Years ago, my grandfather planned a family day trip to the Adirondack Museum on Blue Mountain Lake. He drove, my grandmother sat in front — the easier to distract my grandfather — and my mother and I sat in the backseat. From Plattsburgh, the drive to Blue Mountain Lake seemed interminably long, punctuated by Grandpa’s patented distracted wanderings into the wrong lane, usually when a tractor trailer was bearing down on us from the opposite direction. Getting to the museum, much less home, seemed doubtful.
Yet make it to the museum we did and it was a wonderful day for our merry, multi-generational group. Founded in 1947, the museum, now known as Adirondack Experience, the Museum on Blue Mountain Lake, preserves the history of the Adirondacks, big and small, famous and less so. Since its founding, it’s been a great, secluded place for families to visit, including mine, a spirit that the museum carries on with vigor to this day.
New in 2023: Artists & Inspiration in the Wild
The ADKX's newest exhibit is a gorgeous ode to the Adirondacks and the artists inspired by their natural beauty. Four galleries display a range of art, including sculpture, painting, photography, and handcrafted items such as guitars and canoes, all of which show the artists' unique response to the wonders of the Adirondacks. The galleries include contemporary art, works by indigenous creators, and classics from beloved artists including Rockwell Kent and Seneca Ray Stoddard.
Minnow Pond Trail and ADKX Boathouse
The ADKX Boathouse at Minnow Pond is a great way to get in some family fun on the water. Located at the end of an easy to walk 0.75 mile trail, Minnow Pond is a beautiful spot for a paddle, but you won't need to bring your own. The boathouse, a rustic Adirondack design, offers visitors the option to borrow canoes, guide boats, and other classic Adirondack watercraft, some of which are meticulously cared-for vintage boats. If you always dreamed of being a rugged Adirondack guide, here's your chance to give it a try, at least for a few hours.
Live performances - The ADKX Summer Concert Series
Visit the ADKX for a series of fun and family-friendly live performances on select Wednesdays. From folk to electro-pop, bluegrass to blues, these concerts are a great, relaxed way to enjoy the sweet sounds of summer.
Adirondack Artisan Festival
Saturday, July 20 marks the annual Adirondack Artisan Festival, a celebratory day all about artists and creators from around the Adirondacks. You'll find unique items for sale across the museum grounds, including Mohawk basketry, wood carvings, handcrafted guitars, stained glass, and much, much more. Whether you simply want to browse and meet amazing artists or you're looking ahead to birthdays and holidays, this is a day full of Adirondack beauty that shouldn't be missed.
Mushroom Mania Festival
The fungi returns! Last year's Mushroom Mania Festival was so fun, it's back for more fungi fun! (Sorry but not sorry) Whether you are an expert in the world of fungi or are simply curious, join the Adirondack Experience this summer for a fun-filled, family-friendly festival all about fungi! With activities and crafts, workshops, presentations, hikes, and more there is sure to be something for even those who have never before considered mushrooms as anything other than something an adult makes you eat. Come learn about the mycelium superhighway hidden beneath your feet on Saturday, August 19th, 2022 from 10am-5pm at the museum.
Celebrate Akwesasne Artists
This art market celebrates the art of the indigenous peoples of the Adirondacks on Saturday, August 26. Emerging and accomplished artists from Akwesasne and Kahnawake will be on site selling and demonstrating beadwork, basket making, leather work, and handcrafted jewelry in both traditional and contemporary forms. Having the opportunity to engage with the artists and learn about Mohawk and Abenaki traditions is a great bonus for those browsing the market. Get there early to pick up an amazing piece of art!
Xperience for All
Come celebrate outdoor recreation and explore the broad opportunities for outdoor enjoyment. On Saturday, September 24, ADKX will be free for all on the day of the event. The day will feature workshops, games, demonstrations, and presentations, all in the spirit of providing museum visitors a foundation to safely pursue recreation on their own.
No matter when you visit the ADKX, you're sure to enjoy a day full of discovery and adventure. Your family will love the interactive exhibits, original buildings, and the beautiful campus. The view of the lake is awesome and there's even a full-size railroad car to explore! My family loves it, so I'm sure yours will too.