You need to get out of the house but you don’t have a lot of money to spend? These are your favorite free things to do in the 518. Any you want to add?
Five Rivers Environmental Education Center – 56 Game Farm Rd, Delmar
The Visitor Center is open Monday through Saturday from 9 AM to 4:30 PM, except for state holidays. The grounds and trails are open daily from sunrise to sunset. “With 10 miles of trails and 450 acres of forests, fields, and ponds, we offer the perfect location to Love Our Lands as you practice sustainable recreation. While you are out enjoying the spring weather and practicing social distancing, try out the 5 Rivers Trail Scavenger Hunt (PDF).”
Thacher State Park – 830 Thacher Park Rd, Voorheesville
A ton of great options like hiking, camping, Wild Play Adventure Course, the Visitor Center located at Thacher State Park has geological and historical exhibits showcasing the Helderberg Escarpment and its’ importance to the region, and so much more
NYS Museum – 222 Madison Ave, Albany
Open to the public and full of amazing constant exhibits as well as rotating exhibits including Unveiled: Wedding Wear in 19th-century New York, Courage: The Black New York Struggle for Quality Education and more.
Library Programs: find your local library where they not only offer a great free place to get work done but also have monthly programs for various interests
A beautiful park full of places to walk, run, ride your bike, or more. It also hosts concerts and events in the summer and a weekly farmer’s market. Don’t miss the playground for kids!
Plotter Kill Preserve
Plotter Kill is a river that flows into the Mohawk River east of Rotterdam Junction, New York. The preserve has a small parking lot that leads to an easy hike with a couple of waterfalls. CHECK OUT my experience at Plotter Kill Nature Preserve.
Cohoes Falls [Kahon:ios, Mohawk for “High Falls”] is a waterfall on the Mohawk River shared by the city of Cohoes and the town of Waterford, New York. Discovered by the indigenous people, the falls are called Ga-ha-oose or Ga-ho’n’-yoos by the Mohawks, which means “High Falls.” CHECK OUT my experience at Cohoes Falls.
Saratoga Spa State Park – 19 Roosevelt Dr, Saratoga Springs,
Saratoga Spa State Park is a National Historic Landmark distinguished by its classical architecture and noted for its diverse cultural aesthetic.
Saratoga Battlefield – 648 NY-32, Stillwater
Saratoga Battlefield is the largest of 4 parts making up Saratoga National Historical Park. Here, in 1777, during the American War for Independence, American troops battled and beat a British invasion force, marking the first time in world history that a British Army ever surrendered. This crucial victory secured essential foreign recognition and support, instigated world-wide wars, affirmed United States independence, and changed the face of the world.
Clark Art Institute – 225 South St, Williamstown, MA
First Sundays free. The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, commonly referred to as the Clark, is an art museum and research institution located in Williamstown, MA.
Grafton Lakes State Park – 254 Grafton Lakes State Park Way, Grafton
Grafton Lakes State Park contains 2500 acres of forest and lakes on the Rensselaer Plateau with 25 miles of hiking trails.
Moreau Lake State Park – 605 Old Saratoga Rd, Gansevoort
The park is located in the southwest part of the town of Moreau on US 9 off Interstate 87. It features over 20 mi of hiking trails. Winter activities include snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, skating and ice-fishing.
Walkway Over the Hudson – 61 Parker Ave, Poughkeepsie
The Walkway over the Hudson is a steel cantilever bridge spanning the Hudson River between Poughkeepsie, New York, on the east bank and Highland, New York, on the west bank. CHECK OUT my experience at Walkway Over the Hudson.
George Landis Arboretum – 174 Lape Rd, Esperance
The George Landis Arboretum is a public garden comprising hundreds of acres of which 40 are devoted to noteworthy collections and gardens overlooking the Schoharie Valley
Tour the NYS Capitol Building – State St. and, Washington Ave, Albany
When: Monday through Friday ; Times: 10 a.m., noon, & 2 p.m. ; Location: Information Desk in Capitol’s State Street lobby.
Art Omi –
Art Omi, formerly Omi International Arts Center, is a non-profit international arts organization located in Columbia County in Ghent, New York. The organization provides residencies for writers, artists, architects, musicians, dancers and choreographers. Ledig House serves as Art Omi’s home and central meeting place. CHECK OUT my experience at Art Omi.
Albany Tulip Festival – Washington Park, Albany
Mother’s Day weekend each year. Featuring annual traditions rooted in the city’s rich Dutch heritage, nearly one hundred artisans selling their handmade crafts, a fine arts show, delicious food, the KidZone family fun destination, two stages of world-class live entertainment and more than 140,000 tulips in 150 different varieties, the Tulip Festival is a sparkling showcase of local culture and business.
Yoga at the Harbor – Mohawk Harbor, Schenectady
Hosted by Yoga Bliss. The event is free to the public, and all ages and fitness levels are welcome. Classes will be gentle and slow-moving, with plenty of instruction for beginners. Attendees are encouraged to wear comfortable clothing in layers and bring water along with a yoga mat and any blocks or cushions for ease in sitting.
Troy Waterfront Farmers’ Market – Downtown Troy
Technically, the event is year-round but only in the nicer weather (around early May) are they technically waterfront.
Park Playhouse – Madison Avenue &, New Scotland Ave, Albany
Technically the company has plays year-round but only in the nicer weather (July/August) are they in the playhouse in Washington Park
Alive at Five – Jennings Landing in Albany on Wednesdays from 5:00pm-8:00pm
Alive at Five is the City of Albany’s free summer concert series. Throughout the season, distinguished national, regional, and local artists bring their best performances to this popular annual event. Around end of June through the end of July.
Freedom Park Concerts – 5 Schonowee Ave, Scotia
Located in the beautiful Village of Scotia NY, Freedom Park offers the free Summer Concert Series highlighting performers from all over the Capital Region. Around end of June through the end of August.
Performing Arts at the Commons –
All performances are free and will take place on Wednesday and Sunday evenings (the exception is multi-day shows). On Wednesday evenings, you should bring the kids to the Clifton Common Stage for the Performing Arts Family Series.