The Cooperstown Experience on a Budget

Traveling with the family can be stressful enough, from packing up suitcases to loading the car and making sure everyone’s got their phone charger.

If you’re planning a trip, you already have enough on your plate, so this season save yourself the stress and opt for a weekend getaway to Cooperstown. And the best part is that you won’t have to break the bank.

Hit the Road

Save some cash by skipping the flights and hopping in the car. Whether you’re traveling from New York City, Connecticut, D.C., Massachusetts, New Jersey or Pennsylvania, your next stop is closer than you think. Resting in the heart of Central New York is the historic village of Cooperstown.

As you make your way into town, cruise along the backroads and stop at a farm stand or two. Take a moment to appreciate the beautiful rolling foothills of the Catskills, and enjoy some family time on the way Cooperstown.

No matter the season, enjoy relaxing and exploring the area. Splurge on a stay at Cooperstown’s luxurious Otesaga Resort Hotel, or drop your bags at one of the many other lodging choices, where you can typically find a two-night stay for around $300.

When booking your trip, keep in mind that peak season begins in June and ends in August. Planning your trip around this stretch will help you save.

If your heart is set on visiting during the Baseball Hall of Fame’s Induction Weekend, camp out in one of Otsego County’s private campgrounds. The average campsite during peak season will cost anywhere from $50-$70 and the majority coming equipped with bathrooms and shower stations.

You’ll want to stretch those legs after the beautiful drive into town, so grab the kids and head to Glimmerglass State Park. After you park the car ($7), lace up your boots and take the family for a leisurely hike down one of many scenic trails.

The Glimmerglass Festival hosts summer operas and musicals July through August, so be sure to check out their calendar of events to see if your trip coincides with one.

When the sun goes down, it’s time to leave the park and grab a pizza or some pasta in town, where you’ll find budget-friendly family dining options. Spend around $40 and feed the whole family – maybe even splurge on a glass of local beer or wine for mom and dad. Or if you’d rather sit down for a more upscale experience, many additional fine dining options are available for under $100.

Head back to the hotel room or campsite and, if it’s not too late, go for a dip in the pool. You’ll sleep well knowing you spent less than $250 during your first day in town.

Head to the Hall

Wake up feeling refreshed on day two in Cooperstown. Take a moment to relax and enjoy the lakeside views with a cup of coffee before you get the kids ready and head into the village for a day of fun.

Parking on Main Street is limited, so park the car on the outskirts the village (free!) and take the trolley ($2/person all day). You’ll know you made it into town when the spirit of baseball and Americana seems to come alive within every shop and restaurant.

The first stop on Saturday is a no-brainer: The iconic National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Maximize your budget with a Double Play package which grants access to not only the Hall of Fame and Museum, but also admission to your choice of either the Fenimore Art Museum or The Farmers Museum. The Double Play package costs a total of $86, for a family of four with two kids between 7 and 12.

If you’re a baseball fan, you’ll want to consider buying the Baseball Hall of Fame Family Membership package for special perks, discounts on merchandise and unlimited access to the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

Even if you’re not a fan, it’s easy to spend hours wandering the three floors of baseball exhibits, experiencing first-hand the stories and artifacts from famous players and teams throughout history. Plan to spend at least two-to-three hours to get the full experience and be sure to stop in the Museum Shop on your way out.

There's More to Do

Once you get your official Hall of Fame gear, like an HOF t-shirt for your kids or a throwback jersey from your family’s favorite team, sit down for a casual lunch on Main Street ($40). Before you head over to the next museum, stroll Main Street and browse a few of Cooperstown’s baseball-themed shops.

If the forecast calls for rain, go to the Fenimore Art Museum, one of the nation's premier art institutions, the Fenimore is home to an exceptionally rich collection of American folk art and Native American art, as well as important holdings in American decorative arts, photography and 20th century art.

On a sunny day, you might choose the more hands-on experience at the Farmers’ Museum, where America's history comes alive as daily chores are carried out at the working farm while commerce flourishes at the Village Crossroad. Visitors experience the interplay among trades, village life and agriculture in New York State circa 1845 – take a ride on the Empire State Carousel or visit the baby animals on the farm.

One of the oldest living history museums, the Farmers’ Museum features exhibits, craft demonstrations and hand-on activities that bring the past to life. Wrap up the day with a meal ($60), and ice cream on Main Street for an after-dinner treat ($20).

Even with those souvenirs, you will still manage to come in under budget, spending roughly $900 for a family of four to comfortably spend a weekend in Cooperstown.

For under $1,000, your family can enjoy lakeside views at one of many lodging options, visit multiple museums, buy some memorabilia and dine out every night, enjoying a treat or two along the way. Before you know it, you’ll be reminiscing about your trip to the quaint village of Cooperstown and planning your next visit.

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