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Growing up, my family would take week-long vacations with everyone. Cousins, siblings, aunts, grandparents, distant cousins - you name it. Those weeks were always the highlights of my summers. Always the last week of August before we went back to school. Always incredible fun.

But now we’re into fall. Kids are back at school. Work-from-home parents are enjoying a quiet workspace. A routine is back. But routines are only fun for so long. Maybe it’s time to mix things up! Variety is the spice of life, after all. Since it’s autumn and life is on a busier path, a day trip might be just what you need to reset after a week of soccer practices, after-school sitters, and rushed dinners before homework. And why not invite everyone? The more the merrier!

This weekend, take a road trip! Pack up the kids, the parents, and the grandparents into the minivan and head to Tupper Lake, NY, where the multi-generational adventures are plentiful and the memories will last a lifetime.


Obviously, food is the most important part of any trip. I might be biased because I am literally always hungry, but I’ve found some delicious meals in Tupper Lake over the years.

With options ranging from sweet to sweetly savory, you could easily spend more than one day here just eating. But we’ll start with sweet treats that will keep everyone happy between meals. (Duh, dessert comes first on vacations of any length!) Washboard Donuts is a staple around here, so I highly recommend you and your family grab a donut (or several dozen). Maybe cinnamon rolls are more your palate. Tupper Lake has those, too, at Spruce & Hemlock!

Every family has a picky eater, but don’t let that stop you from finding a great place to have a real meal! At Raquette River Brewing you’ll find more than one food truck, so the options are robust (and incredibly tasty). Those over 21 can enjoy a craft beer and those under 21 can play a game of cornhole! Another great whole-family option is Little Italy. Who doesn’t love pizza? 

Regardless of age, everyone’s taste buds will be happy in Tupper Lake! 


If you take a trip to the Adirondacks, you’re going to want to spend some time outside. There are adventures here for the physically elite, but also for those who aren’t running marathons for fun.

Here are some options that the entire family can enjoy, whether they’ve been on this earth for 3 years or 70!

  • Hiking challenges: the Tupper Lake Hiking Triad is a patch challenge like the 46 High Peaks, but is much less strenuous. The three mountains do not have lengthy trails and are good options for a more mellow day. (Or check out three other hikes in the area, one of which has an educational component!)
  • Birding is an activity everyone can get excited about. Maybe your grandparents are seasoned birders who want to show their grandkids the joy of using binoculars to spot birds! The Paul Smith’s College VIC was just recently added as a location on the New York State Birding Trail so you know it’s good.
  • Stop at Bog River Falls to explore a waterfall and admire the autumn colors.
  • Fishing was something my grandparents and I would do all the time. Great fishing places near Tupper Lake are: Piercefield Flow and right in town at the Municipal Park!

Maybe your family’s speed is spending time outdoors but on the playground. Don’t worry - there are parks in Tupper Lake that will satisfy your young one’s need to slide while the adults enjoy the beautiful lakeside scenery. Take a walk on the accessible Junction Pass Trail or at the Municipal Park, and stop by the Little Loggers Playground, or visit the Washington Street Playground.

Whatever you decide to do, the kids will enjoy romping around the outdoors while parents and grandparents share their love for the Adirondacks with the next generation.


Understandably, the fall weather can get chilly, so there are indoor options. Make sure The Wild Center is on your list! Everyone (I mean, EVERYONE) will find something here that piques their interest. The best part? The Wild Center has cultivated an experience that the entire family (I mean, ENTIRE) can take part in. Accessible features, guided tours for the visually impaired, and exhibits that engage all your senses are present. No matter what your family looks like, the Wild Center strives to meet their needs, and does so in a way that does not take away from the awesome natural history museum at all.

Be sure to check area events to see if there is anything happening while you're in town!

If you need more …

Some adventures don’t wrap up nicely in one day, and that’s just fine because Tupper Lake has plenty of lodging opportunities. Relax in a comfortable motel or maybe take the relaxation to the next level at a vacation rental. If your family is into camping, two DEC state campgrounds in the area stay open into October: Fish Creek Pond and Lake Eaton are open until October 23 and October 11, respectively. Gather around the campfire while grandpa tells stories! 

Whether you’re here for a few hours, a few days, or for a lifetime, there is plenty to do that will keep the entire family smiling. And that’s what it’s all about.