Close your eyes (trust me, I'm not going to tickle, rob, or pants you). Imagine you're on a road trip with your kids; everyone's favorite music is playing, kids are singing off-key. Now imagine you're together in a maze of corn, laughing and trying to find all the pieces of a puzzle under a sunny sky. Sounds good, right? Now imagine you're walking down a pine needle strewn path in the woods, surrounded by trees and the flaming colors of changing leaves. You can almost hear the leaves crinkling underfoot, can't you? Maybe there's even a jolly chipmunk that crosses your path. No, this isn't a picturesque Disney film, it's the picturesque scenes of fall family fun in the Adirondack village of Saranac Lake! Read on for activities every family will enjoy!
Great Adirondack Corn Maze
Just a few miles north of downtown Saranac Lake lies a very special farm. It's the sort of farm where family fun is a priority and where every fall a field of corn isn't harvested, it's made into a unique maze! The Great Adirondack Corn Maze at Tucker Farms is an annual event that offers plenty of fun for families to find their way through the maze together (no, you can't leave your annoying sister in the maze). The maze has a different design each year, so it's always fresh fun. Dare I say it's farm fresh? (Sorry, I'll try to stop.) This year’s design, when viewed from the air, is of Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf, designed by local artist Shane McIntosh. Fun like this? It's all about sweet Adirondack air, playing together as a family, and a fun challenge. In other words, it's a-maize-ing! (Sorry, I really had to.)
Forget TikTok, turn off the iPad games. Fun activities for families don't have to be the latest thing to make everyone happy! The proof is at the Adirondack Carousel, where you'll spin with glee, no matter what age. The Carousel was created by the community and is totally unique: all of the animals are those that live in the Adirondacks, including an otter, loon, even a black fly! It’s pretty, entertaining, and for grown ups, gives you a great sense of nostalgia. You'll have a hard time stopping with only one ride! There's also a wonderful playground in the park outside the carousel building which will have the kids running wild! (It will tire them out, I promise.)
Saranac Lake has been invaded by bugs. Colorful bugs! HUGE bugs! So huge you'll start spotting them as you walk or ride around town. But don't be frightened, friends, these are totally harmless, wonderfully awesome bug sculptures! The Saranac Lake Bug Crawl is a bug sculpture scavenger hunt, with all of the bugs created by a local artist with metal donated by the community! Pick up a map at the Welcome Center in the Town Hall, or print one yourself at home, and let the wild rumpus start!
Paul Smith's College Visitor Interpretive Center
Part of what makes the Saranac Lake so special are the many, practically countless opportunities to get outside and enjoy nature. Downtown? Has a mountain. Lakes? They're everywhere. For sheer beauty, accessibility, and uniqueness, though, one of my favorite places in all of the Adirondacks is the Visitor Interpretive Center at Paul Smith's College. Here, visitors young and old (what is age, anyway? Feel young, grasshopper!) can let the rest of the world (turn off that cell phone!) fade away and immerse themselves in stunning habitats. Want a long hike? You can do that here. Would you prefer a more casual walk, crossing a bog on a wooden boardwalk? You can do that here and honestly, you should. It's amazingly memorable, beautiful, and great for small kids and strollers!
Shop, eat, relax!
Want to pick up a few souvenirs that are both good for your kids and you won’t mind buying? Head to Goody Goody’s for quality toys and games, and to The Village Mercantile, which has an excellent selection of children’s books both about the Adirondacks and by local authors.
Saranac Lake's parks are scenic, easily accessible locations perfect for a family picnic. Whether you bring your own or stop at a local restaurant or deli for some takeout goodies, a colorful fall picnic is sure to delight the whole family. A particular favorite is Riverside Park on the shores of Lake Flower, and not just because it's home to big teddy bears (we like our animals extra big here)! It's close to shops, restaurants, and local attractions, with great views of the surrounding mountains. Stroll the adjacent Riverwalk to enjoy views of the Saranac River. The kids will love looking for ducks!