Staycation Travels

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​As we wound down our staycation, I kept trying to make things interesting. We were all a little depressed that we weren’t able to go away this year, and really, after the wonderful time we had in Ireland last year with family, there really was no way to attempt to equal that, but I did want the kids to feel that they’d gotten a break before school returns next week.

I gave them each a journal, and began to dictate topics to start them off. They were not thrilled.

Then I hit up the I Love NY app, and found a perfect (on paper) idea to both give us a tourist opportunity, and remind us of our Irish adventure.

We discovered the Irish-American Heritage Museum. I had misread the website, so there really isn’t a large exhibit space. They typically have events, and in fact, later that week, they were hosting a Celtic cruise on the Hudson. They did have a display of Saratoga Race Track Travers’ Race posters by Greg Montgomery.


They also had a couple of small spaces of interest, both in current Irish-American life, history, and the diaspora. There was a table of Kennedy family photos, which I thought their prominence so clear that there was no label as to who they were. I did recognize one photo of the President and his mother.
Another section told the story of the Ancient Order of Hibernians Honor Guard, and still another was some religious items and artifacts, including a relic of St. Columba.

All along the walls depicted the history of the Irish-American beginnings especially in the Albany-Saratoga region with several track photos as well as Honorary Diplomas from the Educational Institute of Scotland for both Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan.

We spent a lovely hour looking around and asking questions.

Admission is by donation, and there was also a little gift shop.

After that, we stopped at a local Irish pub for lunch.


It really was a nice way to end our summer before going back to work and school, and offer homage to our once in a lifetime trip last year, which still calls to my heart.
Next week, I will surprise the kids with Irish candy as a before school treat. It’s been too hot to get it even the short distance to the Irish shop in town.

What adventures have you found this summer?

Events at the Saratoga Battlefield

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This summer there are several events happening at the Saratoga Battlefield.

On Wednesdays in July, there is a children’s program exploring life in the 18th century for children.

Topics include:

Open Fire Cooking
Toys and Games
English Country Dancing
Laundry and Dress-Up

Call the Visitor Center for information but there is no fee for the program.

Check out their website’s events page for other fun activities.

Saratoga Battlefield and National Historic Park

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Continuing this week’s Revolutionary War era theme, all across upstate New York (as well as New York City and Long Island) can be found many historical sites and battlefields. Even the Battle of Bennington (Vermont) was fought across the border in a town of New York.

On a recent drive through the Saratoga/Schuylerville area, my family and I saw an obelisk in the distance. We drove towards it and discovered the Saratoga Monument for the first time. It was under some renovations but we were still allowed in and around it and the family climbed up as far as they could go. For my own bragging rights, I did climb to the second level, which considering my knee and the open stairs that fed my fear of heights was a pretty good feat.

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Opening Day at Saratoga Race Track

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Took this photo at my local grocery store. It is a reusable bag that they sell.

Considered to be the oldest sports venue in the US (there was racing there as early as 1847), the Saratoga Race Track was officially opened in 1863 and has been in continuous operation since.*

The original meet was four days. Now the season goes from the last week in July through Labor Day. This year’s meet begins today and ends on September 7th. There is no racing on Tuesdays, and the Travers Stakes will be held August 29th.

There is an opportunity to watch the horses work out in the mornings at Breakfast at Saratoga, a buffet held from 7 – 9:30am. The cost is $17.95 for adults, $9.95 for kids, 3-12. Follow the link for detailed information and about seeing the workouts without the buffet breakfast.

There is a dress code for certain areas of the track. Click here for more information on attire.
No pets are allowed. Coolers are allowed (no grills) in certain areas but there is a size restriction during Travers Day.

Start here to get to know the track and to plan your outing in the Saratoga Springs area.

*Exceptions to this are: in 1896 when it wasn’t viable to hold the meet because of other thoroughbred racing; in 1911 and 1912 because of a ban on gambling in aNew York state; a ban on travel during World War II caused them to close in 1943-1945 and races were held at Belmont instead.