Summer stuff to do with a teen sibling?

ice cream coneCamilo emails:

I would like to know AOA suggestions for activities for a teenager this summer, with a twist. I am an international student at RPI and my brother is gonna come visit me for a long month, so there are a few extra things to consider: I'm not in his legal custody, and he is not a resident/citizen, he does have a turist visa, tho. Also, I'm a student, so price may be a restriction.

We wouldn't want Camilo's brother to come here this summer and have a bad time. So, got a suggestion for them? Please share!


The state museum in Albany is free/donation only and could be good, depending on your brother's interest.

If you have a car you might want to go somewhere like Grafton to go swimming, or you could try hiking.

The pool in Lincoln Park in downtown Albany is free - and a great pool to swim in. My mom lived on Park and Eagle for 22 years and when I had to move home to live with her I loved going to that pool. I now live in Schenectady and am unable to swim outside in the public pool (in Central Park) because of all the duck/goose poop that plagues the location. I miss that pool in Lincoln Park. We moved in 2008 but I do believe it's still free. Opens in June, I believe.

Definitely hiking! Adirondacks, Catskills, even nearby Thacher Park. Maybe head to Burlington for a day or two--the Cabot cheese factory, Ben & Jerry's are both under-21 fun.

Take the Megabus down to NYC for an overnight or a super long day for cost savings (maybe you have a couch or something to crash on?).

If he has any interest in baseball, a trip to Cooperstown could be fun.

I'm not sure what the restrictions are about crossing borders, but a little research is worth it if you want to head to Montreal for a few days. Maximize the tourist opportunities.

Don't miss Alive at Five on Thursdays at the Corning Preserve.

Pick something--strawberries, blueberries, whatever the farm is growing.

Go to Williamstown for Mass MoCa, the Clark, the little museum at Williams College, and the cute college feel.

You could always hit up Alive@5 and all the other free entertainment going on in the summer. Keep a Metroland handy to find out what's up.

I agree with Kobe about taking a short drive out to a state park. We have some beautiful state parks in the area, some with nice beaches (Grafton, Thompson's, Moreau) and others with great hiking and gorgeous vistas (Thacher, Peebles Island, Schodack Island, etc). Check that out.

My absolute favorite is North South Lake Campground in the Catskills. It's not a state park but is run by the DEC instead. WONDERFUL place. Lake swimming, boating, hiking, waterfalls, vistas; everything. Bring a picnic lunch or even camp for a weekend.

Lake George village is also a fun choice, with a visit to Fort William Henry and a ride on one of the steam boats. A cruise on the Minne-Ha-Ha paddleboat will set you back $12.50. You could also hit up the Great Escape & Splashwater Kingdom while you're up there, but it's a bit on the pricier side. It would also be a good idea to camp in that area, because if you wanted to visit everything I just mentioned (don't forget the million dollar beach!) you'll need more than one day.

There is so much more, but I'll let some of the others submit some ideas, haha

Kobe got to the big ones I was going to mention. I would especially suggest checking out the September 11 exhibit at the museum -- as well, of course, as the permanent and rotating exhibits.

If you do have a way to drive around, there are a lot of outdoor places to visit for free. Great hiking in the Catskills and Adirondacks, I like to suggest Kaaterskill falls and North-South Lake (very near each other) for those who haven't been. Plenty of parks, too, Papscanee Island, Five Rivers, Saratoga Battlefield. Some other parks may have started charging admission, but that's usually pretty low, check ahead of time.

We have a bunch of good local music venues, too; in Albany alone I'd look into Valentines, Red Square, and the Linda (which I had to recently admit I've never been to, have to correct that). They have regular shows and are very affordable. There are several spots in Troy and Saratoga too, and plenty of coffeehouses with regular live music.

Might want to check the EMPAC schedule, too. And this time of year it seems like there's a festival or fair somewhere every weekend, check some community calendars. We have a few drive-in theaters, the Hollywood, Malta, Jericho, Glens Falls -- I think those are all still open. And the Spectrum is a good place to take in a sit-down film too.

Hm, I'm sure there's more...

I second the lincoln park pool suggestion. The Valleycats games are pretty fun. The park playhouse musicals in Washington park are free, I think this year is Annie. Albany Indoor Rock gym is fun, although that can be a little pricey and well, it's indoors.

A little ways from Albany, but we love going to Jumpin' Jacks and Freedom Park in Scotia. Jumpin jacks has great burgers and soft serve ice cream. In the park they have free concerts, and we've stumbled on bagpipe band practice sessions there in the past, which are awesome. Schedule here: They also have water-ski demonstrations on the Mohawk river there.

Aren't Valentine's and Red Square 18+ venues?

I second (or third?) a Megabus trip to NYC, some days you can get a really good price for a round trip ticket.

There's the Art on Lark in June

The country fairs throughout August

Do you have a card for the public library? There are museum passes available for some of the local museums. It's only one pass per household, but that can make a museum trip within your budget.
Keep your eyes peeled for concerts and such at the area libraries too.

Albany's 1st Friday can be a pretty nice way to spend an evening downtown I've never tried Troy Night Out, but it's worth a shot

My 16 year old cousin came a couple of summers ago and I tried to do as many typical American things with him - we went go kart riding at the Fun Plex in East Greenbush, bowling, miniature golf, a valley cats game, fireworks for the 4th. My sister took him white water rafting on the hudson, a bit pricy but a ton of fun. And we ate a ton of summer food - Gus's hot dogs, ben & Jerry's, anything really greasy or fattening worked.

Bowling is fun and there are quite a few alleys in the Capital Region (just read there are alleys at University Club right here on AOA!). You can find great discount coupons and deals for bowling packages. We agree with others about Valley Cats game -- entertainment and food at an incredibly low price.
There are still some festivals coming up in Albany and surrounding communities on the weekends. AOA is the place to find out what is going on.

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