Since its establishment in 1986, The National Museum of Dance has been charming guests through live performance, video installations, and archival displays. Aside from receiving free admission for the entire year, all card-carrying members get access to reduced admission to the museum's special events, 10% off all purchases in the gift shop, two guest passes, and issues of Foot Notes — the museum's semi-annual newsletter. Current exhibits include a tribute to Michael Jackson, a gallery of costumes from television's Dancing with the Stars, and a curiously creative display of postal stamps highlighting dance styles from around the world.
A renowned exhibitor of contemporary art, The Arts Center cultivates creative potential in adults and children through art classes and events that emphasize hands-on learning. Members receive discounts on arts classes—up to $25 off kids classes—an opportunity to exhibit their art at the annual members’ Fence Show, discounts at local businesses, and the right to sing in the gallery when nobody’s around. Patrons with a taste for food can enroll in courses on the culinary arts, and aspiring artists can transform stuttering line work into fluid brushstrokes via drawing and painting courses.
Established in 1791, the Albany Institute of History & Art has been chronicling artistic expression longer than the Louvre, the Smithsonian, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Visitors acquaint themselves with an eternally revolving set of exhibits, including Hajo: An Artist’s Journey, which documents Hans-Joachim Richard Christoph's work in package design incorporating the bold, stylized graphics of the Berlin school of graphic design. Visitors can sidle up to one of the permanent exhibitions, such as the panoramic landscape art of The Landscape that Defined America: The Hudson River School or the ornamentally preserved remains of Ancient Egypt, an exhibit that spotlights the Nile, the Egyptian concept of afterlife, and ways to reposition a mummy into a hip-hop mummy.
Whitewater Challengers' certified guides steer paddlers as young as 5 across the skipping surf of the Poconos’ Lehigh River Gorge, the Black River Canyon, and the Adirondacks’ Hudson, Moose, and Salmon rivers. In the rafting industry since 1975, the guides have collectively traveled more than 16 million miles of rapids. They chart courses that satisfy a range of experience levels, from beginning jaunts down gentle rapids to advanced battles through coursing foam and wicked currents.
The crew’s ultimate goal is to make rafting a fun adventure, which means that they take care of the business end, providing all safety equipment, transportation to launch points, and lessons for novices. When not on the water, the outdoors-loving crew also organizes mountain-biking and camping trips in New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.
Decades ago, large cruise ships called dayliners traveled the wide waters of the Hudson River, ushering passengers to ports from Albany to New York City. Although time has passed, Dutch Apple Cruises keeps this tradition alive with Dutch Apple II: a 65-foot, US Coast Guard-inspected cruise ship created in the classic dayliner style. Built from a blend of indigenous and traditional sea-worthy woods, including fragrant Douglas fir and Adirondack white cedar, the three-level ship carries passengers along Albany's major waterway on narrated sightseeing tours and charter cruises.
More than 100 passengers at a time roam the enclosed, temperature-controlled decks, which boast amenities such as a dance floor and cash bar. Travelers can also step out onto the open-air deck with a pair of binoculars to spot a passing eagle or watch a bass open the fruit basket they sent it. During charters, live entertainers such as DJs, dancers, singers, and comedians join passengers for a night of revelry.
The MASS MoCA ushers visitors through its doors for the museum's first-ever bluegrass festival, unleashing the toe-tapping rhythms of established musicians as well as rising talent. Saturday's shows commence at 6 p.m. with an acoustic set by Dave Mayfield of The David Mayfield Parade. His performance takes place during the museum's reception for its newest outdoor expansion, The Speed Way, which contains three new works of art, a 1.5-acre asphalt meadow, and Van Gogh's long-lost collection of elbow macaroni. Saturday evening's recitals end with the thigh-slapping pluck of The Infamous Stringdusters at 9:30 p.m. in the Hunter Center. Sunday kicks off the day's festivities at 11 a.m. with Aoife O'Donovan of Crooked Still before attendees retreat to the galleries to hear the ramshackle concoctions of the Ramblin Jug Stompers. Guests migrate back to Courtyard C at 5 p.m. for the festival's final performance by the established tunesmiths of the Yonder Mountain String Band. All festival passes include admission to the museum's galleries, allowing patrons to peruse the exhibits and determine which painting would look best on their home refrigerator.