For over a century, getting away to a mountain lake was the peak of family fun. And this is still the case. The mountains and lakes haven't changed much over the decades, even if children have.
If you want a relaxed time that lets the adults chill out while the children wear themselves out, Adirondack summers provide a fine balance of lively activities and quiet moments.
Sun, sand, swim
Life's a beach...a lake beach, that is. The quiet waters are easy for little waders to have fun in while, beyond the swimming floats, boaters can enjoy the scenic shorelines.
The hassle-free parking and plenty of nearby places to get supplies means all you really need is everyone's favorite swimsuit. Sit back with that book you've been meaning to read, race the kids to the float, have some treats, and then do it all again.
Each of our towns has a charming beach with amenities that range from nearby ice cream to a scenic float plane ride.
There's even more public beaches at the many campgrounds, for a small day use fee. Enjoy the wonderful amenities, like picnic tables and grills, playgrounds, and boat rentals. It's all the fun of camping without a tent.
The many lakes are great for paddling, fishing, and photography. Whichever way you love the lake, we have the lake that will love you back. For an exciting family experience, try summer whitewater rafting. Summer is a calmer river experience than in the spring, though, so expect a scenic cruise rather than a thrill ride. Find out more with the blog, Riding the bubble.
The extraordinary Adirondack Experience, The Museum on Blue Mountain Lake is a place kids love. The exhibits are immersive, interactive, and educational for all ages.
Exhibits teach how Adirondack wildlife evolved to live in the lakes and mountains here. Like the wildlife, people too had to adapt to fit into the landscape. On my last visit, I found out that the Adirondacks is a unique environment because of our alpine snow, which doesn't naturally flatten. No one even tried to plow it with horse-drawn methods in earlier days. Instead, they used giant rollers to flatten it for sleighs passing through. That's not a solution most other regions in New York had to consider.
Other activities at the museum include: using a touchscreen to virtually send leaves with messages down a stream, trying on mining costumes, and driving logs on a virtual river while wearing lumberjack shirts. You can interact with the exhibits, ranging from those about the earliest Indigenous People's way of life to the 19th century luxury of the Gilded Age, which includes an actual train car that carried visitors to the Adirondacks.
There are many exhibits outdoors, too, with hiking paths and other activities that teach kids different ways of engaging with both the natural world and the impact humans have had on the landscape. The picture below shows a place in the museum where you don't have to tell the kids that they "can't touch it." Here, they can climb in and make things happen.
Peer into an actual naturalist's cabin or use higher tech to explore how the Adirondack ecosystem works. Find out more about the new exhibits this summer with the blog post, Experience: Adirondacks.
With so many hikes to choose from, you can find one that matches the skills of the whole family. Of course, there's more than just your feet that can carry you to some glorious scenery.
The fun doesn't stop at Oak Mountain Ski Center just because it's summer. Soar over the trees in the ski lift or mountain bike the trails. Lapland Lake Nordic Vacation Center has a swimming beach with canoes and kayaks.
If you are eager to try something new, our guide services can create a fishing tutorial, boat tour, or paddling expedition that will lay the foundation for many trips to come. They help you plan to get the best out of your time here.
With so many different ways of discovering how special the Adirondacks is, you can craft the right balance for your family, as they grow to love the natural world around them. Start building a tradition of sharing nature here in the Adirondacks.
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