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Saratoga Springs backup plans for a raceless Saturday

Saratoga Springs backup plans for a raceless Saturday

Racing to air conditioning — secondary plans for horse fans
Saratoga Springs backup plans for a raceless Saturday
Owen Green, 2, cools off in the water spouts at East Side Rec on a hot and humid day in Saratoga Springs, July 19, 2019.
Photographer: ErICA MILLER

It might be too hot for horse racing today, but that doesn’t mean you have to sit at home surrounded by fans until Sunday night.

While NYRA put a halt on today’s events at the Saratoga Race Course, you can still enjoy your day in all its (possibly) 100-degree glory. Saratoga Springs offers plenty of diverse shops and locations to help you enjoy a scorching day, such as pools, a museum and other air-conditioned favorites.

Try some tea, grab some Ben and Jerry’s and, if you still want to get a glimpse of some horses, check out a nighttime harness races at the casino.

ERICA MILLER/GAZETTE PHOTOGRAPHER  
James Johnson of Albany jumps into the pool while enjoying a hot summer day at Peerless Pool in Saratoga Spa State Park in Saratoga Springs on Monday, July 1, 2019.ERICA MILLER/GAZETTE PHOTOGRAPHER
James Johnson of Albany jumps into the pool while enjoying a hot summer day at Peerless Pool in Saratoga Spa State Park in Saratoga Springs on Monday, July 1, 2019.

Saratoga Spa State Park Victoria Pool and Peerless Pool Complex

Open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

A pool of sweat needn’t be the only thing you’re swimming in this weekend. 

Pack your bathing suit, gather up your refreshments and head to Saratoga Spa State Park’s two pools today to cool off. Both are open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., special extended hours thanks to this weekend’s heat. There is no fee to use the Peerless Pool but the Victoria Pool costs $8 for adults, $4 for children ages 5-11 and $8 for seniors on weekends.

Both pools have a rich history in the area and the Victoria Pool’s creation was supported by none other than Franklin D. Roosevelt. So if you’re looking for some historical swims as the temperatures near 100 degrees, look no further.

The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame, located across Union Avenue from Saratoga Race Course.GAZETTE FILE PHOTO
The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame, located across Union Avenue from Saratoga Race Course.

National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame

Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Adults $10/Members free

The pool is certainly not the most historical location outside of the race course.

The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame is a perfect spot for racing fans to get a glimpse of Saratoga’s history while still staying within some nice air conditioning.

And if you were planning on hitting the track today, this is probably the next best thing to seeing the races themselves.

The location offers racing trophies, sculptures and memorabilia from throughout the years. Have a look at the Midsummer Derby: 150 Years of the Travers Stakes collection in honor of the anniversary of the iconic racing meet.

Today, the museum holds a Women in Racing Exhibit, which will highlight women’s contributions to the sport.

ERICA MILLER/GAZETTE PHOTOGRAPHER  
Olivia Green, 3, cools off in the water spouts at East Side Rec on a hot and humid day in Saratoga Springs on Friday, July 19, 2019.ERICA MILLER/GAZETTE PHOTOGRAPHER
Olivia Green, 3, cools off in the water spouts at East Side Rec on a hot and humid day in Saratoga Springs on Friday, July 19, 2019.

Interactive recreational fountains (splash pads)

10 a.m. to dusk, at various Spa City parks

Sometimes the pool can be a hassle and you’re looking for something quicker and refreshing. That’s where splash pads come in. Plus they’re great for little kids.

Saratoga has multiple recreational fountains across its city parks, including at Veterans Memorial (Geyser) Park, East Side Recreation Park and others. Saratoga has a list of rules to follow at the fountains, including keeping the sites alcohol- and tobacco-free and not bringing inflatable objects. Animals are also not allowed.

Some of these parks also have baseball fields and skateboarding, but you might want to limit your fun in the sun. A full list of parks can be viewed online at http://ny-saratogasprings.civicplus.com

ERICA MILLER/GAZETTE PHOTOGRAPHER
Saratoga Casino Hotel is shown in January 2018.ERICA MILLER/GAZETTE PHOTOGRAPHER
Saratoga Casino Hotel is shown in January 2018.

Saratoga Casino Hotel

Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Again, for those looking to take the air-conditioner route, the Saratoga Casino Hotel has you set with dining, games and cool entertainment. The location has over 1,700 usable slot machines and table games and attendees today have a shot to win $100,000 with the special “Waves of Cash & Prizes” tablet game.

Also today, the 11th Annual Joe Gerrity Jr. Memorial Pace will be taking off with eight horses competing for $260,000. The event takes off at approximately 8:05 p.m., so if you think you may have been missing out on racing or you really, really want a commemorative t-shirt, you might still be in luck.

MARC SCHULTZ/GAZETTE PHOTOGRAPHER
Shopping in the Northshire book store.MARC SCHULTZ/GAZETTE PHOTOGRAPHER
Shopping in the Northshire book store.

Northshire Bookstore

Open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Located at 424 Broadway, Northshire is a perfect place to bring the kids, or even just yourself, to beat the heat. The spot has an entire floor dedicated to children and plenty more for the parents. 

You’ll easily get lost in this literary air-conditioned wonderland, as it features books, stationery, magazines, cards, calendars and even gifts like jewelry. 

Its book displays are pretty, and so is the feeling of cool air you’ll get walking inside.

“Northshire Bookstore is an experience beyond a typical bookstore,” said manager Chris Morrow. “There is something for everyone and it is a browser’s delight. Plus, there is an expert staff to help you.”

GAZETTE FILE PHOTO
The Visitor Center in downtown Saratoga Springs.GAZETTE FILE PHOTO
The Visitor Center in downtown Saratoga Springs.

The Saratoga Springs Heritage Area Visitor Center

9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

If you’re doubting the usefulness of this “things to do” article, don’t worry. There are professionals in Saratoga who can give you some tips on what to do while racing is out.

The Saratoga Springs Visitor Center includes travel information on Saratoga, and employees can give you tips on local attractions. 

The building itself has some history, too, and was built in 1915 as a trolley station. The location was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.

Saratoga Springs Public Library

9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Take a break from the outdoor activities in the possible-record-breaking day.

The Saratoga Springs Public Library has a lot to offer, including the The Saratoga Room, a collection highlighting Saratoga’s local history. Staff are on call on the second floor of the library to give locals a chance to look at the massive collection.

The room features maps, pamphlets, clippings and photos — among other things — that give Saratogians a sense of their hometown’s eclectic history.

Ben & Jerry’s ice cream

Open 11:30 a.m. to 12 a.m.

While the melting rate of ice cream is about to hit unparalleled levels, you still can’t go wrong with some Cherry Garcia on a scorcher. 

The Saratoga location features all of the iconic flavors and several new ones as well, including Wake & No Bake, Caramel Crisp and Toffee Break.

Plus, the spot is open until midnight, so if the weather hasn’t picked up throughout the night, you can make a couple stops for some cool down.

Summer Arts Fest at the Mansion of Saratoga

10 a.m. to 5 p.m., FREE

If you prefer the arts over history, there’s something for you in Saratoga, too. (Ok, it’s technically outside of the city, a few miles west in Rock City Falls.)

The first-annual Summer Arts Fest at the Mansion of Saratoga kicks off at 10 a.m. today and lasts until 5 p.m., highlighting local artists. 

The fest features book signings, artisan crafters, live music and some nice food. Expect to see some workshops from Saratoga Sip & Paint and Razimus Jewelry.

NewsPHOTO PROVIDED
Hayley Stevens of Saratoga Tea and Honey

Saratoga Tea & Honey Company

Open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

A tea bar, instructions for brewing tea and most importantly a way to cool off make Saratoga Tea & Honey Company the place to be today.

The Tea & Honey Company is an ideal spot to make a stop at while you’re in Saratoga, as it offers all the beverages you’ll need and brings you along for the experience. The store even offers cute unique gifts, such as spoons, cheese boards and tea baskets. 

“Saratoga Tea & Honey Co. offers iced teas and freshly squeezed lemonade to stay and to-go at the tea bar and a honey tasting room to try a little something sweet while cooling off,” said owner Hayley Stevens.

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