Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Corning: Most Fun Small Town

When most people hear Finger Lakes Wine Country, the first thing they think of is wine. Why wouldn’t they? It’s right in the name. But there is so much more beyond the wineries and lakes that make this area amazing (but the wine sure doesn’t hurt). 

Take for instance the town of Corning; just a little south of Seneca Lake, right off I-86, and minutes away from so many adventures. Corning was just voted ‘Most Fun Small Town’ by Randy McNally’s Best of the Road contest in 2013. From its historic Gaffer District with an array of cool shops, restaurants and bars, to the Rockwell Museum, to the extraordinary Corning Museum of Glass; it’s hard not to agree.

This is guaranteed to be like no museum you have ever visited before. With thousands of pieces on display, you’ll be amazed what can be done with glass. The Corning Museum of Glass (CMoG) holds the world’s most comprehensive collection of glass; there are more than 45,000 objects from around the globe! 

There are a lot of hands-on activities for the whole family! Everything from the Make Your Own Glass Experience to watching a Live Hot Glass Show. You can even head back to The Studio and look around their glassmaking school. Towards the end of your visit, don’t forget to check out their gift shop where you will find amazing one of a kind glass pieces to take home.
CMoG also offers a free shuttle to make your day in Corning even easier! The shuttle runs from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. during the summer. Stops include CMoG north parking lot, CMoG front doors, The Rockwell Museum, and Centerway Square. Each loop takes about 15 minutes. 

The Corning Museum of Glass is open 7 days a week, year round. Currently their hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Starting Labor Day, their winter hours come into effect; which are 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Children and teens (anyone under the age of 19) are free, and there are senior, student, and military discounts as well! Regular admission price is $16. Since there is so much to do and see, they recommend at least 3-4 hours set aside for glass adventure.

The size of this painting may surprise you.
Stop at The Rockwell Museum in downtown Corning to experience a collection of art that tells the story of America. Take in Native American pottery, great western scenes, and even some antique guns all in one place! Currently on view at the museum are Visions of the West, On Fire, and Lock, Stock & Barrel. You’ll have to visit in order to see exactly what these interesting galleries entail. Beyond the art it houses, the building itself has a story behind it. It’s located in Corning’s Old City Hall which has been restored and demonstrates its former glory. The building also use to house Corning's police station and court house. In fact, you can see still an original prison cell door on the main floor!

New to The Rockwell Museum is their Family Exploration Studio. This is a whole area dedicated to family activities and is sure to keep the kids entertained. There are several hands-on interactive experiences that all ages will enjoy!

Like previously mentioned, the shuttle from CMoG goes directly to The Rockwell Museum; there is also free parking in the back of the museum. To keep things simple, The Rockwell Museum follows the same hours as CM0G. Kids and teens under 19 are also free here along with discounts for students, seniors, and military.  Regular admission is $9. 

Exploring the famous downtown district of Corning will make you feel like you’ve gone back into time to the original day of the gaffers, with modern conveniences of course. Wonder down brick sidewalks, shop in charming boutiques & antique stores, view unique art galleries, and enjoy some amazing restaurants. Whatever you like, you’re sure to find something to keep you entertained for a few hours wondering up and down Market Street. Need help figuring out what to do? Stop by the Information Center within the historic Centerway Square.  

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