The Finger Lakes region of upstate New York is breathtakingly beautiful; it is also full of many unique and interesting things to do while you’re visiting the area. One of those unforgettable places is the Corning Museum of Glass, housing a stunning and celebrated collection of glass from around the world, spanning 3,500 years of glass history.
Glass is everywhere in this museum, and the visuals are stunning. In one spot, three floating pavilions are connected by a 300-foot bridge. A huge glass egg is suspended from the ceiling, and a tower made of casserole dishes is a striking testament to the invention which made these kitchen essentials possible. You can watch the history of strengthened glass while standing on a glass floor or look up to see a sculpture created with hanging windshields. The museum is full of more than 50,000 colorful, fascinating glass items both in permanent displays and in traveling exhibitions.
Glass Innovation Center
In addition to the museum collections, you’ll find exciting opportunities for hands-on experiences every day at the Corning Museum of Glass. The Glass Innovation Center offers interactive encounters which showcase the impact discoveries in glass have had on the world. Visit each of the Do It! stations and you will be able to bend light and glass as well as flex your imagination and creativity. Meet the many inventors who contributed to the development of glass throughout the centuries and explore the future potential of glass, particularly in fiber optics.
Your self-guided tour through the museum includes the Hot Glass Show, a narrated live demonstration of the art of glass-blowing offered all day, every day. You will discover the process by which glass is made as you watch master glass makers at work. An expert glassblower will turn a blob of molten glass on the end of a long pipe into an item of beauty by blowing and deftly shaping the hot glass. For something even more hands-on, you might be interested in a Make Your Own Glass experience, ranging from a forty-minute class to an intensive workshop at the Corning Glass Museum Studio. These educational programs offered by the museum are the best glass-making classes in the world and attract students at all levels who want to study and research the art and history of glass-making.
Planning a Visit
Kids and glass do mix, and the museum is designed for visitors of all ages. The museum is open every day, and children 19 and under are free. Consider taking the free shuttle that runs every 15 minutes from historic downtown Corning to the museum. You won’t soon forget the stunning scenery surrounding you outside or the amazing and memorable displays of creativity in glass found inside the museum.
The Finger Lakes area is full of delightful, family-friendly surprises, and the Corning Museum of Glass is one of those hidden treasures you’ll be glad you discovered and visited.