99 Things To Do With Kids In and Around Albany This Summer

by Sandra Foyt on June 29, 2011

in Travel Ideas

Girls on bumper boats at Oasis Park.

For as long as we’ve lived in the Capital Region, I’ve been collecting a list of things to do with kids in Albany (or within daytrip distance) that make any summer day a special occasion.

These are the family adventures that form memories that you treasure long after the kids are grown, but as with all good things, moderation is key. Some you will want to repeat, year after year, and others are once-in-a-lifetime bucket list items.

Just don’t try to do it all in one season!

  1. Pick local fruit.
  2. Mine local gems.
  3. Win a blue ribbon at a county fair.
  4. Sample ethnic fare at a food festival.
  5. Camp out at the Adirondack Museum.
  6. Cool off at an indoor ice skating rink.
  7. Celebrate a night out with live music and premium ice cream at Emack & Bolio’s.
  8. Catch the Water Ski Show at Jumping Jacks.
  9. Experience a movie at a drive-in theater.
  10. See a free summer movie.
  11. Take a hike.
  12. Explore Operation W.I.L.D. at the Children’s Museum of Science and Technology.
  13. Attempt an ollie at a skate park.
  14. Visit Schodack Island State Park, and other state parks, while you can.
  15. Sail the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater.
  16. Climb aboard a replica of Henry Hudson’s Half Moon.
  17. Sample international flavors such as dim sum in the Capital Region.
  18. Get crafty with Michaels Passport to Imagination.
  19. Follow FUSSYlittleBLOG’s Tour de Soft Serve.
  20. Take a shot at guessing the ingredient list in Moxie’s Blue Moon Ice Cream.
  21. Go on the Ben & Jerry’s Factory Tour (Warning: This is an ambitious day trip.)
  22. Dine al fresco at a Fish Fry.
  23. Learn about New York’s Good Eats! at The Farmer’s Museum.
  24. Try out kayaking or fly casting on L.L. Bean’s Walk-On Adventures.
  25. Sign up for free or cheap family arts programs at Hudson Opera House.
  26. Go rock climbing – outdoors!
  27. Learn to identify birds by their song.
  28. Go whitewater rafting on the Sacandaga or Hudson Rivers.
  29. Go tubing down the Esopus Creek.
  30. Paddle a canoe.
  31. Go fish at the 3nd Annual Falls View Park Fishing Derby.
  32. Introduce roller coasters on the kiddie rides at Hoffman’s Playland.
  33. Conquer the Comet or play in nursery rhyme settings at Six Flags Great Escape family theme park.
  34. Stargaze at Hirsch Observatory, Union College Observatory, or outdoors.
  35. Take the train to New York City.
  36. Play in the Children’s Museum at Saratoga.
  37. Taste the fabled mineral springs of Saratoga.
  38. Stand under a geyser in Saratoga Spa State Park.
  39. Go horseback riding.
  40. Celebrate regional art at the Albany Institute of History & Art.
  41. Explore The Fields Sculpture Park at Art Omi.
  42. Fly a kite.
  43. Catch fireworks shows all summer long  – not just on the Fourth of July.
  44. Catch a Valley Cats baseball game.
  45. Visit the Baseball Hall of Fame.
  46. Jump in a lake.
  47. Go biking.
  48. Watch a musical at the Mac-Haydn Theatre.
  49. Listen to an Alive at Five outdoor concert on Albany’s Riverfront Park.
  50. Discover why Jacob’s Pillow is the “hub and mecca of dancing.”
  51. Experience the Tanglewood Music Festival.
  52. Open new worlds at a Shakespeare & Company performance.
  53. Buy comic books at Aquilonia in Troy.
  54. Take a Dutch Apple Cruise.
  55. Camp overnight on the Destroyer.
  56. Tour Albany on land and water aboard the Albany Aqua Ducks & Trolleys.
  57. Learn to row with Albany Rowing Center’s adult and junior programs.
  58. Visit a lighthouse in Athens or Saugerties.
  59. Catch some horse racing in Saratoga.
  60. Watch auto racing at Lebanon Valley Speedway
  61. …or race a go-kart yourself!
  62. Visit Hudson River School artist homes Olana and Cedar Grove…
  63. …and take a hike on the Hudson River School Art Trail.
  64. Go on a Tree Walk at The Landis Arboretum.
  65. Fly through the tree canopy at Big Bear Ziplines.
  66. Check out your local library – lots of summer reading programs for kids of all ages!
  67. Climb an Adirondack High Peak.
  68. Cool off underground at Howe Caverns or Cooper’s Cave.
  69. Check out a pet adoption fair and find a new friend.
  70. Join a community garden.
  71. Hit a bucket of balls at the Route Fore Driving Range.
  72. Sign up for a baking class at King Arthur’s Flour Co.
  73. Challenge yourself at Adirondack Extreme‘s Tree-top obstacle course.
  74. Engage in friendly competition on the mini-golf course at Oasis Family Fun Park.
  75. Bump boats at the FunPlex Fun Park.
  76. Hunt for Red-Spotted Newts.
  77. Investigate a murder at Historic Cherry Hill.
  78. Witness a bar brawl at Fort Crailo Historic Site.
  79. Experience Early New England life at Old Sturbridge Village.
  80. Tour the historic home and setting of Louisa May Alcott’s ‘Little Women.’
  81. Visit the “Scenter of New England,” Yankee Candle’s flagship store.
  82. Meet the birds at the Berkshire Bird Paradise Sanctuary.
  83. Take the Lightening Thief Tour.
  84. Explore nature at the Albany Pine Bush Preserve.
  85. Shop at the Malta Drive-In Market.
  86. Earn the Junior Ranger badge at a National Park.
  87. Climb the million dollar staircase at the NY Capitol.
  88. Catch the Catskill cats.
  89. Sketch at the Norman Rockwell Museum.
  90. Tour the Hyde Collection with a Family Kit.
  91. Taste the delights of Evenlyn’s Cafe locally-sourced lunch at EMPAC.
  92. Follow the Freedom Trail in Boston.
  93. Visit The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
  94. Attend a Glimmerglass Opera production.
  95. Learn about Native American traditions at the Iroquois Indian Museum.
  96. Visit the Women’s Rights National Historic Park (Ambitious day trip alert.)
  97. Attend a Craft Fair at America’s First Shaker Settlement.
  98. Catch NY State Museum scientists at the Parks.
  99. Ride the carousel at the New York State Museum.

What’s on your Summer Bucket List?

| Sandra Foyt is a storyteller, photographer, and road trip junkie. A veteran of six cross-country road trips, she drove Route 66, the Lincoln Highway, the fossil freeway, the extraterrestrial highway, and even “the loneliest road in America.” Find her on GetawayMavens.com, an award-winning destination guide to extraordinary travel in and from Northeast USA, on her portfolio site at SandraFoyt.com, and in freelance gigs on Family Travel 411, Minitime, Huffington Post, and Matador Network. Email: sandrafoyt@albanykid.com, Twitter @SandraFoyt.

Colleen Pierre June 30, 2011 at 9:08 am

What a wonderful list! Sounds like one busy summer ahead of you. Good luck completing this fun assignment!

Sandra Foyt June 30, 2011 at 9:23 am

Ha! They don’t call it a life list for nothing!

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