Good places for a large company picnic?

aoa cookout wideJ. emails:

I'm helping to plan a company picnic for my office (approximately 200 people) and we're trying to think of new ideas for where to hold it. Last year we did it at the track which was fun but we are trying to think of something different so we aren't doing the same thing every year. In past year's we have done it at Lanthier's grove.
Our office is in Albany and we're open to anything in the Capital Region. I'm hoping maybe your readers can help us come up with some good suggestions!

On follow-up with J., her company would like to find a place that could cater the picnic, but they could arrange to have food brought in if they find a place they like without it. And they'd like to spend less than $40 per person. Also: "Doesn't necessarily have to be something where the entire family (kids) can go."

Got a suggestion for J. and her company? Please share! And a sentence or two about why're suggesting a place can be helpful.


We did a Valleycats game with a picnic in the gazebo prior to the game and it worked out nice.

Thacher Park if you want to self cater. You can rent a pavilion - it has GREAT views.

My friend's company did a picnic at Great Escape.

I've been on group cruises on the Captain JP, Dutch Apple and Lake George Steamships and all have been fun.

My company did Thacher Park for a while, then we started renting a bigger pavilion in Saratoga Springs Park, near SPAC, as we grew bigger.

Crystal Cove on Crystal Lake in Averill Park does catering and can hold a large amount of people. Bonus if it's during warmer weather and you can leverage the beach.

Maybe not big enough for 200, but the big pavilion at Peebles Island State Park (reserve in advance) is a great site overlooking the Hudson between Cohoes and Waterford, and includes a big BBQ pit and many picnic tables. If you want catering for it, Chef Brian Wagner of the Angry Penguin Tavern, just across the bridge in Waterford, has experience catering there and offers a wide range of creative menu options at quite reasonable prices.

The Angry Penguin Tavern
39 Broad St.
Waterford, NY 12188

The best company picnic I went to was held at the YMCA Adventure Camp in Guilderland followed by the Western Turnpike Golf Course see the Guilderland Parks & Rec Dept. If your office is a mix of older/younger adults, I'd say Western Tpk Golf is the best choice because there's a lot more than golf and they have catering.

Crystal Cove in Averill Park has a new RENT-A-BEACH company picnic offering. Cost Effective, close by, and exclusively for the use of your company for the day.

I would call Brooks House of Barbecue in Oneonta, stat. If going to their catering hall on property is too far for the company picnic, I'm sure they can recommend a closer venue where they could set up shop.

They may want to bring ribs in addition to the chicken. But you should just tell them to hold onto those ribs for the tourists. You want all chicken all the time.

I'd have them leave the potatoes and other vegetables back too. Any bites of foods other than chicken, is a lost bite of chicken that you'll never get back.

You can get nearly 200 people into the pavilion at Hales Cave in Thacher Park. It's a gorgeous view, there are bathrooms, picnic tables, and electricity if you need for bringing in food.

The Century House in Latham has a large tent that's set beside their nature trail (open to guests)... very scenic and they do the catering!

Depending on what activities you want, you may consider the Apple Inn in altamont or Indian Ladder Farms or the Corning Preserve. A little further outside the box is the Altamont Manor, nice property (easily accommodate a tent), good views, enough inside space to accommodate bad weather, or the Shaker Barn.

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