Ask AOA: stuff to do with mom and dad

marge and homer simpsonLiz emails:

I have been in the area for less than a year. As a graduate student, I haven't done too much exploring. My parents are visiting this weekend. I'd like to show them a good time, but I don't know what to include. They visited once before and we went to the NYS Museum and New World Bistro and Bar, both of which they liked.
Any suggestions?

A similar question came up last September, but a lot of the suggestions were fall-oriented.

Off the top of our heads, a day trip to MASS MoCA or Hudson could fun. An afternoon in Saratoga might be nice -- be sure to catch the Beekman Street Arts District.

We're guessing you have suggestions for Liz and her parents. Share, please!


My cousin and his gf paid me a visit this weekend, and I had the same dilemma. Do your parents know Albany already, besides NYS? It was a bit chilly but sunny so I figured I would stick to something simple and outside (then again, for French people, just walking around is a bit "exotic"): here is my itinerary, maybe you can find something here.

Saturday: lunch at Casablanca, Moroccan restaurant on Central, then walk through Washington Park (the long loop, squirrels included), then down Madison Avenue to the Empire State Plaza. Check the Capitol on the other side (mention the Million Dollar Staircase, then your allowance), walk down State St., check the big SUNY building from the distance, walk on Broadway and remember how we miss Angelina Jolie. If your parents are not dead already, push to Wolff's Biergarten for a beer and peanuts (+5 strength), steal the fiberglass piggy (no, don't), mention the creepy Central Warehouse on the way and the weirdos who take photos there. Take a cab back to Crisan on Lark St., for tea and pastries (+500 exp, -5 cholesterol). Succumb to jet lag (French only). New World Bistro on Delaware for dinner (make reservation on Sat, or roll d12), but The Wine Bar on Lark is very nice too. Put your parents to bed, go to Fuze Box (-20 charisma).

Sunday: early breakfast at Miss Albany Dinner on Broadway (opens at 9am, go for the Mad Eggs), drive about an hour to Lake George (I87, exit 21/22), enjoy the scenic view, push north to Balton Lake and stop at the beautiful Sagamore Hotel for a drink. Bask in the sun (the view is fantastic), wonder why that nice waitress has a fake British accent. Drive back south and stop in Saratoga Springs; enjoy a little walk in the park, visit the Adelphi Hotel if it's open by then, optionally make fun of Skidmore. Finish your parents at Miss London on Broadway for iced tea and... yes, pastries again of course (double win); point out how much cheaper Crisan is.

Drive them back to the train station. You survived! Don't eat pastries for a year. Level up.

Check out the schedule at The Egg this weekend. Jakob Dylan, Shawn Colvin, Janis Ian and Carla Bonoff are all there. As corny as it sounds the Aqua Ducks tour is fun.Restaurants to consider- Brown Derby, Madison End Cafe, Jack's, or maybe the new Grappa '72 that has some buzz. A beer at Mahar's. Williamstown. The Troy Farmer's Market (not sure they're open yet). A tour of the Capitol. Hike the Hyuck Preserve. Saratoga- Broadway, Mrs. London's, The Tang, pick a museum, dinner at Beekman St. Bistro, Maestro's, Chianti, One Caroline or Max London's. West Stockbridge. Breadfast at Madison End Cafe or Miss Albany Dinner or Beverly's in Saratoga.

If you want something to do specifically for this Saturday, Union College is hosting the annual Rube Goldberg Competition:

Liz: It sounds like you don't mind a short drive, so why not take them down to Saugerties.

They might enjoy visiting the funky shops downtown and a walk out to the lighthouse. Then take them to dinner at New World Home Cooking. Great food like at New World Bistro, except without the uneven service and snooty attitude.

All the suggestions given for things to do with parents visiting Albany are take them out of Albany...

Depending on your families level of nerdiness, the Schuyler Mansion is pretty cool. On a clear day Thatcher can be a nice capstone "see, there's campus, there's the corning tower." etc. Which reminds me, you can go to the observation deck at the top of the tower. Oh, and there's albany aqua ducks. Depending on your schedule there might be a rollerderby match. Even if not your or your parent's cup of tea it might certainly be an "experience" and provide your parents with an interesting story when they go home. Just whatever you do, don't take them to the mall.

Inside...Albany Museum of Art, State Capital, The Clark.
Food/Beverage....Mahar's, Biergarten, Ali Baba, Bella Napoli, Bob and Ron's, Joe's grill on central, Saki Sushi.
Outside...Thatcher Park, Six mile water works, Five River's Environmental E. Center, The Pine Bush, Grafton Lakes...

These are a few of my favorite things.

Pending on what you are into, Malta Speedway starts this Saturday. P.J's BBQ opens up the same day. Try to keep them in the Greater Capital Region. Stuy plaza is a nice area to walk around in, there is the Farmers Market in Troy (4th Ave) indoors on Sat AM, and Sun AM has the Schenectady Farmers Market in Proctors.

Good luck

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