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Finger Lakes Family Fun

Published: Feb 26, 2014

The Corning Museum of Glass offers a number of unique and inexpensive ways for families to experience world-class art and have fun. Where else can you explore more than 35 centuries of exquisite glass (dating back to the time of the Pharaohs), watch master glassblowers create art in a live demonstration, and then create your own one-of-a-kind piece to take home (even kids under 10 can sandblast or fuse glass, while those over 10 can blow ornaments, make paperweights, glass flowers, and more)? There are also a number of interactive activities to keep kids engaged and an Innovation Center where you can bend glass, bend light, bend your imagination! Oh yeah, and kids and teens (19 and under) get in CMOG FREE. Not only that, but some of the area hotels offer special packages which include complimentary admission to the museum for two adults.

Three of the biggest draws to the Corning & the Finger Lakes area are the world-renowned Corning Museum of Glass, our award-winning Wineries, and pristine Keuka Lake (one of the most scenic of the glacially formed Finger Lakes). 

To many people, Corning & the Finger Lakes (home of the most extensive collection of historic and art glass in the world) is one of those scratch-your-head destinations, as they're often beside themselves with wonder over why they hadn't made the discovery sooner. And with a world-class museum like The Corning Museum of Glass it seems understandable that, year after year, Corning is voted one of the "Top 25 Small-City Arts Destinations in the US" by readers of AmericanStyle magazine. But there are other remarkable venues for art here, like the Rockwell Museum of Western Art which houses the finest collection of Western and Native American Art east of the Mississippi River and which Frommers called "one of the best-designed small museums in the northeast," as well as galleries like West End Gallery, showcasing the work of nationally-recognized regional artists. There are also several art-related hands-on activities (like glass blowing and clay sculpting and pottery painting) that are perfect for the whole family.

Not only are they exceptional museums, but The Corning Museum of Glass (CMoG.org) and Rockwell Museum of Western Art (RockwellMuseum.org) offer FREE admission for children and teens (19 and under). Both museums have a number of interactive activities designed specifically for kids - they'll have a great time making all kinds of wonderful discoveries. The Corning Museum of Glass is one of those places you have to see to believe. In addition to housing over 45,000 items, including pieces dating back 3500 years, the museum offers visitors the chance to watch master glassblowers create original pieces, then to make their very own one-of-a-kind works of art in one of the daily workshops (with hands-on glassmaking activities for all ages). You can even take classes for extended periods of time (i.e. weekend workshops and more). In addition to having one of the largest museum shops in the US, there's also a special Innovation Center where you can bend light, bend glass, and bend your imagination!

The Rockwell Museum of Western Art offers intergenerational interactive activities that keep the entire family fascinated. Kids love it because they soon realize this is not like a library where they have to be quiet or where everything is off limits. There are special displays where touching is encouraged, as well as Art Packs that offer games, puzzles, treasure hunting, and even the opportunity to make a bead bracelet they get to take home (free).  Plus, the Kids West center is a favorite stop as it allows younger children the chance to dress up and play trading post.

Another wonderful opportunity for the whole family is at Hands-On Glass Studios (HandsOnGlass.com) where children as young as two can blow glass ornaments under the tutelage of the woman who started the hands-on glass movement in the US.

Families also love to visit the Glenn H. Curtiss Museum (GlennHCurtissMuseum.org) where they can learn about the fastest man on earth and the first man to fly off water, enjoy a flight simulator, and more.

You can also:

  • See alpacas at Heavenly Sunset Farm, Klose-Knit Alpacas
  • See Thousands of Fish at the NYS Fish Hatchery
  • Journey to the Stars at the Corning Community College Planetarium
  • Play Putt-Putt at The Fun Park or The Park Avenue Sports Center
  • Take to the Ice at Corning's Nasser Civic Center Ice Rink
  • Follow Native American Trails with Finger Lakes Guide Service
  • Have a Water Fight in Bumper Boats at The Fun Park
  • Paint Pottery at Earth Paint & Fire Studio
  • Get Up Close to Farm Animals at Buttons' Creekside Farm B&B
  • Play Trading Post and Discover the Old West at the Rockwell Museum of Western Art
  • Make a Glass Souvenir at the Corning Museum of Glass or Hands-On Glass Studio
  • Climb a Rock Wall at The Fun Park
  • Hone your baseball, soccer, and other sports skills at Sandlot Sports Academy
  • Pretend you're a pilot at the Glenn H. Curtiss Museum
  • Spend the Night in Real Train Caboose at the Caboose Motel
  • Catch a Fish, Flip, Dive, Swim, Make Waves at Keuka Lake

As mentioned above, some of our hotels offer packages, like the Radisson Hotel Corning's "Discover the Gaffer District" Package which includes two adult tickets to The Corning Museum of Glass and to the Rockwell Museum of Western Art (http://www.radisson.com/offers/2051411/rad).

Of course, you can always contact our Getaway Godmother for help in customizing a trip to Corning & the Finger Lakes that's just right for you.

For information and for contact info regarding these and other stories, contact:

Kimberly Price
Communications Manager
866-946-3386
kprice@corningfingerlakes.com
CorningFingerLakes.com
www.Facebook.com/corningfingerlakes

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