid, gives free tours of their facility every weekday at 2:00 p.m.  Considering it is the official headquarters for the US Luge, it is an unassuming structure, more warehouse than office building. It’s a casual tour where athletes may be fine-tuning their sleds or watching videos of individual practice starts. The tour starts with a 20-minute introduction video that can jump-start anyone’s luge education. The movie is just as fast and furious as the sport.  The indoor facility, the only one in the US and one of seven in the world, is quite impressive. Athletes use three refrigerated ramps to improve their start techniques with the latest technology, shaving milliseconds off their time. There is even an opportunity to try out a practice sled (not to slide on) and find out how to steer using your legs to squeeze on the curved part of the runners (kufen), to direct the pod, the custom-formed

Adirondacks for Kids: Lake Placid's Olympic Ski Jumps

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By Diane Chase Lake Placid Olympic Ski Jumping Complex The Chair lift to the top He's a winner! 

What to do with kids in the Adirondacks: Saranac Lake's Charles Dickert Wildlife Collection

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By Diane Chase Tucked in the lower level of the Saranac Lake Free Library is “the finest collection of Adirondack animals ever gathered in one place.” These animals are not wild anymore or even tame for that matter. The   Charles Dickert Wildlife Collection   is a one-room museum dedicated to the works of taxidermist, Charles Dickert. Read more 

Adirondack Bowling: Saranac Lanes Free Bowling Card

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Though ideally my children’s summer vacation should be spent outside building forts, catching fish and living a childhood reminiscent of a Mark Twain story, I am all about the back-up plan. My children’s video game experience so far has been gained from friends and visiting family, I am not sure how far I can press those relationships to include 90 days of gaming. I know I would not want that even if it were offered. Healthy indoor activities can be limited. That end of school transition can be challenging when the school schedules are replaced with other events. Sometimes we find we need to have a routine to keep the peace in the family. As my children grow older I want to make sure those events are positive activities and not directionless hanging out. TFree summer bowling card for students Once again Romano’s Saranac Lanes is offering every student in Saranac Lake a free summer bowling game card. The offer started June 1 and runs through August 31. So for 90 days my children and

Adirondack Theatre: Off to see the Wizard!

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Once again Pendragon Theatre has been able to breathe new magic in an old classic. For those expecting a theatrical version of the movie, this production of The Wizard of Oz is a wonderful surprise. The simple set is cloaked in darkness, allowing the vibrant costumes to pop out from the black walls. The focus is on the actors. There are still plenty of quests for a heart, a brain and some courage and least I forget, the best-loved message that there really is, “no place like home.” That still holds all the power with a simple click of Dorothy’s ruby slippers. I ask my children how they like the “black box” theme. My son has no idea what I’m talking about. I remind him that the theatre walls were painted black, the stage had a minimal of props and the cast used very simple techniques to get the action and story across. It is like I’m talking to a wall. Did we see the same production? He is not concerned about the black box. He is more curious about the switching of costumes, the

Adirondack Hikes: Baker Mountain and the shoulder season

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The last of the ice and snow clings to the edges of the road, covered in a filthy coat of sand. We are packing up the skis and snowshoes and putting away the winter boots. We are optimistic that spring is here to stay. My children chirp on and on about spring because the calendar says it’s so. With that comes a few disagreements and dessert dangling (similar to the proverbial carrot) that winter coats, hats and gloves do still need to be worn if the temperature drops. I explain the shoulder season. Grumbling commences with accusations of mothers that make up seasonal names to insure children wear coats. They will eventually learn that the passing of the spring equinox doesn’t mean that the change of season is an immediate one. We now have to search for snow. It is hiding deep off the trails where the sun and heat won’t find it for months. Our search leads us up Baker Mt. The summit of Baker is only .9 mile from the base. It’s just the beginning of the main trail that looks like a f

A Wild Art Day

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We have a big day planned with all sorts of activities on the agenda. We have errands to run and want to squeeze in an end of season ski as we work our way to Tupper Lake. The last thing on the list is going to the Wild Center. As we head into town the kids start negotiating the length of their stay at the museum. What has become the last stop now becomes the first. The children are thrilled to get here. I am always amazed that each time we show up it is just as exciting. I guess that is why it is a living museum. It is constantly changing and growing. The children know the way so our jackets are stowed, the movie times checked and the game plan discussed. My plan is to relax and have a cup of coffee. The kids are old enough now to be on their own for certain lengths of time. I take a seat behind the tables set up for the Family Art and Nature Project and under a “green intentions” exhibit. People have written on bits of cloth clipped to branches how they plan on living a greene

A Cat, Pirates and Puddings?

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What is it about a pirate that can cause children and adults alike to relish a good fight? You would think with all the corporate pirating going on, we would have gotten our fill. That statement would be met with a resounding no. This holiday season the Pendragon Theatre serves its holiday goodies in the form of pirates, sword fights, a mermaid and the saving of a Christmas pudding. For all those that ponder the lyrics to “We wish you a Merry Christmas” but never quite understand why someone would eat a figgy pudding let alone threaten to be the guest that won’t leave, the pudding is once again thrust into the limelight. This cake-like dessert is the cause of much a ruckus at the Pendragon Theatre. This musical, “Christmas Cat and the Pudding Pirates” was writing by the British children’s performer Christopher Lillicrap and his wife Jeanette Ranger thus the pudding and other strictly British references. Clever and imaginative the Pendragon actors interact with the audience by enl

Adirondack Hikes: Skipping stones on Lake Champlain

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By Diane Chase Skipping stones. I wouldn’t think that would be enough to keep my child entertained but I am proven wrong. We enter Pont au Roche Park and follow signs to the playground. It is officially off-season so parking is free, a bonus we didn’t expect. I try to get the kids to walk the one-mile bicycle path to the nature center, but they see the unoccupied beach and want out. The car is hardly in park when they start running to the beach as if wild dogs were chasing them. What is the hurry? I just sit and watch the water lap over the sand in its season finale. I turn to get the lunch. I am in charge of the food. Everyone wants to eat it but it has become my role to worry about having it. Perhaps it’s a mother’s obsession but like some kind of magician I have been known to pull the makings for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich out of my bag. So it’s certainly no surprise my family expects me to have provisions on demand. The kids are in a self-made competition to contrib

A Wild Mother’s Day

I do not know what is in store for me for Mother’s Day. That is the point, I guess. To let the wee ones hatch elaborate plans that involve waking me at 4:00 a.m. with tea and toast. They have hatched some sort of plan, the two of them and have been hiding things from me. At first I thought it was more sticky candy wrappers I occasionally find under the couch or perhaps an accidental spill cleaned up with my best tea towels. After a small slip of the tongue I have been led to believe that it may be something a little bit more. My son is itching to tell me what he has planned. When he comes to hug me he always mentions how he loves giving surprises as much as getting them. Then he follows with a few hints. It is not alive. (Whew! I am a bit alarmed when presented with the gift of life in the manner of snakes or ant farms.) I can’t eat it; which may be a mixed blessing. I can’t wear it; so I am assuming that I am going somewhere. For anyone wishing for ideas the Wild Center in Tupper L