This summer is buzzing with excitement in Albany County! From outdoor adventures, to arts and cultural experiences, to special events, there are tons of fun things to do this summer. Scroll on for a few ideas for activities to add to your Albany County summer bucket list.
1. Check out the Michelangelo - A Different View Exhibit
Visit the Sistene Chapel without the cost of a plane ticket! The most famous fresco in the world will be on display in the heart of downtown Albany at the Albany Capital Center from July 29 to August 23. Michelangelo - A Different View features elaborate reproductions of the paintings, under the license of Vatican Museums, that provide observers with an up-close view of Michelangelo’s technique. Purchase tickets for this unique experience today!
2. Dine out during "Eat In The Street" in Cohoes
On Friday nights in the summer, Cohoes is the place to be! The city buzzes with excitement during "Eat In The Street" when restaurants expand their table service outside onto the city's historic and newly revitalized Remsen Street (and beyond!). There are more than a dozen restaurants participating weekly on Fridays from 4:00 PM to 9:30 PM through October. Enjoy classic dishes with a twist at Cafe Monocle, diner fare at The Tiny Diney, sushi at Yuan Japanese Asian Restaurant, homestyle Lebanese cuisine at Teta Marie's and more! Cap off the evening in Spindle City at Bye-i Brewing or Table 41 Brewing to experience the city's emerging craft beverage scene. Reservations are recommended.
3. Watch a Free Outdoor Movie with Bites Camera Action
Bites Camera Action, presented by the Downtown Albany Business Improvement District and SUNY, kicks off on Friday, June 18 in downtown Albany. Free outdoor movies will be screened on the lawn at SUNY Park Plaza (353 Broadway) for six weeks. The schedule includes blockbuster hits and must-see musicals including Black Panther (June 18), The Greatest Showman (June 25), Independence Day (July 2), A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (July 9), A League of Their Own (July 16) and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (July 23). Settle in under the stars and watch a free movie for a night of quintessential summer fun!
4. Go on the Historic Downtown Albany Food Tour
Taste of Troy Food Tours is back! The Historic Downtown Albany Food Tour is a delicious way to jumpstart your summer weekends. Taste the city's evolving culinary scene with stops at the brand new location of DeFazio's Pizzeria (next to Albany Distilling Company), Olde English Pub, The Hollow Bar + Kitchen, Cider Belly Doughnuts and CH Evans Brewing at the Albany Pump Station. The 3-hour guided walking tour also incorporates stunning architecture and cultural tidbits to brush up your Albany trivia.
Offered on the first, third, and occasional fifth Fridays from June to October. Currently all tours have the option to be private, with the minimum booking of 4 guests and maximum is 8 guests. Public tours, limited to 8 guests, are also available.
5. Hike at all 20 Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy Preserves
To celebrate the opening of its 20th preserve, the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy launched the 20 Preserve Challenge! Outdoor adventurers and nature enthusiasts are encouraged to hike at all 20 of the MHLC's preserves to receive a limited addition sticker. Plan an excursion to the Bennett Hill Preserve in New Scotland for jaw-dropping views of the Helderbergs or Normans Kill West Preserve in Bethlehem for trails alongside the Normanskill, a significant tributary to the Hudson River. Both of those preserves are stops on the free Nature Bus offered on Saturdays! Wolf Creek Falls Preserve in Knox has stunning waterfalls, Hollyhock Hollow Sanctuary in Selkirk boasts scenic ponds and Touhey Family Preserve in Bethlehem is the newest preserve! Learn about all 20 of the MHLC's preserves (located in Albany, Schenectady and Montgomery counties) at this link.
6. Enjoy Outdoor Theatre with Playhouse Stage Company
Enjoy theater under the stars this summer! Playhouse Stage Company returns to Washington Park this summer with Ain’t Misbehavin’ from July 6 to 24 and Matilda The Musical from August 5 to 21. For over 30 years, Playhouse Stage Company has performed on a stage in front of the Washington Park Lake House surrounded by a 900-seat outdoor amphitheater. This treasured Albany tradition is a must-add to your summer bucket list!
7. Collect Stamps for the 2021 Capital Craft Beverage Trail Passport
The Capital Craft Beverage Trail is launching its 2021-2022 Passport on July 1! Summer is the perfect season to swirl, sample and savor the myriad of craft beverage producers that call the Capital Region home. Visit a participating producer location, purchase a drink, receive a stamp and then redeem them for prizes! From Cohoes, to the Helderberg Hilltowns, to Delmar, to the Warehouse District, Albany County is home to a variety of breweries to explore this summer. Free passports area available for pick up at all participating producer locations.
8. Cool Off with Ice Cream Around Albany County
Here's the scoop, Albany County is home to a myriad of old-fashioned ice cream stands and charming parlors. Every resident has a favorite ice cream spot, but this summer add a new place to your bucket list! Kurver Kreme, a Colonie landmark, has been serving up delicious ice cream since 1952. Indulge in an over-the-top candy-covered waffle cone from Emack & Bolio's. Venture to Guptill's Ice Cream, a true ice cream lovers paradise, for 48 flavors of hard ice cream and 32 flavors of soft. Check out our blog post featuring 7 must-try ice cream spots for more places to add to your list.
9. Bike, Hike or Walk the Empire State Trail
Spanning 750-miles, the Empire State Trail is a wonderful way to bike, hike, run, or walk across New York State. Hop off the trail in Albany to explore the city's historic downtown or grab a bite to eat from one of the many restaurants, cafes and eateries. The section from Buffalo to Albany is the Erie Canalway Trail, so while you are walking, running or cycling sign up, for the Canalway Challenge to log your miles and win prizes such as certificates, magnets, patches, and stickers.
10. Train for the Freihofer's Run for Women
Is participating in a 5K something you have always wanted to do? Make that dream a reality this year! The 43rd annual Freihofer’s Run for Women is scheduled for Saturday, September 25 in downtown Albany. Get in shape this summer with the Training Challenge so that you are ready to hit the ground running in September!