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Family Travel Beyond Cooperstown

Howe Caverns, Cobleskill, NY
Howe Caverns in Cobleskill, NY, features an 80-minute tour of a living, limestone cave, carved by an underground river over the course of millions of years, located 156-feet below the earth's surface!

Cooperstown is truly a great American travel destination, but did you know that many of the surrounding towns offer endless scenic beauty and many family-oriented attractions? Read all about visiting "Otsego County and just beyond!"

Cooperstown For Your Parents' Special Getaway

Lakefront Park, Otsego Lake, Cooperstown, NY
Parents need their own special time together, too. read about why Cooperstown can be a special getaway for Mom and Dad!

The Adventures of Goldilocks O'Brien

Cooperstown Kids StoriesThese original kids bedtime stories feature lots of laughs while giving your family a detailed tour of Cooperstown through Goldilock's adventures!
Read the Adventures of Goldilocks O'Brien in Cooperstown

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Cooperstown Kids StoriesLeatherstocking Childrens' Free Online Book Series
The Adventures of Goldilocks O'Brien in Cooperstown

A series of short, fictional childrens' stories focusing on life in Cooperstown through the eyes of a child -- a great Cooperstown travel resource, as well a nice bedtime story!

by Eric H.

Goldilocks O'Brien was born 
with flowing gold locks of hair in the beautiful city of Perth Amboy, New Jersey. Her parents were set on naming her Apple Blythe, but once they saw the abundance of gold hair, they formally named her Goldilocks.  Thank goodness, thought Goldilocks, when she was able to communicate her feelings at an older age -- better to be called Goldilocks than Apple Blythe!

In the summer of 2008, eight-year-old Goldilocks O’Brien and her family moved from very busy New York City to the peaceful Village of Cooperstown, N.Y., in upstate New York.  She felt like the most lucky child on earth, living in the place she could hardly wait to return to after a summer, fall, winter or spring visit.

Goldilocks happily pictured spending her childhood doing all the things her family did while vacationing here for the past five years: swimming at beautiful Glimmerglass State Park, eating cider donuts and drinking apple cider at the Fly Creek Cider Mill, devouring chocolate sprinkle donuts at Schneider’s Bakery, watching free baseball games at Doubleday Field, and running around Lakefront Park at the head of beautiful nine-mile long Otsego Lake.  She loved going to the National Baseball Hall of Fame to learn about the game, the Farmers Museum for a taste of rural life in the 1800s (and for the great carousel ride!), and the Fenimore Art Museum to view the variety of amazing American art. Goldilocks really loved drawing so she really looked forward to seeing more of the Fenimore Museum, and the art galleries and associations in Cooperstown.

Her five-year-old brother, Antwerp, had different likes about Cooperstown, however -- baseball, baseball, baseball!!  He loved the cool baseball card collection covering a wall at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, the baseball movies played there and baseball memorabilia gift shops along Main St..  Antwerp also loved the gelati with root beer at Carmen Esposito’s Italian Ices on Main St., as well as a shortbread baseball-shaped cookies from the Cooperstown Cookie Company that were purchased at the Cooperstown General Store. 

After a peaceful Sunday morning at the community church, Goldilocks loved the 30-minute Sunday country drives to Brooks BBQ in Oneonta for a humongous barbecue chicken dinner and slice of warm blueberry pie with vanilla ice cream.  In the fall, the colorful foliage was as nice as anything she’d seen in Vermont. The winter would bring lots of fun visiting the nicest Santa (and Mrs. Santa) in the world at his own cabin on Main St., and marveling at the festive bright lights, decorations and celebrations gracing the toy village look of the downtown.  Down the street at the Farmers’ Museum, Goldilocks loved the December Candelight Evening, illuminated by thousands of candles and warmed up even more by caroling, wagon rides and a nice hot cup of wassail. She also looked forward to indoor fun and games at the Clark Sports Center where she could swim, bowl, and run the track. Spring would bring maple runoff, laundry-fresh smelling warmer air, and lots of mud to play in, much to her parents’ disapproval.

The best time of year, however, was summer with the warm days, comfortable cool mountain air nights, and the chance to get outside. The O’Brien family could just walk up and down tree-lined Main St. all day and be happy -- meeting the locals, visitors and frequenting the fun shops, especially the Cooperstown General Store and the Book Nook for books.  They also loved the Fourth of July parade in neighboring Springfield with the friendliest, down-to-earth people marching, playing music, riding cars, trucks and tractors and throwing candy at the crowd.  The Fourth of July celebration at Lakefront Park was really fun, too, with lots of fireworks brightening the clear, mountain skies.  The O’Briens also loved going to the Otesaga Resort Hotel, a huge historic brick building with tall white pillars where they could have a family dinner at the Hawkeye Grille and then go upstairs through the elegant lobby to sit on one of the veranda rocking chairs and see more amazing views of Otsego Lake.  As a visitor, Goldilocks would fall asleep here in her mother’s arms.  The world seemed so peaceful here, as opposed to New York City.

Goldilocks thanked her parents for moving to such a nice place. She certainly wouldn’t miss the dirt, pollution, crazy drivers and lack of a backyard in New York City. The only thing she would miss is a good, New York pastrami sandwich! 

Now Goldilocks could live in a home with a backyard that was 10 times bigger than her New York City yard, a cozy front porch to watch the sun go down, a white picket fence and a neighborhood full of kids her age that just liked to get out to play. Everything was walkable -- the schools, supermarket, downtown, restaurants, ice cream places and bakeries, and lake.  At eight-years-old, Goldilocks felt like she had moved to the best place on earth.

Her parents felt the same way, too, about Cooperstown.  Goldilocks’ Dad, Biff, found a part-time job at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum and her Mom, Fiona McWeenie O'Brien, another part-time position at the Bassett Hospital right down the street from where the O’Briens moved on Eagle St.  This was great, her Mom and Dad would be walking to work instead of commuting an hour.  No more day care: both parents would be home when Goldilocks returned from the Cooperstown Elementary School!

On the first day living in Cooperstown, Goldilocks, Antwerp and her Mom and Dad walked downtown to share a hot fudge sundae at T.J.’s Grille, play some virtual computerized baseball at the Heroes of Baseball Wax Museum,  catch a few minutes of a baseball game at Doubelday Field, and walk around the corner to Lakefront Park to enjoy a Tuesday night concert “on the green.”  The feeling was magical, as the sky opened up, the stars came out, people huddled together sitting on blankets, and the boats in the lake bobbed up and down as if they were nodding approval to their owner’s choice of location.  The big band era music played throughout the old-fashioned village as Goldilocks snuggled into her mother’s arms.  She shed a happy tear and felt no shame knowing that she was not alone: looking up, her Mom shed a few more tears and, surprisingly her Dad even a few more tears as they all knew they had arrived at their dream location.

Sometimes, however, bad dreams come with the good. Enter Lewie Eekel, the biggest eight-year-old geek, this side of the Susquehanna River.  Just one look at Goldilocks and Lewie instantly fell in love.  He had dreams of taking her to a Jonas Brothers concert and trading Webkinz cards until they grew old together.

Lewie Eekal has frizzy brown hair, thick glasses held together with tape, and a San Diego Padres t-shirt from the 1970s -- the last time it appeared to be washed, mind you.  There he was with a beanie propeller hat on his head and a huge green glow-stick that he used to have a mock sword fight with his best friend and fellow misfit oddball, Schoog Dalrymple. Their horse play ended up near the lake where Lewie and Schoog bumped into Goldilocks and knocked her magical stuffed monkey, MonkeyFriend, into the lake.  Goldilock’s dad, Biff, reached into the lake to retrieve MonkeyFriend, and returned him to a crying Goldilocks. Biff lectured Lewie about the need to be more careful. Lewie seemed genuinely remorseful and apologized immediately -- sort of.

“I’m sorry,” said Lewie. “It won’t happen again. I’d like to make it up to you. Can I take you to Carmen Esposito’s for an ice cream?  We could trade Webkinz cards there in which I would take your best cards for my worst.”

Before Goldilocks could say anything, Lewie Eeekal went silent, turned green and looked as if he saw a ghost. It actually wasn’t a ghost, but MonkeyFriend who came to life, pointing a finger at Lewie and saying in a squeaky, high-pitched voice, “Now don’t you do that again to my friend, Goldilocks.  If you do that again, I’ll throw a coconut at you and make you watch 10 straight hours of the Wiggles!”

Once Lewie heard that Wiggles comment coming from a toy store-bought chimp, he did the feet-don’t-fail-me-now motion, going nowhere for a few seconds and then running faster than any Olympian runner could back to his home -- which, by the way, was right next to the O’Brien's new home.

They didn’t call MonkeyFriend the magical monkey for nothing.  Now MonkeyFriend was actually very good-natured, sweet, loving and loyal, a bit mischievous and always grateful to his master, Goldilocks.  None of that mattered, however, to Lewie Eeekal. He stayed away from Goldilocks for the rest of the summer. School would be starting soon, however, and they would be in the same class.  Wouldn’t you know it, one of the first activities during school was “Bring your stuffed animal to class” day!

Stay tuned for another exciting episode on The Adventures of Goldilocks O’Brien where we learn what happens on “Bring your stuffed animal to class” day!

Editor's Note: Eric H. is a Boston-based writer who vacations frequently in Cooperstown

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COOPERSTOWN FOR KIDS! An Otsego County Media Group Publication 2008
Information from comes from our editorial staff. Advertisements do not influence the articles and points-of-view on, unless otherwise specified. We recommend calling your Cooperstown vacation destination first before setting out on the planned itinerary, as information listed on this site is subject to change.

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