Whether you’ve been together for a while, the first time you’re going out, or even just a friend date, it’s tough to figure out what to do together that doesn’t involve eating. Well, I asked, and you answered and these are your best ideas for a local date activity that’s not breakfast/lunch/dinner.
Music Haven Concert Series (Central Park, Schenectady) – the only downside is that this is strictly a summer date activity but with the nicer weather brings great outdoor music. Performed in Schenectady’s Central Park from around July to August, Music Haven Concert Series hosts various kinds of music and musical events for free! Learn more on the Music Haven website.
Eden Cafe (269 Osborne Rd. #3, Albany) – okay, so I know I said no restaurants but this is more than just food. If you write off Eden Cafe as just a place to get a good cup of coffee (which they are), you’re missing out on all of the great events they offer like an open stage for songwriters, poets, storytellers, and more can be found on the Eden Cafe website.
Bard & Baker: Board Game Cafe (501 Broadway, Troy | 1034 Madison Ave, Albany) – add this to the list of “okay, I KNOW it’s a cafe but that’s not the whole point!” Bard & Baker is a board game cafe so while you enjoy some snacks, you can rent board games to play and there are so many to choose from! Check out my experience at the Troy location, I learned a new game I’d never heard of before and had a great time!
Dutch Apple Cruises (141 Broadway, Albany) – if you don’t have a boat of your own to take on the Hudson River, hop on the Dutch Apple. You can take a few-hour tour of Albany on a beautiful day, rent the boat yourself, or keep an eye on some amazing concerts they host. Check out their events on the Dutch Apple website.
Mountain Ridge Adventure (300 Weatherwax Rd, Schenectady) – if you and your date aren’t afraid of heights and want to be more active, check out Mountain Ridge Adventure zip lines. It’s a 10-zipline canopy tour 70+ feet in the air. Three passes are available: a treetop pass, a zipline pass, or a starter pass. Reserve your pass on the Mountain Ridge website.
Peebles Island (1 Delaware Ave North, Cohoes) – Peebles Island State Park is a 190-acre state park located at the confluence of the Mohawk and Hudson rivers in New York. You could walk some of the trails or fish, grill, hike, and in the winter, snowshoe and x-country ski. Also, don’t forget to check out the waterfalls! All of the information is on the Peebles Island website.
Cohoes Falls – called the Niagara Falls of Eastern New York, hit the waterfall after a big rain and you’ll see why. Check out my experience at the falls. Note that though this is a great sight and a great small park to walk around, if you do end up hungry, there isn’t anywhere within walking distance.
Thacher Park Overlook (830 Thacher Pk Rd, Voorheesville) – while the whole park is full of walking trails, playgrounds, grills, and more, the feature you can’t miss is the beautiful overlook. On a clear enough day, you can even see the Empire State Plaza from there! Park and watch the sunrise or sunset, bring some snacks, and enjoy the beautiful view. More information is on the Thacher Park website.
Five Rivers Environmental Education Center (56 Game Farm Rd, Delmar) – With over 10 miles of trails for exploration, Five Rivers fosters discovery, spiritual refreshment, and physical fitness through wholesome outdoor recreation. You can follow their scavenger hunt, follow their summer event guide and so much more can be found on the Five Rivers website.
Taste of Troy Food Tours – explore the culinary world of Albany and Troy with Taste of Troy Food Tours. Why only go to one restaurant when you can go to a bunch and learn some history of the place you live? I did the Troy food tour in 2017 and though some of the places are no longer there, you can check out my experience here. Book your tour on the Taste of Troy Food Tour website.
Axe Throwing – luckily in this area we have a bunch of great axe throwing places to check out which is great for a one-on-one date or with a group of friends:
- The Axe Lounge (2330 Watt St, Schenectady)
- Generation Axe (90 Fuller Rd, Colonie)
- The Yard Hatchet House and Bar (16 Sheridan Ave, Albany); don’t miss the Boozy Moo ice cream
- The Lazy Axe (1865 Central Ave, Albany)
- Far Shot Axe and Archery (69 N Pearl St, Albany)
5 Wits (Crossgates Mall) – 5 Wits Albany is an entertainment venue featuring three adventures: Deep Space, Drago’s Castle, and Tomb. Interact with live-action environments, solve puzzles, games, and challenges, and use caution: your performance changes the outcome of the adventure. Adventures adjust in difficulty to challenge returning players, and elusive secrets are contained in each one. Think: ESCAPE ROOM but more like a video game. Find more about 5 Wits on their website. See my experience from when it originally opened in 2017.
“Learn Together” at Broken Mold (284 River St #3224, Troy) – The Broken Mold Studio offers retail pottery made by the hands of local potters and a working studio with classes. The “Learn Together” session lasts an hour and a half. It includes a demonstration and throw and a personal lesson of throwing your very own bowl! So, get to know each other while making something together. Find out more on the Broken Mold website.
Lark Hall (351 Hudson Ave, Albany) – this is a great entertainment and event venue that hosts a bunch of different things from music, to open mics, and more and you can find the full calendar on the Lark Hall website.
Lavender Farm – if lavender is your thing, luckily we have quite a few options to choose from around here. Pick flowers, take cute photos and just relax in the wonderful smell. These are the two most popular:
- Lavender Manor Farms (5111 NY-145, Cobleskill)
- Lavenlair Farms (437 Deweys Bridge Rd, Whitehall) – closed for the 2022 season
Walk the Natural Saratoga Springs – have you walked passed those natural springs and wanted to try them? Did you know there’s a map and a semi-walking trail? Grab a cup, enjoy Saratoga Springs and follow the map.