Central New York
Cooperstown -
National Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum - The Hall of Fame and Museum opened in 1939 to commemorate 100 years of the American national pastime, baseball. Start with the splashy video presentations of "The Baseball Experience," then move on to different rooms, featuring baseball from the 19th century to the present, including a baseball card collection. In the Sandlot Kids' Clubhouse, younger kids can try on baseball jersey's, run around on the a soft playing surface, and there are baseball books, videos, games and toys. Bigger kids will enjoy scavenger hunts through the museum (complete the hunt and get Hall of Fame baseball cards).
The Farmers' Museum - This open air museum has exhibits of rural farm life in 19th and early 20th century. Kids can explore authentic buildings of that time , a blacksmith shop, pharmacy, printing office, Seneca log house.
At the Lippitt Farmstead, see how a farm in 19th would have worked. The activities are different in each season - harvesting crops, shearing the sheep, spinnning and weaving wool, and kids can pet the animals in the barnyard.
Empire State Carousel has 25 hand carved animals, representing special things about the state, and murals of scenes and famous figures from New York's history, such as Susan B. Anthony and Teddy Roosevelt.
The County Fair is a recreation of a traditional county fair around 1910, with skittles and boat races, lawn bowling, stilt walking, cow milking.
Howes Cave -
Iroquois Indian Museum - Learn about traditional Iroquois culture, housed in a building reminiscent of a longhouse. In the Children's Museum, kids can try on Iroquois clothing, play rattles and water drums, pound corn with a mortar and pestle, take home a rubbing (and don't miss the live turtle).
Around the museum is a 45 acre nature park, with trails through the fields and woods, look for deer and raccoons, maps are available. The Museum is closed on Mondays, and from January to March.
Howe Caverns - Take a walking tour through Howe Caverns (named after the Howe family who discovered the caverns in the 19th century). On the 80 min. tour, you'll descend 156 feet, walk along the River Styx, pass through chambers lined with dripping stalactites and stalagmites, and finish the tour with a boat ride on the underground Lake of Venus.
Outside the cave, gem mining is fun for everyone in your family. Buy a bag of "dirt" and sift the contents in flowing water to find fool's gold, aquamarines, rose quartz, and garnets.
Tip: This walking tour isn't really suited to toddlers or infants, and no strollers or baby backpacks are allowed. Bring a sweater along, it's cool in the cave.
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