If you’re looking for new, cool, and fairly inexpensive things to do this summer look no further.
Whether you’re looking for ways to keep the kids busy or a fun date night activity, we’ve got you covered with six off the beaten path things to do in Albany.
1. Pine Bush Discovery Center
The Discovery Center is a resource facility aimed to introduce the public to the Pine Bush with educational programs. They always have kids activities and nature walks going on – often for $3 to $5 or even free. You can check out their events calendar here.
Don’t have kids? The Discovery Center has hikes and events for adults too.
2. Spectrum 8 Theatre
This locally-owned Albany movie house on Delaware Avenue shows many of the same big name movies the other theaters do, but Spectrum 8 is a little bit cheaper. And, they showcase many independent and foreign films you can’t see at the larger theaters.
It’s a truly different experience than going to the movies at the mall. Spectrum 8 has been at its location since the early 1940s when it opened as the Delaware Theatre, and is committed to keeping cinema as an art form alive.
3. Albany Institute of History and Art
Many have been to the New York State Museum at the Empire State Plaza, but did you know there is another awesome museum right in Albany? The Albany Institute of History and Art is one of the oldest museums in the country.
The Museum has exhibits on the area’s local history, and a special-collections library with over one million items related to the art, culture, and history of the area. The items aren’t circulated, but the public is able to study collections while in the library.
Museum admission is only $10 for adults, and $6 for kids.
4. Albany Public Libraries
The Albany Public Libraries system has seven different locations, so you can definitely find one close to you. They have a ton of events and programs going on in the summer and all year round, for kids and adults.
Kids programs include summer reading programs, arts and crafts, and tutoring, while adult programs are on topics like purchasing a home and credit repair. There are also book discussion groups, musical performances, art exhibits, and more.
5. Corning Tower Observation Deck
The Corning Tower in Albany right near The Egg has an observation deck where the public can see amazing views of Albany and surrounding areas from the 42nd floor – for free. You can also rent out the space for private parties. Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.
Although closed on weekends and holidays, the Corning Tower Observation Deck is open Monday through Friday, 10am to 4:00pm, with the last check-in at 3:45pm.
The Corning Tower is dedicated to Erastus Corning II, a long-time mayor of Albany who played a crucial role in the creation of the Empire State Plaza.
6. Imagination Station
Imagination Station is a massive, wooden playground at Shaker Elementary School on Albany-Shaker Road. It’s right down the road from The Crossings, but is not as well known, which means fewer crowds and a more quiet, pleasant experience for you.
The playground is open to the public for free when school is not in session. Soccer fields behind the playground are also available for public use.