Take a Digital Detox in Albany, New York
It’s no secret that we could all stand to benefit by taking a little break from staring at screens. Even if you don’t work directly in front of a computer, most adults are spending more and more time on their cell phones, tablets, or sitting in front of the television. The rapid innovation of technology has brought with it numerous benefits and conveniences. However, it’s still a good idea to unplug every now and again to reconnect with the physical world around us. Luckily, if you live near Albany, NY, there is no shortage of interesting and engaging things to do!
Visit a Historical Attraction
What better way to experience the benefits of limited screen time than by traveling back in time? Albany is home to several historical sights, landmarks, and museums. The New York State Capitol on State Street and Washington Avenue were built between 1867 and 1899. Take a 45-60 minute tour to view the State Legislature and Capitol Houses, while you learn about the great history that governs the Empire State.
The USS Slater, a destroyer escort historical museum, offers a historical perspective from the Hudson River. This great ship served the U.S. Navy in 1944 and is one of the only of its kind left that is still above water. After its service in the U.S., the ship was used by the Greek Navy for some time. It was later restored and brought back home in the 1990s, where it still serves as a museum today.
Take a stroll to Cherry Hill for a look into the lives of Philip and Maria Van Rensselaer. This prominent Albany family passed down their family home for five generations, starting in 1787. The house was donated to the state and opened as a museum in 1964. Artwork, furnishings, personal objects, photographs, and documents create the perfect atmosphere for a look back into life from the past.
The Albany Institute of Art and History is another must-see. It started out as one of the oldest museums in the United States and eventually expanded by merging with the Albany Historical and Art Society. Three separate buildings include the 19th Century Rice Building, the main building (1920’s Classical Revival), and a modern glass building connector. Visitors can view over 20,000 artifacts, which include paintings, ceramics, historical objects, and furniture.
Get Tickets to a Show
Breakaway from devices and take in the energy at a real live show. The Egg Performing Arts Center is a top attraction for anyone visiting Albany. The building is a work of art that houses two different theaters. The Lewis A. Swyer Theatre has a seating capacity of 450 and is the ideal setting for intimate concerts, performances, and lectures. The Kitty Carlisle Hart Theatre seats 982 for larger concerts, dance performances, and theater shows.
Palace Theater in the Clinton Avenue Historic District is home to the Albany Symphony Orchestra. More than 150 shows are put on each year in this large venue, including comedy shows, plays, and concerts. Although it has undergone a few restorations, the theater was originally built in the 1930s. Its Austrian Baroque decor is a sight in itself, with red marble staircases, impressive wall murals, and a stunning chandelier.
Located on North Pearl Street, the Capital Repertory Theater is a professional regional theater with limited seating of 286. Previously an abandoned supermarket, this theater was given new life by donors and volunteers in the 1980s. It has put on over 5,000 performances to date as the only theater in New York’s Capital District.
Experience the Great Outdoors
The Albany Pine Bush Preserve is a beautiful, natural sight that showcases a rare ecosystem of in-land pine barrens. This 3,300-acre nature preserve includes swamps, forests, ponds, and sand dunes. With over 18 miles of trails, there is plenty of space to enjoy all year round. Whether you prefer biking, cross country skiing, horseback riding, or want to learn something new at an interactive Discovery Center workshop, the Albany Pine Bush Preserve is a special place to visit.
Enjoy a picnic, or take an afternoon stroll at Washington Park. With 89 acres of well-maintained landscaping, monuments, a playground and tennis courts, there’s something for everyone at this picturesque location. In the Springtime, you can catch the magnificent Tulip Festival. The Lakehouse Amphitheater puts on outdoors shows and events. There are over 100 species of different trees that line this lovely outdoor space.
The historical, artistic, cultural, and natural beauty which make up Albany, New York offers lots to do aside from the modern technology and screens we are so often distracted by. Every now and again, remember to take a moment to get out and explore everything this abundant city has to offer.