Please welcome Colleen Pierre from Saratoga Mama. She is sharing some of her favorite family friendly things to do in Saratoga Springs, New York. Be sure to follow the links to Colleen’s blog if you are planning a trip to the area. She lists calendar events, things to do in the area, good places to eat and more.
I am really enjoying my new Travel in My Town series because I am learning more about places that have long since been on my list to visit and adding some that weren’t previously on my radar. Do you want to share your favorite things about your town? Send me an email at jennifer at twokidsandamap dot com.
Saratoga Springs, NY is located about 30 minutes North of our capital city, Albany and about 3 hours north of New York City. Situated near the stunning Adirondack mountain range, near gorgeous lakes and rivers, and home to many cultural events and activities all year, Saratoga Springs is a wonderful spot to take a vacation! It was very hard to pick and choose what to tell you about, but here’s a good overview of just some of what our city has to offer!
Broadway – Downtown Saratoga Springs centers around Broadway, our “main street”. Broadway is home to amazing boutiques and shops, fabulous restaurants, bakeries, ice cream shops, beautiful art galleries, hotel’s and some of the best independent coffee shops I’ve ever been to. A few Broadway kid-friendly standouts include: Bettie’s Cakes, a 50’s-themed cupcake café, G. Willikers, an independent toy store, Circus Café, a restaurant with a fun décor, yummy food and huge plates of cotton candy for dessert, and Plum Dandy, a frozen yogurt place with more toppings than you could ever need. A stroll up and down Broadway is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon in Saratoga.
Congress Park/Carousel – In the spring and summer months, Saratoga Springs downtown comes alive! Our “central park” is located just off of Broadway and is called Congress Park. With duck ponds, grassy meadows, historic landmarks and a wooden carousel, Congress Park is a great meeting place, picnic spot, or people-watching destination. In July and August, Congress Park is home to live music concerts, arts and crafts festivals, and other special events.
Museums – A trip to Saratoga would not be complete without visiting one of our many museums. Horse lovers will enjoy the National Museum of Racing, dance fans adore the National Museum of Dance, car enthusiasts rejoice at the Saratoga Automobile Museum, artsy folks like Skidmore College’s Tang Museum and Art Gallery, and kids go wild for The Children’s Museum at Saratoga.
SPAC (Saratoga Performing Arts Center) – I grew up attending concerts at SPAC from Journey to Phish, Dave Matthews Band, to the ballet, opera and orchestra. The thing about SPAC is that it’s an amphitheater, which means there’s partial seating inside and a huge sloped lawn area for outdoor seating. Lawn tickets are much cheaper and on a nice evening, you can bring a picnic dinner, lawn chairs, a bottle of wine and enjoy the New York City Ballet or Philadelphia Orchestra! I took the kids to the ballet this past year and we all sat on the lawn- a unique and cultural experience.
Saratoga Farmers’ Market – Our year-round farmers market is both a social place as well as a place of business. With products including vegetables, fruits, honey, baked goods, meat, cheese yogurt, milk as well as crafters and on-site prepared food, the Saratoga Farmers’ Market is another must-do activity! The market is held on Wednesdays and Saturday from May through October and indoors on Saturdays from November to April. Just about every week there is live music, chef demonstrations, and other community-based special events. We appreciate your support of OUR local farmers too!
Horse Fever! Saratoga Springs is probably best known as a horse racing destination because of the Saratoga Race Course, a 350-acre horse racetrack. With 40 days of horse racing starting at the end of July and ending around Labor Day, Saratoga really comes alive in the summer. Tourists (and locals) love attending “the track” to watch and bet on the horses, and Saratoga Polo for the unique experience of attending polo matches.
Here’s a post about enjoying Saratoga Race Course with the kids and another Mama Guide to Saratoga Polo.
Saratoga Springs NY offers so much to do and see, I hope you have the chance to visit us soon!
-Colleen Pierre, SaratogaMama
Colleen Pierre is a mother of two wonderful children, Robby (3) and Angie (1) and owns SaratogaMama an online resource for families. The site provides Saratoga County families and visitors with an easy way to find events and activities, information about area schools, daycare options, community news, recreation options, and lots more.