Cooperstown for Kids

A Cooperstown for Kids Feature Presentation
Cooperstown family travel and classic baseball videos can be viewed on  every page of this site (after each article, excluding the homepage)!

Cooperstown Family Calendar of Events

Springfield, NY, Fourth of July Parade
Springfield Fourth of July Parade

Read about the latest family attractions events in the Cooperstown area, including news from the National Baseball Hall of Fame, The Farmers' Museum, and Fenimore Art Museum.

Cooperstown on a Budget

Cooperstown NY Community Band
The Cooperstown Community Band offers free concerts during the summer

Gas prices and general inflation got you down? Maximize your hard-earned money by following these money-saving Cooperstown vacation tips.

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
Lakefront Park can provide a place for parents to reconnect and reflect

Parents need their own special time together, too. read about why Cooperstown can be a special getaway for Mom and Dad!
A classic downtown from another era with great shops, dining, attractions and scenic beauty

Main Street, Cooperstown, New York photo
Main St., Cooperstown, NY (Cooperstown for Kids File Photo)

If Cooperstown's Main Street just offered its mix of colorful stores, fun places to eat, quaint bed and breakfasts and inns and world-class attractions, that would be enough to make this storied village one of America's  great travel destinations.

If Cooperstown just offered its tree-lined neighborhoods off Main Street with beautiful Victorian and Colonial homes, that would be enough to make Cooperstown a truly wonderful place.

If Cooperstown just offered the beautiful views of Otsego Lake at Lakefront Park -- just off the village center -- that would be more than enough to make Cooperstown a special village.

By combining the colorful Main Street, beautiful tree-lined neighborhoods and Otsego Lake all into one, however, makes Cooperstown our favorite family place in the whole wide world! 

Cooperstown may be a tourist destination, but ultimately it is small-town America at its most beautiful. Seventy miles southwest of Albany, NY, and 45 miles southeast of Utica, NY, Cooperstown is a place where people proudly live in well-maintained homes, and close-knit family-oriented neighborhoods --close to Otsego Lake and the toy village-like charm of Main St. From the big but not ostentatious homes on Nelson Ave. and Pine Blvd. to the peaceful tree-lined residential streets like Beaver, Eagle, Delaware and Elm, Cooperstown never overwhelms you.  It's an authentic village void of corporate America leanings, fast food chains, and most importantly, the faster pace of life we know all so well in the suburbs and urban areas we call home. You can see the pride of the people, be it a long-time Cooperstown native viewing the pleasing sunrise above the scenic Susquehanna River, or the new residents trading the Big Apple rat race for a walk with the family and an eternal small-town smile to the world.

What's more, Cooperstown possesses the ability to please everyone on a family vacation. Far beyond just a "baseball town," Cooperstown pleasantly combines a scenic rural setting with world-class culture in the form of museums, music and art opportunities. So, you can enjoy your swimming, hiking, fishing and boating, for example, with cultural institutions you'd expect to find in the big city.  Add some truly wonderful restaurants, terrific kid-friendly bed and breakfasts, motels and inns, boutiques and spas for Mom, and a touch of miniature golf, snack bars and go-karts and you'll have no malcontents on your Cooperstown vacation.

The Village appears to be Norman Rockwell fully realized, in living color. Three elderly brothers walk the streets in baseball clothing, as close as can be. Little children stare, for extended amounts of time, at the range of baseball memorabilia at stores. Mothers walk their babies down "Main Street USA" and fathers see their boyhood baseball heroes through the windows of their souls--first their eyes, then beyond the glass displays in The Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Romance indeed lives, not in a Shakespearian sense, but in "It's a Wonderful Life" way--small town America coming together. Perhaps James Fenimore Cooper said it best in 1837, about his beloved surroundings: "Lying, as it does, off the great routes, the village of Cooperstown is less known than it deserves to be.  Few persons visit it, without acknowledging the beauties of its natural scenery, and the general neatness and decency of the place itself. ...   Everything shows a direction towards ... an improving civilization."

A Sunday morning in church on peaceful Elm St., a seat in the Adirondack chair overlooking Otsego Lake at the Blue Mingo Grill, or a walk--just a walk-- is enough to inspire sunshine in one's soul that is brighter than the sun. There may be only one traffic light in town, but no matter where you spend you time in this quaint village, the green light is always on to have a great time.

The Village takes care of its residents quite well. Sometimes towns with tourists lose vision of the people who live in town, all in the name of the mighty buck. This is not the case in Cooperstown, as can be well evidenced by community pride and services often seen in larger communities -- for example, the highly developed, state-of-the-art Bassett Healthcare (a network of three hospitals and 21 health care facilities located across Central New York, with the main facility in Cooperstown) and the modern Clark Sports Center, which offers residents and visitors comprehensive recreational opportunities ranging from a swimming pool to a well laid out workout area.

Tourism does boom in this quaint, friendly small town, as baseball souvenir shops have grown considerably over the past 15 years to align with the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum's stately and historical presence on Main St. Thousands of families visit the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum every summer crowding the streets in a sea of happiness, ice cream, and wide-eyed, kid-like wonderment on how a small town can bring such big joy. The city and suburbs just can't do this.

One of the great testaments to a community is never feeling like you've completely walked the entire community, no matter how many times you have strolled the area. The splendid and myriad Victorians gracefully lining Chestnut St. deserve more than one look. Some are stunningly well-preserved residential homes, while others are grand places to stay like the Inn at Cooperstown, Barnwell Inn and Cooperstown Bed and breakfast (read more about places to stay in Cooperstown at our Lodging and Parents Getaway Vacation sections). Turning Chestnut St. onto Main St. and seeing the colorful hanging baskets, wide sidewalks, well-maintained interesting and colorful shops needs to be retraced at least 10 or 20 times a day.

On the corner of Main and Chestnut Sts. is a splendid and inviting introduction to the town: Schneider's Bakery. A long-time Cooperstown favorite, Schneider's has the heavenly smell of donuts (far better than those chain stores offering the slightly fresh version) and other handmade baked goods piercing through the old fashioned windows.On the Chestnut St. side, bakers can be seen through the window making their sugar-themed magic. Inside is a comfortable little shop that looks the way it did many years ago. A few doors down from Schneider's, Hubbell's Real Estate displays inviting affordable-to-extravagant Cooperstown real estate offerings in its window, drawing myriad couples considering a move to a simpler life.

The Cooperstown shopping experience nevers fails to amaze us. It's ironic that in a world where people buy things to be seen, those same individuals prefer not to be noticed by shop owners and employees when shopping. The right to remain anonymous and not be bothered by friendly help has sadly become a way of life in our society. It simply gets in the way of cell phone calls, impending business meetings and other self-perceived important items of the day. That is why the "superstores" are so popular -- you can get in and out without any social interaction, except saying "credit" or "debit" to the cashier.

Taking a deep breath and strolling down Cooperstown's Main Street serves as an antidote to this fast-paced lifestyle. Nearly all the colorful shops are independently-owned, some for generations. Most shop owners take the time to say "hello," offer a friendly smile and lend their expertise. They even remember that returning customer, six or even 12 months down the road.

Customers love the attention. The slower pace and more personable approach breeds a connection to each other, taking us away from the one-hour, fast food, got-to-get-there-as-fast-as-we-can mentality. It is life the way we used to know so affectionately.

Shops like Ellsworth and Sill (women's clothing), Willis Monie Books, Tin Bin Alley Country Gifts, the Cooperstown General Store or one of the many baseball shops (Mickey's Place, Cooperstown Bat Company, etc.) embody this spirit so well that the employees' attitudes serve as a reason for customers to return just as much as the quality merchandise.

You've heard critics calling a film "The feel good movie of the year." The retail version of this phrase can be found so endearingly in Cooperstown. Shopping never felt so good.

The shops spanning a few blocks on Main St. indeed represent individual slices of locally-owned Americana. The Cooperstown General Store is huge and carries everything from socks to Adirondack chairs. The help is always friendly and emphasizes service -- the way its predecessors McCrory's and Kresge's conducted their business in this exact location. Davidson's Jewelry/Augur's Bookstore is comprehensive in its genres, is old-fashioned and also favors service. Whether it is a wedding diamond ring or a book written by Yogi Berra, the staff makes sure to help the customer. In its display window, there are books on how Walmart is destroying America, but you would never know it by the way locals and tourists support local businesses on Main St. Down the street the Willis Monie bookstore has books piled up to the ceiling. It is a fascinating trip back in time, including that old book smell we remember from elementary school. The Book Nook, close to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, evokes memories of the old-time book store, but keeps up to date with the latest books For women, Ellsworth and Sill brings back a nice selection of women's traditional clothing in a nice, unpressured atmosphere. The older women managing the store and the racks of discounted clothing at the outdoor entrance make for a warm shopping experience.

While your significant other shops at Ellsworth and Sill, a short walk to National Pastime is mandatory. National Pastime has a marvelous collection of baseball art work, photographs, cards, prints, clothing and more. For the baseball fan, this small shop with a great layout and detail to the history of the game will give the true baseball fan goosebumps. It's sort of the retail version of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, as the history of baseball merchandise is well displayed.

Across the street is Danny's Market, which celebrates the glory of community-oriented food shopping in a small, old-fashioned store, where, somehow, one can find anything. The anti-supermarket superstore, Danny's has a beautiful green and tan awning out front, and inside, an impressive deli counter, on the premise hearth-cooked breads, delicious baked goods, and a few seats to eat while reading the paper under the ceiling fans.

While on the subject of food, we absolutely love the Doubleday Cafe in the heart of Main St. With high ceilings, big picture windows overlooking the lively Main St., baseball seemingly always on the television, popcorn on the table, and terrific breakfast, lunch and dinner, the Doubleday Cafe seems to best catch the spirit of Cooperstown in a family-friendly restaurant/bar setting. For more dining options, read our Cooperstown for Kids Restaurant Guide.

Abner Doubleday Field, one of the best-kept baseball fields known, is a great place to catch amateur baseball games for free, all day during the summer. The combination of sun, charming village homes, churches and trees surrounding the park, the picture-perfect green grass on the field, an old-fashioned scoreboard, and some baseball being played by people truly interested in the game, makes for a relaxing, slow-pace-in-the-best-sense afternoon.

Before, during or after the game, there are well-run Village ice cream shops to enhance your Cooperstown stay, including Carmen Esposito's Italian Ices serving addictive flavored ices, homemade ice cream and gelati -- root beer with vanilla gelati is the recommended choice.

The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, one of the great treasures in our country, resides proudly on Main Street in a stately large, brick building with a new, inviting outside entrance. The National Baseball Hall of Fame Hall and Museum's mission is to "relive the history of the National Pastime, through artifacts from historic records, to the plaques of the game's greatest players in the Hall of Fame Gallery," according to its literature. Once inside, that mission comes to life whether it be the incredible New York Yankees displays, an Abbott and Costello "Who's on First," movie clip, a wonderful baseball card display, or, of course, the memorable and historical Baseball Hall of Fame where one can read plaques all day on all the great players inducted into this illustrious museum.The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum has a wonderful library and an appealing park area, perfect for a short stroll or yet another perspective on Otsego Lake. The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is a must-see for the baseball fan or anyone with an interest in history. It is, simply, one of life's great joys.

Many visitors do not tak the time to take a few minute's walk off Main St., to the Clinton Dam and Lakefront Park. We recommend you to to realize one of New York State's most stunning lake scenery at Otsego Lake! A great introduction to Otsego Lake starts at the end of Lake St., near Lakefront Park. Take the steep stairs to the Clinton Dam, a wonderfully serene area where the beginning of the Susquehanna River meets Otsego Lake. With a small park area -- perfect for sunning, and an an incredibly peaceful aura, the Clinton Dam, while not a well-known spot to tourists, is highly recommended as a great example of Cooperstown beauty.The absolutely tranquil Lakefront Park, with a multi-level stretch of park land and stunning views of Otsego Lake, is just a short walk from the Clinton Dam (going from Lake Street to either Lower Fair St. or Lower Pioneer St.). The walk down to Lakefront Park is a treasure with beautiful gardens in front of splendid lakeside homes At Lakefront Park, you can sit on a bench and see that Otsego Lake is more than just a body of water. It represents a way of life for Cooperstown residents who appreciate the beauty of their town. A great way to appreciate this grand lake is taking an hour tour on the The Glimmerglass Queen Tour Boat , which departs from Lakefront Park, en route to a wonderfully relaxing tour of Otsego Lake and views of all the great rolling hills and greener-than-green lands.

Walking nearly outside the village will bring you to another source of enjoyment, The Farmers' Museum which portrays rural life in early times. An herbal pharmacy, blacksmithing, weaving, printing, stickball games, music, the great Empire State Carousel, farming, -- with many different animals -- and more make for a lively afternoon. Unlike other places of this ilk, it's not forced or hokey. Everything seems authentic. Virtually across the street is the Fenimore Art Museum, "home to one of the country's premier folk art collections, and now the American Indian Wing with a dazzling collection and galleries 'any museum in the world would envy.'" (The New York Times). The Fenimore Art Museum also has great kids activities; we particularly enjoyed the gingerbread house-making class. So did the kids.

The museums attracts visitors year round for special events such as the Farmer's Museum Candlelight Evening in December. The Candlelight evening represents the true essence of the holiday season with a beautiful Christmas tree, musical performances by local schools, delicious wassail, a wonderful Santa Claus telling great childrens' stories, horse-drawn carriage rides, warm, comfort food in the tavern, thousands of lights illuminating the beautiful countryside, and beautiful voices either singing holiday songs. The weather might be cold, but the feeling is ultimately warm at this grand Farmer's Museum event.

The overall feeling that Cooperstown offers goes beyond the written word. If the words sound appealing here, your Cooperstown vacation will bring that special feeling out for your family looking for the perfect village and vacation. 

Featuring Cooperstown travel videos and classic baseball clips to get you in the Cooperstown spirit! All videos are rated G for the whole family to enjoy!

This page features a tour of some of Cooperstown's wonderful attractions, as well as some fascinating history:


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Kid-Friendly Hotels in Cooperstown

Best Western Inn and Suites Cooperstown pool
Best Western Inn and Suites at the Commons

Browse Cooperstown, NY, Hotels - - Compare rates, make online reservations at discount rates!

Cooperstown for Kids Hotel Travel Tip of the Day: If you are planning to be in Cooperstown for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum's Hall of Fame Weekend on July 25-28(with Induction on Sunday July 27), RESERVE NOW! Rooms fill up quickly for this historical, and fun weekend!

Otsego Lake
Lake View Motel
Terrace Motor Inn

Green Apple Inn

Minutes to the Village
Red Carpet Inn

Hotel Chains Near Cooperstown Dreams Park
Best Western Inn and Suites at the Commons
Holiday Inn Express Hotel and Suites Cooperstown

Lodging Near Cooperstown

Cherry Valley
Richfield Springs

Cooperstown Bed and Breakfast

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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