Hudson River Valley Ramble Family Friendly Events In The Capital Region

by Sandra Foyt on September 18, 2010

in Uncategorized

September in the Capital Region brings Technicolor leaves, crisp days, and the chance to explore the diversity of this area during the 11th Hudson River Valley Ramble. There is an extraordinary array of events, many scheduled at the same time throughout our region and beyond, certainly more than anyone can take in all at once. However, I thought it would be well worth keeping this list because there are several local places that I’ve never visited before, but I’d like to.

Family Friendly Hudson River Valley Ramble Events

9/17-10/1/10 Half Moon Public Tours (Albany)

The replica ship Half Moon will be sailing up the River from September 9 to 17 with a group of seventh grade students as part of our annual Fall Voyage of Discovery. After the Sept. 17th Arrival Ceremony in Albany, the Half Moon will be open for public tours on September 17, 19, 25 and 26th. School tours will be held Sept. 20-24, and Sept 27 – Oct. 1.

9/17/2010 Van Schaick Island Festival (Cohoes)

Family style carnival and festival. Carnival rides, live music, food, craft vendors, fishing tournament and large fireworks display on Saturday evening. Information booths about the history of the City of Cohoes.

9/18/2010 Harverst Day at Lindenwald (Kinderhook)

Celebrate the importance of agriculture to Martin Van Buren. The day’s activities will run from 1:00pm to 5:00pm. See special presentations, learn gardening techniques, observe farm crafts and skills and explore the agricultural history of President Van Buren’s residence. There will be master gardener talks, demonstrations, butter churning and other special treats as well as musical entertainment.

9/18/2010 Family Tour at Olana (Hudson)

Explore the house, its paintings and treasures from a child’s perspective. Take the family tour then stop by the Wagon House Education Center for Art in the Barn, or borrow a backpack full of activities to do on the grounds – a family day at Olana couldn’t be more perfect!Tours are geared for families with 6-12 year olds, but all ages are welcome. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Reservations are required by 4PM the preceding Friday. Call (518) 828-0135 for information. $9/adult; $8/students and seniors, free for children under 12 and members of The Olana Partnership.

9/18/2010 Buttercup Farm Nature Hike (Palenville)

Join an Audubon New York naturalist on an easy walk along the old railroad bed to observe the flora and fauna that call this sanctuary home.

9/18/2010 Papscanee Island Nature Preserve Nature Walk (Castleton)

Led by David Chinery from the Cornell Cooperative Extension, enjoy a 1-hour walk though the Papscanee Island Nature Preserve and discover the various species of plants and animals that make the 156-acre Preserve and Hudson River shoreline their home. Cottonwood trees, buckthorn shrub and bittersweet vine reflect the history of the land, farmed by the Mohican Indians for thousands of years. The Preserve also boasts a variety of habitats including marsh, river bank and floodplain. This riparian setting is a pristine example of nature reinventing itself. Over 30 acres of the Preserve are still farmed today, giving the land the distinction of being under active agriculture (corn) longer than any other lands in the U.S.

Over 6 miles of hiking trails offer public access to over 2 miles of Hudson River shoreline. Directions: I- 787 to Rensselaer exit to Rt.. 9S/20E; as you cross Hudson River, bear left to continue on 9S/20E; go thru 3 lights to R onto Rt. 9J towards Castleton; go 4.5 miles to R at Preserve South Entrance sign onto Staats Island Rd.; go .25 mi., cross Amtrak tracks (use caution) to R into Preserve parking lot. Pre-registration not required, but appreciated by 9/17: (518) 270-2888

9/18/2010 Capital District Apple & Wine Festival (Altamont)

Join us for a weekend of family fun September 18 & 19. Plenty to do for the entire family. Crafts, food, entertainment, wine tasing, car show, haunted house, hay maze, face painting, clowns and plenty of apples! The largest Apple Festival in the Capital Region!

9/19/2010 Celebrating 100 Years on Mt. Ida: An Historic Walking Tour of Emma Willard School (Troy)

Please join us for an historic walking tour of Emma Willard School. In its nearly 200 year history, Emma Willard School has had several locations, including Middlebury, Vermont where it was founded, downtown Troy on what is now the Russell Sage College campus, and here, on Mount Ida, where it has been since 1910. During the tour you will learn about the school’s founder and pioneer in women’s education, Emma Hart Willard, as well as the architecture and history of the campus and school. Join us as we celebrate 100 years on Mount Ida! 9/18 & 19/10, 10AM

9/19/2010 Wild, Wet & Wacky World of Pond Life (Albany)

Come and explore the wonderful world of water (vernal pools) at the Albany Pine Bush. We will observe different habitats, participate in pond sampling, identify various organisms, and discover the intricate balance of this amazing ecosystem. Dress in footwear and clothing you don’t mind getting wet and dirty. 1-2:30 pm, $2.00/person over 5 years old, $5.00 for families. Advanced Registration Required.There is no registration deadline, however space is limited. To ensure availability for this event please register on our website, If you have any questions please call the Albany Pine Bush Discovery Center (518)456-0655

9/19/2010 233rd Anniversary of the Battles of Saratoga (Stillwater)

Eighteenth century American, British and German soldiers and campfollowers set the 1777 scene with tents, campfires, musket and canon firings. Hear moving stories from soldiers, judge a courts martial, discuss strategy with officers, go on a ‘reconnaissance party", learn about sewing and open-fire cooking techniques, watch a dramatic, theatrical portrayal of British General John Burgoyne by renowned actor Howard Burnham or take part in a mock drill.

Programs are free with payment of entry fee to Battlefield ($5.00 per vehicle; $3.00 per adult for hiking/bicycling) Camps open to public Saturday 10 am to 4 pm; Sunday 10 am to 3 pm Guided bicycle tour Saturday 1 pm Theatrical presentation Saturday 6:30 pm (Tour Road Stop 2); Sunday 2pm (Battlefield Visitor Center) Wreath laying ceremony by Sons of the American Revolution and Daughters of the American Revolution Sunday 2 pm (Tour Road Stop 2)

9/24/2010 Watervliet Arsenal City Run (Watervliet)

The Watervliet Arsenal City Run will be held on Friday, September 24th at 6:00 p.m. It is a 5K road race followed by a community night which includes live music, food and drink vendors, face painting, bouncy bounce, etc. The race is designated as the USA Track & Field Adirondack Association Masters 5K Men’s and Women’s Road Race Championship, and awards $1,500 to USATF Adirondack Association Masters Athletes. The cost is $17.00. Proceeds from the race go to Watervliet’s Adopt a Family Program.
New England Runner Magazine’s Jan./ Feb. 2009 issue named the Watervliet Arsenal City Run…One of New York’s 50 finest runs.

Advanced Registration Required. Registration Details: September 23rd for $17.00; registration fee goes up to $20 on the day of the race. Contact Chris at 518-270-3815 or email at cchartrand@watervliet.come

Live music, food, drinks, children’s activities immediately following race in the DOME on 2nd Avenue and 13th Street.

9/24/2010 Garden of Eating Tour

A four-county (Albany, Columbia, Dutchess and Rensselaer) farm-to-table experience that combines bountiful harvest with culinary excellence. Self-driven ‘tours’ feature delicious, creative and sustainable local food and products highlighting the best independent local farms and restaurants that Albany, Columbia, Dutchess and Rensselaer Counties have to offer. (Sept 24th – Oct 3rd) For more information, go to:

9/24/2010 Into the Landscape: Dance Rehearsal (Hudson)

Join the UpRiver/Downtown Dance Company in the Olana landscape for a fun, moving experience that will stretch your mind and your body. Bring your picnic lunch and watch or jump right in as the dancers guide you through a movement experience. These rehearsals are for the upcoming Into the Landscape dance performance by UpRiver/Downtown Dance Company on Saturday, September 25th at 6 pm. In case of rain, rehearsals will take place inside the Wagon House Education Center. Wagon House Education Center/Farm Complex. All ages. Free.

9/25/2010 Brilliant and Bristly Buckmoth (Albany)

Join us for a 1.0 mile walk to discover the amazing world of buckmoths. The buckmoth is a large beautiful moth with bold black and white wings that flies for only a brief window of time in the early fall. A species of special concern in New York State, the buckmoth is uniquely dependent on the scrub oak that thrives in this sandy fire-dependent ecosystem. Please remember to bring your binoculars. 11:00am-12:00noon, $2.00/person over 5 years old, $5.00 for families. Advanced Registration Required.There is no registration deadline, however space is limited. To ensure availability for this event please register on our website, If you have any questions please call the Albany Pine Bush Discovery Center (518)456-0655

9/25-27/2010 Harvest Festival on the Mohawk Towpath Byway (Clifton Park)

Apple picking, hay rides, water front activities, kayak and rowing demonstrations, fun, food, festivities and entertainment for the whole family all weekend.

9/25/2010 LarkFEST (Albany)

Celebrate the 29th anniversary of the Capital Region’s largest street festival- 10 city blocks featuring 2 stages with live music & entertainment showcasing some of the region’s best performers, hundreds of vendors, and delicious fare from local restaurants. This event is sponsored by the Lark Street Business Improvement District which is dedicated to building, sustaining, and enhancing a unique and prosperous living and business community for the residents and merchants of, and the visitors to, the Lark Street Neighborhood. Saturday 9/25, 10am-5pm. I-787 to Empire Plaza exit; at the end of the tunnel turn R on Swan St.; follow for 2 lights; L onto Washington Ave. to 2nd light at Lark St. Public: CDTA Route 12 to Washington Ave./Lark St. 518.434.3861;

9/25/2010 Troy’s Tiffany Treasures (Troy)

Hear a brief talk on the life’s work of Louis Comfort Tiffany, then take a narrated "walk and sit" to view the abundant Tiffany windows and Tiffany interiors at five sites in Troy’s celebrated historic Victorian downtown area. 9:30 AM

9/25/2010 Into the Landscape: Dance Performance (Hudson)

Join us for an early evening contemporary dance performance by UpRiver/Downtown Dance Company and let it change the way you view Olana. The dancers become the paintbrush as they interpret this most picturesque of landscapes. The performance will begin down at the Farm Complex, travel to where Church’s studio once stood, and then meander back to the starting point, engaging participants to become part of a moving work of art. Parking is available at the Farm Complex in the lot adjacent to the Wagon House Education Center. Come early and bring a picnic dinner! Rain date: September 26, 6pm. Wagon House Education Center/Farm Complex. All ages. Free.

9/25/2010 Five Rivers Fall Festival (Delmar)

The Friends of Five Rivers us hosting its annual Fall Festival on September 25, 2010 between the hours of noon and 4 P.M. Special events such as juggling, scavenger hunts , insect safaris, puppet shows are a few of the things parents and children can enjoy. For the shopper there are bake, book and bird seed sales to explore and a raffle to excite you. Nature is there to discover while the birds, native animals and wildflowers prevail to make the day complete. Enjoy stories and songs in the Community Ourdoor Amphitheater along with local musicians. Pack a lunch and enjoy Nature at its best.

9/25/2010 Indian Ladder Trail Guided Hike (Voorheesville)

Take a walk back in time on the famous Indian Ladder Trail. Learn about the geologic and cultural history of the Helderbergs as you descend the cliff to discover underground streams, caves, and fossils hundreds of millions of years old.

9/25/2010 Mill Creek Boardwalk at Lewis P. Swyer Preserve (Albany)

What better way than the vantage point of a boardwalk to find out what lives in a swamp. You can’t get much closer than that! The whole family will have fun exploring
the tidal freshwater swamp at the Lewis A. Swyer Preserve with guides from The Nature Conservancy who will describe this rare natural community. An easy climb up a small tower at the boardwalk’s end reveals a fine view of the Hudson River.

Directions: After entering Columbia County from the north, go 3.3 miles south on Rt. 9J. From the south, take Rt. 9J to 2 miles north of blinker light at Stuyvesant Landing. Park in pull-off on west side (Preserve side) of Rt. 9J. Meet at entrance sign. 11AM, Rain Date Sunday.

9/26/2010 Great Outdoors Fall Fun Day / Barge Chaser Canoe & Kayak Race (Grafton)

Enjoy the peak fall colors on the Rensselaer Plateau and a day full of outdoor activities in beautiful Grafton Lakes State Park. Take a mountain bike ride, hike a winding trail, or demo a kayak in the afternoon. Kids crafts, live music, and food also offered at this fun event for outdoor enthusiasts. The 2010 Barge Chaser Canoe and Kayak Race kicks off at 10:30am with 2.5 mile sprint and a 7 mile paddle. General events run from 11-2. Call 518-279-1155 for more details about Fall Fun Day or Barge Chaser race registration. Gate fee of $6/car provides admission to the park for the day.

9/26/2010 Hudson River Bike Adventure (Albany)

Leisurely explore the edge of the Hudson River guided by a naturalist educator. Participants will have an opportunity to watch Hudson River wildlife, view fall foliage and wildflowers and discover the beauty of the Hudson River as we trek along the bike trail. Additional activities will include searching for migrating animals, creating a nature journal and leaf print cards. Open to all ages. Bring your own bicycle and helmets. Meet at Boat Launch parking area, Corning Preserve, 1:00 PM.

9/26/2010 Discover the Pine Bush (Albany)

An extraordinary journey into the Albany Pine Bush, the best remaining example in the world of an inland pine barrens. Our experts will guide you through this one mile hike over rolling sand dunes where you will discover Pine Bush natural history, seasonal surprises and transformations. Please remember to wear sturdy walking shoes, long pants and bring drinking water. 1:00-2:00 pm, $2 per person/$5 per family/Children under 5 yrs free.

Even more events can be found on the Hudson River Valley Ramble site at

| 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, an award-winning destination guide to extraordinary travel in and from Northeast USA, on her portfolio site at, and in freelance gigs on Family Travel 411, Minitime, Huffington Post, and Matador Network. Email:, Twitter @SandraFoyt.

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