Family Time, by Diane Chase

Join elves at the 22nd annual Joy of Giving Party.
(Photo provided — Diane Chase)

Fostering altruism at the Joy of Giving Party

It is that time of year when our family is inundated with catalogs and commercials touting all the latest “must have” gifts. We survive Black Friday, attend Small Business Saturday, and search through the Cyber Monday deals. To balance our support of industry, we donate during ...

“Nutcracker” ballet is at Lake Placid Center for the Arts Dec. 2-3, 2017. Pictured are (back row: Amber Winch, Celidh Cheeseman, Harvey Runyon, Julia Loomis, Lillian TullerUss, Tyler Nye, Kristen Glazier, Tyler Chase, Deana Reyore and Laura Coffin; (front row): Emma VanWeelden, Aurora Brunner, Emery Toohey, Lexi Coffin, Will Coffin and Addison Toohey. Pictured at center is Autumn Whitney.
(Photo provided — Diane Chase)

The importance of live performances

I spend a lot of time in front of a computer and on my phone. Oh, yes. My children are very quick to point that out to me as I reprimand them for the very same reason. The double-standard is clear. I have the best excuses for being online as Christmas approaches, family visits and my job that ...

Shopping and eating small

I’m just as guilty of dog-earring the sale flyers as the rest of my family during the holiday season. It is overwhelming to think about the amount of stuff I feel I need by the time I’ve perused the catalogs and listened to the Christmas jingles. I am inundated with advertisements and ...

An easy, wooded walk to McKenzie Pond, Saranac Lake
(Photo provided — Diane Chase)

An autumn walk to McKenzie Pond

It’s in the middle of Big Game season and my golden retriever has the ability to look like a Whitetail deer. We dress up in our favorite fall color, neon orange, and take to the trails. The 2-mile walk to McKenzie Pond is always a favorite. Though there are a small number of dips, but most of ...

Don’t wait until it snows to see if that winter gear still fits.
(Photo provided — Diane Chase)

Shop ski and skate swaps and grab a Ski and Ride Passport

I’m not one of those mothers that has everything prepared in advance. My family really pulls things together when we have a time limit. I use that first hint of snow to finish all the yard work. I host a dinner party to get the house vacuumed. I also need a ski swap deadline to make sure ...

Balloon animal at the Adirondack Carousel is just one of over 25 area Halloween activities. 
(Photo provided — Diane Chase)

Halloween events for all ages

I’ve been writing about Halloween events for this column for years. Every year, there is even more sugary treats and ghoulish fun to share. Of course, Halloween isn’t just for kids, so if you are over 21, make sure to head straight down to the end for those events that require proof of age. ...

Where jean shorts come from

I’m feeling particularly old when I take my daughter shopping for a pair of jeans and she comes out of the dressing room wearing a waistband and the shredded remains of what used to be pant legs. Now to be clear, I don’t have a lot of rules when it comes to what my children wear. I ...

Losing Lamby

Recently my neighbor put out a message that she had lost her son’s favorite bedtime toy while walking around Lake Placid. It was a simple request that was answered by moms and dads alike. (Honestly, probably more moms.) Would people please look for lamby? I’d just returned to my car from a ...

Apple picking time at Applejacks Orchard
(Photo provided — Diane Chase)

Pick-your-own apples at Applejacks Orchard

I have two apples trees on our property that have yet to yield any fruit. Both trees are just within the five-year timeline to start producing apples. Our problem is we’ve had to move the trees a few times, apparently “resetting” their delicate apple producing clocks. We may have to have ...

A view of Hurricane Mountain from Owl Head Lookout 
(Photo provided — Diane Chase)

A peaceful climb to Owl Head Lookout

I haven’t hiked Owl Head Lookout, just outside of Elizabethtown, for many years. Recently I’ve felt the need to become reacquainted with some of my old favorites and introduce them to some visiting friends. We always have such a wide range of hiking abilities in our groups, it’s nice ...

Become an Object Detective at the Lake Placid Olympic Museum.
(Photo provided — Diane Chase)

A visit to the Lake Placid Olympic Museum

Some things never change, like the chills I get each time I hear the shocked tone in ABC Commentator Al Michaels’ voice as he announces, “Do you believe in miracles? YES!” in response to the 1980 American “Miracle” hockey win against the Soviet team. We make our annual visit to the ...

A monarch on milkweed
(Photo provided — Diane Chase)

Raising a monarch from an egg

A few years ago, after seeing the film “Flight of the Butterflies” at The Wild Center, my daughter started our own monarch habitat. It has been a slow process. Mother Nature has a plan for everything and we discovered that there is nothing simple about a monarch. We planted milkweed ...

Looking for hidden painted rocks 
(Photo provided — Diane Chase)

Kindness rocks

There are two elder twin sisters, known as the Rock Ladies, who live near my in-laws’ house. No visit would be complete without walking past their house and searching through the basket of rocks that they’ve collected and painted with simple scenes and inspirational messages. Anyone is ...

Be cautious along the open ledges of Santa Clara’s The Pinnacle.
(Photo provided — Diane Chase)

Easy hikes: Santa Clara’s The Pinnacle makes the grade

I’m always looking for a quick, easy hike to share with family and visiting friends. It’s a bonus when that same hike allows me to get my dog off her leash for a few moments, give her a bit of a run, and get back on the road to finish our errands. Santa Clara’s Pinnacle trail is the ...

The Tupper Lake Heritage Museum is open during the week from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Labor Day.
(Photo provided — Diane Chase)

More than 20 rainy day activities for all ages

There is something beautiful about an Adirondack rainy day. It always lets us explore areas that we, perhaps, put off for a rainy day. I’ve written over the years about rainy day activities, Staycations, and inside options. Here are over 20 suggestions for people of all ages and abilities to ...

Thomas Reynolds of Lake Placid participates in a Whiteface Club Tennis Center youth clinic. 
(Photo provided — Diane Chase)

Youth, adult tennis clinics at the Whiteface Club and Resort

I’ve heard over and over how tennis is a life-long sport. All you need is a can of balls, a racket and a place to play. Of course, with any sport you still need to know the rules. The nice thing I’ve found about tennis is even though I’ve never known the formal rules, I’ve still been ...

A naturalist is available daily to answer questions at the ADK Loj Nature Museum.
(Photo provided — Diane Chase)

Exploring the ADK Loj Heart Lake Summer Programs

Though the Adirondack Mountain Club is known as a gateway to the High Peaks, The ADK Loj Heart Lake area has plenty of outside options available for people of all levels and abilities. Though I enjoy the beauty (I saw a loon!) and being outside, one part of going to Heart Lake that I never take ...

The Paul Smith’s VIC Native Butterfly House provides a glimpse into the world of moths and butterflies.
(Photo provided — Diane Chase)

Pollinators at the VIC’s Native Butterfly House

I love going to the Paul Smith’s VIC’s Native Butterfly House. I share the experience with family and visitors every chance I get. I relish those moments that I can sit and relax among the numerous native species fluttering at this butterfly sanctuary found at the Paul Smith’s College ...

The state Department of Environmental Conservation in Ray Brook once again offers a free NEw York State Boat Safety Certificate course.
(Photo provided — Diane Chase)

Learning boat safety in free DEC course

My family loves to be out on the water. Around the Adirondacks it certainly feels that everywhere we turn, we can enter thousands of rivers, ponds, and lakes. Enjoying the water isn’t enough. We want to make sure everyone knows waterway rules. Last year my daughter took her first New York ...

Search for Waldo hiding in 25 Lake Placid businesses throughout the month of July. 
(Photo provided — Diane Chase)

Where is Waldo? Hiding in Lake Placid

My family has never stopped looking for Waldo. I still find my children, other people’s children, and even guests searching through each book’s colorfully illustrated crowd scenes. There is something hypnotic about scanning the page, picking out the familiar lanky cartoon man in his red and ...