Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in Glens Falls, NY

  • Published 2023/05/01

Set in Warren County’s southeastern corner, Glens Falls is an image-rich destination.

This place has become a rite of passage for American tourists after more than a century.

The falls that give the city its name reside on the Hudson River at the city’s southern end.

The city was one of two battlefields during the Revolutionary War.

It later earned its name as the halfway point between Fort William Henry in Lake George, NY, and Fort Edward.

Glens Falls is well-known for going above and beyond.

In 1944, Look magazine featured the city on its cover, dubbing the place “Hometown U.S.A.”

Also named the “Empire City,” Glens Falls has the town of Queensbury and the Hudson River as its neighbors.

If you’re looking to find out more about the best things to do in Glens Falls, New York, keep reading.

Learn the History of Glens Falls at Chapman Museum

Welcome sign of Chapman Museum

ChapmanEducator, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Glens Falls region, like many other thriving cities in the United States, has a rich heritage.

This area dates back to the 20th century, at least, when the French and Indian War raged in the US.

During and after the war, traders traveled through settlements and streets along Lake George.

From then to now, people have fought many battles over these areas.

However, one thing remains consistent: this is a great place to live.

One way to learn more about the city’s fascinating history is by visiting one of its most popular local attractions, the Chapman Museum.

They host events that deal with historical stories and offer some fascinating artifacts and informational lectures on different topics every day.

Enjoy Summertime Fun at Haviland Cove Beach & Park

Located in the scenic Hudson River, Haviland Cove Beach & Park is a top destination for sunbathing and picnics.

This quaint little beachfront spot comes with a playground, beach volleyball court, softball field, and walking trails.

Here you can also enjoy water activities like fishing, swimming, and kayaking.

You can also use this beach for a picnic with your friends and family in Glens Falls.

There’s even space set aside for walking your dog.

Additionally, you can take advantage of the bathrooms and swim in the water because of the lifeguards.

The best part is that it’s free!

See Exquisite Works of Art at the Hyde Collection

Exterior of The Hyde Collection

Daderot, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Hyde is one of the best little institutions in the Northeastern United States.

This exceptional small art museum has a comprehensive collection compared to many large metropolitan museums and galleries.

Its founders, Louis and Charlotte Hyde, acquired work by artists like Botticelli, Rembrandt, Eakins, and Homer over the years.

They donated these works to the museum.

Their collections cover all the latest styles, from portraits to landscapes, with remarkable craftsmanship.

If you’re looking for exquisite works of art that showcase the medium with astounding skill, then you’ve got to include this place on your bucket list.

The museum’s selection of paintings and sculptures from today’s most creative minds ranges from abstract masters to Pop Art powerhouses.

Today, The Hyde continues to present innovative installations, temporary exhibitions, and visiting collections from all over the world.

Likewise, the museum schedules fascinating talks that will get you thinking about art in new ways.

Explore the Various Art Displays at World Awareness Children’s Museum

World Awareness Children’s Museum provides vital learning resources for children of all ages.

Since 1995, it has become the NYS Designated charter museum that aims to promote peace and understanding among all cultures through exhibits, art activities, and special events.

The World Awareness Children’s Museum brims with artifacts from different locations across the globe.

These artifacts include 8,000+ pieces of music, tools for education, and other fun objects.

Likewise, they offer 7,000+ works of art.

You can check out these artifacts and art in the Museum’s interactive space.

Several museums have displayed these items over the years.

They loan these pieces out to private companies whenever needed.

Check Out a Phenomenal Show at Charles R Wood Theater

Glens Falls’ very own Charles R. Wood Theater is no stranger to grand events.

This quaint venue offers its audience a warm and enveloping atmosphere from the best in entertainment.

They have a reputation for hosting a wide range of cultural and educational actions.

The theater has four walls to rent and can seat 300 people comfortably.

The Charles R. Wood Theater is home to fun cultural events, live music, dance performances, standup comedy shows, and one-of-a-kind lectures.

The Charles R. Wood Theater’s goal is to promote charitable efforts while facilitating a sense of community.

It shares cultural expression beyond just entertainment purposes with audiences from all demographics.

Learn about James Fenimore Cooper’s Mohican Tribe at Cooper’s Cave

Cooper’s Cave is a destination filled with discovery and adventure, located on the Hudson River between the cities of Glens Falls and South Glens Falls.

This cave’s history began with the author James Fenimore Cooper, who supposedly found inspiration for “The Last of the Mohicans” there.

Cooper’s widely-beloved novel inspired Michael Mann to film a movie adaptation. in 1992.

Cooper’s Cave Bridge sits at the summit of the cave and spans the two cities of Glens Falls and South Glens Falls.

There are signs next to the bridge that state things about James Fenimore Cooper and the Mohican tribe.

If you visit the cave, you’ll experience the protection and peace that the Mohican tribe felt while they were escaping.

However, this is not an actual cave but a point below the dam from where the water from the dam’s spillway flows into the river.

Watch Baseball or Football at East Field Park

East Field is a beautiful outdoor recreation facility in Glens Falls.

Many sports teams and visitors play there.

The four-season park has plenty of room for many activities, including little league-sized fields, baseball pitches/football stadiums, and basketball courts.

East Field Park also features pools, playground equipment, and an ice skating rink during winter.

The multi-use stadium can hold about 7,000 football or baseball fans.

Since 1981, East Field Park has seen many teams play, such as the Adirondack Lumberjacks, Glens Falls Golden Eagles, and Glens Falls White Sox.

Glens Falls Dragons, one of the best semi-professional baseball teams, call East Field their home.

They compete in July and June during the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League’s season.

The field also served as the venue during the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) or the Glens Falls Greenjackets Football Games.

Enjoy Exceptional Entertainment at the Park Theater

The Park Theater is a first-rate movie and concert theater in downtown Glens Falls.

In its early days, the theater opened its doors to show silent films, and vaudeville performances to the local community.

The Park Theater served many purposes in the past before it became one of Glens Falls’ premier entertainment venues.

It used to be a printing plant in 1937, a plastic surgeon’s performing arts center in 1984, and a movie theater in 2010.

The Park Theater reopened in 2018 as a world-class performing arts center that features prominent artists on international tours.

It has become well known for hosting local community artists and productions, and a very upscale restaurant on-site for all its patrons to enjoy.

Appreciate the Variety of Fun at Crandall Park

Crandall Park offers you a full day jam-packed with fun in the sun and shade.

Within the confines of this park, you can play a game of softball, or soccer, or catch a basketball game.

Hit the tennis courts, or enjoy a round or two on the brand new disc golf course while you’re at it.

There are even trails to take a leisurely walk or jog around the park.

If you feel like sitting back in the grass and enjoying some company, you can rent the old faithful BBQ pavilion.

Crandall Park is often known for its spring fishing derbies.

The lake is also perfect for skaters during winter.

You can also rent saucers and sleds to slide down the hill as many times as you want.

At Crandall Park, you can enjoy a live music concert and fireworks on the Fourth of July.

You can also view wildlife in its natural habitat, learning about them from the area’s history.

It also helps that there are several memorials dedicated to different figures, which is even more special.

Browse Different Shops at the Shirt Factory

Since 1999, the Shirt Factory has become home to many exciting events and people.

At first, a handful of passionate artists occupied the space, hoping to sell their work.

Now, there are almost 100 individuals who offer a range of services that caters to all creative interests.

You can visit art galleries, classes, maker space, and restaurants.

Walking around the Shirt Factory, you can find a variety of goods in the shops, including tea sets, salt lamps, ornaments, and even locally made snacks and produce.

Artisans create art using a wide range of mediums such as glass, fiber, precious metals, and more.

Also, the Shirt Factory sits next door to a full-service salon.

On top of that, there are fitness classes, massages, and fun activities for the whole family to enjoy.

Every day visitors are welcome to wander the halls from morning to afternoon.

Catch the Thunder at the Cool Insuring Arena

Interior of Cool Insuring Arena

Doug Kerr from Albany, NY, United States, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Built in 1979, the Cool Insuring Arena underwent remodeling to match the modern standard of style and detail.

They also made new additions to the building.

The 4,794-seat multi-purpose arena has hosted the Adirondack Red Wings and the Adirondack Thunder.

A hockey game in Cool Insuring Arena

Doug Kerr from Albany, NY, United States, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This arena often witnesses tremendous performances from incredible live entertainers who frequently perform there.

Although it isn’t particularly fancy, the Cool Insuring Arena has decent seats, excellent acoustics, and cheap drinks.

It’s an accessible venue to find your way around and has decent sightlines.

Check Out Model Trains at Upstate Model Railroaders

Since the early 90s, Upstate Model Railroaders have created a place for people to express their passion for trains.

With many years of experience in the railroad and leisure industry, UMRR is an integral and vital part of the tourism and entertainment scene in downtown Glens Falls.

When you visit this place, you’ll spend hours engaging in educational enjoyment while interacting with new friends from all walks of life.

When UMRR first opened, they were in Whitehall, Argyle, Fort Edward, Hudson Falls, and other places in Glens Falls.

There are 4 – 17ft. x 40ft. layouts at Upstate Model Railroaders in their exhibit rooms with six model railroad layouts in O, G, N, S, Z, and HO scales.

The club has modular layouts with the track laid down on the ground.

There are layouts with the track laid down on the ground, which they take to parades.

These locomotives have mobile G scale and two single-track layouts on a flatbed trailer.

Try Pole Dancing at Studio Chrome

Studio Chrome is your one-stop-shop for adult dance and aerial arts.

Studio Chrome shares its passion for the beautiful art forms of pole dancing and aerial in Glens Falls, Malta, and Saratoga Springs.

Aerials involve a form of dance where an individual uses static ropes to perform acrobatic figures while suspended in space.

Studio Chrome is not just a women’s only barre studio; it is an experience.

This Glens Falls hidden gem prides itself in transforming each of its clients into their boldest and most confident selves.

A group of powerful women leads each intense workout, which will make you sweat.

If you want a great place to work out and spend time with other supportive and talented women, Studio Chrome is your spot.

Hangout in Sagamore Street Park

On the corner of Hunter Street and Sagamore Street, Sagamore Street Park is a small but well-maintained park.

It’s a rare find in an often congested part of the city.

This little piece of green space offers several fun ways to enjoy the outdoors.

These amenities include playground equipment for kids, walking paths for adults, basketball hoops, tennis courts, and a community garden.

No matter what season you visit Glens Falls in – winter, spring, summer, or fall – there’s always something to do at Sagamore Street Park.

This one-acre city park in Jackson Heights School District is near the Warren County Bikeway and not far from Cooper’s Cave Ale Company.

Feel Inspired by Art Displayed at Lapham Gallery

Feeling a lack of art excursions in your Glens Falls itinerary?

Lapham Gallery has your back!

This art gallery features about seven exhibitions a year and introduces a wide selection of national and international artists.

The Lower Adirondack Regional Arts Council manages this place.

Spanning about 1,900 square feet, it embodies a completely minimalistic look with white-painted walls and ceilings.

This helps draw out the art displays of the gallery.

Come by yourself for some quick art exploration or visit with a loved one and consider it a memorable date.

LARAC also has another gallery that’s an extension of Lapham Gallery on Bay Street.

But this gallery is on Lapham Place, which is right next to Downtown City Park.

Hike along Nature at Feeder Canal Towpath Trail

Bring out the curious hiker in you as you traverse Feeder Canal Towpath Trail.

This trail acts as a bridge between the communities of Glens Falls, Queensbury, and Fort Edward.

This greenway-type trail spans about nine miles as it follows the historic canal of the same name, which has been around since the 1820s.

This also means you get nine miles of majestic natural scenery and possible wildlife along the way.

Aside from hiking, you are free to fish and roller skate.

Feeder Canal Towpath Trail also welcomes leashed dogs!

This trail has various access points but two of the most popular ones are in Haviland Cove Park in Glens Falls and Hudson River Overlook Park in Queensbury.

Catch a Play or Musical at the Adirondack Theatre Festival

If you’re in Glens Falls for its culture, you don’t want to miss out on the Adirondack Theatre Festival.

This summer theater started serving the New York area in 1995.

Its first location was in Lake George RV Park.

Since it found its final home in Wood Theater, it has produced over 30 productions that made it to world premieres.

Some of its past productions include Fully Committed and Murder for Two, which have gone on to new heights with notable acclaim all over the world.

Make your summer trip extra special by catching one of the Adirondack Theatre Festival’s shows on Glen Street.

View the Rotating Exhibits in the Folklife Center at the Crandall Public Library

Want a private space to conduct your historical and cultural exploration of Glens Falls?

Look no further than Folklife Center at the Crandall Public Library.

This center is the go-to spot for many studying the cultural aspects of Glens Falls and its surrounding area with well-rounded exhibits and showcases.

Created in 1993, it hosts a variety of cultural events, too.

Folklife Center at the Crandall Public Library opens its doors for you on Glen Street.

Try Halotherapy at Adirondack Salt Cave

Adirondack Salt Cave is your best solution for all-around healing in Glens Falls.

This wellness center stands out among facilities of its kind because of its incorporated Himalayan Salt environment.

This aims to imitate the calming and nature-focused atmosphere of the deep salt caves in the Himalayan Mountains.

Some of this center’s famous services include Therapeutic Reflexology and Swedish Massage.

To fully experience the Himalayan Mountain relaxation, try out the center’s halotherapy.

And there are more treatments for your ultimate relaxation!

Adirondack Salt Cave is on Broad Street.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Spend Game Night with the Family at King Pins Alley

Kingpin’s Alley is the city’s favorite bowling hotspot.

With 42 lanes, Kingpin’s Alley offers open bowling at almost every time of day, seven days a week.

This place is in South Glens Falls, New York, five minutes from Glens Falls.

You can have a great time with food and drinks; bring your kids to the arcade and escape room.

Likewise, you can play bowling with your kids there.

They will surely enjoy the “dinosaur” ramps, where they can roll their balls and bumpers without hurting themselves.

They also have a full-service grill and bar that cater to many different tastes, as well as weekly events and activities.

Kingpin’s Alley is the perfect place for birthday parties, corporate team-builders, or just some family fun night out.

Kingpin’s Alley also offers a summer family deal.

Final Thoughts

The best part of Glens Falls and the Warren County region is all the unique artists, restaurants, and even local attractions.

If you’re planning an extended stay here, keep this list around so you can get a taste of what the quaint city of Glens Falls has to offer!

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