If there’s a great Schenectady County resource for families you’d like to see on this list, please email [email protected] so we can include it online and in future issues.
Empire State Aerosciences Museum
250 Rudy Chase Drive, Glenville; (518) 377-2191
ESAM presents aviation history from the pioneer era to the jet age, with a focus on New York. The museum features two galleries, a Hall of Fame, an Art Gallery, research library, Air Park, and flight simulator. www.esam.org
421 South Reynolds Street, Scotia; (518) 374-2371
Historic home hosting occasional open houses and tours.
Mabee Farm Historic Site
1080 Main St., Rotterdam Junction; (518) 887-5073
The oldest house in the Mohawk Valley (built in the last quarter of the 17th Century). The main farmhouse, the adjacent inn and the brick house have retained many original characteristics of early Dutch and French settlers, with few design alterations. Also on the site are the Mabee Cemetery, a blacksmith shop, Dutch barn, carpenters workshop and a carriage shed. www.mabeefarm.org
Museum of Innovation and Science (miSci)
15 Nott Terrace Heights, Schenectady; (518) 382-7890
A museum and planetarium with a mission to “celebrate, explore and inspire science and technology, past, present, and future.” www.misci.org
Niskayuna Train Station
Rosendale Road, Niskayuna
A restored 19th-century brick station that served the Troy-Schenectady Railroad route. A picnic area, fishing, boat launch and bike path are also located nearby.
Nott Memorial at Union College
Union Street, Schenectady
The 16-sided Nott Memorial is a National Historic Landmark. The campus also features the Mandeville Gallery and Memorial Chapel – known for its superb acoustics. Free walking tour maps available at the admissions office. www.union.edu
Schenectady County Historical Society Museum
32 Washington Ave., Schenectady; (518) 374-0263
The three-story house is of the Federal and Greek Revival style and is filled with a collection of original 18th century furniture, paintings, costumes, toys, household and military items. Be sure to see the dollhouse, built in 1834 by Joseph Yates, once Governor of New York, for his granddaughter. www.schist.org
Stockade Historic District
Erie Boulevard and Union Street, Schenectady (518) 372-5656
New York State’s first historic district and one of the few places in this country where a thriving residential community has occupied the same site for more than 300 years. Free walking tour maps available at the Heritage Area Visitor Center located at the Schenectady Museum. www.historicstockade.com
Glenville Branch Library
20 Glenridge Road, Glenville
Mont Pleasant Branch
1026 Crane St., Schenectady
Niskayuna Public Library
2400 Nott St. E, Niskayuna
Phyllis Bornt Branch Library & Literacy Center
948 State St., Schenectady
Rotterdam Public Library
1100 N Westcott Road, Rotterdam
Quaker Street Branch
133 Bull St., Quaker Street
Schenectady County Public Library
99 Clinton St. Ext., Schenectady
(518) 388-4500; www.scpl.org
Scotia Branch Library
14 Mohawk Ave., Scotia
2 Sanford St., Schenectady
County Forest Preserve
Lake Road, Duanesburg; (518) 386-2225
A multi-recreational park on 102 acres with hiking, fishing, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. www.schenectadycounty.com
Christman Bird and Wildlife Sanctuary
3281 Schoharie Turnpike, Duanesburg,; (519) 690-7878
The preserve is great for hiking, picnics and family fun. A highlight of the Christman Sanctuary is the Bozenkill, with its 30-foot waterfall and numerous lesser cascades.
Freeman’s Bridge Public Access Launch
2 Freeman’s Bridge Road, Scotia; (518) 382-3884
Free public launch site on the Mohawk River run by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Wheelchair accessible entrance available.
Indian Kill Nature Preserve
Maple Avenue, Glenville (518) 386-2225
A 100-acre preserve that follows the banks of the Indian Kill. Discover diverse habitats including climax forest, past farmed fields, wetlands, and young forest. www.schenectadycounty.com
Plotter Kill Preserve
Mariaville Road, Rotterdam; (518) 386-2225
Preserve contains 632 acres of rugged hardwood and coniferous forest along the Plotter Kill, a scenic tributary to the Mohawk River. The ledges give the stream its name: platte (flat) and kill (creek) Use caution when hiking, especially with young children; the terrain is very rugged with steep slopes and ledges near the trails. There are three spectacular waterfalls: the Upper Falls, Lower Falls and the Rynex Creek Falls at the junction of Rynex Creek and the Plotter Kill.
Schenectady Farmers’ Market
Tuesdays: 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at St. Luke’s Church, 1241 State St., Schenectady
Thursdays: 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m. in front of Schenectady City Hall, Franklin and Jay streets
Open May through October.
Enjoy shopping at a variety of vendors who offer fresh fruits and vegetables, natural eggs, herbs, wines, baked goods, flowers and plants, crafts and more. The Downtown Thursday market offers a lively outdoor setting complete with music, food, and weekly special events. www.schenectadyfarmersmarket.com
Sundays: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Summer market: May through October, 105 Jay St., Schenectady
Winter market: November through April, Proctors arcade, 432 State St., Schenectady
A place to buy fresh local produce and artisan goods in a festive community atmosphere.
Upper Union Street Farmers Market
Parking lot behind the Trustco Bank off Woodland Avenue
Open Saturdays from 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m. All the farmers at the market are local and within 10 miles of the market.
Central Parkway and Wright Avenue, Schenectady (518) 382-5151
Music Haven Stage, basketball, bocce, casino restaurant, greenhouse, baseball fields, tennis courts, Tiny Tot Land, pedal boats, picnic pavilion and rose garden. www.cityofschenectady.com or www.schenectadyrose.com
Collins Park / Freedom Park
Route 5 and Schonowee Avenue, Scotia (518) 374-2225
Picnic area, playground, tennis and basketball courts, ball fields and swimming. Free summer concerts and family entertainment. Home to US Water-ski Show Team. www.visitscotia.com or www.freedomparkscotia.org
Erie Canal Lock Parks
www.canals.ny.gov; (800) 4CANAL4
• Erie Canal Lock 7 Park
Lock 7 Road, Niskayuna
Free state boat launch facility.
• Lock 8 Park
Rice Road, Rotterdam
• Lock 9 Park, Rte. 103, Scotia
Union College, Union Street, Schenectady
Eight acres of formal gardens and woodlands.
Route 5S, Rotterdam
Boat launch and picnic area.
Maple Ski Ridge
2725 Mariaville Road, Rotterdam (518) 381-4700
Year-round activities and festivals at a local ski hill that is great for beginners. www.mapleskiridge.com
Mohawk Hudson Bikeway
A 30-mile trail along the Hudson and Mohawk Rivers. Great for hikers, bicyclist and rollerbladers. Free maps at the Schenectady Chamber Visitor Center (306 State St, Schenectady) or download a map at www.schenectadycounty.com.
432 State St., Schenectady; (518) 364-6204
Each season, Proctor’s Theatre presents world class singers, side-splitting comedians, electrifying dance programs, wonderful classical productions, including opera and symphony orchestras, and top-notch touring Broadway musicals. Something for all ages. www.proctors.org
117 Mohawk Ave, Scotia; (518) 346-5055
Updated 1920s-era theater with old-school marquee offers second-run movies and discount concessions. Kids love the balcony! www.scotiacinema.net