The Adirondack Museum – The Full Adirondack Experience

The very name Adirondack Museum is deceptive. It’s a complete campus of educational exhibits, interactive activities and outdoor sights. It’s more like the Adirondack Experience!

Thanks to the Adirondack Museum, the boys and I were able to enjoy a full day on the campus.

Right when you enter, you’ll see the sprawling outdoor campus in front of you. The region is quite beautiful and fun to explore. We immediately headed off the pond in the center of the campus, where it was duck feeding time. Some days there are even canoes you can use to enjoy the water.

The boys were particularly enthralled with the canvas-tarp tent and the wooden cabin, where they spend quite some time playing that they were out camping. Vman was busy working on the stove while Hbomb pondered what it must have been like sleeping on mattresses made out of leaves and whatnot rather than his own bed.

Cabin Play

We then worked our way to the one-room school house, which is just as adorable as you would imagine. A “teacher” was inside to answer questions while we made a craft. I know my nieces would have saddled right up to the old school desks and worked on their letters.

With the boys occupied, I took the time to read some articles about local schoolhouses. I also got a kick out of the duties of teachers at the time.

1812 Rules for Teachers

Just across from the schoolhouse is a wonderful cabin where…. are you ready for this… kids can do laundry. (Have you stopped laughing.) Because trust me, this is no laughing matter. My boys spent more than a half an hour doing laundry. From pounding and scrubbing the clothes, to wringing them out through a manual machine and hanging them to dry. Why can’t I get them to do this at home?!?

Old Fashioned Laundry at The Adirondack Museum

Another highlight of the day was the boat house… which houses old boats, canoes, you name it. If you can believe it, one of the exhibits is a personal actually making canoes from scratch! It was fascinating to watch her and ask her questions. Talk about an amazing dream job.

Canoe Artist at The Adirondack Museum

There were so many more things to do, but it was time for dinner. Be sure to take some time to walk through the gift shop. It’s really one of the better ones I’ve seen… and a little bit dangerous to my wallet!

There’s just too much to talk about. But here are some additional places we visited while at the Adirondack Museum:

  • Outdoor Recreation in the Adirondacks
  • Roads and Rails: Everyday Life in the Age of Horses
  • Bull Cottage: Adirondack Rustic Furniture
  • Buck Lake Club: An Adirondack Hunting Camp

Next time, I’m marking that we have to visit these other attractions as well:

  • Whiteface Fire Tower (where you get to climb to the top)
  • Lynn Boillot Art Galleries and the Living with Wilderness Galleries
  • Work in the Woods: Logging the Adirondacks

If you’re in the area, the Adirondack Museum is 100% worth the drive. This was such a spectacular day, and I look forward to returning again!


  1. We have been here and it’s so wonderful! We haven’t been here, however, since we had the boys! Thanks for the reminder that this would be such a fun place to take them!!! The Wild Center! in Tupper Lake is also a lot of fun!

    1. The Adirondack Museum is the perfect place to take the kids. I was pleasantly surprised at just how kid friendly it is!

  2. What a cool place! We’ve been to a few ‘outdoor’ museums and they are so enjoyed by the kids (and parents!) since there’s some wonderful open spaces to explore. I grew up in Central NY and miss this part of the country. Need to put this on our travel list when we head back to see family!

    1. Oh please do put it on your list. I was thrilled to see how family friendly it was and the activities were REALLY engaging.

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