Museums come in different forms, and the range of experiences has something for everyone. Starting tomorrow, the week of May 31 to June 6 is New York State Museum Week, and we're joining our area's state senator, Betty Little - who has avidly pushed this event - in celebrating our state's excellent museums.
There is much to enjoy in museums, historic homes, art centers, living history museums, zoos and botanical gardens throughout the state. Of course, we especially want to draw your attention to the Adirondacks' great museums. The most prominent two are The Wild Center in Tupper Lake, which focuses on natural history, and the Adirondack Museum in Blue Mountain Lake, which concentrates in rich detail on the Park's human history.
In Lake Placid there is the popular Lake Placid Olympic Museum in the Olympic Center, the local History Museum in the train station and, in the works, an International Sliding Sports Museum for the Mount Van Hoevenberg bobsled-luge-skeleton complex.
Saranac Lake history as a hub for tuberculosis curing and research is nicely presented at the Saranac Laboratory on Church Street. Historic Saranac Lake, which runs the facility, also gives walking tours of the village's downtown and maintains a brilliant online museum of all things Saranac Lake at www.hsl.wikispot.org. The village also has the Robert Louis Stevenson Memorial Cottage and Museum, where its namesake author spent the winter of 1887-88 and which hosts one of the world's best collections of Stevenson artifacts, and in the Saranac Lake Free Library, the Charles Dickert Wildlife Collection and Adirondack Research Room.
Tupper Lake's Heritage Museum will open for the season in July; call 518-359-3823 or check the sign on the door at 54 Pine St. for hours.
Our region is also known for the arts and has many full-time art galleries which are well worth checking out. The Enterprise's Arts in the Park special section, released last week, is chock-full of gallery information as well as a thorough arts calendar. For instance, you might want to check out the second annual Adirondack Arts and Heritage Festival June 29 to July 8 in Saranac Lake, which will include more than 50 events.
Beyond the Blue Line, our state is full of rewarding places to visit. Some are world-renowned, like the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown and New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art and American Museum of Natural History. But closer to home, have you been to the New York State Museum in Albany? It's fabulous - well worth a family day trip - and it's free, too (although it welcomes donations).
If you can't get to any museums during New York Museum Week, save the idea for later, and bring your visiting friends and relatives to our wonderful local museums to explore, discover and celebrate.
(Editor's note: The proper name of the Charles Dickert Wildlife Collection has been corrected.)