Summer Highlight: Trip to Corning Museum of Glass
Published on September 13, 2010 :: 3 Comments
One of the high spots of the summer was a family trip to the Finger Lakes region of New York, and our first visit to the Corning Museum of Glass. It all started with a little romance…
Our friend and fellow antiques dealer, Kathe Saccone, invited us to her wedding. It was held on the shore of Seneca Lake outside of Watkins Glen NY. She encouraged us to bring our sons, and indeed it was the perfect wedding for kids (and grown-ups!) An outdoor event on a lake, ending with a bonfire and fireworks — what more could we ask?
I decided to turn it into a mini-vacation, and booked a suite in nearby Horseheads NY for 3 nights. (Everyone should be able to say they stayed in Horseheads once.) The original plan was to attend the wedding on Saturday, visit the Corning Museum of Glass on Sunday and then explore gorges or wander around Ithaca on Monday. That was the plan.
The wedding was lovely – simple, elegant, fun. And what an excuse to dress up the boys! Here they are by the lake:
We ate and drank, played by the water, danced, oohed and aahed at the fireworks (the groom is a wonderful guy, but maybe just a little bit of a pyromaniac?) Fell into our hotel beds tired and happy that night.
Sunday we had a late breakfast and headed off to the museum. We expected to like it, but were unprepared for how much. By the time we had been there a little while, we were planning to spend Monday there as well! A dear friend contributed to our trip by sponsoring activities at the museum so we were able to really take advantage of all it has to offer.
There are gorgeous exhibits, both permanent and traveling, so there was lots to SEE.
There was modern glass, medieval glass, a fabulous Tiffany exhibit and so much more:
That is just the tiniest taste – the exhibits are fabulous. Steven & I loved them and the kids liked them too. But even more they loved the live glass-blowing demonstrations, which are held all day long. We discovered that each one is different, and we did not get tired of watching these artists at work. In the two days we were there we sat through 4 or 5 of these shows and found them fascinating!
However, the absolute best part of this museum experience was not what we could SEE, but what we could DO.
There are a bunch of hands-on workshops where you can make your own glass! Glass-blowing, lampwork (beads and pendants) and fused glass are all on the menu and they were even available for Simon, who is only 6! The kids made gorgeous ornaments and sculptures, I made pendants and an ornament, and it was so fun and rewarding.
Totally fun! We were impressed with the people who assist you as you make these glass pieces – they are so encouraging and helpful. We found the staff as a whole friendly and engaged. We lost our camera at one point, and everyone from the cafe worker to security to front desk was so responsive and sympathetic. (Fortunately some wonderful human being had turned our camera in, so we recovered it with no problem.) Overall, we just loved this place. My kids can’t wait to go back.