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Insider Tips for a Family Trip to Cooperstown

Before everyone piles in the van, make sure you have a plan!

Considering a trip to Cooperstown/Otsego County? We've compiled the best tips from real Cooperstown insiders to give you the low-down on their favorite family-friendly Cooperstown activities and how to get the most out of your visit to Central NY.

Baseball, Baseball, Baseball.

If your family shares America's favorite pastime, Cooperstown is the place for you. Give your family a sense of baseball's rich history at the Baseball Hall of Fame, watch baseball dreams come true at Dreams Park, or catch a game at Doubleday Field. Don't miss a trip to the Cooperstown Bat Company's Main Street store, or the Heroes of Baseball Wax Museum for a lifelike look at the greats.

Top tips for baseball families:

"The township rolls out the red carpet for Induction Weekend. Something about sitting in the field listening to Hall of Famers thank their friends makes my heart smile. The families that open their yards for parking and the lemonade stands you pass as you walk to the Clark Center—so fun!" –Rachel

"I have been visiting every year since 2009. My hubby goes to umpire at Dreams Park. The Hall of Fame is a must see!" –Patricia

Cooperstown classics.

Between Cooperstown's must-sees and off-the-beaten-path experiences, how do you know where to start? We recommend beginning with the classics: The Farmers' Museum, Fenimore Art Museum, the Glimmerglass Festival, and Hyde Hall.

Top tips for all families:

"The Farmers' Museum, the Fenimore Art Museum and of course Hyde Hall!" –Linda

"The Farmers' Museum—we went every year when we were kids and it never got old. It has just improved over the years." – Jeannie

"Can't miss the Fly Creek Cider Mill—something for the whole family. The snack bar has wonderful food and treats (MUST have a cider slushie), there's a play area for the kids and the pond where the ducks and geese wait to be fed!! Visit in the fall and watch how they press the cider!!" –Jeannie

"Take in a highly professional production of an opera at the Glimmerglass Festival just a few miles up the road from Cooperstown." –Chas

Get on the water.

Cooperstown is situated on sparkling Otsego Lake, and there are lots of ways families can enjoy a day together on the water. Rent a boat from Canoe and Kayak to cruise Susquehanna River, stay at one of our country campgrounds like Meadow-Vale and bring your own kayaks, or grab a ticket on the Glimmerglass Queen Tour Boat.

Top tips for outdoorsy families:

"There is no better family fun than to pack a picnic lunch or buy sandwiches at your favorite local eatery, rent a boat at Sam Smith's Boatyard and putter around the beautiful lake." –Thomas

"We loved the Glimmerglass tour boat!" –Joyce

Go out to eat. 

Taking the entire clan to chow down? We recommend a few tried and true family friendly places, including New York Pizzeria, Cooperstown Back Alley Grille, and Toscana Italian Fusion & Grill. You'll get great bang for your buck and a welcoming atmosphere.

Top tips for hungry families:

"Jackie's Restaurant: they have the best breakfast around." –Patricia

"Try Cooperstown Diner for breakfast and lunch, and the Otesaga Hotel for fine dining. The Lake House Restaurant in Richfield Springs is not that far away." –Elaine

"Pizza at Sal's on Main Street." –Rachel

Fan Favorites for Families: Things to Do

The Farmers' Museum
The Farmers' Museum
Step back in time – quite literally – at one of the nation’s top living history museums and a Cooperstown family favorite! The Farmers’ Museum offers activities and exhibitions for all ages that allow visitors to experience rural life and culture straight out of the 19th century. Swing by rotating exhibitions, take in a demonstration, and ride the Empire State Carousel. Kids will love the museum’s animal meet and greets with the local furry residents at the Lippitt Farmstead, and history buffs will appreciate the museum’s attention to detail, including the Historic Village, which features a variety of historic buildings gathered and relocated from other rural communities around New York State.
Location: Cooperstown
Canoe & Kayak Rentals and Sales
Canoe & Kayak Rentals and Sales
If getting on the water is a priority for you and your family during a visit to Cooperstown, be sure to contact the crew over at Canoe & Kayak Rentals and Sales. Launch from their dock and head out for a day trip on Goodyear Lake, or paddle over 15 miles of flat water on the Susquehanna River. Choose from canoes, kayaks or stand up paddle boards for your adventures on the water – all levels welcome!
Location: Portlandville
Cooperstown & Charlotte Valley Railroad
Cooperstown & Charlotte Valley Railroad
Built in 1869, the Cooperstown and Charlotte Valley Railroad is still going strong nearly 150 years later! Throughout the year, this family-friendly attraction offers a regular train schedule in addition to special themed rides throughout the year, including the Easter Bunny Express, Blues Express, Train Robberies, Fall Foliage Express, Halloween Train, Christmas Light Train, and more. Guaranteed fun for all ages!
Location: Milford

Fan Favorites for Families: Places to Stay

Lake 'N Pines Motel
Lake 'N Pines Motel
Enjoy the simplicity of a lakeside stay at Lake ‘N Pines, where all of your worries will melt away on your next family vacation. Located just a short drive away from downtown Cooperstown, Lake ‘N Pines is situated directly on Otsego Lake and offers its guests beautiful lake views, as well as immediate access to boating and fun on the water. And with amenities like a family game room, complimentary breakfast, and indoor and outdoor heated pools, the motel makes for the perfect affordable family vacation spot.
Location: Cooperstown
Traveling to Cooperstown with your family? Cooperstown Luxury has the perfect array of rental properties for you and all of your family members. No matter if it’s a family reunion or just a summer getaway, their properties span sizes from three to five bedrooms and offer amenity options ranging from a private chef to an in-house massage. Choose from locations directly on the shores of Otsego Lake or nestled amid the lake’s surrounding hillsides, and revel in the seclusion and uniqueness of staying in one of Cooperstown Luxury’s lush and stunning properties.
August Lodge
August Lodge
More than just a room, August Lodge Cooperstown's pristine mountain-top resort offers all the amenities a family could want with convenient in-room kitchenettes, a heated outdoor pool and hot tub, massage spa, volleyball, tether-ball, outdoor grills, hiking trails, and so much more for the Cooperstown vacation of your dreams.
Location: Hartwick Seminary
Hickory Grove Motor Inn
Hickory Grove Motor Inn
Another great family motel located on the shores of Otsego Lake and just north of Cooperstown, Hickory Grove offers seclusion and escape with proximity to Cooperstown’s top attractions. A family-owned property, the Bartons will welcome you just as if you and yours were part of their family during your stay.
Location: Cooperstown
Meadow-Vale Campsites
Sometimes there’s nothing like reconnecting with nature during a summer getaway – and in Cooperstown, Meadow Vale Campsites is the place to do just that. Home to over 110 campsites, Meadow-Vale provides rustic camping experiences with modern amenities like water and electric sites, as well as on-site recreation for all ages and levels with on-site playgrounds, nature trails, a disc golf course, and an arcade featuring video games, air hockey, and pool tables.
Location: Mount Vision