Things to Do in Albany That Are Off the Beaten Path

If you're looking for different, cool things to do in the Albany area look no further.

Whether you're seeking family-friendly events or just a fun activity for kids or adults, we've got six lesser-known hot spots in Albany for you to check out.

Pine Bush Discovery Center

a scrub oak tree hanging from the ceiling with surrounding posters of plants and wildlife inside the discovery center The Pine Bush Discovery Center, part of the Albany Pine Bush Preserve, is a little known gem for kids and adults. The building serves as a resource facility, with programs and educational activities for both kids and adults.

Take a Karner Blue Butterfy Walk, spend an evening documenting moths, or come along to observe the science team as they capture and band birds to learn more about them.

Activities are typically $3 to $5, or even free. Check out their full events calendar here.

Spectrum 8 Theatre

spectrum 8 signIf you're looking for an obscure indie or foreign film, you might be able to see it here.

Spectrum 8 showcases some of those films you might not be able to see at the bigger movie theaters - but no worries, they have the bigger name titles as well!

In addition to a well-rounded movie-going experience, Spectrum 8 tends to be a little bit cheaper than the other theaters.

Albany Institute of History and Art

albany institute of art and history with a sculpture in front of the buildingYou might not know it, but the Albany Institute of History and Art on Washington Avenue is one of the oldest museums in the country.

Here, you can check out exhibits on the history of the Upper Hudson Valley Region as displayed through art and other cultural items - paintings, manuscripts, documents, furnishings, and more.

Museum admission is only $10 for adults, and $6 for kids.

Albany Public Libraries

library with sign out front saying albany public library delaware branchThe Albany Public Libraries, with seven different locations, has a slew of events and programs going on throughout the entire year.

Check out events for kids like a Reptile Adventure, or a family-friendly event like a Saturday Afternoon Family Matinee.

Join a book club, view a musical performance, or check out an art exhibit - there's always something going on!

Corning Tower Observation Deck

corning towerYou've probably seen the Corning Tower in Albany, located by The Egg, but did you know you could go up to the top - for free?

Come and check out Albany from the 42nd floor. This is the tallest building in New York State outside of New York City, completely dominating the skyline.

The tower is open Monday through Friday, 10am to 4pm.

Imagination Station

playgroundImagination Station is a fantastic playground located at Shaker Elementary School on Albany-Shaker Road. It's just down the street from the playground at The Crossings, but is not as well known, so it tends to be less crowded.

When school is not in session you can bring your kids here to play for hours, for free. Have fun watching them explore the towers, bridges, slides, and more.

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