We visited Cooperstown NY in early fall and learned there are so many things to do in Cooperstown NY for families. Today we are sharing how we spent a family weekend in Cooperstown NY.
As we try to balance life at home and our desire to travel I find myself looking for places a little closer to Rochester, New York to visit. Especially in the fall when we are starting new schedules with school and trying to adjust to the new routine. I am always trying to find weekend getaways that we can fit in our schedule.
I was excited to partner with Visit Central New York to explore Cooperstown, New York and learn about all the ways it is a great place for families to visit.
Things to do in Cooperstown NY for a Family Weekend Getaway
Cooperstown is a little under a 3 hour car ride from our home in Rochester, New York. Located in Otsego County, Cooperstown has a small town charm that makes it an awesome family destination. This was my first visit to this area of New York State and I was blown away by how beautiful the area is and how quaint the village is. I knew we were going to have a great weekend!
Day 1: Arrive in Cooperstown, New York
We left on Friday afternoon and made the three hour drive to our home away from home for the weekend. We were staying at the Treehouse, a rental house through Cooperstown Luxury. This house was incredible. The space and the full kitchen made it a great place for families, but my favorite was the views of Otsego Lake.
I didn’t realize Cooperstown was on a lake or how stunning this area is. My first impression of Cooperstown was that it is a place for families to connect, unwind, and enjoy your time together in a beautiful setting. I knew we had a full itinerary planned for the weekend but honestly-I could have never left the house!!
After we explored the house and walked down to the docks over looking the lake we headed into town for dinner. We had heard that NY Pizzeria is the place to go and it was great. We ordered pizza, wings, and garlic knots and found a spot in the upstairs sitting area. I loved the boneless wings. They were delicious. Everyone loved the pizza and we had no leftovers at the end of the meal.
We really wanted to get back to the house to see the sun setting from the dock and have a fire, so we made our way back to the rental house. The house was about a 10 minute scenic drive back from the village of Cooperstown. We made it in time to see the sunset and enjoy the amazing views.
In these moments, when the kids are exploring and we are taking it all in, I am at my happiest. Experiencing new things as a family never gets old.
As we watched the sun go down we realized there was no way we were going to find sticks for a fire. We decided to head inside for the night and save the S’more making for tomorrow.
Day 2: National Baseball Hall of Fame & Exploring Cooperstown
If you asked me what I knew about Cooperstown before our visit I would have probably mentioned baseball. I knew the National Baseball Hall of Fame was in Cooperstown but I didn’t know anything else. Our only full day in Cooperstown would be filled with exploring the area and visiting the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
My husband does a lot of our food research when we travel and he wanted to stop at Schneider’s Bakery to get doughnuts for breakfast. Before everyone woke up he went out, with my early riser daughter, to pick out doughnuts for breakfast.
One of my favorite things about traveling is enjoying my coffee in a new place. I love walking up early and being in a new place with new things to discover and a hot cup of coffee. The Treehouse is on my list of best places to enjoy a hot cup of coffee and doughnuts. We sat out on the deck watching the lake, listening to the quiet of our surroundings and taking in a slow morning start.
Thankfully we woke up early, because our slow morning start still allowed us to arrive at the National Baseball Hall of Fame about 15 minutes before opening. I know I always say arrive early, but there was a line to enter as soon as we arrived and it only got busier as the day went on.
The National Baseball Hall of Fame is a great place to visit for the super baseball fan in your family but it is also a great place for anyone.
My husband loved seeing the memorabilia and remembering moments in baseball, my kids loved the Scavenger Hunt through out the museum, and I liked seeing the history and impact baseball had on shaping America. There are some amazing exhibits that not only reflect the history of baseball but where America was at certain points in time.
The kids really liked the Scavenger Hunt and I love when museums have this. At the Baseball Hall of Fame you search for the answer to 10 questions on the Kids Discovery Tour. The staff at the museum is really helpful if you have questions and the kids can have fun finding the answers. After they complete it they can go to the gift shop for a special gift.
This is such a great idea to encourage kids to explore the museum. It makes touring the museum so much fun and they learn a lot through out the visit.
After the museum we decided to walk around the village a bit. This is a baseball town and the streets are lined with shops that are all about baseball. It was fun to see how they incorporated baseball into everything. You could find baseball clothing and all sorts of baseball finds.
My husband wanted to take us back to Schneider’s Bakery for some cookies and coffee before we headed to our next stop. The cookies were delicious and the coffee warmed us up on this chilly fall day. We had a few more stops planned for the day before we went back to the house.
Our next stop was lunch and we stopped at Brooks House of BBQ. As we arrived we could smell the BBQ cooking and I couldn’t wait to try it. The chicken BBQ and pulled pork was great and it was a nice place for families. My husband went to college in the area so our next stop was to walk around campus. It was fun to see and the kids enjoyed walking around a college campus.
Being so close to Ommegang brewery we decided to stop in but there was an event and it was really crowded. It is on a beautiful property and I would have liked to tour it more. Next time we will stop and explore more.
We really wanted to spend time enjoying the lake house and because it was only a weekend stay we decided to pick up groceries to make dinner at the house. The kids wanted to go in the lake and try out the lake trampoline and I was excited to enjoy some distraction free family time.
Once we arrived back to the house we all relaxed in our own space for a bit. This is what I love about having a rental house. It allows everyone in the family to enjoy the vacation in their own way. The quiet time is as important as the family time when we are traveling.
As we all came back together we decided to get our bathing suits on and attempt to get in the water. This may not seem like a big deal but the air temperature was 60 degrees, I can only imagine the water was much colder. I had one of those moments as a parent where I wasn’t sure if I should let them go in. They were so excited to try it but I was worried about the cold and it was a bit choppy.
Ultimately they put on the life jackets and went for it. I knew that they wouldn’t stay in the water very long but it meant so much to them to try. The water was choppy and cold but they were determined to swim to the water trampoline. Unfortunately once they got to it they couldn’t pull themselves up because there were no handles.
I could see the pride in their faces as they swam back that they were brave and they did something that was a challenge. I was really proud of them for getting in the water, working together, and doing their best. Watch the video(earlier in this post) to see their determination. Very proud mom moment!
After we warmed up for a bit in the house we started looking for sticks to start a fire. The weather was getting chilly and the fall air was crisp so we decided to do S’mores before dinner.
It was fun to switch it up and the kids were excited. The weather didn’t want to cooperate with us and was windy. The fire was short lived but we got to enjoy Peanut Butter Cup and traditional S’mores and the kids had a blast!
After our busy day we headed inside for the night, made dinner, and snuggled on the couch watching T.V. It was an awesome full day in Cooperstown and I was so impressed with the peacefulness and beauty of the area.
Day 3: Good-Bye Treehouse and Fly Creek Cider Mill
Our last day in the Treehouse and none of us wanted to leave. We soaked up everything we loved about the place. The kids played with the Lego toys in the basement while my husband and I sipped our coffee overlooking the lake. We had to do this from inside because of the 40 degree morning but it was still special and gorgeous.
Finally it was time to pack up the car and say goodbye. We packed up everything, did about 20 room checks, and walked down to the lake for a few more minutes on the dock. Being near the water is my happy place and the Treehouse rental is a perfect place for families to enjoy each other and stunning views of Ostego Lake.
Our final stop in Cooperstown was Fly Creek Cider Mill & Orchard. Visiting farms, pumpkin patches, and orchards are part of our fall traditions and I couldn’t wait to visit a new one. Fly Creek Cider Mill has a fully operating cider mill that you can tour and watch cider being made.
Not only is it a Cider Mill but it is a full market that has people lined up out the door to try all the delicious samples. I really didn’t know what to expect when visiting Fly Creek but I knew they had samples of cider and apple cider doughnuts. I did not know they had 100’s of samples from BBQ sauces to dips to fudge, and even hard cider. We all loved it!
As we tried the samples we purchased a few things to bring home including cheese dips, cider, doughnuts, and a pumpkin pie dip. Everything was so tasty and the market is the attraction. As we left the line to enter was huge and went around the building. It was well worth it.
Fly Creek also has a duck pond where you can feed the ducks, swans, and chickens and a small toddler play area. We also had lunch and it was delicious. Food is a big highlight when visiting Fly Creek so arrive hungry.
Fly Creek was our last stop for our Cooperstown weekend. As we made our way back to Rochester, we had full bellies, full hearts, and a new appreciation for Cooperstown, New York. This little village on the lake is a great place for families to visit and we can’t wait to go back again soon.
Leah has been traveling with her family of 5 since 2012 and sharing her expertise on planning family vacations and visiting theme parks since 2016. Leah has been featured in Visit Rochester, Undercover Tourist, and Home Publications. She has worked with brands like Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando, Hersheypark, Toyota, and various Tourism boards and destinations. Leah creates family travel itineraries based on real trip experiences with her family. Her guides and tips help others plan great family vacations. Learn more about Leah and Five for the Road.